Audiobook Guide


#1

I have been an audiobook fan for over three years now and have a large collection that keeps on growing. I currently use the default program to listen to my audiobooks from where I purchase them from or via booksonic when they are from another source. While booksonic is great and it keeps a bookmark on where you left off it take time to set up a book in the program. I have been wanting to use plex for my audiobooks for about a year and have been looking into how to do it. What I recently found out is that plex has the ability to perform this task but it is confusing and not worth it if you cannot have metadata to be imported. Until Macrolinux built a great metadata agent https://www.reddit.com/r/PleX/comments/5yv7ge/i_built_a_metadata_agent_for_audiobooks/?st=j7hiup71&sh=fd3dd21d which works great but require a specific way to setup. So with the last piece of the puzzle completed for plex, I can finally use plex for my books (this include remembering my last location). This is my guide and everything that I know about using plex for my books.

A. Assumptions:
1. Plex server is running on your system
2. Audiobooks are in a mp3 format.
3. I am a plexpass user, I have do not know how this works as a non-plexpass user.

B. Software required:
1. Plex “Duh”
2. MP3TAG http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

C. Plex Setup:
1. Setup Metadata agent for plex follow the link https://www.reddit.com/r/PleX/comments/5yv7ge/i_built_a_metadata_agent_for_audiobooks/?st=j7hiup71&sh=fd3dd21d, I found that the i could not follow the guide to well but I found it is available from the unsupported plex app store. Install the plex app store to make your life easier, https://youtu.be/nMTMA7NuGoA .

  1. Setup plex library a. Click on add library and select music type. b. Name the library anything you like. c. Browse for your media. Note: I use my own individual folder with no other media in it other than audiobook mp3’s. I recommend this method as I have not tried it with anyway else. d. Click next Very Very import, create a basic music library. Do not select premium plex library! Note: IF you donot see the next setups delete library and start over. e. If you have added the metadata agent correctly you will have the ability to change the agent to audiobooks. f. Selected
  2. Include in dashboard
  3. Use embedded tags
  4. Store track progress “Very important and it works”
  5. Manually Select Audible Site (if unchecked, library language is used to determine the best site) Select audible site to use www.audible.com

D. Setup Audiobook
1. Use mp3tag to edit the audiobook tag. Edit the tag in this format: Highly recommend, cut and past information from audible as it needs to be exactly how audible sets it up.
a. Artist: Use this for the author
b. Album: Book name.
c. Save tag.
d. Save file with book name. You do not have to put them in a folder unless you have multiple parts, then I recommend.
1. Setup folder with Book Name
2. Save file name as such: bookname_Part 1 Note this format allows plex to recognize the multiple books as one book in the library.

E. Playback
1. The remember position works for android and iOS. Please follow as per screenshots. The following screenshots are for android.
https://imgur.com/ukUxJuv

https://imgur.com/kGc3ZCu

https://imgur.com/1JOVrzs

  1. If you don't want to go to my drive folder or it does not work: a. After you played your book and want to resume. DO NOT Click on play button again. b. Scroll down on you sreen or find the name of the file with the time on it and click on it. A prompt with the last know location should come up.

Done: Hope you enjoy.


New Feature Request: Chapter Section for Music Files (Audiobook)
#2

thank you so much for this! I drive a LOT (40k miles in the past 10 months) and I like to listen to audiobooks, having them available in plex is a game changer for me, as it saves me a lot of time transfering the ones I’ve listened to in and out of my tablet. Now it’s going to be super easy to listen in the car with just my phone :slight_smile:


#3

I keep coming back to the forums waiting for official support for Audiobooks, and the closest they have come is auto-resume. And while this was an important feature, it wasn’t the only thing needed to make Audiobook supported. What I was waiting on was the ability to turn off the “90% rule”. Which is, when you reach 90% of the media, it sounds it as watched/listened. This is a big problem for audio books that reach upwards of 30 hours. Have you found a way to overcome this?


#4

Wow, Thank you. it works awesome.


#5

This is very cool, and was a big question of mine.

Still one thing I haven’t found, is there anyway to increase the speed of playing these audiobooks? I usually listen to them at 3x. (Huge time saving listening to a 30hr book in 10hr)


#6

Thank you very much for taking the time to put this guide together. This works great. I do wish the Plex team would have support for audio books built in natively, but this option works very well. I was shocked to see to all the books populate properly after fighting to get something like this done for some time now.

A Million thank yous.


#7

Sweet! I’ll have to give this a shot. It would be nice if I could somehow have Downcast sync with Plex for audiobooks on iOS. Or even the foobar2000 app in the future.


#8

Nice work, thanks!


#9

Seriously a HUGE thank you. I probably listen to 6-7 audio books a week at work (I work maintenance and i’m alone all day) I have so many audio books stored at home and its a pain in the ass downloading a few every other day to my phone and hoping “smart audio book player” works correctly. Now I can access my library anytime anywhere. Thanks to the community for continuing to make Plex better everyday.


