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Question: Homepod disconnects or stops playing music from itunes randomly

Homepod was just updated to 13.4. I did NOT notice this issue previously but others are reporting the exact same issue on other forums.


The first thread details the issue perfectly.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/homepod-stops-playing-music-from-itunes-windows.2215843/

https://www.reddit.com/r/HomePod/comments/eq4lg3/itunes_and_homepod_constantly_disconnect/


When using the homepod as a speaker from iTunes it will randomly stop playing music and display a dash like this "-" next to it. If I deselect it and click it again it will start playing sound again. If I stop the track and play again, it will start playing again.


Playing from windows 10 PC, fully updated.

iTunes 12.10.4.2

Homepod 13.4


The issue seems to happen less when I use the homepod as the only device checked to play music to. If i check other devices, like the apple TV and computer itself to play as well the issue happens more often. My WiFi is solid with no deadspots, I've done a speed test and poor mans site survey with my iPhone to test speeds with no issues. Also to rule out WiFi as the issue i can play from my iPhone to the homepod and apple TV without the problem.


I suspect its an iTunes issue or possibly the homepod struggling to stay in sync with iTunes. Please read the other threads before suggesting solutions already purposed as I've tried them all.


This clearly seems like a bug but I don't know where to submit bug reports for the homepod.


Thank you in advance.


Posted on Mar 25, 2020 7:34 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Aug 13, 2020 5:53 AM in response to Wappaloochie In response to Wappaloochie

The issue was introduced after 11.2.5 somewhere. I have had three separate HomePods all starting with 11.2.5. All three streamed fine but would lose network connection when "idle" under this version.


Two of the three were updated to 13.3.1 when the iTunes drop issue started happening.

One of the three was updated to the latest release, 13.4.8, and did not fix iTunes drop issue.


It's an iOS issue (or I guess TVOs now). It started somewhere between 11.2.5 and 13.3.1 or in 13.3.1 itself.


For those wondering, I did not buy three HomePods. One was a purchase/return when I realized it was an OS problem and the third was a replacement from Apple asking me to try a new HomePod.

Aug 13, 2020 5:53 AM

Question marked as Helpful

May 7, 2020 4:43 PM in response to Kwoodhouse In response to Kwoodhouse

I have had this same issue with iTunes and airplay to Homepod. 28 seconds into a track the sound stops followed by the "-" symbol next to the speaker in the list of connected devices. The sound comes back about 8 seconds from the end of the track and goes into the next song just to repeat the same. This does not happen 100% of the time but it is very common and the timing is always the same. You'll see in the attached picture all other Airplay devices are humming along. Only the office speaker has the "-" which is my Homepod. If I click on the minus, the sound comes back only to go back out 28 seconds into another song.


I have no bandwidth issues (Link rate is 866 Mbps to the Homepod). I've reset the homepod multiple times, restarted router, computer, etc. I've even flashed the bios on the off chance that something weird was going on there. The issue persisted.


I decided to try a brand new Homepod. It was on version 11.2.5 out of the box. After set up, I did not update it. Guess what...it played perfectly for over an hour. VICTORY! .......Unfortunately, it would not stay connected to the network when it was idle. I had to unplug it then plug it back in to get it to reconnect. I decided to update to 13.3.1 in hopes of correcting the connectivity issue and everything working fine with playback.


After updating, two tracks into playing on 13.3.1, the infamous 28 second "-" symbol returned. The issue is with 13.3.1 (or a prior release).


My setup is iTunes streaming from PC to multiple Airplay compatible devices with an Orbi mesh network. Music is a mix of my own library as well as Apple Music. The music type playing has no bearing on the issue. I've recreated the issue both ways. The only common factor is 13.3.1.


It's also important to note that I can play from my phone to the speaker with no issue. The problem here is that the speaker "takes over" the playlist. A bit after starting to play, I can no longer skip or control from iTunes on my phone. I have to open the Home app to control the playback. This is with hand off to Homepod disabled. This is one issue I've not wasted time troubleshooting but thought I'd mention it.


I spent a LONNNNG time with Apple support and not only did they have me recreate the issue for them on Homepod they had me experience the same issue on airplay through AppleTV. They acknowledge there's an issue and they are aware. Let's hope for a resolution soon. Best advice is to contact them and go through the motions so they can gather data on this issue.


May 7, 2020 4:43 PM

Question marked as Helpful

Aug 29, 2020 9:56 PM in response to Kwoodhouse In response to Kwoodhouse

So no dice on turning off the homepod features, however I have found a pattern in the packet capture correlated with the failure. I no longer think this is an issue with the homepod, but a problem solely with iTunes.


Every 30 seconds, iTunes sends a TCP message to homepod port 7000 with an OPTIONS message that provides cseq number, user agent, instance ID, and a remote ID. Between these messages, the homepod will send a TCP Keep-Alive to my PC from port 7000 every 6 seconds. After 4 of these, iTunes sends the options message.



When the issue occurs, that 30 second interval TCP options message does not get sent. That's why the other poster was encountering the issue at the 28 second mark each time. That is the refresh interval for this options message.


We can see in the packet capture, the TCP fin message comes as soon as the 30 second interval passes without the options message being sent from iTunes:


This leads me to believe that it might be possible to spoof this options message to the homepod using a 3rd party tool, therefore keeping the stream alive even when itunes fails to send the options message itself. That will be my next task.

Aug 29, 2020 9:56 PM

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 29, 2020 5:30 AM in response to Storrm68 In response to Storrm68

Bumbeen/Bryan debugged the issue and fixed the issue respectively. Huge respect to both of them. Again, shame on Apple.


Please refer to the post from Bryan above.


