Individual tracks converted to single file (or vice versa)

I am getting an Ipod for xmas and want to rip all my cds onto a hard drive. From there I will transfer albums as needed to my Ipod.

I don’t want any gaps when listening to my live and classical music on my Ipod. I’ve read the only option is to rip a CD into a single file. I don’t want to store all my cds as a single files (flac format) on my hard drive, unless I can easily extract them into individual tracks once again. OR, if I store individual tracks, is there a way I can merge them into a single file when I want to put them on my Ipod

Is there a way to do what I want easily? I am currently using Plextools Professional with my Plextor Premium drive. I also use Nero v. 6.0 to burn CDs, if these programs will be of any use.

I am not positive that ripping a CD into a single file is the only way to omit the gaps. One thing you could try is using an editor (like Cool Edit for example). The way I would do it is rip the cd’s normally, then open each track and cut out the silence seconds manually. I know it is a lot of work, but I think it is easy to do. Besides, you can do other things with such a tool.

I don’t think the gaps in question are actually between the tracks (that is, they are not on the original CD). I think they are caused by the codec (mp3, AAC, etc) used to compress the files. It actually might be a design issue with digital audio players. I am not sure. I don’t remember the explanation I’ve read in different newsgroups. Regardless, the only way around it that I have heard to is to either join tracks together (via Itunes) or rip a cd as a single file.