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CD-R and Audio Hardware => Audio Hardware => Topic started by: goodnews on 2006-09-12 18:16:24

Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: goodnews on 2006-09-12 18:16:24
Apple's Steve Jobs during a live press conference in San Francisco currently going on (at 10AM PST today, Tuesday, Sept. 12th) just announced a feature on iPods that will be sure to please audio enthusiasts -- GAPLESS PLAYBACK!

More details to follow. New iPods to be released. Please update this thread as the new iPods and GAPLESS info is released. This is taken from a live IRC transcript with iLounge reporters inside the Apple news event today.

See below for later posts for details on new iTunes 7, new iPod models/pricing/features, larger iPod video format, new set top wireless mac mini-like box for audio/video and more from this Apple press event.

Link to Quicktime presentation of this media event announcing these products that you can watch:
http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/sep_...vent/index.html (http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/sep_2006/event/index.html)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: SebastianG on 2006-09-12 18:19:31
Question is: Do they comply with already existant quasi standards (LAME header, Nero AAC/MP4 gapless solution) or do they use a proprietary solution?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: goodnews on 2006-09-12 18:23:59
Also new iPods released.  brighter with brightness control, up to 6.5 hours video playback, new headphones, gapless playback. Pricing and specs below:

iPods (6G) are now:  $249 with 30 GB, and $349 with 80GB capacity

Nanos in aluminum colors of: Green, silver, black, blue and pink. New iPod Shuffle is much smaller.

Nano 8GB is $249 available in black only, 4GB is $199 in all colors but black, 2GB is $149 in silver only

Shuffle comes in only 1 size now:  metal body, 1 model (1GB), $79, ships in october.

iTunes 7 available today! Will download free cover art for your existing music tracks if you are missing cover art on any songs.

TV shows are now encoded at 640x480 (h264), up from 320x240.

3 different views of iTunes, list view, album view (with art and tracks), then "cover flow view" lets you rapidly find what you want by album cover.

New games for new iPods and 5G iPods on iTunes ($4.99 each): Bejeweled, Cubis 2, Mahjong, Mini golf, pac man, tetris, texas holdem, vortex, and zuma.

You can now sync between multiple computers using an iPod, as long as both are authorized on the same account.

Movie store:  75 near DVD image quality (640x480) Movies now from iTunes. Dolby surround audio. Same day availability as DVD. Pre-order with one click. Most titles will be 9.99. New releases 12.99 preorders and first week, after that up to 14.99. New titles added every week. U.S. now, International in 2007.

No need to download new songs for gapless to work.

NFL football added to iTunes. Whole 2006 season added today: 1.99 per game or 24.99 for whole season (season pass).

Set top box (for video/audio) like Mac Mini to be released 1Q 2007... Will be wireless. Will tenatively be called iTV. 1/2 size of Mac Mini, built-in power supply, USB, Ethernet, 802.11 "wireless component video", optical audio and HDMI ports, plus old RCA stereo audio ports. Works with Apple Remote. Video looks very close to DVD quality even on a huge theater sized projector. Video access is instantaneous, looks like watching a DVD. iTV lets you get access to trailers and iTunes store selected content from internet. iTV box works with Mac or PC and is priced at $299!

Steve Jobs says: Apple is now in your den, living room, car, pocket
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Remedial Sound on 2006-09-12 18:31:25
And will gapless playback be possible for older iPod models via firmware updates?

My heart hopes so, but my mind tells me that Apple would rather have me buy a new iPod.

Nanos are 52% smaller in size in aluminum colors of: Green, silver, black, blue and pink.
Shuffle is much smaller also.

52%?!? Before we know it you'll be able to hide a nano up your.....

sleeve.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Skates on 2006-09-12 18:34:10
Just maybe we will get the update on our current 5Gs as it has been announced that games can be downloaded to the 5G iPods.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: goodnews on 2006-09-12 18:37:47
And will gapless playback be possible for older iPod models via firmware updates?

My heart hopes so, but my mind tells me that Apple would rather have me buy a new iPod.


Nanos are 52% smaller in size in aluminum colors of: Green, silver, black, blue and pink.
Shuffle is much smaller also.

52%?!? Before we know it you'll be able to hide a nano up your.....

sleeve.

52% was smaller iPod nano packaging size, not smaller iPod Nano size, and has been corrected above in thread.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: /mnt on 2006-09-12 18:42:19
Question is: Do they comply with already existant quasi standards (LAME header, Nero AAC/MP4 gapless solution) or do they use a proprietary solution?

The newer versions of iTunes detects which version of LAME that was used to encode by reading the LAME header instead of the "Encoder Settings" tag that LAME also writes. It is possible that the new ipods will use the LAME header or they could be using a gapless DSP hack.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-12 19:19:25
(opera lover inside) This is an excellent new! I just hope that "gapless" doesn't mean "crossfading" in the marketing idiom.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 19:27:46
iTunes7:

"Determining Gapless Playback Information"
"Analyzing 452 of 1568"

Hhmm... interesting... it's not just analyzing AAC, MP3 as well.
Under 'Get info' of a song you can select "Part of a gapless album" under the 'Options' tab.


Edit:
OK, I can confirm it now. Gapless playback works for both AAC and MP3, even made with previous version of the encoders (Lame 3.92 for instance). No evidence of crossfading, appears to be the genuine stuff.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Skates on 2006-09-12 19:47:00
I wonder if and when there will be an update for the 5G iPod.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 19:52:46
I wonder if and when there will be an update for the 5G iPod.

I have a Mini and I doubt it will be updated.

It is an interesting question though whether all older Nano's and 5G's will get gapless. I guess they will because there is supposed to be a firmware update for them that introduces the other introduced new stuff. I doubt they made two version of the same firmware with just gapless as the difference between the older and newer versions.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-12 19:53:45
@Maurits

Is it possible for you to encode some samples with iTunes AAC encoder (and eventually the MP3 one), just to see if the bundled encoders are also gapless?
Here is a small sample collection (http://guruboolez.free.fr/samples/gapless/gapless_WAVPACK_free_of_right.zip) of my own which makes potential gap very easy to spot.
Ideally, I'd like to see if the resulting files would play gaplessly not only on iTunes but also with another player (especially foobar2000, which supports AAC gapless playback for years with compatible encoders).

Thank you
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: eofor on 2006-09-12 19:56:34
Any word on HE-AAC?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 19:58:24
@Maurits

Is it possible for you to encode some samples with iTunes AAC encoder (and eventually the MP3 one), just to see if the bundled encoders are also gapless?
Here is a small sample collection (http://guruboolez.free.fr/samples/gapless/gapless_WAVPACK_free_of_right.zip) of my own which makes potential gap very easy to spot.
Ideally, I'd like to see if the resulting files would play gaplessly not only on iTunes but also with another player (especially foobar2000, which supports AAC gapless playback for years with compatible encoders).

Thank you

I'll have a look, hold on...

Edit: OK, the files are here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48236).

Any word on HE-AAC?
I tried a HE-AAC stream and that didn't work, sadly.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Rain on 2006-09-12 20:02:10
Hope current 5G iPods get a new firmware update for gapless...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: loophole on 2006-09-12 20:02:49
iTunes mentions something about QuickTime 7.1.3 being needed for video playback, however that doesn't seem to be in Software Update yet.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: /mnt on 2006-09-12 20:05:04
I just tried itunes 7. It scans and adds gapless playback info onto its database. I only tried a few tracks on it, so far the gapless playback works on itunes 7 but the tracktime VBR problem is still there and it is a huge resource hog uses about 40MB and 6 percent CPU power just to decode a MP3  . Does not use external album artwork    and you need have the album artwork tagged (which is a waste of space and time) 

EDIT: The Non-Itunes AAC decoder bug still on the latest version of Quicktime

Anyway I only spent five minutes with it and i removed like it was a virus 
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-12 20:07:16
Question is: Do they comply with already existant quasi standards (LAME header, Nero AAC/MP4 gapless solution) or do they use a proprietary solution?

Steve said:

"You might be listening to Abbey Road or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and one track doesn't flow seamlessly into the next. We are going to put this back together as it was intended and offer Gapless Playback for songs encoded with MP3, AAC, and Apple Lossless."
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: loophole on 2006-09-12 20:11:30
I just tried itunes 7. It scans and adds gapless playback info onto its database. I only tried a few tracks on it, so far the gapless playback works on itunes 7 but the tracktime VBR problem is still there and it is a huge resource hog uses about 40MB and 6 percent CPU power just to decode a MP3  . Does not use external album artwork    and you need have the album artwork tagged (which is a waste of space and time) 

Anyway I only spent five minutes with it and i removed like it was a virus 



Well i dont know what sort of cpu you're running but its only using between 5-6% CPU to play a 128kbps AAC on my old old old 1ghz G4.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jarsonic on 2006-09-12 20:17:55
Interesting, iTunes 7 now integrates iPod software updates on its own.

http://www.apple.com/ipod/download/ (http://www.apple.com/ipod/download/)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: /mnt on 2006-09-12 20:18:25

I just tried itunes 7. It scans and adds gapless playback info onto its database. I only tried a few tracks on it, so far the gapless playback works on itunes 7 but the tracktime VBR problem is still there and it is a huge resource hog uses about 40MB and 6 percent CPU power just to decode a MP3  . Does not use external album artwork    and you need have the album artwork tagged (which is a waste of space and time) 

Anyway I only spent five minutes with it and i removed like it was a virus 



Well i dont know what sort of cpu you're running but its only using between 5-6% CPU to play a 128kbps AAC on my old old old 1ghz G4.

I was using that bloatwared player on a Athlon 2000+ with 512MB. It was using about 6% CPU to decode a LAME APS MP3 and using about 100% to render + scroll on the screen it was like browsing the web with a crappy 2D VGA card without even 2D accelaration.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rjamorim on 2006-09-12 20:36:28
Awesome! How come this thread isn't in "Validated news"?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rudefyet on 2006-09-12 20:46:48
i was just notified by iTunes 7, iPod Video Firmware 1.2 is now available
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: DickxLaurent on 2006-09-12 20:49:28
i was just notified by iTunes 7, iPod Video Firmware 1.2 is now available

Does that mean so much for your Rockbox?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-12 20:55:17
It's not gapless. It's very close - I'd eyeball it at 20ms based on what I'm hearing. I'm not complaining.

(5g 60gb, encodes with nero AAC q0.3 LC)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: DickxLaurent on 2006-09-12 21:06:06
So if it has to scan your library it's either A) adding some sort of metadata to your files or B) adding info to your library, if not both.  Then, assumably, it's using said data to sort of connect the files during playback.  So, in theory, it's not really playing back gaplessly in what we see as the normal fashion, but rather using a work around (?).

Would you guys agree? 

Or am I missing some prerequisite knowledge?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rosshmusic on 2006-09-12 21:13:46
I don't know if itunes 7 fixes the recently broken DRM but if it does then it would be convenient for them to hold off on valuable updates such as gapless  in order to get people to upgrade away from the cracked drm...

I have no idea if it does this as I don't have an ipod or use itunes... just a curious thought...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rudefyet on 2006-09-12 21:18:35
let me get this one thing straight here

you have to set "part of a gapless album" to yes on all the files you want to play gaplessly?

as for the rockbox comment, I need to update my sig, I haven't used rockbox since apple firmware 1.1.2 was released, since it fixed the background noise issue in the older firmware that drove me nuts
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-12 21:21:08
Yes, you must set the gapless flag manually. (which is slow since it rewrites all the files!)

The gapless info itself, I suspect, is stored in a separate database rather than in the file.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rudefyet on 2006-09-12 21:23:20
that being said, as of iTunes 7 all my files have a new tag

ITUNSMPB shows up in fb2k, and has a similar numerical value as the soundcheck tag

perhaps this is the gapless playback info
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2006-09-12 21:25:38
Anyone confirm which iPod's got firmware updates?

*Holds out hope that the Mini got one for gapless*

If not, I may want a new Nano. Hard to resist one now.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jahty on 2006-09-12 21:26:08
Wow, this is really great news, I might actually get an iPod now!

I'm testing out iTunes 7 right now with an Avalanches album, which is completely gapless. They are mp3's encoded with 3.90.3 at alt-preset standard, and they sound perfectly gapless to me, but I don't know if it is using the LAME metadata or not. The files are not modified when iTunes scans for gapless information. You do not have to check "part of a gapless album" to make it work; I don't know what that option is useful for.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rudefyet on 2006-09-12 21:29:43
well...from the help file

"Some CDs, such as live concert albums and classical albums, are meant to be played straight through, with no fading between the songs (or tracks). If you turn on Crossfade Playback, you can have iTunes turn it off when you play these albums. "

apparently checking that will disable crossfading on those tracks

and i noticed after a clean install, crossfading is disabled by default in iTunes 7

I can also verify that setting "part of a gapless album" to yes has no effect if crossfading is disabled. I just ripped a live album and it played back seamlessly without that being enabled
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: eofor on 2006-09-12 21:31:48
ITUNSMPB

ITUNes Seamless Media PlayBack?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ShowsOn on 2006-09-12 21:42:12
Anyone confirm which iPod's got firmware updates?

*Holds out hope that the Mini got one for gapless*

If not, I may want a new Nano. Hard to resist one now.

I just tried out gapless using my 4th Generation iPod Photo, it worked perfectly on the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is an album were ALL the songs transition into each other gaplessly, and it worked great.

iTunes 7 scanned both my library on my hard disc, and my iPod the first time I connected it. However I then had to go into the iPod, select all the tracks in Blood Sugar Sex Magik, then select "Gapless Album" YES in the bottom right hand corner of the Multiple Item Information screen. As soon as I did that it rescanned the files, and made it work.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-12 21:51:41
"The new iTunes will download cover art for all the songs in your library, no matter where you got them from, as long as you have an iTunes account."

good news for cover art lovers.

(looks like apple is reading HA )
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: DickxLaurent on 2006-09-12 21:55:05
Instead of a checkbox for "Part of a gapless album," why didn't they just do the opposite and create a checkbox that says "Part of an album that I want to play with gaps for God knows why"...?

It just seems absurd.  Why wouldn't it just playback gaplessly by default?  Geesh!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 21:55:24
let me get this one thing straight here

you have to set "part of a gapless album" to yes on all the files you want to play gaplessly?

There is an option for that and by default is off. It doesn't appear to be needed though, I have albums which play gapless without using this option. It plays gapless by default, or so it seems.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: DickxLaurent on 2006-09-12 21:56:05
"The new iTunes will download cover art for all the songs in your library, no matter where you got them from, as long as you have an iTunes account."

good news for cover art lovers.

(looks like apple is reading HA )

That's kind of amazing.  Where is that quote from?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-12 21:57:38
its been reported on all the blogs, taken from the presentation.

That quote is from slashdot, but i have also seen the same report in other blogs.

It continues with:

"(A confirmation dialog says: "Information about songs with missing artwork will be sent to Apple. Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music library.")"
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 22:00:36
So if it has to scan your library it's either A) adding some sort of metadata to your files or B) adding info to your library, if not both.  Then, assumably, it's using said data to sort of connect the files during playback.  So, in theory, it's not really playing back gaplessly in what we see as the normal fashion, but rather using a work around (?).

Would you guys agree? 

Or am I missing some prerequisite knowledge?

The normal fashion is A), adding metadata. It's just not the data in the Lame-header but in a ID3/m4a-tag field. Apart from that, the method appears the same as other (non-crossfading) gapless solutions, storing info on padding and encoder-delay in the file and using that info on playback to skip the gaps.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-12 22:02:15
"We've added a View switch, a 3-position swtch. we've added a 2nd view called album view, so you can scroll through your music library and look at it by album. what if you ripped your CDs and don't have the covers? Today wer'e announcing free missing album cover art for all the music in your library if you have an iTunes acct. iTunes will automatically download it for free."

http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/12/live-fr...e-its-showtime/ (http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/12/live-from-the-steve-jobs-keynote-its-showtime/)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: DickxLaurent on 2006-09-12 22:03:03

So if it has to scan your library it's either A) adding some sort of metadata to your files or B) adding info to your library, if not both.  Then, assumably, it's using said data to sort of connect the files during playback.  So, in theory, it's not really playing back gaplessly in what we see as the normal fashion, but rather using a work around (?).

Would you guys agree? 

Or am I missing some prerequisite knowledge?

The normal fashion is A), adding metadata. It's just not the data in the Lame-header but in a ID3/m4a-tag field. Apart from that, the method appears the same as other (non-crossfading) gapless solutions, storing info on padding and encoder-delay in the file and using that info on playback to skip the gaps.

Gotcha. Thanks!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-12 22:04:45
But this is supposed to be seamless for existing MP3s, right? So they must be using a heuristic based on the silence in the file. (Obviously they don't need to do anything for M4a though.)

I've taken a peek at the metadata for a gapless-tagged M4A file and couldn't find anything out of the ordinary, so I sort of suspect they're storing it in a different file.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 22:12:11
But this is supposed to be seamless for existing MP3s, right? So they must be using a heuristic based on the silence in the file.

I have no idea how they do it, it scans existing files and seems to work on all sorts of MP3's, regardless of original encoder.

Quote
(Obviously they don't need to do anything for M4a though.)

I've taken a peek at the metadata for a gapless-tagged M4A file and couldn't find anything out of the ordinary, so I sort of suspect they're storing it in a different file.
For m4a I expect there to be some extra info in the MOOV atom. Haven't checked it yet though.
Edit: a quick peek with a Hex-editor in an iTunes analysed m4a file shows 'pgap' data in the MOOV atom. That'll be it.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-12 22:19:44
It's not gapless. It's very close - I'd eyeball it at 20ms based on what I'm hearing. I'm not complaining.

(5g 60gb, encodes with nero AAC q0.3 LC)


I noticed that, too, with a nero encode -- played the same album encoded with lame (with --nogap flag, which isn't really supposed to be necessary, I know) and it was perfectly seamless.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Otto42 on 2006-09-12 22:30:01

But this is supposed to be seamless for existing MP3s, right? So they must be using a heuristic based on the silence in the file.

