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Audiobooks: treat a book with multiple chapters as a single media


dreadino
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dreadino

I have my audiobooks as separate mp3 files, one for each chapter, inside a folder for the book, inside a folder for the author. Emby sees them as multiple songs inside an album, which is then considered as a book. This brings 3 problems:

  1. In my library, I see multiple chapters of the same book in sections like "Recently seen" or "Continue listening", which brings a lot of clutter to the UI, with 0 benefits (see multiple_chapters.png for a reference)
  2. The playlist section in the navigation menu is now filled with books and auto-expands everytime I open the menu. Worsening this mild inconvenience, the playlist thumbnail is the book cover x4 (because all the chapters have the same cover)
  3. When I resume listening from the "Continue listening" section, it only resumes the current chapter, so when it ends, the playback stops. I had an additional problem, where a book wouldn't show up in "Continue listening", but I think I solved it by going into "advanced setting" of the audiobook library and selecting 0 and 99 as percentage for "continue listening"; this wouldn't be a problem if the "media" was the book and not the chapter.

Since this is just a way to organize an audiobook library, considering books strictly as a single media could be an option in the library setting.

multiple_chapters.png

Edited by dreadino
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Hi there, yes we plan to improve this in future updates. thanks for the feedback.

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unisoft
On 09/08/2021 at 08:31, dreadino said:

I have my audiobooks as separate mp3 files, one for each chapter, inside a folder for the book, inside a folder for the author. Emby sees them as multiple songs inside an album, which is then considered as a book. This brings 3 problems:

  1. In my library, I see multiple chapters of the same book in sections like "Recently seen" or "Continue listening", which brings a lot of clutter to the UI, with 0 benefits (see multiple_chapters.png for a reference)
  2. The playlist section in the navigation menu is now filled with books and auto-expands everytime I open the menu. Worsening this mild inconvenience, the playlist thumbnail is the book cover x4 (because all the chapters have the same cover)
  3. When I resume listening from the "Continue listening" section, it only resumes the current chapter, so when it ends, the playback stops. I had an additional problem, where a book wouldn't show up in "Continue listening", but I think I solved it by going into "advanced setting" of the audiobook library and selecting 0 and 99 as percentage for "continue listening"; this wouldn't be a problem if the "media" was the book and not the chapter.

Since this is just a way to organize an audiobook library, considering books strictly as a single media could be an option in the library setting.

multiple_chapters.png

This one is difficult, because sometimes the tracks are not just chapters and each track represents a story or book in its own right.

For example:

AUTHOR: M C Beaton

ALBUM: Agatha Raisin - The BBC Radio Collection

TRACKS (under Album Agatha Raisin): 

1. Agatha Raisin and the Blood Of An Englishman

2. Agatha Raisin and the Fairies Of Fryfam

3. Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage

4. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist

With some broadcasters, often the ALBUM tag is "Series" identifier like "Series 2", because Series 2 has tracks that are each their own title.

The solution is for Emby to PRINT the ARTIST (AUTHOR) and ALBUM (normally a BOOK) details above each track reference in Suggestions.

That would make it clearer that tracks were from a a particular Author and Album/Series/Book.

 

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Chyron
On 8/18/2021 at 5:53 AM, unisoft said:

This one is difficult, because sometimes the tracks are not just chapters and each track represents a story or book in its own right.

For example:

AUTHOR: M C Beaton

ALBUM: Agatha Raisin - The BBC Radio Collection

TRACKS (under Album Agatha Raisin): 

1. Agatha Raisin and the Blood Of An Englishman

2. Agatha Raisin and the Fairies Of Fryfam

3. Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage

4. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist

With some broadcasters, often the ALBUM tag is "Series" identifier like "Series 2", because Series 2 has tracks that are each their own title.

The solution is for Emby to PRINT the ARTIST (AUTHOR) and ALBUM (normally a BOOK) details above each track reference in Suggestions.

That would make it clearer that tracks were from a a particular Author and Album/Series/Book.

No. Just... just no.
An audiobook series should be grouped into a collection, not an album.

1) One album is one book; 2) one track is one chapter; 3) If a file contains multiple chapter marks, those marks are also treated as separate tracks.

Even when editing files in mp3tag this is the case. It's the behavior that makes the most sense for standardization. There is no sense in putting fourteen 25-40 hr long books into a single album (as would be the case with The Wheel of Time.)

If I download a single-file book from Audible, that book's default album name is the book name, not the series name. The only reason for combining single-file books into a single album is if the software you use doesn't support inline audio collections... like Plex. But Emby DOES support inline audio collections.

Edited by Chyron
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unisoft
1 hour ago, Chyron said:

No. Just... just no.
An audiobook series should be grouped into a collection, not an album.

1) One album is one book; 2) one track is one chapter; 3) If a file contains multiple chapter marks, those marks are also treated as separate tracks.

Even when editing files in mp3tag this is the case. It's the behavior that makes the most sense for standardization. There is no sense in putting fourteen 25-40 hr long books into a single album (as would be the case with The Wheel of Time.)

