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Large iTunes library - excruciatingly slow.

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July 22, 2012 3:57:29 AM

I was wondering if anyone knows why iTunes is so slow with large librarys. Mine has a response time of about 20 seconds for simple scroll, rename etc. tasks. I've got the library folder on a SSD and the media on an internal HDD. I've got an i7 920 @ stock and 6GB of RAM.

When it takes forever to respond, is it because its overworking the CPU or SSD or HDD? What component upgrade would see improved performance of iTunes with large librarys?

Any educated opinions would be appreciated, thanks.
July 23, 2012 4:14:47 PM

You can't improve anything in your system, sounds like an issue with iTunes.

Try removing and re-indexing your library.
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May 5, 2013 7:49:12 AM

You can INDEED speed up your iTunes Library.

I'm a music lover, and in fact have a huge database. Have over 150k songs and a itunes.xml file over 200MB.
What I have seen so far are the worst problems ever. No questions about it.

This is what I did to resolve most of the slowness. Today I have a very good speed (best then ever before). Just for knowledge, when I started the testings and the problems, usually it took around 45 seconds to load itunes, and usually it hanged up while working or scrolling down the library. Today, it takes no longer then 10 seconds to load and usually it does not lock anymore.

1) There are some considerations where you store your musics (library), where you store your profile AND where you store your itunes library files.
1.1) your music you can store wherever needed. I personally have it on a RAID controller, which is much better
1.2) your profile may be a problem, better if your windows profile is ALSO on your SSD disk
1.3) the itunes library MUST be on your SSD disk.

2) BEST HINT> run you iTunes with proper privilege and put it on REAL TIME or HIGH.
Download PRIO, which is Process Priority Control. All you have to do is to change AND record that priority into the application. Real Time you may need to run itunes under your administrator account, otherwise you will have to run it under High Priority, which is basically the highest before Realtime.

3) UNSELECT "search all library" under iTunes search.

I have a Dell T110-II Server, Quad Core E3 Processor, 32 GB RAM, 128 SSD, 8TB RAID. Thus, using 3 AppleTVs and 3 Airport Express for audio.

So far, best action was to use the fastest available SSD for OS and iTunes Library Folder. Have also tried to "move" the iTunes library and run under a RAM Disk, which didnt gave the proper response. Try what I mentioned above and you will see most of the slowness disapearing.

I really dont love iTunes, but since i have so many iDevices running audio and video from my library, it was the best choice and best tunning I found. Today, it is really smooth.

By
LUIS
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September 24, 2013 5:11:00 PM

Question for Luis.

Hi there. I'm running 2 itunes libary, a 200gb library stored on my macbook pro and a second larger library with just under 2 tb stored on an external hard drive.

The issue is with the performance of the large library stored on the hard drive. Updating the metadata or deleting songs takes ages. I upgraded from 4gb ram to 16gb but still have issues. I've looked at having the large libraries .itl files stored on my mac. While this speeds up the updating of the metadata, the problem is when I delete songs they remain on the hard drive. Any solutions?

I want to keep both libraries seperate, as I will join them after I've gone through the larger library. Considering there are 200,000 songs, this will take awhile!
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October 12, 2013 12:33:28 PM

Hi, sorry to take so long to reply, but finding time these days is not that easy.

I have seen this in past, usually when running the library thru any NAS or external drive.

As I have pointed out on my post, you have to consider TWO different things:
1) the library itself
2) the iTunes datafiles

Usually, this two considerations have different sympthom - either network slowness OR read slowness of the iTunes .xlm file.

If you look into your profile, you will find the itunes library.xml file. I never put it on my profile path OR at any storage. When iTunes opens, it does read that xml file, and it can take awhile. My .xml file is about 200MB size, which was taken a bit to open. That slowness you can resolv only by placing these files inside a SSD local drive.

To read the library itself, it will take considerable amount of time, primary due to network slowness. Every single file that it "find", its pointer is placed on that .xml file.

So again: the iTunes needed files is better to place on a SSD or mSSD inside your computer.
The library is better to put in a place where you can backuo it up. The slowness is only at the first time to read all data and "mount" the .xml files.

Believe me, unfortunately I have to deal with iTunes and Apple Stuff. Im not a Apple lover, but it does what it has to. For kids and entertainment, iTunes and Apple Devices are just that good.

Yet, after ios 7 update, now all songs are appearing as "unknown artist". Apple does some good jobs (not Jobs) from time to time, but they messed up after that update.

Hope this help. Enjoy.

Keep in mind: people usually think that processor and RAM are bottlenecks, but usually they are not. HDD and network slowness is much worse than poor processor or RAM.
Consider this: if you have a countinous file on your HDD, and it can read at most at around 45 MB/s, what happens if you place same files on a SSD disk where you can read at 350 MB/s at least?
Something extra came up now, I do remember that at the first beginning, Antivirus softwares was always "looking" and "spying" iTunes activity. Try to put iTunes.exe and other itunes files under GOOD PROGRAMS and avoid to read open packages.


Cian McAuliffe said:
Question for Luis.

Hi there. I'm running 2 itunes libary, a 200gb library stored on my macbook pro and a second larger library with just under 2 tb stored on an external hard drive.

The issue is with the performance of the large library stored on the hard drive. Updating the metadata or deleting songs takes ages. I upgraded from 4gb ram to 16gb but still have issues. I've looked at having the large libraries .itl files stored on my mac. While this speeds up the updating of the metadata, the problem is when I delete songs they remain on the hard drive. Any solutions?

I want to keep both libraries seperate, as I will join them after I've gone through the larger library. Considering there are 200,000 songs, this will take awhile!


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