Go mono, young man

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A reader writes in with a question of balance:

I am wondering if you can adjust the left/right balance into earphones on the 5th gen video iPod. I can’t see a way to do this on the actual iPod but is there an option in iTunes? (I can only hear out of one ear).

The iPod doesn’t include a balance control nor does iTunes. For those who are similarly affected I’d suggest that you do it the old-fashioned way: Go Mono.

And by that I mean open iTunes’ preferences, select the Advanced preference and then the Importing tab. Choose the encoder you like from the Import Using pop-up menu, and select Custom from the Setting pop-up menu. In the resulting window, choose Mono from the Channels pop-up menu.


Close iTunes’ preferences, select the tracks in your iTunes library that you’d like to convert to mono, and choose Advanced > Convert Selection To [name of encoder]. The files will be encoded in such a way that all the music is offered in both the left and right channels.

To avoid compressing your files with different encoders (and, thus, funking up the sound more than you need to), use the same encoder the files were originally encoded with (unless they are uncompressed AIFF or WAV files).

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