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Eric D. Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
I'm very frustrated lately with iTunes. I'm running version 10.1 but have been having a problem for the last several releases. I have about 56 gigs of music located on my iMac. I don't access any of it off an external drive. I'm finding that iTunes is randomly freezing which causes the whole computer to freeze as well. My mouse pointer still moves and sometimes the music will even keep playing, at least for a while, but everything else is unresponsive and clicking on any app causes the beach ball to start spinning. I can't force quit anything because the dock, the Apple menu and any utilities I have running are also frozen. The only recovery to to power down the machine. I've even left it frozen for an hour to see if it would eventually recover and it doesn't.

What's frustrating is that I can't figure out exactly what causes the freeze. Sometimes it happens with music playing and iTunes in the background. Other times it happens downloading apps or syncing my iPhone. It's to the point where anytime I use iTunes I have to close all my open applications and cross my fingers because chances are it will freeze at some point. I know some users are reporting freezes when they launch the app. This doesn't seem to be my problem. It launches fine and I'm able to use it but at some point if I keep it open, chances are it will freeze. I pretty much get in and get out and hope for the best.

Given that I have a large library and I don't want to loose all my album art, play counts, etc, I'm not sure what to do. I've done all the usual trouble shooting of deleting pref files, repairing disk permissions, etc but nothing has helped. At this point, I can't tell if something is corrupted or if there's a bug with iTunes itself. If it's a corruption, I'm not sure how to fix it without loosing anything (artwork, play counts, etc).

There seem to be a fair number of people reporting freeze problems but there doesn't seem to be a consistent cause or any real trouble shooting that has worked. I'm really at a loss. iTunes is great and I love listening to music but hard crashes are not good for my other applications and sooner or later it's going to cause corruption issues on the disk or with other applications. The problem seems to be getting worse too. It started off around the time I upgraded to Snow Leopard but was only happening occasionally. Now it happens constantly but again, only when iTunes is running.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

PS. If your suggestion is to reinstall my OS, thanks in advance but move along to the next post. That's not next in line as a trouble shooting step.

iMac 3.06 GHz 24", iPhone 3 GS, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 4 Gigs RAM
  • toonz Level 7 Level 7 (22,360 points)
    Just to clarify, all your music is local to your machine -- you're not using a server to store music. You have no iTunes plugins running. You don't have a device (iPhone / iPod) plugged in. You don't have anything running accessing iTunes via scripting like Automator.

    Have you created a new user / new library temporarily just as a debugging step and seen if the hangs still happen there? Is there anything in particular that makes it freeze like playing a specific kind of song or video? Is iTunes doing anything in the background like gapless analysis or genius or downloading album artwork?
  • Eric D. Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    All my music is local. I have nothing on external drives and don't have any attached to my Mac. I did have two plug-ins (Quartz Composer Visualizer and Audio Scrobbler) but I just removed both. My iPhone is sometimes connected, sometimes not. iTunes has crashed 4 times today and once the phone was connected, once it was connected but not recognized (because it froze) and the other two times nothing was connected. No scripts are running. It crashed once today importing songs through the "automatically add to itunes folder."

    I will create another library and see if a very small new library causes any issues. I could also try doing something similar in a different user account. Good suggestion.

    As for what's happening when it freezes, that's really hard to say. Sometimes nothing is happening, the application is just open. Other times it's playing music, syncing my phone or downloading items from the store. One thought I had was this is network related. Since iTunes does so much online access (downloading songs/apps, genius, recommendations, updating podcasts, etc) there's no way of knowing if somehow it got suck checking something online and for whatever reason, doesn't time out. That might explain while it hangs the whole system but it wouldn't make sense that the problem would happen so often and only to some of us.

    I don't really play video through iTunes so it's not that and it's not really analyzing anything.

    I will try to new library idea and see where that leads. I did find a few orphaned files and fixed those but that didn't help.

    Thanks!
  • toonz Level 7 Level 7 (22,360 points)
    What you can do when it's hung is take a sample. On the command line in Terminal, type in "sample iTunes 100" and send it to our buddy, Roy Batty, at royb@apple.com.

    You need to attach / provide all of the following:

    1. the sample output file
    2. the link to this thread
    3. a one line description of your problem, i.e. "iTunes spontaneously freezes"
    4. the username you're using here in the discussion boards

    Roy gets a little swamped with mail so you need to make sure that your message has all the information or it's just going to get thrown on the floor.
  • gitarzysta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The freezes (eventually locking the whole system) happen to me, too and so far they've always occurred when downloading updates from App Store.



