The iPod's missing feature: gapless playback

Summary:The iPod has a major flaw that hasn't been addressed by Apple yet. They can make an iPod land on the moon, but they can't make one with gapless playback.

Gapless playback
is simply the ability to playback several tracks with no pause between them. It's very useful when listening to certain types of music especially classical, classic rock, jam bands and electronic music. Any album where each track naturally blends into the next is simply ruined by the gap inserted by iTunes and the iPod.

The only real workaround is to rip the entire CD as a single track (insert a CD, select all the tracks, then select Advanced > Join CD Tracks.) This will give you a single (gapless) track of the entire disc, but the tradeoff is that you won't get the individual track names or easily be able to jump between them.

This oversight really sunk in when I was rocking The Crystal Method's new album, Community Service II in my car from my iPod nano. It's a mixed album that's broken into individual tracks and the vibe is completely ruined during the artificial pauses the iPod inserts between songs. If the lack of gapless playback on the iPod bothers you too, tell Apple about it and sign the online petition.

Topics: Apple


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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