iTunes = crackly noise?
May 10, 2004 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I just finished putting a computer together for my sister... a fresh install of Windows 2000 Pro. Every time iTunes or WinAmp accesses the drive (during playback), I can hear the crackly drive noise coming through the external speakers (left-side only in fact). As soon as I stop iTunes, the noise stops. Restart iTunes, the noise isn't there until it starts reading the drive again. This only happens when using either of those two pieces of software (meaning I haven't been able to reproduce the problem in any other way). What is the best way to go about troubleshooting this?
posted by Witty to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I don't know why it's limited to that software - assuming you're using integrated sound, it sounds like current from the motherboard leaking into the output. When I was using a crappy homemade PC, I used to hear spinny noises from what seemed to be the CD drive in my headphones.
posted by abcde at 11:53 AM on May 10, 2004

I had this problem to, but I went into the audio control panel and muted the CD Audio, which solved the problem. If you're trying to play actual audio CDs, this will mute the CDs, but you can still play MP3s.
posted by falconred at 12:29 PM on May 10, 2004

Response by poster: Interesting falconred... I will try that.

abcde - I can't say for sure that it is indeed limited to iTunes and WinAmp. However, I have yet to hear this "noise" come out of the speaker when I'm just sitting there browsing the web, for example.
posted by Witty at 12:49 PM on May 10, 2004

What sound card do you have? Have you tried updating drivers and looking for patches? I know the Audigy 1 cards have a patch where someone I know had a similar issue with a game and it fixed it. Just sayin new drivers can help.
posted by jopreacher at 1:35 PM on May 10, 2004

It's also possible that there's something about the physical arrangement inside your computer that's causing the disk drive signals to get amplified by your sound card (assuming you don't have on-board sound). If you have any audio cables (like from the CD drive) try to route them away from the hard disk. Check also for the drive cables and keep them as separate from the sound card and cables as you can. You might also want to try either a different slot for the card or even a different card. Some cheap sound cards skimp a little on the analog side for cost reasons.

Obviously, a different hard drive might also help, but that's a bit expensive time and money-wise to experiment with.
posted by tommasz at 1:46 PM on May 10, 2004

witty - i've had the same problem. didn't notice it until i installed a second hard drive, and it took me a while to realize that the sound was occuring even when itunes and winamp weren't playing. it's a crackle noise - occasionally i hear it in the middle of the windows alert "DING" noise. for that matter, i hear it during games as well.

seeing as i didn't add any software, i think tommasz's suggestion holds some merit.
posted by ubersturm at 10:03 PM on May 10, 2004

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