I have no idea how they do it, it scans existing files and seems to work on all sorts of MP3's, regardless of original encoder.

Hmmm.. I suspect they're scanning the music, determining where the ending is based on where the track suddenly becomes "all zeros" or equivalent, and then marking that point. Perhaps the same for the beginning of the track. Thus it's sort of a faux-gapless detection, because if you don't get the real gapless info at encode time, it's lost.

Perhaps it does true gapless on new encodes though.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: TheQat on 2006-09-12 22:52:56
(http://content.imagesocket.com/thumbs/itunes_fileinfofb7.png) (http://imagesocket.com/view/itunes_fileinfofb7.png)

Here's a pic of the data from a gapless-flagged iTunes-encoded AAC file.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jmusd on 2006-09-12 23:09:00
this is what itunes help says about the gapless check box...

"Playing albums straight through
Some CDs, such as live concert albums and classical albums, are meant to be played straight through, with no fading between the songs (or tracks). If you turn on Crossfade Playback, you can have iTunes turn it off when you play these albums.

To override Crossfade Playback for specific songs:
In iTunes, select a song and choose File > Get Info.
Click Options.
Select "Part of a gapless album."
Tip: You can select all the songs at once (press Command as you select them), choose File > Get Info, and then choose Yes from the Gapless Album pop-up menu."
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-12 23:28:44
So, indeed iTunes does play gaplessly and cleanly (in my tests for far)... even when faking it for content that can't be gapless, like FhG encoded MP3 files.  They may have gotten this right for the masses.  I'd be curious on the technical details on what they are really doing.

Also, they added my beloved "Album Artist' grouping logic.  FINALLY!  They are using the "aART" atom for M4A files... which was documented, but not used in iTunes.  For MP3 ID3v2.3 content, they use the TPE2 tag.  I was already using both of these... so it "just worked."
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-12 23:35:01
I just tried reencoding an album I had originally encoded in Nero AAC. I tried iTunes AAC, 128kbps, VBR enabled. The gap sounds more or less just like with Nero - it's rather light, and doesn't affect the tempo of the music, but it is definitely always there.

Based on these off the cuff tests, I'm willing to conclude this for good, without going to objective testing - iTunes does not provide a true gapless implementation. Or, if it does, it's broken.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-12 23:56:13
Nevermind
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: chelgrian on 2006-09-13 00:53:44
Based on these off the cuff tests, I'm willing to conclude this for good, without going to objective testing - iTunes does not provide a true gapless implementation. Or, if it does, it's broken.


Oh well it's at least better than it was :/

Have you tried with ALAC which damn well ought to be able to be played back gapless, if it can't then they should remove the L from the acronym.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: skelly831 on 2006-09-13 01:16:56
Have you tried with ALAC which damn well ought to be able to be played back gapless, if it can't then they should remove the L from the acronym.

AAC?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: PigsOnTheWing on 2006-09-13 01:48:08
AAC?

He's referring to Apple Lossless.

I've got all my music encoded as Apple Lossless and I'll be darned if I can hear any pauses now.

Between gapless playback, the new cover flip view, and the set-top box that will be coming out in Q1 '07, I'm a happy camper with no plans to miss my Monkey's Audio or FLAC days.

Jay
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Steve999 on 2006-09-13 01:51:39
Great info.  Great news.  Thanks for the info on 4th G. 

I just tried out gapless using my 4th Generation iPod Photo, it worked perfectly on the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is an album were ALL the songs transition into each other gaplessly, and it worked great.

iTunes 7 scanned both my library on my hard disc, and my iPod the first time I connected it. However I then had to go into the iPod, select all the tracks in Blood Sugar Sex Magik, then select "Gapless Album" YES in the bottom right hand corner of the Multiple Item Information screen. As soon as I did that it rescanned the files, and made it work.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-13 02:45:02
FYI: The first time I ran iTunes 7... it walked the entire library and "determined gapless playback information."  Yes, it included LAME generated MP3 files.  It was fairly slow.  I would love to know what the logic is for "determining gapless playback" for various types of files... Did they really use the LAME padding/delay info when available?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: TheQat on 2006-09-13 04:02:13
FYI: The first time I ran iTunes 7... it walked the entire library and "determined gapless playback information."  Yes, it included LAME generated MP3 files.  It was fairly slow.  I would love to know what the logic is for "determining gapless playback" for various types of files... Did they really use the LAME padding/delay info when available?


If you read part of page 2, you'll see that it appears that iTunes is appending some proprietary info to each file to help iTunes specifically play without gaps.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jahty on 2006-09-13 04:21:02

FYI: The first time I ran iTunes 7... it walked the entire library and "determined gapless playback information."  Yes, it included LAME generated MP3 files.  It was fairly slow.  I would love to know what the logic is for "determining gapless playback" for various types of files... Did they really use the LAME padding/delay info when available?


If you read part of page 2, you'll see that it appears that iTunes is appending some proprietary info to each file to help iTunes specifically play without gaps.


This is not always true. I have added a bunch of LAME 3.90.3 APS files to the library, and it does not modify the files at all (provided you turn SoundCheck off). It certainly seems like it is using the LAME padding/delay info. I don't believe it is just some sort of silence detector - I played a file with more than a minute of silence at the end, and it plays the full silent part.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-13 04:22:15
If you read part of page 2, you'll see that it appears that iTunes is appending some proprietary info to each file to help iTunes specifically play without gaps.
That doesn't explain what it does to generate the additional gapless info.  This is pre-existing content, not ripped using iTunes.  I can also confirm it does not modify the MP3 files... they are all untouched.  So, the extra info gets stored in the iTunes database.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: skelly831 on 2006-09-13 04:36:37
AAC?

He's referring to Apple Lossless.

I was pointing out that if they removed the L from ALAC you would have AAC.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: PigsOnTheWing on 2006-09-13 04:49:08
I was pointing out that if they removed the L from ALAC you would have AAC.

Ah. Gotcha.

Jay
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-13 06:33:33
If anyone gets it working on a 3G, let me know.  Thumbs down over here.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-13 06:38:09
I don't believe it is just some sort of silence detector - I played a file with more than a minute of silence at the end, and it plays the full silent part.

The gap in (lossy) audio files is a consequence of padded datas which were added by the encoder in order to fill the last frame (and also the first one I suppose). As a consequence, any clever gapless system based on silence detection shouldn't look for null audio for more than a few miliseconds and therefore will keep some long silent parts of music located at the beginning and the end of each file.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-13 08:10:49
I installed iTunes7, upgraded my 5G iPod to firmware 1.2, ripped a gapless CD with EAC to Lame MP3 -V2 --vbr-new, imported the tracks to iTunes, checked the checkbox for "part of gapless album," and synced to my 5G. Tracks are played gaplessly perfectly!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ozmosis82 on 2006-09-13 09:06:25
I set the Gapless option on my entire library of Nero AAC encoded tunes and updated my iPod to the v1.2 firmware--NO GAPLESS (shorter delay between tracks now).

So I figured I'd find an album with a lot of merging tracks and encode it with iTunes' encoder. It plays back in iTunes gaplessly. Hmm... curious. So I synced it with my iPod and, lo and behold, juicy gapless-goodness.

...Apple's trying to make me use their codec... and I've been so loyal to Nero.

I think a new listening test's in order.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: probedb on 2006-09-13 09:35:31
But do you need iTunes for the actual iPod to playback gaplessly with the new firmware?

I use Winamp which will write to my iPod, all my MP3s are LAME encoded and gapless so can I just drag these onto my iPod without going through iTunes stupid crap?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Egor on 2006-09-13 09:52:55
so can I just drag these onto my iPod without going through iTunes stupid crap?

What's wrong with iTunes? I've heard it is very convenient (or do you prefer, mmm... Complicated? Sophisticated?).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: probedb on 2006-09-13 10:01:56
so can I just drag these onto my iPod without going through iTunes stupid crap?

What's wrong with iTunes? I've heard it is very convenient (or do you prefer, mmm... Complicated? Sophisticated?).


I've just always used Winamp, I'd be willing to give iTunes a second chance I guess  I just don't want to be forced to use iTunes.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Ivan Helguera on 2006-09-13 10:33:49
Hello everyone,
I've recently had my 60GB photo stolen, so I was considering buying a new thing. This gapless news is great!
Can anybody confirm whether an old ipod video would be gapless-enabled after  firmware/itunes update?
And BTW, what about 3rd party ipod managers such as yamipod (having it on your ipod is such a delight....)
In general - does buying a new (6G? 5G+?) ipod makes sense, considering i'm not that much interested in video as such? I insist that if i get a thing that is not (fully) gapless, while the RIGHT STUFF is available, will make me sink into depression for years (well, actually just until the new one gets lost/stolen ;-).
Thanks,
Ivan H
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 11:25:33
Can anybody confirm whether an old ipod video would be gapless-enabled after  firmware/itunes update?
Yes.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Turok on 2006-09-13 13:01:30
Okay okay... great Apple... but one very interesting question:
Battery life = stuttering problem (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33495)?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ...Just Elliott on 2006-09-13 13:08:02
Can anybody confirm whether an old ipod video would be gapless-enabled after  firmware/itunes update?
Yes.

On a similar note, what about 4G grayscale?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 13:11:52
On a similar note, what about 4G grayscale?
Unfortunately, none of the 4G Pods 
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ...Just Elliott on 2006-09-13 13:19:37
THIS is why I use rockbox.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: haregoo on 2006-09-13 13:22:04
I roughly summarize as follows:
iTunes7 support true gapless playback for MP3 encoded by LAME or AAC by iTunes7, and quasi-gapless playback for lossy encoded by the other encoders (including neroAacEnc).
Activate "Gapless Album" only when you'd like to avoid crossfade playback. Gapless playback is always on by default.

Visible gap will expain this briefly.
(http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/6088/gaplessfq5.th.png) (http://img177.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gaplessfq5.png)

Current iPod series that support gapless playback are 5G and newest iPod suite(?). Old nano don't. 4G?

Any info to supplement?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ShowsOn on 2006-09-13 13:23:46
On a similar note, what about 4G grayscale?
Unfortunately, none of the 4G Pods 

It works with my 4th Generation iPod Photo (later versions were called iPod Color)

I just tried out gapless using my 4th Generation iPod Photo, it worked perfectly on the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is an album were ALL the songs transition into each other gaplessly, and it worked great.

iTunes 7 scanned both my library on my hard disc, and my iPod the first time I connected it. However I then had to go into the iPod, select all the tracks in Blood Sugar Sex Magik, then select "Gapless Album" YES in the bottom right hand corner of the Multiple Item Information screen. As soon as I did that it rescanned the files, and made it work.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-13 13:30:02
The Big Question still is: Does it use Lame gapless info?

It's obvious it doesn't use the Lame header to store the result of iTunes' own analysis because the average user will have more than just Lame encoded MP3's. It could still read the Lame header though and use that info for gapless playback (and copy it to the ID3 field as well, where it stores the result of its own analysis).

If I drag an album encoded with Lame 3.97b2 into iTunes the gapless analysis goes extremely fast. Could iTunes make use of the Lame header instead of analysing the file?

Is there a way to test this? Or perhaps someone knows the answer already?

Edit: haregoo, you actually say it does use the Lame header supplied data?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 13:34:00
It works with my 4th Generation iPod Photo (later versions were called iPod Color)


Which firmware & model number ? I have an M9830B running 1.2.1 and it does not work. No one on the relevant Apple Discussions (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=637429&tstart=0) thread has had any luck either.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: haregoo on 2006-09-13 13:47:50
Quote
Edit: haregoo, you actually say it does use the Lame header supplied data?

Absolutely.
Is there a way to know exact same length as original other than using LAME tag or something similar?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-13 13:51:00
Quote
Edit: haregoo, you actually say it does use the Lame header supplied data?

Absolutely.
Is there a way to know exact same length as original other than using LAME tag or something similar?

Not that I know of, but are you sure it's the exact same length or could it be a very good estimate?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: haregoo on 2006-09-13 13:56:36
Not that I know of, but are you sure it's the exact same length or could it be a very good estimate?

You know iTunes support encode. Decoding to wav is also supported.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-13 14:07:56

Not that I know of, but are you sure it's the exact same length or could it be a very good estimate?

You know iTunes support encode. Decoding to wav is also supported.

It took me a while to understand what you meant by this but I see your point now!

Thanks haregoo! Well, it appears Apple did a rather good job on this one. Perhaps they'll introduce reading the Nero encoder info in a later version, that wouldn't hurt.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ShowsOn on 2006-09-13 14:08:28
It works with my 4th Generation iPod Photo (later versions were called iPod Color)


Which firmware & model number ? I have an M9830B running 1.2.1 and it does not work. No one on the relevant Apple Discussions (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=637429&tstart=0) thread has had any luck either.

I have the original iPod Photo 60 GB, which is M9586X with firmware 1.2.1

The files that have worked gapless are AAC/M4A files encoded with various versions of iTunes/Quicktime. Some as old as iTunes 4.7 (Quicktime 6.5.2), but most iTunes 6 (Quicktime 7.x).

I've checked it on more albums including studio recordings, and live albums, and it has worked everytime.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: SebastianG on 2006-09-13 14:14:49
If I drag an album encoded with Lame 3.97b2 into iTunes the gapless analysis goes extremely fast. Could iTunes make use of the Lame header instead of analysing the file?

Is there a way to test this? Or perhaps someone knows the answer already?

You could create a copy of an MP3 file with altered enc delay/padding settings (via Foobar) and see how it affects iTunes' output.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 14:18:02
I have the original iPod Photo 60 GB, which is M9586X with firmware 1.2.1

The files that have worked gapless are AAC/M4A files encoded with various versions of iTunes/Quicktime. Some as old as iTunes 4.7 (Quicktime 6.5.2), but most iTunes 6 (Quicktime 7.x).

I've checked it on more albums including studio recordings, and live albums, and it has worked everytime.
It's strange that an older model should be upgradeable and the later ones not. I'm sure there'll be plenty of discussion of this here and there but I suppose your case makes the possibility of a suitable upgrade for later 4G's realistic, if unlikely.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ShowsOn on 2006-09-13 14:23:26
I have the original iPod Photo 60 GB, which is M9586X with firmware 1.2.1

The files that have worked gapless are AAC/M4A files encoded with various versions of iTunes/Quicktime. Some as old as iTunes 4.7 (Quicktime 6.5.2), but most iTunes 6 (Quicktime 7.x).

I've checked it on more albums including studio recordings, and live albums, and it has worked everytime.
It's strange that an older model should be upgradeable and the later ones not. I'm sure there'll be plenty of discussion of this here and there but I suppose your case makes the possibility of a suitable upgrade for later 4G's realistic, if unlikely.

I read that thread over at the official support forums, I don't think people are turning gapless on. They are all assuming that the initial scan of your iPod makes it work. But you have to then select all the tracks in gapless albums, right click to bring up the Multiple Item Information screen, then turn on Gapless Album at the bottom right hand corner. By checking the box, and selecting YES.

I read a lot of posts complaining but I can't see any that follow those instructions.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-13 14:25:05

If I drag an album encoded with Lame 3.97b2 into iTunes the gapless analysis goes extremely fast. Could iTunes make use of the Lame header instead of analysing the file?

Is there a way to test this? Or perhaps someone knows the answer already?

You could create a copy of an MP3 file with altered enc delay/padding settings (via Foobar) and see how it affects iTunes' output.

You're right, that would be a good test. Can't do it though because I haven't got a Windows box around at the moment, hence no Foobar...

The question seems answered by haregoo though, it uses the Lame header info.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 14:28:14
I read that thread over at the official support forums, I don't think people are turning gapless on. They are all assuming that the initial scan of your iPod makes it work. But you have to then select all the tracks in gapless albums, right click to bring up the Multiple Item Information screen, then turn on Gapless Album at the bottom right hand corner. By checking the box, and selecting YES.

I read a lot of posts complaining but I can't see any that follow those instructions.
I followed, I'm complaining and I want my wife's 5G.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pepoluan on 2006-09-13 14:57:51
I followed, I'm complaining and I want my wife's 5G.
Isn't that dangerous
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 15:09:13
I followed, I'm complaining and I want my wife's 5G.
Isn't that dangerous
No, she'll have to sleep sometime and I'll take my chance.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: /mnt on 2006-09-13 17:27:12
so can I just drag these onto my iPod without going through iTunes stupid crap?

What's wrong with iTunes? I've heard it is very convenient (or do you prefer, mmm... Complicated? Sophisticated?).

It is a bloated CPU hog POS
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-13 17:34:29
So I've heard reports by a lot of people saying that gapless works perfectly on all tracks, but no matter what I do, I always get a mild tick. Has it worked perfectly for anybody yet?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-13 18:18:43
Axon: Have you tried ripping a disc with iTunes?

I'm getting intermittent gapless playback. Dark Side of the Moon (transcoded from Musepack to Nero AAC) has, for me, a click between the first two tracks, and none between the second two. It seems to be doing gap analysis or something rather than parsing gapless data with Nero AAC.

I ripped a CD with iTunes to ALAC and it played back perfectly.

On an album cut from mp3/cue using pcutmp3, I got perfect gapless playback in iTunes, but not on my 5G iPod. Hm.

It's definitely much better than truncating the last couple seconds of a track like previous versions did.

/mnt, iTunes doesn't seem to use that much more CPU than foobar2000 during playback. It is an elegant, easy-to-use interface that simplifies everything yet remains reasonably powerful. It is certainly no "POS". Just because you have a different preference does not invalidate the reasons that other people have for choosing iTunes. Please troll Apple products somewhere else.

TheQat, nice album!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: marmoset on 2006-09-13 19:05:27
Running out of the house this morning, I randomly added a known "gapless" album (Global Communication's 76 14) into my "daily plan" playlist, which I sync every morning while guzzling coffee, brushing my teeth and letting the dogs out for their morning stretch/piddle.  I didn't remember anything about how I'd encoded it -- I thought that I'd done it with my "usual defaults" (i.e. iTunes AAC 192kbps w/VBR enabled) but it turns out I'd encoded this particular album with Lame 3.93, preset-standard.

