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iTunes/Panther freezing

iTunes/Panther freezing

Yesterday we noted an issue with iTunes "freezing" under Panther. We put the word freezing in quotes because although the report we quoted yesterday claimed that the computer would never recover, other reports seem to indicate that if you wait long enough, iTunes will "unfreeze" and you will regain control of your Mac.

Whatever the case may be, we've received a good deal of reader mail confirming the issue. Reader Darren Stueber notes that once every two days or so his dual-processor G4 will fall victim to the same problem described yesterday. (However, he also notes that the problem has never affected his 17" iMac.) Similarly, Christopher Griffiths notes:

"I'd just like to add myself to the list who have experienced the 'skip and freeze' mentioned on your website with iTunes 4.2 and Mac OS X 10.3.2...it occurs exactly as described and can only be remedied by a hard restart."

Randy Bond reports a similar problem that isn't quite as severe on his Mac:

"Since installing 10.3.2 I have experienced iTunes freezing on occasion (on both a B&W G3 and G4 Cube), especially after importing songs to the library. When it freezes, only the graphics within the window freeze (the window doesn't update and clicking on items within the window elicits no response).. iTunes continues to play music, respond to key board commands, and the pull-down menus still work. Quitting and restarting the application restores full function."

MacFixIt reader Ron Gazaway points out that a similar discussion is currently occurring on the ArsTechnica forums.

Suggested solutions Ron also notes that he "was seeing this problem once or twice a week. I.e., system freezes except for mouse motion and/or intermittent iTunes sound." He also confirmed that eventually his Mac would recover: "I saw it recover once after forty minutes and another time after about twenty minutes." He notes that updating prebinding -- a procedure that is no longer supposed to be necessary under Panther (or even under Jaguar) -- appears to have helped (although we can't figure out why it would, given the function that prebinding actually plays in Mac OS X):

"I ran sudo update_prebinding -root / -force and have not had an occurrence over the last two weeks."

Nevertheless, given that it appears to have helped for Ron, we post it here so that other users can test it out to see if it helps them. (The procedure can't hurt your Mac; at the worst, it will simply do some redundant "housecleaning.")

Similar DVD player problem? Finally, in what might simply be a coincidence, MacFixIt reader Dave Adams reports similar issues when using DVD Player:

"I have the same symptoms except they occur when using DVD Player; the screen freezes and the computer is completely unresponsive but the cursor still moves. A hard restart is required. This happens intermittently. I've never had any problems with iTunes."

Resources
  • ArsTechnica forums
  • More from Late-Breakers