play audio on pc with short gaps of silence between tracks, seamlessly?

  theDarkness 16:22 03 Oct 2011

I ripped my music collection to mp3 using various programs over the yrs. I have noticed that for some music (mainly mp3), WMP plays them with no gaps between each track, even when the crossfading enhancement feature is off. This is usually happening on non vocal records/eg dance music, so is that down to simply using a ripper such as WMP than doesnt automatically add a very small amount of silence to the start or end of the final mp3 (or give some sort of "no gap" property)? Or does WMP only give a gap if its present on the original cd? Having a ripper that gives silence to the end of a track seems pretty standard, but can be annoying for some types of music, especially when made up of many short tracks. I must have used rippers that added extra silence before, as some physical discs that do not have gaps whilst played on a portable player, do give gaps in the final mp3s on a computer.

Without ripping again, is there any way I can fix the issue, eg join mp3s without the gaps being noticeable (if its not some sort of property I can remove)? Or do I have no choice but to remove the silence manually between each track, or (the much faster option) simply give in and rip again (this time as one single mp3)? I dont think Ive come across a program that can join mp3s and remove multiple areas of silence in one go-probably not a good idea if theres meant to be silence (eg in the middle of an mp3). I know I can use crossfading in music players such as WMP instead, but it doesnt always work that well-although the silence is not noticable, the musics timing from one track to the next, can be. Perhaps Im just being too fussy when it comes right down to it :)

  octal 19:39 03 Oct 2011

You should be able to do that with something like Audacity which is pretty good at editing.

  theDarkness 20:23 03 Oct 2011

Ive been searching around and I still cant find any info to suggest that silence can be added to an audio files properties, rather than part of the audio itself, so Im believing that isnt possible. Ive now tried Meda MP3 Joiner so far which is a simple to the point free joining tool, and works well. No options to remove silence, so Ill try audacity to see if I can join more than one file at once (Ill use Meda for this part if not) and then finally remove silence manually on audacity, to see how well I can make it sound seamless. I think for anything above 5 tracks Ill just re-rip to a single file on albums that shouldnt have gaps-alot faster and easier that way :) thanks

  Covergirl 07:59 04 Oct 2011

I have never managed it myself. Got various albums like The Wall and Lamb Lies Down and they all would benefit from a seamless transition from one track to another.

The only way to do it would be to record from CD player (or vinyl) to an audio recorder in one long track in real time - however this method would omit the facility to skip to the next track as the full side would effectively be one track.

However, there should be an audio package out there that could add these breaks back in, but it would still be real time so would take an awful long time (and much effort) to do even half a dozen such albums.

The packages I've used lately (for The Wall) just give a split second of silence, sometimes unnoticable.

  theDarkness 18:20 10 Oct 2011

I solved it-but.. this involved removing the silence at the end of each mp3, then joining them together-one by one! I used a silence trimming plugin for audacity, which you can get from the first link on this audacity forum post. Add it to the audacity installation plugins folder. My post here was about joining the mp3s up, but also the confusion about silence on mp3s. I found out that ALL mp3s have silence at the start, its just so short thats its usually unnoticable, unless you... join them together :( so this plugin came in handy. Annoyingly, one of the mp3 albums I wanted to join up also had silence at the end of each track too, so even more of a gap was noticable if I joined tracks together. I think the reason for the silence at the end of each track was due to a cd to mp3 ripper adding its own silence at the end, as it was a seamless album (a dj mix, no gaps).

I opened the first mp3 track from the album in audacity, then highlighted all of it (clicked anywhere on the panel to the left, just under the L+R option), then used the plugin (trim silence, NOT truncate silence). I would then click on file>import and add the next track, highlight it in the same way, then use the trimming plugin, and cut and paste this track to the end of the first. I would click on the split mark to merge the two files together (its the new vertical line showing where the files were placed together). I could zoom in to a high level to try to remove any silence (if any could still be heard). After that, most tracks were always seamless. I would then remove the now empty second track underneath the first, then import track 3, and do the same procedure again, adding each one onto the end of the first, until all were joined together. As my files were only for mobile phone listening, I wasnt too bothered about a slight drop in quality, but I couldnt tell the difference. I resaved (reencoded) my final single mp3 at variable bit rate, around 192-256kbps for mobile listening, and it worked out well. Remember if you want to take a break halfway, make sure you know where you are up to, just in case you end up joining the same track twice, and to save your project as an audacity aup project-dont export as an mp3 until the very last track is added, as each time you export, you lose more quality. It took a long time, but in the end (I think) it was worth it

  octal 18:54 10 Oct 2011

Well done! It sounds like a lot of work, but I'm glad you are pleased with the end result and thanks for the feedback, it might help someone else.

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