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Ken_Tanaka
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-01-2010
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Accepted Solution

Connecting a Mac to Nook

Happy New Year!

 

 

I wanted to start a topic that addressed issues encountered when connecting a Macintosh to a Nook. In my opinion the Nook is a nice piece of hardware, but the documentation and software are young and not fully fleshed out yet. So these forums are a good place to fill in the gaps.

 

I develop software, so I know that companies that have these discussion forums (e.g.. "eBooks Help Board") have a wild fantasy that their users will help each other, taking some of the burden off their overworked support staff. So it would be nice if people who found solutions would contribute here.

 

Please be specific about software names and mention version numbers. Many of posts I've read in these forums don't even mention the operating system people are using when having difficulties. Sometimes the hardware being used matters too; as more of the new programs run only on Intel based Macs.

 

-Ken

New User
Ken_Tanaka
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-01-2010

Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

[ Edited ]

Verify valid mp3 files

 

For the first topic I'll share what I've learned about transferring mp3 files from the Mac to the Nook. (I'm using Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard, the Nook is at version 1.1.1). I tried adding an mp3 file to the Nook that my wife received for Christmas. It didn't show up (and yes, I did go to "my library" and select "Check for new content" under My Documents before bringing up the audio player). When bringing up the Audio player, the Nook said something along the lines of "Transfer audio files by USB connection" (I'm going by memory here), meaning the Nook thought there were no audio files present. I transferred another mp3 file from the Mac to the Nook. Still nothing. After reading through the forums for a while it seemed that some of the trouble people were having with getting MP3 files onto the Nook mentioned they were using Mac OS X, but most didn't specify their OS. I began to wonder if Mac mp3 files were not the same as mp3 files from Windows. Modern file standards are complex enough that not all members of the category are considered equal. For example many "standard" formats such as JPEG/JFIF, TIFF, .doc and PDF are actually families of related formats, some with different versions and optional parts, so programs working with them may not be able to handle all types and some are less forgiving about errors in the format. Many posts where a user mentioned generating mp3 files said they had no problems putting audio onto their Nook (most of these mentioned using Winamp, so I was able to deduce they were running from Windows).

 

So I thought I'd start by examining the mp3 files I had and see if there were any clues. Mac OS X is based on a variant of Unix, so linux users will recognize this approach: I opened up a terminal window to use the command line interface and ran the "file" command on the mp3 files in question. (To locate the Terminal application, in a Finder window go to the "Applications" folder, then open the "Utilities" sub-folder, or enter the shortcut Command-Shift-U).

 

The mp3 files I was working with were on my Desktop, so in the Terminal window I entered

 

cd ~/Desktop

file *.mp3

 

These commands changed my working directory (folder) to "Desktop" (specifically the "~" means MY Desktop, in case there are multiple user accounts on your Mac). "file" is a command that takes filenames and tries to figure out their type. In this case I wanted to know about all the .mp3 files ("*" is a wildcard to match multiple characters, so "*.mp3" matches all files ending in .mp3). The output was

 

OneWeek.mp3: ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, iTunes AAC-LC

Minuet_in_G.mp3: MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1, 160 kbps, 44.1 kHz, JntStereo

She_s_A_Rebel.mp3: ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, iTunes AAC-LC

"OneWeek" and "She's A Rebel" were the files I tried, but they were identified as AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) rather than mp3. An mp3 file should have "MPEG ADTS, layer III" in the content description. The "Minuet in G" was the proper type, so I transferred it to the Nook, and it worked!

 

What happened? It seems that the two files I happened to have laying around on my disk and used as test audio files had the wrong extension. However, iTunes and the preview function of the Finder figured out their correct type and played them anyway, so I never had a clue they were mis-categorized sound files.

 

I downloaded a free program from NCH Software called Switch to convert my AAC files into mp3. These newly created mp3 files now play on my Wife's Nook. Note that there is a an older PowerPC version of switch at

 

http://www.nch.com.au/switch/switchmac.zip

 

while the Intel CPU version is at the slightly different URL of

 

http://www.nch.com.au/switch/switchmaci.zip

 

As far as I can tell, there is no difference between putting mp3 files on the Nook under "my audiobooks" or "my music", they all show up in the audio player. I'd suggest using the correct category, as a future version of the Nook software may differentiate based on these two locations.

