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My iTunes library, that's shared on our network, has some songs that have a bit rate of 320 kbps. These songs will not play when I try to play them from a client computer - accessing them through the Shared library.

Why won't they play? Is there a work around besides downgrading the bit rate?

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Are the non-playing songs DRM'd? –  Matt Ball Feb 8 '11 at 16:07
Nope. Just non-DRM'd MP3s. –  Owen Feb 8 '11 at 18:35
The problem is not the bitrate. Apple streams lossless files (above 1000kbps) perfectly fine. Please specify "won't play". Is there an error? Are they greyed out? Does playback stutter? –  Kevin Grabher Mar 11 '14 at 19:55

3 Answers 3

I cannot locate a specific reference to prove this, but I suspect that iTunes' Home Sharing feature, by design, will not stream audio files with such a high bit rate because it would require too much network bandwidth.

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320 kbps is a trivial amount of data for nearly any home network using equipment made in the past decade. –  Warren Pena May 11 '12 at 0:22
I have music from 128 kbps .mp3's to multi thousand kbps lossless .alac files. All stream fine for me. –  Patience Feb 9 '13 at 22:24
Confirming – I stream songs up to 1100kbps no problem via iTunes. –  pknz Jul 11 '13 at 4:11

On the clients, try to switch the 'Streaming buffer size' (Preferences > Advanced) to 'Large', it may help if it's a bandwidth problem.

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Tried this and it didn't work. Made sense though... –  Owen Feb 9 '11 at 14:24
local networks should not have a bandwidth problem with 360kbps as most get between 100Mbps to 1Gbps. –  Travis Pessetto Jun 11 '12 at 19:33

Do you know for sure it is the 320 kbps that is keeping the songs from being played? Can you play songs with a lower bitrate successfully?

There are three reasons I can think of that would make a song not play in Shared Library:

  • You have reached the 5-computer limit on Shared Library. Only when the number of concurrent connections gets back to less than 5 you will be able to connect and play the songs.
  • The remote iTunes has not been authorized for that Apple ID and the song you are trying to play has DRM protection (i.e., it is an Audible book or it was purchased way back when Apple only sold DRM-protected songs).
  • The song is listed on the Shared Library (and on the "server" iTunes Library) but it is pointing to a file that does not exist on the computer's file system or is out of reach.

I hope this gives you additional ideas to look into.

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Other songs play fine. The only thing in common with songs that don't play is the 320 kbps bit rate. These are all non-DRM'd MP3 files. They all play fine on the host computer so, I know that they are pointed to the right place. –  Owen Feb 9 '11 at 14:25
Also look at the encoder. If possible (i.e. if you ripped them yourself) maybe try another encoder, preferable iTunes itself. –  XQYZ May 10 '12 at 18:44

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