Mac users can get passionate about running the latest and greatest. But it’s worth tempering that enthusiasm, as on any OS, with some healthy caution about your critical machines. Photo by Mark Pang. (Beautiful office, mate!)

Apple’s "point" releases — those seemingly-harmless updates you get automatically in Software Update — do sometimes break stuff. I tend to ignore the updates until I’ve had a chance to confirm they’re okay. Case in point: it looks like 10.5.2 can result in glitchy audio on laptops.

Native Instruments has an official statement out on the problem, but according to them, this issue can affect software from other vendors, as well:

User feedback and internal testing indicates that recent changes introduced by Apple in Mac OS X 10.5.2 can cause audio dropouts and similar problems on Macbook/Macbook Pro computers. This issue is not limited to NI software in particular, but applies to performance-criticial music software in general.
Therefore, Native Instruments currently cannot guarantee the proper operation of its products under Mac OS X 10.5.2. If possible, users should refrain from upgrading beyond Mac OS X 10.5.1 until further information about this issue becomes available.

Now, I will say this: I am frustrated with Apple’s OS upgrade approach — and I think on any OS, media support is the most vulnerable area.

It’s not uncommon for changes to Mac OS and QuickTime, changes that have significant effects on third-party developers, to show up in these point updates. I talk to developers regularly, and I know they are regularly caught by surprise. That seems unnecessary — especially given Apple’s otherwise sparkling OS record. Users are encouraged to automatically update their systems, so presumably those updates should be critical bug fixes and security updates only. Bug fixes in one place can introduce bugs in another, of course. But that’s another reason third parties need to have their hands on this changes sooner, with better communication about what’s happening, so issues get fixed before, not after, an OS gets released.

By and large, I think Apple deserves the credit it gets for the quality of the OS and Core Audio. And responsibility lies equally with third-party developers to test as aggressively as possible; I can’t say whether they’re using builds as soon as they get them, because I don’t know. But of course, on any operating system — Linux and Windows, as well — music/audio (and video) are the areas most often affected by these kinds of subtle problems. On any OS, improving communication between OS developers and application developers, and increasing the amount of testing and quality control on changes impacting media playback could improve the experience for everyone.

In the meantime:

  • I suggest, as always, avoiding system updates until you’ve verified compatibility, particularly if you have a machine you’re using for critical tasks like live music performance.
  • We’ll keep an eye on this issue here on CDM and let you know when we hear more.
  • If you are using 10.5.2, let us know your experience — and I imagine it’s possible, as with all of these kind of issues, that you’re running 10.5.2 on a MacBook/MBP with no problem at all.

And you may even want to avoid upgrading to Leopard from 10.4 until you’ve verified compatibility with your tools. Native has another statement out, this one apparently vendor-specific, that suggests RTAS issues with NI software on Pro Tools. I’m still running 10.4 on my Macs here, just because it’s doing it’s job, and it remains a fantastic OS. I know plenty of people equally happy with 10.5, but it’s worth some research.

See full NI details on Leopard here:

Compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

And stay tuned.

Updated: Is Airport the Problem?

Well, there’s a reason I ended this headline with a question mark. The update in question may actually be an Airport update, not an OS update. From our first comment:

Rather than this being a 10.5.2 problem, it could be a separate issue with Airport software. I’m running 10.4.11, and since a recent software update I have to turn off my Airport card when doing audio stuff.

This was suggested to me by Ableton, who say this is a common problem.

As far as 10.5.2, there aren’t direct changes to Core Audio (as I said, the point is that audio performance is vulnerable to changes elsewhere). 10.5.2 has some specific AirPort changes:

* Improves connection reliability and stability
* Includes 802.1X improvements.
* Resolves certain kernel panics.

About the Mac OS X 10.5.2 Update

Lest you think this can fuel your latest OS war argument, there was recently a similar issue involving networking and audio performance on Windows Vista. This stuff is really incredibly delicate.

I’m not sure about 10.4.11; that update doesn’t mention AirPort, and it came out in November. I’ve been running it without incident, as have others. There was, however, an AirPort Extreme Update released on March 27 for Intel machines running 10.4.11. I don’t want to implicate something without evidence, but if anyone with these updates can let us know what your experience has been, that’d be helpful.

More updates: Serato also reports issue

Check out our latest story for still more details; it seems Serato have also reported issues with 10.5.2 (and recommend avoiding the upgrade), and the most recent AirPort update for 10.4.11 is likewise suspect. Time to turn Software Update off altogether? I’m considering it on my Tiger-running performance MacBook.

And still more info:

A fix for Tiger, and evidence that the newest Penryn laptops (using Broadcom Wi-Fi chips, evidently) are unaffected.

  • Os

    Rather than this being a 10.5.2 problem, it could be a separate issue with Airport software. I'm running 10.4.11, and since a recent software update I have to turn off my Airport card when doing audio stuff.

    This was suggested to me by Ableton, who say this is a common problem.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Yeah, the Airport seems to be the biggest cause of dropouts for most people.

    I'm running 10.4.11 on my Macbook Pro (2.16GHz) and it's been working great for me. Crazy thing tho, when working in Digital Performer 5, I always have the audio performance window open so I can see my processor usage … and until 10.4.11 there never used to be spiking when my airport was on. It only seemed to happen when my system was sort of stressed, never when I was running just 1 soft synth or something. So now I disable the airport, and there's no spiking at all.

    Sure, disabling and enabling the airport after using a music app sucks … but it's not that bad. It takes just a click of a button to turn on/off.

    I've been tempted many many times to upgrade to Leopard, but I still won't do it until I hear better things.

  • I'm running 10.5.2 on a MB and I've also been getting this weird delay/stutter in my audio. I get it with all my audio software: VLC, Ableton, and iTunes. Its not the CPU or memory as I've had this happen to me when I had only one program open at the time… and it started only happening 'till recently.

    I never had this problem with OS X 10.4.

  • I have both a MBP and a MB running 10.5.2 and I haven't noticed any specific issues that have cropped up since upgrading. I'd love to hear some more specific information about the issues as well, besides "audio dropouts and similar problems" …

  • nq

    as far as i can confirm, it's mostly due to airport.

    both my macbook pro running 10.4.11 and my g5 running 10.5.2 start showing glitchy behavior when airport is turned out.

    first apple update in a long time that really messed things up.

  • i haven't noticed too much of an issue lately, I will say that the 10.5.2 update *fixes* the eSATA expresscard issue with MacBook Pros and therefore allows me to have a good fast external at internal speeds which is almost more important than this spotty issue.

    10.5.3 is around the corner anyways.

  • I neglected to ask: those of you who are getting the stutter, does it seem to make any difference whether you use the internal sound card or an external device?

    Logickal, since you're *not* having issues, what hardware are you running?

    I actually routinely turn off wifi on all my machines (and all OSes) when performing, just because I don't want networking happening … but I do work at home with it on, of course.

  • @nq: Do you know what update, specifically, you may have applied to your 10.4.11 machine? I haven't been able to find the specific Airport update, though I'm guessing it may be this 10.4-compatible Airport Extreme update.

    That's also the first I've heard of a PowerPC machine, so maybe this isn't Intel-specific … or maybe this is more than one problem (always fun to troubleshoot).

  • Thomas Cermak

    I've noticed, as many others have, that using either internal or a usb interface with the macbook pro (doesn't matter which version) often produces dropouts and performance issues with Ableton. Using a recent multi-processor test that a forum member, while fiddling with coolbook controller, we were able to deduce that OS X (or ableton live) wasn't effectively clocking the processor. Of course, the performance of the processor would only degrade using usb or internal interfaces. Once we throttled the processor via coolbook controller we saw the same test results as others who were using firewire interfaces.

    I can't say whether this happened in every case but we did notice quite a few to say that this could be systematic.

  • Thomas Cermak

    Actually, now that I think of it, I ran this test on a system with 10.4 and got the same results so I'm not sure if this is relevant here.

  • I certainly get glitchy audio playback w/ 10.5.2 and an external device.

    I read about and tried the airport thing, but I need to sit down and really see if it makes a difference or if it is actually just a CPU / latency issue.

