How to Automatically Crossfade Music in WMP 11

Get that professional DJ effect by crossfading your songs

Listening to Music
Woman listening to music lying on grass. LifesizeImages/Getty Images

Why Crossfade Songs?

While listening to your digital music collection, do you sometimes wish that you could have smooth transitions between songs rather than silent gaps? It can be an annoying experience that sometimes spoils your enjoyment when there are long pauses in the music until the next track gets going. This is especially true when you have set up a large playlist of music tracks that would sound way better if they were played non-stop.

You can quickly enhance the enjoyment of your digital music collection by using the (not so obvious) crossfade feature that is built into Windows Media Player 11 (for Windows Media Player 12, follow our tutorial on crossfading songs in WMP 12 instead). If you are not sure what crossfading is, then it is an audio mixing technique (often used in DJ software) that uses volume level ramping — i.e. the song that is currently playing is faded out to the background while the next song is gradually faded in at the same time. This creates a smooth transition between the two which enhances your listening experience and sounds a lot more professional as a result.

Rather than having to tolerate this unwanted silence between your music tracks (which sometimes can seem to go on forever), why not follow this short crossfading tutorial. By reading our guide, you will discover how to access this great feature in WMP 11; which incidentally isn't always easy to find. You will also learn out how to adjust the number of seconds to overlap songs by for seamless automatic crossfading every time.

Accessing the Crossfade Configuration Screen

  1. Run Windows Media Player 11.
  2. Click the View menu tab at the top of the screen and then choose Enhancements > Crossfading and Auto Volume Leveling. If you can't see the main menu options at the top of the screen in order to access Windows Media Player's enhancements screen, then hold the [CTRL] key and press [M] to turn on the menu bar.

You should now see this advanced option in the lower pane of the Now Playing screen.

Turning on Crossfading and Setting the Overlap Time

  1. By default crossfading is turned off, but you can activate this special mixing feature in Windows Media Player 11 by clicking the Turn on Crossfading option (blue hyperlink) near the bottom of the screen.
  2. Using the slider bar, set the amount of overlap (in seconds) you want to use — this is the mixing time to allow for one song to finish and the next one to start. In order to successfully crossfade songs, you will need to set a sufficient amount of overlap for one song to fade into the background while the next song's volume is ramped up. You can use up to 10 seconds for this process in WMP 11, although you might want to initially start at 5 seconds and experiment on what works the best for the music you are playing.

Testing and Tweaking Automatic Crossfading

  1. Click the Library menu tab at the top of the screen.
  2. To get the optimum amount of overlap for your songs, start by doing a test-run using an existing playlist you have already created (found in the Playlists section in the left menu pane). If you don't know how to do this, then follow our tutorial on how to create a playlist in WMP 11. Simply double-click one of your playlists to start playing songs. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop a few songs from your Windows Media Player library into the right-hand pane to create a temporary playlist.
  3. While you are playing songs, switch to the Now Playing screen -- click the blue Now Playing button near the top of the screen. If you don't want to wait for a song to finish to hear the crossfade, slide the seek bar (that's the long blue bar near the bottom of the screen) to almost the end of the track. Alternatively, hold down the mouse button on the skip track button which also acts as a fast-forward button.
  4. If the overlap isn't correct, use the crossfade slider bar to either increase or decrease the number of seconds.
  5. Recheck the crossfade again if necessary between the next two songs in your playlist.