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Occasionally, you'll come across an album of music in which the artist creates a seamless transition between individual tracks on the CD. Some examples that come to mind are the second half of Abbey Road by the Beatles, in which one song flows directly into the next, or on their Sgt. Sergeant Pepper album where "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" transitions directly into the song "With a little help from my friends." Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Green Day's American Idiot albums are also examples of albums containing songs that flow from one to another. In any case there used to be an issue with earlier versions of iTunes and older models of iPods, that there would be a small gap of silence between tracks, so even if the artist intended for the tracks to go from one to the next with no break in between, the limited technology would still introduce one.
Now that hasn't been a problem for a while since a feature called gapless playback was introduced back in iTunes 7, and all iPods after the fifth generation of iPods support gapless playback as well. But still it's useful to know that you have the ability in iTunes to manually join tracks together into what amounts to a single file. That ensures that no gap will be between the tracks regardless of what device is playing them. Another benefit of joining tracks together is to make sure they always play together even if you're shuffling songs on random, or if you are a classical music listener you might want to make sure certain movements are always played together and in order.
Now to join tracks together, you have to join them from a CD. You can't just pick two songs in your iTunes library and join them. Now as an example, I have inserted an album by the Jellybricks called Kinky Boot Beast, and let me play you the end of one of these songs to show you how it transitions into the next one. (Music Playing) So, that was a seamless transition between those two tracks.
It went right from that thrumming guitar sound at the end of Track 12, right into the snare drum opening of Track 13. And I want to make sure these tracks stay together, because maybe the artist or even I as a listener feel that they really belong together when listening. Maybe they are considered two halves of a larger piece or something like that. All I have to do is select those two songs by holding down Shift and clicking them both. Now obviously this will only work with contiguous songs on the CD. I can't select say Track 1 and Track 7 and try to join those together. So I am going to select Tracks 12 and 13 and with them selected I am going to go to the Advanced menu and choose Join CD Tracks.
Now these both songs are now bracketed together and you will only see one checkbox for both of them. I am going to Command+Click that checkbox to deselect everything, if you are on Windows, it would be a Ctrl+Click, and I'm only doing this because I just would import these joined tracks for this example. So I am just going to select that one checkbox for the joined tracks. So with that selected, I am going to click Import CD. Now we already have a copy of this album in iTunes so iTunes knows this and is asking me do you want to replace these existing songs? I am going to choose Don't Replace. That will essentially give me a copy of the individual songs plus the joined version. And now you can see it's importing "Who is God/Wasted Hours," the two individual songs.
And it's done. So I will go over to my music library, and here in library, there is. Notice that this title "Who is God - Wasted Hours" and you can see the duration is 7 minutes 20 seconds, which is the combination of tracks 12 and 13 together. And I will go ahead and play that and I'll find that transition in here somewhere. (Music playing) So there it is. A seamless transition. So that's a way to make sure two songs that were meant to play together, stay together.
Now of course the issue here is that you have now combined these two songs together, so if you really did just want to listen to the second song, you would have to manually jump to the middle of this joined track. Of course, another option is to create a copy of that song by itself, so I may try -- it didn't replace the existing individual versions of those songs. Now you might think that would defeat the purpose of joining the tracks in the first place, if your purpose was to make sure the track doesn't come up on its own if you're shuffling songs. But what you can do is select that individual song, choose Get Info by right clicking on it, and under the Options tab, you can check Skip when shuffling, and you can see mine is already checked.
Now I can do the same for the first part of that which is, "Who is God," Track 12 there. I will choose Skip when shuffling, click OK, and that way the individual versions of the songs will never appear when I shuffle my songs. Only the joined version will be available for shuffle. But I can always choose to manually play the individual versions of either of those tracks if I want to. So, that's how we join CD tracks. Now you may just want to go back and select your CD again, choose those two tracks, and under the Advanced menu, unjoin them. Now that's not really necessary, but I just wanted to make sure you knew that command was in there.
So that's how we join CD tracks and again just bear in mind that this only works with contiguous tracks you ripping off a CD.
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