#10

Any solution to the 90% rule? (That once media is 90% watched, it’s flagged as 100% watched) Or does this plugin somehow not care about that part of the book’s status?

BTW, I’m very excited to implement this. I was on here a few years ago bugging them to provide it, but never got any traction. There was a VERY long thread of people requesting it at the time.


#11

Hey, guess it’s working :smiley:
I have to change my tags - I have Album an Artist right, but used Albumartist for the Reading Person… I guess I need a new Tag for that… :-/


#12

So… To resume playback I need to remember which track I was on? From your screenshot above I need to click the track title and then select “Resume from…” But in my case none of the tracks indicate a watched/unwatched status like TV episodes do.

So is best practice to just combine each book into one mp3? Anything else (tagging separate files for metadata, renaming then “_part3” to influence play order, and figuring out what track I was on to support resuming) seems like a hassle.


#13

Also, to answer my earlier question, no the 90% issue has NOT been resolved. e.g, if you have a 10 hour book, and have 45 minutes to go, you’re now more than 90% the book. If you close the book and reopen it, Plex will consider it complete and restart you from the beginning.

Kudos to everyone who helped build this agent and guide, but it’s really a shame that Plex doesn’t provide this out of the box.


#14

Just set this up and its Brilliant works well!!

Added 1x Audiobook: Michael Siemsen - Exigency.mp3 - works well.
To get the resume I have to make sure I enter the file view listing and click play.

Thinking of setting up more. Have a few that have parts, Wondering what the naming convention would be?

Would this work?
Author - Book - pt1.mp3
Author - Book - pt2.mp3
Author - Book - pt3.mp3


#15

The problem with resuming related to tracks or chapters is easily resolved by use a tool like “MP3 Joiner” to join all the files into one big one. I use nothing but mp3 files for audiobooks but I believe there are similar tools for other formats.


#16

I chapterize all of my books. I like knowing where I am chapter-wise in a book, seeing chapter names if they exist, and having the progress bar be useful for a more precise seeking ability. I don’t want to accidentally bump the progress bar and be many hours off from where I was, while also requiring many taps of the RWD/FF seek buttons because the progress bar can’t get but within 10 minutes of my place (if that).

I mitigate the problem of knowing what Chapter/track I’m on (and/or where I am in it) by screenshotting Plex before I turn off the book or at night in case I fall asleep on the couch while listening to it. Someone on different thread, who said they use Booksonic for audiobooks, said they have to screenshot their place just in case too because sometimes Booksonic loses its place. So having to screenshot your audiobook to use as a makeshift bookmark is not an idea specific to Plex.


#17

Nice, will try use a joiner, i’m on a mac will try a few of the apps I have, maybe they can be joined with CLi FFMPEG

The screenshots idea might be good when i reach the 80-90% issue mentioned earlier.


#18

1st had to make it look pretty, Plex style. Screenshots below:

Following this file structure and file naming:

1) Top level in root folder:

2) Inside the AudioBook - pt1 (Album)

3) Inside the AudioBook - pt2 (Album)

4) AudioBook view - ready to play

5) Tweaked the Author (Artist) manually:
Would prefer if i just put a text file like Biography.txt but that didn’t work.
Found good site for grabbing the Author photo & biography text: (bookbub.com)


#19

Just setup a tricky one: Four: A Divergent Collection 4 Stories in 1 book.

File Structure:

Naming convention:

  1. Title allows story in book or show other stuff like the book number
  2. The control order with Track#: 2 of 4 + Compilation
  3. Critical to have consistent Album and Artist, seems the folders in Plex get formed from the meta-data here.

Result:

Apple Mac Applications:
Apps i’m using to do correct meta-data, join MP3s & Remove Apple DRM from files bought on Audible and iTunes

  1. Joining MP3s (FREE, but has a 16sec Nag) - MP3 Trimmer v3.3: http://www.deepniner.net/mp3trimmer/download.html
  2. Meta-Data completely FREE: Tagger v1.8: http://bilalh.github.io/projects/tagger/
  3. DRM removal to MP3 PAID: Tuneskit mac audiobook converter: https://www.tuneskit.com/mac-audiobook-converter.html

#20

I use inaudible to rip my audible files to mp3’s. It supports various formats and you can rip to a single mp3 or chapters. It can also combine a bunch of mp3s into 1 file. I tried out the audiobook tagger and didn’t like it for one reason -> I wanted my main view to be “series” and don’t really care about viewing authors (other than as a tag or collection). I also didn’t like how it turned books in a series into tracks (I want to view each book’s summary). So I just setup a normal music library and set it to personal media so it didn’t try to pull any metadata. Then I use mp3tag to make sure all my files are tagged correctly (the way I want) and it works great! I did have to go through the manual process of populating some of the pictures & summaries in Plex, but it looks great now. Here’s how I do my organization:

Artist -> Series (Plex actually uses “Album Artist”)
Album -> Book
Collections -> Author
Record Label -> Narrator

Here’s what it looks like when you click on a series (artist):