My diary of software development

Posts tagged ‘Zune’

How to play content on your WP7 phone

No, Audible hasn’t yet released an app to play their content on the new Windows Phone. However there is a way you can play your audiobook content on your WP7 phone and you can do so without fumbling with multiple CDs.

First my story. In February 2011 I left my iPhone in my jeans and sent it through the washer resulting in no more iPhone for Christopher. I decided to buy a WP7 phone instead of another iPhone and became excited about my new phone’s potential but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to play my Audibooks on the new phone because Audible hadn’t released an Audible app. When I finally admitted to myself that there was no Audible app, I started to burn my books to CD and play them on my CD player. But that got old (and expensive) quick so I waited for the mango release with great anticipation thinking that surely there would be an App in Mango that played my Audible content. Mango came and went but still no Audible app.


Since then I’ve figured out a way to play my audiobooks from Audible without having to burn CDs. To play your audiobooks you will need the following:

Things Needed

  1. Your Audible audiobook downloads
  2. iTunes
  3. Virtual CD – Available here
  4. My AudiobookTagger software – Available on CodePlex

Step 1 – Configure VirtualCD’s sound file mode

VirtualCD has the ability to host a virtual CD-RW drive which we’ll use for burning the audiobook from iTunes. In addition, VirtualCD has a sound file mode which causes it to convert each track burned to the virtual CD-RW to MP3.

Step 2 – Use iTunes to burn your Audiobook

Create a playlist in iTunes specifically for your audiobook and drag the audiobook into the playlist. Then right-click the playlist and choose ‘Burn Playlist to Disc’.
Once iTunes complets the burn and the VirtualCD sound file mode has completed converting the tracks, you will be left with a series of directories for each CD containing the MP3 tracks of the CDs.
Sound File Mode Output

At this point you could just drop these MP3 files into your Zune software but you wont get any author or book information and the track numbers are all afflicted.

The screen shot to the left is what my Zune software looked like after adding those MP3 files. Notice that Zune tagged one of those burned audiobook CDs as the album Max Killa Hertz dated 1995. Really? I don’t have a clue where Zune got that information from. It would be a difficult task to listen to the tracks in the proper order without the correct track information but that is what I wrote AudiobookTagger to do.

Step 3 – Export the iTunes playlist to XML

In order to tag the audiobook correctly, AudiobookTagger will get the track information from the iTunes playlist XML file.

Step 4 – Modify the playlist XML to suit your information

Inside the playlist XML is one or more dictionaries indicated by the <dict> element containing information about your audiobook.

The AudiobookTagger gets its information from the first dictionary. This dictionary can be found by searching for the phrase ‘Track ID’ and when you find it, just make sure it’s the first occurrence found. You can then modify the book name, author, and Genre.

To add multiple Genres for the book, just enter them seperated by commas.

Step 5 – Modify the AudiobookTagger settings


The path to your music files for the Zune software.


If you modify VirtualCD to produce other than MP3 files with the Sound File Mode, change the extension here.


This is the directory configured in VirtualCD where it converts and stores the MP3 files.


Place the path to the exported iTunes playlist XML file here.

Step 6 – Run the AudiobookTagger

The first thing which the AudiobookTagger will do is report to you what it is about to do. This will include the tag information from reading the playlist XML file as well as the MP3 files. If everything is correct, press any key and the AudiobookTagger will correctly tag and sequence all the MP3 files and move them to your Zune directory.

Step 7 – The result in Zune

All of the Audiobook tracks show in the proper sequence now with the proper media tags.
Note that the image you see for my book Full Black was not placed there by the AudiobookTagger. I placed the image there manually through the Zune software interface.