I'm hoping that gapless playback can be fixed on a future firmware update

Just got my 8 GB Clip+ from Amazon today, gave it a first full charge, and am giving it an initial try.

I tested it out first in the FLAC format, but it appears that the gapless playback is in need of some fine tuning via a future firmware update, at least I’m hoping that this will be the case.  I notice clicks between songs that should seemlessly flow into eachother.  Also, it seems in addition to the click, there is a very small section of the music that you lose in the transition from one song to another.  I perceive it as somewhat of a loss, but it might just be because that section is covered up with the digital click.  In some instances, you hear less of a click then others.  On songs that don’t flow into each other, I don’t hear a click.  

It isn’t a totally atrocious problem, like say the click and large gaps between songs when playing back on the Cowon O2 is in my opinion, if anyone is familiar with the Cowon O2.   However, I would not say that the Clip+ in its current firmware state plays back in gapless.

Next, I tested VBR MP3, and the clicks seemed more pronounced.

After that I tested WAV, and they seemed to have the loudest clicks.

In all three formats, I don’t notice any silence between the tracks, just the clicks. 

I’m certain that this isn’t due to a ripping error from the original CD, as the songs playback in gapless flawlessly in FLAC and MP3 via Foobar on my desktop and on my Cowon S9.

What chances do you think we see of gapless playback being perfected in a future firmware update?

I guess a temporary work around is to rip albums where gapless is necessary as one long track.  This would be a somewhat cumbersome work around.  Ultimately, I think this should really be fixed with a firmware update.  Once gapless is perfected on the Clip+, I see it as being the premier budget priced portable music player.

Overall, I’m really impressed with the Clip+.  It’ll definitely be the player I use when out doing yardwork and excercising (I love the built in clip).  It’s time to retire my old Creative Zen Microphoto.  :slight_smile:

Message Edited by richter on 11-18-2009 07:50 PM

@richter wrote:

What chances do you think we see of gapless playback being perfected in a future firmware update?

 

I guess a temporary work around is to rip albums where gapless is necessary as one long track.  This would be a somewhat cumbersome work around.  Ultimately, I think this should really be fixed with a firmware update.  Once gapless is perfected on the Clip+, I see it as being the premier budget priced portable music player.

I have done that before…the convert to one track workaround. For me it was OK, since I don’t have many albums that are gapless. Eventually, I went back to the individual tracks though, because I started listening in “shuffle all” mode all the time, and single-track albums throw that all off. :wink:

I tend not to be a shuffle kind of guy.  I like the support of the .m3u playlist files on the Clip+, and playing albums via the .m3u playlist will probably be my primary playback method. 

As another alternative to ripping as one long track to workaround the clicks between tracks, I found a free program called MediaJoin that joins separate WAV files (in addition to other audio and video formats) on cnet.

http://download.cnet.com/1770-20_4-0.html?query=MediaJoin&searchtype=downloads

If you have the separate WAV files on your hard drive already or have them in FLAC and convert them to WAV, this MediaJoin program does a good job of combining them into one large file.  I tried this out and on playback of the big WAV file, I didn’t notice any gaps or other artifacts at the join points.  Then you could convert to FLAC and put the one large file on the Clip+.  This wouldn’t be an acceptable solution if all you have at hand are separate lossy files, due to potentially going through another lossy conversion to join them and then convert back to the original lossy format.

Also, on a positive note, I did notice that the Clip+ is able to fastforward through a track pretty quickly, so even if you have say a 45 minute audio file, it doesn’t take too long to fastforward to a particular part of the album, making the one long track workaround to avoid the clicks between tracks more tolerable.

Due to this current lack of clickless gapless playback, I wouldn’t suggest the Clip+ as a primary portable media player.  I have my Cowon S9 that has flawless gapless playback of numerous audio formats.  If they’re able to get the gapless playback to be clickless, I would definitely recommend the Clip+ a lot more to friends.