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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive Apps
Tiger only hintSince installing Tiger, I have moved my music collection onto an external FireWire hard drive, while keeping iTunes and my library files on the internal hard drive. I noticed frequent skipping in playback, and it was mostly in conjunction with a spike in the mdimport process (Spotlight indexing). Even though both my drives are already indexed, this brief re-indexing was causing the problem.

I managed to significantly reduce the skipping by disabling indexing on my FireWire drive (named 'Fire'):
sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/Fire
I might also have to disable indexing on my internal drive, but the skips seem infrequent enough now.

[robg adds: I have my music on a separate internal hard drive, and haven't noticed any issues at all relative to Spotlight's index updates. However, the relative slowness of FireWire compared to the internal bus may explain the difference, so I'm posting this in the hopes that someone else might confirm both the issue and the fix.]
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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: GEllenburg on Jul 07, '05 10:30:04AM

I can not confirm this.

Up until recently, all of my iTunes library (only the MP3s and AACs) were on a separate firewire drive, and I've got a lot of firewire devices (EyeTV, iSight, two Firewire VTRs, iPod) and I never noticed this problem.

Like the OP, my "iTunes Library" was also on my internal system disk.

But, as of yesterday, all of my hard drives are now in separate Firewire enclosures whereas the only internal drive is now my "superdrive".

I'm still not seeing this.

What could be happening though is that the firewire bus is getting overloaded.

Since my PowerMac has two firewire buses, I use one for storage and one for video with two separate 6 port Firewire hubs.

Not only does this keep things logically separated, but it's also saved me from all those reports of Firewire problems with Panther and Tiger back when they first came out.

Hope this helps.

(DP G4 1.42GHz MDD w/ 2GB RAM)

He who does not challenge one\'s elected decisions today, may find himself challenged by them tomorrow.

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: beanboyrjs on Jul 07, '05 11:12:45AM

I cannot confirm this either. I run iTunes and it's library files from my Titanium, and my music files are all on an external USB drive!! And, since I am on an old Titanium, I am only getting USB 1.1 speeds (ouch!). So, I did have to bump the Streaming Buffer Size up to Medium. But, it works perfectly for me.

Before I upgraded to Tiger, I was streaming my music files from the same external drive, but wirelessly (802.11b). The drive is one of those Ximeta NetDisks ( Worked fine then also. Unfortunately, Ximeta doesn't have a Tiger compatible driver yet, and that is why I am stuck with the USB interface.

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: teach on Jul 07, '05 01:17:57PM

I have been storing my library on an external FW drive for a long time. (1.5 years+). My local machine was a G5 dual processor. I have had serious skipping issues since day one. This was on Panther, and continued on Tiger, so I am guessing that spotlight isn't mu culprit, and I would also guess that system bus overload is not the issue given the hefty platform. It was bad enough that I couldn't burn CDs via iTunes. Coasters every time. (I would grab the tracks throw them on my PowerBook and burn from there.)

I recently switched jobs and brought my FW drive home to plug into my G4 Tower running Panther. Clean install of iTunes. Clean import of iTunes library. Exact same issues.

My guess is that it is an issue on my FW drive bus?? Any ideas for resolving this sort of problem?

- Chris

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: cchristner on Jul 07, '05 01:45:14PM

I have a my music library on a 400 GB external 400/800 FireWire drive connected to an old G4 500/DP and have never had skipping probs. The only delays stem from my library being around 50K tracks which sometimes causes longer pauses between songs than would be the case if there were fewer. As for coasters, I frequently burn files from the drive onto DVDs in Toast while listening to iTunes and have not had one trashed disc.

Maybe it's because I'm running the drive on a PCI 400/800 FW card that makes the difference.

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: uchuugaka on Jul 07, '05 11:04:04PM

i've had it skip on the main drive!
but that is while using limewire or another p2p and downloading a large file.
the constant write to the drive disrupts the bandwidth to itunes.
real simple issue.
your firewire drive may have the same issue.
firewire itself (or any othere connector type) is not the only determinant of the maximum throughput of any device.
you must also take into account the HD's spin speed, seek time, and cache size. but if multiple operations are reading/writing to the same disk, you will have interrupts.
in this case, your FW HD, the FW bus may be running into a traffic jam on the main bus or even the main processor's cache.
ibooks and imacs have smaller caches than powerbooks and powermacs, and therefore will have this occur more.
but each speedbump model will potentially have mobo changes... so the implementation could look same but act different

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: digitol on Jul 08, '05 12:26:27AM

I can't confirm this either! In fact, I have my music files hosted off a Newton emate 300, via a serial/localtalk connection!!! OK OK OK i might be stretching it a bit there...but really,, i have been playing iTunes with all my music files hosted off my networked mac, with no problems, no skipping. I used to have a 10-base-T connection, but that would skip sometimes, now I have a regular LAN connection 1000-bt and all is well. So Robby your TOTALLY OUT OF LINE CALLING FIREWIRE TO SLOW FOR AUDIO!!!!!!!!!!!! :P heheheheheh. (please take that lightly, it's a joking yelling tone!) -EOF-

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: mattyturner on Jul 14, '05 07:35:36AM

Have you tried increasing the buffer size in the itunes preferences under the 'advanced' tab?


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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: drfx on Nov 15, '05 03:05:18AM

I have been having the same problems since Panther! Running all the latest everything Tiger iT6.0.1 on a 2.5Gig G5 6 gig ram, the LaCie400 FW drive for music can't cut it. I even moved all the music and transferred the entire library to another LaCie 400 and it does the exact same thing! I have run teck on the drives cleaned the caches. I can't figure it out! It's terrible w/ 80gigs of music dropouts. I have a bunch of firewire drives and CD& DVD players attached from time to time, but not now, and it still does it. Someone said turn the pre-amp down in itunes - buffer size large - sound check. Tried it all. I guess Move music to the second internal drive? I can't believe I'm the only one with this problem. There is no info on this - does anyone know what the hell is going on? Motion, FCP all work - except this tiny apps thruput. HELP

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: lesleyames on May 08, '06 01:39:05PM

I've been having a similiar problem. A couple friends with PCs have a similiar problem. I have tried everything from Apple's troubleshooting methods for the Airport Express to changing the buffering in iTunes to recently reinstalling everything on a new upgraded 80ghz harddrive. This actually worked for a month. But, this week it started again. I am at a loss. If you come up with something let me know.

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10.4: Reduce iTunes skipping on an external drive
Authored by: nodata on Jul 23, '07 08:47:22PM

maybe i have a fix ihad the same problems 35k songs on 400gig extdrive playback stoping every 10 to 35 secs banging my head inbetween so looks like you need to store only the song files on the extdrive keep itunes and xml files on the internal drive playing tracks and writing xmls at same time seems to much for firewire its working for me ta to all yo who posted xml was the key good key hint thank you thank you

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