Sunday, January 20, 2013

Leaking Apples

I have used Apple's iTunes for years, but I am on the verge of giving up on it due to its memory usage on Windows XP.  While I haven't attached a debugger to the program, the pattern of behavior indicates to me that the program has some kind of memory leak.  (I'm using the phrase memory leak here to indicate that there's some kind of programming error that fails to free-up memory, whether or not it is due to deleted handles.)  In the two latest versions, the program also stutters at the beginning of each song, even when I set the priority to high.  A third annoyance is Bonjour, which is a network discovery service I have no use for, and that I uninstall after each iTunes upgrade.  I've decided to try some old versions to see when the problems started.  Below are the results so far.
  • iTunes 11 - memory leak, stuttering, yet more background programs, includes Bonjour
  • iTunes 10.7 - memory leak, stuttering, includes Bonjour
  • iTunes 10.6.1 - untested (IIRC, had the memory leak problem), includes Bonjour
  • iTunes - memory leak, no stuttering, includes Bonjour
  • iTunes 10.4.1 - next up for testing
Please note: if you are planning to downgrade to an old version: you will have to restore an old version of the iTunes database, which means all information (ratings, play, etc. ) that has been saved since you first upgraded from that version will be lost.  (Old versions can be found in C:\Documents and Settings\your user name here\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\Previous iTunes Libraries.)  Be sure to save the current version of the iTunes data files somewhere so you can restore those if you don't like the downgrade.   Neither downgrading or upgrading should affect any data stored in the tracks themselves (artist, album, etc.).