iTunes 7 bugs: doesn't Apple test software before releasing it?

, posted: 14-Sep-2006 13:34

Itunes 7If you haven't upgraded to iTunes 7, hold off doing so: the version available currently is buggy and broken.

I downloaded it yesterday and checked out the iMovies section, but not the music player. Today, when I played some music that sounded fine in the previous version of iTunes, I got an earful of distortion. Every single song was like that - distorted and horrible.

At first I thought it was the volume settings having been changed to too high, but lowering them didn't help. A bit of Googling found this page on which has a fix for the issue:

Go to Control Panel, and Quicktime; look under the Audio tab and check if the Sound Out size has been set to 24 bit. If it has, change to 16 bits. Click Apply, OK, and restart iTunes.

That fixed the issue with distorted sound for me, but I'm surprised Apple didn't pick this one up. This is iTunes 7 on Windows by the way - I don't know if Mac users are experiencing the same thing.

Unfortunately, that didn't fix the next problem: iTunes 7 skips during playback if you do things like launching a big Word processing document or Internet Explorer 7 loads three sets of home pages in tabs - it seems to be anything CPU/disk intensive causing this. Does anyone have a fix for this?

I see that Wil Wheaton lost his purchased, DRM'ed music with iTunes 7 as well. This is crazy stuff. Surely Apple should test something as important as iTunes better before releasing it?

Update Roku Labs says iTunes 7 breaks Soundbridge.

Update II Still no word from Apple, nor is there a new version of iTunes in Software Update.

Update III For Windows users, click on Start and select Control Panel. Then look for the QuickTime icon:

Control Panel with QuickTime Icon

Click on the icon to open up the QuickTime control panel dialog, and go to the Audio tab:

QT Audio Prefs

In the "Size" drop-down list box, select 16 bit if you have 24-bit enabled. That fixed it on my machine, but you may have to adjust the rate downwards on yours as well.

Update IV OK, found some further tips on how to "unbreak" iTunes 7 damage. First one, from suggests that you go into the info section of MP3s that cause your iPod to crash (!) and set the Start Time to 0:01 instead of 0:00. Right-click the MP3 file in question and select Get Info and click on the Options tab in the dialog to get to here:

Itunes MP3 info

Turning your iPod's equalizer to "Off" also fixes the crashing apparently. It's caused by the new gapless playback feature in iTunes 7.

Frank Linhares at Insight Productions has more on this - looks like some of his podcasts crashed iPods.

Update V Skipping - the only fix I've seen for this is to change the Sound Out device in QuickTime to WaveOut only:


In my version of QT (7.1.3 for Windows) you have to tick the Safe mode box but on others, it seems there's a Sound Out drop down menu from which you select Waveout.

Update VI Since there are so many people with iTunes problems leaving comments on this entry, I asked Apple to swing by and see if they could help. Apple's response was disappointing however:

I'm not sure exactly what it is you're asking for. I would prefer that any customer having a problem use the technical resources available either online or from Apple as a first port of call with their questions.
Rob Small
Marketing Director

Update VII For Vista users, Apple has released a tool that fixes permissions on files required by iTunes to play back purchased music.

Update VIII Apple's kindly shifting content around on its website, so the Vista tool link above is 404 even though it's still listed on its top downloads page. Sigh. Here's a page with some tips on how to stop your iPod content being corrupted on Vista however.

Update IX Derek Yaldo recommends the free, open source mp3val utility to sort out problems with corrupt sound files that iTunes can choke on.

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