Best iTunes 7 feature: gapless playback

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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TOPICS: Apple
7
gap-teeth.jpgBeing 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?

Topic: Apple

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7 comments
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  • I agree

    Apple has outdone itself with this software app. The galess playback was not only overdue, but desperately needed to enjoy certain types of music.

    TWO THUMBS UP!

    http://opendomain.blogspot.com/
    opensourcepro
  • This is new?

    My Creative Zen plays gapless. (currently Queensryche - Operation midcrime) I know that technically the Zen isn't supposed to play gapless but in practice any gaps that exist (if any) are on the order of a few milliseconds and are inaudible (at least with my MP3's, encoded with a mix of encoders, usually LAME or Musicmatch)

    I don't understand why apple didn't have it this way from the begining.
    bradt
  • Use Rockbox

    Whoopie doo... Use Rockbox for your iPod (or others). Not only is it gapless, but it plays lossless files (flac, shn) and has so may other things that the Apple OS does not. I can not imagine why anyone would not use Rockbox as their iPod operating system...
    asterix2112
    • Yeah, but...

      Does it play videos? Does it store 15,000 songs? Can I use it to boot my laptop?

      One of iPod's major drawbacks is now fixed (yes, it's my favorite new feature, too). As of this writing, I don't think there's anything I would change, other than to make iTunes 100% free.

      Dave
      dscherm
  • iTunes 7 Is Still Too Buggy

    Too many problems in the new (almost totally untested) version 7. Read the forums on Apples own site. My own experience is that following installation, upon opening iTunes, it immediately started to proces the evil Gapless configuration. On every one of my eight tries, it froze up my PC right around song 230 of 880. Even peeps with Macs are having the same problems. Reboots, reinstalls, all have the same results -- I finally just reinstalled ver 6.0.5. It works well enough for me, and maybe someday Apple will actually test their product before release.
    Fyrewerx
    • How could you possibly know how much it was tested?

      My iTunes 7 works perfectly in every way on both my MacBook
      Pro and my Windows laptop, I have 3300 songs in my library and
      Itunes 7 processed every one on both my computers and on my
      iPod extremely fast, without so much as a hiccup, and the
      playback is perfect!

      If the rest of your system was healthy (my guess is that you're
      running Windows), you probably wouldn't have a problem. Also,
      yours is the very first report I've seen ANYWHERE of a problem
      with iTunes 7.

      BTW, the latest iPod update noticeably improved mine's
      performance. My iPod/iTunes combo kicks ass!

      You guys who hate Apple ought to give it a rest. After twenty
      years as a Windows/Mac computer consultant, it's apparent to
      me who is consistently producing superior products and
      deserves credit for it.
      pbromelkamp
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