Q: Is it possible to record only a section of a song from my iTunes library? I need it for an exhibition I am doing.

Using only part of a song

– Judith

A: There are a few different ways you can do this.

The simplest method is to use the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” settings in your track properties in iTunes. These two fields allow you to set a starting time and stopping time for the track in question so that only a portion of it plays back. You can access these fields by selecting the track in question, choosing File, Get Info from the iTunes menu and then selecting the “Options” tab.

Using only part of a song

Simply enable these two fields and enter the time in minutes and seconds where you would like the song to start and stop playing. Note that these settings will also transfer to your iPod or iPhone, so if you’re planning to use this to play back the track, then this may be all you actually need to do.

If you’re working with a non-copy-protected source file, you can also create a separate copy of only the selected section of that track. To do this, first ensure you’ve chosen your preferred format for the resulting track in your iTunes preferences by clicking on the “Import Settings” button on the General tab.


Using only part of a song

Once you’ve set your preferred format, simply select the track in question and choose Advanced, Create AAC/MP3 Version from the iTunes menu. iTunes will make a copy of only the portion of the track between the start and stop times that you have entered. You could then copy this track out of iTunes to use with another software application or device.

Note that if you’re working with DRM-protected files purchased from the iTunes Store, as opposed to “iTunes Plus” tracks or tracks you’ve imported yourself, then you will need to either use the start/stop times and play the original track from your computer or iPod, or record it to another device manually by using your computer’s “line-out” connection.



Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.