iOS Music Player MP3 Gapless Playback Problem

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by stoksyxl, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. stoksyxl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    #1
    Hi,
    I've been having this gapless playback issue on iOS now for the past few years, since at least iOS 6 if I can remember correctly. The number one reason I use an iPhone and iOS devices is for gapless playback in the iOS
    music player. For the last few years I've been experiencing a bug with the stock iOS music player on my iPhone 4S using iOS 6 and on my iPhone 5 using iOS 6 & 7, and currently on my new iPhone 6 running iOS 8.1.2. This only happens on my iPhones and using iOS, this bug is not found when I use my iPod classic or when playing the same albums through iTunes.

    I thought it might have been spotted by other iOS users and fixed in iOS 7.1 or at least the current version of iOS 8, but instead it's gotten worse, albums that used to play smoothly between transitions now suddenly pause and jump for a split second when changing from track to track.

    What's happening is, I listen to a lot of albums that are continuously DJ mixed and play straight through without any pauses between tracks, and I've been experiencing problems a lot now with random split second pauses between tracks and choppy transitions. These albums in question have been ripped from cd using the latest versions of iTunes.

    For example,
    I'd be listening to an album and it would play gapless and smooth for most of the album, but maybe one or two transitions on the album would have a split second pause between them, and the rest of the album would play perfectly with no pauses, skips or jumps at all.

    This only happens on my iPhone, as I have a 160gb iPod classic and I've listened to all the same albums on it and never has a problem playing the album without any pauses, every album plays 100% smooth and gapless on it.

    I mailed Apple about it through their feedback page on their site...
    https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html
    Hoping that they would take note of this and try and look into it and fix the issue. That was probably about a year ago now, never got fixed or got any confirmation back from them about this problem. Then last August,
    I'd had enough and contacted Apple support to notify them about this issue. They told me the usual story, "have you tried restoring the phone?", which I obliged and did. The problem was there on a freshly restored iPhone 5.
    So they told me that they would put me in touch with someone higher in Apple to take the case further, "great" I thought.
    I spoke with a senior care advisor and explained the problem and agreed to send detailed explanations of the issue and test files too so that they could hopefully hear what I was talking about. But after a few weeks of going back and forward, I finally got them to hear the issue with the random pauses, the first week they denied there was a problem and said the files played ok on their test iOS devices, so I myself tried the files on another iOS device and the same problem was there.
    The last correspondence I had with the Apple care advisor was back in the end of August / start of September, and she told me that they spotted the issue and was told by the tech's that it would be fixed in a future update, I never got a when this would happen, I was just told to make sure my iOS device was up to date with the latest version of iOS. I couldn't speak to an actual technician, got no follow up support, just a vague "We'll look into it." Case Closed.

    I got so sick of this problem that I sold my iPhone and iPad just after this last phone call with the Apple people, and switched over to Android. I'd being reading up on gapless playback music players and found out that there's a good few available for Android devices. I got myself a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, twice as powerful as the iPhone 6 and half the price. I was using that for the last few months, and playing my music through Neutron Music Player app which is a great music player which plays gapless 100%
    But I couldn't really take to Android OS, seeing as I've been using Apple products for around 10 years now and iOS since the iPhone 3G. So I decided to contact Apple again and see if they'd fixed the music player issue in iOS yet.
    I wrote a long email explaining the problem, how it wasn't really looked at properly, and how I was a long time Apple customer and had to resort to switching over to Android because the basic music player functions on
    iOS devices have bugs. I took a chance in mailing this to Tim Cook's offices, I knew he wouldn't reply personally, just thought that it might get read by someone in his offices with a bit more say in the matter.

    Just before Xmas, I got a call from someone from executive relations from my local Apple offices about this.
    He seemed nice and was aware of the problem from reading back through my emails and previous case notes from August when I opened this case originally.
    We had a talk and he said he would get one of the tech's to call me too about this so that I could explain the bugs to someone more knowledgeable about iOS.
    A few days later I received a call from one of the tech's at Apple and was chatting to him, explaining the problem. His response was that he thinks Apple doesn't support gapless playback on current iOS devices.

