So I've got a podcast I want to keep. Do not auto-delete doesn't seem to work properly as at least one episode has already been deleted.

My idea is that I want to turn the podcasts (the BBC Reith lectures) into regular tracks so they're managed that way rather than through the podcast section.

Any ideas how I do this? It doesn't seem to be meta data which can be edited via iTunes.

  • @Tyrannosaurs - I am withdrawing my answer. I was completely wrong on this - My apologies Jul 17, 2009 at 19:35

5 Answers 5


OK, I think I've found a relatively easy way. @Ben's suggestion that you can change the type doesn't work for podcasts but set me thinking so thanks for the mental nudge.

The podcast files in question are MP3s. If you convert them to AAC (right click the podcast track in iTunes and select "Create AAC Version") then the new version appears in the regular library as a music track.

At that point you can do "Get Info" > "Options" and change the MediaKind to AudioBook and you're good. Note that you can only change MediaKind when editing tracks one at a time, you can't bulk change it.

Not sure what happens if they're already AACs. It's possible that you can change them anyway (though I don't think so) or you could convert them to MP3s (same method, then convert them back if you want AACs) and if could have the same effect. Might lose a bit of quality in the process but they're probably spoken word so it's probably not too much of an issue.

Depends whether this is intended behaviour or not I guess. If it's not then please Apple don't fix it!

(works on iTunes 8.2)

  • 1
    Bulk changing media kind works for me. iTunes 8.2 on OS X. Just multi-select all files, Get Info and modify media kind on the Options sheet.
    – laalto
    Jul 19, 2009 at 23:30

If you want to convert the MP3 files to Audiobook files, you can use faac and madplay. There is a simple open-source gui frontend for Windows that makes the conversion easy.

EDIT: it looks like iTunes 8 now lets you convert MP3 files to audiobook files without requiring extra software:

  1. Right click on the MP3 in iTunes
  2. click Get Info
  3. go to the Options tab
  4. change Media Kind to Audiobook
  5. check the "Remember playback position" box

The iPod Audiobook format is great for things like lectures because it'll remember where you stopped listening last time, and you can adjust the reading speed if the speaker talks faster or slower than you prefer.

  • Windows?! Ick, ick, ick... Only joking. I'm a Mac User but I can use my work machine to convert the files and then load them back onto the Mac. Will give it a crack. Jul 17, 2009 at 15:23
  • alternatively, faac and madplay are both available via macports, if you want a mac-only solution with a little more control.
    – Ben
    Jul 17, 2009 at 15:57
  • iTunes 8 allows you to convert music tracks to audiobooks but for some reason when you try to change podcasts it's greyed out. I'll try madplay. Jul 17, 2009 at 20:21

I've had great success with Audiobook Builder (Mac only). Very nice GUI and it has chapter support as well, so you can take multiple tracks and consolidate them into one audiobook file containing these tracks as chapters.

Certainly worth the 10USD, in my opinion.


For me (iTunes 9.0.3, WinXP SP3) it seems simple.

iTunes uses a single ID3 tag (ITUNESPODCAST) to identify podcasts. Change its value from 1 to 0 and iTunes will place the file in Music rather than Podcasts.

I found this along with various other extended iTunes tags using mp3tag. Within mp3tag, right-click on the file and choose Extended Tags.

A couple of caveats:

  1. iTunes doesn't like a file to be referenced from two places. Even if you've physically moved the file, you'll still have to remove the reference from Podcasts (right-click > Delete) before it will reappear in Music.
  2. I had to coax iTunes into re-indexing the new tags. I had to re-add my music folder (File > Add Folder To Library > My Music)

The following sequence works well for me:

  1. Delete the podcast episodes from within iTunes (obviously choosing to Keep Files)
  2. Move them out of iTunes' Podcasts folder into a new location (optional)
  3. Use mp3tag to edit the ID3 tags
  4. Re-add the new folder within iTunes to re-index the files.

By way of an example, I found the following tags and values from a recent 37signals episode:

  • ITUNESPODCASTDESC Life as a 37signals project manager.
  • ITUNESPODCASTID http:// 37assets.s3.amazonaws.com/audio/Episode7-02_02_10.mp3
  • ITUNESPODCASTURL http:// feeds.feedburner.com/37signals_podcast
  • COMMENT ITUNNORM 00000255 00000000 00004A6E 000001FA 0008DEB6 0011A834 00008140 00008140 000CE5A2 000CE5A2
  • COMMENT ITUNSMPB 00000000 00000210 000009C0 00000000030F4530 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

I tend to remove all the iTunes-specific tags when I want to archive a podcast.

  1. Navigate to podcasts in iTunes
  2. Select podcasts that you like to convert
  3. Mark them 'unplayed'
  4. Switch to 'Unplayed tab'
  5. Select unplayed podcasts
  6. Right click -> Get info -> Options -> Media kind -> Audiobook

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .