How do I convert one sfm (book) file into multiple ones?

I’m trying to help an SIL team publish a Hymnal app, but it isn’t working quite as it should - the audio is not starting promptly when the play button is tapped, but with a delay of 5 to 10 seconds. Tap other things in this lag time and you’ll really confuse and crash the program. I’m thinking, after doing the troubleshooting I know to do, that it has to do with 147 audio files being linked to one sfm book file (by chapter numbers). In theory this should work, but it’s not. Do you know a way to divide this sfm file into 147 corresponding sfm ones? I’m thinking that having a one to one file relationship (sfm to mp3) would fix this problem, but I don’t know how to make these sfm files from the one.
Help is needed and would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

That does not seem to be working properly. I’d like to see the project to test it out along with the Audio too.

In the mean time if you send me the SFM off-list I can split it. I can share the tool but that may not be worth your time.

…147 audio files being linked to one sfm book file

I would hope that this is not the cause of the problem. When we have the book of Psalms, for example, it is a single USFM file, with 150 audio files, one for each psalm.

Where are the audio files being stored? In the app assets or downloaded? One thing you could try is go to Audio > Audio Settings, and turn off “Search all folders on the device…”

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your reply!

The audio is set up to be downloaded via Google Cloud Services (GCS). That said, most folk will receive the folder of audio files and apk via SD card distribution. One troubleshooting thing I did though, was to (temporarily) set the audio files for external folder (SD Card) distribution and then copy the folder to my phone. Same problem.

I’m wondering if the sfm file has the right fields. I see that one can change the book type in RAB to “Song Book”, but when I do that, I don’t get an index by song number, nor by song name. The audio files currently are linking to the \c field (\c 1, \c 147). The song names (in Turka) are in the \s1 field. What sfm fields are needed to sort by number and song name? Would you be able to send me that Psalms sfm file you mentioned, just so I can see how it was formatted?

Ian McQuay wrote me as well and has requested my files to take a closer look see. I will be passing them on to him then (along with these comments here) and will keep you posted as to the solution.

Thanks again!


Hi Ian,
Many thanks for your offer to help! I will send you a link to the files.

Richard also responded through the community page. Please see my comments to him as well.

I did also post to the SAB page. My apologies for the double posting, I’m new at this, learning a lot as I go. Please feel free to take that one down if it helps to simplify things.


I just tried your suggestion Richard, about turning off the audio folder search setting. It now works smoothly!
And this is why we pay you the big bucks, thanks so much!