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iTunes 10 poor audio quality

62077 Views 92 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2014 9:00 AM by James.C RSS
  • Level 6 Level 6 (11,035 points)
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    Dec 5, 2010 4:19 AM (in response to wave-twister)
    Same here... playing the same file in Quicktime and iTunes sounds different. There's no noticeable distortion or anything, but there's something weird going on with the stereo image.
    Mac Mini Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Level 6 Level 6 (11,035 points)
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    Dec 5, 2010 5:15 AM (in response to Merged Content 1)
    btw The problem only seems to occur using my old original Digidesign Mbox. The Mac's built in headphone output is fine, and a different USB audio interface (M-Audio Pre USB) was also fine, so there's something strange going on between iTunes and the Mbox, possibly to do with the Digi CoreAudio driver.
    Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • ThaRu666 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 5, 2010 10:20 AM (in response to Merged Content 1)
    The stereo-image problem occurs on my system if I play through my Echo Audiofire 4 FW-Interface as well as I use the built in headphone output.
    No difference.
    MacBook Pro (early 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • wave-twister Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 5, 2010 10:42 AM (in response to ThaRu666)
    I've got Audiofire 4 too.. the same ****(
    iMac "20, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • F5D Calculating status...
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    Dec 8, 2010 10:32 AM (in response to wave-twister)
    Hi guys, I have exactly the same problem after updating to iTunes 10.1. Music files sound almost mono in iTunes now and alot of high end is lost. Everything still sounds ok in Quicktime or any other software, except iTunes 10.1. I just went back to iTunes 10.0.1, which sounds like Quicktime, no problems. However, it does not seem to be compatible with my iPhone 4 with iOS 4.2, so I have to wait for new iTunes update which solves this strange problem before I can sync my iPhone again.
    Mac Pro 8x2.8GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Logic Studio 9, RME RayDAT, Benchmark DAC1, Sennheiser HD650
  • KidCactus Calculating status...
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    Dec 16, 2010 6:59 AM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    Yup, I also got strange audio issues on 10.1. Some tracks sounds like crap and are panned a lot to the right when played in iTunes, even though the exact same file plays just fine in Quicktime.

    A song played in iTunes:

    http://wearegamers.se/images/itunes_pan.png

    The same song/file played in Quicktime:

    http://wearegamers.se/images/quicktimeintepan.png

    I tired downgrading to 10.0.1, just to realize it won't work with iOS 4.2.1. And a lot of my album art wouldn't import either. So now I'm back to square one, with iTunes 10.1 and audio issues.
    Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • KidCactus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 16, 2010 7:19 AM (in response to KidCactus)
    For a even more visual image of what is happening, here's the song recorded using Audio Hijack Pro, playing in both iTunes and Quicktime:

    http://wearegamers.se/images/hijacked.png
    Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • oleus Calculating status...
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    Dec 16, 2010 8:37 AM (in response to KidCactus)
    this is insane, i thought my ears had been failing me recently. just found this thread, and i'm amazed that the ongoing legacy of itunes bugs now includes vastly diminushed audio quality? c'mon apple!
    PowerMac G5 dual 2ghz//4gb ram, Mac OS X (10.5.6), appletv/bluetooth keyboard/mightymouse bt/isight/iphone 3g/white macbook 4gb ram
  • wave-twister Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 16, 2010 12:13 PM (in response to oleus)
    Sooo i hope a new update 10.1.1 has already solved the problem? Does anybody know?
    iMac "20, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • ThaRu666 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 16, 2010 4:27 PM (in response to wave-twister)
    Update 10.1.1 did NOT fix the problem...
    MacBook Pro (early 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Ironic Bliss Calculating status...
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    Dec 17, 2010 10:07 AM (in response to ThaRu666)
    I don't really understand what's happening with this strange problem, but it started to affect me to the point where iTunes was completely unusable as soon as I installed the latest 10.1.1 update... There was a horrible clipping kind of distortion going on, and surges or reduction in volume!!! This has happened before with iTunes updates, though, so this time I didn't tear my hair out checking all my cables and wasting hours doing all kinds of stuff...

    I recommend trying this, although it doesn't look much:

    1. Quit iTunes and any other audio applications. Open Apple's Audio/Midi setup application (in Applications >Utilities >Audio Midi Setup).

