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iTunes taking 100% of CPU when playing - driving me mad!

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April 14, 2006 5:06:32 AM

Hi all,

When a track starts playing in iTunes 6, after 10 seconds and then for exactly 20 seconds it will take 100% of CPU. The bizarre thing is it's not the iTunes.exe process that's taking the resources but the "System"process (not "System Idle"). It is really annoying as it will do this whenever a track starts playing which obviously slows my PC down and makes getting things done (while listening to music) a nightmare.

Check out this image to see what I mean - iTunes is open and playing, CPU is maxed out in Task Manager and Process Explorer shows "System" taking 85% of CPU.
http://41south.homeip.net/images/itunes_problem.png

I use iTunes 6.0.4.2 on an AMD64 3200 (Socket 754) on an Abit KV8-Max3 board with 1GB of Corsair TwinX LL DDR333 RAM, 2x74GB Raptors and a 200GB SATA drive - so it's not a slow system and it handles everything else I throw at it with no problems.

I've updated the sound chip driver, CPU driver and BIOS to the latest versions but it still does it. I've also tried switching off the onboard AC97 chip on my mobo and using an old Soundblaster Live! I have but that made no difference either.

I'm virus-free, I've shutdown everything that doesn't need to be running, I've disabled my anti-virus (NOD32) and still it happens!

It doesn't happen in any other media player and didn't happen in iTunes 5 and my HTPC (which is a very similiar spec) has no CPU problems playing any track in iTunes 6 - so it's something on my PC it seems... if only I could work out what!!!

TIA for any help or advice anyone can offer - I really don't want to give up using iTunes so any other constructive suggestions would be welcomed.

Mike
April 14, 2006 5:10:34 AM

Quote:
Hi all,

When a track starts playing in iTunes 6, after 10 seconds and then for exactly 20 seconds it will take 100% of CPU. The bizarre thing is it's not the iTunes.exe process that's taking the resources but the "System"process (not "System Idle"). It is really annoying as it will do this whenever a track starts playing which obviously slows my PC down and makes getting things done (while listening to music) a nightmare.

Check out this image to see what I mean - iTunes is open and playing, CPU is maxed out in Task Manager and Process Explorer shows "System" taking 85% of CPU.
http://41south.homeip.net/images/itunes_problem.png

I use iTunes 6.0.4.2 on an AMD64 3200 (Socket 754) on an Abit KV8-Max3 board with 1GB of Corsair TwinX LL DDR333 RAM, 2x74GB Raptors and a 200GB SATA drive - so it's not a slow system and it handles everything else I throw at it with no problems.

I've updated the sound chip driver, CPU driver and BIOS to the latest versions but it still does it. I've also tried switching off the onboard AC97 chip on my mobo and using an old Soundblaster Live! I have but that made no difference either.

I'm virus-free, I've shutdown everything that doesn't need to be running, I've disabled my anti-virus (NOD32) and still it happens!

It doesn't happen in any other media player and didn't happen in iTunes 5 and my HTPC (which is a very similiar spec) has no CPU problems playing any track in iTunes 6 - so it's something on my PC it seems... if only I could work out what!!!

TIA for any help or advice anyone can offer - I really don't want to give up using iTunes so any other constructive suggestions would be welcomed.

Mike


Have you tried reinstalling iTunes? Running CHKDSK on your HDD or installing to another HDD? This looks like a system hang, can be caused by drivers or bad HDD.

~~Mad Mod Mike, fixin' the world 1 rig at a time
April 14, 2006 9:17:59 PM

Thanks Mike... I know it sounds stupid but I haven't reinstalled it yet - because I didn't want to have to set up all my playlists, settings and plugins etc again and I thought (up until yesterday) it was some sort of hardware problem with the sound chip or something.

I'm also pretty sure it's not an HDD problem as I don't have the problem with any other media player and I know the drive is 100% OK as I regularly run a defragger and integrity checker on it.

Guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet on this one and just do a total reinstall... darn it.

Mike
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April 14, 2006 10:06:49 PM

Don't be so hasty. Try running WMP or WinAmp or something and see what the CPU load is. You could just have a really really dodgy MP3 codec?
April 14, 2006 11:01:30 PM

LAst time I uninstalled Itunes it kept my settings. Just to put you at ease.
April 14, 2006 11:08:14 PM

Quote:
Hi all,

When a track starts playing in iTunes 6, after 10 seconds and then for exactly 20 seconds it will take 100% of CPU. The bizarre thing is it's not the iTunes.exe process that's taking the resources but the "System"process (not "System Idle"). It is really annoying as it will do this whenever a track starts playing which obviously slows my PC down and makes getting things done (while listening to music) a nightmare.

Check out this image to see what I mean - iTunes is open and playing, CPU is maxed out in Task Manager and Process Explorer shows "System" taking 85% of CPU.
http://41south.homeip.net/images/itunes_problem.png

I use iTunes 6.0.4.2 on an AMD64 3200 (Socket 754) on an Abit KV8-Max3 board with 1GB of Corsair TwinX LL DDR333 RAM, 2x74GB Raptors and a 200GB SATA drive - so it's not a slow system and it handles everything else I throw at it with no problems.