    Next time I will try to open Terminal and probe iTunes as you suggested. I just wonder how l'll I open the terminal if the system is frozen...



    Is it a coincidence that both of us with this problem have 3.06 Ghz 24" iMacs?
  • Larry Bryan Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Apple keeps writing more and more BUGGY software. The users need to demand better from Apple. Have better things to do than PROBLEM SOLVE BETA software.
  • El Deanio Level 3 Level 3 (735 points)
    I seem to have the same problem. I'm working on NeoOffice maybe, also Mail and maybe some other programme. Plus I have iTunes in the background playing something.

    I switch into iTunes and select a track. It starts playing but I'm curious so I 'right-click' to access the 'Get Info' option.

    iTunes continues to play the track I'm listening to but the cursor changes to a spinning beach ball and all else freezes. Like the other writer says, I find the only way out is to hold in the Power button for a few seconds until the Mac reboots.

    I have tried booting into Safe Mode, repairing permissions and checking the integrity of the HDD with Disk Utility.

    My iMac's got 4GB RAM incidentally.
  • Eric D. Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    I will give that a try if I can access a Terminal window when the freeze occurs. Can you tell me what that sample iTunes 100 file shows?
  • Eric D. Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    So I tried your suggestion tonight but without much success. I had iTunes running with both Activity Monitor and Terminal windows open. I had some App updates to download so I let iTunes try to download them all. It downloaded a few and then froze up. Interestingly, the download indicators started to count up, not down while it was frozen. During this time, I could click on the other Apps but each was also frozen with the beach ball so I was unable to enter any commands. Then, the downloads errored out (the active downloads with a -50 error and the others with a -36). At that time, I was also able to enter the "sample iTunes 100" command but it said it could not perform the operation. In Activity Monitor, my network activity was now flat but syslogd was going crazy chewing up to 190% of the cpu cycles. When I tried to type the command in Terminal, iTunes actually crashed completely and disappeared. That has never happened before. Terminal and Activity Monitor were still running and I could type commands into Terminal but they didn't seem to work. For example, I typed sudo reboot and it denied the operation without ever asking for password. I'm a novice with Terminal so I really don't know my way around the command line.

    In any case, the end result was the same. The only way to get control back of my Mac was to do a hard reboot. Trying to quit the syslogd process in Activity Monitor locked that app up and I couldn't get Terminal to do anything. Even though I could access the Finder menu and select Shutdown or Restart, neither would work.

    Just to be clear, my problems with iTunes do not always happen when I'm downloading Apps. This afternoon, it crashed while I was just listening to music. The outcomes I'm reporting tonight are just what happened with this particular freeze. I do wonder, however, if this isn't network related. My internet service has been having problems this past month with packet errors and I wonder if somehow this is affecting iTunes. Maybe iTunes can't handle timeouts or errors correctly and freezes. Who knows...just a guess.

    I'm not sure what to try next.
  • El Deanio Level 3 Level 3 (735 points)
    Eric D. wrote:
    So I tried your suggestion tonight but without much success. I had iTunes running with both Activity Monitor and Terminal windows open. I had some App updates to download so I let iTunes try to download them all. It downloaded a few and then froze up. Interestingly, the download indicators started to count up, not down while it was frozen. During this time, I could click on the other Apps but each was also frozen with the beach ball so I was unable to enter any commands. Then, the downloads errored out (the active downloads with a -50 error and the others with a -36). At that time, I was also able to enter the "sample iTunes 100" command but it said it could not perform the operation. In Activity Monitor, my network activity was now flat but syslogd was going crazy chewing up to 190% of the cpu cycles. When I tried to type the command in Terminal, iTunes actually crashed completely and disappeared. That has never happened before. Terminal and Activity Monitor were still running and I could type commands into Terminal but they didn't seem to work. For example, I typed sudo reboot and it denied the operation without ever asking for password. I'm a novice with Terminal so I really don't know my way around the command line.

    In any case, the end result was the same. The only way to get control back of my Mac was to do a hard reboot. Trying to quit the syslogd process in Activity Monitor locked that app up and I couldn't get Terminal to do anything. Even though I could access the Finder menu and select Shutdown or Restart, neither would work.

