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iTunes 12.1 skips after recent update February 9, 2015

Posted by mwidlake in off-topic.
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(Fixing my iPhone5 battery with my Bum …>)

Summary

iTunes started skipping on my PC after a recent update (end of Jan 2015). It is version 12.1 of iTunes.

iTunes skips when using Chrome, the more chrome session or the more they update, the more iTunes skips…

I fixed it by downloading a 64-bit version of iTunes 12.1 supporting “older video cards” (see details below) but others have fixed it more easily by swapping from Direct Sound to Windows Audio Session – see comments.

 

That’s enough search-friendly lines to help the web crawlers get here. Apologies to my normal visitors, this is obviously nothing to do with Oracle databases, development or my usual ramblings. Go read something else unless you landed here looking for help with skipping iTunes playback.

iTunes on my laptop wanted to update a few days ago so I let it. Next time I fired iTunes up, I was annoyed to discover that a track I had recently uploaded, from a compilation CD I have of 60’s classics, was poor quality and skipping. Except that the next few tracks also skipped a little, old favorites I knew were fine. I did a quick web search but most of the references were 4 or 5 years old. The skipping was getting worse so I shut down iTunes and used a…. CD player.

A few days later I was working on the machine and wanted some music to ease the task in hand, fired up iTunes and it was soon skipping again. I then fired up a few extra Chrome windows (for unrelated reasons) and the skipping got a lot worse. I shut down Chrome and the skipping stopped. A bit of testing revealed that iTunes did not skip for me on an, admittedly, lightly loaded machine – but did when Chrome was up and running. Anything constantly updating in Chrome (Twitter feed or live sports update) made it worse.

My machine is quite powerful, it’s an MSi gaming machine with an Intel i7-4700 processor, 8GB of memory and a dual SSD/HDD with the OS and applications sitting on the SSD. It’s not lack of grunt that was causing the issue but something crap in what iTunes is doing.

I found a solution – This apple.com discussion – which itself links to this download for a 64-bit version of iTunes 12.1 supporting “older video cards”. My video card is not that old in the scheme of things, being a GeForce GTX 765M which was a pretty reasonable card 12 months ago.

After I downloaded the alternative version of iTunes and let it install, the skipping seems to have stopped. I’ve tested having a dozen Chrome tabs open with a couple of them being interactive and my chosen 80’s music selection was skip-free.

I hope that helps people. If you came here for the iTunes hint, don’t look at the rest of the blog, you will be sadly disappointed 🙂

(Fixing my iPhone5 battery with my Bum …>)

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Comments»

1. Nathan - February 11, 2015

I have an MSI gaming laptop with a GTX 675m and the same thing is happening. I’ll try your fix asap.

2. maxbeaudry - February 11, 2015

Hello Martin,
Thank you for this post. Unfortunately, this version of iTunes doesn’t seem to solve my problem. It’s actually worst for me for some reason. Unlike you, I am running a somewhat weak machine (surface pro 3). The thing is this problem wasn’t happening with version 12.0 of iTunes. Would you have any other hint to help me?
Thanks

mwidlake - February 12, 2015

Hi Maxbeaudry,

If the change of version had not helped, my next stop was going to be to change the playback preferences – “Edit”, “Preferences” and second tab at the top. Apparently some people have found swapping from Direct Sound to Windows Audio session helped and I would suspect that reducing the bit rate might also possibly help. Other than that, I have no idea.
If you try those and it helps, let me know and I will update the body of the post

Cheers,

Martin

Mike - January 15, 2016

Switching from Direct Sound to Windows Audio Session worked for me. Thank you!! Was driving me insane…lol

3. Zack - February 13, 2015

Worked for me. Thanks for the public service.

4. gcraig - February 14, 2015

Martin,

Thanks so much, your fix worked like a charm. Horrible skipping/static when in a browser + iTunes playing.

5. kcaptainhook - February 16, 2015

Worked for me, but I also installed it on my ssd vs my hdd this time…

6. MrMann - June 7, 2015

Make sure Itunes is open first then go ctrl+shift+escape click more details right click on itunes.exe then click go to details. Find itunes in the details section then right click set priority to high or realtime. That fixes it for me though you have to do this everytime you start itunes though.

Note: Higher bit songs such as .wav and such tend to skip at the start then go fine

mwidlake - June 27, 2015

Thanks MrMann
I’d see that as only a temporary solution. iTunes should be lightweight (I think my old P850 would play mp3s fine, almost 15 years ago!) so moving iTunes up the priority order to get first shot on free CPU cycles really should not be required unless your machine is really busy doing CPU-intensive stuff. You now have something playing music taking priority over pretty much everything else. Which is fine if you are really into your music I guess 🙂


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