Why Did My Title Fail QA? Part 1

Once your Audiobook is completed, and the rights holder has clicked to approve the final audio, there is still one more step that ACX has to do.  All incoming audiobooks are put through a brief QA (Quality Assurance) check by the ACX Audio team.  This check is done to ensure your audiobook is well produced, will meet Audible’s customers’ standards, and adheres to the ACX Rules For Audiobook Production.  Unfortunately audiobooks do not always pass this QA check. Our team occasionally finds problems that require fixing before we can offer your title to our listeners. Every minute you spend fixing these problems is a minute your title is not available for sale.

So, in order to educate our users and streamline the production process, we will spend this week reviewing the five most common problems our QA team finds and some ideas on how you can avoid them in your own productions.

Improper Grouping of Files

The number one cause for rejections is also the easiest to avoid. Opening/closing credits and the Retail Audio Sample aside, every file you upload to ACX should contain only one chapter or section. Each file represents a spot the listener can track to on their player using the forward and back buttons.  If each file consistently represents one chapter, navigating through the program will be easy for the listener. Want to help listeners out even more?  Be sure to announce the chapter!

There are only two instances in which you may need to deviate from this standard:

1. A chapter is very long.

If the running time of a file is over two hours, or the file size is greater than 170 MB, it must be split in two.  Just be sure to find a natural point in the text.  And yes, it’s perfectly fine to note “chapter x, continued” in the audio.

2. The majority of the chapters are very short

If the print or eBook version is comprised of many very short chapters or sections, and the files will be less than five minutes each, you may combine consecutive chapters into groups of five chapters each.  In this case consistency is key – you don’t want a listener fighting to navigate to the section he wants to hear.

Sounds simple, right? ACX makes it easy for you to upload the chapters of your book by allowing you to queue consecutive uploads on the title’s production page. Just click “Save & Add Another Chapter” while the first is uploading!

Check out part two of our series here, and make sure to tell us what you think of our tips in the comments.

6 responses to “Why Did My Title Fail QA? Part 1

  1. Thanks Acxsi. I will follow above conditions for my upcoming Audio book.

  2. Excellent job of explaining the ins and outs of audio requirements.
    Thank you for the help

  3. Regarding: Sounds simple, right? ACX makes it easy for you to upload the chapters of your book by allowing you to queue consecutive uploads on the title’s production page. Just click “Save & Add Another Chapter” while the first is uploading!

    The “Save & Add Another Chapter” is just text not a link to any action????

  4. It would be nice to have an opportunity to record a single chapter as a sample and upload for confirmation that we pass the test. If I flunk, I would rather know with the first five-minute file I record than after 20 hours of recording.

  5. I know how to record a track in Mono in Logic Pro X, but the statement that ACX makes about keeping the output in mono is confusing to me. They say on their website,

    Submitted audiobooks may not contain both mono and stereo files. Stereo files must not be joint-stereo. Mono files are strongly recommended. Before being added to the Audible store, submitted audiobooks are encoded in a variety of formats that listeners have the option of downloading. Titles submitted with both stereo and mono files will cause errors during this encoding process and the title’s retail release may be delayed. We recommend mono for all of your files as this may prove to be the smoothest path that also allows for audio consistency.

    So there are three possible ways to accomplish this that I see, but not sure which is correct.

    1. Output the mono signal to the output and only one of the two (left or right) will have output. Therefore if someone listens to the file in that format sound will only come out of one side and be heard in one ear.

    2. Create two mono output channels and bounce the file. It will have a “left” and “right” channel that will be the same, so you could hear the audio out of the left and ride sides of headphones, speakers, etc.

    3. Turn on the stereo mode ( 00 ) for the output master. That would output the mono into a “left” and a “right” channel, which would allow you could hear the audio out of the left and ride sides of headphones, speakers, etc.

    Which is correct?

    Thanks

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