I’ve been an iTunes user since it came out, never liked it (does anybody?) but it has served its purpose on my media server for years. Typically I only use iTunes for syncing the 3 Apple devices I have left which are a Gen 1 Apple TV, by far the best one they have made so of course they changed it to cloud based (or local media, just not on the device). As long as that Gen 1 Apple TV works I’ll use it. The other devices are an equally old iPod Video Gen 1, holds 80 gigs and sits in the console in my car only to come out when I need to sync something new. The last device is my wife’s 3 year old iPod video that I don’t even know the location of so hasn’t been sync’d in well, a few years I think.
Anyway, the reason for my rant, Apple had yet another bloated update for iTunes recently and like an idiot I ran the update, if it ain’t broke, fix it until it is right? It took iTunes from a pain in the rear to a pain in the rear that sucks up 90% CPU on a 2.4 GHz Dual Core CPU system with 12gigs of memory, not one core, both are saturated, how can an application doing NOTHING use up that much CPU, clearly it’s doing something but wtf? Granted, I built that machine back in 2007 but using that much CPU is insane and really, not needed. So, what is it doing that it needs to use that much? Answer, I don’t care!
I’m working form home today and I decide to not listen to Pandora repeat songs so I opened iTunes and started playing (after all the crap iTunes does when you open it) Evanescence (Deluxe Version) and immediately it sounds like a CD from the 1980s in a 1st generation car CD player when you hit a bump only it sounded like I was driving down an unpaved road! I look over and both cores are at 100%… do a few forum searches and find this is a common complaint and honestly I don’t feel like spending any more time on it so I downloaded Mediamonkey and after pointing it to the media library on the server I was listening to Evanescence “Lithium” and my desk was shaking from the bass from my Frankenstein AV123 (uses their parts and my box) 15” subwoofer… what can I say, sometimes you just need to crank it up. I digress… the CPU usage was at… ZERO, no wait, .02%!!!! I kept looking through the entire song, usage went from 0 to .02 consistently, holy.. how is that possible. Apple’s iTunes hogs the entire system.. well I actually have a theory on it but not worth getting into… no not getting into it.. damn it’s tempting but no.
Apple iTunes averages over 5 minutes 90%, easy decision, from now on avoid iTunes like the plague and use Mediamonkey or something similar. My ancient server now has new life! I haven’t built a new one for the simple reason this one has been reliable and the array is still 100% healthy. If a drive ever goes I have replacements, but I’ve never had to replace the drives. Gotta love VelociRaptor’s! EDIT: VelociRaptor is a mechanical hard drive spinning at 10,000rpm’s and built to enterprise level specs for a long life and good performance.
Here is a snippet of Mediamonkey in semi-transparent mini player mode, awesome. The numbers speak for themselves now it may be true that on a more modern system, iTunes may use less resources however 12gigs of memory and a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo should be more than ample to run a music/media program.
It looks like Mediamonkey proves this nicely.