10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2008 3:21 PM by Codajack
jgs42 Level 1 (0 points)
I have some short tracks meant to be played on an infinite loop -- babbling brook sound and such. As you can imagine, though these sound fine when played in a truly seamless loop, if there's even a small gap when the track repeats, they sound horrible.

The tracks play just fine in iTunes -- no gaps, seamless, perfect. But when played on my iPod Classic, there's a brief gap when the track repeats. Just a fraction of a second glitch, but it's enough to change the effect from relaxing to horribly jarring. Unusable, in short.

Is this a known iPod bug, or is there something I can do to fix it? (Yes, I have considered taking the short tracks and dup'ing them a few hundred times in a sound editor to create one big truly gapless music file with lots of repetitions, but that seems like a very ugly hack.)

iPod Classic 160, Mac OS X (10.5.3)
  • the fiend Level 6 (8,115 points)
    The term "gapless" when referring to the iPod is usually understood to mean no gap between one track _and the next_ , and so expecting the iPod to manage gapless transitions when repeating the same track is probably asking a bit much of it. Perhaps someone else reading this may disagree...

    By the way, I believe that the iPod's gapless feature is designed to work as follows: when you select "crossfade playback" (in iTunes, Edit/Preferences/Playback) each song is faded into the next - except for any albums marked as gapless. (I have not actually tried crossfade playback yet, but I have read about it in other posts.)

    You could always try the crossfade playback and see what happens, but I think your ugly hack may be the only answer! Actually, one last thought, how long are these short tracks? The Classic iPod models must buffer the output from the hard drive to the headphones (again, I'm sure someone will disagree ) and if the track is very short, the buffer may not have time to find the start of the track before it finishes. Do you get the gap if you let the track play through to a third time?
  • Meg St._Clair Level 8 (48,960 points)
    Just a clarification, there is no Crossfade option on the iPods. It's only available in iTunes.
  • jgs42 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't really think I'm asking too much of my iPod (you may have guessed I wouldn't ). As a matter of design philosophy I think the ideal for the iPod is to do exactly what iTunes would do in similar circumstances... in this case it doesn't.

    As another poster pointed out, iPods don't have crossfade. (I can confirm this as I went looking for it when I noticed this problem.) Also, BTW the other use of gapless is for albums/tracks that really are gapless. One example is many classical albums where one movement is supposed to segue seamlessly into the next.

    I doubt this is an insufficient buffer issue -- I'm sure the Classic has a buffer which is many minutes large, and my tracks I'm trying to loop are all under a minute. Anyway, yes, I do get the gap no matter how many times I let the track loop.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 (64,855 points)
    I doubt if the iPod can be made to do what you want. If it is possible, however, this just might be the way. Make three copies of your sample, giving them sequential track numbers e.g. 01 Sample - 02 Sample - 03 Sample. Select all three tracks & set gapless playback to false, click apply, then set gapless playback to true & apply again. Transfer *02 Sample* to your iPod and play it on single track repeat. My guess is that the "Determining gapless playback info" message that appears when importing tracks means iTunes calculates the transitions for the iPod in advance. Hopefully by creating the same transition going in & out of the track it will also work when looping back on itself.

  • i-m-he Level 1 (0 points)
    I've checked all around the interweb and I'm aware there is no crossfade for the iPod itself (only in iTunes), so I'm wondering... are there any plans of including a fix in a future Update?
    I did come across an open source firmware called 'Rockbox', but although it states it's compatable with older versions it's not with Shuffle, 2nd and 3rd generation Nano, Classic or Touch. I'd be a little leary about something that isn't from Apple though.



    Meg St._Clair

    Just a clarification, there is no Crossfade option on the iPods. It's only available in iTunes.
  • Meg St._Clair Level 8 (48,960 points)
    This is a user-to-user forum. No one here really knows what Apple's future plans are. However, another poster recently pointed out that the amount of processing power required to properly do a crossfade is substantial.
  • ajg23 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just to show more interest in exactly this function (repeat same track over and over, gapless, for things like background sounds for meditation, etc). I did submit suggestion to Apple; recommend others who want this function do it as well!
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,240 points)
    Keep in mind that it's not going to be gapless (no break in the audio) if the actual song (or bubbling brook sounds) start at 2-3 seconds into the actual file and end 2-3 seconds before the end of the file.
  • Codajack Level 1 (0 points)
    I was actually able to do a seamless repeat with tracks under 3 seconds with my old Ipod video(30GB). That has since died(Ipod with a frowny face: probably the drive I've been told). My new Ipod classic(80GB) IS NOT able to do this. So, I too, am looking for some kind of fix.

    The seamless repeat on the old IPod worked well enough to use it as a drum machine against MIDI tracks on some gigs(I'm a musician). So, maybe I'm going to have to get the old Ipod working to use as a stand-by loop/drum machine...or I'll just save up for a laptop and use a real looping/drum machine program.