iTunes Determining Gapless Playback Information

I recently experienced an issue where every time I launched iTunes it insisted on “Determining gapless playback information”. That wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t freeze iTunes for 2 minutes while it scanned 25 or so files every time. This was such a terrible experience I was quickly looking for alternative ways to manage my media.

If you’re not familiar with gapless playback, it’s the iTunes way of making your music library play like a CD without unintended gaps of silence between tracks. Apple has an explanation here.

If I had to choose between a 2 minute launch and gapless playback support I would say goodbye gapless!

After a while, I noticed iTunes kept scanning the same set of files and I began to suspect some of my MP3 files might be corrupted from a misbehaving NAS I once owned. I had ripped hundreds of discs and really didn’t want to spend time doing that again. Looking for a way to check my files, I came across this great tool called MP3 Validator for Mac OS X.

It found issues in about 80% of my files. Since I had a good backup (albeit of apparently corrupted files), I took the plunge and let it auto-repair my library. Now, iTunes starts up like a champ!

Since these corrupted files appear to be what caused the issue in my case, I would have liked to have seen iTunes:

  1. Run gapless playback analysis at low-priority in the background. There’s just no excuse to freeze the app for this feature. [Must have]
  2. Notify me with a warning message that gapless analysis couldn’t be determined on a file because it appears to be corrupted. [Should have]
  3. Offer to backup and repair the corrupted file. [Nice to have]

About Aaron

Aaron is the founder of Spicy Pixel and works in the technology industry on nifty projects that he likes to write about. The contents of this website represent personal opinion and not necessarily those of his employers or sponsors.