Manage Books and PDFs in iTunes 12

Last year Apple introduced the iBooks application for Mavericks.  iBooks for OSX was to bring the management and syncing of your books and PDFs to your iDevices out of iTunes.  However, even though it was labeled as version 1.0, it felt more like a 0.1 release as some basic management features were (and still are) missing.   One of the largest oversights of iBooks was the lack of ability to manage the metadata of your books.  If you purchased all of your books from the iTunes iBook store, this shouldn’t be a problem as those books come fully populated with metadata.  But most of my books were purchased from third party book stores and didn’t have the correct, if any, metadata within the file.

When iBooks and iTunes 11 were released, people hated iBooks and looked for ways to remove it and to restore the book management functionality into iTunes.  There were many blog posts on how to do it, Robert Setiadi’s blog for example. However, if you have installed Yosemite and iTunes 12, iBooks has been reinstalled so you will need to go thru the procedure again to ‘fix’ it.  The procedure is similar but earlier instructions don’t work because of Yosemite’s changes.

Here are the steps to restore books and PDF management to iTunes 12 on Yosemite.

1. Reboot your Mac.  If you have launched iTunes, it will have launched a background process to talk to iBooks.  Quitting iTunes does not stop this process.  It is best to just reboot.

Note:  If for some reason you have added iTunes to your Login Items so that it starts up automatically after you log into your Mac, please remove it.

If you can’t (don’t want to) reboot, quit iTunes then open the Activity Monitor utility and kill the com.apple.BKAgentService process.

2. Open the Terminal application and copy/paste the following command.

Note: This is a single line command.

sudo mv /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BookKit.framework/Versions/A/XPCServices/com.apple.BKAgentService.xpc/Contents/MacOS/com.apple.BKAgentService{,-disabled}

After pasting the command, press return and you will be prompted for your password, which is required because it is a system file.  This will rename the background process application so that when iTunes runs, it will fail to start the process and not be able to communicate with iBooks.

3. Remove the iBooks application.  Since it will have installed various preference files, it is easier to remove iBooks by using the free AppCleaner utility.  Simply run AppCleaner then drag the iBooks application icon into the AppCleaner window.  It will show you a list of about 6 files/folders that it will remove.  Confirm the removal and it will move the files into the Trash.  Quit AppCleaner and empty the Trash.

4. Now launch iTunes and you should see the Audiobooks option has changed back to Book (which includes Audiobooks, epub books, and PDFs)

iTunes12Sources

If you still see Audiobooks listed instead of Books, it means iTunes thinks iBooks is still managing your books/PDFs.  Try again by repeating the steps above.

Hope this helps.

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