Storing Audiobooks: How?

edited 9 days ago
I do have Zotero storage with unlimited capacity but putting all my audiobooks there seems silly. Or is that what people do? It is quite a few gigabites. Some are folders with multiple files, not sure how this will work.

I catalog them as books and would be happy to put a link to into each reference to its audiobook folder within a local storage folder where they live, in additions to a PDF or an epub attachment, if any. Those attachments can be stored on Zotero as per usual. How would one do this and that, given there are no custom fields?

Or is there any other way? What are the existing practices?

Thank you.
  • You can link attachments instead of storing them. Linked attachments are not synced by Zotero. You can link to attachments in a Mega-synced drive and you'd have 50GB of free synced attachments.

    Not sure what "quite a few gigabytes" is for you, but during my masters I collected close to 4 GB, and one year into my PhD I have some 800MB, and I just sync that. Even unlimited storage is less than Netflix.
  • If these are files you have recorded yourself, you can store them in Zotero (unlimited does mean mean unlimited). If you are already storing the files in another program like iTunes or Spotify, I recommend you leave them there. Zotero doesn’t really replace the functionality of an audio player regarding tracking places, listens, etc. You can attach links to the files on your computer (or to the program you use to organize them, depending on the program) to your Zotero items so that you can still click on the item in Zotero to open. Zotero doesn’t sync linked files.

    Regarding indicating that a book item is an audiobook, you can do so using the Extra field:
    Medium: Audiobook

    That will get picked up by citation styles as needed.
  • Thank you. Very helpful.

    Did not realize you could attach links to files.

    It does not seem possible to attach a folder. My player wants them in folders and my folders are already named but I guess one can get accustomed to that.

    Many of my audio files are normal local files (a few gigabites is some 200, but this number will grow). Others are protected files on services, so it is good to see the flexibility.

    Another question is on how to catalog. Would you make two references, one for printed edition and one for the audiobook? I never cite audiobooks, so it would be better to keep different types of attachments together in one reference. So, I do not really need the fact that there is an audiobook to be expressed by the styles. Or not usually, it can be needed for those that only exist in this form but I am yet to encounter this. I do have audio recordings but they are cataloged as recordings. However, I want to be able to search for references that have audiobook attachments in my library and/or have a saved search that produces a complete list of them. What would be the best way to achieve that?
  • If you don't mean to cite them, I'd group the links/attachments under the same entry in Zotero.

    There are various ways to identify them, but the cleanest would probably be to simply tag the attachment as audiobook with a Zotero tag (which can be applied to attachments individually)
  • edited 8 days ago
    Thanks.

    I have tried both ways now. Not really usable for me, unfortunately.

    1. An audiobook might have 20 audio files and an image cover. Zotero puts them all into separate, cryptically named folders from which they will need to be manually extracted for use. So, direct attachment is not convenient.

    2. Linking is not convenient too. The path is not displayed and there seem to be no control over what it points to or an ability to specify relative paths. So if the files are on an external drive that is not connected of was mapped differently, the links fail. It is also not possible to like to a folder.

    Both issues could be easily fixed.

    1. Allow the user to attach a folder and then keep the files together.

    2. Display the path, make it editable as a string that can be copy/pasted. Provide an option to specify a master location or locations to search and allow relative paths. Allow links to folders.

    This is going to be an issue into the future I feel. The file sizes matter too. I already have too many books to fit on hard drives in some devices. And keeping video files will not be realistic. So, some support for parallel ways to store things (on external drives, currently) would be good, whatever form it takes...
  • For links:

    1. Attaching a folder isn't trivial as most standard file pickers don't support it. It also requires rethinking a whole host of other behaviors Zotero has, _and_ it has very few advantages over "Show File" for an attached file/link

    2. Relative path base folders can be specified under Advanced --> Files and folders in the preferences. I don't quite understand why editable/pastable filepaths (or displaying full filepaths) are important for linked files, but FWIW, I believe Zutilo supports both.
  • I am basing the suggestions of how it might work on the software I am familiar with. Which is limiting. But also clearly possible.

    1. All that would be needed is a path to the folder. I appreciate that the design where each attachment file resides in a folder is pretty fundamental and will need to change. The current design makes the multi-file audiobook storage in Zotero not feasible for me.

    2. This setting is global. I am happy with the standard location. It is only for special/large files where this is needed. it could be, say, 3 destinations that Zotero looks at in order when searching for a file with a relative path. This would work.

    On visible paths: how can I see them?

    On editable/pastable, it is much faster to paste them in or copy and paste them into the file navigator instead of opening the files in Zotero. This makes sense for PDFs but not audiobooks. One typically does not want to play them but to move them to a player, etc.
  • 2. The setting is global for all linked files, it doesn't affect files stored in Zotero, so you can have a dual system with files linked using relative links and files attached in Zotero. I'm pretty sure that's all the complexity that's going to be added to this, so if you need more than that, you'll need to look for a different solution.

    On viewing, copying, and pasting filepaths, as I say, you'll want to look at Zutilo: https://github.com/willsALMANJ/Zutilo
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