The output of id3info:

*** Tag information for 01 4 02.mp3
=== TIT2 (Title/songname/content description): 4 02
=== TPE1 (Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s)): Global Communication
=== TALB (Album/Movie/Show title): 76 14
=== COMM (Comments): ()[XXX]: Encoded by LAME version 3.93  (http://www.mp3dev.org/)
=== COMM (Comments): ()[eng]: Encoded by LAME version 3.93  (http://www.mp3dev.org/)
=== TCON (Content type): Electronica/Dance
=== TRCK (Track number/Position in set): 1/10
=== COMM (Comments): (iTunNORM)[eng]:  0000030D 00000375 00000A7F 00000A46 0002943B 0001A52B 00006EF2 0000613D 0002BA97 0001D500
=== APIC (Attached picture): ()[, 0]: image/png, 146802 bytes
=== TYER (Year): 1994
=== COMM (Comments): (iTunPGAP)[eng]: 1
*** mp3 info

I can't hear any audible gaps with a 5G iPod w. 1.2 firmware.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Stanbey on 2006-09-13 19:16:20
Okay, I would just like to summarize:

1. Finally Apple has fixed the gaping bug in the iPods that prevented them from playing an album as it was intended. By most accounts this works well for most people but isn't perfect for all.

2. They have released some simple games for the iPod at 5 USD a pop.

Woohoo! No wonder everyone is getting so excited! That is soo cool!


But hang on....

For a while now you have been able to install Rockbox on the thing and get true gapless playback, support for a much larger range of formats (including ogg!), a whole bunch of free games including the ones Apple are now trying to sell like Tetris and Asteroids, as well as ones Apple will never touch like Doom and chess. Add to that Rockbox's support for themes and the ability to use your iPod without having to go near the bloated beast iTunes and I can't see what the hell everyone is getting excited about.

The *only* reason to use the retail OS on an iPod is for playing apple video files; and if you use Rockbox and want to do that then it takes something like 10 seconds to boot back into the retail OS to watch the file.

So Apple have finally fixed a major outstanding bug in their OS (in a rather convoluted fashion, by the sound of it), and added the ability to *buy* games for it. They still have a long way to go before they can claim to provide the best iPod operating system.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: /mnt on 2006-09-13 19:19:02
/mnt, iTunes doesn't seem to use that much more CPU than foobar2000 during playback. It is an elegant, easy-to-use interface that simplifies everything yet remains reasonably powerful. It is certainly no "POS". Just because you have a different preference does not invalidate the reasons that other people have for choosing iTunes. Please troll Apple products somewhere else.


Now what you made my do    I have to install itunes again and make a screenshot with the default settings to prove my point. Using about 6 - 8 and sometimes 13 percent of CPU power just to decode a MP3 while other players like Wimap, foobar2000 and WMP rarely use about 1 or 2 percent of the CPU. I am not trolling but it is abit unaceptable for music player to use that much resource  .

A screenshot of iTunes 7 (with default settings) + Task Mannger playing a gapless album:

(http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/3504/itunescpuusagekf3.th.png) (http://img245.imageshack.us/my.php?image=itunescpuusagekf3.png)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: marmoset on 2006-09-13 19:21:40
The *only* reason to use the retail OS on an iPod is for playing apple video files; and if you use Rockbox and want to do that then it takes something like 10 seconds to boot back into the retail OS to watch the file.


Doesn't running RockBox on a 5g cut your battery life in half (or worse)?  Seems like there's at least one more reason to run the retail firmware...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-13 19:29:28
The *only* reason to use the retail OS on an iPod is for playing apple video files
Unless you're one of the 95% of iPod owners for whom the Rockbox Manual might as well be written in the Indus Valley script 
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-13 19:35:36
Now what you made my do    I have to install itunes again and make a screenshot with the default settings to prove my point. Using about 6 - 8 and sometimes 13 percent of CPU power just to decode a MP3 while other players like Wimap, foobar2000 and WMP rarely use about 1 or 2 percent of the CPU. I am not being trolling it is abit unaceptable for itunes to use that much resource


Task Manager's "cpu usage" report is quite unreliable. "Unaceptable(sic)" is quite a subjective quality. iTunes provides much more functionality than just MP3 decoding. Granted, its MP3 decoder uses more CPU than foobar2000 or Winamp's. It still less than 90% and multitasks just fine.

The whole topic is completely off-topic. If you want to bitch about iTunes having a slow MP3 decoder (despite the irrelevance of its slowness, especially on modern multi-core systems), the place to do so would be the iTunes 7 thread.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-13 19:35:55
So Apple have finally fixed a major outstanding bug in their OS (in a rather convoluted fashion, by the sound of it), and added the ability to *buy* games for it. They still have a long way to go before they can claim to provide the best iPod operating system.

On the contrary. For me, the only reason to use rockbox, which i do, is so i can drag-drop music to my iPod. But i'm probably going back to apples firmware any time.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: bond on 2006-09-13 19:38:11
so, does apple use the same way of storing gapless info in aac/mp4 as nero?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Neo559 on 2006-09-13 19:40:26
Someone in this thread mentioned the tracktime VBR problem not being fixed yet - is this the problem where iTunes incorrectly reports the length of tracks, and reaches what it thinks is the end but continues to count up until the song is actually over?  I've noticed this since iTunes 5 - it annoyed me, but wasn't a big deal.  But starting with 6.02, iTunes reaches what it thinks is the end of a track and then just STOPS - it doesn't finish the song, it just stops and skips to the next song, sometimes cutting off as much as 2 seconds of a song. 

I assume this is no longer an issue with 7, what with gapless playback and all - has iTunes just returned to counting past what it reports is the track length?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-13 19:41:15
Doesn't running RockBox on a 5g cut your battery life in half (or worse)?  Seems like there's at least one more reason to run the retail firmware...


My experience was about 19h on stock firmware, 11h on rockbox.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: chelgrian on 2006-09-13 19:53:08
iTunes7 support true gapless playback for MP3 encoded by LAME or AAC by iTunes7, and quasi-gapless playback for lossy encoded by the other encoders (including neroAacEnc).


Encoded through iTunes or encoded by any application using the QuickTime 7.1.3 AAC encoder?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ozmosis82 on 2006-09-13 21:04:46
When was the last comparison between Nero's AAC and iTunes'?

Are there any plans to have Nero's AAC files compatible with the way iTunes determines gapless? I'm pretty sure that the gapless information is stored within the iTunes Library database, because my iPod did NOT update my entire library when I set them all to gapless (meaning the files themselves were not modified).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-13 21:30:55

So Apple have finally fixed a major outstanding bug in their OS (in a rather convoluted fashion, by the sound of it), and added the ability to *buy* games for it. They still have a long way to go before they can claim to provide the best iPod operating system.

On the contrary. For me, the only reason to use rockbox, which i do, is so i can drag-drop music to my iPod. But i'm probably going back to apples firmware any time.


Same here.  I'm a Rockbox user from *way* back (as in Archos days) -- I used Rockbox specifically for gapless playback.  I've been having no problems so far with gapless under the new firmware/iTunes 7 combo and I seriously doubt I'll be going back to Rockbox.  It would be nice if Apple introduced true bookmarking for audiobooks, rather than just .m4b files, though.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kritip on 2006-09-13 22:04:29
Rockbox also boesn't support connector control, so i can't use it with my car stereo..is a great shame, and appears my nano didn't have a firmware update  so im stuck with gaps in m car boohooo
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-13 22:18:56
I assume this is no longer an issue with 7, what with gapless playback and all - has iTunes just returned to counting past what it reports is the track length?

Yep, that is what I notice occasionally on iTunes 7 (OS X), just a few seconds and sound is not cut off but it looks a bit odd when you keep looking at the timer until the end of the song.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-13 22:19:52
can i upgrade my nano, without un-rockbox-ing it?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-14 03:39:55
can i upgrade my nano, without un-rockbox-ing it?

Note that gapless playback does NOT work on 1st gen nano with current firmware (1.2). Also, there is a compatibility issue between 1.2 nano and rockbox. You can still install rockbox, but whenever you switch back to Apple's firmware, the nano cannot see any tracks, even though the tracks are visible in iTunes.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Mirage2k on 2006-09-14 03:42:14
Someone in this thread mentioned the tracktime VBR problem not being fixed yet - is this the problem where iTunes incorrectly reports the length of tracks, and reaches what it thinks is the end but continues to count up until the song is actually over?  I've noticed this since iTunes 5 - it annoyed me, but wasn't a big deal.  But starting with 6.02, iTunes reaches what it thinks is the end of a track and then just STOPS - it doesn't finish the song, it just stops and skips to the next song, sometimes cutting off as much as 2 seconds of a song. 

I assume this is no longer an issue with 7, what with gapless playback and all - has iTunes just returned to counting past what it reports is the track length?


This behavior was never fully explained, AFAIK.  I mentioned several times in previous threads that I had no such problems with LAME-encoded VBR files in iTunes 6.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: InnocenceMyth on 2006-09-14 03:50:50
They still have a long way to go before they can claim to provide the best iPod operating system.


They probably think about that when they take breaks from counting money.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2006-09-14 04:50:57
I just installed iTunes 7

Damn, it IS gapless!

What a great day!

Now I can give my Karma to my girlfriend and keep my 30GB iPod Video!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-14 05:25:29
pika2000, Apple made it fairly clear... the gapless features are for the current iPods: iPod nano (2nd Generation), and iPod video (5th Generation).  (The new nano is 100% different internally.)

As the 5G iPod video is still "current" (just slightly updated as of Tuesday), the new firmware adds gapless to bring it into parity with updated shipping 5G.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for gapless on the old nano...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-14 07:22:38
pika2000, Apple made it fairly clear... the gapless features are for the current iPods: iPod nano (2nd Generation), and iPod video (5th Generation).  (The new nano is 100% different internally.)

As the 5G iPod video is still "current" (just slightly updated as of Tuesday), the new firmware adds gapless to bring it into parity with updated shipping 5G.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for gapless on the old nano...

I thought the 1st gen nano and 5G iPods use the same CPU, as noted at the rockbox website: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IpodHardwareInfo (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IpodHardwareInfo)
If they share the same CPU, it shouldn't be hard to provide gapless playback to 1st gen nano, unless Apple doesn't want to do it to boost sales of the new nano.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-14 08:52:46
I just reripped an album in iTunes AAC, importing direct from CD in the process, and it came out gapless. Bleh! I'm not going to rerip every CD I have to get this right.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-14 10:31:36
OK, to answer my own question on how to consistently get already-ripped music to play gaplessly on a 5G:

Preliminarily, once I followed these guidelines, I finally have true-gapless playback on my iPod. woot.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: carlosgp on 2006-09-14 10:40:02
I have no problems in iTunes 7 with gapless using VBR mp3 lame and apple lossles. I was having the bug with lame files at the end of track, but it seems solved in iTunes 7 . When I switched from windows+foobar I was not very happy with iTunes. Right now I I'm enjoying the experience fully . The only gripe is the limited number of formats that can be used. My library was constructed around flac and ape formats, though now with XLD the conversion is easier. The new coverflow mode is great, neat advance in browsing through big libraries.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2006-09-14 12:27:29
I am enjoying iTunes 7 a lot. Seems to be finally the media player I always wanted
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 12:36:11
I haven't tried MP3 encoders but I'd assume that iTunes MP3 would also be preferred over LAME. iTunesEncode appears to work, to get transcoding right from foobar (for us lossless people).

No, it reads the LAME headers to use its native gapless ability so any MP3 made with a modern LAME encoder would be perfect for gapless playback. Furthermore, iTunes MP3 encoder is not really considered to be of equal quality to LAME.

LAME gives perfect gapless playback and is still the encoder of choice.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: richard123 on 2006-09-14 12:42:15
(The new nano is 100% different internally.)
Please provide some more information on the differences, including sound quality.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: cliveb on 2006-09-14 12:54:25
Having read through this thread, there still seems to be some confusion over what version iPods might support gapless.

Specifically, my wife has a 20GB 4G grayscale iPod. Upgrading to iTunes 7 is OK - buying new hardware is not. Apple's website isn't much help - there doesn't seem to be any area which lists iPod firmwares and their features.

So, has anyone here tried a grayscale 4G, and does gapless work on it?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jarsonic on 2006-09-14 13:31:35

iTunes7 support true gapless playback for MP3 encoded by LAME or AAC by iTunes7, and quasi-gapless playback for lossy encoded by the other encoders (including neroAacEnc).


Encoded through iTunes or encoded by any application using the QuickTime 7.1.3 AAC encoder?


They should have the same result.  iTunes uses Quicktime to encode its tracks, too.

Having read through this thread, there still seems to be some confusion over what version iPods might support gapless.

Specifically, my wife has a 20GB 4G grayscale iPod. Upgrading to iTunes 7 is OK - buying new hardware is not. Apple's website isn't much help - there doesn't seem to be any area which lists iPod firmwares and their features.

So, has anyone here tried a grayscale 4G, and does gapless work on it?


I read on the Apple Forum that the 4G greyscale iPod does not get the firmware update, but the iPod Photo (aka the iPod Color) does get the firmware update.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-14 13:39:04
No, it reads the LAME headers to use its native gapless ability so any MP3 made with a modern LAME encoder would be perfect for gapless playback. Furthermore, iTunes MP3 encoder is not really considered to be of equal quality to LAME.

LAME gives perfect gapless playback and is still the encoder of choice.

Do you have further proof of this? My tests are showing otherwise.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-14 14:06:58
I read on the Apple Forum that the 4G greyscale iPod does not get the firmware update, but the iPod Photo (aka the iPod Color) does get the firmware update.
Which forum exactly ?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 14:14:36
Do you have further proof of this?

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....8231&st=75# (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48231&st=75#)
iTunes knows the exact original length, the only way to know this is through the Lame header.

Apart from that, I have yet to come across a LAME MP3 that is not perfectly gapless. Listen to the third set of these files (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=35&t=48236&st=0#entry430095) for instance.
Quote
My tests are showing otherwise.

What did you test and how?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rao on 2006-09-14 15:48:56
hmmm...

yesterday i tried if the new gapless feature would work on my l my lame 3.94 encoded mp3s. between some tracks there is a (very) little glitch that can be heard. (more often on more silent classical tracks) i checked with my ogg/vorbis versions of the same tracks: no glitch. tried to rerip and reencode with lame 3.96.1 the glitch can be heard again. finally i tried ripping and encoding the same tracks with itunes using aac. guess what: no glitch. so for me the gapless mp3 playing does sometimes not really work.
rao
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: hit_ny on 2006-09-14 16:16:31
LAME gives perfect gapless playback and is still the encoder of choice.

I was under the impression it was nothing more than a hack (gapless implementation)

I'm sad to see Apple has avoided CUE suppport and chances now are prolly very slim.

Having said that. CUE support has been an outstanding request on the Rockbox list since 2002 !!

CUE is the only way to get true gapless, but since only the Archos supports it i guess we wont be seeing true gapless just yet.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ShowsOn on 2006-09-14 16:22:40
I think Apple is doing a reasonable job of work with their own formats, but also open standards. FLAC support in beta versions of OSX is a great sign, and possibly means it will be integrated directly into iTunes.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rontonic on 2006-09-14 16:34:29
So I got iTunes 7 today, installed and plugged in my iPod with 3750 songs. It has now been doing that "Gathering information about gapless playback" for many many hours, and it is only about half way! How can I stop this??!! And what the h... is it really doing?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2006-09-14 16:40:28

LAME gives perfect gapless playback and is still the encoder of choice.

I was under the impression it was nothing more than a hack (gapless implementation)

I'm sad to see Apple has avoided CUE suppport and chances now are prolly very slim.



LAME uses a method in which the correct track length is stored in metadata. With a compliant decoder, the track will be played to its original length everytime, perfectly.

This is not a hack. It is as true as gapless gets. It has been already stated.

iTunes seems to use the metadata info on LAME files. It has not been yet confirmed, but, so far it is perfectly gapless to me. As much as foobar2000, which uses the compliant decoder for true gapless.



So I got iTunes 7 today, installed and plugged in my iPod with 3750 songs. It has now been doing that "Gathering information about gapless playback" for many many hours, and it is only about half way! How can I stop this??!! And what the h... is it really doing?


Computer specs and encoder settings of the file?

I tried it yesterday, with a library of roughly 4000 LAME 3.97 files on a P4 1.5 GHZ and it took about 40 minutes!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: rontonic on 2006-09-14 16:51:29

So I got iTunes 7 today, installed and plugged in my iPod with 3750 songs. It has now been doing that "Gathering information about gapless playback" for many many hours, and it is only about half way! How can I stop this??!! And what the h... is it really doing?


Computer specs and encoder settings of the file?

I tried it yesterday, with a library of roughly 4000 LAME 3.97 files on a P4 1.5 GHZ and it took about 40 minutes!


A64 3500+ (but isn't it the ipod where the bottleneck is?), but it speeded a lot up now that I got home from work. But even still, shouldn't I be able to not do this? I wanted to transfer an album to my ipod this morning before work, but this task stopped me from doing that...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-14 17:19:09
(The new nano is 100% different internally.)
Please provide some more information on the differences, including sound quality.
The new-gen nano uses core guts supplied by Samsung, instead of PortalPlayer.... which they abandoned earlier this year (and caused PortalPlayer's stock to crash.)  See: http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArtic...cleID=186701236 (http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=186701236)

EE Times confirms some of this: http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArt...cleID=193000601 (http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193000601)

Sorry, I have no subjective evaluation of sound quality... other than the maximum output is slightly lower from the headphone jack.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-14 17:39:02
CUE is the only way to get true gapless
This is totally false!

I've been following this thread since it started.  It seems that too many posts are primarily focused on gapless playback using iTunes7.  The subject of this thread is not about iTunes7, it is about gapless plaback on iPods.  I believe this is part of the reason why there is confusion over which versions of the iPod are capable of gapless playback.  Sure I can play back tracks gaplessly from my 3G iPod when using iTunes7, but I cannot get gapless playback from either the headphone out or line out of my iPod.

The thread regarding iTunes7 can be found here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48253).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 17:56:09

LAME gives perfect gapless playback and is still the encoder of choice.