    From looking at the gapless playback information page on the Apple support site below, it looks like it hasn't been updated to show any iPhone models after the iPhone 3GS... http://support.apple.com/en-ie/HT201644
    I was trying to explain to him how ridiculous this sounded, why would Apple stop supporting basic functions on their music player on iOS devices? It makes no sense at all? You can see that the amount of hardware devices and software that supports gapless playback today...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gapless_playback#Player_support
    He couldn't explain either, he just said that because it's not listed there on the Apple support page.
    Then the next day I got the follow up call from the Apple executive relations guy, he was stating that he was speaking to the tech guy that called me and it looks like Apple doesn't support gapless playback anymore, from looking at the documentation on site.
    I told him how stupid this was, and how lots of music players have gapless playback as standard today. And if they don't support it now, then why does it play through some parts of the albums on iOS ok and then just
    randomly pause, or have jumpy / choppy transitions on the rest of the album. If it was the case, no albums would play gaplessly at all, it would be like when the first ever iPod's were released back in the day with no
    gapless playback and would pause for a split second between every transition.
    He couldn't give me an answer and said that maybe down the line they would start supporting it again, and that I should request the feature to be added to future iOS versions via the iPhone feedback page...
    https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html
    He just kept on emphasising that it was "NOT A BUG OR ISSUE", trying to cover up the problem because the info on the site wasn't updated to show the current iOS devices. Which in itself is wrong, looking at the page it
    says "Supported iPod and iPhone models (make sure you have the latest iPod or iPhone software)"
    iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS only go up to iOS 6, so that contradicts itself when the latest version is iOS 8.
    The info is out of date and needs to be updated. So in August I was told, "we found the issue and will look into it" and a few months later, "it's not an issue", what's a cop out.

    I was annoyed and taken back by this response, and really found it hard to believe that this was the case, Apple stopping supporting their music player on iOS devices. Seeing as iTunes plays everything smoothly and no gapless issues. I just went out and bought an iPhone 6 for €900 / $1060, and for that money you'd expect it's basic music player to work. It's total BS to think that a top computer software / hardware company would just decide to abandon basic functions in their devices, especially when we are talking about how much Apple takes pride in their products and how much more they charge for them over their competitors.

    So this is my next step to try and get this problem seen and out in the open more. The more people who know about it and are aware of the issue, the better.
    Hopefully more people can get the word around and get this noticed by Apple and finally fixed.
    I've uploaded some test files below to show the problem. The files are mp3's and aac, and have been ripped from cd using the latest version of iTunes. The mp3's are the ones with the issue, but the aac play with no
    problem. If you listen to the transition at the end of track 2 (2-02 Colours (JH Re-Edit)) going into the start of track 3 (2-03 Your Body), you will notice the split second pause / jump. But listen to the aac version and
    compare it to the mp3 version and you will hear that it plays back fine, just as it's supposed to. Try them in iTunes too and both versions playback fine, no jumps or pauses.
    You can download them here, all links have the same files, I just uploaded them to different hosts for other people's choosing...

    http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=86512332626247919914

    https://www.mediafire.com/?w5wvi50er96b14s

    http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/37047710/file.html

    https://www.sendspace.com/file/lubcmc

    More files can be provided if needed to show the problem happening on various other albums.

    I really hope that people can spot this issue too and help get this fixed, I know this gapless playback feature might not be important to some people, but like I said at the start, it's an essential function for me in a music
    player and I use it on a daily basis when I listen to music.

    Thanks for reading this long rant of mine, appreciate it.
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Honestly I didn't read your whole post but I to experience this issue but only when the tracks are added to a playlist.
     
  3. stoksyxl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    #3
    I don't use playlists at all, still have this issue for years now.
     
  4. stoksyxl, Jan 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015

    stoksyxl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    #4
    I've been talking to apple on the phone earlier and the guy said to get this problem fixed, more people have to contact them about it and let them know that gapless playback isn't working anymore and they need to start supporting it on the current iOS devices and the more people that contact them, the quicker it gets fixed.

    Can you take a minute and drop them a mail here at the support page about it...
    Apple - iPhone - Feedback https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

    Pass it on, the more that knows about it the better.

    Thanks
     
  5. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    #5
    Hi I saw your post on Toucharcade but here's what I wrote: "There's your problem. Apple doesn't official support mp3 gapless playback only ALAC and AAC. This isn't really an Apple issue, mp3 never supported gapless on mp3 until LAME codex even which is more or less a slap-on that needs to be updated every time Apple changes their iTunes coding. Apple's not going to try and support a 20+ year old codex let alone one that is directly in competition of their own supported one."
     
  6. stoksyxl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    #6
    Yeah, but how come gapless playback isn't ok on iTunes? And it works 70% of the time on iOS devices at the moment.

    I could get a basic android phone and have a selection of apps from the Google play store that all support gapless playback. Makes no sense that apple make themselves out to be so cutting edge and on top of their game, yet drop basic functions of their music player?
     
  7. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    #7
    There are HydrogenAudio threads and head-fi threads which describe the exact problem you are experiencing and it all comes down to Apple not actively supporting or going out of their way to support mp3. There is nothing that can be done, except getting the CD out and ripping them in AAC or repurchase them in AAC. Simply Apple never supported mp3 gapless, developers came out and tried to address the issue which requires rework when Apple updates iTunes player.
     
  8. stoksyxl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    #8
    Can you point me to those articles on the forums you just mentioned? Just want to get more info from other peoples perspective.

    Thanks
     

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