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17 November 2004 @ 11:32 pm
An iPod Question  

Maybe I'm just too much of a 60's kind of a guy or something, but I tend most often to think of record albums … er, excuse me … CDs as single artistic units, even when they are merely composed of a number of individual and relatively unconnected songs. Of course, this perspective is completely appropriate when a CD comprises a single artistic unit but is "banded" for convenience between some segments; for example, I believe at least one of my CDs of Beethoven's 9th Symphony has an index at the start of the "Ode to Joy" segment as well as between the four movements. Another example can be found on various CDs of live performances of the Grateful Dead, where individual song-units are indexed even when they are just phases of a wandering jam and where sequencing and timing is relevant even for the songs which do stand alone.

So my question is: How does an iPod deal with albums—in particular, how does it deal with the banding/indexing within albums? Does it properly preserve the "breathing space" between discrete tracks while not destroying the flow in multi-indexed compositions? Seems to me like it might do one or the other, but that both might be trickier. But I just don't know. Any answers out there? Thanks!

Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Festival of Light
The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You90_percent_sure on November 17th, 2004 09:46 pm (UTC)
It keeps the same amount of space as there is on the recording.

Of course, in iTunes you can make playlists of your favorites and have them overlap or butt together or have a 3 minute pause. And you need iTunes to get music on the iPod, so there you go.

Btw, one of my favorite games to keep myself amused on the bus is to hum (silently) music to which I add different lyrics. Ode to Joy is the best for this. The ABC's, "Little Pink Houses" or "I Want To Be Sedated" are all miraculous when sung to OTJ!

Peter Hentgesjbru on November 18th, 2004 01:07 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if I'm understanding your question completely but here's a shot at an answer to part of what I think you're asking: I have a couple of CDs of concerts that I've ripped and deposited on my iPod. The individual tracks for the songs (and rambles, in the case of some Arlo Guthrie segments) are retained but if one listens to the album as a whole, in order, the transitions are as seamless as they are on the CD.

The iPod is functionally a small hard drive (physically, it can be quite large in storage capacity) that will play your digital music in multiple configurations. The ability to create playlists (which 90_percent_sure brought up) means always having music on hand to fit your mood. At work I often listen to my "Rowdy" or "Driving" mixes which are songs chosen for their energy and/or tempo and ability to be song along to (in my head at work, out loud when actually driving), respectively.
Stephen Leighsleigh on November 18th, 2004 05:26 am (UTC)
As everyone's saying above, the iPod is simply a portable extension of the software iTunes: you put your music into iTunes on your computer, then when you attach an iPod to the computer, it goes and hunts down iTunes and pulls everything in. When you rip a CD into iTunes, it will preserve the tracking of the CD: if the songs butt together, they butt together; if they have pauses, the pauses will be there.

But playback on iTunes can be different depending on how you set the preferences: you can have longer pauses between tracks, no pause between tracks, or you can cross-fade tracks like a radio station; you can shuffle randomly between all the tracks, or create a playlist of tunes to fit moods or situations, or just play a concept album as it's intended to be heard.

One caveat to this: if you're importing a CD where, for instance, there's an introduction to a song followed by the song itself, and the intro and song are on separate tracks, or when what is essentially one continuous song is broken into two or three tracks, you might want to "tie" those tracks together permanently (which you can do before you import, but not after...). Otherwise, if you have the iPod or iTunes on shuffle play, those tracks will play separately, sometimes jarringly so.

Basically, an iPod and iTunes allows you to become your own commercial-free radio station, playing the music you want to hear in the way you want to hear it.

By the way, did you get the e-mail I sent you yesterday?
gomeza on November 18th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC)
The simplest way to preserve the silent spaces and the idea of a CD as an artistic unit is to burn the whole album as a single MP3 file, since it sounds as though you prefer to listen to the entire album anyway. Even at 192k, the sizes are manageable, and disk space is dirt cheap these days (even if iPods aren't).