  • Zach

    I had this problem until I downgraded to 10.5.1. The dropouts and CPU spikes were lessened with Airport turned off, but they still made Logic (and GarageBand) mostly useless. The CPU for one core would spike and audio would cut out. I also got a lot of MIDI/Audio not sycning errors or unknown sample rate errors.

    I played with everything (turning off airport, removing AUs, reinstalling Logic Studio, not using an external USB hub, not using external sound card, using musical typing/not midi controller) and the only thing that seemed to work was archiving and installing 10.5.1.

    I haven't gotten an indication that this issue will be fixed in 10.5.3. Hopefully they will.

  • I have a MacBook Pro running 10.5.2 and Ableton Live 7.0.3 and I am definitely having this problem. I've had 10.5.2 for a while, though, but the audio stuttering in Live has only been for the past few weeks (which might have been when I did an Airport software update to 7.3.1).

    It was a bit odd as I had my MacBook Pro die just recently. I had a 2.2 GHz logic board, which they replaced with a 2.6 GHz logic board. I've been scratching my head for about three weeks wondering why my speed-bumped machine was now too slow to play Live files when they played just fine before. I'm not sure that makes me feel any better, but at least now there's a possible explanation.

  • Same here, on Tiger 10.4.11. I've noticed that recently I get clicks and glitches if there's more than one audio track running or if there's any vst plugin on any track. Switching Airport off fixes it.

  • For what it's worth, I've been using 10.5.2 on a MacBook with internal audio and on an MBP with a MOTU 896HD, and have had no playback problems. AirPort is enabled on both machines.

    I'm not suggesting that other people aren't having problems – clearly they are – but it isn't a universal problem.

  • I'm still curious what the common thread is.

    Folks, when you comment, please specify your hardware.

  • Tim

    i've got a macbook pro core duo 10.4.11

    was using sculpture (default patch) and one core was peaking crazy but turned the airport off and all was fine… hmmm

  • mark

    MBP running 10.4.11 and Mac Pro running 10.5.2 both have most recent(3/27) airport update. Live, Logic, Reaktor, Chuck, Metasynth… almost all audio apps (including internet audio at times) cause cpu spikes, and general glitchiness. As others have said turning off airport resolves all problems.

    This has been widely discussed

    and here:
    apologies if this is redundant didn/t have time to read all the comments

  • MonksDream

    I'm running a MBP 2.66 system with 10.5.2, a FastTrack Pro interface, an AlphaTrack fader box, Live 6 and Logic Express 8.

    Since the update I've noticed strangeness like the the USB ports disappearing, glitches in the audio, and greater instability in Logic (a buggy beast at the best of times).

    Other than the FastTrack not being seen by the system I haven't noticed anything strange behaviour in Live, which has always been more stable than Logic.

    I usually run with Airport on, so I'll shut it down and report back if I see a difference.

  • Keith

    I think I've experienced this problem too – with USB and firewire audio boxes on the same machine. I seem to be able to replicate it by using Finder Coverflow on quartz compositions.

    It feels like the processor is put under some big real-time stress, than it drops some audio syncronization.. and from then on the audio is garbled. On the USB device I'd hear just white noise, on the firewire I'd hear audio which sounds like it has sample rate conversion issues.


    for me has been to open the AudioMIDI setup tool and switch the sample out then back to where I was. This seems to fix the problem.

    This is a really serious issue, and Apple should be copping some heat on this.

    Apogee Duet Firewire box

    Novation X-station USB audio

    iMac 2.16 dual core intel 3GB

  • Grace

    I had terrible problems with stuttering audio when running Pd, Max, Logic, etc on my MBP under 10.4.11 and traced it to the Airport being on. Which sound card I used, from MOTU and Digi firewire devices to the internal sound card was inconsequential. I was about to downgrade the Airport driver when I decided to try upgrading to 10.5 first. It worked like a charm and I've had no problems since *knocks on wood*

  • tobamai

    Too bad the printer can't show the same desktop.