I was under the impression it was nothing more than a hack (gapless implementation)

I'm sad to see Apple has avoided CUE suppport and chances now are prolly very slim.

Having said that. CUE support has been an outstanding request on the Rockbox list since 2002 !!

CUE is the only way to get true gapless, but since only the Archos supports it i guess we wont be seeing true gapless just yet.

CUE is even more of a hack than 'conventional' gapless playback is. Stuffing all tracks in one file and then using a second file to split them again on playback is not a hack?

Whether something is a hack (and gapless on lossy formats is impossible without hacks) or not it is not relevant to gapless, the audible result is.
Relevant is:
- No audible gaps between adjoining tracks
- Implementing this with the least amount of drawbacks

The implementation Apple chose is one which follows both conditions. The only drawback being a one-time analysing session which can be lengthy...
IMHO even better than CUE support instead of 'conventional' gapless because I consider 15 files in one large file with a second one just to be able to listen to one track a rather large drawback.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: nyaochi on 2006-09-14 17:58:18
I also confirmed that iTunes v7.0.0.70 does attach the information for calculating accurate stream length to MP3 files.

Creating two WAVE files with 441000 samples (10 seconds) and 441001 samples (10 seconds + 1 sample), I encoded them to two MP3 files by using iTunes v7.0.0.70. I checked the MP3 files and noticed some differences in ID3v2.2 tags generated by the encoder.

[441000.mp3]
TT2: segment1
COM(eng): iTunPGAP=0
TEN: iTunes v7.0.0.70
COM(eng): iTunNORM= 0000121E 00000C71 00006417 00002D9A 000024A1 0000234E 0000827F 000085FB 0000023E 00000D43
COM(eng): iTunSMPB= 00000000 00000210 000007C8 000000000006BAA8 00000000 00026783 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

[441001.mp3]
TT2: segment1
COM(eng): iTunPGAP=0
TEN: iTunes v7.0.0.70
COM(eng): iTunNORM= 0000121E 00000C71 00006416 00002D9A 000024A1 0000234E 0000827F 000085FA 0000023E 00000D43
COM(eng): iTunSMPB= 00000000 00000210 000007C7 000000000006BAA9 00000000 00026783 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

Note that there're some differences in iTunNORM and iTunSMPB comment frames. The different values may represent the number of padded samples by the encoder.

As these MP3 files have 385 frames, the number of decoded samples will be 1152 * 385 = 443520 [samples] (without any handling for gapless playback). Assuming that the second and third values in iTunSMPB present the numbers of encoder delay and encoder padding in samples, I obtain the original sample length: 443520 - 528 (0x210) - 1992 (0x7C8) = 441000 [samples] = 10 [sec]. The forth value in iTunSMPB frame probably represents the original sample length since 0x6BAA8 equals to 441000 [samples]. I'm not sure how other values in these frames are used, but I hope this will be a good starting point to understand the mechanism of the gapless playback proposed by Apple.

I've been following this thread since it started.  It seems that too many posts are primarily focused on gapless playback using iTunes7.  The subject of this thread is not about iTunes7, it is about gapless plaback on iPods.

I agree with you, but we need to make sure whether if the necessary information for accurate stream length exists in the MP3 files encoded by iTunes. iRiver once claimed that they implemented gapless playback, but it was just the infamous gap (or silence) removal. Now that the necessary information is confirmed to be attached to MP3 files, we can celebrate the true gapless-playback only if someone with the new iPod experiments it on the hardware player.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: bhoar on 2006-09-14 18:00:36
CUE is even more of a hack than 'conventional' gapless playback is. Stuffing all tracks in one file and then using a second file to split them again on playback is not a hack?


Isn't that essentially the definition of a redbook CD?  A TOC + one continuous audio stream? 

(Probably off-topic, and also a bit trite, sorry.)

-brendan
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 18:10:54
CUE is even more of a hack than 'conventional' gapless playback is. Stuffing all tracks in one file and then using a second file to split them again on playback is not a hack?


Isn't that essentially the definition of a redbook CD?  A TOC + one continuous audio stream? 

(Probably off-topic, and also a bit trite, sorry.)

-brendan

Hhmmm, but CD's are oldfashioned crap.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-14 18:30:55
I also confirmed that iTunes v7.0.0.70 does attach the information for calculating accurate stream length to MP3 files.
Just to make it clear: This only happens when iTunes 7 rips to MP3.  It will not modify your existing MP3 files with these extra tags.  (It didn't touch any of my LAME MP3 content.)  It's a shame Apple didn't just write a LAME/Xing compatible header with enc_delay & enc_padding info when ripping to MP3... since that's as close to a "real" standard as you can get for MP3 gapless.  Now we have more proprietary iTunes tags other players will probably ignore.  I guess it doesn't matter.  Who really uses the iTunes MP3 encoder?   
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2006-09-14 18:36:01
Almost everyone with an iPod and their mommas
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-14 18:45:27
LAME uses a method in which the correct track length is stored in metadata. With a compliant decoder, the track will be played to its original length everytime, perfectly.

The original length is indeed respected but the junction of two files isn't always smooth. As a consequence there's sometimes a small 'pop' when the player starts to read the following track. The problem is known and has been reported some times ago. LAME isn't alone in this situation: the same issue is reproducible with Nero AAC and WMAPro which are both supposed to be gapless. Vorbis and Musepack (1.15v only) aren't affected.

If you want to experience it by yourself, try with these small samples (http://guruboolez.free.fr/samples/gapless/gapless_WAVPACK_free_of_right.zip).


N.B. To be accurate, the existence of such pop doesn't question the 'gapless' status of these encoders. Simply because there's no gap (silence) between musical data, only a lack of harmony between the last samples of the initial file and the first samples of the subsequent one.

Pio2001 illustrated the problem in 2004:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....post&id=390 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=390)
More information:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=18211 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=18211)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 18:50:13
Almost everyone with an iPod and their mommas

As far as I know iTunes has AAC encoding as default. Anyone just pressing 'Import CD' in iTunes will encode in AAC, not MP3
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-14 18:54:39
It will not modify your existing MP3 files with these extra tags.  (It didn't touch any of my LAME MP3 content.)

I just verified this with my iPod's LAME MP3 content.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: hit_ny on 2006-09-14 18:57:30
Isn't that essentially the definition of a redbook CD?  A TOC + one continuous audio stream? 

Exactly !!

Here's a simple test for gapless....Diskwriter

try saving to wav and compare the output
- of split traks + Lame gapless info vs playing the file continously.

Note the difference!

Quote
Stuffing all tracks in one file and then using a second file to split them again on playback is not a hack?

Obvious mistake, nothing is getting re-split.

Once you reach the designated track, its name changes, the stream is continous.

Maybe your ears won't catch the transitions, each time but they are there, not so with one continous stream. In fact someone just said they noticed very slight changes, that is proof enough for me that this is a best effort with mp3 that is not a gaples format to start with.

The workaround is to use CUE.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2006-09-14 18:58:23
What I have noticed is that the time marker on the iTunes display kinda stops and "hesitates" at the last second.

This produces no audible effect, though. But it seems as though it was reading some tag or something.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 19:02:38
What I have noticed is that the time marker on the iTunes display kinda stops and "hesitates" at the last second.

This produces no audible effect, though. But it seems as though it was reading some tag or something.

I noticed that too. I think is because of the inaccurate time issues iTunes still has with MP3 VBR files, its prediction is often a few seconds too short.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2006-09-14 19:03:56
In fact someone just said they noticed very slight changes, that is proof enough for me that this is a best effort with mp3 that is not a gaples format to start with.

The workaround is to use CUE.


OK, one more time: LAME MP3 is gapless, and has been for quite a while. It just needs a compliant decoder. Like your CUE sheet implementation-- if there is no compliant player that can read the CUE info and apply the necessary track "change points", it is completely useless.

But LAME's gapless implementation is clever and simple. Apparently, this time Apple went with something similar.

People wo "noticed differences" either used some unappropiate MP3 encoder/settings or a non-compliant decoder.

MP3 was not a gapless format to begin with. But since around 2003, it has been.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kincaid on 2006-09-14 19:07:37
I also confirmed that iTunes v7.0.0.70 does attach the information for calculating accurate stream length to MP3 files.

Creating two WAVE files with 441000 samples (10 seconds) and 441001 samples (10 seconds + 1 sample), I encoded them to two MP3 files by using iTunes v7.0.0.70. I checked the MP3 files and noticed some differences in ID3v2.2 tags generated by the encoder.

[441000.mp3]
TT2: segment1
COM(eng): iTunPGAP=0
TEN: iTunes v7.0.0.70
COM(eng): iTunNORM= 0000121E 00000C71 00006417 00002D9A 000024A1 0000234E 0000827F 000085FB 0000023E 00000D43
COM(eng): iTunSMPB= 00000000 00000210 000007C8 000000000006BAA8 00000000 00026783 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

[441001.mp3]
TT2: segment1
COM(eng): iTunPGAP=0
TEN: iTunes v7.0.0.70
COM(eng): iTunNORM= 0000121E 00000C71 00006416 00002D9A 000024A1 0000234E 0000827F 000085FA 0000023E 00000D43
COM(eng): iTunSMPB= 00000000 00000210 000007C7 000000000006BAA9 00000000 00026783 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

Note that there're some differences in iTunNORM and iTunSMPB comment frames. The different values may represent the number of padded samples by the encoder.

As these MP3 files have 385 frames, the number of decoded samples will be 1152 * 385 = 443520 [samples] (without any handling for gapless playback). Assuming that the second and third values in iTunSMPB present the numbers of encoder delay and encoder padding in samples, I obtain the original sample length: 443520 - 528 (0x210) - 1992 (0x7C8) = 441000 [samples] = 10 [sec]. The forth value in iTunSMPB frame probably represents the original sample length since 0x6BAA8 equals to 441000 [samples]. I'm not sure how other values in these frames are used, but I hope this will be a good starting point to understand the mechanism of the gapless playback proposed by Apple.


This analysis is correct.  Additionally, the sixth value is the byte offset from the first audio frame to the 8th-from-last frame.  This provides a resynchronization mechanism to restore a decoder's true sample number after a seek.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: nyaochi on 2006-09-14 19:10:02
I also confirmed that iTunes v7.0.0.70 does attach the information for calculating accurate stream length to MP3 files.
Just to make it clear: This only happens when iTunes 7 rips to MP3.  It will not modify your existing MP3 files with these extra tags.  (It didn't touch any of my LAME MP3 content.)

Yeah. I didn't write this in the previous post, but I also confirmed that iTunes reads the MP3-Info header, where LAME stores the information for accurate stream length. I got gapless playback between two MP3 files encoded by LAME, but not if I modified (or broke the MP3-Info header), through a hex editor, the number of padded samples stored in the MP3-Info heder. This proves that iTunes 7 also supports the gapless playback with MP3-Info method, as well as iTunSMPB method.

Based on the posts in this thread, I guess (hope) that Apple implemented gapless playback with both MP3-Info and iTunSMPB methods in iTunes and the new iPod firmware. I don't like the idea of storing these information in ID3v2.2 since some tag editors may remove these frames accidentally (some tag editors cannot handle multiple comment frames properly). But Apple might hesitate to create MP3 files with MP3-Info header since the specification defines fields reserved specially for LAME (e.g., encoding flags, ATH type, noise shaping type, ...). Anyway, I think it's a great news that they supported MP3-Info method even if they introduced another method.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: hit_ny on 2006-09-14 19:10:32
And it this gapless info passes the diskwriter test ?

ie..compared WAVs are identical
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 19:12:29
It will not modify your existing MP3 files with these extra tags.  (It didn't touch any of my LAME MP3 content.)

I just verified this with my iPod's LAME MP3 content.

That's odd compared to this users statement:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....8231&st=29# (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48231&st=29#) 


Edit: Or not.

I suppose tags are only written if iTunes had to analyse the encoder delay/padding itself. The values it finds are then stored in an ID3-tag. If iTunes could just rely on the data already in the MP3-info header put there by LAME it skips writing the tag because the data is already in the file.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-14 19:16:26
In fact someone just said they noticed very slight changes, that is proof enough for me that this is a best effort with mp3 that is not a gaples format to start with.

The workaround is to use CUE.

And what about fixing the existing problem instead of jumping to another shaky solution like cuesheet?
MPC had the same issue: small glitchs on transition. An updated encoder fixed this issue and there's no complaint anymore.
Cuesheet is nice, but it supposes that you must upload to your iPod the full album, and that you can't delete from it some annoying tracks and to keep the most enjoying ones. Moreover, cuesheet doesn't work well with MP3-VBR. foobar2000 did it well, but this makes MP3 seeking much slower, even on 3GHz CPU... so let imagine the issue on a small iPod.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: hit_ny on 2006-09-14 19:19:35
Sure but the beauty of cue sheet is it will play gapless on even the simplest mp3 player, or every mp3 player.

The only issue is you can't see the track names if the player is not equipped for this. Mjor issue on portable players but the sound is ok.

vs...gapless info with LAME header which only works with the right player & if it was encoded with this info in the first place.

Also the problem with a few bad tracks, well dont play the album then right

If its a gapless album to start with and you cut tracks off that are mixed in, the transition is sure to be jarring either way.

Regarding speed for seeking, i'm inclined to think its more of a HD issue than a CPU issue, the bottle neck is how fast it can read off the HD.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-14 19:26:00
It will not modify your existing MP3 files with these extra tags.  (It didn't touch any of my LAME MP3 content.)

I just verified this with my iPod's LAME MP3 content.

That's odd compared to this users statement:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....8231&st=29# (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48231&st=29#) 

I just pulled a track from my ipod and looked at it with a hex editor.  The file is exactly the same as it was before I put it on my iPod using iTunes.  iTunes has never written anything to this file.

(Still lots of talk about gapless playback with iTunes and very little about gapless playback on iPods)


If iTunes could just rely on the data already in the MP3-info header put there by LAME it skips writing the tag because the data is already in the file.

Bingo!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kincaid on 2006-09-14 19:29:58
If iTunes could just rely on the data already in the MP3-info header put there by LAME it skips writing the tag because the data is already in the file.

Bingo!


iTunes only adds the tag to a track which IT encodes.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-14 19:30:07
@hit_ny, quit trolling with the off-topic nonsense.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: hit_ny on 2006-09-14 19:34:18
My intention is not to troll, i noticed the title gapless playback and stated my opinion on the topic.

If you want gapless, Apple's implementation is close but no cigar.

It's the only issue preventing me from getting an iPod atm.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-14 19:39:35
My intention is not to troll, i noticed the title gapless playback and stated my opinion on the topic.

If you want gapless, Apple's implementation is close but no cigar.

And this thing that isn't a cigar, is this fact or also your stated opinion?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: hit_ny on 2006-09-14 19:41:30
Diskwriter test...

yes or no ?

I've yet to read about it.

record ouput from the iPod to WAV doing its "gapless" thing

..compare
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 19:46:13

If iTunes could just rely on the data already in the MP3-info header put there by LAME it skips writing the tag because the data is already in the file.

Bingo!


iTunes only adds the tag to a track which IT encodes.

Hhmm... I had my doubts about that and did a check. So far you seem right.

Where does iTunes store the values then? In the database? I suppose that makes sense because that's where the iPod needs the values as well since it won't read the tags on the files. Anyone notice any changes to the database structure?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-14 19:56:14
Where does iTunes store the values then? In the database? I suppose that makes sense because that's where the iPod needs the values as well since it won't read the tags on the files. Anyone notice any changes to the database structure?
Yes, that's in the database... that's what iTunes does when it does the long/painful initial "gapless scan."
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 20:11:42
Where does iTunes store the values then? In the database? I suppose that makes sense because that's where the iPod needs the values as well since it won't read the tags on the files. Anyone notice any changes to the database structure?
Yes, that's in the database... that's what iTunes does when it does the long/painful initial "gapless scan."

It is a bit odd to store the results of gain-level analysis in the metadata but not the results of gap-analysis though. 
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Gabriel on 2006-09-14 22:32:27
iTunes only adds the tag to a track which IT encodes.


Bill, could you please confirm if iTunes is using the gapless info provided by Lame, as it seems?

(btw welcome here)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-14 23:01:27
Ouch! Seems I questioned a statement I shouldn't have questioned. Sorry.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Big Fella on 2006-09-15 05:47:16
I have a 5th gen video ipod and the gapless playback is not on the player only via itunes, as far as I can see this was apples intnetion as they have also timed this with the release of the new updated 5th gen 30 and 80g which has longer battery life and .........gapless playback.

Dissapopinted that they have seen a niche and sought to exploit it, but hey ho we live in a world of captialism.

Has anyone on here actually experienced gapless playback on their ipod when it is not played thorugh itunes?

My music is set to gapless playback, have also ripped the odd cd again to see if this makes a difference or not, which it did not.

Oh and hello all, been a lurker for some time, just thought i'd interject with my experience.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-15 05:50:02
Big Fella, did you upgrade your firmware?  That should bring it to parity with the updated 5G.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Big Fella on 2006-09-15 06:00:24
Doh!! Yeah just figured that in a moment of clarity, all is good now.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-15 13:47:17
What did you test and how?


LAME -aps encoded MP3s, in which I ended up with noticable gaps.
LAME -aps encoded MP3s split with pcutmp3. This most definitely writes LAME header information, which iTunes promptly ignored.

I've successfully got gapless working with ALAC ripped by iTunes itself, but that seems to be the one instance where it's working without issue on my 5G 60GB iPod Video. Nero AAC is intermittent.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kincaid on 2006-09-15 17:50:37

iTunes only adds the tag to a track which IT encodes.


Bill, could you please confirm if iTunes is using the gapless info provided by Lame, as it seems?

(btw welcome here)


Thanks, Gabriel.  Yes, iTunes does use LAME's gapless info (after some sanity checks).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-09-15 18:33:13

So I got iTunes 7 today, installed and plugged in my iPod with 3750 songs. It has now been doing that "Gathering information about gapless playback" for many many hours, and it is only about half way! How can I stop this??!! And what the h... is it really doing?


