Yes, I wish I had a more concrete explanation. There seems to be a correlation between slow internet speed, similar to a correlation between high network activity and Airtunes streaming dropouts (another topic altogether).
It would make perfect sense if iTunes would simply display "rebuffering stream" as you pointed out. The behaviour manifests itself in the stream simply stopping, as if I pressed the Stop button. On the other hand, I've seen it start itself also, after mysteriously stopping on its own. It happens too rarely to report anything more specific than that.
I suspect there are a multitude of factors at work, which leads me to believe there isn't a quick fix to any of this.
Adding onto zteff's comments,
I have found that if I stream directly from the radio's website, WQXR in NYC for example, this eliminates the dropout problem. And yet the problem still exists within the iTunes environment. I have compared them back to back and found this to be the case.
That would suggest it is not a bandwidth issue.
Cheers -- jk
for me it's not a rebuffering issue. The mac i've got that plays the radio fine is a G3 with only 256MB ram. The internet on it is pretty slow but the radio works fine (using itunes version 6). The one it's not working smoothly on is G4 with 1.25GB of ram. Was hoping the update (9.02) that I downloaded today would have solved the problem but it hasn't. Does anybody know if there is away of going of going back to an older version like 8?????
Been having this prob since iTunes 8, and have given up hope that it would be addressed in update. Went to Genius bar could not duplicate. Phone support no help either.
- Happens on many machines with 10.4 or 10.5 and iTunes > 8.
- Airport Express that works fine in all other regards.
- Verizon DSL, also otherwise fine.
- Does not happen over wired ethernet.
- Streaming audio over Airtunes just randomly locks up and must be force quit.
- Streaming audio from iTunes via AirFoil gives stalled "Rebuffer" that can be "Stopped". Stream can then be restarted.
- Firefox audio over AirFoil no problem.
Someone from Apple please chime in.
It's a software problem. The newer versions of iTunes simply suck.
Congestions and dropped packets happen all the time on the Internet. Any well-designed streaming application is supposed to cope with these by rebuffering, instead of aborting without the user's consent. It's fine to stop retrying if the user was allowed to define some conditions (e.g. maximum of 10 retries, or abort if the buffer cannot be filled in 10 seconds).
It's mind-boggling how Apple can get this wrong when they get so many other things right.
Message was edited by: SwordAngel
Actually, there is a way around this Apple suckage:
1. Install VLC from videolan.org;
1. Launch iTunes;
2. Go to the Radio section;
3. Drag your favourite station to the left, under "Playlists"; this will create a playlist;
4. Click the playlist you have just created;
5. Highlight the only item in that playlist;
6. Press Command+I (that's a capital I, not a lower-case L);
7. Click "Edit URL…"
8. Copy the URL;
9. Launch VLC;
10. Press Command+N;
11. Paste the URL you copied from iTunes;
12. Click "Open".
Whereas iTunes would drop a stream spontaneously even with a stable and wide enough Internet connection, VLC would stream smoothly. Even on a laggy connection, VLC always rebuffers.
I'm glad I found you all here. I've been having the same problem since iTunes 8, and have swapped out Airport Express units (actually bought another one!) and routers (x2) in the belief that it was somehow hardware related.
But it's not! It's without doubt an iTunes issue, and most likely buffering as tests I've done on my bandwidth seem to show that iTunes radio crashes when there is a SLIGHT bandwidth drop...not a bandwidth halt, just a slight drop in download speed.
Reading all the comments here, I'm astounded that someone from Apple (who MUST be reading these forums) hasn't bothered to comment or address the issue.
SwordAngel, the VLC workaround is good, but we shouldn't let Apple off the hook just because you were prepared to help us all survive
Hello APPLE....anyone home??
After suffering from this problem for over a year, I think I've found a workaround that's been working for me; at least it's been working for the past three days. Hopefully apple will address handling interruptions more gracefully in future versions of itunes.
(1) find the ip address of your cable (or dsl) modem
(2) open a terminal window
(3) ping the ip address and leave it running "ping 192.168....."
(4) start itunes radio streaming
Previously, I would start streaming and within 30-60 seconds the stream would fail and I'd get the 'Opening URL ; rebuffering stream' dialogue box. I'd close the box, then hit play again and it would immediately start playing. This pattern would repeat about 10 to 15 times, after which it would stream without any stopping for hours and hours. Doing the steps outlines above has eliminated the need to do this.
I'm having similar problems. I have a mac pro with 10GB of RAM, fibre optic broadband and wired LAN to the mac, streaming to apple tv, also wired.
Usually radio will stream for a few hours before stopping with no error, and it is impossible to get it running again from the iTunes session (the stream shows stopped, but hitting play, or browsing back to the station has no effect). If I shut down and restart iTunes it works again - for a few hours.
Very odd - think ColinF's suggestion is most plausible (that any drop in bandwidth below some threshold, even if very short-lived, somehow crashes the radio streaming, and leaves it in an unrecoverable state), and agree with him that Apple really ought to fix it - especially as it seems form this thread that it is a pretty old problem.
John Galt wrote:
I had this quite often at the times my wireless was scrambled and the Internet connection stays stable even if "inside" the wireless connections e.g. Airtunes cut off.
This also happens if only system speakers where used.
In my case, the major problem was in the AP-Extreme's wireless settings and that therefore the clients switched seamlessly between the two wireless radio bands, provided with the same SSID but different BSSI's.
That had no remarkable effect on surfing the Internet but streaming connections stopped immediately either to iTunes or to the AP-Express which is connected to my stereo.
On firsthand I could not see the connection between radio stream stop in iTunes and the fact, that Internet still was running and reachable e.g. via Safari until I realized that streams (of course) use a different protocol.
The issue went totally away after tweaking my wireless on both router and stations to proper working.
With iTunes 9 this worked perfectly. Never dropped. iTunes 10 drops all the time
That's not a iTunes problem. It's in your network (wireless) configuration.
My wireless configuration has not changed. The only thing that changed was iTunes.
Also, when iTunes drops it DROPS... as in hangs and requires a Force Quit. Pretty sure that isn't suppose to happen.