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.

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.