Computer specs and encoder settings of the file?

I tried it yesterday, with a library of roughly 4000 LAME 3.97 files on a P4 1.5 GHZ and it took about 40 minutes!


Ah ha! I think I now know why iTunes 7 did not show this "Gathering information about gapless playback" when I upgraded (or it disappeared so quick I did not notice). All (100%) of my tracks are in Apple Lossless, it appears that for Apple Lossless (and highly likely iTunes encoded AAC) this process is not necessary but is necessary for LAME / MP3 tracks.

Admittedly I have only ripped about 600 tracks so far but based on other peoples reports of it taking hours to scan I think this is the answer.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kincaid on 2006-09-15 19:26:11
[/quote]
Ah ha! I think I now know why iTunes 7 did not show this "Gathering information about gapless playback" when I upgraded (or it disappeared so quick I did not notice). All (100%) of my tracks are in Apple Lossless, it appears that for Apple Lossless (and highly likely iTunes encoded AAC) this process is not necessary but is necessary for LAME / MP3 tracks.
[/quote]

Correct.  The scan is also required for store files.  The scan is particularly slow for VBR MP3 files because of the need to decode the whole file to get an accurate sample count.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: smiler on 2006-09-15 22:37:18
I couldn't wait to try out this feature, but when I installed iTunes 7, I noticed a distinct lack of "Gathering information about gapless playback". My entire collection is Nero AAC (as it's been converted, via foobar2000 from FLAC and high bit-rate MP3 or MPC purely for my iPod).

I'm a little disapointed that iTunes didn't even try...

What's the feasibility of a 3rd party app 'converting' Nero AAC gapless data into iTunes gapless data?

It definately hasn't worked: I even tested with Dark Side of the Moon, just as Apple suggested .
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-16 10:15:13


iTunes only adds the tag to a track which IT encodes.


Bill, could you please confirm if iTunes is using the gapless info provided by Lame, as it seems?

(btw welcome here)


Thanks, Gabriel.  Yes, iTunes does use LAME's gapless info (after some sanity checks).

Thanks for the confirmation and the great work on this all together. 
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-16 15:31:54
iTunes does, yes. However, for some reason, this isn't translating over to gapless playback on my iPod...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Jojo on 2006-09-16 19:56:42
My observations:
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-16 20:35:49
My observations:
  • iTunes does read the Lame-Tag
    • some songs I've cut with pcutmp3 now stop / start at the right place
    • gapless songs blend in perfectly
  • iTunes plays other non Lame mp3's gapless as well
    • there is no need to mark the album as gapless or anything (that will only have an effect if one has crossfading enabled, which is turned off by default now)
    • there is a little crackle for non Lame encoded files and there might be a slight pause, but if there is one I didn't hear it during casual listening

Great, but to get back on-topic, is this working on your iPod or are you only talking about iTunes?

Considering no one wants to take this off-topic discussion here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48253), perhaps the mods can split it to a new thread titled, "GAPLESS Playback now in iTunes7."
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Althalus on 2006-09-16 20:39:04
Might not be the right place, but since I'm quite confident some of the developers will read this thread.

Be proud of this release. Excellent product.

Thank you !
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-16 20:57:49
Another reason to just stick with the recommendations. I use Lame MP3 -V 2 --vbr-new only, straight ripped from EAC without any additional processing, and so far every gapless albums are perfect, both on iTunes7 and 5G iPod (firmware 1.2). It's funny that if one find that his/her iPod is not gapless with 1 codec he/she uses, then he/she decided it's the fact that the iPod is not gapless with anything and claimed gapless playback on iPod is invalid, even though we already have many reports about users (including me) enjoying perfect gapless playback on their iPods.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-16 21:04:42
It works with my 4th Generation iPod Photo (later versions were called iPod Color)

Can anyone else verify this?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-09-16 21:11:02
I too have good results with gapless on my IPOD 5G 60GB model, updated to ver 1.2.  Lame encoded VBR files (many are encoded with 3.90 LAME version) work gapless (by "work" I mean based on careful listening, not any formal tests). I have lots of live music concerts and these really put the gapless to the test!  Older files I have encoded with Fhg, CBR 192 also seem to play well as gapless on the IPOD.

I will say that with VBR files, particularly long files (some of mine are 25 minute songs), you can't simply move the slider to the end of the song to test the gapless transition. If I do this, I often get a gap from one song to another. But if I let the song play from the beginning the gapless works fine.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: singaiya on 2006-09-16 23:14:10
I too have good results with gapless on my IPOD 5G 60GB model, updated to ver 1.2.


Hmmm.... I updated to itunes 7 and on my ipod summary page it says "Software version: 1.1" and below that it says "Your ipod is up to date." and the update button is greyed out. Does anyone else experience this? I bought my 5G 60GB in February (this year).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ffooky on 2006-09-16 23:23:49

I too have good results with gapless on my IPOD 5G 60GB model, updated to ver 1.2.


Hmmm.... I updated to itunes 7 and on my ipod summary page it says "Software version: 1.1" and below that it says "Your ipod is up to date." and the update button is greyed out. Does anyone else experience this? I bought my 5G 60GB in February (this year).
I Don't know how the Windows version looks but under the iTunes menu, select "Check for Updates". On my OS X system, the updated firmware option didn't appear until I performed this action. Unless you have a 5G Pod forget gapless, no matter what you may read.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Sylvain on 2006-09-17 02:54:44
Another reason to just stick with the recommendations. I use Lame MP3 -V 2 --vbr-new only, straight ripped from EAC without any additional processing, and so far every gapless albums are perfect, both on iTunes7 and 5G iPod (firmware 1.2). It's funny that if one find that his/her iPod is not gapless with 1 codec he/she uses, then he/she decided it's the fact that the iPod is not gapless with anything and claimed gapless playback on iPod is invalid, even though we already have many reports about users (including me) enjoying perfect gapless playback on their iPods.


Well I found it strange tht you have gapless using Lame (VBR) and EAC.

i have tried EAC with Lame 3.97 using VBR (-v 0 --vbr-new) and in Itune I still have a little gap between my tracks of Madonna - Confession on a dance floor

I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

So far the only way i get gapless is by ripping the CD directly from Itunes using (AAC-256-VBR, MP3 VBR256). Ripping the CD from Itunes just work great ! Real Gapless !

So for my gapless CD I will use Itunes with AAC (256 VBR) and for all my other CD I will still use EAC with lame v3.97 (256 VBR).

I just can't find the way to make mp3 files with (EAC & Lame) with gapless playback in Itunes and soon my new Ipod Video 80G that I preorder this week. Hope I will gat gapless in my Ipod also.

For all people who use the crossfade playback don't forget to enable " gapless Album" so Itunes will not crossfade this album when playing and you will see if you can get gapless plyback.

Even better just disabled the crossfade playback option for your testing.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-17 06:00:08
Well I found it strange tht you have gapless using Lame (VBR) and EAC.

i have tried EAC with Lame 3.97 using VBR (-v 0 --vbr-new) and in Itune I still have a little gap between my tracks of Madonna - Confession on a dance floor

I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

Try this. On EAC, go to the menu EAC -> EAC options -> Extraction. Make sure the checkbox for "Delete leading and trailing silent blocks" is checked.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Sylvain on 2006-09-17 07:08:19

Well I found it strange tht you have gapless using Lame (VBR) and EAC.

i have tried EAC with Lame 3.97 using VBR (-v 0 --vbr-new) and in Itune I still have a little gap between my tracks of Madonna - Confession on a dance floor

I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

Try this. On EAC, go to the menu EAC -> EAC options -> Extraction. Make sure the checkbox for "Delete leading and trailing silent blocks" is checked.

I have tried this and still have a little gap. I can hear it because I have good ears and probably some people wont notice it. The CD rip from Itunes is still the perfect solution for me so far.

Also, with this option enabled now my MP3 are no more 100% confidence with Accuraterip. So I uncheck this option and now my Mp3 rip is back to 100% with Accuraterip.

So this option is changing samples in the extraction process because I have made 2 wav files with the option enable and disable and compare them in EAC and they were different and one was longer .052.

Thanks for the advice but for now it is not the perfect solution.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: [JAZ] on 2006-09-17 11:04:08
May i ask.... that Madonna album is gapless??? even more... does Madonna make mixed albums, instead of individual songs?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Egor on 2006-09-17 12:29:02
Yes, "Confessions..." is a gapless album (like a non-stop live performance).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-17 18:32:35
I have tried this and still have a little gap. I can hear it because I have good ears and probably some people wont notice it. The CD rip from Itunes is still the perfect solution for me so far.

Also, with this option enabled now my MP3 are no more 100% confidence with Accuraterip. So I uncheck this option and now my Mp3 rip is back to 100% with Accuraterip.

So this option is changing samples in the extraction process because I have made 2 wav files with the option enable and disable and compare them in EAC and they were different and one was longer .052.

A gap, no matter how small it is, will always be noticable. I don't hear any gaps/blips/clicks on my gapless albums. I use MD and Atrac, so I know if tracks are not played gaplessly.

If I have that checkbox unchecked, I don't even have gapless with my MP3s with foobar (have to use gapkiller to get gapless). I'd rather have gapless albums than worrying about 100% accuraterip/differences in file length, things that probably have nothing to do with the music anyway(probably more about EAC eliminating the silent blocks).

Maybe it's the optical drive? Try ripping the CD as an image file in EAC (1 big WAV file + CUE sheet). Load the image with Daemon tools, and let EAC rip to MP3s, from that image.

Of course, if ripping through iTunes give you perfect gapless, then I would just do that.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-17 19:30:52
Try this. On EAC, go to the menu EAC -> EAC options -> Extraction. Make sure the checkbox for "Delete leading and trailing silent blocks" is checked.



Noooooooooo!!!

If EAC is messing up anything it is because a compression offset is configured.  Why tell EAC to remove silence that actually exists on the disc?!?

The only reason to do this is if you're ripping from a CD-R that was burned with additional silence between tracks.

This was horrible advice!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jido on 2006-09-17 22:41:02
I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

Did you test that by fast-forwarding to the end of the song or did you let iTunes play the whole track as suggested by garym?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Bonzi on 2006-09-17 22:49:21
Hi, just to echo what other people have been saying, I tested gapless on my 4G 20Gb Ipod and it does not seem to work .  Although gapless is turned on in iTunes and playback is gapless in iTunes, when these files are uploaded to the iPod they are no longer played back gaplessly.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-09-17 22:56:39
I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

Did you test that by fast-forwarding to the end of the song or did you let iTunes play the whole track as suggested by garym?


I should point out that I tested the "getting gap when not playing the entire song" on several different songs on albums created over several years using different versions of LAME, Fhg, sometimes VBR and sometimes CBR. Some of these MP3s were created from original CD, some from FLAC files, and some from SHN (the latter mostly downloaded from live music archive (archive.org).  I can consistently create gaps when I start a song and move it until about a minute from the end to wait for the song transition. On the same songs, when I start from the beginning, I don't get the gap.  On shorter songs (less than 7 minutes or so) I can fast forward to about 2.5 minutes from the end and sometimes NOT get the gap.  I suspect all this behavior is strictly related to the buffering mechanism of the IPOD itself. I believe it gathers about 20 minutes of music in its buffer and interfering with this via fast forwarding probably screws things up.  I can say that I spent all day yesterday listening to live concert MP3s playing on the IPOD through a relatively good home stereo system and when left alone to play from beginning to end, I heard no gaps, ticks, etc. If you actually look at the IPOD while it is transitioning, you'll see some odd behavior with the counter on VBR files, but still the gapless works fine. I think the odd behavior on the counter with VBR files is something that has always been an issue with ITUNES and IPOD but in recent years has not been a problem on the actual playback itself.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-18 02:01:36
I tested gapless on my 4G 20Gb Ipod and it does not seem to work .  Although gapless is turned on in iTunes and playback is gapless in iTunes, when these files are uploaded to the iPod they are no longer played back gaplessly.
Apple doesn't support gapless on anything but the latest iPod releases... 5G iPod and 2G nano.  I think they made that fairly clear.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Sylvain on 2006-09-18 02:05:48
I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

Did you test that by fast-forwarding to the end of the song or did you let iTunes play the whole track as suggested by garym?


Yes when I test I fast foward to about the last 20 seconds. With MP3 made with EAC & LAME I have a tiny gap when I test this way.

If I rip the CD from Itunes and use AAC or Mp3 I get gapless playback no matter if I fast foward at the end of the song or not.

Well I will need to test the gapless in I tunes for mp3 rip with EAC without fast fowarding and see if I get any gaps.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-18 07:09:58
If EAC is messing up anything it is because a compression offset is configured.  Why tell EAC to remove silence that actually exists on the disc?!?

The only reason to do this is if you're ripping from a CD-R that was burned with additional silence between tracks.

This was horrible advice!

Why? The part removed is silent anyway.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Cosmo on 2006-09-18 07:28:26
Because the issue we're talking about is extraneous gaps (padding) that are introduced by lossy encoders.  Removing silent blocks (before the encoding takes place) isn't relevant and doesn't solve the problem.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-18 07:31:18
Because the issue we're talking about is extraneous gaps that are introduced by lossy encoders.  Removing silent blocks (before the encoding takes place) isn't relevant and doesn't solve the problem.

How do you know who adds the gaps? How do you know it's the encoder? Regardless of the relevance, at least this will eliminate the potential that the gaps are introduced by the optical drive/EAC.

Again, I use EAC + LAME MP3, and all my gapless albums are played perfectly gapless on my 5G iPod, so I don't think Lame (the encoder) adds any additional gaps.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Cosmo on 2006-09-18 07:59:22
If I have that checkbox unchecked, I don't even have gapless with my MP3s with foobar (have to use gapkiller to get gapless).

If your ripped tracks (uncompressed) have added bits, which aren't on the original CD, then your drive is probably junk or broken. (or as greynol said, compression offset is misused). Or you're not talking about gapless in the sense of "tracks which are meant to transition seamlessly". A properly functioning drive and properly configured EAC will not add silence that didn't exist on the CD.

How do you know who adds the gaps? How do you know it's the encoder?

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Gapless (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Gapless)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-18 08:32:15
How do you know who adds the gaps? How do you know it's the encoder?

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Gapless (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Gapless)

So you're saying that Lame MP3s will always have additional gaps? That means Lame MP3 is never truly gapless then, regardless of tags/metadata information.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-18 09:30:15
Or you're not talking about gapless in the sense of "tracks which are meant to transition seamlessly"

...or transition more quickly than the original mastering. 

So you're saying that Lame MP3s will always have additional gaps? That means Lame MP3 is never truly gapless then, regardless of tags/metadata information.
No, he's not saying that, and yes it is possible for Lame MP3 to be truly gapless.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-18 09:39:34
No, he's not saying that, and yes it is possible for Lame MP3 to be truly gapless.

From the wiki:
Quote
Some compression methods such as the popular MP3 can be problematic because the MP3 standard defines no way to record the amount of padding for later removal. Even if two tracks are decompressed and merged into a single track, a gap will remain between them.

That means Lame MP3 cannot be truly gapless because of MP3 format itself. Lame MP3 can be gapless (using metadata/tags, shown with iTunes7 and new iPods), but I guess techincally it is not true gapless since the format is not gapless.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-18 09:49:10
That means Lame MP3 cannot be truly gapless because of MP3 format itself. Lame MP3 can be gapless (using metadata/tags, shown with iTunes7 and new iPods), but I guess techincally it is not true gapless since the format is not gapless.

With software that is able to use the information stored in the lame header, decoding (and hence playback) can be 100% gapless.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: probedb on 2006-09-18 10:06:33
That means Lame MP3 cannot be truly gapless because of MP3 format itself. Lame MP3 can be gapless (using metadata/tags, shown with iTunes7 and new iPods), but I guess techincally it is not true gapless since the format is not gapless.


Just because the format isn't technically gapless then, as previously said, does not mean it cannot be played back gaplessly through the use of meta-data.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Cosmo on 2006-09-18 10:15:09
From the wiki:
Quote
Some compression methods such as the popular MP3 can be problematic because the MP3 standard defines no way to record the amount of padding for later removal. Even if two tracks are decompressed and merged into a single track, a gap will remain between them.

That means Lame MP3 cannot be truly gapless because of MP3 format itself. Lame MP3 can be gapless (using metadata/tags, shown with iTunes7 and new iPods), but I guess techincally it is not true gapless since the format is not gapless.

The MP3 format is not inherently gapless, that is correct. Without a decoder which accounts for encoder delay/padding, songs are not exactly the same length as the original tracks. AFAIK, this is the case with most (or all?) lossy codecs.

Quote
Even if two tracks are decompressed and merged into a single track, a gap will remain between them.
This assumes that the file is not a LAME MP3 and that the decoder does not support ''gapless decoding''. No?

Something else seems unclear in that wiki article. AFAIK, Ogg Vorbis (and AAC?) works the same way. It's just that, unlike the case of MP3, there are provisions in the original specifications for gapless metadata to be added during encoding (which is not to say that the files are encoded without padding / gaps). Or am I mistaken?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Gabriel on 2006-09-18 11:11:10
Something else seems unclear in that wiki article. AFAIK, Ogg Vorbis (and AAC?) works the same way. It's just that, unlike the case of MP3, there are provisions in the original specifications for gapless metadata to be added during encoding (which is not to say that the files are encoded without padding / gaps). Or am I mistaken?

Right. Most modern music codecs are not gapless by themselves (mp1,mp2,mp3,aac, Vorbis, mpc, wma,...). However, some of them are USUALLY found in CONTAINERS allowing to store the gapless info.
So once again, Vorbis or AAC are not more gapless than MP3.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: 0 x infinity on 2006-09-18 20:46:00
Well I found it strange tht you have gapless using Lame (VBR) and EAC.

i have tried EAC with Lame 3.97 using VBR (-v 0 --vbr-new) and in Itune I still have a little gap between my tracks of Madonna - Confession on a dance floor

I notice at the end of the track when I check the remaining time left at the end it jump from 0 to -2 and then jump to the next song an I can hear a little gap. I have also tried using CBR 256 with lame & EAC and the same gap problem.