I've updated the sound chip driver, CPU driver and BIOS to the latest versions but it still does it. I've also tried switching off the onboard AC97 chip on my mobo and using an old Soundblaster Live! I have but that made no difference either.

I'm virus-free, I've shutdown everything that doesn't need to be running, I've disabled my anti-virus (NOD32) and still it happens!

It doesn't happen in any other media player and didn't happen in iTunes 5 and my HTPC (which is a very similiar spec) has no CPU problems playing any track in iTunes 6 - so it's something on my PC it seems... if only I could work out what!!!

TIA for any help or advice anyone can offer - I really don't want to give up using iTunes so any other constructive suggestions would be welcomed.

Mike


iTunes is a sin.
April 15, 2006 12:38:27 AM

Quote:
Hi all,

When a track starts playing in iTunes 6, after 10 seconds and then for exactly 20 seconds it will take 100% of CPU. The bizarre thing is it's not the iTunes.exe process that's taking the resources but the "System"process (not "System Idle"). It is really annoying as it will do this whenever a track starts playing which obviously slows my PC down and makes getting things done (while listening to music) a nightmare.

Check out this image to see what I mean - iTunes is open and playing, CPU is maxed out in Task Manager and Process Explorer shows "System" taking 85% of CPU.
http://41south.homeip.net/images/itunes_problem.png

I use iTunes 6.0.4.2 on an AMD64 3200 (Socket 754) on an Abit KV8-Max3 board with 1GB of Corsair TwinX LL DDR333 RAM, 2x74GB Raptors and a 200GB SATA drive - so it's not a slow system and it handles everything else I throw at it with no problems.

I've updated the sound chip driver, CPU driver and BIOS to the latest versions but it still does it. I've also tried switching off the onboard AC97 chip on my mobo and using an old Soundblaster Live! I have but that made no difference either.

I'm virus-free, I've shutdown everything that doesn't need to be running, I've disabled my anti-virus (NOD32) and still it happens!

It doesn't happen in any other media player and didn't happen in iTunes 5 and my HTPC (which is a very similiar spec) has no CPU problems playing any track in iTunes 6 - so it's something on my PC it seems... if only I could work out what!!!

TIA for any help or advice anyone can offer - I really don't want to give up using iTunes so any other constructive suggestions would be welcomed.

Mike


iTunes is a sin. Your mom is a sin [/Napoleon Dynamite]. Joking, of course.
April 15, 2006 12:48:47 AM

Quote:
Hi all,

When a track starts playing in iTunes 6, after 10 seconds and then for exactly 20 seconds it will take 100% of CPU. The bizarre thing is it's not the iTunes.exe process that's taking the resources but the "System"process (not "System Idle"). It is really annoying as it will do this whenever a track starts playing which obviously slows my PC down and makes getting things done (while listening to music) a nightmare.

Check out this image to see what I mean - iTunes is open and playing, CPU is maxed out in Task Manager and Process Explorer shows "System" taking 85% of CPU.
http://41south.homeip.net/images/itunes_problem.png

I use iTunes 6.0.4.2 on an AMD64 3200 (Socket 754) on an Abit KV8-Max3 board with 1GB of Corsair TwinX LL DDR333 RAM, 2x74GB Raptors and a 200GB SATA drive - so it's not a slow system and it handles everything else I throw at it with no problems.

I've updated the sound chip driver, CPU driver and BIOS to the latest versions but it still does it. I've also tried switching off the onboard AC97 chip on my mobo and using an old Soundblaster Live! I have but that made no difference either.

I'm virus-free, I've shutdown everything that doesn't need to be running, I've disabled my anti-virus (NOD32) and still it happens!

It doesn't happen in any other media player and didn't happen in iTunes 5 and my HTPC (which is a very similiar spec) has no CPU problems playing any track in iTunes 6 - so it's something on my PC it seems... if only I could work out what!!!

TIA for any help or advice anyone can offer - I really don't want to give up using iTunes so any other constructive suggestions would be welcomed.

Mike


iTunes is a sin. Your mom is a sin [/Napoleon Dynamite]. Joking, of course.

Word.
April 15, 2006 9:50:38 AM

Quote:
Word.


No wonder you've got such a high post count
April 15, 2006 5:10:02 PM

Quote:
Word.


No wonder you've got such a high post count

Actually I don't reciece a new post for useing word its more fluff on the forum at this point.
April 17, 2006 3:53:03 AM

Well, I think I've found out that it has something to do with my hard drive - when I play a song directly from my video iPod (via iTunes) it doesn't spike the CPU at all... when I switch back to my library (which is on a 200GB Seagate 7200.8 SATA drive) it starts doing it again.

