Could the fact that iTunes skipping be a sign that I need a new hard drive?
June 20, 2008 11:22 PM   Subscribe

I just got my Macbook back from the Apple Store today after they replaced the logic board on the unit. I've noticed that every song I play in iTunes seems to skip. Finding this odd, I opened up the Activity Monitor and looked at disk usage. It seems like whenever a read to the disk is made, iTunes seems to begin skipping. Furthermore, I have the same problem after trying to play mp3's via mpg123. I'm worried that the skipping could be a sign my hard drive might be failing. I recently installed a brand new 250 GB hard drive from Newegg about a month and a half ago, so I'm somewhat skeptical. Is it a reasonable concern?
posted by phr4gmonk3y to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you have a new system install that you dragged a lot of older stuff over into, Spotlight could be bringing your system to its knees trying to index everything at once.

A clue to whether this is a system/software issue will be the other processes running and using a non-trivial amount of CPU when you're experiencing the skipping. I think the Spotlight processes are mds and mdimport.

Before wondering about the HD, I would do a clean install of the system after such a big repair to rule out software gremlins. Hopefully that's what you already have, but if not, I'd start there and assume that things won't be running smoothly until Spotlight has had a couple of hours to do its thing.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 2:56 AM on June 21, 2008

Download a high-resolution video file (an HD movie preview from would work) and try playing that back with a couple other programs open. If it doesn't skip or yield choppy playback, you can rule out a hard drive issue and begin troubleshooting elsewhere. In Activity Monitor, sort all processes by CPU usage and look to see if any one process is hogging all system resources.

And of course, something I'm not sure you've tried, a good ol' restart can't hurt.
posted by cgomez at 3:19 AM on June 21, 2008

How much Ram do you have? Anything less than 2 GB will give you performance problems, perhaps even 3.
posted by KimG at 3:45 PM on June 21, 2008

Hey guys, a simple reboot seemed to fixed the problem (whew!). I should've just tried rebooting from the get-go probably. Thanks for all of the suggestions! I'll keep them in mind if the problem comes up again.
posted by phr4gmonk3y at 6:00 PM on June 21, 2008

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