    Just to be clear, my problems with iTunes do not always happen when I'm downloading Apps. This afternoon, it crashed while I was just listening to music. The outcomes I'm reporting tonight are just what happened with this particular freeze. I do wonder, however, if this isn't network related. My internet service has been having problems this past month with packet errors and I wonder if somehow this is affecting iTunes. Maybe iTunes can't handle timeouts or errors correctly and freezes. Who knows...just a guess.

    I'm not sure what to try next.


    Eric.

    Have you tried disconnecting all peripherals (except the keyboard obviously) and then seeing what happens without them?

    I noticed the other day that my external Firewire 800 drive had gone to sleep. There is a button on the back of my external HDD that I can press to wake the drive up again. This button is for me to use to manually shut the drive down if and when I need to powercycle. Sometimes my external HDD shuts down of its own accord without warning and I have been wondering if this was what had happened when I got my freeze.

    Speaking of powercycling I wonder have you tried doing this? That is, shutting everything down and then disconnecting everything (especially your Mac) temporarily from the wall socket, counting to 30, then plugging it all back in again and restarting. I think doing this resets the power controller module or somethng and has on occassion been known to cure strange problems. I'm not saying it will cure your problem but, seeing as my freeze hasn't occurred for a while since I did this, I'm wondering if you might want to try it too. It won't do any harm.

    Message was edited by: El Deanio for spelling errors
  • anlaochfhile Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Interesting. I too have had frequent freezes with my 3.06Ghz 24" iMac (upgrade to 4GB RAM). iTunes always seems to be at the center of the problem and eventually leads me to a hard reboot. I'll note further that it used to only happen during simultaneous downloads, but now happens more frequently, sometimes when there is no particular activity on the machine at all. I'm currently trying to recreate my library (importing the .xml after deleting the library file) to see if is some sort of library corruption causing the problem. Pretty doggone frustrating, to say the least.
  • koikazephoenix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same problem as you guys. unibody MacBook pro (with express card slot)
    2.4 ghz
    4gb of apple ram
    500gb hdd seagate
    Disk utility runs
    Fine permissions
    No disk repair
    iTunes is 10.1
    Os is OSX 10.6.5

    iTunes on boot freezes as it loads genius settings. Tried connecting iPad earlier to update to 4.2. Froze in middle of backup (set to auto detect and autoupdate in settings). Can't reach settings, can't get logs, can't stop frustration. It is only iTunes causing this trouble and this freezing issue has been going on since at least 9.0. However, since 10.0 and now 10.1 the freezes have continued until they are now automatic. 100% of the 12 times i have had to force restart, iTunes freezes the system. Reinstallation is not an option as I have no backups and no means to (time capsule break down).

    I hope there is a fix soon, otherwise I'm gonna have to do the only fix we all know and love (backup and reinstall). Good luck guys finding a fix, because We kinda need our music (play counts and stuff intact if possible)
  • koikazephoenix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I hate to double post, please forgive.
    However, I had a trouble with itunes and the first iphone about two years ago with a problem similar to this.
    Short edition is, sometimes iTunes crashes when updating the phone, pad, touch. When it does this, the data is corrupted somehow. When iTunes crashes or freezes during this instance, for some reason (I'm not a coding person, don't understand the technology behind it) it corrupts iTunes and Mobile Substrate. Also the backup. the faulty backup is slowing the process (as itunes has to load it, technically, to recognize it in settings)

    The solution to this problem was to create a new library, delete your backups, and then restart iTunes with the default library.

    I tried it, and lo and behold, full update and use of itunes and am now using 4.2 and listening to music on my machine again.

    I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but it worked for me. Maybe give that a try.
  • Eric D. Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    Nothing else is plugged into my Mac other than the keyboard but good suggestion as I know external drives sometimes cause issues. I have power cycled my machine as well but that didn't fix anything. It's definitely something iTunes related because it only happens when iTunes is running.
  • Eric D. Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
    I thought it might be a data corruption issue as well. Each time iTunes crashes, it's possible that files are getting left open and that could cause corruption. I tried creating a new user account creating a new library with my existing music. Unfortunately, iTunes froze before it ever finished (somewhere during checking for gapless playback or hunting for album art). I think this ruled out it being something in my user account since a fresh user account and new iTunes library still froze.

    I did manage to upgrade my iPhone through iTunes yesterday without it crashing. I also noticed that my Genius mixes were missing from my phone and I had two entries for "Genius" in my side bar. It's possible that this is related to the freezes as iTunes is constantly trying to update that mix data. It's hard to know. With all the crashes, things are getting messed up.
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