If I download a single-file book from Audible, that book's default album name is the book name, not the series name. The only reason for combining single-file books into a single album is if the software you use doesn't support inline audio collections... like Plex. But Emby DOES support inline audio collections.

No, I disagree with you. 

Its a matter of preference and Audible doesn't always stick to what you say - I've just started a few months ago and I have 140 titles from them.

The example above is completely valid - the "BBC" stories are collected together under an album or series. There may be other publishers that have collections of books too for the author e.g. Agatha Raisin.

Also, stuff from a broadcaster IS released often as SERIES like a TV show. So album can be a series name either as SERIES 2 or "Dad's Army: Series 2". Indeed, the BBC often use the latter as their album name. The BBC wouldn't create 40 albums for one series alone or cram into one track even if Audible often do that!!!!! Album "Dad's Army: Series 2" would have 40 named tracks instead indicating 40 separate stories from Series 2.

Books don't always start out as paper books made into audio versions. If we take your recommendation that an Album is the book only, most albums from Audible would only have one track.

To satisfy not only your view but others, the easiest method is to do what I quoted which is 

"The solution is for Emby to PRINT the ARTIST (AUTHOR) and ALBUM (normally a BOOK) details above each track reference in Suggestions.

That would make it clearer that tracks were from a a particular Author and Album/Series/Book."

It would work for both scenarios.

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Chyron
1 hour ago, unisoft said:

Its a matter of preference

Preference isn't the issue. The issue is standardization.
With regard to preference---it's your server, so generally you can organize things however you personally prefer. However, if you want metadata to populate properly from online sources, you have to tag them how those online sources tag them. If you purchased an audiobook series as a set, that set may have been submitted to Musicbrainz as a single release. But if you bought a series separately, and it's not sold anywhere as a set (ie. with the series as the album tag), there will be no online metadata to match it as a set.

If you're taking audiobooks you purchased, and modifying their tags to have the series as the album and each book as a track, they won't match with an online source if no one sells them that way. Musicbrainz won't let us arbitrarily submit a release entry for their database that doesn't exist anywhere but on your or my server.

 

 

 

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unisoft
37 minutes ago, Chyron said:

Preference isn't the issue. The issue is standardization.
With regard to preference---it's your server, so generally you can organize things however you personally prefer. However, if you want metadata to populate properly from online sources, you have to tag them how those online sources tag them. If you purchased an audiobook series as a set, that set may have been submitted to Musicbrainz as a single release. But if you bought a series separately, and it's not sold anywhere as a set (ie. with the series as the album tag), there will be no online metadata to match it as a set.

If you're taking audiobooks you purchased, and modifying their tags to have the series as the album and each book as a track, they won't match with an online source if no one sells them that way. Musicbrainz won't let us arbitrarily submit a release entry for their database that doesn't exist anywhere but on your or my server.

 

 

 

But equally you can't ignore that everything is not simply a book originally.

A major long term broadcaster, who sells content worldwide, wouldn't create 40 separate albums (books as you call it) for episodes of Dad's Army. Instead they are grouped under "Dad's Army: Series 2", "Dad's Army: Series 3" (as an example). 

There are 1000's of titles from one broadcaster alone, and they have being doing their stuff as a major content producer for decades (including radio shows now sold as audiobooks and even Audiobook Radio station in UK known as BBC Radio 4 Extra) and involved in numerous media standards with the likes of the EBU and many other organisations, some even standardisation on metadata  (for example, XMF format and tapeless delivery format). Long before the likes of Audible that's been around for a few years!

I don't use musicbrainz, because all my meta data is in the Lyrics and Description tags in embedded ID3v2 (again this is done by the BBC too). Each folder has the logo.png/folder.jpg/backdrop.jpg as well. I don't rely on "live" lookups because I format my data. Luke says he has added support for the description tag too so that will start displaying metadata when the server/client apps are updated.

Edited by unisoft
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Chyron
1 hour ago, unisoft said:

A major long term broadcaster, who sells content worldwide, wouldn't create 40 separate albums (books as you call it) for episodes of Dad's Army. Instead they are grouped under "Dad's Army: Series 2", "Dad's Army: Series 3" (as an example). 

The point I'm making is that Emby is only pulling the metadata from an online source. How Emby populates media it matches online is more dependent on the online metadata database than it is on Emby.  If there are audio recordings of Dad's Army, and they are officially released in some fashion, they should be matchable as such.

EDIT: With the example you give of radio broadcast episodes of Dad's Army, Musicbrainz has a specific standard for labeling broadcast programs:
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Specific_types_of_releases/Broadcast_programs.

Their Dad's Army release entry is here: https://musicbrainz.org/release/5f5a080f-ff04-4cb6-9462-9584d8df948a

Emby will match with that when searching for Dad's Army audio metadata online.

Edited by Chyron
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unisoft
9 hours ago, Chyron said:

The point I'm making is that Emby is only pulling the metadata from an online source. How Emby populates media it matches online is more dependent on the online metadata database than it is on Emby.  If there are audio recordings of Dad's Army, and they are officially released in some fashion, they should be matchable as such.

EDIT: With the example you give of radio broadcast episodes of Dad's Army, Musicbrainz has a specific standard for labeling broadcast programs:
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Specific_types_of_releases/Broadcast_programs.

Their Dad's Army release entry is here: https://musicbrainz.org/release/5f5a080f-ff04-4cb6-9462-9584d8df948a

Emby will match with that when searching for Dad's Army audio metadata online.

Using their suggestions, the original exact broadcast date is often not known, as many of the BBC programmes can go back decades. Plus, when downloaded, the BBC has already populated the embedded metadata. I use iTunesMediaType as Audiobook, and leave Genre as "Comedy", "Drama" etc. The grouping tag is for "Sitcom"  in comedy example. The files are ".m4b" and audiobooks library seems to suggest just audiobooks and not get caught up in suggesting music albums.

Also, for BOOKS, Artist is "Author", but in case of a radio series like Dad's Army with many writers, you don't want 100 odd episodes being under different authors so usually that is the programme title like "Dad's Army". User would go into Comedy genre, see Dad's Army and then see a list of available series and then the individual programmes under that series. If you want to keep the writer in it, the COMPOSER tag can be used instead. It's not really that different to a music album.

From musicbrainz example for Dad's Army, it looks like what I have done anyway. They've split into series 1,2,3 as well. I just don't prefix the original transmission date as that's not always known, but the BBC tag that sometimes in "Lyrics" where they put a full description including cast details of a production. That musicbrainz site also says about "releases with multiple books"; again they are doing what I do, in that each track name gets a description under an album (this was my Agatha Raisin example previously). This Agatha Raisin Album was a "BBC Drama Collection" release containing multiple books ( as clearly named tracks) all neatly contained in a "BBC Drama Collection" named Album thus enabling coping with the same author and titles but production done by another production company in the future (like Audible Studios). You might have the same author and books done by different productions companies. It is tidier to group using the Album name in this case than have multiple copies of individual book titles as albums.

This is why I said if Emby simply labelled the Artist (Author/Programme Title) and Album (Book or series) then it would more clearly show what tracks it was suggesting and where it was from. Alternatively, just show the album name instead under Suggestions. This was a compromise I think would work for people who do their own metadata and those that wish to use online resources to dynamically get metadata.

Edited by unisoft
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dreadino

Interesting discussion, as I said in the opening post everyone has a way to organize its collection and this should be a library setting for the audiobook type, as simple as that.

I will never use an album as a series, but I'll always use an album as a book, with each character as a separate mp3 and seeing them as separate chapters in the dashboard is confusing.

If I'm not mistaken, Emby has a concept of collections (for example "Lord of the Rings Collection" for the movies), so the collection use case would be covered even with album = book

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  • 1 month later...

Audio book level resume is coming in Emby Server 4.7:

Untitled.png

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unisoft
17 hours ago, Luke said:

Audio book level resume is coming in Emby Server 4.7:

Untitled.png

That's good but its the other stuff too; in no order: :)

1. DESCRIPTION ID3v2 meta tag data shown under track title or applicable place describing the track. On Audiobooks, a track can be an episode or story in its own right assigned to an Album so example: Dad's Army takes the Artist/Author field, Album/Book is Series 2 and then each episode of that series which is a different story and each has its own description meta tag. Other times, it makes more sense that the Artist/Author field is actually a book author's name, but even they may have several stories. e.g. Agatha Christie > Poirot > {each Poirot case}

2. Keeping consistent use of AUTHOR/BOOK/Title or Track than Album/Artist etc.

3. Ability to change VIEW type under GENRES to have "Sort by Artist" or "Group by Artist" and this to be a sticky option. Emby changed and the whole family hate it, to listing stuff in Music and other places as Album View when you go into Genres. I wanna go into GENRES, then see a list of Artists (or Authors) that have stuff tagged under that Genre not a list of Albums.

4. Composer tag used for Writer when an Audio Book as it can handle several writers in the tag.

5. Ability to skip forward and backwards to chapters easily at the media player OSD level.

6. Track numbers displayed when seeing a list of tracks if embedded when using FOLDERS view (and sorted by them). The LG app changed to reflect when a list of tracks with small cover art than large for each track.

7. "Latest Music" under Audiobook Library SUGGESTIONS menu option should be re-labelled as "Latest Audiobooks"

8. Correct the Emby Homescreen (Vertical View) so that "Latest Audiobooks" strip shows the info of ARTIST (Author) and ALBUM (Book or Series) instead of just ALBUM field. Often Author and Book/Series go hand in hand and Latest Music strip does it correctly.

Edited by unisoft
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Chyron
3 hours ago, unisoft said:

Composer tag used for Writer when an Audio Book as it can handle several writers in the tag.

Composer tag is used for Narrator.

When I download audiobooks from online sources, the embedded tags list the narrator in the Composer field. This means, for the sake of consistency, Emby should do the same.

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Quote

That's good but its the other stuff too; in no order: 

Please open new topics for other unrelated requests as that is the best way for us to track them and respond to them individually. Thanks.

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