 

If anyone has other suggestions of software or corrections, please reply.

 

-Ken

 

Inspired Contributor
JD05
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-23-2009
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

Ken,

 

This is an awesome post!!  1 Laurel for you!  Not only did I learn a new Unix command but you've provided everything a person needs to identify and fix the problem.

 

Looking forward to more of your posts and hope I can add a few myself!

-----------------------------------
User manual: http://images.barnesandnoble.com/pimages/nook/download/User_Guide_nook.pdf
Remove the back cover: 25; Install microSD: 115; Wallpapers: 57, 113 (Use 600 x 760); Screensavers: 57, 112 (600 x 800)
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BookDroid
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎11-21-2009
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

+2 for Ken!!  Now these are the kind of posts we need on these boards.  Not the nook vs. kindle rants or "the nook sucks" or poor me B&N has "screwed me"!!  Way to go Ken!  Keep up the good work.

 

Ken, have you tried to convert the AAC files to .mp3 using iTunes?  Just wondering if that would work also.

 

 

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katworley
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-13-2009
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

I don't have my Nook yet (I'm in the "Feb 1" shipping group), but you can check the file format and convert AAC files to MP3 through iTunes. I've done it to put music on a thumb drive in order to play it on my car stereo. I'm assuming that the same process would work for the Nook.

 

To see what format the file is in, "get info" on the file through iTunes ("command-i", or use the drop down File menu). On the "summary" tab of the info window is the file path including the extension.

 

To convert an AAC file to MP3, in iTunes Preferences go to "General", then where it says "when you insert a CD" click on "import settings..." and choose the MP3 encoder. Close the  window. Choose your files, select the "create MP3 version" under the Advanced menu and you should be good to go. When you convert, *both* files end up in iTunes. You can set up a smart folder with the criteria "kind" contains "MPEG" to separate out the MP3s from the other file formats.

 

This is on OS 10.6.2, and iTunes 9.0.2, but the process has worked the same in earlier versions of iTunes and OS 10. 

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Mosier42
Posts: 225
Registered: ‎01-01-2010
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

I grew up on Windows and have only recently switched to Mac and Linux, so I'm slightly out of my league with regards to intricacies here, but I'm guessing using iTunes to convert the AACs to MP3s would probably work.  However, you will more than likely want to relabel to mislabeled MP3s back to AACs first (while iTunes may not require you to do so, it would be easier to keep track of which file is which encode type).  That's fairly easy to do with a mac, even without going into the command prompt.  Simply rename the files with the correct suffix and verify that you would like to use the .aac instead of .mp3.

 

If someone with more knowledge needs to correct me please do so.

 

However, fantastic post.

New User
Ken_Tanaka
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-01-2010
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the encouragement BookDroid and JD05. While venting frustration has it's uses, I was definitely thinking of lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.

 

I was going to answer that iTunes can create mp3 files, but katworley beat me to it (see post above). The iTunes help does mention "IMPORTANT: Except for iTunes Plus songs, you can’t convert iTunes Store purchases." So digital licensing is at work here. This is a good reason to look for the iTunes Plus songs which are not limited, since they are trusting you to not abuse the unlocked files (but not without a little added cost ;-)

 

It is a little counter-intuitive that setting the import settings to "mp3 encoder" also affects the "create mp3 version" option in the "Advanced" menu.

 

-Ken

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katworley
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-13-2009
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

The import settings in Preferences is what controls the conversion option in the Advanced menu.... if your import settings is set to AAC, then the Advanced menu has "convert to AAC". If the import settings is set to MP3, the Advanced menu has "convert to MP3". The underlying logic is that whatever your import preference, you'd want to convert other files to conform to that preference. As for the DRM issue, yes, *Protected* AAC files can't be converted, but most new additions to the iTunes music catalogue is DRM-free (or "iTunes Plus"). I have a bunch of earlier purchases that are protected, but my newer purchases are DRM-free. 

History: Special people, in special places, at special times
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gojyogrl
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-10-2010
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

Hi, I just preordered the nook (ship class of Feb. 1) and I know it is compatible with Mac OS; however I'm not clear on which OS. I have a Mac G5 with Intel Duo Core processor running OS 10.4.11, and a MacBook (also with an Intel processor) running OS 10.5. I was wondering if the nook would work if I connect it to my 10.4 Mac (it would be easier for updates and downloads for me).

