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macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
Hi there,

Hope someone can help with this problem as I am at the end of my tether with it and my iTunes has been rendered next to useless.

The problem began a week or so ago and predominantly arises when I select a track and try to access its metadata to make changes - either through right mouse click or CMD + I. Four times out of five I get a spinning beachball straight away and that spins typically for around 15 minutes before the dialog box opens. Sometimes it can be less and sometimes more (as long as half an hour) but 15 mins is about the average.

So when the box opens I'll make the change, click Done and same again for the same time. My Force Quite dialogue tells me iTunes is not responding and the first half a dozen times I thought the thing had locked up for good and performed a Force Quit. Then i let it rumble on to get the timings above.

Playing tracks themselves is mostly fine although I have had the very occasional replication of the above behaviour doing that and also just by highlighting three tracks on a playlist. It's not a low hard drive space issue and I have turned off wi-fi sync. I have tried reinstalling iTunes but that made no difference.

I have a mid 2010 iMac 27" 3.2gb with Yosemite and the latest version of iTunes. Any help here would be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Craig


macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
Are you an Apple Music subscriber?
What happens when you turn off wi-fi/internet connectivity?
It surely sounds like it's thinking about trying to change metadata in multiple locations. Or perhaps data that Apple has locked down as correct?


Nov 25, 2005
Unexpected spinning beachball could be an indication for a hard drive that is on its way out. If you don't have a backup drive, RUN to a store selling hard drives, and make a backup as soon as possible. Your hard drive is almost six years old, so this isn't totally unexpected.


macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
check system report. to verify hard disk smart status is normal as an extra step. they used to put smart status in disk utility but its been removed. apple hardware test does not check the hard disk. apple hardware test just tells you its plugged in. do what gnasher729 says and backup your hard disk hourly with time machine

the only other thing i would suggest to test the hard disk is to securely erase it 3,7 or 35 times. that will prove that the drive is good. this does not apply to hybrid drives or SSHD drives.

if you go the extra distance and securely erase the disk multiple times using a full pass what your basically doing is making sure that those sectors are good

permissions cant be fixed with el capitan disk utility, you have to use terminal

you can try clearing smc and pram, but i would back up the hard disk first and keep a running backup

hell , if you think the drive is on the way out, pay the $25 for a year of itunes match! and upload your entire library to iCloud


macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
If bad disk, you'd expect trouble in non-iTunes apps as well.
Is that happening?
It might be a library database problem, but pulling everything out, killing the library, then reimporting is tedious and icky. Best to look for simpler solutions first.
Last edited:


Jan 3, 2014
A drive that will allow reading but not writing is likely to have a drive cable problem. As above get a backup of the drive ASAP then check to see whether Finder will allow you to create folders etc

If it won't then the likely cause is the whole drive is read only and I would suspect the cable first but as also said, the drive is well into its life and quite likely to fail soon if not now so I would change the drive.

If the new drive immediately shows the same symptoms then change the drive cable, then the new drive should work normally (and the old drive should too but I'd personally still change it - and make sure you have a backup regularly).


macrumors regular
May 19, 2005
Dubbo, NSW
also try starting from the recovery partition and run disk first aid from that to see if there are any issues there these can cause some issues also. It sounds a lot like a HD failing as this has happened to me in the past. I agree with the others get a new HD even external and clone the system to it that way all your preferences and alike should stay intact. You could also try Micromat Techtools which does do drive checking as part of the testing it does.
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