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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Want gapless play for iPod? - Petition!

Want gapless play for iPod? - Petition!
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Eliakim
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Sep 9, 2004, 10:07 AM
 
A petition has been started, requesting that the issue with gaps between songs in iPod and iTunes be addressed by Apple. The petition is at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/13421509/petition.html

If this issue bugs you (as I know it does me) sign the petition and spread the word.

-----------------------------------------------------------
An excerpt from the petition:
To:_ Apple Computer, Inc.

We, the undersigned, are requesting that gapless playback be integrated into the iPod via a firmware upgrade in the near future.

We want to show you, Apple, that there exists a large amount of iPod owners and possible future iPod owners, who desperately want this to be supported in iPod.

Perhaps you don't realize how important this is to iPod owners, but by this petition we hope to show you how essential this feature is to any digital audio player.
------------------------------------------------------------

NB I did not start this petition. For the original post by the creater, see:
http://www.spymac.com/forums/showthr...sthreadid=&c=0
     
absmiths
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Sep 9, 2004, 10:31 AM
 
This seems ridiculous. How hard can it be to have the new data ready to go before the previous song ends?

Anyway, it will change. Apple is just dragging it's butt.
     
dreilly1
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Sep 9, 2004, 10:44 AM
 
I think these petitions are pointless. If anything, sending feedback directly to Apple would make more of an impact.

Gaps when playing back compressed audio files really irk me. I've contacted Apple already regarding gaps on the iPod and in iTunes. Luckily, they have been listening, as the iTunes gap has become far less obtrusive over the last few revisions. Some even say it's not there, although I hear it.

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MaxPower2k3
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Sep 9, 2004, 04:47 PM
 
Originally posted by dreilly1:
I think these petitions are pointless. If anything, sending feedback directly to Apple would make more of an impact.

Gaps when playing back compressed audio files really irk me. I've contacted Apple already regarding gaps on the iPod and in iTunes. Luckily, they have been listening, as the iTunes gap has become far less obtrusive over the last few revisions. Some even say it's not there, although I hear it.
Just turn on crossfade in iTunes and set it to 0 seconds and you've got gapless playback. The same can't be done on an iPod, however.

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dreilly1
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Sep 9, 2004, 05:15 PM
 
Originally posted by MaxPower2k3:
Just turn on crossfade in iTunes and set it to 0 seconds and you've got gapless playback. The same can't be done on an iPod, however.
No, no, no, 1000 times no! That doesn't do the job to my satisfaction (and still doesn't as of 4.6...). Look for my previous threads on the gap for more info... To summarize, setting iTunes to zero crossfade playback does not make the playback sound as seamless as a CD, on tracks where the music moves smoothly from one track to the other with no pause in the music when you play it on a CD.

Although it is much better on 4.5 and 4.6, now the tempo is preserved between tracks, which makes it tolerable, but there is an audible "blip" when the next track starts when the audio drops out for a split second...

Yes, I'm obsessed.

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KP*
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Sep 9, 2004, 10:21 PM
 
I agree, there is definitely a gap. I was burning some CDs for friends the other day and used iTunes for the first one. When I tested it in my CD player I could hear the gap, so I had to go back and do it with Toast. When the track break is in the middle of a note, any variation in the sound at all is very obvious.
     
rozwado1
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Sep 9, 2004, 11:16 PM
 
It is a problem, especially for electronic sets that need smooth playback. I remember hearing that the iPod needed to operate differently to fix this gap. I would think the caching of the next song would need more HD spins, which would hurt battery life. Maybe they're just waiting til they find a more efficient solution.
     
wataru
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Sep 10, 2004, 05:06 AM
 
I, for one, don't give a rat's ass.
     
bookofjames
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Sep 10, 2004, 05:15 AM
 
well IMO if they could just add in crossfade for iPod, that would already be good enough for me.
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Krypton
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Sep 10, 2004, 11:55 AM
 
I have lots of albums that are spoilt by not being gapless on my iPod, so I shall send yet more feedback...

Can you submit bugs to ADC devbugs on the iPod? At least that way you know that someone has had to look at it...
     
mdc
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Sep 10, 2004, 12:15 PM
 
maybe crossfade on the ipod might cause too much cpu usage and thus lower battery life.

i honestly could not care less, every 3.5 minutes or so i hear half a second of silence. and plus, i always have it on shuffle anyway.

and to be completely on topic, petitions are pointless.
     
dreilly1
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Sep 10, 2004, 12:25 PM
 
Originally posted by KP*:
I agree, there is definitely a gap. I was burning some CDs for friends the other day and used iTunes for the first one. When I tested it in my CD player I could hear the gap, so I had to go back and do it with Toast. When the track break is in the middle of a note, any variation in the sound at all is very obvious.
Exactly. And the fact that you could do it with Toast, and not with iTunes, means that your source files are capable of being burned gapless (on an Audio CD), which means they ought to be capable of being played gapless. It's all just a big stream of digital audio, after all, whether it's played from a CD or decoded from iTunes.

As far as the iPod goes, as long as it has enough internal memory to fetch two or more songs at the same time, I don't think there's any technical reason that prevents gapless playback. Like I said, these files are capable of being burned gapless, why can't they be played gapless?

Remember, gapless != crossfade

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joltguy
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Sep 10, 2004, 01:36 PM
 
Did Apple say outright that it will never implement this feature? If (and only if) they did, then a petition (however ineffective) might be warranted. Otherwise, simply select the "Provide iTunes Feedback" option from the iTunes application menu.
     
