iTunes 11.3 skipping songs towards the end.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Krafty, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Krafty macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
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    La La Land
    #1
    This is just starting to happen recently, but the last few albums I imported are now skipping, usually on the last minute or so it skips to the next song without finishing. They play fine in other players (VLC, Quicktime), it's only iTunes and exporting them to my iPod causes the same thing to happen.
    If I skip past it, it will play the rest of the song fine. I tried reinstalling iTunes and it's still happening.


    I tried using MP# Repair: http://triq.net/articles/mp3-scan-repair-download but to no avail. At first they worked but later gave the same skipping issues. None of my other songs have done this, only ones I imported within the last week.


    What could be causing this?
     
  2. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    USA (Virginia)
    #2
    Oh boy -- this sounds like the problem I had many months ago. I hope I can give you some insight, as it was very frustrating to deal with (although I eventually resolved the problems with the tracks).

    I had found a very useful thread on the Apple support forums. However I had to pay attention to the info from posters who had "the same problem" and filter out those that had similar-sounding-but-different problems. Of course you'll have to apply that filter to me too...

    Going by memory, "the one true problem" seemed to have these characteristics:

    (1) It could occur in many versions of iTunes. Some sufferers were on the latest version, while I was (and still am) on iTunes 10.7.

    (2) A given song would always prematurely end (skip to the next song) at the same point in iTunes.

    (3) A group of songs all imported "at the same time" all had a similarity about the point at which the skip occurred -- I think they all skipped at the same number of minutes/seconds into the song. Songs that were shorter than that length did NOT skip and were fine.

    (4) Playing the .aac or .mp3 file itself with another player worked fine (no premature end) -- even if you used finder to get the file out of the iTunes Library. (Thus, the aac or mp3 file itself was NOT the problem.)

    (5) You could fix a given song as follows: within iTunes, right-click a song and pick "Show in Finder". Then re-import THAT SAME FILE into iTunes. I think I just dragged the shown file from finder and dropped onto the iTunes Library pane.

    (6) For me at least, the problem never occurred when I ripped a CD into the library. It only happened when I imported an album's worth or more of mp3 files by dropping them in iTunes. Then, I would consistently get *some* tracks with the problem, but the exact minutes/seconds at which the early termination occurred would be different than the last time I tried importing the same files (thus more or fewer of the tracks might exhibit the skip due to the length of the tracks and the new timing of the skip).

    (7) An early termination was more likely to occur in the longer songs. I could often find if an import had a problem by picking the longest song, setting the playhead near the end of the song and hitting play. If it immediately skips to the next song, you've found one.

    (8) Oh, some sufferers were using iTunes Match and at first thought it was the culprit, but that turned out not to be the case (at least for "the one true problem"). :)

    From these symptoms, I think that the problem is not anything in the .aac or .mp3 file itself. Rather, I think some values are set incorrectly in the iTunes Library File itself (sorry don't remember the filename -- .itl? there is also an XML version of it but that's not the exact file I mean). Some info about a song is kept in the song file with ID3 tags, but some other info about a song is kept in the iTunes library file. This is why re-importing the exact same song file can fix the problem -- because the info in the library file is re-written.

    As I said, I never had a problem importing from CD or importing one file at a time. I think there is a very subtle bug in iTunes where the importing goes awry when certain timing or load conditions are met when importing multiple files.

    My only solution was to either import from CD, import one file at a time, or check for "problem" songs and fix them as in (5).

    I hope you don't have the same problem because it was a real pain in the neck, but if you do I hope this helps. Good luck!
     
  3. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #3
    This is exactly it. iTunes 10 didn't have this issue, but then my iPhone 4 crapped out and you can't use iTunes 10 with the iPhone 5s.

    Just great...
     
  4. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
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    #4
    Just tried it and I'm still only getting a 50/50 seccess rate. Some songs are still skipping at the end (usually between 0:50–1:00 remaining) even after reimporting the single track.

    Only way I got it to stop on my iPod was using another program to copy music to it (but it was only a trial program so I can't rely on it).

    Welp, looks like I won't be enjoying my music anymore. Thanks, iTunes.
     
  5. Brian33, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014

    Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Rats. I guess I was lucky that the single-import-at-a-time worked for me.

    The fact that the music files play OK on the iPod when copied by another program supports my hypothesis that the problem is in the iTunes library file (/Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl but also could be "iTunes Library" with no extension). (See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660). Unfortunately we don't know what's wrong inside it, and re-importing was the only way I could find to fix it.

