The Audio Controls of Your iPad - dummies

The Audio Controls of Your iPad

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

These are the audio controls you use on your iPad after you tap a song, podcast, audiobook, or iTunes U course. These things — songs, podcasts, audiobooks, and iTunes U courses — are often referred to as tracks to avoid confusion.

Take a peek at this figure and you see exactly where all these controls are located on the screen:

  • Volume control: Drag the little dot to the left or right to reduce or increase the volume level.

  • Previous Track/Rewind button: When a track is playing, tap once to go to the beginning of the track or tap twice to go to the start of the preceding track in the list. Touch and hold this button to rewind the track at double speed.

  • Play/Pause button: Tap to play or pause the track.

  • Next Track/Fast Forward button: Tap to skip to the next track in the list. Touch and hold this button to fast-forward at double speed.

    You can display playback controls anytime a track is playing. Better still, this trick works even when you’re using another app or your Home screen(s): Just double-tap the Home button and swipe the multitasking bar from left to right, and the controls appear at the bottom of the screen

    The playback controls don’t appear if you’re using an app that has its own audio, such as many games, any app that records audio, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps like Skype.

    A similar set of controls appears at the top of the screen when you double-tap the Home button while your iPad is locked.

  • Scrubber bar and Playhead: Drag the little dot (the Playhead) along the Scrubber bar to skip to any point within the track.

    You can adjust the scrub rate by sliding your finger downward on the screen as you drag the Playhead along the Scrubber bar.

  • Repeat: Tap once to repeat all songs in the current list (that is, playlist, album, artist, composer, or genre) and play them all over and over. Tap again to repeat the current song again and again. Tap again to turn off repeat.

    The button appears in blue after one tap, in blue with a little 1 inside after two taps, and in black and white when repeat is turned off.

  • Shuffle: Tap this button to play songs at random; tap again to play songs in the order they appear onscreen.

  • Genius: Genius selects songs from your music library that go great together.


But wait, there’s more. If you tap the album art for the song that’s playing (between the Fast Forward/Next Track button and the Repeat button at the top of the screen), the album art fills the screen. Tap anywhere to see the controls and tabs at the top and bottom of the screen.

Notice that when album art is onscreen, the Store button and Search field at the bottom of the screen disappear, and the Back and Track List buttons take their places, as shown in this figure.


The volume control, Rewind/Previous Track button, Play/Pause button, Fast Forward/Next Track button, and Scrubber bar/Playhead may look slightly different on this screen, but they work in exactly the same way.

The new buttons at the bottom of the screen are as follows:

  • Back: Tap this button to return to the previous screen.

  • Track List: Tap this button to see all the tracks on the album that’s currently playing.

Tap any song in this list to play it. Or, swipe your finger across the dots just beneath the Scrubber bar to rate the song from one to five stars. In this figure, the song that’s playing — Across the Universe — was rated four stars.

Why would you want to assign star ratings to songs? One reason is that you can use star ratings to filter songs in iTunes on your Mac or PC. Another is that you can use them when you create Smart Playlists in iTunes. And last but not least, they look cool.