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Thursday, September 23, 2004



Hi, I have thoroughly researched many compressed audio formats and may hopefully shed some light on the gapless playback issue which i feel is imperative to any digital music player.

MP3 and AAC both don't maintain the original track length, with the beginning and end of the track being padded with silence. This silence is purely a property related to the algorithm used. On the other hand, Apple loseless format does maintain exact track length and even these files do not play gapless with iTunes or iPods.

This means that the ipod and itunes do in fact produce a gap between tracks. It should be extremely easy to solve this issue for files that maintain oriignal size such as loseless files. For mp3's and AAC files, an algorithm would be required to join adjacent tracks. Being a large company like Apple should make this a straightforward task. It definately should AT LEAST be implemented for loseless files..

In Lame MP3 encoders starting from 3.90.3, information is stored within the mp3 about how much silence is introduced before and after the track. This is then read and the mp3 may thus maintain exact length as the CD using this method.

To my knowledge, AAC has no such additional information stored. An idea would be to update this encoder to store how much silence is introduced so that it may be trimmed during playback to the exact original length.

I must admit that I want to buy an iPod, but am very very turned off by this feature, I mean this is a music player !! It is made for one purpose .. thus it should satisfy this purpose to the fullest extent.



Hi again, I have just discovered that AAC is in fact gapless if encoded with the Nero AAC encoder and decoded with either Nero's wave editor or foobar2000. iTunes AAC files seem to add over 1000 additional samples to the encoded file. I guess the moral here is that AAC is obviously "capable" of gapless playback, at least with the Nero encoder.

Thus, Apple simply have no excuses. This is a good example of a bad design process. Even if this problem is resolved and the encoder is fixed in itunes, people who have ripped their entire music collection may have to rerip it to take advantage of the updated encoder's gapless capabilities.

Personally, I don't mind reripping my collection at all. This whole gapless issue has made my decision of buying a portable music player EXTREMELY difficult.

1) Sony Minidisc - Gapless although ATRAC3+ isn't quite as good as AAC and these players are being put down everywhere.

2) Apple iPod - No Gapless

3) Rio Karma - Gapless although build quality is questionable. Seems like a lot of people have been having HD failures and broken wheels after a few months.

Come on Apple !! Make my decision easier !


Erik Heinz

Hi! Is there a hack that I can use to convert my .ACC (Protected) to MP3 so I can import them onto my Rio Karma. Or is there a hack so that itunes will support and import onto my Rio Karma. Thanks! Erik


Check out the stuff at

Enjoy :)

P.S. Not certain how legal this is, so you may wanna find out. Personally I believe that online stores simply don't compare to buying an original cd. www.cdconnection.com is where i buy from and they have the best prices and brilliant customer service. Highly recommended.


Sorry I have no info how to make our iPods have gapless playback, but if this is a feature you want to have when playing music on your computer you should use Winamp.


My Palm Tungsten E with Aeroplayer can do gapless playback just fine. If it can be done on a Palm Organizer, I can't see why it can't be done on an iPod.


Simple, buy a Creative Zen Touch. Beats iPods on all accounts except perhaps "chic". Has gapless playback.


Zen Touch does not have gapless, although the gap is alittle smaller than iPod. only readily availble dap that do gapless are Sony HD1/3 and Rio Karma. However, I dont think they have composer field for ID3 tags


iTunes can be pseudo-gapless by turning on the Crossfade function, and setting the time to 0. It's not perfect but it's close. Why Apple didn't put this feature in the iPod and instead elected to make a big deal about moving the Shuffle control to the main menu is beyond me. So no gapless on the iPod, yet. But you can get very very close on your *top using iTunes.


iPod cant do gapless because it only has one processor. rio karma has two processors, and thus can process the second music file, and then combine the two audio streams appropriately

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