It’s been quite awhile now, and Apple still has not answered the huge problem that Gapless Playback has been causing. For some reason, Apple seems to think that Gapless Playback is a wanted (or needed) feature, though I can count hundreds of emails and comments that I’ve received complaining about Gapless Playback. Ever since the release of iTunes version 7 (and beyond) Gapless Playback has been causing huge problems for those people who have large music libraries and those of us who have all of our music stored and shared across networked drives.
Gapless Playback got so bad for me that everytime I opened up iTunes, it would literally lock me out of my system. It’d take at least 10-15 minutes before iTunes would respond to me clicking the small X in the menu to stop “Determining Gapless Playback”, and I know others have had the same problem, and some have had it worse. I’ll admit, it could be a cool feature, but is it necessary, absolutely not. It’d be great if Apple would just make a system-wide setting in iTunes that would allow Gapless Playback to be turned on/off (enabled/disabled). That way, each and every song in the music library wouldn’t have to be tagged as being part of a Gapless Playback album. That would make peoples lives a lot easier!
As I mentioned above, Gapless Playback has gotten so bad for me that I’ve stopped using iTunes to manage my music. I’ve found two strong alternatives that are really growing on me:
The thing I like about MediaMonkey is they’ve found a way to allow you to manage the songs on your iPhone from within the MediaMonkey interface, however, each time a new version of iTunes comes out, there is some small lag time as the MediaMonkey program is updated. MediaMonkey does natively support updating iPods. Music playback and music management is great from within MediaMonkey and that’s what makes it my favorite alternative to iTunes, but if you’re solely a Mac user, you’re unfortunately out of luck on this one.
Songbird is great because its built on the Mozilla platform and allows all sorts of user developed add-ons, plugins and themes to be installed. The good thing about Songbird is that it comes for Windows/Mac/Linux.