But this is where I'm still puzzled - Diskeeper shows it to be totally unfragmented, CHKDSK tells me there are no bad sectors and the drive does not seem to be making any strange noises or anything. I've removed the MS indexing service from running on that drive thinking it might be that but still no luck. It seems like iTunes just doesn't like that drive - as I mentioned earlier WinAmp and WMP don't have any problem... the only thing I can see is that the HDD is about 80% full but I can't see why this would have anything to do with it. I guess I'll have to try making a smaller MP3 library on another physical drive, pointing iTunes to it and seeing if it still does it.

Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Mike
April 17, 2006 7:09:56 AM

itunes sucks and so do pods
i rather get a generic mp3 player
April 19, 2006 8:31:44 AM

Thanks liquidpaper - a really helpful post.... I hope you enjoy your generic player as much as I enjoy my 3 iPods and iTunes.

In the meantime, on a more constructive front, I managed to finally solve this so thought I'd post it in case anyone else should have the same problem.

Basically, I loaded up ProcessExplorer (from Sysinternals) and looked at the 'Threads' tab of the Properties dialog of the 'system' process as the problem was happening. As soon as I monitored it I saw that it was the NOD32 file monitor (amon.sys) that was causing the problem - shutting it down makes the problem go away. Strange thing is that on both my laptop and my HTPC I have the NOD32 file monitor running and it has no problem with iTunes.

Anyway, now I know what it is I'll have to do some googling and see what else I can find out... or maybe switch to a better AV package (suggestions anyone?)

Cheers to all those who tried to help... it was much appreciated.
April 19, 2006 9:28:29 AM

Quote:
Thanks liquidpaper - a really helpful post.... I hope you enjoy your generic player as much as I enjoy my 3 iPods and iTunes.

In the meantime, on a more constructive front, I managed to finally solve this so thought I'd post it in case anyone else should have the same problem.

Basically, I loaded up ProcessExplorer (from Sysinternals) and looked at the 'Threads' tab of the Properties dialog of the 'system' process as the problem was happening. As soon as I monitored it I saw that it was the NOD32 file monitor (amon.sys) that was causing the problem - shutting it down makes the problem go away. Strange thing is that on both my laptop and my HTPC I have the NOD32 file monitor running and it has no problem with iTunes.

Anyway, now I know what it is I'll have to do some googling and see what else I can find out... or maybe switch to a better AV package (suggestions anyone?)

Cheers to all those who tried to help... it was much appreciated.



Symantec's Corporate edition has a small footprint or AVG by Grisoft is rather good on resources as well and very user friendly.
April 19, 2006 1:00:11 PM

Quote:
Thanks liquidpaper - a really helpful post.... I hope you enjoy your generic player as much as I enjoy my 3 iPods and iTunes.



Anyway, now I know what it is I'll have to do some googling and see what else I can find out... or maybe switch to a better AV package (suggestions anyone?)


I'm sorry, by AV did you mean audiovisual or antivirus? If Antivirus, I am running Kaspersky and love it. If Audiovisual, I am using MediaMonkey which is free and runs like winamp. Great for mp3 players as it allows it to sync up with your player.
April 19, 2006 1:29:03 PM

I use AVG and have never had an issue with it.

Ipods and Itunes suck.

I have a Creative MP3 player. I pay Yahoo music 5 bucks a month and get unlimited transfers to my Mp3 player (however, the songs go away if you stop subscribing). The program that Yahoo uses for music sucks monkey, but I like the end result despite the hassle.

Please read this link for more information regarding Blogs and Itunes:

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=banish
April 19, 2006 1:30:35 PM

im thinking he meant antivirus and I use AVG Free by grisoft as well...works great for me and its Free with lots of features
April 19, 2006 2:38:28 PM

When I first installed iTunes, it would use up a lot of my cpu. I updated my creative sound card drivers, since then it's been fine. Not sure if you're problem is the same but you might try that.
April 20, 2006 12:18:10 AM

Quote:
itunes sucks and so do pods
i rather get a generic mp3 player


Word.
April 20, 2006 1:08:22 AM

Why are iPods bad, exactly? Because their made by Apple? I own a Creative Vision: M, but use iTunes (I used to have an iPod) on my computer. I absolutely hate the scroll thing, or whatever you call it on the Creative, because it constantly thinks I want to click. I wish Creative and Apple would work together to make some Uber MP3 player! Why can I never stay on topic?
April 20, 2006 1:11:38 AM

Quote:
Why are iPods bad, exactly? Because their made by Apple? I own a Creative Vision: M, but use iTunes (I used to have an iPod) on my computer. I absolutely hate the scroll thing, or whatever you call it on the Creative, because it constantly thinks I want to click. I wish Creative and Apple would work together to make some Uber MP3 player! Why can I never stay on topic?


I just said word to show support I personally have nothing against the product, like the young chap said they are another MP3 player.
April 21, 2006 2:42:37 AM

Word. I have a 30 GB iPod photo, and it's indispensible. I have no qualms except for the scratchable backside. I kind of hate it, except for the first 2 minutes of ownership when it's actually not scratched. Then, life happens and ruins it.

iPods are nice, but I hate iTunes. It is a huuuge resource hog on my computer. So, I use Winamp for playing and iTunes for syncing and ripping to my music library. It works for me.
!