Download this utility so that Airplay stack continually maintains connection between iTunes and HP.


http://www.loseyourmind.com/volume-adjuster-for-itunes.aspx


Nov 29, 2020 5:30 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

May 7, 2020 4:43 PM in response to Kwoodhouse In response to Kwoodhouse

I have had this same issue with iTunes and airplay to Homepod. 28 seconds into a track the sound stops followed by the "-" symbol next to the speaker in the list of connected devices. The sound comes back about 8 seconds from the end of the track and goes into the next song just to repeat the same. This does not happen 100% of the time but it is very common and the timing is always the same. You'll see in the attached picture all other Airplay devices are humming along. Only the office speaker has the "-" which is my Homepod. If I click on the minus, the sound comes back only to go back out 28 seconds into another song.


I have no bandwidth issues (Link rate is 866 Mbps to the Homepod). I've reset the homepod multiple times, restarted router, computer, etc. I've even flashed the bios on the off chance that something weird was going on there. The issue persisted.


I decided to try a brand new Homepod. It was on version 11.2.5 out of the box. After set up, I did not update it. Guess what...it played perfectly for over an hour. VICTORY! .......Unfortunately, it would not stay connected to the network when it was idle. I had to unplug it then plug it back in to get it to reconnect. I decided to update to 13.3.1 in hopes of correcting the connectivity issue and everything working fine with playback.


After updating, two tracks into playing on 13.3.1, the infamous 28 second "-" symbol returned. The issue is with 13.3.1 (or a prior release).


My setup is iTunes streaming from PC to multiple Airplay compatible devices with an Orbi mesh network. Music is a mix of my own library as well as Apple Music. The music type playing has no bearing on the issue. I've recreated the issue both ways. The only common factor is 13.3.1.


It's also important to note that I can play from my phone to the speaker with no issue. The problem here is that the speaker "takes over" the playlist. A bit after starting to play, I can no longer skip or control from iTunes on my phone. I have to open the Home app to control the playback. This is with hand off to Homepod disabled. This is one issue I've not wasted time troubleshooting but thought I'd mention it.


I spent a LONNNNG time with Apple support and not only did they have me recreate the issue for them on Homepod they had me experience the same issue on airplay through AppleTV. They acknowledge there's an issue and they are aware. Let's hope for a resolution soon. Best advice is to contact them and go through the motions so they can gather data on this issue.


May 7, 2020 4:43 PM

Reply Helpful (6)

May 7, 2020 5:38 PM in response to Inmate_0801 In response to Inmate_0801

Ok a few things: the music cutting out is a connection issue, it doesn’t matter how fast your speed is or if other devices are working just fine. Homepod does not work well with Dual Bands Wifi. If you have that you need to disable the 5G and just use the lower speed and match that up with your device (the one you set it up with)

  • Or you can try rebooting your wifi modem.


  • Homepod needs a software update to 13.4 now - see if you can update it.
  • Update your device or iPhone as well.


Not being a one to control it on your device, is the music App. You’re not using the iTunes app for this

This also might be the network not working on your iPhone for this. (rebooting the wifi and/or resetting network settings can usually resolve this issue)


  • Some things you can try:

If the Music App isn’t responding 

Make sure your iOS software is up to date




May 7, 2020 5:38 PM

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May 8, 2020 11:33 AM in response to Vancouver22 In response to Vancouver22

So for the record, Apple support recommends 5G. Reboot was done multiple times. Homepod was updated to 13.4 the day it was released and Apple support contacted me to see if anything change with functionality...it did not.


The issue I have has nothing to do with playing from mobile devices. It's when I attempt to airplay from my PC via the iTunes application. It's a confirmed issue with Apple and the issue occurs with both Homepod and AppleTV.

May 8, 2020 11:33 AM

Reply Helpful (2)

May 8, 2020 11:57 AM in response to Inmate_0801 In response to Inmate_0801

It probably doesn't matter which service you disable. 2.4GHz has the greater reliable range, 5GHz the greater speed. Having both active seems to leave HomePod the option to hunt for the best service between the two and fail in its primary function of playing music.


tt2

May 8, 2020 11:57 AM

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May 8, 2020 2:06 PM in response to Vancouver22 In response to Vancouver22

Guys lets remove wireless from the discussion completely. This issue occurs with Apple TV as well when the computer and Apple TV are both hard wired. Wireless is completely removed from the equation.


Also as people have mentioned the issue does not occur when playing from an iPhone to apple TV and homepod. Only when playing from windows PC using iTunes.


In my opinion this is an iTunes issue. Not sure if it's just windows or also happens with Mac. I'm guessing its just the windows version and Apple wont fix it for awhile because they could care less about windows version of iTunes.

May 8, 2020 2:06 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

May 13, 2020 8:08 PM in response to Inmate_0801 In response to Inmate_0801

I think I found the issue. I have received my new HomePod

from Best Buy today. It came with 11.2.5 (I tested without updating to 13.4).

So far, I have been able to play music for over 45 minutes without it

disconnecting and showing the infamous "-". In addition, I downgraded

my Apple TV4 to 10.2.2. I have been able to Airplay music with no disconnects

on HomePod and Apple TV. My conclusion is there is an issue with the IOS

software and not iTunes. Hopefully, the next update resolves the issue. If

enough of us complain we have a better chance of them fixing the issue. Apple

HELP!

May 13, 2020 8:08 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

May 17, 2020 7:58 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

After struggling with this maddening issue for months on end, your suggestion solved the problem for me. I turned off the 5GHz band on the router and all other devices on LAN, rebooted everything, and the Airplay2 connectivity between my router, HomePods, and Sonos speakers improved 95%. I'll take it.

May 17, 2020 7:58 AM

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User profile for user: Kwoodhouse

Question: Homepod disconnects or stops playing music from itunes randomly

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