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iTunes on External HD stops Responding


gotham
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Hello, I'm new to this forum but am having some issues with iTunes. I have my iTunes library on an external Hard Drive connected via USB to an Airport Extreme. An Airport Express is connected to the Airport Extreme with gigabit ethernet. The external HD is always left powered on. I can open iTunes and play songs fine but if I play a long song or leave iTunes idle for a while the next time I try to select a different song I get the pinwheel and iTunes does not respond at all. I have to force quit iTunes and reopen. This happens repeatedly. Both the Airport Express and Airport Extreme are still working fine. I tried searching Apple forums but couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.

-mike

 

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gotham, is your iTunes library file located in /Music/iTunes on your local disk and your music folder located on your airport disk?

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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No both library files are currently only on my internal hard drive. Should I move itunes library and itunes music library files to the external and delete them from the internal? Would this solve the problem?

 

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Really, the way you have it now is what I'd expect. Just wanted to make sure I understood your configuration.

 

I'll put one of my usb HDD on my Airport Extreme and see if I have the same problem. .

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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gotham, I hooked up a usb hdd to my airport express and set up a fresh iTunes instance. I put about 30 music files there and then used add to library (but leaving the music files on the airport disk) to build the library file.

 

I didn't have any beachball problems however. I let it play through about 15 minutes without fiddling with anything. How long were these long songs in your case? And when iTunes is "idle" do you mean that you're playing songs without touching the iTunes interface? And if so, does it keep on playing but becomes unresponsive to user input?

 

Have you given airport disk agent access to your keychain, assuming your network is password protected?

 

Of course this quick check may not be sufficient. For example maybe iTunes has no problem with 30 tracks, but 30,000 track might be troubling.

 

I had never thought of using an airport disk, but really it sounds like a nice idea -- if it works! :-) Then any computer on your network could access the same songs.

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Some of the songs are over 15mins, and these are large apple lossless files. I have about 10,000 tracks in the library.

 

By iTunes being idle I mean iTunes is open on my MacBook Pro but I don't play any music for a while, 10 minutes or more. Then when I go to play a track I get the beachball and have to force quit.

 

Network is actually not protected. When I had protection on I couldn't get airport express to work at all.

 

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Leave it idle to the point you'd expect a beachball then check a)finder to see the external drive is still there, and b)the wireless connection. If it loses the connection it might lose the hard drive, and sometimes it doesn't get reset.

 

Or, when it beachballs, check to see if it still sees the external hd.

 

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Some of the songs are over 15mins, and these are large apple lossless files. I have about 10,000 tracks in the library.

 

I'll add at least one track greater than 15 minutes and try that out tonight..

 

By iTunes being idle I mean iTunes is open on my MacBook Pro but I don't play any music for a while, 10 minutes or more. Then when I go to play a track I get the beachball and have to force quit.

 

Ah, ok. I had just left iTunes playing. But I'll try it out with no music playing.

 

Network is actually not protected. When I had protection on I couldn't get airport express to work at all.

 

Hmm. I've used airport express both with the network open and set up in protected mode. Neither caused me any problem. I wonder if you're up to date on all of your software versions?

 

FWIW, I'm on OS X 10.4.11 with airport disk utility version 1.5.1, airport utility version 5.4.1. My airport extreme is at version 7.4.1.

 

Of course if you're running Leopard the version numbers may not be the same as what I have.

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Is your hard disk going to sleep after being inactive for a certain amount of time? My music is on an offboard drive that's set to spin down after about 5 minutes of inactivity; if I start playing a song after the drive has gone to sleep it spins back up and starts playing. Through an Airport, though, this process may not work. The Airport may not be able to get the drive to wake up again. Mine is connected directly to USB.

 

I'll point you to another excellent Macintosh resource:

http://www.macintouch.com/

You can search the site for info, or look through the list of topics. If you ask a question the chances are very good that you'll get a useful answer quickly.

 

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Say, gotham, I had a chance to try out some of my longer files. When playing these back from the USB disk I do have brief interruptions -- I think the same as what you described. Ugh. I never have this with my usual setup via directly connected firewire external HDD.

 

I did try to leave iTunes idle, but on that score I never had any lethal beachballs. It took a moment to come back to life from idle, but no real problem that way.

 

Did davidr's suggestion with Energy Saver settings help at all?

 

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Did davidr's suggestion with Energy Saver settings help at all?

 

I thought that the energy setting only applies to internal hard drive on my macbook pro, not to external drives? Also, isn't it bad for the HD if it is constantly spinning 24/7? Wouldn't that reduce it's life?

 

I'm not loosing the connection so I think what Lord Chaos stated might be true. I think the issue may be that with an external drive on airport extreme, once the disk goes to sleep itunes can not wake it up again through the airport extreme. it wakes up fine if the HD is directly connected via USB to the Macbook Pro but is unresponsive when it's connected with the airport extreme. Why would this be the case? if so, any solutions? I'm running the latest iTunes and have the Airport Extreme updated as well.

 

I'll try the other MacIntosh links as well and see if I get a response.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gotham,

Apple will not help. This has nothing to do with their hardware. The problem is your external HD. This has an automatic energy saver setting which puts the HD to sleep. This is a problem irrespective of connecting directly to your Mac or to the Express. The setting change within Mac does not influence the sleep setting for the ext HD. You will need to update to the latest firmware, they should fix the problem. My WD 1 TB problem went away with the latest FW.

regds

 

Synology NAS (LPS) >UA ETHER REGEN (BG7TBL Master Clock) > MACMINI (Uptone MMK JS-2) > Auralic Aries 2.1 > (LPS-2) > AUDIO-GD DI20HE (BG7TBL Master Clock) (I2S OUT)LampizatOr GG /Meridian 808.3> Wavac PRT1 / Wavac EC300B >Tannoy Canterbury SE

 

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