QuickTime crashes whenever I try and play an MP3. It says 'QuickTime Player quit unexpectedly'.

This is for all MP3s. Ableton Live also refuses to load any MP3s, either because QuickTime is broken, or for the same reason that QuickTime won't work.

How do I reinstall QuickTime? I really don't want to have to reinstall Mac OS or upgrade to Mavericks.

Please don't just say 'use iTunes' or 'use VLC'. I want to get to the root of the problem so that I can get MP3s working again in Ableton, but I reckon the problem will be easier to sort if I start by fixing QuickTime.

I have a 2007 iMac 24" with 4GB RAM and it works perfectly for everything else.

Here's the first part of the error dump:

Process: QuickTime Player [5432] Path: /Applications/QuickTime Player.app/Contents/MacOS/QuickTime Player Identifier: com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX Version: 10.2 (603.17) Build Info: QuickTimePlayerX-603017000000000~5 Code Type: X86-64 (Native) Parent Process: launchd [244] User ID: 501 Date/Time: 2014-05-14 14:49:01.397 +0100 OS Version: Mac OS X 10.8.5 (12F45) Report Version: 10 Interval Since Last Report: 14517 sec Crashes Since Last Report: 33 Per-App Interval Since Last Report: 55 sec Per-App Crashes Since Last Report: 2 Anonymous UUID: F3543854-08AC-CD30-0E57-60991570096A Crashed Thread: 0 Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV) Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x0000000000000000 VM Regions Near 0: --> __TEXT 0000000107b8f000-0000000107dec000 [ 2420K] r-x/rwx SM=COW /Applications/QuickTime Player.app/Contents/MacOS/QuickTime Player Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread 0 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x00007fff91090bb2 CFDictionaryGetValue + 18 1 com.apple.QTKit 0x00007fff8d91997a CopyLocalizedStringFromTable + 17 2 com.apple.QTKit 0x00007fff8d9197e6 QTTimeFormatterCreate + 682 3 com.apple.QTKit 0x00007fff8d920e86 -[QTHUDTimeFormatter _QTTimeFormatter] + 93 4 com.apple.QTKit 0x00007fff8d922979 -[QTHUDTimeFormatter stringFromTimeInterval:] + 133 5 com.apple.QTKit 0x00007fff8d922448 -[QTHUDTimeFormatter stringForObjectValue:] + 380 6 com.apple.AppKit 0x00007fff8fa521ad -[NSCell setFormatter:] + 221
  • 1
    Maybe the installation of Ableton added/corrupted some plug-ins?
    – nohillside
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 12:15
  • Do other users on the same mac have the same problem? Commented May 22, 2014 at 14:29
  • I logged into Mac OS using a guest account and tried to load an MP3 using QuickTime and it failed in the same way...
    – Anthony
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 20:59

3 Answers 3


I know you "don't want to reinstall OS X," but the easiest way to reinstall Quicktime (the current version, which is not a standalone download) is to reinstall Mountain Lion via Recovery Mode. Following the introduction of Lion, Quicktime became apart of the OS X installation package. There is no need to take a roundabout method. Reinstallation using recovery is non-destructive and only reinstalls OS X builtin applications and system components.

  • 1
    Yes - that fixed it! I didn't realise you could reinstall Mac OS without needing to reinstall all of my applications. Thanks!
    – Anthony
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 10:45

I asume that you mean 'Quicktime Player 10' when you are talking about Quicktime.

Quicktime uses 'components' to open specific formats, like wmv or mp3. There is are multiple locations where components can be stored. To my knowlegde these are: /System/Library/QuickTime , /Library/Audio/Plug-ins/Components, ~/Library/Audio/Plug-ins/Components and ~/Library/QuickTime (the latter three do not exist by default or are empty)

It is likely that that Quicktime uses a third party component to play mp3 files and that the third party component does not work properly. Components in your homefolder might be responsible for this. My suggestion would be to go (in Finder press shiftcommandG) to the previous mentioned locations, remove all the files in these locations, but keep the following standard components in (/System/Library/QuickTime):

(I have OS X Mavericks as a reference, no Mountin Lion but the list 'should' be quite similar)

AppleGVAHW.component           QuickTimeH264.component
ApplePixletVideo.component     QuickTimeIIDCDigitizer.component
AppleProResDecoder.component   QuickTimeImporters.component
AppleVAH264HW.component        QuickTimeMPEG.component
QuartzComposer.component       QuickTimeMPEG4.component
QuickTime3GPP.component        QuickTimeStreaming.component
QuickTimeComponents.component  QuickTimeUSBVDCDigitizer.component
QuickTimeFireWireDV.component  QuickTimeVR.component

Move all non similar components out of your Quicktime library (keep a copy) and try playing your mp3's. I am not sure if a logout is required.

If this does not work, you might require to install your components, but I think that is highly unlikely.

ps. (make backups...)

  • @Anthony, let me in the comments how it worked. Commented May 22, 2014 at 12:09
  • Hi - when you say 'Components in your homefolder might be responsible for this', which folder do you mean is my home folder?
    – Anthony
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 20:45
  • Also, in the list of folders, you mention '/Library/Audio/Plug-ins/Components' twice - did you mean to mention a different folder? Also, the only files I have in '/System/Library/QuickTime' are the ones you list
    – Anthony
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 20:46
  • What CC means by home folder is your user folder, also written as ~/ . He did not write /Library/Audio/Plug-ins/Components twice because the other one has the ~ in front. There are several library folders throughout the system but the two that matter in your case (and most cases) is Macintosh HD/Library and Macintosh HD/Users/YOUR USER/Library
    – Andrew U.
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 8:38

Both CousinCocaine and njboot are correct and extremely helpful so try their steps and enlighten yourself. I would like to suggest something though.

You could spare yourself the reinstall process by installing 10.8 on a separate hard drive and running all possible updates on it. Once that is done you can copy over the Apple Quicktime components from the various locations listed by CC and nj and put them in the same spots on your normal drive. But since this requires having either spare machine or restarting your system for the install process then it is completely up to you. I personally have two drives in my computer, one with my working OS and the second with a minimal system where I can troubleshoot my main system and boot up to should the main drive file and continue my work mostly uninterrupted.

And to repeat on CC... Make Backups! Leave a comment if I should go further into details but I just wanted to through an idea in the pot to try and help.

  • I've already solved it thanks to njboot and commented under his post and marked it as the answer
    – Anthony
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 9:49
  • So I get a down vote giving you a different option? That sends the wrong message sir. 90% of the people on here could tell you what you found out. I just wanted to give a different type of solution. But as long as you found the resolution I am happy.
    – Andrew U.
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 14:00
  • I don't know who down-voted you, but it wasn't me.
    – Anthony
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 15:12
  • No need for down vote in my opinion. (+1) Commented May 30, 2014 at 6:55

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