View Full Version : Help - my music is chopping

10-11-2005, 04:14 PM
I keep all my music on a 200GB external HD. It has never given me problems but lately, when I play certain songs, there is interference in the music. It sounds like...chops or blips in the songs, a sort of machine-gun repetition over the track. Sometimes it is a bit more sporadic.

I should add (even though you didn't address it) that I know it's not a speaker problem because I have the same problem with my headphones and computer speakers.

It has never happened with the songs before, and some of these mp3's I've had for years. The only problem with the option is that it's sporadic when the songs chop. For example, I posted this when one of my songs chopped, and I clicked onto a new song, which didn't chop. but it's not as if certain songs are chopping in certain places.

outside of a few poker programs i really can't figure out anything that i might have installed that could be an issue. i even uninstalled and re-installed PokerTracker (that was the only new thing that might give me issues) and nothing changed..

by the way, i can rule out the USB hard drive being an issue, since i converted a .FLAC to .mp3 and left it on my desktop and it chopped a lot, which is great, because the last thing i need is to replace my ext. hard drive. when i reboot my computer, sometimes even the WINDOWS SOUND chops.

any thoughts?


10-11-2005, 04:26 PM
Have you installed any new hardware lately?

10-11-2005, 04:42 PM
Bring up task manager by pressing ctrl+alt+delete and monitor your cpu usage. I imagine it spikes periodically and that is when you are getting the choppiness. If this is indeed what is happening, odds are you have viruses and/or spyware running in the background that stealing clockcycles away from your media player causing it to stutter/stall.

10-11-2005, 04:55 PM
I have not installed any new hardware recently. I will examing my cpu usage and then run some scans. Thanks, I'll report back soon.

10-11-2005, 05:08 PM
Right now, I'm not playing music on iTunes, but when I am, my CPU Usage is fluctuating anywhere between 550-100%. it can pop to 80% or 100%. that can't be good, but my system is a 3.06 GHZ with 512 MB RAM and should effortlessly handle iTunes, Firefox, AIM, Norton Virus, and ZoneAlarm. I'm scanning with Ad-Aware and will use Spybot later. any other scans you suggest?

edit: the music just broke up heavily and the CPU Usage was in the 90-100 range most of the time.

10-11-2005, 05:13 PM
Post a screenshot of taskman and all tasks while you are playing a track that chopps.

10-11-2005, 05:59 PM
i will do that, but the thing that blows my mind...is that the Windows Startup Sound chops, so unless there's something malicious being set up immediately upon startup, I can't figure it out. I can't tell if it's a sound card problem, but that seems like a slim possibility. I think I just need more RAM, but I haven't done anything big to my computer lately!

10-11-2005, 07:46 PM
I think I just need more RAM

[/ QUOTE ]

I KNOW MyMindIsGoing is going to agree with you there /images/graemlins/smile.gif

10-12-2005, 10:35 AM
"so unless there's something malicious being set up immediately upon startup"

The majority of spyware and viruses will do this.

10-12-2005, 02:15 PM
Here's a picture of my processes during choppy music. Again, what I think is weird is that (a) the chopping occurs during startup as well, during the windows sound, (b) that my CPU Usage can spike and the music can chop at 40% or 100%, and that (c) the problem can just stop. I know this is a system resources problem, and that something is causing my computer to spike, but I have no idea what it is, and AdAware and Spybot didn't find any issues.


10-12-2005, 04:53 PM
I don't see anything out of the ordinary in that list. I'm guessing it's a software setting with your sound card. Poke around and see if a sound buffer got turned off or set really low. Have you trid new sound drivers?

Have you recently installed and updated Norton? Try disabling Norton and see if it still stutters.

10-12-2005, 05:17 PM
i installed the new drivers but in general, i'm just sensing a drop in performance on my computer, and i can't explain it. although this sounds pedestrian, it feels like some of my RAM expired...and now my computer is running at a subpar performance level. my typing right now in this box seems slightly choppy as well, and i can't find any buffer settings but i'll keep looking. when there's a spike in my cpu usage, there's a spike in audio and system performance (naturally). i need to figure out how to eliminate those spikes.

i do truly appreciate the continued help you guys are offering.

10-12-2005, 05:24 PM
Itunes using 20% seems alot, but as you said the music is chopping at start too, so that is not the big problem. Try this: http://www.memtest86.com/ burn the iso and run it (it a self booting test program).

10-16-2005, 10:45 PM
I ran Memtest86 to no avail -- there were no memory errors. Does anybody else have any thoughts?