When does a “play count” count? | iLounge Article


When does a “play count” count?

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...


How long does a tune have to play before it is considered “played” and the play count incremented? For example, if I play a song for 2 seconds then skip to the next song, is it considered that I “played” the song?

- Anonymous

A: For a song to be considered “played” by iTunes, it has to completely finish and advance to the next song automatically. In most cases, this makes perfect sense. Occasionally, however, this causes a minor problem, as in the case where there is extended (10, 20, 30 seconds worth of) clapping at the end of a song. On such songs, we have the urge to nudge the “Forward” button, losing our playcount. Normally, it doesn’t bother us at all, but if we’re feeling picky (and if we remember once we return to our computers), we chop off the applause at the end of the song using iTunes’ “Stop Time” option, found in the “Options” tab of the “Get Info” window for any particular song:


Granted, this mean’s we’ll never get to hear that exciting applause on the go, but if the playcount is more important (for smart playlist purposes?), then it may be worth it.

« Identifying tracks lacking album art

First Looks: Many nano Cases, 5G ToughSkin, earBuddy, iBelieve, Transporters, Marvelous Wood, IceBud & More »

Related Stories



Another option for getting songs to register for playcount purposes is to use the scrubber to skip to the end of the track.

Because you’re skipping to the end rather than to the next track, it registers as a “play”. And with the scrubber, it just takes one click of the select button to bring it up, and then a trip or two around the scroll wheel to make it to the end of the track.

Posted by mattwardfh in TX on November 10, 2005 at 5:11 PM (CST)


“To install this script, download the file from the link above, and move the file “Find songs w-o artwork

Posted by Magic Rabbits in TX on November 11, 2005 at 7:51 AM (CST)


Interesting find, Magic Rabbits.

It’s actually a result of the fact that {username} is a variable in the software we’re using for the website.  I wrote {username}, and it was replaced by your iLounge name.

I’ve fixed it to avoid confusion for those for whom their computer account name is not the same as their iLounge username.


Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on November 11, 2005 at 12:35 PM (CST)



To begin, this is the first time I’ve asked a question in one of these Forums, so I hope that I am asking this particular question in the right place. Next, having read some of the responses to some of the questions, I apologize to all the people who have a low tolerance for newbies like myself, but if I’m gonna learn, I have to go somewhere, huh.

I recently purchased a 60GB PC+Mac, on which to store my 983 music CD’s. I had been advised that rather than upload all the music to the iTunes format (which might not work well on my PC) I could (should) upload all my CD’s in Windows Media Format, and that it would automatically convert to an iTunes format when I downloaded all the music from my hard drive to my iPod.

Well, according to a tech at Apple iPod, that’s what it’s SUPPOSED to do, but, all the CD’s are coming up as “protected WMA Format”, and won’t convert. Apparently only “unprotected WMA Format” will convert to an iTunes format.

The tech at Apple iPod advised that there is a downloadable program that will allow the conversion of “protected WMA Format” files to iTunes format files.

Does such a program exist, and can someone point me in the right direction so I can download it and start listening to this new device?

Thank you.

Posted by cranburybob in TX on November 11, 2005 at 1:27 PM (CST)


cranbury—I’m not quite sure why you wouldn’t just convert the CD to aac instead of cd to wma to aac, but there are programs that will convert protected wma. The programs are tunebite and muvaudio, and both of them require a license that you have to pay for.

Posted by knghtwhosaysni in TX on November 12, 2005 at 2:04 AM (CST)


cranburybob: Whoever told you that encoding in WMA and then converting to either MP3 or AAC would produce the best possible quality has no idea what they are talking about.  If it’s not too late, start the process of ripping your albums over.  Use iTunes to do it, and use a good (read: 192kbps or higher) bitrate for your songs.

WMA + iPod = Very limited compatability

Posted by Third in TX on November 12, 2005 at 10:09 AM (CST)


I was told to come to this site to get something to transfer the songs from my iPod back on to my iTunes. My iTunes got deleted so i need to get them from my iPod back on to my iTunes so i can get my iPod into the apple store to get a battery check but to do that they have to delete my songs. I need it soon! I couldn’t find where i was supposed to go to get this so if you could e-mail me back about what i need to do this or where on your site (or on any other site if you don’t have it) that would be great. My e-mail is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Thank you,

Posted by Wildskittles318 in TX on November 13, 2005 at 8:29 PM (CST)


I have a 20G ipod.  Whenever I use the “shuffle” feature my christmas songs are included.  I deleted the christmas songs from the ipod but everytime i update from itunes the christmas songs are added .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by wilfredlau in TX on November 14, 2005 at 5:50 PM (CST)


sorry additional to my previous post….how can I stop the christmas songs from being added to the ipod everytime I update from i .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by wilfredlau in TX on November 14, 2005 at 5:52 PM (CST)


WMA is a very limited format, period.  Whoever told you to use it is very much misinformed.  Converting to WMA is like parking your car in a ditch: it may be convenient, but you ain’t ever getting it out of there.

You cannot convert TO a “digital-rights managed” format from iTunes at all (this is the default in Windows Media Player).  Furthermore, all song formats on the iPod work equally well with iTunes on both Mac & PC.  There’s really only one format you can rip to that’s uniquely Apple— Apple Lossless, which practically nobody uses.

The two most popular formats for iTunes->iPod CD ripping are MP3—totally ubiquitous, usable anywhere—and AAC, which is often misconstrued as an Apple format when it’s not.  AAC, or Advanced Audio Codec, is an audio standard proposed by the MPEG group as part of the MPEG-4 catch-all standard for modern multimedia.  It’s better than MP3 on a per-bitrate basis (the way it models percussion is especially noticable…a high-hat sounds like garbage at any bitrate in MP3) and indeed can be thought of as the next generation of MP3.

In short: use AAC, VBR, at 192kbit.  You’ll fit all your albums on there and you’ll be quite happy with the quality.

Posted by dasmegabyte in TX on November 16, 2005 at 2:55 PM (CST)


There is an itunes missing album script for windows here:

It’s GPL & easy to use.

Posted by kdog in TX on December 8, 2005 at 8:56 PM (CST)

iLounge Weekly

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy