13 Jun 2005

itunes smart playlists + live updating + spotlight = disaster

if you use itunes, and use smart playlists, try using the "live updating" feature sparingly.

i had around 20-30 smart playlists, and live updating enabled on all of them. this doesn't cause a problem on mac os x 10.3. but on mac os x 10.4, whenever i use itunes, my cpu usage goes up to 100%, my whole system starts to be unresponsive. stopping itunes from playing a song or quitting it altogether will suddenly make my powerbook much more responsive.

initially i thought it was because of my chinese/japanese encoded song names causing the problem since LAServer (some localisation service) was right up there along with mds as the main cpu consumers. however, playing an english song didn't seem to stem the flow, so it must of been something else. playing around with it a bit more, i eventually found that "live updating" option being the culprit.

there is hardly any docs on how that feature works. yes i know that when check it, it live updates your smart playlists, but if you switch it off, i'm not sure under what conditions it is supposed to update. there is no obvious ui element to prod a smart playlist to get it to update except for actually opening up the options for the playlist and then pressing OK. that's a little daft.

so for now, i'll do without live updating for my smart playlists, which is actually one of the coolest feature in itunes. i suppose either apple will eventually fix this in spotlight or itunes 4.9. because it is bloody annoying!

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