Building audiobooks on (Debian) Linux in the m4b format is actually possible and doesn’t have to be a pain. I’ve found numerous recipes with shell instructions, but having a nice simple app to handle the building of the books seems much easier.
Most of the apps available for Linux seemed to be in a pre-alpha state, but after a few experiments I’ve settled on m4baker, which - while a bit rough - actually seems to do the job just fine.
Getting the m4baker running on my Debian Testing took a few steps:
sudo apt-get install python-qt4 sudo apt-get install libcanberra-gtk-module sudo apt-get install faac sudo apt-get install libmp4v2-2 sudo apt-get install mp4v2-utils sudo apt-get install sox sudo apt-get install libsox-fmt-mp3
Once these steps have completed successfully the final step is getting m4baker installed and running:
Download the source from https://github.com/crabmanX/m4baker/releases
Unpack the file and from the unpacked directory run the install script:
python setup.py install –optimize=1
This should have successfully installed M4Baker and all the required files and libraries to build m4b-audiobooks (suitable for iTunes and other m4b-supporting audio players).
You launch m4baker either through the (start) menu or simply with the m4Baker command from the shell.
m4Baker is an open source project available on GitHub.