    2. Check that the settings for output are correct (i.e. 2 Ch 24 bit and 44.1 KHz or 44,100.0 Hz). Even if the settings are correct, just touch the scroll bar to see the list, and off again.

    3. Open System Preferences and select "Sound", and "Output" and check that the stereo balance is in the centre.

    4. Next, open iTunes, and select "Window" from the top menu bar and select "Equalizer". Even if the Equalizer is set to "Flat", uncheck it so that the Equalizer is completely turned OFF.

    5. In iTunes Preferences, select "Playback" and make sure that "Crossfade", "Sound Enhancer" and "Soundcheck" are all unchecked and switched OFF.

    Put the open panes away, and test iTunes by preferably starting with a music track that is fairly modern or has plenty in the bass end (I used Sly and Robby reggae dub stuff in the first instance, then some Prince, and then some acoustic music, for example).

    Would be interested to hear if this simple "refresh" fix works for anyone else - it worked for me: the clipping distortion has stopped and the all round sound quality is a big improvement from what it was
    Intel iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Custom
  • edgemusic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 17, 2010 2:34 PM (in response to Ironic Bliss)
    I'm really glad to have found this thread!

    I am a professional composer and producer. I composed, mixed and mastered a 45 minute album of electronic music for a client about a week ago. After giving it a bit of space,(as I'd heard it so many times whilst working on it), I went to iTunes to have a listen to it.

    Ugh!

    The stereo image is totally skewed, and the spectral EQ is badly distorted too. I thought I was losing my marbles at first. I even rang my client who commissioned the work (which saw a commercial release last week), stating that I had made a mistake with the Mid/Side processing when I did the mastering, and we would need to re-upload a new version after I have corrected it!!!

    Upon, further investigation, I found that the culprit most certainly is iTunes 10.1 (54). I have checked it against QuickTime player, and checked it on iTunes 9 on another Mac - these are fine. It's the same issue when playing CDs through iTunes 10.1 as well.

    ***?
    Mac Pro 2.8 GHz Xeon 8-core, Mac OS X (10.6.4), RME Fireface 400/Logic 9.1.3
  • oleus Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
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    Dec 17, 2010 4:02 PM (in response to edgemusic)
    would this explain why a newly exported AIFF file from a multitrack Garageband mix (suppiedly "uncompressed") sounds terrible in itunes compared to when i play the timeline in Garageband?
    PowerMac G5 dual 2ghz//4gb ram, Mac OS X (10.5.6), appletv/bluetooth keyboard/mightymouse bt/isight/iphone 3g/white macbook 4gb ram
  • edgemusic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 17, 2010 4:13 PM (in response to oleus)
    if you're using 10.1 or 10.1.1 then yep

    this is a fix that has been working for some, and maybe all:

    (adapted from a post by "FSD" from a thread on Gearslutz that is discussing this topic:

    1) Close iTunes
    2) In system Preferences, change the sound output from your external interface to Line out
    3) Open iTunes and start to play some music
    4) While iTunes is playing, change the Line Out back to your external interface

    You may well have to do this each time you launch iTunes - I don't know yet.

    Link for thread:


    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/549883-itunes-10-1-ruined-playbac k-sound-totally-3.html
    Mac Pro 2.8 GHz Xeon 8-core, Mac OS X (10.6.4), RME Fireface 400/Logic 9.1.3
  • Ironic Bliss Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 18, 2010 1:18 AM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    There are some simple "switching things off and on" solutions that work for some (see my post above and from others). A very similar problem occurred with iTunes 7 if I remember correctly.

    For information: At the same time the 10.1.1 bug wrecked my playback in iTunes, I was working on a project in Logic Studio and the same thing happened. So effectively my entire audio system was knocked out. It's a really horrible bug. I seem to have cleared it in Logic Studio (somehow) by just going into the control strip and switching off, then on, various things like the compression and the EQ. Unfortunately I don't really know exactly what cleared it. With previous iTunes/audio bugs this also affected playback in Logic as well as iTunes.

    Let's face it, it's about time the people at Apple took a break from their silly iPad fad and paid attention to the functionality of their frontline software... :-/
    Intel iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Custom
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