Creating an iTunes audiobook with GarageBand

This article describes about how to create an iTunes audibook using the GarageBand application. GarageBand is a part of iLife and comes free with every Macintosh.

Step 1: Create a Garageband project

Start the Garageband application and create a new project for a Podcast.

Give the project a file name and reduce the tempo to 40 bpm.

Garageband has a maximum duration for the tracks which is limited by a fixed maximum number of beats. To allow for longer recordings, reduce the Tempo. The default is 120 bpm at 4/4 time, which limits the production to 3 hours 35 minutes. Set the bpm to a lower value to increase the duration. This can also be done from later by viewing the Track Info for the Master Track.

Delete the default tracks (Male Voice, Female Voice and Jingles) since we are not going to use them. Individually, select each track and use Tracks -> Delete Track.

Step 2: Import the audio into Garageband

From MP3 files

Select all the MP3 files in Finder and drag them into the GarageBand project (where it says "Drag Apple Loops here"). This will take several minutes to complete, after which each file will appear as a separate track.

Step 3: Arrange the tracks

Make sure the alignment guides are enabled so that it is easy to line up the tracks. Select the Control->Show the alignment guides menu item.

Drag each track so that the first track starts at the beginning and each track starts immediately after the previous track. The zoom is set by the slider underneat the tracks: zooming out helps make this task easier. Take care to not drag the audio out of their track (otherwise sound could be lost when they overlap.

Step 4: Create chapter markers

Click on the "Podcast Track".

Make sure the play head is at the beginning and click on the "Add Marker" button. This creates the first marker. Then repeat the following to create markers for each file.

Click on the time ruler at the top of the window to set the play head a short distance past the end of the first track.

Click on the "Add Markers" button.

Drag the new marker to the left, so that it starts at the time where the previous track ends and the next track starts. The alignment guide will indicate where that is. If a gap appears, drag the end of the marker to extend or shorten it.

Make the last marker end exactly at the end of the last track. Drag its end to lengthen or shorten it.

You might want to zoom in a little to ensure that the markers start and end at the correct time. Even with the alignment guides, when fully zoomed out sometimes it aligns incorrectly.

In the list of podcast markers, type in chapter titles for each marker.

Drag the image file onto the "Drag episode artwork here"

Click on the info icon, enter title, artist, composer, parental advisory and description

Step 5: Export the audiobook

ShareExport PodCast to Disk

Comress using AAC Encoder