iTunes is laggy doing certain things no matter how good your system is?

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Chricton

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Like when I add a ton of music at once to the program, it starts doing that "processing artwork" and "determining gapless playback" routine, and it slows iTunes down quite a bit, even though my system is showing no demand for RAM or CPU power. Is this just iTunes being slow or is there something wrong? Otherwise I can run the program without a hitch in album view or coverflow, but doing these two things in bulk creates so much lag...

The 160 classic freezing issue aside.
 

Chricton

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I'm using the newest version of itunes, and my hardware is hardly an issue. I've got 4GB or RAM and am running on a dual core E6800. It only happens when I add new files, it slows the program down (browsing, playing takes time to load) but doesn't take any resources to relieve this. I'll select te folder to add, and it'll take a good minute to add maybe 300 files, and once that's done it will lag for about 3 minutes while it does the artwork and gapless playback check. It's not the adding of the files that I askign about, but the two processes that occur after it.

I'm guessing it's just because my xml file is so large, or because most of the files I import already have artwork integrated on them. I just wanted to know if anyone with a 250GB+ library experiences the same lag when adding stuff. I remember back when I had a smaller 1000~ song library adding stuff was much faster, and that was on a far lesser system.
 
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gowanis

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i'm a new iTunes user. I have two older ipods and I've been using Ephpod for many years. Now that I have an ipod Touch I'm forced to use iTunes.

I'm shocked at how sluggish it is. The most notable thing is when I use the scrollbar to go through my library. When I use the wheel on my mouse to scroll, it seems very choppy. When I try to "grab" the scrollbar and move it up or down, its also weird and slow. Its almost as if I can't quite grab the scrollbar properly. The application doesn't tile with other windows (I'm using XP) - it just doesn't behave like a normal Windows application.

Is this behavior normal and can someone explain why it is this way? Or do I have some sort of problem? My PC is fast and responsive otherwise.

Thanks.
 

Chricton

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I may have answered my own question it seems. When I add more than maybe 100 files at once, it's slow. But I just added about 50, and it added them to the list, processed the artwork, and determined the gapless playback... all in about half a second. It makes no sense to me, but I guess I'll just have to add in smaller chunks.

gowanis, how good is your computer? My newest system handles iTunes like it's nothing, but my other two comps, both of which have about 512MB RAM and low-cost Celeron D's, can barely handle iTunes. They are forced to use list view; cover flow and album view are far too choppy on those systems. Otherwise good for most programs I used them for, but iTunes completely cripples them.

It also has a lot to do with how good of a hard drive you have, particularly the cache size. 8-16MB would be ideal if have it set for album view/coverflow.
 
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gowanis

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Chricton said:
gowanis, how good is your computer? My newest system handles iTunes like it's nothing, but my other two comps, both of which have about 512MB RAM and low-cost Celeron D's, can barely handle iTunes. They are forced to use list view; cover flow and album view are far too choppy on those systems. Otherwise good for most programs I used them for, but iTunes completely cripples them.

It also has a lot to do with how good of a hard drive you have, particularly the cache size. 8-16MB would be ideal if have it set for album view/coverflow.
its a P4, 2 GB RAM, not the latest and greatest, but certainly a decent machine. i suppose list view is a bit more responsive, but this is absurd. I only have 15 albums so far in my library.
 

css1323

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That stinks how it would lag.. even if you had 4GB of RAM! WTF? lol. Sorry, just had to comment.
 

Chricton

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Mine doesn't lag at all, it just lags when I add more than 100 or so songs into the library at once. But to lag while scrolling with 2GB of Ram and a P4, and with only 15 albums, that's pretty crazy.

The only reason I can think of is the hard drive. It has to be old to the point where it's seek times are no where near what recent HD's are capable of and what newer HD's can cache at once. If your comp was purchased more than 3-4 years ago, chances are it's cache size is only about 1MB, which is why the HD might have to work overtieme loading the album covers. With a bigger cache it loads more to that and doesn't have to read from the HD as much.
 

gowanis

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i doubt this is a hard drive seek time issue. i think the word "lag" is not really appropriate. I'm talking about being able to grab the scrollbar and smoothly scroll up and down through your library. I mean, its just text and some small album cover images. If the same data were rendered in HTML in IE it would be just fine. I think iTunes is just shoddy programming.
 

studogvetmed

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iTunes is a lag fest and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

If you are adding files that already have album artwork integrated in them, see if you can turn off adding of album artwork in the preferences.

The whole gapless playback junk is a pain, especially when I'd say in the majority of peoples collections the majority of songs aren't gapless, so having to go through and check these files is insane and it takes a long time for a large library.

So the solution as is found is to attempt to add in smaller chunks.

I wish I understood iTunes better.
 

Chricton

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gowanis said:
i doubt this is a hard drive seek time issue. i think the word "lag" is not really appropriate. I'm talking about being able to grab the scrollbar and smoothly scroll up and down through your library. I mean, its just text and some small album cover images. If the same data were rendered in HTML in IE it would be just fine. I think iTunes is just shoddy programming.
See that's the thing though, I use mine in Album view (which seems to take the most system resources), and on my newest computer, it's smooth. But on my two eMachines, it's jitters and jerks around like crazy. Grabbing the scrolbar and moving it halfway down the list can take up to 3-4 seconds for that section of the list to actually show up.

iTunes is just asking for too much hardware. It is pretty odd programming. It shouldn't need this much to run.

