Making a single continuous track from a playlist or collection of songs

Q: I love my new iPod shuffle, but I’d love it more if I had a little more control. Here’s my idea/question – is there a way of turning a playlist into a continuous track?  That way you could download a number of playlists onto the iPod shuffle and switch between them (with different moods, or groups, or whatever), listening to the songs in the order they are in the playlist…

– Adam

A: To do this, you need to join a group of tracks into a single track. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest is when you import songs. When you insert a CD in your computer, it displays in iTunes, showing all the songs. If you select all the songs, you can then select Advanced > Join CD Tracks and have iTunes import the CD as a single track.

So, to get the playlists you want as single tracks, the easiest way is to burn the playlists to CDs then reimport them. You’ll need to have playlists that don’t exceed the length of a CD; and we’d recommend that you use rewritable CDs as well, to save on blank media.

There are other ways to join tracks, as long as they are not protected AAC files. If you’re on a Mac, you can use Doug Adams’ Track Splicer AppleScript (http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/ss.php?sp=tracksplicer), which lets you join selected tracks in iTunes. If you use Windows, you can get a copy of the free Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net), which can split and join MP3 files, but not AAC files.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.
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