Home > All, Hacks/Tricks, iTunes, Music, Technology > iTunes Crashes On “Determining Song Volume” [Fixed]

iTunes Crashes On “Determining Song Volume” [Fixed]

Introduction

Today I downloaded a couple podcasts into iTunes (QuackCast and Psychology Podcast). After completing the download, I ran into a problem. iTunes crashed when the “Determining Song Volume” process started.

iTunes determines the song volume when “Sound Check” is enabled. This ensures that all your songs play at the same volume.

So, not only did iTunes crash when I completed downloading the podcasts, but it would immediately crash as soon as I tried to start it up again. It would attempt to determine the song volume of the new podcasts and immediately crash.

I tried restarting the computer, and still nothing. Instant crash as soon as I opened up iTunes.

It turns out that iTunes isn’t entirely stable on multi-core processors. A quick search online revealed exactly what the problem was. iTunes needs to run on 1 processor core, at least when running the “Sound Check” process.

The Solution

It turns out that it’s possible to set individual programs to only use a certain number of processor cores. And that’s what I did with iTunes.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. When iTunes attempts to start up, try to hit the little ‘x’ next to “Determining Song Volume” to cancel that process. It may take a few tries to click it before iTunes crashes.
  2. Next, in iTunes, go into Edit/Preferences/Playback tab. Disable “Sound Check.”
  3. Open up the Task Manager (CTRL + Shift + Esc). Open up the “Processes” tab and right-click on iTunes. Select “Set Affinity…” And be sure only 1 core is selected (CPU0, 1, 2, 3, etc – depending on how many cores your computer has.).
  4. You can now go back into iTunes and enable “Sound Check.”

That’s it. iTunes should determine the song volume of your newly imported music and you’ll be all set.

You can also find these instructions here.

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  1. F69
    Sunday April 25, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    will sound check affect your original music files or does it only affect playback in itunes?

    • Sunday April 25, 2010 at 12:40 PM

      Sound Check does not have any effect on your actual audio files. Any changes to the audio volume are kept as metadata in your iTunes Library file.

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