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Old Aug 13, 2009, 10:54 AM   #1
Vois
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Annoying squeaky electronic sound

I regulary have an extremely annoying squeaky electronic sound coming from itunes when playing music. It sits over the top of any track played through itunes. It won't discriminate between music purchased online or music imported from disc.

I have a 1.8Ghz G5 iMac running OS X 10.4.11 with all updates installed, 2gb ram and plenty of free space. I'm running my itunes library from an external hard drive but have the noise issue with tracks played locally. All music copied to ipods, burnt etc. will play without the sound, only through itunes???? I have deleted all music out of itunes and re-imported.

I have just splashed out on a very expensive set of headphones and all I can hear is an electronic squealing bird in them!!!!!

Any suggestions?
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 11:38 AM   #2
ftaok
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Have you tried playing the file(s) using Quicktime Player or via the Finder? Also, is the problem only when using your headphones or do you hear the squeak through the Mac's speakers?

You might want to try and see if those files work OK on another computer.

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Old Aug 13, 2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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Is your Mac very close (less than 18"/50 cm) to a fluorescent light? Is it or your headphone cord close to an unshielded extension cord or other power-conducting cable?

If so, you may very well be experiencing "ground hum", a form of radio-frequency (RF) interference that is generated as speaker wires get close to electrical sources or fluorescent lights. Ground hum can be minimized by repositioning the computer or headphone cord away from the offending RF source, or moving the RF source itself.

We musicians deal with this quite often. For example, my "studio" (a corner of my basement) is lighted mostly with fluorescents. This sometimes causes ground hum in my audio playback hardware, and if I can hear it during playback, then I know it'll be recorded, too. So I turn off all nearby fluorescents and switch on a couple of incandescent lights when recording.

Don't worry-- the small fluorescents inside most flat-panel monitors, including the ones in the iMac, do not generate any detectable ground hum. The worst "hummers" are the long tube-type fluorescents. (Most professional studios avoid installing those at all costs.)

If you find it's a power cord and you cannot avoid having your headphone cable near it, lay one perpendicular to the other so that they're close at one point only. If they run close together in a parallel configuration, ground hum can result.

Additional Edit: Do you keep a cell phone nearby? Cell phones send and receive acknowledgment signals to nearby towers at more or less regular intervals. This often creates weird, "chirping" electronic tones for a few seconds in nearby speakers and headphones.
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Last edited by dXTC; Aug 13, 2009 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Provided example; mention of cell phones
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