Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2003

How to "Crop" Songs with iTunes

Scenario #1: You have an album that was recorded live, and each song starts with a long, rambling introduction by the musician. You'd like to cut out those intros and just start with the music.

Scenario #2: There's a song you really want to like, but two thirds of the way through, it degenerates into a ear-bleeding cacophony of noise.

iTunes has a little-used feature that beautifully addresses both of these scenarios: You can "crop" a song -- lop off part of the beginning, part of the end, or both -- to hear only the part you want to hear. And this cropping is retained when you transfer the song to an iPod.

As I describe in The Macintosh iLife, it's easy.

1. Listen to the song you want to crop, and use iTunes' time display to note where the offensive portion ends or begins.

2. Select the song and choose Get Info from the File menu.

3. Click the Options tab.

4. Configure the Start Time and/or End Time boxes as needed. In the example above, I'm skipping over the first 34 seconds of the song.

Click OK when you've finished, and you're done. And if you ever do want to hear that cropped-out portion, you can do so by simply dragging the little playback diamond that appears near the top of the iTunes window.

Cropping: It isn't just for photos anymore.