Best iTunes 7 feature: gapless playback

Summary:Being a DJ one of my biggest grievances with iTunes is the silent gap that iTunes (and the iPod) inserts between songs. For a lot of people this "gap" isn't a big deal because the music they listen to was intended to have a second or two of silence between tracks.

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Being a DJ one of my biggest grievances with iTunes is the silent gap that iTunes (and the iPod) inserts between songs. For a lot of people this "gap" isn't a big deal because the music they listen to was intended to have a second or two of silence between tracks. The problem is with music that was intended to play from one song into another without gaps like DJ mixes, live performances, operatic rock 'n roll, jam bands and classical.

One gapless workaround was to rip your CDs into a single long AIFF then load that onto your iPod, but the disadvantage is that you lose individual tracks' ID3 tags. You can now skip between tracks by exporting the file with chapters, but who wants to go through all the trouble? A less elegant cheat is to enable iTunes' Crossfade Playback option in Preferences > Playback. While crossfade eliminates the gap it doesn't give the best results. Music gets out of sync and beats don't match.

I listen to a lot of DJ mixes and operatic rock 'n roll bands like Pink Floyd so easily my favorite new feature in iTunes 7 is the gapless playback option. The best part is that gapless playback isn't just for music purchased from the iTunes Store, when you first launch iTunes 7 it scans your library for music that shouldn't have gaps and just makes it so.

I'm not sure what the algorithm is for detecting gapless songs (maybe it searches for songs that don't fade to silence at the beginning or end) but I know that I like it. Dark Side of the Moon never sounded so good. Thanks Apple.

What is your favorite iTunes 7 feature?

Topics: Apple

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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