Saturday, September 13, 2008

How to fix iTunes video playback that crashes your Mac

Every now and then, while playing some video podcasts and movies on iTunes, when the mouse hovers the movie (to trigger the appearance of the controls), my Mac completely freezes and I have to do a hard-reset. I couldn't figure out what caused this...until now.

If you remember, a few months back I posted a nice tip on how to enhance FrontRow in order to watch all kinds of video files, instead of just Quicktime files. This included installing Perian, a component plugin for QuickTime that adds native support for many popular video formats.

What I failed to notice is that this component somehow conflicts with video playback on iTunes and was the cause of these crashes. But since it only happened ocasionaly with certain video files I wasn't able to find the relation between the two applications.

But today, as I was doing some maintenance on my System Preferences, I notice the Perian section and decided to have a look and suddenly everything made sense: Perian makes some changes so as to allow playback of different video formats, right? So it must deal with video codecs, right? So, it may be related to the video crashes on iTunes... I decided to remove Perian and "voilá"...everything seems to be working just fine in iTunes now. At least, the videos that frequently crashed my Mac, now work like a charm.


Matthew said...

Two words: Thank You! I've been having to view my video podcasts using Quicktime, because every time I'd try to view them in iTunes my Mac would lock up, and I'd have to reboot. The real problem was that this would corrupt my iTunes library and I'd have to reimport my whole library, then resync both my iPod and iPhone. What a pain. I turned this off and now video seems to play just fine. Here's hoping! Thanks again.

António Lopes said...

Glad I could help :-)