The Eternal Frustration Of iTunes

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rick6502, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. rick6502 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #1
    I use iTunes a lot. I have (what I consider) a very large iTunes library. It is 600 tv episodes and movies and 30000 Apple Lossless files. It's all stored on a 2 TB array in a G4 Mac. Today while adding some new files, iTunes crashed. This is not the first time this has happened to me. When iTunes crashes during import it destroys the library (it is renamed damaged) and it starts over again. By that I mean, you get an empty library, no playlists, no play counts & files have to be reorganized. You have to reimport everything again and (if you saved them) reimport your playlists. This has happened to me about 5 times now. I have just given up on playlists and just wing it. I keep hoping that iTunes will become more stable and this won't happen anymore but 8.2.1 did the same thing that has been going on for the last year to me. The last few versions do recover better, but it is a small portion of the greater file. In the past I have even had to reload and resync my Apple TV's, although this time it deleted everything on them that wasn't imported. I don't need anything other than a place to vent my frustrations and to comment that if Apple really wants iTunes to be a media center they need to plan better for recovery.
     
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #2
    How many files are you trying to import at one time? Is the array local to your machine or a network share and if a network share how reliable is the connection (wireless? Wired? switched? speed?)
     
  3. rick6502 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #3
    I usually import the files from a directly connected USB external HD. It's usually about <30 GB and around 100 files. Nothing crazy. I do this about once or twice a week and have been for about a year. I just think that 5 times out of 100 is a bit less reliable then it should be.
     
  4. rick6502 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #4
    Update

    Once all the files were reimported back into iTunes, it promptly wiped everything off of my AppleTV's and then started to put it all back. I love this.
     
  5. AndrewLGP macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    I have a pretty sizable collection too. I just keep all the iTunes files on an external 750GB HDD. I don't understand why you regularly import so many files? I, personally, think your asking for problems moving so many files at one time.
     
  6. rick6502 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #6
    I get DVD's and RIP TV episodes in. I also buy kid's DVD's off of craigslist and RIP them in. As I watch the episodes, I deleted them and as my kid's taste change I remove those also. So there is constant inflow of new data in, but it is much slower going out. Handbrake 0.92 won't run on my media box, so I have to get the files from a machine that will to the server.
     
  7. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    #7
    Sounds to me like there might be some damaged files (or files with bad ID3 tags) that end up corrupting the library file, which in turn would make iTunes itself unstable. I don't really think there is a way to easily find or even confirm such a problem, but... thought it might be worth a head's up.



    irmongoose
     
  8. AndrewLGP macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    I've never had iTunes crash on me importing files, then again I don't import 30GBs worth of files. It might not actually be iTunes it might be the computer your using. Older computers can't multitask as well as newer ones. 30GBs of files at once is crazy actually especially for a slower computer. To fix your problem I suggest you stop importing some many files at once.
     
  9. rick6502 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #9
    This is the best conclusion?

    So the consensus is not "Apple should look into this scaling issue," but "you really shouldn't be nicer to your software?" I hate to say it, but that is a big cop out. I love all my Apple hardware and have since my Apple ][ (not even a plus) from 1978, and I have always pushed them as hard as I can. My philosophy is the computer is there to serve me not the other way around. If I have to baby the importing of files even though the software would allow me to do otherwise, then there is something wrong with the situation and it should be looked into. If iTunes was beta software or 1.x software that's one thing, but 8.x software?
     
  10. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816

    Fiveos22

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #10
    Yes, but pushing your tools to "serve you" ends up wearing on the tools. Just today I was pushing my jig-saw a bit too hard but cutting quite a bit of hardwood in a short time and I ended up overheating, fatiguing, and busting several blades (a problem I would not have had, if I had spread the work out over several hours/days).

    You have to work within the parameters of the tools, or risk running into road blocks...repeatedly.
     
  11. Fireproof! macrumors 6502a

    Fireproof!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Location:
    Frisco, TX
    #11
    Nice analogy.
     
  12. gboss macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #12
    Bad analogy. Blades are a consumable.

    When you break a blade, using it within the parameters supplied by the mfg, do you end up having to rebuild the motor as well?

    If there is a limit to library size or max imports, that should be stated and it should not allow the user to go beyond said limit.
     
  13. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #13
    It's likely that the older hardware just isn't up to the task. An old USB controller mixed with a slow processor may choke doing such an extreme task as transferring 100 files at 30GB. USB wasn't designed for such sustained transfers the way FireWire was. The processor may not be able to keep up with the USB controller's requests and iTunes analyzing each file while writing to an array.
     
  14. instaxgirl macrumors 65816

    instaxgirl

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #14

    I'm inclined to agree. I have an iBook G4, and when importing TV Shows or films I never import more than about 3 films simultaneously or 5 TV Shows otherwise there's a good chance iTunes'll either freeze up for a while or crash.

    Saying that I've never ever had my library become damaged after a crash. I just relaunch and go at things more slowly.

    You're working with hardware which was released when the software dealt only with music files, cover art was still a new thing when I bought mine.
     
  15. rick6502 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #15
    This computer has a PCI USB 2.0 controller that requires no drivers. I have no problem with the USB speed and it's writing the files to a PCI RAID controller. I don't think speed is the problem. Also, I had the same setup with a PM 733 (this machine is a PM 933) and it didn't do it when my library was about half this size.

    I don't dispute that I am pushing the hardware, what I am saying is that iTunes may have a scaling problem and that Apple should test more large configurations and improve their recovery capabilities. As opposed to just crashing, losing all settings and forcing people to start over. If iTunes/Apple TV is going to be a "media hub" for the future these are issues that are going to become more important. The alternative is Apple places limits on hardware and library sizes. I have seen nothing like this from Apple and a quick Google search finds nothing either.
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #16
    Does your itunes crash if load up smaller files? IE instead of pushing 30 gigs, you push say 10 gigs?

    Are you playing items from within itunes at another machine while you are importing the files? IE Machine one is playing a song or movie(streaming), and your iTunes machine is loading up the 30 gigs worth of media? Could this be a network problem crashing iTunes? Writing files to your harddrive and streaming off of it, your cpu can't keep up and as a result it crashes?
     
  17. rick6502 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #17
    10gb vs. 30gb. It doesn't crash every time, so I don't know. The last time was about 3 months ago. It has only happened five times or so over the last year. So I have loaded 60 in sometimes and 5 in at others, with no problem.

    Streaming vs. not-streaming. Everything is uploaded to 2 AppleTV's. I rarely play direct from iTunes (on this machine). I have loaded things with someone watching an AppleTV and that doesn't seem to be a problem. Although, I do most of my computing when *normal* people are all asleep.

    This does remind me of one thing. I have had it happen twice when I was importing into iTunes at the same time I was importing photos into iPhoto. But since I do that often and have imported into both without it crashing, I don't consider that a definitive cause.
     

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