audioBook Style

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Style for narrations of works of literature

Attention.png Status: This is work in progess and a ProposedStyleGuideline.

Initially the old StyleDude decided not to have a guideline for audio books. However, WolfSong and Keschte are going to write an AudioBookStyle, which should be applied to AudioBooks for some consistency of the Track Titles.

Initial "Style": NoAudioBookGuideline

TarragonAllen wrote on 2004-08-28:

  • As the database is set up primarily as a music resource audio books and other related spoken word releases do not map very well into the current data-set. As such, audio books and other related spoken word releases are allowed in the database but there will be no official standards for how they are entered, sorted or categorised, nor will there be any official style guidelines for them. If people wish to create their own style guidelines for audio books and other related spoken word releases they are free to do so, but there will be NoAudioBookGuideline.

New Guideline for Audio Books

The most important characteristic of such a guideline is to ensure that the tracks are sorted in the right sequence, if a user chooses to rename the tracks without the track number -> encode Chapter and Sub-chapters into the trackname.

I'd like to propose the following naming Scheme:

  • Include the Chapter number in titles like
    • "Chapter 01: Name of Chapter"
      • Note that the numbers are always expanded to 2 digits (add 0 before if number<10)
      • If the current chapter is continued from a previous medium, append (continued)
  • For chapters spread over more than one physical track, include the sequence number of the current subchapter sequence number
    • "Chapter 01-01: Title of subchapter" or
    • "Chapter 01-01: Title of chapter" (if the subchapter has no title)

Next possible steps to take:

  • browse albums and see what a mess the audiobooks section really is and
  • have a look at the albums of J.K. Rowling to see a somewhat organized listing, but with different numbering styles, and decide if we could make the proposal above official -- Keschte


Bonjour tristesse (disc 1, disc 2, disc 3)


This proposal looks good so far. But how should we handle AudioBooks that have no chapters, or it is not possible to find them out? Replace 'Chapter' by something else or simply define every track as a single chapter? (Ingo Maßmann aka Terz)

  • Hmm... if you know the name (Part, Section, Chaper, ...), I'd think it would make sense to use that, and just use 'Chapter', or perhaps 'Part' if you don't know or it doesn't say. -- MartinRudat 00:58, 06 May 2006 (UTC)

What about books that have several volumes contained within them, so to speak? I'm specifically thinking of The Silmarillion (by J.R.R. Tolkien), which I am about to import. There are sections, some of which are further divided into chapters. Ainulindalë is not divided into chapters. Quenta Silmarillion, however, is (which are in fact numbered in the book). Similarly, the volumes in the Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, Return of the King) each contain two books. How should chapter numbering take this into account? (dbhertz)

Has anyone looked at the books avalible at LibriVox, they have lots of audio books for public domain books, so I think any standard shoudl take them into account as a good example of the kinds of things that people do with audio book releases. (Dalf)

An idea from the iTunes/CDDB import of an audio book i'm doing right now: To name the titles with the sentence the track begins. E.g. "Ich erkannte das alte Holztor ...". I'm not sure if it's from the CD-Text info or if CDDB entered it themself. (Masi)

This and where do you stop the sentence? Btw, "Chapter 01-01: Title of chapter: Title of subchapter" looks more logical (musicbrainzy) to me for subchapters, because you can see that it is indeed a subchapter and note the chapter title. What do you think? Another issue with German AudioBooks: Should untitled tracks on that ABs called "Chapter XX" (problem: Language turns into English), "Teil XX" (often used, German for "part") or "Kapitel XX" (German for "chapter")? Nine99

Also, it would be nice if we had a few, ARs for the audiobooks. Namely: Narrated. And what do we do with audiobook with nothing but [untitled] in them? Also, on Nine99's point, I think it would be best to allow for audiobooks from other languages to be written in their language: for example. SenRepus 2007-06-17

  • Also something to log the author of the book. Author? WriterRelationshipType (caveat: not accepted, and would lump musical and non-musical 'writers' which might not sit well with people anyway)? --Gecks

I agree, the word for "chapter" should be altered to something appropriate in the same language as the book is written. Otherwise it'll just look silly. (Cadalach 2007-06-24)

I#d say translate "chapter" to the the language of the AudioBook (so all those German "Teil XX" should be "Kapitel XX"). Nine99

For books which don't split out tracks by chapter but instead by track length, how should we handle that? Anecdotally, this is by far the common case for the audio books I listen to, and it doesn't let you title the track with a chapter name like the system currently proposed, because some tracks contain chapter transitions. The consensus for such things in Gracenote seems to be "<disc number><track ordering marker>", e.g. "1a", "1b", "2a", "2b", and so on. This preserves the play order, so long as you have less than 27 tracks on a disc (not always true). Personally, I'm happy to just label things as "Track n" and let the "... (disc n)" part of the album name order the play order of tracks between discs. (Or better yet the disc number part of the metadata, whenever support for that arrives.) (bench12345) 2007-06-24

Bogand Butnaru makes some excellent suggestions in this email. In summary:

  • Keep it simple. For instance, if every chapter occupies exactly 1 track, we shouldn't name them all "Chapter n-01: ..." just "Chapter n: ...".
  • Capitalize and do artists like normal.
  • The performer AR works well for the narrator.
  • Release dates, URLs, ASIN links, etc. should be used on audio books as they are elsewhere.
  • Abbreviations are still bad.
  • Track names should be informative, but not all albums will be able to be equally informative. That doesn't mean they should be rejected, so long as they are still useful.

(bench12345) 2007-06-24

I don't understand the premise: Why should audio files be sorted correctly if the user decides to strip the track number? Sorting is exactly what the track number is for. If you strip track numbers of music files and sort by track title, then the album won't play in order either. -- Fdsa