In continuing our series on various iTunes/iPod tips and tricks we are going to look at several of the options that you can set for your individual tracks (or a group of tracks) in your iTunes library. Several of these options transfer over to your iPod when you sync the tracks.
When I talk about “track options” I am talking about the tab on the “Get Info” dialog when you right click on a track and select “Get Info” from the resulting menu (see image below). There are some other tabs that you might be interested in and we will cover those at a later date. Lets get down to business.
Volume Adjustment & Equlaizer Preset
When it comes to how your music sounds these are some important decisions. With the volume adjustment setting you can increase the volume on low level recordings. This works great for concert recordings that have a low volume. The Equalizer preset is so that when a specific track comes on, it can automatically adjust the preset to whatever setting you like. There are two downsides to this, one it does not transfer to the iPod because of the second issue which is that custom equalizer settings do not transfer to the iPod.
Start & Stop Time
While option is definitely self-explanator, a lot of people really would not know how to use it correctly. The main reason for this feature is if there is a blank space after the main track (usually signaling a hidden track), you can set the “end time” to be a couple of seconds after the actual song ends. This works for the reverse in that there is something before the actual song, you can set the “start time” to be right when the song actually starts.
Remember Playback Position
We have not reached into some of the most important options available to you in iTunes: Remember Playback Position, Skip When Shuffling, and Part of Gapless Album. These really help when organizing your music and getting things to work out correctly on both your computer under iTunes and with your iPod.
If you listen to a lot of audiobooks that you *cough* download, and they are in the Mp3 format, you need the “Remember Playback Position” option and should be using it frequently. The reason this flag was introduced is because people encode things into Mp3 primarily and iTunes and the iPod did not have a way to “bookmark” mp3 tracks. While they could bookmarket M4b files just fine, Mp3 files were not able to do this. If you are listening to audiobooks encoded in Mp3, make sure you are checking this box.
Skip When Shuffling
This setting is also important when doing audiobook, or if you listen to a lot of a lot of techno/dance mixes where the tracks do not work on their own. Checking this option will mean that these tracks get skipped when you turn on the shuffle option. Does it really need further explanation?
Part of a Gapless Album
One the most requested features among iTunes/iPod users. Live shows, techno/dance mixes, and even albums that just blend the tracks into each other (“Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik”), were severely missing this feature. This is a must set option on techno/dance mixes and live shows. Outside of that, you might not find this setting useful.
There are some other features like sorting and lyrics that we will go over more next week. So be sure to check back in with us for that. If you have any questions about the items discussed, please leave a comment or use the email link on the right sidebar. See you next week.