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How to join existing tracks in iTunes
Authored by: neuralstatic on Dec 15, '05 01:11:41PM

i guess some people see itunes as the only mp3 tool needed,

but i'm looking for a util/app to join mp3 tracks file to file. i use something named "mp3 joiner" on my winbox for files of the same bitrate. i think it just strips header data and concats.

who knows the best mac counterpart? sometimes you just need to join stuff, and the toast solution leaves a lot to be desired. there was one with a horrible interface i used to use, i'm sure there are command line solutions.

promote your choice now!



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MP3Trimmer
Authored by: gidds on Dec 15, '05 01:58:30PM
MP3Trimmer. Joins, splits, trims, repairs, does fade-ins and fade-outs, etc. etc., all losslessly. Cheap shareware. Recommended.

Going back to the main topic, many people seem to think that gapless playback and merging tracks are the same issue, and they're not. Merging tracks means far more than just merging their audio; it means merging their lengths. Their titles. Their artists. Their comments. Their ratings. And so on.

Now, that might not matter in some cases, but in others that's a real disadvantage. Take those sequenced CDs of dance music, where each track is a by a different artist; often a different mix so that you want to keep track of the individual titles. If you merge all those together, all you get is one single CD-long track, with no room for any information on the individual songs.

So track merging, while a useful tool, isn't the answer in many cases.

Nor is a zero-time crossfade; that doesn't work well in iTunes (I still get short gaps, audible fade-ins and fade-outs, and/or noticeable overlap), and doesn't work at all on iPods or other players.

There's no substitude for real gapless playback. Come on, Apple, it can't be that hard!

---
Andy/

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MP3Trimmer
Authored by: Unsoluble on Dec 15, '05 02:46:28PM
Well put.

I've been hammering on Apple (through the feedback channels) since the first-gen iPod, trying to point out that there's a whole ton of music out there (some of which Apple is actually pointing to in their press materials) that simply isn't listenable on the iPod in its proper form. If you think about it, there is almost literally no point in listening to DJ mixes on your iPod. Which is just silly.

The real kicker is that there isn't even a workaround. The file-joining methods mentioned here are a step in the right direction, but are ultimately quite flawed. Many MP3 encoders leave a very short silent gap at the beginnings of tracks, which will still be present after you've joined them together.

And even if you do manage to get a seamlessly joined long mix, it still sucks: As mentioned, you lose all the individual track metadata, but what's worse is that the iPod can't handle playing really long tracks without running out of buffer memory and needing to spin up the hard disk, which, sadly, adds in more gaps -- on my second-gen, once about every 20 mins or so.

This clearly adds up to simply being dumb, and it should be fixed.

Note: I'll take a gap every 20 minutes over one between every song mix, any day, so I tend to make full-set single tracks out of my mix albums. But to preserve the tracks' metadata, I simply keep a second copy of the album, all broken up and labelled. With storage space as cheap as it is these days, this really doesn't make any difference, and certainly helps.

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