  • Frase

    I have had similar problems. The well documented loading problem in Logic since the update for one, where it takes up to 5 minutes to open the first project. Also my Roland SC-8820 and Edirol PCR-1 have become noisey. The SC when powered off of USB and then when running an audio out or audio in (via and interface or the ports) produce weird digital artifacts after key ons and offs. The Edirol audio interface is now just plain noisey.

  • Tom
  • Ed

    I'm running 10.5.2 on a Macbook Pro with a MOTU 828 mkII and Traktor Scratch. The MOTU has issues but the Audio 8 for Traktor seems fine.

    I find it very difficult to work out what is causing the problems.

  • mark

    forgot to mention earlier that both these treads have found a (janky)fix

    and here:

  • 7oi

    definitely airport problem. running 10.4.11, never had problems with audio glitches until recently (guessing after updating airport), but turning airport off solves it.

  • For me it's been a living hell since 10.5. Each "upgrade" seems worst, with my external card dropping out while playing gigs or recording & audio glitches with no apparent disk or RAM overload . When the card drops out Live crashes, if I try to plug the interface again I get the gray screen of death. Then I have to restart several times to get the interface being recognized again. I know this can be developer's fault but maybe is a deeper stuff.

    MBP 2.33 GHz, 3GB RAM // MAudio FW1814 // MacOs 10.5.2

  • wishniak

    just a note to apple updates. i started checking the boards over at before updating, and it has saved me alot of hassle.

    usually within an hour of an update release there are already hundreds of comments / reports of whats working and whats not. although almost none of these address audio issues directly.. where are all the apple audio professionals?

  • osxjoe

    So… Its not my hackintouch. Thank god. Yay for try before you buy.

  • steve

    How I love this site! I've been having this problem for a while and couldn't explain the glitchy playback behavior in Reason 3.0.5 running on my MBP with OSX 10.4.11.

    Switching between my internal sound card and my interface didn't help any. And since it was only happening with Reason I figured some code could have gotten corrupted.

    I was disappointed to find out that on reinstalling Reason and repairing disk permissions that the problem was not solved.

    I just tried turning Airport off, and playback is good as new. Now, hopefully Apple will fix this little glitch.

  • Alan (from Argentina

    Hey, I tought I was getting crazy hearing clicks and pops everywhere, and that it was only my obsessive imagination! Now I'm "happy" to see I'm not alone…

    I have the same issue, working on a MBP C2D 2.33, Mac OSX 10.4.11, on the internal sound card or on my Motu Ultralite. Most of time having this dropouts and clicks while using Digital Performer 5.13 and Peak 5.2 (mainly insert plug ins), and with Amplitube 2 and AmpegSVX Standalone. Switching off Airport solved the problem very kindly, but I'm still unhappy on having to do this, for obvious unconortable reasons.

    Million times I had tempted to install Leopard, and in this case, I confirm that 10.4.11 is not free of glitches, so maybe I'll upgrade soon. Any recomendations on this?

  • MK


    This whole thread highlights a few things which I thought I'd summarise here.

    1) Don't just update blindly – read the description and decide if you need to do so. I've got somewhere in the region of 4 updates sitting waiting to go. I don't require them urgently, and judging by the reports here and elsewhere, it was a wise move to hold off.

    2) Don't upgrade everything at once. Pick the most critical update and apply only it. Then when you're sure that everything is running hunky-dory, apply the next update. If you apply them all at once, you won't know for sure which one caused the problems. It can help you and others to diagnose the problem.

    3) Try not to work with wireless networking on. If you don't need network, turn Airport off. If you have a LAN connection, turn Airport off. It uses your CPU, increases power demands, and it's probably unnecessarily increasing the amount of radio waves (or whatever they are) passing through your body unnecessarily.

    I'm not trying to be a cocky, told-you-so, know-it-all here. I know there are people reading who are wiser than me. But there are also hasty people who sometimes need the advice to think before they click 🙂



  • kerry

    OS : Mac OS X 10.4.11

    MacBook Pro : 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    Memory : 4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (3GB limit)

    Audio I/O : Roland FA-101

    Software: Logic Pro 7, Ableton Live 7, SuperCollider etc…

    At first I initialized the OSX (to 10.4.8) and tested an updater one by one.

