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iTunes 10 poor audio quality

62141 Views 92 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2014 9:00 AM by James.C RSS
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Adrian Whitfield Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 10, 2010 2:29 PM
After upgrading to iTunes 10, I noticed when playing music from my library that the audio quality is significantly lower than previously with iTunes 9.x. The audio quality sounds muffled and distorted.

I found this thread in the Windows section, but wondered if other Mac users were experiencing the problem as well.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2571907&start=0&tstart=0

I ended up downgrading back to iTunes 9.x and the problem was resolved. Any ideas? I'm going to end up needing to use iTunes 10 for my new Nano I think ...
21" iMac (late 2009 model), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • armhold Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2010 12:33 PM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    I'm having the same issue. I haven't tried rolling back to 9.x though; is that even possible?
    Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • oscardemadrid Calculating status...
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    Sep 12, 2010 4:15 AM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    Yes. It's possible to go back to iTunes 9 (I have done it. Version 9.2.from june 2010) but you will encounter an important issue-problem: your iTunes Library files won't be recognized by iTunes 9. A pop-up message will apppear telling you that those files were created-updated with a newest iTunes version and it's unable to open them. So, you have all your media files in iTunes but you will have to create (again) all your playlists (unlesss you did a back up of your library files before upgrading to this latest iTunes version).
    iMac and MacbookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Richard Mccarthy Calculating status...
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    Sep 14, 2010 12:37 PM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    Hi Everyone,

    I've noticed this two - iTunes 10 sounds terrible when compared with iTunes 9. What have Apple done?! I hope that this can be fixed with a software update.

    It sounds a bit like one of the awful settings that Sound Blaster sound cards used to have which claimed to be able to "recover" the lost information in MP3 files.

    When playing back my lossless files in to my stereo system, everything now sounds bright, harsh, too loud and it is very unpleasant and fatiguing to listen to.

    Apple please fix this issue!

    Best Wishes,

    Richard
    Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 4 GB RAM
  • Jason L Community Hosts Community Hosts (9,250 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 14, 2010 2:25 PM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    Hi Adrian,

    Try changing the equalizer settings in iTunes. Click Window in iTunes, then click Equalizer and choose one of the preset options.

    If the issue is not caused by the Equalizer, try updating or removing any 3rd-party iTunes plug-ins as suggested here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3430.

    -Jason
    MBP 2.4 with 4GB ram, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhone3GS, iPhone 3G, Apple TV, Airport, iMac, iPod Video, Nano, Hi-Fi..
  • micih Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 20, 2010 4:33 AM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    Just found the solution! At least for my case. I also had muffled sound and restricted frequency range as it seemed to my ears. And yes, it was the frequency range indeed...

    I usually listen through my Sound Sticks but this could also be the solution for other audio interfaces.

    Open Apples AudioMidi-Application and check frequency and bit rate for your interfaces' output!
    In my case the frequency range was set to 8000kHz for the sound sticks, put it back to 44.1kHz and Tatatataaaa: crisp sound again! (you may have to restart iTunes to have it respect this setting).

    I don't know what caused this setting, never messed around in AudioMidi. Something probably went wrong during the installation of iTunes10.

    But now have back again the sound quality of iTunes 9.x

    Hope this helps you all, it saved me from having to downgrade my iTunes installation.
    iMac Intel 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Harman Sound Sticks
  • Phil... Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 20, 2010 1:08 PM (in response to micih)
    That's a good idea, but did not help in my case.

    Since I upgraded to iTunes 10, Sound quality got very muffled and poor. I did not change any settings at all. EQ always off. Audio Midi Setup on 44,1 KHz/24 Bit. Very strange.
    iMac i3, Mac OS X (10.6.4), .
  • budman23 Calculating status...
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    Sep 20, 2010 1:25 PM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    well since i download the itunes 10 my itunes won't play. It take the song but i t won't play. A message tells me that my audio/video playback don't work or something like that.
    Windows XP
  • grandpa_bambu Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2010 2:16 PM (in response to Jason L)
    Jason...

    Thanks much dude! Upon checking the equalizer settings in iTunes, I found the PreAmp slider maxed out... Upon setting it to approx halfway, the playback distortion vanished...

    John
    PC, Windows XP
  • Pieca Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2010 3:13 AM (in response to grandpa_bambu)
    Hi,

    here Itunes 10.1 is really different sounding than Quick time, even with CD audio…

    On my mac pro X.6.5/quicktime 10.1 with Rme Multiface II, a CD played with Itunes got a narrower image than the same CD played with Space on the finder or Quicktime (same with any MP3, MP4, AIFF…).

    Of course, sound enhancer and EQ are off…
    Changing the RME frequency to 44.1 and/or changing frequency in audio midi setup doesn't change anything


    But… On my macbook Pro with an Apogee Duet same OS and Itunes version, I haven't got any issue with Itunes

    any idea?
    Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • ThaRu666 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2010 3:29 AM (in response to Pieca)
    Hey,

    I have also a very strange problem with iTunes 10.1 (54).
    I noticed that the seperation between the left and right audio channels is not correct.
    So I listen to a song with i.e. one guitar only on the left and one only on the right side, playing different stuff.
    In iTunes the right channel is also a little bit on the left side, so the stereo image is not correct.
    If I click "Show in finder" and I listen to the SAME file with Quicktime or the finder preview, everything is good and both channels are seperated as they should be.

    It seems like sort of a phasing problem, like a 3D-Simulation or stuff like that.

    Sound enhancer and EQ are off...

    I work as a music producer and noticed this problem lately, it totally *****!

    PLEASE UPDATE!!!
    MacBook Pro (early 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Pieca Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2010 4:13 AM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    I'm back to Itunes 9.2.1…everything sound as intended!

    I'll stay out of Itunes 10 until this issue will be resolved…
    Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Djezz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2010 5:43 AM (in response to ThaRu666)
    Exactly the same here.
    iTunes 10.1 narrows the stereo image and sounds canny.
    All hints followed but no improvement. Easily identifiable on a pro meter.

    Dragging an mp3 out of iTunes into the Finder and playing thru QT reveals that the Mp3 itself is fine. But the iTunes playback quality of the same file is definitely not. Both AIFs and Mp3s suffer from this detoriation.

    This is a ridiculous error.
    A music player that destroys the sound of your music !

    Good thing is: You'll be glad to discover how good your Mp3's REALLY sound when played outside iTunes
    2x2.8 Quad Core, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Pieca Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2010 5:55 AM (in response to Djezz)
    This is not a ridiculous error, even playing an audio CD with Itunes 10.1 kills the sound on my computer.

    I'm not alone having this issue, you will find numerous posts about this on pro-audio forum supports
    Dual 2Ghz G5/4 Gig Ram, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • wave-twister Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2010 12:14 AM (in response to Adrian Whitfield)
    The same problem.. Stereo image is so so poor( Can't listen to the music - it's really impossible.. Apple, do something!
    iMac "20, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
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