iTunes Adding Gaps Between Songs
By Editorial Team
Updated September 09, 2022
When you listen to music through iTunes, you may notice that it is adding gaps between certain songs. On the other hand, iTunes may be starting a new song before it seems like the previous one had quite finished. Each of these styles has its place in certain situations, so some space between songs isn't always a bad thing. If you wish your gaps to be longer, shorter or non-existent, however, you can change your iTunes settings accordingly.
Gapless Playback Information for iTunes
"Gapless" playback on iTunes doesn't work in the way you might expect. Rather than allowing users to explicitly remove the gap between two consecutive tracks, you can use the "crossfading" feature to adjust this, according to Apple. The feature used to work differently, but through the course of multiple updates and changes to the platform, the only way to manually adjust the amount of gap between songs is to use the crossfade feature. Technically this doesn't really make the songs play without a gap between them as much as overlap them slightly, but the effect is the same.
Use Long Gaps Between Songs When...
Long gaps between tracks can be appropriate in certain situations. If you have your iTunes playing tracks at random, for example, it can sound extremely odd to have one song blend seamlessly into another. Leaving gaps between songs can also provide a brief chance to reflect on the song you just heard and emphasize the fact that a new song is starting. Without a brief break between songs, you may get so used to hearing the music that you do not consciously notice each new song.
Reduce Gaps Between Songs When...
There are times when having gaps between songs can be annoying or disruptive. This is especially true when you are listening to a recording of a live show or an album with a clear continuation from one track to the next (Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is often used as an example). If a live recording is split into individual tracks, you might hear applause, a song, applause, then a long pause, more applause, then another song. Simply hearing the song fade into applause then into a new song can sound more natural. Leaving out the gaps can also be beneficial when you want to create an uninterrupted stream of background music.
Adjusting iTunes Playback Settings
You can change iTunes' settings to make the breaks between songs longer, shorter or nonexistent. Click on the "Edit" button at the top of your iTunes screen, then on "Preferences." Click on the "Playback" tab. The button next to "Crossfade Songs" is probably checked. Drag the slider all the way to the right (to 12 seconds) to increase the time between songs. Drag it all the way to the left, or un-check this box, to play songs with no gap in between.
Your iTunes settings are not the only factor in the length of the gaps between your songs. Some artists may actually include tracks of silence between certain songs on albums, so if you play the complete album in order you will have a silent period regardless of your settings. Some tracks, especially on albums that are not of live concerts, may include several seconds of silence at the beginning and/or end. Again, your iTunes settings cannot change this.
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