Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: May 4, 2012 7:22 AM by zit
Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,455 points)
Base configuration with dual core 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM.

Tried watching a BBC nature documentary Life, Fish episode and there was frequent stuttering/ freezing.

I'm sure this has streamed flawlessly to an AppleTV 2 in the past.

Activity Monitor didn't suggest any processes maxing Cpu and there's 1GB of RAM free.

Media stored on a WD passport drive which despite being portable, when copying files seems to outperform many powered external drives.

Disabled Spotlight on the external drive too.

I don't think the 2010 Mini should struggle on low bitrate iTunes HD content like this.

Any ideas?

Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Wireless connection? How full is the hard drive?
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    This is a very common problem on various computers with iTunes HD content.
    There are several threads in the iTunes forum and various other forums on the
    net. As there seems to be no solution, most posts just eventually fade away.
    Seems tome, Apple just isn't doing something right when decoding their HD
    stuff that has DRM.

    I experience similar problems. During an iTunes HD movie, video will pause for
    a moment or to then "catch up" and start again. During this time, the audio is
    unaffected. It also does not matter whether the movie is on an internal, external, or
    network drive. This can happen one, sometimes four times during a movie. It
    always seems to happen at least twice when I watch Warehouse13 HD.

    Yet, I have perfect playback of 1080p content at bit rates from 8 to 33 megabit/second.
    This is using Plex or VLC as a player. I can even play Bluray disks without issues
    when running Win7 in Bootcamp, and in a roundabout on OSX. So, yes, you are
    correct that the Mini should not struggle with the iTunes HD bitrates, which are
    usually at most around 4.5 megabit.

    So, it indicates to me that there is some bug or just poorly written code for the
    iTunes codecs.

    It seemed, to me anyway, that it started to happen somewhere with either the
    update to iTunes 10.1 or OSX 10.6.5 update, as both occurred around the same time.
    It was some time after that I noticed the pausing issue.

    As a note, all iTunes SD content play fine.
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,455 points)
    DaddyPaycheck wrote:
    Wireless connection? How full is the hard drive?


    Media on 2.5" portable connected direct via USB.

    Drive maybe 70% full.
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,455 points)
    320GB internal drive with 280GB free in Finder.
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,455 points)
    woodmeister50 wrote:
    This is a very common problem on various computers with iTunes HD content.
    There are several threads in the iTunes forum and various other forums on the
    net.


    I've a funny feeling I'd seen a few of these

    As there seems to be no solution, most posts just eventually fade away.
    Seems tome, Apple just isn't doing something right when decoding their HD
    stuff that has DRM.

    I experience similar problems. During an iTunes HD movie, video will pause for
    a moment or to then "catch up" and start again. During this time, the audio is
    unaffected. It also does not matter whether the movie is on an internal, external, or
    network drive. This can happen one, sometimes four times during a movie. It
    always seems to happen at least twice when I watch Warehouse13 HD.


    Presumably it happens at different points each time too - if it was a specific encoding problem you'd expect the problem to reoccur at the same point each time.

    Yet, I have perfect playback of 1080p content at bit rates from 8 to 33 megabit/second.
    This is using Plex or VLC as a player. I can even play Bluray disks without issues
    when running Win7 in Bootcamp, and in a roundabout on OSX. So, yes, you are
    correct that the Mini should not struggle with the iTunes HD bitrates, which are
    usually at most around 4.5 megabit.


    Precisely.

    So, it indicates to me that there is some bug or just poorly written code for the
    iTunes codecs.


    Yes, or some other process interfering.


    It seemed, to me anyway, that it started to happen somewhere with either the
    update to iTunes 10.1 or OSX 10.6.5 update, as both occurred around the same time.
    It was some time after that I noticed the pausing issue.


    Trouble is I mainly playback these fine on AppleTvs - this problem reared it's head whilst on holiday - I could not authorise for AppleTV playback due to being stuck in a forest without an internet connection but the files would play on the Mini I took as a compact computer.




    As a note, all iTunes SD content play fine.
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    Alley_Cat wrote:
    Presumably it happens at different points each time too - if it was a specific encoding problem you'd expect the problem to reoccur at the same point each time.


    It does happen at different points, and different frequencies for each playback. Sometimes it it
    will hiccup only once, sometimes multiple times, and never at the same points. Once again, this only
    happens on iTunes HD, DRM'ed material.
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Any time a drive approaches 75-80% full it can cause these kinds of stuttering issues.
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,455 points)
    Appreciate the comments, but not sure I'd entirely agree with that though I'm ready to be convinced - do you mean on the basis of fragmentation or something else here?

    The bitrate of iTunes HD material will be less than 5Mbps on average otherwise they wouldn't work for AppleTV 1.

    iTunes should also be buffering ahead a little, and I can't see full drives really impacting when we're talking bitrates that low.

    I re-checked my energy saving preferences and for some reason 'put disks to sleep' had become re-checked - I normally disable this. Could be this but can't currently test as kids are hogging the TV with the Mini connceted!

    Message was edited by: Alley_Cat
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    Hard drive space NOT the issue.

    Only 16Gig of 250Gig on internal OSX partition and 700 Gig used
    on on a 2TB drive where iTunes is stored.

    If hard drive space an issue it would effect more that just iTunes HD
    material.
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    Energy saving preferences make no difference as I have all
    sleep options for everything turned off from day one.
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (18,455 points)
    I don't really think it's drive related either, more likely some spurious iTunes/OS X software issue affecting playback.

    A few months ago I was even seeing standard DVDs stuttering played back via DVD Player or Front Row but they were fine played in XBMC or Plex.

    AC
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    Still haven't come up with any solution. Got my self
    another Firewire back up drive and try and get around
    to loading the original OSX10.6.4 and iTunes 10.0 and
    see what happens.
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    Well, iTunes 10.2 did absolutely nothing to fix the issue.

    Also, attempted to try to check with iTunes 10.0 and didn't
    work because I got message that the library was created with
    newer version. Apparently, at some point in the iTunes upgrade
    process it changes the library flags.

    Back to square one.
  • woodmeister50 Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    Update to OSX 10.6.7 fixed iTunes HD movie issues
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