 

I've noticed the newest update to the BN ereader program for Mac doesn't work with OS 10.4 (it does work with my 10.5 Mac), so I wasn't sure if the same issue would affect the nook and which computer I hook it up to. Also, can I connect it to different Mac computers, or do I have to connect it to the computer on which I register the device?

 

And if neither works, I guess I'll have to break down and get the Snow Leopard OS updates.

 

Any help anyone could offer is greatly appreciated.

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JD05
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-23-2009
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

 


gojyogrl wrote:

Hi, I just preordered the nook (ship class of Feb. 1) and I know it is compatible with Mac OS; however I'm not clear on which OS. I have a Mac G5 with Intel Duo Core processor running OS 10.4.11, and a MacBook (also with an Intel processor) running OS 10.5. I was wondering if the nook would work if I connect it to my 10.4 Mac (it would be easier for updates and downloads for me).

 

I've noticed the newest update to the BN ereader program for Mac doesn't work with OS 10.4 (it does work with my 10.5 Mac), so I wasn't sure if the same issue would affect the nook and which computer I hook it up to. Also, can I connect it to different Mac computers, or do I have to connect it to the computer on which I register the device?

 

And if neither works, I guess I'll have to break down and get the Snow Leopard OS updates.

 

Any help anyone could offer is greatly appreciated.


You should have no problems connecting to ANY Mac.  For all intents and purposes it is a "Flash Drive" (that is how your Mac sees it).  Plug into the USB port.  Drag and drop your files.  Your nook is NOT like an iPod; it is not registered to your computer.

 

On a side note, I'd pay the $29 and upgrade to Snow Leopard.  It's great.

 

 

-----------------------------------
User manual: http://images.barnesandnoble.com/pimages/nook/download/User_Guide_nook.pdf
Remove the back cover: 25; Install microSD: 115; Wallpapers: 57, 113 (Use 600 x 760); Screensavers: 57, 112 (600 x 800)
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gojyogrl
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-10-2010
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

JD05, thank you so much for responding. It's a huge relief to know about the nook and my Mac.

 

Yeah, I do need to get Snow Leopard for the laptop. But the update for my big Mac will be $129 so that will have to wait a little longer.

 

And now to count down the days until my nook arrives.

 

Thanks again, the response is much appreciated. :smileyvery-happy:

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jigray3
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎02-03-2010
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

My Mac, a G4 Powerbook running OS X 10.4.11, doesn't see the nook unless it is on or asleep BEFORE connecting the USB cable. Connecting the cable, then turning the nook on does not work This may have been covered in the manual, I can't remember.

 

As I am still running a Mac with PowerPC processor, should I expect compatibility issues with sideloading, syncing, etc?

Correspondent
dElaphant
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎12-28-2009
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

 


jigray3 wrote:

As I am still running a Mac with PowerPC processor, should I expect compatibility issues with sideloading, syncing, etc?


 

No, you won't have any compatibility issues at all. The type of processor is irrelevant when it comes to transferring data over USB to  a nook. You could probably even use an old "classic" mac running OS 9, though I haven't tried.

 


As for the DRM issue, yes, *Protected* AAC files can't be converted...

Actually, they can just not directly. You need to burn the songs to a CD (be sure to make it an "audio" CD and not a "data" or "mp3" CD). Then "import" the music back into your iTunes library (of course you need to first set the preferences to use mp3 as indicated earlier). 

 

Apple's DRM never prevented converting the songs, they just made it a little inconvenient to deter massive pirating. 

 

Also, regardless of the method, there will be a loss of audio quality whenever you convert songs from one format to another, so don't throw away your original files!

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BlueRverent
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-06-2010
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Re: Connecting a Mac to Nook

I'm having a similar issue with trying to sideload my nook.  My baby is a few years older than most (iBook G4) and am still running on the OS X 10.4.11.  I have my nook plugged in and there is absolutely no recognition between my nook and my computer, and I cannot get them to talk.  It works on my brother's PC but not my Mac.  Do I need to download something to my lappy and/or my nook to get them to talk?  Do I need to look in a different corner of the hard drive?  Assist plz..thx.