So far the only way i get gapless is by ripping the CD directly from Itunes using (AAC-256-VBR, MP3 VBR256). Ripping the CD from Itunes just work great ! Real Gapless !

So for my gapless CD I will use Itunes with AAC (256 VBR) and for all my other CD I will still use EAC with lame v3.97 (256 VBR).


If you still want to use EAC, you can extract to individual wavs and then encode them in itunes to aac or mp3. I've been doing this and have had perfect gapless on 12 different discs.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Bonzi on 2006-09-19 01:00:38
I tested gapless on my 4G 20Gb Ipod and it does not seem to work .  Although gapless is turned on in iTunes and playback is gapless in iTunes, when these files are uploaded to the iPod they are no longer played back gaplessly.
Apple doesn't support gapless on anything but the latest iPod releases... 5G iPod and 2G nano.  I think they made that fairly clear.


Yeah, I know they said that but I thought I would try anyway.  Kinda annoying that they did this since there seems to be little reason why they couldn't other than forcing people like myself to buy new iPod sooner.  Also, it seems that the gapless tag is not added when the file is uploaded by iTunes onto my 4G.  It could be that they don't add this information into the database for iPods older than 5G.  Perhaps someone will figure out how the gapless tag works and it will be possible to give your files this tag with foo_dop.  The software on my 4G iPod may be able to playback gaplessly but without the proper information it obviously can't.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Cosmo on 2006-09-19 03:07:25
Why would Apple update the player firmware but not allow you to update the file metadata?

there seems to be little reason why they couldn't other than forcing people like myself to buy new iPod sooner.

If Apple is just being greedy, would they really expect that this (alleged) info will not surface? If anyone can prove it, it certainly would give Apple a lot of bad press. It doesn't seem very likely, but I guess it's not beyond belief.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Gabriel on 2006-09-19 06:51:39
Kinda annoying that they did this since there seems to be little reason why they couldn't other than forcing people like myself to buy new iPod sooner.  Also, it seems that the gapless tag is not added when the file is uploaded by iTunes onto my 4G.  It could be that they don't add this information into the database for iPods older than 5G.  Perhaps someone will figure out how the gapless tag works and it will be possible to give your files this tag with foo_dop.  The software on my 4G iPod may be able to playback gaplessly but without the proper information it obviously can't.

Directly using the portalPlayer chip, it might be possible that it is NOT possible to do gapless playback. Gapless playback needs you to access the audio data after decoding but before it is sent to the DAC. There are several integrated decoding/dac chips where this is just not possible.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-19 07:03:11
Directly using the portalPlayer chip, it might be possible that it is NOT possible to do gapless playback. Gapless playback needs you to access the audio data after decoding but before it is sent to the DAC. There are several integrated decoding/dac chips where this is just not possible.

But this begs the question (or reveals my ignorance?)...

If older iPods are gapless with rockbox, wouldn't that suggest that the hardware IS capable?

What do you think kincaid?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Gabriel on 2006-09-19 08:56:32
If older iPods are gapless with rockbox, wouldn't that suggest that the hardware IS capable?

No. RockBox is doing a full software decoding, thus reducing battery life. In (previous) iPods there is a chip dedicated to decoding, and this chip is not used by RockBox.

Now, in the 5G it might be possible that everything is handled on the ARM, including decoding. (but this is pure speculation from me)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: adlai on 2006-09-20 03:41:53
heh, it looks like this is the death of foobar for me

oh well, thanks for the memories foobar
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: AtaqueEG on 2006-09-20 16:54:01
I wouldn't quit foobar just yet. Somehow I think foo_dop will find a way to upload tracks to the iPod without messing with the gapless info.

And foobar does so much more things (for example, transcoding my FLACs to MP3 and making them all the same volume!)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: goodnews on 2006-09-20 17:04:19
I don't know if anyone else posted this in this thread yet, but I just got a reply on WinAmp's Discussion forum @ winamp.com that WinAmp will be supporting iTunes/iPod encoded Gapless playback (for both MP3 and AAC/M4A files) in the soon to be released version 5.25 of WinAmp. They already have the iTunes compatible Gapless supporting code added to WinAmp the devs said.

See the thread for more at: http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?s=...992#post2030992 (http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=2030992#post2030992)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-20 17:10:35
I don't know if anyone else posted this in this thread yet, but I just got a reply on WinAmp's Discussion forum @ winamp.com that WinAmp will be supporting iTunes/iPod encoded Gapless playback (for both MP3 and AAC/M4A files) in the soon to be released version 5.25 of WinAmp.

Does anyone find this somewhat ironic?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: goodnews on 2006-09-20 17:19:55
Does anyone find this somewhat ironic?

Not quite sure what you meant by this... perhaps you meant I should re-read the whole thread again. I seem to remember someone's post saying WinAmp will probably add iTunes compatible Gapless playback, but now I know for sure that WinAmp devs have definately added Gapless support for iTunes encoded files. This thread I started has sure grown into a massive one -- that's for sure -- with 216 posts and 19301 views. It's hard to read this one from scratch (let alone remember what everyone said in the posts that I previously read days ago).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-20 17:24:55
I don't know if anyone else posted this in this thread yet, but I just got a reply on WinAmp's Discussion forum @ winamp.com that WinAmp will be supporting iTunes/iPod encoded Gapless playback (for both MP3 and AAC/M4A files) in the soon to be released version 5.25 of WinAmp.

Does anyone find this somewhat ironic?

I'd say pragmatic. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Because of this, Winamp will not only play LAME MP3's gapless (which it already did) but non-LAME MP3's as well. Or practically gapless in the latter case.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-20 17:28:49
Don't take it personally goodnews, the comment wasn't directed at you.

I see no reason why Winamp (or foobar2000 for that matter) couldn't easily and quickly support the new tag data and correctly write this information to the library on the iPod.

What I find ironic is that Winamp will still not be able to support gapless playback natively.  I also doubt that Winamp will be doing any scanning for gaps in tracks like iTunes does.

Though I hope I'm wrong!

EDIT: Italics added, "gaps in" added for clarity
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: benski on 2006-09-20 17:39:17
What I find ironic is that Winamp will still not be able to support gapless playback natively.  I also doubt that Winamp will be doing any scanning for gaps in tracks like iTunes does.


Winamp has supported gapless playback natively since 5.2
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-20 17:40:50
What I find ironic is that Winamp will still not be able to support gapless playback natively.
Winamp has had native gapless support for quite a while now. It is based on the same MP3info header all serious gapless implementations (i.e. not the crossfade crap) use. It does of course only work on LAME MP3's.

Quote
I also doubt that Winamp will be doing any scanning for gaps in tracks like iTunes does.
Check this thread (http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=255561). I'm not quite sure what to make of it but it appears they do some sort of scan...

Edit: Ah, I'm sure benski can enlighten us...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: benski on 2006-09-20 17:43:45
Check this thread (http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=255561). I'm not quite sure what to make of it but it appears they do some sort of scan...


That scan is for songs already on your iPod before the upgrade.  There is no iTunes-style "guessing" scan.  We hope that Winamp users are sane enough to have been using LAME to encode their MP3s.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-20 17:47:58

Check this thread (http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=255561). I'm not quite sure what to make of it but it appears they do some sort of scan...


That scan is for songs already on your iPod before the upgrade.  There is no iTunes-style "guessing" scan.  We hope that Winamp users are sane enough to have been using LAME to encode their MP3s.

Thanks. It makes sense, especially since since the method of the 'iTunes scan' is still a huge black box as far as I know.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-20 17:49:20
I'm glad to be wrong!

Thanks guys.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: P-Bass Papa on 2006-09-20 20:17:34
I think I may have good news for those of you who haven't been able to get the promised gapless audio playback on your iPod after installing iTunes 7 and letting it go through your songs to determine gapless playback. After iTunes kept kicking my iPod off I was at a loss about what to do next. I am happy to say I got it to work today. It's a bit of a dirty way to do it, but it works!  I found this post on ipodwizard.net by Kaneda:

1. iTunes seems to say that your iPod is up to date, if there isn't an update file on your computer. I.e., it won't actually check on the internet. However, it also seems it will check for iPod updates when it checks for iTunes updates, so try to click Help/Check for Updates in the menu. Then iTunes should tell you there's an update for you iPod - download and continue...

2. Seems that iTunes somehow fails to connect to the iPod in some cases, when doing an update - like it "forgets" it's actually there. The iPod will go the menu screen (or Charging display), iTunes will keep saying "updating iPod", and after a while it will give an error 1417 or 1418, depending on whether you chose Update or Restore. What worked for me: Click Update, then when the "indeterminate progress bar" starts in iTunes, pull out the iPod from the dock and put it back in. After that forceful re-recognition of the iPod, the update started (took only 5 seconds or so to complete). Everything works. But do this at your own risk - if the iPod has actually started updating when you pull out, there's a chance you'll be in big trouble

It took my iPod a bit longer to update, but once I did, I selected "The Who Sell Out" for gapless playback and it works seamlessly. The only problem I've had is that even though iTunes spent a good hour scanning all 10K+ of my songs, it didn't turn on the feature for any of my albums. However, if I manually select an album on my iPod, it will update it and it will play gapless. This is a major PITA given the amount of songs I have, but at least many of my albums will play right!

I hope everyone has as good of luck with this I did!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: slashjunior on 2006-09-20 21:44:35
To me, this is the best update Apple has done to its iPod + iTunes line. Pretty much gives everything what everyone has been asking for plus more. I like the end of the event where Steve Jobs shows where Apple is going with iTV. Using iTunes to play music, movies, tv shows and podcasts on your computer or television or in your pocket or in your car. That is exactly what I want, to have everything on a central point (server) and control everything from there.

This is something a lot of companies don't seem to have exploited. Apple knows what the consumer wants and they do it well, to the point and simply, even though some of their products are slightly overpriced for some. However, prices are falling quite rapidly. $349 for an 80GB iPod is a bargain in my opinion, considering my 60GB photo was £320!

Still going to be sticking with foobar2000 and Video LAN Player as my music and video player respectively, but if Apple keeps these significant updates then I may be forced to go back to iTunes full-time instead of just for updating my iPod.

Speaking of iTunes. At university I was on my girlfriends computer in the halls and you could see all the people who had their music shared on the campus. Some of the music was pretty good and took my fancy. Anyone know anyway of copying their music to my computer? Or does iTunes prevent this?

Thanks.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Digisurfer on 2006-09-21 00:07:34
This news definitely has me leaning towards replacing the Rio Karma, which I bought specifically for it's gapless playback and audio quality, with an 80GB iPod. To get my entire music collection onto my Karma (the wife has one too) requires Vorbis (which has a higher impact on battery life than mp3 or wma) at 80kbps or lower, and this is obviously starting to become a problem. Even she has started to notice that some songs sound odd, and she's not into encoding, bitrates, or any of that stuff at all. Would be nice if AAC-HE support was added too, particularly in light of that recent 64kbps test, though with 80GB I guess it wouldn't be a priority for us for quite a while. That is unless we start using video a lot, which I could see happening. Sure am glad we've held off on the whole iPod craze for as long as we have actually, because it's sure going to be nice to get one at this point now that the product has matured so much. That and the fact that iPod's have so much third party support are truly making it hard to resist any longer.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-21 15:10:30
So would I be correct in summarizing this thread to the following?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-21 16:24:20
  • Codecs known not to work include Nero AAC and virtually all other MP3 codecs.

They still will be perceptually/near gapless. Nero AAC native gapless info is not used and non-LAME MP3 have no native gapless info. However, they will sound practically gapless because iTunes uses its own 'magic scanning routine' with surprisingly good results.

'Not work' is a bit too harsh.

Quote
Music file uploads must occur through iTunes for gapless playback to be preserved on the iPod. (foo_dop in particular does not work yet.)

The next version of Winamp (5.25) is supposed to support 'gapless uploads' to iPods.


Good summary by the way! I was thinking of doing something like this but you seem to have covered it well, apart from my two minor comments.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-09-21 17:13:54
I'm going to make a new post with the summary, with the hopes that the mods will sticky it.

EDIT: New thread. (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48593)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: davechapman on 2006-09-21 23:25:48

If older iPods are gapless with rockbox, wouldn't that suggest that the hardware IS capable?

No. RockBox is doing a full software decoding, thus reducing battery life. In (previous) iPods there is a chip dedicated to decoding, and this chip is not used by RockBox.


Yes, Rockbox is doing a full software decoding, but so is the Apple firmware - none of the ipods have a dedicated audio decoding chip.  They all just contain a simple DAC which is fed PCM data via i2s from the CPU.

If you want more info on the hardware in the ipods, the ipodlinux wiki has a nice breakdown of every ipod going back to the first generation devices, as well as links to documentation describing the functionality of those chips:

http://ipodlinux.org/Generations (http://ipodlinux.org/Generations)

Rockbox's poor power management (we have almost no hardware documentation to help us) and relatively unoptimised code (ARM CPUs are a new target for Rockbox) are the main reasons for the reduced battery life compared to Apple's firmware. 

On other players (e.g. iriver H120/40, H320/40), Rockbox uses less power than the manufacturer's original firmware, and still manages gapless playback.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-09-21 23:35:19
So would I be correct in summarizing this thread to the following?
  • iPod 5G and Nano support gapless playback. 4G may or may not depending on who you talk to. 3G and below, and Mini, do not.
  • Codecs known to work include, at least: iTunes AAC, iTunes ALAC, LAME MP3.
  • Codecs known not to work include Nero AAC and virtually all other MP3 codecs.
  • If your configuration does not support gapless playback for whatever reason, you will perceive a very small gap (on the order of tens of milliseconds) between tracks.
  • Music file uploads must occur through iTunes for gapless playback to be preserved on the iPod. (foo_dop in particular does not work yet.)
  • The Gapless flag on each track in iTunes does not have anything to do with iPod gapless support; it is a way to short-circuit crossfade playback in iTunes.


Great summary, but I disagree about other mp3 codecs "don't work". I have many old mp3's done with the Fhg codec from MusicMatch 7.5 and I at least perceive these as Gapless from listening (through headphones trying to locate any gap and even watching the ipod for timing). So I'd say gapless "works" on these mp3's.  I admit I haven't tested in any technical way to establish this, just the listening....
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: jagwap on 2006-09-22 11:51:04
I'm using windows media player 11 beta (and happy enough) but due to nasty gaps it puts on any burns I use itunes to convert wma lossless to wav etc...

For compelations I just use WMP as I don't mind the gaps then.

Most annoyed when installing itunes 7 and all it's glorious gapless newness, it seems to have knocked out wmp's ability to see my CD-R/DVD-R drive as anything but a playback device.

I upgraded to wmp 11 beta2 hoping that may reset stuff...

Any ideas?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Gabriel on 2006-09-22 13:09:01
Yes, Rockbox is doing a full software decoding, but so is the Apple firmware - none of the ipods have a dedicated audio decoding chip.  They all just contain a simple DAC which is fed PCM data via i2s from the CPU.

If you want more info on the hardware in the ipods, the ipodlinux wiki has a nice breakdown of every ipod going back to the first generation devices, as well as links to documentation describing the functionality of those chips:

http://ipodlinux.org/Generations (http://ipodlinux.org/Generations)


Thanks for correction.
So if Portal Player's chips are only a pair of ARMs with some I/O and controllers, obviously Apple could provide gapless support to older iPods.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-22 17:31:48
I'm using windows media player 11 beta (and happy enough) but due to nasty gaps it puts on any burns I use itunes to convert wma lossless to wav etc...

For compelations I just use WMP as I don't mind the gaps then.

Most annoyed when installing itunes 7 and all it's glorious gapless newness, it seems to have knocked out wmp's ability to see my CD-R/DVD-R drive as anything but a playback device.

I upgraded to wmp 11 beta2 hoping that may reset stuff...

What does any of this have to do with gapless playback in iPods?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Steve999 on 2006-09-24 18:44:41
I love the new Itunes 7.0.  However, I've tried everything with my 4g 40 gb ipod photo, and I don't get gapless on the ipod.  I use MP3s exclusively.  I ripped Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon with Itunes 7 (MP3-VBR), made sure my ipod was as up to date as possible, marked the tracks as part of a gapless album, and still don't get gapless.

Gapless works fine on the computer.  Very nice.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: spoon on 2006-09-24 20:15:43
You need a 5G ipod.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: tycho on 2006-09-24 22:32:52
Quote
Codecs known not to work include Nero AAC
[/size]
@ivan or @menno: will this be addressed?

This news definitely has me leaning towards replacing the Rio Karma, which I bought specifically for it's gapless playback and audio quality, with an 80GB iPod. To get my entire music collection onto my Karma (the wife has one too) requires Vorbis (which has a higher impact on battery life than mp3 or wma) at 80kbps or lower, and this is obviously starting to become a problem. Even she has started to notice that some songs sound odd, and she's not into encoding, bitrates, or any of that stuff at all. Would be nice if AAC-HE support was added too, particularly in light of that recent 64kbps test, though with 80GB I guess it wouldn't be a priority for us for quite a while. That is unless we start using video a lot, which I could see happening. Sure am glad we've held off on the whole iPod craze for as long as we have actually, because it's sure going to be nice to get one at this point now that the product has matured so much. That and the fact that iPod's have so much third party support are truly making it hard to resist any longer.
[/size]
Having always disliked the iPod concept, I still found myself inside the local apple store yesterday, buying the black 8GB Nano. After trying it, all initial regrets were gone.

Personally, I would think twice before buying the 80GB iPod. Compared to the nano, it's bulky and heavy, has a mechanical HD, and battery capacity is 14 vs. 24 hours. (My main use is for running). Yes you can put your complete CD collection on it as lossy compressed files,  but you'll still need a lossless backup. I find it more convenient to get the 8GB Nano and a 250GB external HD for lossless files. Together it's less than $349, which is what you'd pay for the 80GB ipod. You can put your favorite 200 albums on the nano, while having the lossless backup elsewhere.

Would you really watch many full movies and TV shows on such a tiny screen? I know I wouldn't.  The nano can do photo slideshows of my 8 months old kid. That's good enough for me.

