Burning CDs with longer gaps

Q: I want to make a CD for a “Name That Tune” game. I know how to specify the length of the tune, the starting point and the ending point. How can I increase the length of the silence between tunes? Right now, as soon as one song is finished, the next song begins immediately. I would like a 30 second gap between songs.

– J.A.

A: The CD burning preferences in iTunes will allow you to specify a longer gap between tracks, however the maximum value that you can specify using this method is about 5 seconds, which is probably still too short for your needs.

One solution to this problem within iTunes itself would be to create or import an actual MP3 file that contains no audio for 30 seconds, and intersperse your actual song tracks with these 30-second blank tracks. If you are using a Mac, you can easily create a track like this with GarageBand, although numerous other utilities for both the Mac and Windows platform exist to record audio.

Unfortunately, this method won’t work if you plan to “shuffle” the CD during playback, since the blank tracks would be randomly shuffled along with the song tracks. In this case, the only solution might be to actually edit the existing tracks to add a thirty-second silence at the end of each one. This can be done either by using a tool to join the existing track to a silent audio file, or opening each track in an audio editing application.

Another option is to export the tracks from iTunes itself and use another CD burning software application that allows for a longer gap between tracks. Applications such as Roxio Toast (Mac) or Nero (Windows) will permit longer delays to be added between tracks, for example.

Note that if these are protected tracks purchased from the iTunes Store then they can only be burned from within iTunes itself, and cannot be edited or converted due to the digital rights management (DRM). In this case, your only option would be to either insert blank third-second tracks manually and not use shuffle mode when playing the CD, or burn the tracks to an audio CD and reimport them into a format such as MP3 so they could then be RE-burned using another application.


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