View Full Version : Reorganizing Book Chapters

12-13-2009, 03:23 PM
I just spent an hour reorganizing book chapters so they would play in order (there were 299 chapters). Not only did I have to select the chapters to put them in order, but I had to deselect each group, before being able to go on and select the next group. VERY time consuming process just to get the book to play in order.

12-13-2009, 07:08 PM
Do you have a suggestion as to how this process would have worked better? From your description I gather that the audio files were not named so that they alphabetically sorted into the correct order, which required that you add the audio files either individually or in small groups

Would it have helped you if we change the default sorting so that a name like chapter10 sorts after chapter2 instead of using a standard alphabetic sort? Or would it have helped if the chapter sequencing was done by reading the ID3 tag from each of the files?

Please let me know how you named or tagged the files you are working with, and what would have made this process work better for you.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a standard way that audio files get named or tagged so there isn't a one way fits all solution here, but if you will let us know how the files you are working with are named and tagged we will work to come up with functionality to make loading them easier for you.

12-14-2009, 12:09 PM
(Lynne emailed me some of the file names outside this thread. I am posting the reply here as I think it might also be helpful for others.)

I can see that the problem is with the leading zeros on the numbers. There are 3 numbers in each file name which are the sequence number, the CD disc number, and the CD track number. They have zero padded the sequence number with 1 leading zero (so it is always a minimum of 2 digits). They did not zero pad the CD disc number. They have zero padded the CD track number with 2 leading zeros (so it is always a minimum of 3 digits).

The critical number is the first one since an alphabetic sort will sort by the first value that is different in the names. Using one leading zero (so it always has a minimum of 2 digits) works fine for sorting up to 99 files, but does not work for sorting more than 99 files. That is causing the problem since this book has 299 files. They really needed to use 2 leading zeros so that every sequence number has 3 digits. Then everything would have sorted properly.

For example the names were:

/sdcard/Dan Brown/The Lost Symbol (UAB)/01 CD-1-001.mp3
/sdcard/Dan Brown/The Lost Symbol (UAB)/190 CD-10-001.mp3

But they needed to be:

/sdcard/Dan Brown/The Lost Symbol (UAB)/001 CD-1-001.mp3
/sdcard/Dan Brown/The Lost Symbol (UAB)/190 CD-10-001.mp3

If you add one extra leading zero on the sequence number of each file that has a sequence number less than 99, all of the files will sort in the correct order.

It would have been nice if they had also zero padded the CD disc number with one leading zero just for consistency, but since the alphabetic sort will use the first value which is different it will sort on the sequence number and ignore the CD disc number and CD track number values.

It is funny that they did put 2 leading zeros on the CD track number to make it sort properly with more than 99 tracks because I have never seen a CD with more than 99 tracks. But then they failed to put enough leading zeros on the sequence number to make it sort properly.

You can add all of these files to the player without renaming any of them, but it requires you to add them in 2 steps. First you need to only check the box next to each file which has a 2 digit sequence number (values 01 to 99) and have it add all of those files. Then in the 2nd stop you need to only check the box next to each file which has a 3 digit sequence number (values 100 to 299) and add all of those files. See the instructions at http://amblingbookplayer.com/forums/showthread.php?24-Adding-Audio-Files-That-Do-Not-Sort-Alphabetically-In-The-Correct-Order on how to do this.

There is a short cut that would help speed up this process which would be to put the files with 2 digit sequence number in a different directory than the ones with 3 digit sequence numbers. That way you could just use the select all option both times rather than having to individually check the checkboxes next to the file names.

If you do choose to not rename the files to add the missing leading zero, and you leave them all in the same directory, there is another short cut you can use. You can just check the 99 files that have 2 digits sequence numbers on the second step and then select the “Invert All” menu option to have it uncheck those file names and automatically check all the other file names. That will save you from checking 199 names on the second step.

Given how the files are named, the simplest, quickest, and least work procedure would be to put the files into two different directories while you have the SD card mounted on your computer. You would need to get all the files with 2 digit sequence numbers (01 to 99) in one directory, and all the files with 3 digit sequence numbers (100 to 299) in a different directory. You can drag and drop ranges of files from your computer while you have the SD card mounted. And there should be several large groupings where the 2 digit files and 3 digit files are all sorted together. You can select a range of files in these groupings and then quickly drag many files at once to the other directory.

I have added a new item, on our list of features and improvements, to see if we can come up with a smarter sorting algorithm that does not sort alphabetically but instead will detect numeric values inside the name and figure out how to sort on them. We are really busy right now trying to get the Pro edition finished and released, and getting our web site online but we will try to also fit this work in somewhere soon.

12-14-2009, 05:55 PM
(Some additional details from our offline email conversation about how to rename files)

What you need to change is the name of the file, or just put the 2 digit files in a different subdirectory than the 3 digit files.

You need to use your computer to change the file names or move them into two directories.

To rename the files or move them into two different subdirectories you need to connect your SD card to your computer. Use the USB cable and mount the SD card so that you can see all the files on your computer. Then using your computer either rename the files to add the missing 0, or move the files into two directories with all the files that have a 2 digit sequence in one directory and all the files that have a 3 digit sequence in a different directory.

After you have finished renaming the files or moving them, un-mount the SD card. Then you can run the Ambling BookPlayer and add the files to your audiobook.

You can see additional instructions on how to mount your SD card on your computer so that you can copy files to it, or access the files to rename them or move them to a new directory, at http://amblingbookplayer.com/forums/showthread.php?32-How-to-copy-audio-files-to-your-SD-card&p=50#post50

01-26-2010, 01:17 PM
Do you have a suggestion as to how this process would have worked better? From your description I gather that the audio files were not named so that they alphabetically sorted into the correct order

BTW, as a suggestion: Meridian Music Player allows to sort mp3 files by track number ID3 tag rather than alphabetical by file names. It's pretty convenient feature. Could it be implemented in your player?

02-01-2010, 12:27 AM
Adding an option to sort on the track number would be helpful for cases where the names do not sort correctly alphabetically. The one drawback of doing this is that it takes several seconds per file to read the mp3 tags so it would cause a delay to read the track numbers.

I will add this to the list of requested features. We are also planning to add an option to allow you to change the way that the files are sorted to do a numeric sort on the numbers found in the file names rather than an alphabetic sort on the file name.

02-05-2010, 05:04 PM
I was just about to buy your app when I stumbled upon this thread. Almost all of my audiobooks come from different sources thus they all have weird file naming. I play them with the standard android player and I think ID3 based sorting is what it does and what is natural for any player. When book is out of order I simply use mass re-tagging software like EasyTAG to tweak or add tags to the files.

Is this option going to be implemented any time soon?


02-05-2010, 09:50 PM
Almost all our development effort is directed toward bringing our web site online this month so that there will be many more audiobooks available for download. Currently this feature is on the list to be implemented after our web site comes online.