    When I installed "AirPort Extreme Update 2008-001", the problem just happened.

    I initialized the OS once again and installed all updaters except "AirPort Extreme Update 2008-001". I do not have any problem.

  • MBP 2.4ghz OSX 10.4.11

    i was suddenly experiencing crackles/dropouts and tempo fluctuations in Live 6.0.10. i was wondering what the heck was going on – i'd just recently started using a new MOTU ultralite. my audio probs existed when using MOTU or internal audio, though.

    Just turned off Airport and all is back to normal. very glad you brought up this issue, Peter, and thanks to everybody for feedback.

  • @MK — true, but I think some responsibility has to lie with Apple as OS vendor, when they ship something that says a recommended update, and it is a shipping release, to get it right. They're not the only ones guilty of that, but it still is a quality issue when this stuff goes out the door.

    The frequencies AirPort uses are not something to worry about as far as irradiating your body — and they're there whether or not the receiver on your computer is turned on. 😉 But yes, generally I would play live with networking turned off. That said, computers are perfectly capable of doing this. It's a bug.

    But yes, I agree — avoid updates until you're sure. And that's unfortunate, because it's the opposite of what Apple wants people doing, particularly since, as I said before, they often don't separate security updates from other updates. So they're effectively training people to fear updates, and that's a mistake. But in the meantime, for audio, yeah, we have to be careful.

  • What is so different about Apple being the OS vendor? Doesn't Microsoft have the same responsibility?

    The last few times I worked on a windows computer, it just started installing updates even if it was offline.

    I couldn't find an unsecured WIFI server on the computer, but somehow it found one and downloaded/installed an update when I shut it down.

    There's probably a preference for it but at least a Mac will ask if you want to update.

    And regarding this thread, its paying off. Because today I'm having yet another discussion with a PC user who hasn't got the faintest clue what the problems are. Yet feels confident in dealing a blow towards mac users in general by quoting this article and a post by a mac zealot that set him off.

    I'd say a bug in an official update isn't half as bad as forcing an unwanted update upon a user without allowing him to cancel. And after letting the user suffer the lack of internet, only to get connected for an unwanted reason.

    I'm working on the lowest common denominator of intel macs, the mac mini. And I'm not having any of these issues.

    I'm however experiencing a lot of issues with Ableton's so called release versions. 7.0.3 was more unstable then any beta they ever put out.

    And Novation's automap is also a cause of many problems on mac. Uninstall all novation software and you'll find that your MIDI controllers will stop losing their connection to Live for no reason.

    Goes to show how much pent up anger there is towards software companies. One badly informed post causes a rockslide on many forums. Airport is bugged, its armageddon!

  • Bjorn, how is this a badly-informed post? I think I was absolutely clear that the source of the problem is unknown at this time, but we want to know more about it. The point is to get as much data as possible and respond accordingly, and to try to know what to avoid (leaving AirPort on, installing certain updates) in order to protect people's musical productivity.

    And yeah, absolutely it's Microsoft's responsibility to make their stuff work, too — did I ever say it wasn't? I could easily extend this rant to OSes in general. This just happened to involve Apple. Each platform at this point has its own sets of strengths and weaknesses, not only in the content of the software itself but the relationships between developers, OS vendors, and users.

    As for people using this as ammunition in misinformed OS comparisons, that's really their responsibility. Look, Windows and Mac users alike have a long tradition of quoting things out of context and jumping to conclusions. I think it's a waste of time — partly because I don't think people NEED to justify their choice of OS. You're using Mac OS? Windows? Linux? It's working for you? Great!

    That said, both Windows and Mac OS have options for automatically checking for OS updates, and Windows will install them in the background without asking. Both also have options for altering that behavior — so, yes, if you're annoyed by that behavior on Windows, you can turn it off. (It's possible to switch Windows to the Mac's default behavior, and ask before installing.)

    To me, Windows right now has the inverse problem of Mac OS. I haven't had issues with security updates on Vista or XP causing issues with audio. They do tend to segregate their releases, and I think the Service Pack approach does help consolidate fixes together to facilitate easier upgrading. I think it's, on balance, a good thing.

