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What to Do if iTunes Stops and Starts During Song Play

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 3/27/2011

Here is a look at how to provide iTunes troubleshooting if there are issues with iTunes play problems.

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    Why iTunes Stops and Starts During Song Play

    apple-itunes-icon iTunes has quickly become one of the most popular music players for computers around the world, largely because of its ease of use and the ability to tap directly into the iTunes Store for audio purchases. This software can then be integrated with other Apple devices like the iPad or iPhone, used to bring in podcasts, and ripping music from CDs has never been a problem.

    Though iTunes is really designed to be an easy program to use, it still has common issues that come up when it is being employed for its simplest functions. Here is a look at what to do when iTunes stop and starts during song play, depending on what the cause is.

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    Outside Interference

    The fact is that if iTunes stops and starts during song play something uncommon is actually taking place, so you should first assume that this is caused by something that is not directly a part of the iTunes software. First, make sure that this is not an audio output issue around the computer's speakers, audio settings, or sound card. This can often make it appear as thought iTunes stopped the song during mid play though the bar keeps progressing, and yet the reality is that the audio from your computer is cutting in and out. You can usually figure out if this is the case by stopping and restarting the track several times to see if your audio playback is responsive.

    Often times an outside control could be impacting your iTunes player and causing there to be a start or stop with tracks, even causing other tracks to play. Again, there is not a standardized answer for why this would take place, but it could be from the iPhone Remote application, outside users in a network, or a variety of areas that have some type of direct connection to iTunes.

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    One of the easiest solutions if you find iTunes stops and starts during song play is to avoid standard typing. iTunes will usually have keyboard shortcuts for use in the program, if only the Spacebar to stop and start tracks. Usually if you do not have iTunes specifically selected the keyboard will not affect it, but this is not always as steadfast of a rule and it can still be a problem. If you find that iTunes stops and starts during song play while you are actively typing it may be because of hitting the Spacebar repeatedly.

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    External Drives

    You may need iTunes help on computers that are not able to handle the internal traffic, if the music that iTunes is referencing is coming from an external drive. This is also not an extremely common situation, but if the file is coming from this drive there can be a situation where iTunes is essentially "buffering" as it cannot reference the file quickly enough for real time playback.

    If you are running on an older computer and have a slow connection to the hard drive storing your media then you should try to place the media directly on the primary hard drive to see if this solves the problem.

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    The Track

    As people tend to share music through many P2P and Bit Torrent formats you will find that many downloads are either not complete or contain incomplete files. This will often make a song start and stop, stop completely halfway through, or jump through it at a seemingly random rate. If you notice that iTunes stops and starts during song play on specific tracks or albums and not others you will probably be dealing with a series of damaged files rather than an iTunes specific issue.

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    iTunes Help

    In many cases this will simply be an interruption to iTunes from some element interacting with it, and the best way to approach this is to completely clear house. If you have any input managers or outside plugins working with your iTunes make sure to take them off and try to bring iTunes back to its most simple version.

    The best way to do this is to actually uninstall iTunes and then reinstall it, at all times making sure that you are going for the most recent version of the software.

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    Multiple forum posting,

    Source: Author's own experience.