PS: iTunes is basically a nice piece of software, but it need to be optimized. E.g. I simply can't stand that *two* memory hogging processes (iPodService.exe and iTunesHelper.exe) are running at all times (even when iTunes is closed). Too bad. Will have to wait for Winamp 5.25.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Turok on 2006-09-26 00:01:47
Sorry for the second time I ask, but does anyone know if the stuttering problem (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33495) is still a problem!? Or is there a new firmware version available for mini 2g?
I can't test it myself at this time, but it's the most important thing for me. And yes, I think it's more important than gapless playback.  10-15% of my songs are stuttering - what a disaster.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-26 00:07:57
Personally, I would think twice before buying the 80GB iPod.
<snip>
Would you really watch many full movies and TV shows on such a tiny screen? I know I wouldn't.


This is a little OT -- but I watched entire season of "Battlestar Galactica" on my iPod.  Or better said, VIA my iPod on a 25" TV screen.  The video out capabilities of the 80gb unit are nothing to be sneezed at... it does automatic PAL/NTSC conversion on the fly, too. 

Not that your stated reasons for preferring the Nano aren't perfectly reasonable, esp. if you're a runner...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-26 00:18:13
Sorry for the second time I ask, but does anyone know if the stuttering problem (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33495) is still a problem!? Or is there a new firmware version available for mini 2g?
I can't test it myself at this time, but it's the most important thing for me. And yes, I think it's more important than gapless playback.  10-15% of my songs are stuttering - what a disaster.
Way off topic, but Apple will probably never fix this.  It was fixed on nano (1G) earlier this year, but it was still a "current" product at that time.  mini (of any generation) is long retired.  Apple can prove me wrong, of course.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: chrisgeleven on 2006-09-26 02:10:47
The shuttering issue has definitely been fixed with the last 2 versions of the Nano firmware.

However, us Mini owners are apparently left behind.

I am seriously considering getting a 2G Nano though. Gapless playback, no shuttering issues, and the ability to use this while running really have me interested to say the least.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-26 03:27:36
  • Codecs known to work include, at least: iTunes AAC, iTunes ALAC, LAME MP3.

I tried iTunes7's MP3 encoder, 128kbps VBR highest quality, and it's gapless. However, the encoded MP3s are not gapless with foobar.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-26 04:36:11
  • Codecs known to work include, at least: iTunes AAC, iTunes ALAC, LAME MP3.

I tried iTunes7's MP3 encoder, 128kbps VBR highest quality, and it's gapless. However, the encoded MP3s are not gapless with foobar.


Lame's the only encoder that can produce true gapless MP3 files for foobar.  That iPods can play non-Lame MP3s gaplessly is pretty cool in and of itself.

That being said, iTunes' native MP3 encoder is still crap (esp. in VBR mode):
http://www.rjamorim.com/test/mp3-128/results.html (http://www.rjamorim.com/test/mp3-128/results.html)

So just because it can play back gaplessly on iPod doesn't mean one should do so
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: pika2000 on 2006-09-26 05:01:15
That being said, iTunes' native MP3 encoder is still crap (esp. in VBR mode):
http://www.rjamorim.com/test/mp3-128/results.html (http://www.rjamorim.com/test/mp3-128/results.html)

So just because it can play back gaplessly on iPod doesn't mean one should do so

That was done in 2004. We're in 2006. That test used iTunes4.2, we're at version 7 now. Any ABX comparison between both versions? How do you know iTunes7's MP3 encoder is "still crap"? Is quoting old listening tests the acceptable TOS now in HA?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-26 05:25:33

That being said, iTunes' native MP3 encoder is still crap (esp. in VBR mode):
http://www.rjamorim.com/test/mp3-128/results.html (http://www.rjamorim.com/test/mp3-128/results.html)

So just because it can play back gaplessly on iPod doesn't mean one should do so

That was done in 2004. We're in 2006. That test used iTunes4.2, we're at version 7 now. Any ABX comparison between both versions? How do you know iTunes7's MP3 encoder is "still crap"? Is quoting old listening tests the acceptable TOS now in HA?


Do you know of any more recent tests?  If iTunes has improved its MP3 encoder since then, then I stand corrected.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-26 07:22:23
It should be pointed out which bitrate was used for that test:
Quote
Apple iTunes 4.2 MP3 112kbps VBR, Highest quality, joint stereo, smart encoding

Sebastian Mares is planning on giving the codec a more fair shake this time around.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-26 13:03:42
It should be pointed out which bitrate was used for that test:
Quote
Apple iTunes 4.2 MP3 112kbps VBR, Highest quality, joint stereo, smart encoding

Sebastian Mares is planning on giving the codec a more fair shake this time around.


Ok, my bad -- I took conventional wisdom as fact.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: tycho on 2006-09-26 17:15:57
Just a note for people thinking about getting one of the new iPods. Although they play perfectly gapless with Lame VBR encoded material, at least in the Nano, there is a firmware bug (v1.0.1) which makes it impossble to search within long tracks (more than 5-6 minutes). E.g to get to the end of the the first track in 'Wish You Were Here' (13:30 mins), can only be done by playing through it. Hopefully Apple will fix it in the next firmware update, but I guess mp3 VBR isn't their number one priority. Read more about it here (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2015761,00.asp).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Rochey on 2006-09-27 18:43:54
I've just split an mp3/cue with pcutmp3 and found that it plays gapless in foobar2k but not on itunes 7 or the ipod 5G 80gb.

My understanding is that both itunes 7 (ipod)  and foobar2k use the lame tag for the gapless info, so why is it gapless in foobar2k and not on the Ipod (itunes 7)?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: tycho on 2006-09-27 19:57:00
I've just split an mp3/cue with pcutmp3 and found that it plays gapless in foobar2k but not on itunes 7 or the ipod 5G 80gb.

My understanding is that both itunes 7 (ipod)  and foobar2k use the lame tag for the gapless info, so why is it gapless in foobar2k and not on the Ipod (itunes 7)?

Only SebastianG is able to tell if the lame tags with the gapless info is written exactly as lame does it itself, but if Foobar2k works, in theory iTunes should get it right too.

Are you sure iTunes "searched for gapless info" before it transfered files to your ipod?

You may also try to retransfer them with the new Winamp 5.30. Make sure to go to the preferences in the Portable -> iPod -> Advanced, and scan for gapless info there before transfering.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: benski on 2006-09-27 20:13:23
You may also try to retransfer them with the new Winamp 5.30. Make sure to go to the preferences in the Portable -> iPod -> Advanced, and scan for gapless info there before transfering.

This is only necessary for old files already on the ipod.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Rochey on 2006-09-27 21:22:57
Just been playing some more and found that the first track that I cut with pcutmp3 is gapless to the second on both itunes and the ipod but the next 3 or 4 I tried had a slight gap, strange?!

Can I upload the album to my ipod using winamp 5.3 and not disturb any of the itunes info as I'd hate to upload my library again?
Also does winamp deal with the gapless differently to itunes?

cheers

Rochey
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: benski on 2006-09-27 22:09:17
Can I upload the album to my ipod using winamp 5.3 and not disturb any of the itunes info as I'd hate to upload my library again?
Also does winamp deal with the gapless differently to itunes?


You can use the same ipod with both Winamp and iTunes.  However, it's probably best to use only one or the other (or else back up your itunesdb file often
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-09-27 22:25:52
iTunes 7.0.1 is released.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Rochey on 2006-09-28 00:19:45
It's really starting to frustrate me now.

All the cd's that I rip manually using EAC and Lame 3.96.1 all appear to be gapless on both my ipod 5G 80gb and itunes 7. This is great.

I have got a couple of continuous mp3's which I have split using the .cue file and pcutmp3. Now when I play these newly split mp3's in itunes SOMETIMES they are gapless and other times they are not (it seems totally inconsistant). And then on top of that the Ipod NEVER seems to be gapless on these newly made mp3's!!! How frustrating!!!

It's great that the Ipod has gapless and now that it does I want all my mp3's to work. Maybe I'm asking too much.

I haven't tried using winamp 5.3 as I don't want to have to re-download all my mp3's, although I will test if anyone thinks that winamp does the gapless differently.

If anyone can help it would be greatly apprieciated.

Also another route I was thinking is mounting the mp3 and cue as an image and ripping it using EAC but I don't think that there is anything out there that supports this. If anyone has heard of any tool that does this then please let me know.

I look forward to the replys.

Rochey
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: benski on 2006-09-28 00:22:14
I have got a couple of continuous mp3's which I have split using the .cue file and pcutmp3. Now when I play these newly split mp3's in itunes SOMETIMES they are gapless and other times they are not (it seems totally inconsistant). And then on top of that the Ipod NEVER seems to be gapless on these newly made mp3's!!! How frustrating!!!


I'm not familiar with pcutmp3.  Does it write a new Xing/LAME header at the beginning of the files it creates?  If it does, are the padding values that it writes accurate?  Do the pcutmp3-generated files play gapless in a Winamp or foobar?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: krazy on 2006-09-28 02:15:43
[complete guess mode]

All the files I have split using pcutmp3 work great in foobar (I don't have an ipod). However, they do have very large values of <ENC_DELAY> and <ENC_PADDING>. Much larger than files generated by normal CD rips (eg. 2856/1440 vs. 576/1380).

Could it be that itunes/ipod can't handle such large values? (As Sebastian mentions (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=35654), fb2k 0.8.3 doesn't)

[/complete guess mode]
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-28 05:38:49
Ok, I've had some weird luck with LAME files and gapless in the new iTunes 7/iPod firmware 1.2 combo. 

CD: Brian Wilson "Smile"
Problematic track transition: 07 Wonderful / 08 Song for Children

With straight-up lame -V 4 --vbr-new encode, the iPod cuts maybe 100 milliseconds off the end of track 7 or the beginning off of track 8 and the rhythm is messed up as a result.

lame -V 4 --vbr-new --nogap encode, the transition is a little smoother, but the rhythm is still wrong.  I did run the resulting files through vbrfix to get the reported track lengths corrected.

lame -V 4 --vbr-new --nogaptags --nogap encode: PERFECT transition.  (re: --nogaptags -- I got in the habit of encoding with this along with --nogap with an old Archos Jukebox using Rockbox as per their wiki for Archos machines. I've been told it's wrong to use it. And yet it works...)

Pretty much any other gapless CD I have in LAME on my hard drive was encoded using --nogaptags --nogap as the extra parameters but work perfectly gaplessly.  I've been recently told that LAME is supposed to be gapless by nature and that --nogap is redundant and --nogaptags is definitely not useful.  Any idea why I've had this experience?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Gabriel on 2006-09-28 08:41:10
--nogap is a kludge that assume a specific behaviour of the decoder/player.
If you stop using --nogap, you'll have proper gapless decoding in Fb2k/Winamp/iTunes.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-28 14:28:14
--nogap is a kludge that assume a specific behaviour of the decoder/player.
If you stop using --nogap, you'll have proper gapless decoding in Fb2k/Winamp/iTunes.


Right, that's what I've been told -- but like I said, I did a "normal" encode without --nogap and did *not* have proper gapless decoding in the iPod.  I ripped the CD to .WAV using EAC and encoded using RazorLame with Lame 3.97 using -V 4 --vbr-new and did not have a smooth gapless transition between the two tracks on the iPod.

Edit: I should point out that I did have perfect gapless playback with those same files (the ones encoded without --nogap) in foobar and iTunes, just not on the iPod.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ExUser on 2006-09-28 16:34:33
My own, revised findings are that LAME MP3 usually works. Every once in a while, my iPod screws up a transition. I'll go back and try it again and get gapless playback. I think there are still some sizable bugs in gapless. pcutmp3 mp3s don't work consistently either, despite having proper LAME headers with all the required info.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: maggior on 2006-09-28 17:14:53
Right, that's what I've been told -- but like I said, I did a "normal" encode without --nogap and did *not* have proper gapless decoding in the iPod.  I ripped the CD to .WAV using EAC and encoded using RazorLame with Lame 3.97 using -V 4 --vbr-new and did not have a smooth gapless transition between the two tracks on the iPod.


I'm new to this (to LAME that is, not digital audio in general) so my suggestions/comments may be obvious.  If they are, I apologize.

My understanding is that when you encode tracks to be gapless, they must all be specified on the command line of LAME at the same time.  Utilities that only place one file at a time on the command line will not result in gapless files.  I think RazorLame puts only a single file on the command line at a time.

The only frontend that I've seen that allows for this is ALL2LAME.  There is a check box for gapless and you need to set "dividers" between albums by clicking a button.  This causes the files grouped together as albums to all be put on the command line of LAME together.

Perhaps this will help you out.

Rich
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-28 18:21:52


Right, that's what I've been told -- but like I said, I did a "normal" encode without --nogap and did *not* have proper gapless decoding in the iPod.  I ripped the CD to .WAV using EAC and encoded using RazorLame with Lame 3.97 using -V 4 --vbr-new and did not have a smooth gapless transition between the two tracks on the iPod.


I'm new to this (to LAME that is, not digital audio in general) so my suggestions/comments may be obvious.  If they are, I apologize.

My understanding is that when you encode tracks to be gapless, they must all be specified on the command line of LAME at the same time.  Utilities that only place one file at a time on the command line will not result in gapless files.  I think RazorLame puts only a single file on the command line at a time.

The only frontend that I've seen that allows for this is ALL2LAME.  There is a check box for gapless and you need to set "dividers" between albums by clicking a button.  This causes the files grouped together as albums to all be put on the command line of LAME together.

Perhaps this will help you out.

Rich


Thanks... actually, I used ALL2LAME for the two "gapless" encodes.  As I understand it, checking the "No Gap" box in ALL2LAME simply puts in the --nogap command while encoding. 

The first time I encoded using ALL2LAME, I used "-V 4 --vbr-new" and clicked the "No Gap" box.  Resulting files have a faulty transition *every time* on the iPod (although less faulty than when I used Razorlame). 

The second time, I used "-V 4 --vbr-new --nogaptags" and clicked on "No Gap."  The resulting files have a perfect transition every time.

(As a side note, encoding the same files with iTunes AAC is perfect every time.)

It may be that for whatever reason, iTunes' gapless scanning can be occasionally buggy.

My own, revised findings are that LAME MP3 usually works. Every once in a while, my iPod screws up a transition. I'll go back and try it again and get gapless playback. I think there are still some sizable bugs in gapless. pcutmp3 mp3s don't work consistently either, despite having proper LAME headers with all the required info.


I think so, too, about the bugs in gapless playback.  I have been finding AAC gapless pretty flawless.  But I've had that same experience you had, too, where going back made it work correctly.  Those two Brian Wilson tracks I mentioned in my earlier post are the first ones I've had be consistently bad.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-09-28 18:29:40



Right, that's what I've been told -- but like I said, I did a "normal" encode without --nogap and did *not* have proper gapless decoding in the iPod.  I ripped the CD to .WAV using EAC and encoded using RazorLame with Lame 3.97 using -V 4 --vbr-new and did not have a smooth gapless transition between the two tracks on the iPod.


I'm new to this (to LAME that is, not digital audio in general) so my suggestions/comments may be obvious.  If they are, I apologize.

My understanding is that when you encode tracks to be gapless, they must all be specified on the command line of LAME at the same time.  Utilities that only place one file at a time on the command line will not result in gapless files.  I think RazorLame puts only a single file on the command line at a time.

The only frontend that I've seen that allows for this is ALL2LAME.  There is a check box for gapless and you need to set "dividers" between albums by clicking a button.  This causes the files grouped together as albums to all be put on the command line of LAME together.

Perhaps this will help you out.

Rich


Thanks... actually, I used ALL2LAME for the two "gapless" encodes.  As I understand it, checking the "No Gap" box in ALL2LAME simply puts in the --nogap command while encoding. 

The first time I encoded using ALL2LAME, I used "-V 4 --vbr-new" and clicked the "No Gap" box.  Resulting files have a faulty transition *every time* on the iPod (although less faulty than when I used Razorlame). 

The second time, I used "-V 4 --vbr-new --nogaptags" and clicked on "No Gap."  The resulting files have a perfect transition every time.

(As a side note, encoding the same files with iTunes AAC is perfect every time.)

It may be that for whatever reason, iTunes' gapless scanning can be occasionally buggy.

My own, revised findings are that LAME MP3 usually works. Every once in a while, my iPod screws up a transition. I'll go back and try it again and get gapless playback. I think there are still some sizable bugs in gapless. pcutmp3 mp3s don't work consistently either, despite having proper LAME headers with all the required info.


I think so, too, about the bugs in gapless playback.  I have been finding AAC gapless pretty flawless.  But I've had that same experience you had, too, where going back made it work correctly.  Those two Brian Wilson tracks I mentioned in my earlier post are the first ones I've had be consistently bad.


One of the issues I've noticed with gapless on IPOD itself is that it often doesn't work if you fast forward through a song to get close to the end to "check" for gapless. The very act of moving through the song seems to throw things off. I've listed to many gapless on the IPOD over the last few days (lots of live concerts) and it seems to work perfectly with lame and old fhg CBR files so long as I play the song all the way through. Probably a function of the cache, etc. within the ipod itself.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: michael.conner on 2006-09-28 18:41:43
One of the issues I've noticed with gapless on IPOD itself is that it often doesn't work if you fast forward through a song to get close to the end to "check" for gapless. The very act of moving through the song seems to throw things off. I've listed to many gapless on the IPOD over the last few days (lots of live concerts) and it seems to work perfectly with lame and old fhg CBR files so long as I play the song all the way through. Probably a function of the cache, etc. within the ipod itself.


AHA!  I just tried the two "bad" files again, just let them go all the way through -- perfect gapless.  Thanks!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-28 18:51:51
My understanding is that when you encode tracks to be gapless, they must all be specified on the command line of LAME at the same time.  Utilities that only place one file at a time on the command line will not result in gapless files.
I'm just about 100% certain this is not true.  I believe that as of Lame 3.90.3, gapless information is placed in the lame header by default.  My tracks are gapless in foobar2000, Winamp and iTunes7 and I have done nothing special to my Lame command line.