    So, that's the good news. The bad news is that Vista as shipped initially had these kinds of audio problems (symptomatic of starving the CPU) all over the place, apparently largely due to a lack of complete, stable drivers. I think things are much better now, but that doesn't excuse the initial state of the matter — particularly given Microsoft's hoopla over the launch. There's no question it hurt the OS, the platform, and by extension the developers making music products for the platform.

    I think what we can say reasonably well is that software is buggy — maybe buggier than it should be. We're really most often the victims; it's far more likely a music user is going to notice this issue than someone who's just browsing the Web and listening to iTunes. On the other hand, our general grumpiness about these things could help push the OS to perform better — we're the ones pushing it to its limit with real-time music and multimedia.

    And, of course, this isn't limited to OS vendors … I've used Novation stuff extensively from early on with Ableton and haven't experienced that particular problem, and I haven't had any stability problems with 7.0.3, but I can certainly vouch for software out there having bugs. The fact that I'm *personally* not encountering a problem doesn't mean someone else is — that's the nature of the beast, and that's why software with bugs ships out of the door in the first place.

    I'm not in this to advocate one company's stuff over another's. To be honest, I'm going to keep advocating using computers for music. And this is, for many people, the biggest obstacle — having to deal with unpredictability and bugs and whatnot. I don't think it'll go away. I do think we need to be realistic, to expect a certain amount of unpredictability. But I do think it's also our job to make as much noise as possible when stuff doesn't work, because that's generally how we a) figure out workarounds for problems until they're fixed and b) get stuff fixed by getting word out to developers.

  • I make the distinction between posts and articles. When I said badly informed post, I meant all posts that result cause of an article such as this. I didn't mean your article was bad. Its just incomplete, yet other people feel confident quoting it as if it were a gospel.

    Your article doesn't cover the Novation madness. Mostly due to the fact you haven't experienced it yourself.

    The same thing with Live 7.0.3…

    Anyway… Apple messed up. The mac vs pc debate had died for the most part, due to macs being able to run windows software. But as soon as an apparent flaw gets into the news, all hell breaks loose.

    At least on some forums…

    Now we're back to the debate of which is better… At least it beats the old discussion of which is faster. All new computers are about as equally fast in most tasks these days. The low end macs just suffer from a shitty GFX card.

    Which still makes for a faster computer then my old Dual G5 with virtually the same specs….

    I agree that our grumpiness is a key towards progress. But thats exactly how I communicate with Ableton. After a while you need to get more drastic to even get their attention. Its far from the best way of communication.

    And its not our fault communication fails. They just have to come up with better methods.

    In abletons case, they cant get accurate feedback from their forum.. Because only like 10% of their userbase is signed up and not all of those 10% are registered users. Thats why they held a poll last month.

    How can Apple do any better?

    So… Is getting pissed the only way to get our point across about software these days?

    – Bjorn

  • Well, had this been a post on all bugs everywhere, it would have been a very *long* post, indeed. 😉

    Just had a quick look at the Ableton forums … yeah, not terribly meaningful discussion on the platform wars. (I did like the one guy who suggested getting a Mac so "girls will talk to you." Nice.)

    But I think you're right — it's about getting a point across, and that to me is more important than one platform or another. I don't think you have to get angry. The best thing to do is calmly document your problem, include as much technical detail as humanly possible, and respond to support, so the problem gets logged. In fact, yelling about it on forums is a pretty sure way *not* to get stuff done, because developers don't have time to read them. But, as here, it can be useful to know what others' experiences are, for your own sake — just be sure to get it to the developer, too, so they're not in the dark about the issue. Development (even bug fixes) takes a long time, so I think we have to be patient. And as others have said, it's worth being cautious about updates anywhere.

  • nq

    @peter kirn

    i tried some stuff this weekend. and the problem on the g5 doesn't seem to be airport-related.

    so it's just the macbook pro which has this. the update was an airport-only update, that was released early april/late march.

    it showed up as airport-update in the regular update-assistant

  • @Peter

    Yeah, you're right. Updating is always messy business. Regardless of the software and the platform.

