13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2011 7:08 AM by ds store
Loren Ryter Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

I keep my screensaver on random.  Whenever iTunes Artwork screensaver is engaged, I wind up with an unusable system.  It takes several minutes for the screensaver to disengage, and then after that, all applications are unresponsive, slow to engage or quit, etc. It takes 30 min or more just to quit all open applications for a clean restart.  While I'm not positive this is 100% replicable, I've seen it happen several times recently.

 

The last time I watched top, and System Preferences was consuming 12 GB of VM with tons of page ins/outs.

 

I have a very large iTunes library with sizable (typically 500px) artwork for everything.  It wouldn't suprise me if the screensaver just can't hack it.

 

But so then my questions are:

 

1) has anyone else seen anything like this?

 

2) is there a way to disengage that screen saver (it can't be deleted from within Desktop & Screen Saver Preferences) while still being able to use a random screen saver?


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    My iTunes Album Artwork folder contains over 4800 items and I run the iTunes Album Artwork as a desktop animated image.

     

    The Mac and the screensaver can handle it all right. 10.6.8.

     

     

    What I suspect is one of your Album Art is corrupted and/or not providing a "end of file" code so it's eating up all your memory and then some.

     

    One or more of those images may have windows malware on them. Solution is to replace all the images.

     

     

    If you want the AppleScript for the screensaver desktop animation to try to narrow down your issue while still using the machine.

     

     

    Paste this into AppleScript Editor and save as a applicaiton, then drag a alias to your Dock, click on/click off the present System Preference enabled screensaver. (10.6 only)

     

    tell application "System Events"

        if process "ScreenSaverEngine" exists then

            tell application "ScreenSaverEngine" to quit

        else

            do shell script "System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ScreenSav erEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background > /dev/null 2>&1 &"

        end if

    end tell

  • 2. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    If you need some AppleScripts to export your iTunes artwork

     

    http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/scripts13.php

     

    At least with

     

    Save Album Art as folder.jpg v2.1

     

    that it may "hang" right on the file that you have a problem with.

     

     

    If you need a free malware scan use the free ClamXav

  • 3. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    Loren Ryter Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    Thanks for the suggestions, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree.  No matter how much artwork you have, each time the screen saver runs, it fetches of random number of albums, right? Maybe a couple hundred?  So if it happens each time, it can't be getting the same corrupted image.

     

    Also I don't know how you count how many you have because the Album Artwork folder contains a series of nested folders, each with an .itc file at the end.

     

    If I do a little math on the total number of tracks, I have a couple times more albums than you.  Most of them are embedded artwork in the tracks.

     

    Adding artwork to my tracks was a time consuming task to say the least, so I'm not about to mess with all those files on the off chance of finding a corrupted image that chokes a screen saver.  I'd rather disable the screen saver.

  • 4. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    I ran a Doug's Applescript to grab a workable copy of all my Album covers out of iTunes, ran Decloner to weed out as many duplicates as it could, and have been hand tweaking the results.

     

    Looks like I have about 1350 unique covers.

     

    I started this because I thought it would be cool to have the album art as part of the Moving Pictures 3D screen saver, which I can run as a desktop animation.

     

    I don't have any issues like your describing, my iTunes artwork screen saver works perfectly, despite finding several corrupted album artwork files.

     

     

    Loren Ryter wrote:

     

    Adding artwork to my tracks was a time consuming task to say the least, so I'm not about to mess with all those files on the off chance of finding a corrupted image that chokes a screen saver.  I'd rather disable the screen saver.

     

    iTunes would fetch most of the album art if you log in and enable it, you know that of course.

     

    You can set a smart playlist with "no artwork" as the criteria, then hunt for those on Amazon, there is also plenty of software that will do it for you.

     

    it fetches of random number of albums, right?

     

    Well if a good portion are messed up then a good portion are going to show up in your randon sample.

     

    500 isn't a lot, neither is 1350, if you got the artwork on max displayed, that's 96 covers on the screen, or about 1/5th your inventory, 5 flips later and your across the corrupted image, 2 corrupted image...2.5 flips later, so your not waiting long, it's going to appear to happen everytime.

     

    Also the screensaver is likely fetching all the covers right away.

     

    Try to log into another user and see if the problem continues, then you know you got a buggy itunes art screensaver.

     

    My money is on you got a crap/corrupted artwork file(s) from someplace.

  • 5. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    Loren Ryter Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    Both of us are just speculating here.  But if it's fetching all covers at a time then it's very poorly designed.  If  you've got 1300 albums, lets just say I have many times that many. So the number of artwork is a fair guess.  There's nothing else that indicates any corruption, I can scroll randomly through my Music library and see all the artwork at any point.  I have a lot of obscure albums, and I was not interested in letting iTunes do it "automagically": I quickly discovered it got it wrong half the time.  I found almost all of them manually with various 3rd party tools and embedded them all.  So again I'm not interested in messing with my artwork without very good cause.  Logging in as another user is not a test, because of course it's something about my library: I say the size of the library, you say a corrupted artwork file.

