East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2005/9/22

Performance

Filed under: Technology — Erwin @ 3:07 pm

My recent grumbling about NFS and iTunes performance escalated yesterday into a more thorough testing of the wired networking facilities here in my basement, comparing cables, and then finally narrowing it down to the ethernet switch apparently dying slowly but surely. I mean, 50% packet loss or more on the local network is not exactly normal.

Follows a trip to the store to pick up a new one, a 5 port switch to replace the 8 port kind that we had; There is less need for wired networking now that the MacMinis have been switched to wifi as well.

Put in place, everything begins to work sanely again, within expected parameters so to speak.

I’m still considering switching to a different music player (there’s a half-finished entry with more details on that project that I’ll try to wrap up this week) but for the time being iTunes will do the job, again.

Random iTunes Observations

Filed under: OS X,Software — Erwin @ 2:50 pm

Suppose that:

  1. iTunes is busy Determining Song Volumes on a couple of tracks.
  2. While editing a Smart Playlist and click on one of the pull-down menus (like the one containing Album, Artist, BPM, etc) or the one right next to it that typically contains things like is, is not, contains, etc, the network traffic (which was high because of the abovementioned process) drops consistently and returns to its previous high when I exit the pull-down menu.
  3. Further random testing reveals the same thing happens if I click on the Source pull-down for the Party Shuffle, on any of the iTunes menus, or any pull-down in the iTunes Preferences.

iTunes doesn’t seem to understand this whole multi-tasking concept.

Irritating bug of the day:

  1. You’re editing the meta-info on a bunch of tracks, in particular the Remember Playback Position and Skip when shuffling
  2. You use the Previous / Next buttons to manoeuvre to other tracks
  3. You run into one that no longer exists on the actual harddisk which causes iTunes to disable those two buttons
  4. When you then move on to a previous or next track that does still exist, those buttons remain disabled! You have to exit the info editor window and start a new one to fix that.

You would think that iTunes could use some competition, to encourage the programmers into paying better attention to relatively trivial stuff like this?

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