    Its just that stuff gets generalized to easily. In this case you see a lot of responses: "yeah, I got issues too".

    Then you got posts of people who respond with the fact that they have no issues at all. Who in turn piss off the people with issues because hearing that it works is the last reply that they were looking for.

    There are so many factors that make or break a performance. I just don't see a lot of details being posted.


    What is "the problem" on the G5? Can you be more specific?

    There are so many reasons a problem could occur.

    Ableton just started a beta cycle for Live 7.0.7 today. Which means they just had no beta periods during holidays and Live LE releases ever since the Live 7 release. That covers less then a month.

    If you're experiencing other issues due to the OS update, can you be more specific because one can only guess what your problem is.

    I don't even know if your issues are with Live,logic,…

    – Bjorn

  • A83

    I have OS X 10.4.11 and turn off airport when working with audio. I would like to be online and work with audio at the same time though…Is there a solution out yet?

  • Hmm… anyone know how to *uninstall* that AirPort update without reinstalling the OS?

    Definitely worth backing up before any update, especially because you could just do a Library folder backup and reinstall from a boot disc… but I wish that Apple included a facility for uninstalling their updates(!)

  • MK

    @Peter Kirn

    Sorry, I wasn't trying to absolve the OS vendors (Windows/OS X) of their responsibility. They have created a culture of automatic updates which, while beneficial for security reasons, do leave machines at risk.

    Both Apple and Microsoft need to try harder at the testing phases to ensure that their software updates are reliable, but until then, user-vigilance is of paramount importance. To hell with it, even if Apple and Microsoft get it right, it still pays to be cautious. Separating critical security updates from the rest would go a long way to helping, as would simpler methods for backing out an update that proved to break an otherwise working system.

    With regard to the wireless radiation – yep, I agree that you've got the base-station beaming through you all the time. It's still better to turn off the transmitter in your laptop when you're not using it as it's usually closer to you (and therefore stronger).

    I think we're saying the same things, though 🙂

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Fix for Mac Audio Dropouts: Roll Back Tiger AirPort Support()

  • MonksDream

    This may be off-topic but while poking about looking for info on the 10.5.3 update release status I ran across a bug report that could affect people who use Firewire drives, like musicians!.

    Apparently "moving" files to an external drive, as opposed to "copying" them, can sometimes lead to loss of both the destination AND the source folders. More info here:

    This was suposed to be fixed in 10.5.1 but it seems some are reporting it occurring in 10.5.2 as well. Another good reason to stick with 10.4 until 10.5.3 arrives AND is proven stable.

  • nq

    @bjorn vayner

    i found out, that i had a printer job running in the background for like 2 weeks which didn't get killed.

    i rebooted after installing the 10.5.2-update and let the machine run for a couple of weeks. checking, what else might be wrong, i found the printer weirdness.

    rebooted – and everything was fine.

    sorry for adding confusion

  • Pingback: Muzyka » Blog Archive » Mac OS X 10.5.2: Music and Audio Problems on Apple Laptops? (Or Blame AirPort?)()

  • Pingback: Muzyka » Blog Archive » Fix for Mac Audio Dropouts: Roll Back Tiger AirPort Support()

  • Al

    I have a Macbook Pro running 10.4.11 and I had the same problem, clicks and pops during midi playback. For me, the problem is solved by turning off Airport. I just told somebody at Applecare about this, you all should do the same to put some fire under their ass to fix this glitch.

  • Pingback: MBE | Mac Business Experts » Blog Archive » Bug Traking - Leopard x aplicativos de áudio()

  • MonksDream

    Further to my previous port:

    Logic Express went nuts with just two EXS24 instances and a drum loop. Interestingly enough it seemed one of the CPU cores was overloading but not the other.

    Turning off Airport did not solve the issue. I don't know whether it was the FastrackPro driver or not but this is lame.

