This happened yesterday, and I posted on Quora. No answer. It happened again today, so here I am cross-posting.

Sometimes, iTunes decides that, despite me quitting it, the right thing is to be open, with the result that I have to constantly quit or force quit it over and over again. It happened today, and between 10:35:01 and 10:44:33 I had to quit it OVER THIRTY-THREE TIMES. It happened yesterday as well, and between 9:35:26 and 10:28:27 I had to quit it AT LEAST FORTY-NINE TIMES.

Not only does it open, but it plays random stuff that it's got in its "All". Luckily most of its picks are low-volume MIDIs from stuff I wrote on Finale, but it's still extra annoying because it typically happens as I am checking song lyrics so I have to listen well and the extraneous tune is distractive.

I thought it might be an update check, so I turned auto-checking for updates OFF in the settings, but to no avail.

After many of those 49 times, I tried deleting iTunes (a drastic solution given I basically never delete anything), but it is "required by OSX", so nothing happened.

I am using Mac OSX 10.9.5, though I'm pretty sure this madness happened with my older 10.7.5 too, and iTunes

So what in the world is going on, and how do I stop this fu..., err, copulator from doing this nonsense?


Looks like the culprit are my earphones. In particular, there is this thingy on them:

enter image description here

I note that, on my mobile, if I press that, Google listen is triggered almost all the time. The exceptions are typically when I pressed it under 5s before. The same effect is registered on the Mac with iTunes instead of Google listen. It also seems that thing is faulty, because thise things trigger even if I don't press the thingy.

So is there a way to disable this trigger?

(Btw, another thing that gets triggered on the mobile sometimes is the ringer or media volume, and the volume also very rarely gets triggered on the Mac. No idea what triggers that though: the thingy triggers iTunes and Google listen, and there is nothing else on the headphones except for the thingy where the two cables for the ears join into the one that gets plugged into the earphone hole, but that doesn't seem to trigger anything.)

  • I suspect it could be something to do with the media keys. Do you regularly press F8 or could your keyboard be faulty? That's the play/pause media key, and if iTunes isn't running (and no other media app is open) it'll be launched and play a song in all your music, which matches your symptoms.
    – grg
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 9:20
  • @grg I basically never press F8. I don't know if my keyboard is faulty so that F8 sometimes comes alive and gets itself stuck in pressed state. But maybe it's the stupid earphones that do that. I mean, weird things are happening on my mobile as well when I use those, like the volume regulating itself or Google deciding to listen by its own will.
    – MickG
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 9:25
  • That's a very good point, earphones would have the same effect as the media keys! Try without having them connected
    – grg
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 9:30
  • @grg I can kind of trigger iTunes (and Google listening) by pressing this thingy on the earphones with a phone symbol on it, but it is so inconsistent. Let me add a photo of that thingy.
    – MickG
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 9:31
  • @grg Added it to post.
    – MickG
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 9:36

1 Answer 1



Play Button iTunes Patch

The application will patch the Remote Control Daemon to prevent it from starting iTunes whenever you press the play button on the keyboard or an external remote control.

This does require SIP to be disabled, but it can be re-enabled once you've run this patch.

This does not work with macOS 10.13. Since you're still on 10.9 it should work fine, however I have not tested it myself.

  • Seems to have worked perfect. The trigger on the headphones and the F8 key both no longer start iTunes.
    – MickG
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 10:28
  • Keep in mind that fixing whatever is pressing the button all the time is probably a better fix Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 15:23

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