Set iTunes to Fade Between Songs

Apr 23, 2010 - 14 Comments

iTunes One of my favorite iTunes features is the ability to fade songs in and out of each other with the Crossfade setting, this makes for a seamless music listening experience as each song gradually fades out and into the next and is certainly a worthwhile option to enable.

By default, this crossfading songs option is not turned on though, so here’s how to change that and flip it on to make for a more enjoyable iTunes listening experience.

For what it’s worth, this works the same in Mac OS X and Windows versions of iTunes. Here’s what you’ll want to do:

How to Enable iTunes Crossfading Between Songs

  • Open iTunes and go to ‘Preferences’
  • Click the ‘Playback’ tab icon
  • Select the checkbox next to “Crossfade Songs”, it needs to be checked of course
  • Adjust crossfading between songs as desired by dragging the slider, I have mine set to 5 seconds, the longer the time is set the more cross-fading in and out of songs
  • Select ‘OK’, and play a song or two, the songs will now crossfade!

New versions of iTunes offer the crossfading slider above some other worthwhile settings too:
Cross fade songs in iTunes

Older versions of iTunes look slightly different:
itunes fade between songs

Changes are immediate, and you’ll notice them at the start and end of each song playing as it turns into another song.

If all of your music is in the same genre, a really long fade of 12 seconds can sound really nice as each song slowly turns into another without any break in music. I have a pretty diverse musical playlist so I like mine set to 5 seconds, but try out the various settings and pick one that you like.

This feature has been around for quite some time and it should be available to all versions of iTunes regardless of the platform, OS X or Windows, so


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iTunes, Tips & Tricks


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  1. […] Songs makes each song slowly fade into the next song, eliminating any gaps between song playback and providing for a nice continuous stream of […]

  2. angela says:

    unfortunately, the crossfade doesnt work for my ipod :\ help please.

  3. Martyn says:

    I set this up on my itunes to cross fade had it sounding great but when I synched my ipod this didn’t cross fade any of the songs, any ideas why?


  4. Ted says:

    I can’t remember a time when the cross fade feature has worked consistently. It’s always breaking down and not working. Or it works then stops, etc.

    Dear god:
    Please have someone invent some sort of music player for Macs that allows cross fading that is stable.

  5. […] found any difficulty in following the steps then feel free to ask in the comment section below. [Via] […]

  6. alchemy says:

    What I’d like to know is if it’s possible to selectively crossfade only a handful of tracks (or even just two) as opposed to the whole playlist?

    Also, I’ve never heard anyone ask whether the crossfade is there if you burn that playlist onto a cd – or is it just there in iTunes? In other words, if you do the crossfade in preferences and then burn the music to a cd is the crossfade effect there on the new cd?

    Guess I could answer my second question by trying it out but I don’t like to waste a cd if someone already knows about this.

  7. Alcatrax says:

    hi there, a bit late but check this iTunes add-on out:

    no need to get winamp…

  8. uwe says:

    is it possible to fade the songs after a specfic time…e.g after every tow minutes independent of the song length? regards Uwe

  9. Mike says:

    The type of crossfading that the iTunes employs is nice but not intelligent. If you ever want to hear what really good crossfading sounds like, get a copy of Winamp (on a Mac you’ll have to install it under Codeweavers Crossover or Wine) and then get the SqrSoft Advanced Crossfading plugin. The difference is that iTunes (and every other automatic crossfader I’ve seen) fades strictly on time – at so many seconds from the end of the file it starts to fade that song out while it fades the next one in. In most situations a real DJ wouldn’t do it that way (for example, on the radio they let the previous song fade but almost always start the next song full volume).

    The SqrSoft plugin does it using volume levels – in effect you tell it to start looking at so many seconds from the end of the song and then find the point at which the average volume has faded to a certain level, then start the next song (which you can have fade up if you really want to, but you can also start it at full volume). If a song has a “cold” ending (it doesn’t fade out) then the SqrSoft plugin lets it end without stepping on it, but as the final note fades it starts the next song immediately, therefore there is no gap in the audio. Of course, this is all configurable so you can make it work exactly how you want it to.

    Winamp is one of a handful of programs I truly missed when I switched to a Mac, specifically because of that one plugin. Once I figured out I could make it run under Codeweavers Crossover I was very happy. If you don’t want to pay for Crossover then I’m pretty certain that Winamp will also run under Wine, which is free (as is Winamp and the Sqrsoft plugin).

    • AIr says:

      What you describe sounds great, but iTunes is the defacto music player and trying to get away from it would be impossible for me because I sync my iPhone and iTunes purchases through it daily. Is there a plugin for iTunes to get this DJ-style fading and beat matching in iTunes?

    • Dennis Quek says:

      how did you install the Sqrsoft ACF plugin after installing winamp on the mac? Does it need to go thru Crossover?

  10. heans says:

    very nice touch, the fading makes listening much more fluid

  11. Richard says:

    I like it. Thanks.

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