     

    At any rate, I wonder if I can simply trash:

     

    /System/Library/Screen Savers/iTunes Artwork.saver

     

    or whether that will cause unknown problems, and still use "Random" screen saver?  I suppose I'll just try.

     

    PS: and by the way, I've never seen the screen saver even flip, to my knowledge.  it may have mind you while I was "away", but as soon as I get back, it's static. meaning it's already frozen, I suppose.

  • 6. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Loren Ryter wrote:

     

    I found almost all of them manually with various 3rd party tools and embedded them all.

     

    All you have to do is locate the corrupted image, when you get a "out of bounds" and excessive RAM use, that indicates either the program (screensaver) or one of it's files isn't correctly reporting a end of file, so it's sucking up all your memory. I've seen this sort of thing occur before.

     

     

    Loren Ryter wrote:

     

    There's nothing else that indicates any corruption, I can scroll randomly through my Music library and see all the artwork at any point.

     

    Visual is no true indicator, I suspect one or more of your album images has more to it that it says, like either malware or something about it's size is incorrect, why it's eating up all your memory.

     

     

     

    Loren Ryter wrote:

     

    Logging in as another user is not a test, because of course it's something about my library: I say the size of the library, you say a corrupted artwork file.

     

    Your deciding to remove your iTunes screensaver itself, for all users, so you can't test the theory that it has to do with one of your artwork files.

     

    The album art is user specific, why logging into another user will test the theory if it's the screensaver or your files in the other user.

     

    If you log into another user, place iTunes music in that user from the Store with images gotten from there, then run the screensaver, you'll find out right away if it's the screensaver that is actually to blame or your first user album art like I suspect.

     

    The screensaver is just a program, works fine on tens of millions of computers, your files are by far more likely the cause.

     

    Loren Ryter wrote:


    At any rate, I wonder if I can simply trash:

     

    /System/Library/Screen Savers/iTunes Artwork.saver

     

    or whether that will cause unknown problems, and still use "Random" screen saver?  I suppose I'll just try.

     

    Good luck getting it back, your deleting the screensaver program when your real problem is likely going to cause a problem later.

     

    You can do a 10.6 overwrite, c boot off the 10.6 disks and simply reinstall OS X, then log in and immediately update to 10.6.8

     

    That would replace OS X and Apple bundled programs (like iTunes/screensavers etc) leaving your files and most programs untouched. However if you installed third party programs that have "hooks" or kext files in OS X , those get kicked out and those programs will need to be reinstalled.

     

    You can do all that, only to find out it REALLY is your users album art files, and wind up creating another user to test the theory with a few songs from iTunes Store.

     

    I highly suspect whatever program(s) you used to retrieve your album art retrieved a corrupted image off of Amazon, or Walmart or someplace else off the Internet with either malware (for Windows so it doesn't work on a Mac, but still gives headaches) or the image has gotten corrupted somehow from bad bits on the drive failing.

     

    Magnetic media sometimes fails, could be cosmic radiation or something that throws off just a bit here and there, resulting in files/programs that all of a sudden start acting strange when it didn't occur before.

     

    The only remedy is to replace the affected file or program, or even OS X, with a fresh copy.

     

    The easiest is to replace the affected file, replacing the screensaver requires a OS overwrite install, which is more risky and requires more work.

     

    Luckily with 10.6 it's a rather easy method to c boot off the 10.6 installer disk and reinstall, 10.7 requires a fast Internet connection a lot of people don't have.

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/16276201#16276201

     

    I've done led the horse to water, but I can't make it drink, good luck.

  • 7. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    Loren Ryter Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    Thanks for leading this horse.  I do appreciate the lengthy response. But your logic is still not correct.

     

    If I tested another user, I expect very much to find no problem with the screen saver.  But that would NOT prove that it was an issue with one or more artwork files, it would just prove that it works with a more or less pristine library with no more than a few test tracks.  My theory is as it stands: that it is the sheer number of files, not a corrupt particular file, that's the problem.  If you knew of a way to test your theory that didn't involve altering my files or file system, I might try it.  I'm not about to wipe all the artwork by exporting and removing them from every one of tens of thousands of files.  The screen saver is not that important.

     

    Now then, your vision of what could happen by removing the screen saver is dramatc. I saved a copy elsewhere.  If needed, I could extract it from an OS X SL install disk with Pacifist. Not so very involved.

     

    Again, I appreciate your efforts, though.

  • 8. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Loren Ryter wrote:

     

    If you knew of a way to test your theory that didn't involve altering my files or file system, I might try it.