Try this: Open up your control+alt+delete system performance meter. Leave it open, and now using either the scroll wheel on your mouse or clicking on the up/down arrow tab of the scroll bar and holding it, start moving the list up or down, fast. Your CPU will start working, hard. I got my dual core to perform at 55% while scrolling in album view, about 25% in cover flow. So while it's probably not a HDD issue like I originally thought, it's definitely about your CPU. I can see why my old Celeron D's where getting choked up. I'm not really a pro at CPU's, but if a E6800 is using 55% of it's resources to simply scroll a lst, anything in the performance area of a P4 is going to have serious problems.

Oh yeah, and on a side note, another reason why things were adding so slow was because of the "organize my music" option.

EDIT: So I just tryed that same test on my 2-3 year old eMachines Athlon 3200+, and when just holding the scroll arrow down in album view, it maxed the CPU's abilities. I haven't tried it on my newer (better?) Celeron D 3.20GHz, but I'm guessing it will get similar results.

I'm looking at the system requirements specified by Apple, and it's almost funny. 500Mhz+. My first computer was an original Celeron HP running at 667Mhz ,and iTunes is what put the thing at the curb. After I loaded it, and attempted to run it, it pretty much crashed the system beyond my skills to repair.
 
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DirkBelig

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My self-built rig is an Athlon 3800 X2 (dual-core) with 2GB RAM running WinXP SP2. I just added ONE MP3 to the library and one of the cores went to nearly 100% CPU usage and the program froze. Doing anything with iTunes is a major PITMFA, but I'm wondering if this is the fault of my iPod Classic (80GB) because the insane CPU usage and chronic intervals of "Not Responding" in Windows Task Manager started with its arrival.

My old 4G never acted up like this, though I was forced to update iTunes to use the Classic and while I hoped the 7.4.3.1 update would help, it didn't. Good old Apple. Pretty overpriced products that work poorly. (My battery appears to be crap and it keeps going into Pause spontaneously.)
 

Chricton

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It has a lot to do with the Classic's interface with iTunes. A lot (most?) of people with a 160 are getting sync freezes when using iTunes, even when simply tagging and adding artwork, and it seems the older your system the worse it is. I haven't heard to many people complain about the 80's in that regard, but by the sound of it you have a defective model.

What I just don't get it that while iTunes asks a ton of your CPU, it doesn't even use most of it half the time if you have a really good one. Like when I'm converting wma's, I'll only be using one core getting about 20x speed. Same when scrolling, it never seems to break the 50-55% range of what both cores can output, it'll max one but not use the other.

I just got myself a brand new 500GB SATA HD that I'm going to transfer all my music too, I want to see if there will be any noticable difference. I'm going from 8MB cache to 16MB, I wonder if that will have any effect. I'm not realy expecting it to, but the bigger, faster HD is nice anyway.
 
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gowanis

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i went to an apple store today to mess with iTunes on a Mac. Sure enough, there is NO problem scrolling through the library. Smooth as it should be. The problem is clearly the way the application is designed for Windows. I asked a "genius" about it, and he had no idea why it was slow on Windows. He said he had not heard that it was a problem.

Very frustrating. I'm surprised there aren't more Windows users complaining about the crap performance of iTunes
 

jmahone

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For me, the problem with iTunes for Windows performance is manifested most of the time when I am manually dragging podcasts from my library to my iPod. It is brutally slow. Others have commented on the notion that they feel they are not "correctly" grabbing the interface widgets (scroll bars, records in views, etc.). This is how I feel as well. This is THE ONLY APPLICATION (and I have many) where the UI is so unbelievably sluggish.

I manually sync everything. My podcasts are retrieved upon launching iTunes, and then I move the ones I want over to the iPod. I need to have very granular (and this changes daily) control over what I put on my iPod, whether it is music, photos, videos, or podcasts.

I am running 7.2, and yes, I realize there is a new version. I have never heard that 7.4 magically is better than previous versions for this issue, though I will eventually still d/l the new version of iTunes. This issue has been present from day one of iTunes handling podcasts.

I run a WinXP SP2 laptop with 1GB RAM. Most of my music is on a home networked HDD, and I honestly don't have any problems moving songs from that drive to my iPod. The podcasts are mixed between the networked HDD and my laptop's HDD. They are slow to drag and drop regardless of the HDD that I am accessing.

I can't believe that there isn't one developer at Apple who has some Windows knowledge who does not see these problems. I would love to see some visibility into this along the lines of an acknowledgment that, "Yes, we have performance issues with iTunes on Windows with certain (several) tasks."

My .02.
 

Essin

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Am I the only one suspecting the graphics hardware in this? What are you guys using? A "real" graphics card such or a built-in "craphics" card?
 

mr.quip

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Essin said:
Am I the only one suspecting the graphics hardware in this? What are you guys using? A "real" graphics card such or a built-in "craphics" card?
There may be some merrit to that. My bro has a mid-range graphics card and gets pretty good performance from iTunes. I'm using an Intel GMA950 (128) and I get terrible performance. OTOH, he has a Pentium D 3GHz/2GB ram, and I just have a single core multithreaded 3GHz/1GB, so it may be that. We both have similar libraries, but he doesn't use the podcast function.
 

paranoidxe

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7.x is a pretty poor performer on my Athlon64 x2 3800+ with 1.5GB of RAM, really wish 6.x was still supported it was great.
 
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