For me it is absolutely the headphone jack. (macbook) I made all the recommended preferences changes to no effect. On the other hand, every time I jiggle the headphone plug iTunes pops up. Not sure how to fix this. My son had problems a few years ago with his headphone/speaker jack also. These issues need to be addressed with better/different hardware.
My iTunes just started doing this today. I haven't made any changes to my computer at all lately. In fact I haven't used iTunes in ages. I agree with strangelove1, it is absolutly the headphone jack. After reading that response, I wiggled my headphone jack and it opens iTunes and starts playing a song. Wiggle it again and it stops playing. In the last 5 minutes it has done this about 10 times. This is ridiculous. I'm trying to get some work done and iTunes is driving me bonkers.
For me the problem seemed to be an old Lastfm plug-in in...
After renaming the iTunes Plug-ins folder as in...
~/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins (Disabled)/AudioScrobbler.bundle
...and creating a new empty iTunes Plug-ins folder, I can Quit iTunes without worrying about it re-opening itself.
Thanks for the tip!
I've experienced the same problem today for the first time, but it is clear to me what has caused it on my MacBook Pro. In my case it was plugging in a pair of expensive TDK earphones (with mic) that caused i-Tunes to boot up relentlessly. If I swap to my TDKs for a pair of i-Phone earphones (with mic) it doesn't happen at all.
So, you boffins out there, any idea what's causing this and what I can do to prevent my Mac clashing with TDK and other spurious equipment in future?
This worked for me:
Running 10.8.5 and iTunes 11.1.3.
Eliminates "Play" button on Mac keyboard from launching iTunes but, more importantly for me, stopped headphones (direct in + bluetooth) from accidentally launching iTunes.
I just found a similar reason with the bluetooth. I have 2 headsets that would connect and one automatically tries streaming. Once I removed that device, the problem went away.
Interesting to note. It was still happening even when all my BT devices were turned off. So just the fact that the one device was registered in the BT settings created the issue.
Oh, my beloved Wacom tablet!
iTunes keeps launching by itself when I have my Wacom Intuos connected to my Mini 2011 and this behavior disappear as soon as I disconnected it.
Solution: I applied this patch and everything works fine now: https://github.com/thebitguru/play-button-itunes-patch