Output Apple Lossless files will not play from shared library in iTunes

Bug #452114 reported by Jay Tan on 2009-10-15
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

I've ripped a large number of albums using 1.0b (14) version of Rip to Apple Lossless files. These play fine in iTunes when playing them on the machine whose iTunes library contains them. However when trying to play them from another machine using iTunes shared library functionality, they will not play. This is the case whether the client iTunes is running on a mac or pc. The file will appear to load and iTunes will show the correct duration of the track in it's info window at the top, but it wont play.

The same applies when trying to play it remotely on an Apple TV, except here it gives an explicit error saying something along the lines of "AppleTV cannot play this file".

If I copy the file across to these other machines iTunes libraries they will play correctly. Not sure about the Apple TV as it isn't synced to my machine so I cant copy files to it. The files will also play correctly on an ipod or iphone.

While this may likely be a problem with iTunes itself rather than Rip the problem is isolated to files created by Rip. The same songs will play fine on client machines when ripped to Apple Lossless files by iTunes itself, and even using Max. In fact if I use the iTunes function "Create Apple Lossless Version" on an Apple Lossless file created by Rip it will also play correctly.

Freultwah (raivo-hool) wrote :

Same behaviour here, also 1.0b14. I do not store my music locally, it's all shared on the home network via Firefly from a FreeBSD box. In addition, those Rip-created Apple Lossless files are not seekable, they do not play in Quick Look and mostly report incorrect song lengths (not only wrong length, but instead of, say, 5:33, it shows 4:22:15 or something). I've had to use Max to re-encode and thus create a working container.

markus (markus-mehlau) wrote :

Same sharing problem here (OS X 10.6.2, iTunes 9.0.2).

This bug just bit me and I created a Launchpad acct just to report it.

Further investigation shows that something is not right with the m4a file that Rip produces. Max-produced m4a files seem ok.

My current workaround is to reprocess all the Rip-produced m4a files with mp4box:

mp4box -inter 0 <infile> <outfile>

This forces mp4box to rebuild the contents of the m4a, put the metadata at the start, and, as a pleasant side-effect of removing interleaving, the file becomes trivially smaller.

NB that using ffmpeg to attempt the same thing, ie `ffmpeg -i <infile> -acodec copy <outfile>` will yield an unstreamable file as well, so mp4box's thorough reconstruction of the whole file is required to fix it.

Freultwah (raivo-hool) wrote :

Running 10.6.2 with all the latest patches installed and Rip has started to produce m4a files correctly. I don't know exactly what has happened in the system since I last used the software, but now it appears that the files are A-OK. I haven't touched the app in any way for some weeks and today it worked correctly. It may have something to do with a some Quicktime or iTunes update.

Freultwah (raivo-hool) wrote :

Sorry, false alarm. Still broken in iTunes. Quicklook now plays the files and displays correct times, but sharing them via iTunes still requires the mp4box magic.

markus (markus-mehlau) wrote :

Bug still there in iTunes 10.3.1 and OS X 10.6.8.

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