What is Gapless Playback?

Learn about Gapless Playback.

Gapless playback means that there is no pause in playback between the end of one audio file and the beginning of the next audio file. This allows for playback of content with no gaps the way it was meant to be heard. Some examples of gapless albums include:

  • "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd
  • "Abbey Road" by The Beatles
  • Many live and classical albums

Gapless Playback in iTunes

Gapless playback is always on in iTunes version 7 or later, unless the Crossfade feature is turned on. If Crossfade is on, only audio files that have the "Part of a gapless album" option checked and are capable of being played gaplessly will play with no gaps:

Gapless Playback on iPod

Some iPod models support gapless playback. For those models that do, all files that support gapless playback are played gaplessly whether or not the "Part of a gapless album" option is checked.

On the iPod nano 4th and 5th generations, audio crossfade is supported, although the option is turned Off by default. Also, even if audio crossfade is enabled, audio tracks will still play gaplessly if all three of the following conditions are met:

  • Tracks are marked with the "Part of a gapless album" option
  • Track numbers are sequential
  • Album name is identical

Supported iPod and iPhone models (make sure you have the latest iPod or iPhone software)

  • iPod nano (2nd generation), iPod nano (3rd generation), iPod nano (4th generation), iPod nano (5th generation)
  • iPod (5th generation)
  • iPod classic, iPod classic (120 GB), iPod classic 160GB (Late 2009)
  • iPod touch, iPod touch (2nd generation), iPod touch (3rd generation)
  • iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS
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