    Out of curiosity, what Mac model and year are you using? Since the problem seemed to be related to concurrent imports (probably using multiple threads) I had this idea that it's more likely to happen on older, less powerful Macs, like mine. However I seem to remember some posters on the Apple support thread with the problem were using much newer more powerful Macs, so I wouldn't run out to buy a new iMac expecting to solve the problem. Also, going back to iTunes 10 will not necessarily solve the problems, as I have it with 10.7...
     
  6. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    USA (Virginia)
    #6
    I have an idea that might fix the tracks that end prematurely. It would work for fixing a small number of tracks, but would be impractical for lot of tracks unless it were automated with a program (which would be possible).

    (WARNING: I haven't tried this! I don't really expect you to try this, but I post the idea here in case someone else stumbles across this thread and may make use of it.)

    There are two versions of the iTunes library file that contains playlist and some song information:

    (1) "iTunes Library.itl" or sometimes "iTunes Library" with no extension, is a binary file not easily displayed or altered.

    (2) "iTunes Library.xml" is a plain-text XML file that "contains some (but not all) of the same information stored in the iTunes Library file." (See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1451) This file is easily displayed and changed with any plain text editor. "If you delete the file, iTunes creates a new copy from the iTunes Library file" (i.e., the binary one).

    I noticed in my .xml file the following hierarchy:
    Code:
    <dict>
          ...
          <key>Tracks</key>
          <dict>
                <key>768</key>        <---------for example
                <dict>
                      ...
                      <key>Name</key><string>Catching The Sun</string>
                      <key>Total Time</key><integer>283240</integer>
                      ...
    
    I believe the "Total Time" value is supposed to be the length of the track in thousandths of seconds. For example, iTunes.app shows this particular track with a (playing) Time of 4:43, which converted to seconds is 283 seconds. Thus, Total Time of 283240 probably represents 283.240 seconds, which would be 4 minutes and 43.240 seconds.

    (I've only checked a couple of tracks, so one would want to check a variety of tracks to be convinced the above is true.)

    I predict that tracks that end prematurely will have an incorrect value for "Total Time" in the iTunes Library.xml file. If that's true, one could change the value in the .xml file and then create a new binary library file from the .xml file: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1451

    The only problem I see is that Apple says that the .xml file "contains some (but not all) of the same information stored in the iTunes Library file." That means that if you create a new .itl binary library file from the .xml file, "some (but not all)" of the information that was in the original binary library file will be lost. Looking at the .xml library file, I don't see anything obvious that's missing (plus some information is stored in the music file itself, too).

    If this procedure worked, it could be automated with a script to check the song length in the music files and compare it to the Total Time in the .xml library file, fixing any discrepancies for every track.

    I realize not many people are going to go this far; I just got curious about this problem and decided to post what I'd found (and conjectured).
     
  7. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #7
    Mid-2011 17" Macbook Pro (Dual-Core i5) MC024LL/A.

    I see your suggestion above but I'm gonna relax to some Xbox One before stressing myself out with iTunes again. Thank you for your efforts beforehand, I'll report back with results.

    Another reason why I'd like to go back to iTunes 10 is because I listen to a lot of asian-pop music, so I sort my artists but putting the English translation of the artist/band in the "Album Artist" info. I used to be able to let my iPod Auto-Sync then sort by Album Artist since i have multiple playlist.

    Not with iTunes 11. Nope, if you want to Auto-Sync, then we're sorting all your **** alphabetically. Deal with it.

    Only way is to manually sort and manually add each album I put under each playlist, which now I have to doulbe-check that I don't import two of the same albums/songs.

    /sigh
     
  8. Krafty, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014

    Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    La La Land
    #8
    Doesn't seem to be the case, for example:


    1. I tested this on a song thats 3:38; at around 3:04, iTunes skips to the last second of the song, before skipping to the next track, completely overlooking the last 0:34 seconds of the track.
    2. 3:38 = 218 seconds, however after looking it up in the XML file, it reads:
      Code:
                  <key>Total Time</key><integer>230164</integer>
      
    3. 230.164 = 3:50, which is longer than said track.


    But I appreciate all the effort you put into it.

    EDIT: Okay, I rebuilt the library and played the same song and it was able to play the last part. So I'm gonna try playing the album again and see if the skipping has been resolved finally.

    EDIT 2: So far so good. Song I mentioned earlier played fine after library rebuild, so maybe there was a corruption in the file somewhere. Still, I'm expecting iTunes to let me down at some point in the future. Thank you for the suggestions.
     
  9. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #9
    Seemed like a temporary fix - latest import is now skipping around 0:20 remaining...
     
  10. jssr9 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    #10
    Had the same problem. I'd say it is a problem with gapless playback.

