iPod EQ and you

Recently, forum visitor DocteurQui asked:

When the equalizer is changed on one song, does it affect the entire iPod, the playlist or just the individual song?

EQ and the iPod can be confusing and because it can, I thought I’d take a moment to shed some light on the subject. It’s like this:

You can assign an EQ setting to any track in your iTunes library by selecting the track, choosing Get Info from iTunes’ File menu, clicking the Options tab in the resulting window, and choosing a preset from the Equalizer Preset pop-up menu. Likewise, you can select multiple tracks, choose Get Info, and assign an EQ setting to all those tracks in the Multiple Song Information window that appears.

So what happens when you transfer tracks to the iPod?

Off If you switch EQ to Off on the iPod, the tracks will play with no EQ, even if an EQ setting was assigned in iTunes.

Flat If you choose the Flat EQ setting, the iPod will play tracks with the EQ setting assigned to them in iTunes. Those tracks without assigned EQ settings will play back without any EQ effect.

EQ Setting If you choose one of the EQ settings on the iPod—Dance, for example—any track on the iPod that doesn’t have an iTunes-assigned EQ setting will use the setting you’ve chosen on the iPod. If an EQ setting was assigned in iTunes, it will play with the iTunes-assigned setting.

If a track has an assigned setting and you’d like to listen to it with a different EQ setting on the iPod, start playing the track ion your iPod, navigate back to the Settings screen, select EQ, and choose a different EQ setting. The currently playing track will play back with the new EQ setting.

Note that although you can create custom EQ settings in iTunes, those custom settings won’t be transferred to the iPod.

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