"Trimming" tracks in iTunes

Reader Walt Pinkston has misplaced an iTunes feature he’s found useful. He writes:

I remember in previous versions of iTunes you could “trim” a song. That is, you could use a slider to specify where in the audio file play should start and also where play would end. That helps a lot when a file contains material at the beginning or end that you don’t want to hear (silence, crowd noises, etc.). But I can’t seem to find this feature with the current version of iTunes. Is it gone?

No, it’s still there. And I agree, it’s useful. In the old days, a certain variety of English band couldn’t restrain itself from slathering the first or last (or both) 90 seconds of a song with a heaping helping of faux Elizabethan poetry. It was fine at the time, but having now shelved the bell-bottoms and lace, it sounds embarrassingly dated.

Trimming an iTunes track.

This feature doesn’t physically trim files. Rather, you tell iTunes where you’d like a track to start and stop—after the poetry, please, and before the drum solo, for example—and iTunes makes a note of where to begin and end playback of the track. You’ll find this option by selecting the track in iTunes, pressing Command-I to bring up the Info window, and clicking the Options tab. Use the Start and Stop Time fields to virtually “trim” the track.

And because I know you (or someone like you) is going to ask, yes, these trim settings transfer to an iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

At a Glance
  • Pros

    • New social network for discovering music
    • HD TV show rentals
    • A few more customizable, useful interface options
    • Smarter album art list view
    • Noticeable performance improvements


    • Ping feels unfinished
    • Other headline features won't mature for some time
    • Senseless interface changes harm usability
    • Ringtone features removed
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