iTunes TV viewing problem

I live in Korea and rely on iTunes for my American TV viewing. But for the last two months, iTunes has repeatedly locked up while I watch my shows.

I have a MacBook Air (one year old) and a MacBook Pro (Two years old), both running the most recent versions of iTunes. This only happens with TV shows, not movies or music.

Is this a common, well-known problem? Can anybody direct me to some online resource where it’s been discussed or written about? There are no Apple Genius Bars in this country.

Can you be more specific than “locked up”?

Is there anything that looks related in the Console? It’s in Applications/Utilities.

“Locked up”: The sound cuts out, then the image pixelates and freezes. I move it back a minute or so and hit “play” and it goes for a few minutes more and locks up again.

I’ll have to get back to you about the console.

Try Safe Mode: hold down "Optio"n and “Command” when you open iTunes. You’ll get a dialog box informing you that you are running in Safe Mode.

I’ll try that, thanks!

Well, it helps! I can watch the shows without interruption, but there’s some extra futzing around necessary, like turning iTunes on and off a couple of times. An improvement!

Hmm. Have you installed any iTunes plugins or 3rd-party visualizers? (they’ll be in /Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/)

Close iTunes and move everything in that folder to your desktop, then replace them one by one, restarting iTunes each time and checking to see if the shows still freeze. Once you get freezing, you’ve identified the culprit.

That sounds exactly like what happens when iTunes is buffering a download and runs out of video to play.

Are you watching shows as they download? Does it work fine when you watch a completed download?

It could be the result of a dying HD, the video data coming from the HD into iTunes is too slow for real-time stream, or some bytes have been corrupted.

Unlikely with the age of your machines, but it’s worth mentioning to give you something else to check.