Truepop
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Sep 10, 2004, 03:50 PM
 
I would like to burn some cds I buy from iTMS gapless but it doesn't bother me.

Plus the iPod update wouldn't help me any I have a 3G iPod and anything new from Apple isn't going to be added to it.
     
osxpinot
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Sep 10, 2004, 04:46 PM
 
Yes, this a really good idea. Anybody who listens to live music knows that this is a must.
     
theJoKell
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Sep 10, 2004, 11:26 PM
 
Originally posted by osxpinot:
Yes, this a really good idea. Anybody who listens to live music knows that this is a must.
QFT

Just signed the petition. I doubt it'll do anything, so I sent Apple feedback as well. I really wish the iPod would support it...
     
badtz
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Sep 11, 2004, 12:02 AM
 
Originally posted by dreilly1:
Exactly. And the fact that you could do it with Toast, and not with iTunes, means that your source files are capable of being burned gapless (on an Audio CD), which means they ought to be capable of being played gapless.

actually ... toast can't always do it either. Sometimes not even Jam!!!

it bites. yes.
     
Drakino
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Sep 11, 2004, 12:47 AM
 
*plays back his music gapless, even with a few MP3s from a bad encoder that inserted junk blank frames*

Buying a media player from a media company with media engineers was well worth it.
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KP*
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Sep 11, 2004, 02:48 AM
 
Originally posted by badtz:
actually ... toast can't always do it either. Sometimes not even Jam!!!

it bites. yes.
Maybe I should mention that in this case the files were uncompressed. I don't know if it's much more difficult to make it work with various forms of compression, but it would be nice if iTunes burned at least as well as Toast on the same files.
     
d.fine
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Sep 11, 2004, 03:49 AM
 
Signed, I hope there's a firmware update to adress this ...

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dreilly1
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Sep 11, 2004, 08:04 AM
 
Originally posted by KP*:
Maybe I should mention that in this case the files were uncompressed. I don't know if it's much more difficult to make it work with various forms of compression, but it would be nice if iTunes burned at least as well as Toast on the same files.
My personal experience is that iTunes AAC files (including files bought from the music store that have been... umm.... modified to be more useful) can be burned gapless onto a CD using other programs. I used the GPL Unix program cdrdao since I don't own Toast or Jam.

I was never able to do the same thing with MP3 files made from iTunes, so something must be different.

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Baron Munchausen
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Sep 12, 2004, 05:27 AM
 
Dont be a buffer-handling girlie-man!

I am guessing this is taking time because the sw object model is not suited to it, so to get gapless play they need to re-jig the application.

To get gapless play the next song needs to be known so the buffer can be filled with the begining of the next song as space appears.

My guess is if this is being done at all (which I doubt) it is being done BEFORE decompression, so the MP3 header needs to be processed before the DAC can be fed with uncompressed digital music (AIFF-esque).

It would not surprise me if a song queue manager is delegating to a/the song decompressor one song at a time which only notifies/returns to the queue manager once the song is finished.

This might also explain why you cannot swipe backwards across song boundaries, as the buffering is song-centric not timeline-centric.

I would love to help Apple sort this one out.
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Miniryu
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Sep 12, 2004, 05:28 AM
 
Originally posted by mdc:
maybe crossfade on the ipod might cause too much cpu usage and thus lower battery life.

i honestly could not care less, every 3.5 minutes or so i hear half a second of silence. and plus, i always have it on shuffle anyway.

and to be completely on topic, petitions are pointless.
Try listening to an alubum like The Rainbow Children (by Prince) for example. The album was writen to be played continiously , and some tracks bleed into the next. Shuffle and cross fade are absurd when listening to this style of music. Obviously you listen to a lot of radio music.

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thePurpleGiant
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Sep 12, 2004, 05:45 AM
 
Out of interest - for albums that are so important to play gapless (I have a few myself), why not just make them one large file? If gaps ruin the consistency, then starting from a track in the middle would ruin this also, so having it as one big track wouldn't be a problem...

...also, iTunes and iPod easily allow you to skip to a part later on in case you did want to hear a specific bit (normally found by selecting the individual track)
     
badtz
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Sep 12, 2004, 07:46 AM
 
mostly because that's not convenient.


but also ...

sometimes you want to hear a specific song in a mix (and it's more accurate and faster if they were already separated like how the engineers did it)
     
WICKEDfour
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Sep 12, 2004, 09:02 AM
 
Someone's gonna whine at my oh-so-simple-but-yet-inconvenient-somehow solution, but I just rip the album twice - the second time, I use iTunes' Join CD Tracks feature. It works perfectly on iTunes and sounds great on my iPod. I know, I know, some people can't afford the space (or something), but that's why I chose to encode the joined version in AAC rather than Apple Lossless.

As for true "gapless play" on the iPod...s'not gonna happen. The hard drive revs up often enough, especially if you have a lot of Apple Lossless onboard. I doubt Apple would willingly subtract from the overall battery life unless it's absolutely necessary for More Important Feature X.

As for true gapless play on iTunes, maybe if we're lucky. I envision a feature where songs associated with an album could be given their own crossfade out duration time/gap time (or lack thereof) and then would use this setting only when the proceeding song is of the same album and next in order. With those rules, iTunes would ensure that gapless playback would be present when intentionally listening to an album in order, as well as the chance that any random song that's playing in shuffle mode will be followed by a song proceeding the playing song in the given album.

[Edited for easier reading and such]

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