     

    Create another user and then transfer a copy of all your music and artwork via the Users/Shared folder.

     

    Log into the second user and use that as a test subject, importing a few select songs and album covers at a time until you hit paydirt.

     

    Once you have identified the corrupted files, then delete them/replace them on the first user.

     

    Then delete the second user account as you don't need it any more.

     

    Obviously deleting the screensaver is going to work, but your throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

     

    Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 2.24.00 PM.jpg

     

    As you can see my machine has no problem running a screensaver as a animated desktop background.

     

    I could use the iTunes Album art fliper screensaver, but it's lame and too 2D compared to Moving Pictures 3D.

     

     

    So it's not the shear volume of artwork, it's a corrupt image you have that doesn't report it's size accuratly, thus it eats all your memory.

     

    Find the corrupt image and you've found your problem.

  • 9. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Loren Ryter wrote:


    The last time I watched top, and System Preferences was consuming 12 GB of VM with tons of page ins/outs.

     

    My 1350 album art covers only take up 200 MB, and yet yours which is less than mine is taking up 12,000 MB.

     

    Don't you see the problem? One or more of your album art covers are not reporting it's correct size.

     

    Or else you used/scanned super high quality RAW images or something at a whopping 24MB per file which I doubt.

  • 10. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    Loren Ryter Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    How do you figure your total number of covers is less than mine? I said my collection is many times more.   Do you have any idea how long it would thus take to import a few albums at a time into a test user account to test?

     

    And I don't know what was taking 12 GB, or even if it for sure related to the screen saver, or if it is replicable; it was System Preferences as a process that was eating up that VRAM, at one point that I looked at top. (And no, the images are not massively large, but they do range from 500px to maybe 1500px in some rare cases.)

     

    I think I may write my own script to save each album artwork to a temp file and get the dimensions and file sizes. Stay tuned.

  • 11. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    Loren Ryter Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    ok script as described above done, took nearly 12 hours to run.  no errors.  104 albums with artwork sizes > 1 MB, max 3.9 MB.  75 covers with dimensions >1000 but < 2000; 2 covers with dimensions > 2000 but < 2400; no covers with dimensions > 2400.  nothing highly out of the ordinary.

  • 12. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Ok, the out of bounds artwork has possilby been eliminated.

     

     

    1: So next we will nuke all the cache files.

     

    Download the free OnyX and run ALL the initial checks, cleaning and maintainence aspects (except log files, leave those) and reboot at the end (you can cancel inbetween reboots)

     

    http://www.titanium.free.fr/

     

    Machine will act a bit slow while caches and Spotlight rebuilds, that is normal, once finished, check the screensaver again.

     

     

    Next run OnyX again and under Verify Preferences check off "show only corrupt plist files" and run that, make a note of any corrpt plist files, locate them (with the free Easy Find) and delete them, reboot the machine and restart the program responsible for the plist files, reset your preferences.

     

    As a added measure, delete the

     

    com.apple.systempreferences.plist

     

    file from your Users/Library (if on 10.7, use the free TinkerTool to turn on/off invisible folders)

     

    http://download.cnet.com/EasyFind/3000-2248_4-8707.html

     

    http://bresink.de/osx/TinkerTool.html

     

     

     

    2: If after all that your still having issues, then it's more global in aspect, something wrong with itunes, the screensaver, systempreferences or OS X itself.

     

    (You really should create another user at this point and import your files via the Shared folder, log into user2 see if the issue repeats itself there to confirm. IF it doesn't occur in user2, the issue is still in your first user and the following steps will be pointless, just transfer to the new user instead.)

     

    You can reinstall all these at the same time by c booting off your 10.6 disk (10.7 hold command and r keys) and simply reinstalling OS X over the installed version (doesn't touch files or most programs) then immediatly software updating until current on the latest version of OS X and the bundled Apple programs.

     

    Make sure to have a backup of your recent user files off the computer to a storage drive before "overwriting" OSX with a fresh copy just in case, something bad could happen at this time.

     

    Also if some programs don't work afterwards, it's because they had "hooks" or kext files in OS X itself, and the OS X overwrite throws them out. Reinstall these programs from fresh sources.

     

     

     

    3: If all this doesn't work, I would suspect a hardware issue of some sort not related to the hard drive, run these as extra measure before taking the machine in for evaluation.

     

    Run a hardware test

     

    https://support.apple.com/kb/ht1509

     

    Reset the SMC

     

    https://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

     

    Reset the PRAM

     

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/26871.html

  • 13. Re: iTunes Artwork Screensaver Wake>System Crawl
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    By the way, what model is your MacBook Pro?

     

     

    Did you add more RAM yourself?

     

    Run a extended Rember test over night.

     

    http://kelleycomputing.net/rember/