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Apr 12, 2001
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A new iTunes bug has been discovered that causes Apple Music playback issues related to tracks shorter than 60 seconds. MacRumors was able to reproduce the issue on Macs running OS X 10.11.5 and iTunes 12.4.1.

Specifically, when an Apple Music track that is shorter than 60 seconds is streamed in its entirety, without skipping ahead, the subsequent song in an album or playlist fails to play and appears to be in a state of perpetual buffering.


MacRumors forum member B/D used backend file change monitoring tool fswatch and identified a plausible reason for the bug:
It looks like the way Apple Music handles streaming is when the current song is a minute from the end, iTunes signals the next track in the queue to start downloading so that it's ready to play when the current song is over. However, when the song is less than a minute long the next song's download is never initiated, apparently because some "one minute remaining" event is never triggered! This means the app just sits waiting for a download to finish that has in fact never started.
The bug only affects tracks streamed through Apple Music, with songs and albums that have been stored locally on iTunes unaffected. The issue was unable to be reproduced on a Mac running macOS Sierra beta, or on iTunes 12.3 or earlier, or on an iPhone running iOS 9.3.2.

The bug has been reported to Apple and should hopefully be resolved in a future iTunes software update.

Update: The bug was originally shared on the Apple Support Communities by user ivoisbelongtous.

Article Link: iTunes 12.4 Has Apple Music Playback Bug Related to Tracks Shorter Than 60 Seconds
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
These types of bugs suggest that Apple sucks at test automation/unit tests. They just give it to somebody and they play a their favorite songs. What they should do is make iTunes play a huge number of randomly selected tracks from the service.

Google understands and invests a bit in this stuff. It's not about how much software you can write anymore, it's about how much software you can test.
 

B/D

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2016
923
675
WOW! Thank you very much Macrumors for making an article about this so fast! I am still waiting Apple to reach me back over the phone with hopefully an answer from engineering team, I´ll post it here, of course.

:)
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,355
5,561
Can't imagine this impacts too many playlists... looking through my dozens of playlists on Spotify, only one playlist (with 422 songs in it) would be impacted at all by such a bug. It contains a single track that's 52 seconds long.
 

B/D

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2016
923
675
Funny thing is this is a very specific, concrete, and particular issue... so particular that I, in all honesty, can´t understand what has change from iTunes 12.3 to 12.4 as far as streaming backend is concerned. Because yes, as the article says, after further testing I think that we can isolate this bug only to iTunes 12.4-12.4.1. macOS Sierra Beta come with 12.5 doesn´t it?. iTunes 12.3 and older version handle streaming perfectly well.

Interesting...
 

B/D

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2016
923
675
Can't imagine this impacts too many playlists... looking through my dozens of playlists on Spotify, only one playlist (with 422 songs in it) would be impacted at all by such a bug. It contains a single track that's 52 seconds long.

Mostly classical music (particularly operas and ballets interludes, not so much symphonies), and film scores, at least in my case.
 
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B/D

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2016
923
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And conceptual albums too!!!

Is far more annoying for me i guess because I don´t use playlists, just listen to complete albums from start to end (old school, I know), and when an interruption comes, is destroys mood and listening experience completely .
 

eoblaed

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,751
2,395
Can't imagine this impacts too many playlists... looking through my dozens of playlists on Spotify, only one playlist (with 422 songs in it) would be impacted at all by such a bug. It contains a single track that's 52 seconds long.

Blasphemy!

Tenacious D's album has two tracks under that 60 second threshold. :cool:
 
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djk29a

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2013
6
1
I'm kind of curious how this edge case slipped by in testing, but I'm sure engineers are adding this scenario to their test suites as we speak. Sounds like a peculiar limitation to make explicitly.

How did this happen lol?! It's not like iTunes is beta software.
Apple Music streaming is not iTunes and has only been in production for a few years. On the other hand, I'm surprised that this bug has only recently been discovered if it's existed since the beginning of public release.

Thats most of the 70's punk albums knackered then.
It also affects a lot of people into grindcore. Tons of Brutal Truth and Agoraphobic Nosebleed songs are less than 60 seconds long. It's not like most of these will ever be performed live, but then again when I saw Brutal Truth several years ago they played for hours basically non-stop.
 
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B/D

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2016
923
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This explains why I haven't been able to listen to Lonely Island's "Popstar" all the way through. Guess iTunes didn't get the memo to never stop never stopping.

This is exactly what´s happening, and again, funny thing is that iTunes 12.3 an prior versions works perfectly fine. Tested it this morning.

Go figure.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,558
Can't imagine this impacts too many playlists... looking through my dozens of playlists on Spotify, only one playlist (with 422 songs in it) would be impacted at all by such a bug. It contains a single track that's 52 seconds long.

I recommend Sergei Prokofiev, "Visions fugitives". The guy manages to get your heartbeat up to 130 within 25 seconds of music.

Now I wonder what kind of bug you'll run into if you play Mike Oldfield's Amarok. (Most expensive song on the store because one song = one 60 minute album).
 
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B/D

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2016
923
675
Anything Prokofiev did is outstanding, but yes, this is a great example. Carl Stalling animation scores are also almost impossible to listen because of this, now.
 

Regbial

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
726
568
People should just not use Apple Music and instead invest that money into getting a device with larger capacity to put their own music in there.
 
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tkermit

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2004
3,557
2,774
Interesting. I sometimes experience the same issue with endless buffering (actually requiring a restart of iTunes to get the track to play) when I use AppleScript to quickly skip lots of tracks in a row. Hopefully this will get fixed at the same time:
 
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Borin

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2016
102
184
Somewhere over the rainbow.
I have this problem on iOS (9.3.3 beta 3) whilst listening to Monty Python's various albums, but it skips tracks too. I was wondering why I had to keep telling Siri to move to the next track.
 
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