  • groovemonkey

    i don't write music (i'm actually a software engineer) but i've got an early black macbook coreduo (which has had intermittent bluetooth for sometime – although that's unrelated) – and since installing 10.5 i've had lots of usb problems – and i found this page whilst googling for a solution.

    day to day, i use a couple of freecom toughdrive's and a bunch of usb keys, and they're all problematic in a bunch of ways. sometimes keys don't show up when i plug 'em in. sometimes i can't quit itunes or niceplayer (to name two) until i unplug my external usb hub / drives – and when this occurs the drives (not always all drives, sometimes just one) won't unmount beforehand so i have to just pull the plug – the thought of dataloss disturbs me greatly.

    after saying a quick prayer (or whatever good luck incantation i'm using that day) and unplugging and replugging all my usb everything starts working ok again afterwards.

    also, i listen to a lot of music in itunes and i also run marcopolo (google it if you don't know it!) – once every couple of days (or less) marcopolo will get confused for a few seconds – all my usb devices disappear (disconnect) and then my devices all come back, then shortly afterwards itunes playback will stall for a moment. grrr.

    interestingly i run growl with hardware-growl also and i get a bunch of messages fly by on my screen when my usb stuff plays up in this way – disconnect and connect messages.

    the usb problems were different in 10.5.1 – but still present. but i used 10.5.1 for less than a day.

    i've tried not using any usb hubs, and i've tried only hooking up one drive at a time – i've tried lots of things – i rarely use airport and keep it turned off (likewise for bluetooth) – but the problem is still there.

    my 10.5 install was a clean fresh install onto a clean drive – not an in-place upgrade. i never had these problems in 10.4 – and i've checked all my external usb hardware on other systems and it works fine.

    i hope 10.5.3 comes soon – and i hope it fixes all these problems – 10.5.2 is a real turkey – in fact so far i'm really unimpressed with 10.5 in general.

    what used to be 'my lovely macbook' has turned into an unreliable piece of junk since i installed 10.5 on it – i wish i'd never gone near it (and i didn't install it until after the 10.5.2 update was released)


  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Leopard Audio Woes and Digidesign; 10.5.2 is a Lemon for Music?()

  • Pingback: Leopard is een soort van Vista | Marco Raaphorst()

  • Phlyfumblr

    I am running 10.5.2 on a MBP and using my iTunes library from an external drive hooked up to my AirPort Extreme. I am also using AirPort Express to transmit the music through my audio system (and to a few wireless speakers in the house). While I expect issues when doing other things that utilize the Airport, I am also seeing music cut off on both the express signal and from the notebook itself. Sometimes iTunes acts like it is playing with no sound coming from anything. I usually have to change tracks for the sound to return…

  • RIch DDT

    Apparently 10.5.3 addresses audio dropouts with certain USB devices? Has anyone determined if this latest OS X Update fixes the problem completely?

  • Alan (from Argentina

    Has anyone get this problem fixed with the last Security Update for Tiger? I'm not sure of updating my system, I'm very skeptical…

  • I get a strange audio artifact which sounds like a +6dB notch boost filter is being applied around 4-6kHz for a few seconds, then removed. It happens randomly during any media playback. Make it stop!!

  • Clive Green (Suzhou,

    Humble 2Gb Black MacBook here. My problem my not be hardware related at all, but I would welcome any insights you all may have.

    I am an English teacher, and use my mac to create MP3 files for my students. I recently recorded some language cassette audio via line-in. On headphones, my AIFF recordings sound loud, crisp and clear, but on the MB speakers they are tinny and whisper quiet. Other recordings I've made from CD, etc don't share this problem. Bizarrely, the quiet speaker volume level persists even if I use Audio Hijack Pro to 'transfer' the AIFF file to MP3. Weird.

    Now, I am not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to this sort of thing. Does anyone have any ideas or pointers to other sources of possible advice?

  • Pingback: Bug Tracking - Leopard x aplicativos de áudio « MBE | Mac Business Experts()

  • Hi bought a original Motu 828 off a friend was using a fast track pro running Ableton live 6.0.10 with high audio track counts and two plug in soft synths it was popping and clicking like crazy with the 828. turned off airport on my Macbook pro running osx 10.4.11 2.16 core duo 2gb ram and pops and clicks were gone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thankz so much for the thread!!!!!!!!