    After I've recreated the iTunes library, everything works ok. Used these intructions: support.apple.com/kb/HT1451

    Hope it helps!
     
  11. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    La La Land
    #11
    Still no luck.

    Re-installation & rebuilding of library doesn't fix the issue (future imports still skip almost at the last minute of the song to the next track).
     
  12. lazypoet macrumors regular

    lazypoet

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #12
    Any update on this issue? Started for me today
     
  13. lazypoet macrumors regular

    lazypoet

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #13
    It skips ALL THE TIME at the last minute of the song... :(
     
  14. Krafty thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    #14
    Not sure when it stopped for me but I suspect I'm in the grace period before it starts again. Besides, I've moved to FLAC + VOX now, mostly.
     
  15. lazypoet macrumors regular

    lazypoet

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #15
    Meaning you import songs in FLAC-format in iTunes and don't use AAC? It's strange cause it occurs in some albums for me, but in others not.
     
  16. Steven Op de beeck macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    #16
    I'm having this issue too while importing 3rd party MP3s, by drag-and-dropping them into iTunes. Songs for this album would skip to the end consistently after 00:09.

    I seem to have bypassed the problem by dropping the files into the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder under "Music/iTunes/iTunes Media" using the Finder.
     
  17. BlaiseFinnegan macrumors newbie

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #17
    Ahhh! This just started happening to me. I've only been experiencing this with albums I've downloaded in the past 6 months, and only the songs that were put on iTunes in their original MP3 format. Not sure what's going on, but for some reason reformatting the audio file before putting it on iTunes is working.

    So, normally I use MediaHuman to convert FLAC files to AIFF and just drag and drop MP3s straight to iTunes. I tried running the problem MP3 files through the converter and that seems to have done the trick.

    Solution: I guess we should just avoid MP3s now?

    SMH...
     
  18. Steven Op de beeck macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Did you give the suggestion, in the reply right above yours, a try?
     
  19. BlaiseFinnegan macrumors newbie

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #19
    No, I actually discovered my fix before coming across this post. Was surprised to find so many people experiencing the same thing.

    If dragging and dropping is part of the problem I wonder if having iTunes scan for media would work too?

    Oh, and all my songs were all skipping to the end at 2minutes and 22seconds.
     
  20. klaar, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015

    klaar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    #20
    Hey everyone, I had this problem for a long time, called apple and they gave me a solution I'd like to share.
    The problem is more likely to be that your iTunes library is corrupted. To correct this:
    -Create a new iTunes library
    alt + click on the iTunes app -> select "create new library" and rename it as you like (for example iTunes 1)
    -Import your media to the new library
    go to Macintosh HD/Users/Music/iTunes
    then drag your "iTunes Media" folder to your "iTunes 1" folder

    next time you launch iTunes, it should scan for your media and tchada! you have a brand new library, with all your previous preferences and playlists, and with no song stopping before the end issue :)
     
  21. ThomasGully macrumors newbie

    ThomasGully

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #21
    The easiest solution to this is using a converter to convert mp3s into m4as, I use something called mediahuman audio converter, which is free and reliable (i dont work for them I'm not just advertising it its just really good haha)

    That always gets rid of the issue for me, cause I've only had this problem with mp3s
     
  22. lazypoet macrumors regular

    lazypoet

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #22
    I find the best solution was the one said way before to copy and paste mp3s into the "automatically add to itunes"-folder.

    It has made a significant difference to every import I make. No more issues.
     
  23. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502

    logicstudiouser

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    Feb 4, 2010
    #23
    Never had this issue or heard of it before.
    Just a thought, have you tried updating to iTunes 11.4? Not sure if it would fix the issue, but it is the latest version of iTunes 11 before the iTunes 12 train wreck.
    The release notes for 11.4 don't address this issue, but it may be worth a try.
    I have 2 macs, on one I am running iTunes 10.7, the other iTunes 11.4. Neither have this issue with imports.
     
  24. joecool99 Suspended

    joecool99

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    Aug 20, 2008
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    USA
    #24
    this problem happened to me YESTERDAY with new MP3 stuff i added to library.
    ERASING the iTunes folder, preferences files and creating the library and playlists again from scratch fixed the issue.
     
  25. oscabat macrumors newbie

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    Jun 2, 2016
    #25
    I just started to encounter this issue with a recently imported album. I imported via dragging a folder with MP3 files into iTunes. I'm on a PC. Because I have iTunes Match, my solution was to Remove Downloads of the local copy and then re-download the songs. This solved it for me and just took a moment.
     

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