Playing content from Living Audio is easy. The M4B file format is supported natively on Mac OS and iOS, and there are a number of third-party apps with full M4B support on Android and Windows as well.
What Is M4B?
M4B is a compressed audio file format developed by Apple, which has been specifically designed for audiobooks. It enables multiple chapters to be combined into one audio file, and this means you can jump from chapter to chapter, skip backwards and forwards within chapters and set bookmarks so you can find your place quickly. Most apps that support M4B also remember where you stopped listening, so you can start playing from that point whenever you’re ready, even if that’s several days later.
Living Audio currently offers two versions, low quality (much smaller downloads), and high quality (larger file downloads). Due to the way our system works, you must choose which quality you want before you add the content to your basket. This means that if you purchase the low quality version and then decide you want to download the high quality version at a later date, you will need to re-purchase the title. You can listen to an example of each quality below.
Low Quality Sample
High Quality Sample
Playing M4B Content on Mac OS
If you use a Mac computer or an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, M4B support is built in as it is an Apple format. Simply open the file on your Mac, and iTunes will open and start playing your audiobook. Use the Previous/Next controls or the Chapter menu at the top to jump between chapters.
Playing M4B Content on Windows
You can download iTunes for your Windows PC from Apple, (opens in a new tab), and once it is installed, you can open an M4B file by double-clicking it or by pressing enter once the file is highlighted. Use the Previous/Next controls or the Chapters menu in the menubar to jump between chapters. iTunes will remember where you left off last time, and automatically start playing from that point.
You can also play M4B files in the completely free Winamp player without additional plugins, but this method does not support chapters. However you can easily skip forwards and backwards through the current file, and you can jump to a specific point with Control plus J. You can also add your own bookmarks if you wish by pressing M and giving your bookmark a name. To show a list of bookmarks and jump to any of them, key Alt plus Shift plus M. Download Winamp here.
To enable m4B support in Winamp:
launch the player and open Preferences with Control plus P.
go down to the Input section under Plugins, and select Nullsoft MP4 Demuxer from the list.
Click the Configure button, and add ;M4B to the end of the Extensions list.
Click OK, then click the Close button.
Winamp will now support M4B files.
Playing M4B Content on iOS
You can import M4B files into iTunes on both Mac and Windows, and the titles will automatically be placed in the Audiobooks section of the app. When you sync your device to the computer, you can copy any M4B audiobooks over to your device, which will then play the content, including chapter titles etc.
There are also a number of audiobook players for iOS which support M4B files, such as the Bookmobile Audiobook and Podcast Player, and the Multi Audiobook Player, both of which support chapters.
When you receive the Email from Living Audio confirming your order, your download links can be used to play the content directly. Activating the links should cause the content to start playing. You can also perform a long-press to bring up the Open In… menu which will allow you to choose which app is used to play the content.
Playing M4B Content on Android OS
The Android OS doesn’t support M4B natively right now, but the Akimbo audiobook player does have full M4B support. According to the developer, the app supports the following features:
• Reads cover images and chapter information from within audio book files.
• Parses WMA and FLAC (actual ability to play depends on your device).
• Maintain your last position and last set volume level for each book.
• Allows bookmarks for each book.
• Configurable step buttons for quick shifts forwards or backwards.
• Easy to use “go to” dialog that will take you instantly to any chapter or position throughout the book.
• Home Screen Widget.
• Allows a one-click automatic download of covers for any book, or for your entire library at once.
• A configurable “lock” mode, which prevents accidental changes of position during play.
• Sleep Timer, pausing play after a specified time.
• Loads your entire library at once: offers a one-click scan of any folder tree on your device.
• The player screen offers a host of accessibility and experience improving features, including large-font and human voice indication (and approval) for your actions.
• Allows undoing and redoing any accidental change in position while listening.
• For easy listening to your audiobook without looking at the screen (while engaged in some other action or for the visually impaired) it offers a range of accessibility features (including human voice indications) as well as an option to lock the player against accidental changes.
And the feature set continues to grow. A recent update included new widget options, new cover options, and new headset controls.