EDIT: Going out on a limb and striking my uncertainty...
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-09-28 19:16:31
there is a firmware bug (v1.0.1) which makes it impossble to search within long tracks (more than 5-6 minutes)
2G nano 1.0.2. firmware should fix that.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-09-28 20:07:45
there is a firmware bug (v1.0.1) which makes it impossble to search within long tracks (more than 5-6 minutes)
2G nano 1.0.2. firmware should fix that.


The issue I raised before about "playing song all the way through" to insure gapless works is true on my 5G 60GB ipod with most current 1.2 update. The issue is not the ability to search long tracks, but the way it sometimes (not always) throws off the gapless transition.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: maggior on 2006-09-28 20:21:23
My understanding is that when you encode tracks to be gapless, they must all be specified on the command line of LAME at the same time.  Utilities that only place one file at a time on the command line will not result in gapless files.

I'm just about 100% certain this is not true.  I believe that as of Lame 3.90.3, gapless information is placed in the lame header by default.  My tracks are gapless in foobar2000, Winamp and iTunes7 and I have done nothing special to my Lame command line.


This is probably straying off topic, but it is still regarding gapless and playback on iPod.  I'll be moving to using an iPod with files encoded with LAME and I want to make sure I'm doing this correctly before I go nuts encoding all of my music.

Can somebody verify with 100% certainty that it is NOT necessary to put all files of a gapless album on the command line of LAME when encoding?  Anything that I've read indicates that you have to, but I'm new to LAME, so I may have missed something.  I know that --nogap is no longer required, but I'm not sure about the files on the command line issue.

Thanks!!
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-28 20:25:08
I should have also mentioned that my gapless lame files are created one at a time.

EDIT: And my thinking as to why you're seeing gaps is because you are seeking within the track rather than letting it play through, which is commonly known to create problems.

EDIT #2: one at a time
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: maggior on 2006-09-28 20:27:55
Thanks... actually, I used ALL2LAME for the two "gapless" encodes.  As I understand it, checking the "No Gap" box in ALL2LAME simply puts in the --nogap command while encoding.


Actually, this also forces ALL2LAME to put the files all onto a single command line with LAME.exe.

From the ALL2LAME documentation:
"No Gap:

When "No Gap" is checked the --nogap switch is set and all filenames are put on one command line (my emphasis). Some things you should know about the --nogap switch:"
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-28 20:34:16
With foobar2000, it's quite easy to see the gapless info.

Right-click>Properties>Properties tab>General Section>Duration
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: [JAZ] on 2006-09-28 21:19:04
Complementing what has already been said:

don't use --nogap

It doesn't fix the gap problem in general.

It works like if one had cut an mp3 at a frame boundary, and not using bit reservoir on those two frames.
This doesn't remove the delay a decoder would introduce when starting to decode.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Rochey on 2006-09-28 23:53:25
Got an idea for the long mp3's with a cue sheet, don't know how feasible it is for you guys.

How about mounting the cue file in foobar2k using it to create an image via Nero 7.5 and then using EAC to rip the new tracks.

I have just done it and the whole process took about 7-10mins to do. I loaded the newly ripped tracks on itunes and they all played completely gaplessly.I haven't tried my ipod but I would assume it will also be gapless as everything that I ripped using EAC has been gapless.

The only downside to this is audio quality but still it's a possible workaround for the long mp3's that we want to split.

Could someone explain the loss of audio quality through this process to me? If the loss of audio is only negligable then I think that I will start to split my long mp3's this way.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-09-29 00:18:00
Can somebody verify with 100% certainty that it is NOT necessary to put all files of a gapless album on the command line of LAME when encoding?  Anything that I've read indicates that you have to, but I'm new to LAME, so I may have missed something.  I know that --nogap is no longer required, but I'm not sure about the files on the command line issue.

Thanks!!

What I can say is:
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: tycho on 2006-09-29 08:46:03

there is a firmware bug (v1.0.1) which makes it impossble to search within long tracks (more than 5-6 minutes)
2G nano 1.0.2. firmware should fix that.


The issue I raised before about "playing song all the way through" to insure gapless works is true on my 5G 60GB ipod with most current 1.2 update. The issue is not the ability to search long tracks, but the way it sometimes (not always) throws off the gapless transition.


With the firmware 1.0.2 on my 2G nano, it all seems to work flawlessly. I've been through 7 of my Pink Floyd albums, where most tracks have gapless transitions. No problem when I scroll to the end of the songs for checking gapless-ness.

I rip as tracks with lame -V4 --vbr-new, and tag with both id3v1 and id3v2. Also APE tags are added if I do mp3gain after encoding - none of the tags have affected the gapless playback.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-09-29 12:39:31


there is a firmware bug (v1.0.1) which makes it impossble to search within long tracks (more than 5-6 minutes)
2G nano 1.0.2. firmware should fix that.


The issue I raised before about "playing song all the way through" to insure gapless works is true on my 5G 60GB ipod with most current 1.2 update. The issue is not the ability to search long tracks, but the way it sometimes (not always) throws off the gapless transition.


With the firmware 1.0.2 on my 2G nano, it all seems to work flawlessly. I've been through 7 of my Pink Floyd albums, where most tracks have gapless transitions. No problem when I scroll to the end of the songs for checking gapless-ness.

I rip as tracks with lame -V4 --vbr-new, and tag with both id3v1 and id3v2. Also APE tags are added if I do mp3gain after encoding - none of the tags have affected the gapless playback.


I suspect the difference between your experience with the nano and mine with the 5G is that the 5G is a harddrive based system.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Chungalin on 2006-10-13 01:00:55
Looks like the key of gapless playing in iPod is the "iTunSMPB" comment tag. The 4th hex value (64bits) is the real sample count, that is always less than the physical sample count encoded in the MP3 file. Somehow, with the other two values it defines a "window" inside the file in order to avoid the boundary conditions. Furthermore, seems that this 64 bit value is always multiple of 588, the number of samples contained in a CD frame or sector.

Another interesting comment tag is "iTunes_CDDB_1", contaninig the original CD TOC info in this order:
- CDDB ID
- Leadout sector LBA address
- Number of tracks
- For each track: starting track sector LBA address

This info can be very useful to reconstruct the source CD TOC so it generates the same CDDB ID after burning.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Jojo on 2006-10-14 00:12:56
I just noticed that the iPod does not read the lame header (or has problems with too high enc_delay), because songs cut with pcutmp3 don't start where they are supposed to start. bummer
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-10-14 01:28:28
Just because it as problems with tracks split with pcutmp3 does not mean that it does not read the lame header.  It's already been verified by several people that lame playback is indeed truly gapless.

How can this be if it doesn't read the lame header?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Fuchal on 2006-10-14 01:33:57
On my 5G 60GB iPod, I mostly play LAME mp3 tracks, and they have played back gapless.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: krazy on 2006-10-14 07:44:05
I just noticed that the iPod does not read the lame header (or has problems with too high enc_delay), because songs cut with pcutmp3 don't start where they are supposed to start. bummer

It appears to be a bug in itunes. A discussion of similar problems (with fb2k 0.8.3) is in the pcutmp3 thread. http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=35654 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=35654)

I guess that if musicmusic adds support for writing gapless data to the ipod database in foo_dop, pcutmp3 files could be added with the correct length?
Discussion here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=432119 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=45160&view=findpost&p=432119)
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: ezra2323 on 2006-10-16 00:12:12
Based on everyone's observations, we know both iTunes AAC and LAME MP3 play glapless. Does anyone know about Fraunhofer MP3?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: garym on 2006-10-16 04:46:15
Based on everyone's observations, we know both iTunes AAC and LAME MP3 play glapless. Does anyone know about Fraunhofer MP3?


I have many fraunhofer mp3s that now play gaplessly on itunes and the ipod itself (5G).  Coded with the codec in MMJB 7.5.  For example, live concerts play with no gap and things like side 2 of Abbey Road play gapless.  So, on my end the Fraunhofer mp3's work gaplessly.

Interestingly enough (as I've posted elsewhere with no responses), the fraunhofer mp3's do not play perfectly gaplessly on fb2k or winamp. My conjecture is virtually all these fraunhofer files have slight variations in time as reported by "verify integrity" within fb2k. These are all CBR 192, and the reported time error is tiny. Itunes plays fine gaplessly on these files. I suspect that the ITUNES scanning of the files for gapless info somehow stores the needed info in the itunes library. So they work gaplessly in itunes/ipod. But since they are not LAME encoded, and for some strange reason all have incorrect time errors (note I'm talking about 20,000 files here), fb2k and winamp doesn't deal with the gaps. What happens is that I get a very, very small hiccup as it moves from one song to another...that is "almost" gapless but not quite. I do NOT get this on the same songs in ITUNES. 

On songs that I've encoded with LAME (last 3 years of stuff), I get gapless on itunes/ipod and fb2k and winamp. So it is definitely something with the fraunhoffer files.  Any thoughts on why all 20,000 of these files get time difference warnings from "verify integrity" within fb2k???
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: grommet on 2006-10-16 07:50:04
garym, iTunes 7 has some (currently undocumented) logic to eliminate the gaps on content that isn't gapless by design.  That's part of the "magic" it does when evaluating your content for gapless playback.  In your case, iTunes seems to do a very good job at gap elimination for FhG MP3 content... just like pre-existing iTunes MP3 and AAC encodes.

foobar2000 only supports "true" gapless MP3, using the additional LAME header info.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kwanbis on 2006-10-18 04:46:15
iTunes just told me that firmware 1.3 for my nano was available

iPod Software 1.3 for iPod nano

• Support for additional Nike + iPod voice kits

• Bug fixes
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: shifuimam on 2006-10-20 18:48:35
hey all - I hope this hasn't been 100% covered yet (I don't have enough time in a day to look through all 12 pages of this thread...sorry!)

I've got a 60GB Photo running the latest firmware. I enabled gapless on some tracks in iTunes, but they're MP3s (not AAC or MP4), and I have no idea what encoder was used for them.

My understanding is that gapless will NOT work on MP3s that were not encoded using iTunes, correct?

That's how it would appear at this point. I'm testing with some techno albums, and there's a definite gap between tracks.

I'm starting to think my only option is to re-encode everything in iTunes...which would take awhile considering I'm up to 40GB of music.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Sebastian Mares on 2006-10-20 21:53:52
I think LAME MP3s also work, but I am not 100% sure since I use AAC only.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-10-20 22:03:22
I'd choose either iTunes AAC encoder or LAME MP3 encoder. Both are native gapless in iTunes. You could use iTunes MP3 encoder but is has no benefit whatsoever over LAME while its quality is generally considered lower than LAME.

Mind you, gapless should even work rather well on MP3's not made by iTunes or LAME although it's not as perfect as the genuine stuff.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: greynol on 2006-10-20 22:27:48
This thread is well worth looking over.  This stuff has already been covered in graat detail.  Even someone from Apple has taken the time to contribute.

Otherwise it's only going to get longer with people asking the same questions over and over because they'd rather do this than make any kind of effort.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Axon on 2006-10-20 23:57:12
I was working on a summary thread. (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48593&hl=) Sticky, anybody?
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kritip on 2006-11-01 23:19:20
Haven't tested yet or noticed any previous mention but i just got a 1.3 update for my older nano, "bug fixes", lets hope its gapless 
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2006-11-02 02:06:13
hey all - I hope this hasn't been 100% covered yet (I don't have enough time in a day to look through all 12 pages of this thread...sorry!)

I've got a 60GB Photo running the latest firmware. I enabled gapless on some tracks in iTunes, but they're MP3s (not AAC or MP4), and I have no idea what encoder was used for them.

My understanding is that gapless will NOT work on MP3s that were not encoded using iTunes, correct?

That's how it would appear at this point. I'm testing with some techno albums, and there's a definite gap between tracks.

I'm starting to think my only option is to re-encode everything in iTunes...which would take awhile considering I'm up to 40GB of music.


This is NOT true.  iTunes is pretty much able to play any properly encoded mp3 or AAC file gaplessly.  There were some initial problems with Nero AAC files but I think that has been fixed.  I currently have iTunes 7.0.2 and a older 5G iPod model with the latest firmware.  Most of my library is encoded with Lame 3.97 (final) at -V 2 --vbr-new and all of my Lame 3.97 files playback gaplessly.  I have some older iTunes AAC content, Nero AAC, FhG mp3s, and mp3s made from older versions of Lame.  I have yet to come across a file that didn't playback gaplessly.  If you are having issues with your music not playing back gaplessly, then the mp3s might be corrupt or you need to download the new version of iTunes released a couple of days ago.  Make sure to go to itunes.com as the iTunes update module currently does not detect iTunes 7.0.2.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: singaiya on 2006-11-02 03:19:59
Kornchild,
In this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=49539&view=findpost&p=443593), you say that Nero AAC seems gapless since itunes 7.0.1. This isn't true on the one live album I tested with (using 7.0.1.8). It may seem gapless if you're not paying attention, but a small gap is definitely still present; I checked against foobar 0.8.3 behavior of the same Nero AAC files.

Haven't tried with 7.0.2, but I'm not going to do the full download just to find out.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: me7 on 2006-11-02 08:56:17
Kornchild,
In this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=49539&view=findpost&p=443593), you say that Nero AAC seems gapless since itunes 7.0.1. This isn't true on the one live album I tested with (using 7.0.1.8). It may seem gapless if you're not paying attention, but a small gap is definitely still present; I checked against foobar 0.8.3 behavior of the same Nero AAC files.

Haven't tried with 7.0.2, but I'm not going to do the full download just to find out.


I tried it, still not gapless with Nero AAC. I guess it will never be to help promote their own AAC encoder.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: tycho on 2006-11-02 09:40:53

Kornchild,
In this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=49539&view=findpost&p=443593), you say that Nero AAC seems gapless since itunes 7.0.1. This isn't true on the one live album I tested with (using 7.0.1.8). It may seem gapless if you're not paying attention, but a small gap is definitely still present; I checked against foobar 0.8.3 behavior of the same Nero AAC files.

Haven't tried with 7.0.2, but I'm not going to do the full download just to find out.


I tried it, still not gapless with Nero AAC. I guess it will never be to help promote their own AAC encoder.

Well, I guess Nero could make an update to their encoder and add the gapless meta info in the same format as the iTunes encoder uses, which would make them gapless compatible. That's up to Nero.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2006-11-02 12:55:32
Kornchild,
In this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=49539&view=findpost&p=443593), you say that Nero AAC seems gapless since itunes 7.0.1. This isn't true on the one live album I tested with (using 7.0.1.8). It may seem gapless if you're not paying attention, but a small gap is definitely still present; I checked against foobar 0.8.3 behavior of the same Nero AAC files.

Haven't tried with 7.0.2, but I'm not going to do the full download just to find out.


That is strange as I have 3 albums encoded with Nero's latest AAC encoder, all of them are gapless.  Sometimes, the first time I played them, there would be a very small gap.  Now, anytime I go back and play the files on my iPod or in iTunes, they playback gaplessly.  I guess the issues with Nero AAC haven't completely disappeared.  I may have to go and test some other albums (like Tool's Lateralus) using Nero's AAC encoder and iTunes 7.0.2.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: Maurits on 2006-11-02 13:36:06

Kornchild,
In this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=49539&view=findpost&p=443593), you say that Nero AAC seems gapless since itunes 7.0.1. This isn't true on the one live album I tested with (using 7.0.1.8). It may seem gapless if you're not paying attention, but a small gap is definitely still present; I checked against foobar 0.8.3 behavior of the same Nero AAC files.

Haven't tried with 7.0.2, but I'm not going to do the full download just to find out.


That is strange as I have 3 albums encoded with Nero's latest AAC encoder, all of them are gapless.  Sometimes, the first time I played them, there would be a very small gap.  Now, anytime I go back and play the files on my iPod or in iTunes, they playback gaplessly.  I guess the issues with Nero AAC haven't completely disappeared.  I may have to go and test some other albums (like Tool's Lateralus) using Nero's AAC encoder and iTunes 7.0.2.

Well, since iTunes apparently doesn't read NeroAAC's gapless data it reverts to its 'magic guessing procedure' to get this data. This may sometimes be 99% right (inaudible), sometimes 80% right (barely audible) and sometimes 40% right (clearly audible).

That might explain why results vary among users. I think Apple did a pretty good job on this 'magic guessing procedure', it's just not 100% right all of the time.
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: clunesy on 2006-11-02 17:01:28
What if, like me, you don't give a monkeys, and you just want to use itunes to loads videos onto a 5G that you've already loaded exactly how you want with a custom database from ape tags, using foo_pod ? How much would it be to ask to be able to completely disable the feature, so that itunes doesn't wade in and completely screw up the tags in your itunesDB ? Stuck on itunes 6.0.5 until there is a workaround. (Do the 2nd gen 5G's work with itunes 6.0.5 out of interest?)

Niels
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: kornchild2002 on 2006-11-02 19:26:38
clunesy, the 5.5G iPods require iTunes 7.0 and above so that is out of the question.

You can use iTunes 7.0.2 to sync only videos, just don't add any audio to your iTunes library.  Then tell iTunes not to automatically sync anything.  Then just drag-and-drop your videos into iTunes, edit their tags, then just drag-and-drop your videos onto your iPod through iTunes.  So you can use iTunes only to sync videos if that is what you want, just make sure to take off auto syncing features.  Even then, you can have iTunes automatically only sync your videos onto your iPod while leaving all your audio alone (like I said, just don't add it to your iTunes library).
Title: GAPLESS Playback now in iPods - New!
Post by: clunesy on 2006-11-21 13:29:19
Even if you turn off autosync, when you drag the videos to the ipod, itune 7.x wades in and starts scanning for gapless tracks, and in turn, destroys all customisation of your itunesDB for the tracks it looks at. There is no way to make it not start doing this. You can click stop, but by this time, it has altered 3 or 4 tracks, and you don't know what they are to go and repair them.

I'm able to use 6.0.5 to load videos, as my ipod is 5G original. I can't upgrade until there is a way to disable gapless calculation, or a workaround. I asked about 5.5Gs and 6.0.5 because my sister has one, and I'll have to load it for her.
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