iTunes randomly starts playing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cocoatronik, May 20, 2016.

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  1. cocoatronik macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #1
    About a week ago, iTunes on my iMac began launching on its own and playing random tracks. Sometimes the music stops itself after 15-20 seconds. Other times, it just keeps playing. This often happens when no one is even in the same room as the computer (so it's not errant keystrokes).

    Details:
    • My iMac is a mid-2011 model running OS 10.11.5 and iTunes 12.4.0.119 (although the issue began while running OS 10.11.4 and iTunes 12.3.3.17).
    • The remote control infrared receiver is disabled under System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Advanced.
    • No devices (like an iPad or iPhone) are attached.
    • Open at startup is not set for iTunes.
    • The only Bluetooth devices paired with the iMac are the stock Apple mouse and Time Capsule. (Keyboard is Apple USB. There are no Bluetooth speakers.)
    • Wifi is off on the iMac. (Internet connection is via ethernet cable.)
    • I do not have an iTunes dashboard widget.

    What could be causing this? The commands to start playing iTunes must be coming from somewhere. If I can't find what's generating the commands, can I stop the service that's "listening" for these commands (assuming that doesn't break something else)?

    This is insanely annoying.
     
  2. ivanwi11iams macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    ...very weird. Any chance you can arrange a 'chat' with Apple Support? Maybe they have some insight.

    Review this search, and see if anything stands out.
     
  3. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #3
    I had the something very similar happen today with Safari. It sounded like a commercial, playing and stopping. I thought it was iTunes (Apple Radio) or something. It finally stopped when I closed Safari which had no tabs open and just Macrumors as a pinned tab.

    Very strange.
     
  4. cocoatronik thread starter macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #4
    Thanks for the search suggestion. I've searched on this before, and the usual culprits seem to be the infrared receiver (which I ran into with Apple TV 4, and that's why I have it disabled now) and disconnection of Bluetooth speakers (which I do not have).

    But I did some deeper digging tonight, and found something interesting. I do have non-Bluetooth speakers connected via the audio output, and another thread suggests there is a microswitch inside this jack that can supposedly cause iTunes to randomly play. I'll see if it helps to clean this out and make sure the connection is tight.
     
  5. ivanwi11iams macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    ...at least you're moving in a direction. I hope that is the issue, and you can thus fix it.
     
  6. cocoatronik thread starter macrumors member

    cocoatronik

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #6
    Sure enough, when I aggressively plug and unplug the speakers, iTunes starts playing. It's a reproducible trigger.

    I've only seen this reported with Bluetooth speakers disconnecting, but I'm guessing the real trigger is the iMac's internal speakers switching back on (which happens whether Bluetooth speakers disconnect or wired speakers are unplugged). The root cause of why this would cause iTunes to start/stop playback appears to be a software bug.

    So at this point, I'm pretty confident it's the microswitch in the audio jack (combined with some software bug). We'll see how things go now that it's cleaned. Weird.
     
  7. gherrick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #7
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2017 ---
    I'm experiencing that very same problems, almost. First, I tried to place a Skype call, and I think I tried to adjust the volume with the F11 or F12 key, and iTunes kicked in and started playing the song I'd just listened to. So I quit iTunes, and a similar thing happened w my next Skype attempt; the poor lady at the other end said she didn't know who I was but all she heard was static. Unplugging the headset from the speaker jack, and maybe plugging it in again, also _opened_ iTunes and it started playing. I haven't experimented more with this but found this thread, and am now set to try the Skype call again! I think Cocoatronik's assessment might be spot on, audio jack and software.
     
  8. Quickclick macrumors newbie

    Quickclick

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    #8
    I also haave an iMAC with the cuddly infuriating iTUNES restarting virus---
    I disconnected all plugged in external speakers and iTunes STILL restarts itself.
    NEVER thought I would have a Mac issue like the old PC days---
    sad that APPLE sits back and seemingly does nothing to reach out to people posting on these boards!
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #9
    You may have something in your startup software that might cause apps to run, without obvious cause.
    Try running EtreCheck, then post the log here. Someone may help you decide if there are any related issues reported with that.
     
  10. pauljbax macrumors member

    pauljbax

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    #10
    If you have an APPLE REMOTE that someone is using to control your Apple TV most likely it is still also connected to your Mac.

    For months I could not figure this out but one day it hit me. Unconnect the remote from your Mac and I think all should be well.

    I HOPE!
     
  11. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #11
    I have a late 2015 iMac and I'm experiencing this today. iTunes 12.6.20 macOS Sierra 10.12.5
    No remotes connected.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 7.33.19 PM.png
     

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