Music occasionally pauses playing 3-4 seconds before a song ends. The pause occurs randomly. If I immediately replay the song it will play thru to the end without a pause. I estimate that this happens once out of 10-15 songs on average. Here's what I observe:

  1. I have an Airport Express (AE) with firmware version 7.8.1. The AE is normally connected over the wireless network but the problem occurs even if the AE is connected using an ethernet cable connection without being connected over the wireless network.

  2. If the standard/default sound output of the computer is the headphones and the AE is selected as one of the outputs of Music, and a playlist is playing Music will randomly pause playing 3-4 seconds before the end a song. After a couple seconds it will continue playing, though it skips about 1 second of the song. It will finish the song and start playing the next song in the playlist.

To see if this was a hardware problem I selected the AE as the computer's default output (Settings->Sound, select the AE as the output device). Then I selected the default output in Music. With these settings the problem does not occur. So to me this does not appear to be a hardware problem.

I apologize if my descriptions of settings are not clear, please see the attached screen shots for clarity on what I mean.

  • The problem occurs with AIFF, MP3 and M4A files

  • I am running macOs Ventura 13.2.1 but this problem also occurred on Monterey.

  • My music library is at ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music

  • This problem does not occur with my old macbook pro (intel) running Mojave.

Has anyone seen this problem? Any ideas?

There are posts in the Apple support community with similar problems but no solutions were sugested.



2 Apr 2023 -- added notes

I recorded the output and used an audio editor (Audacity) to make measurements of when the pause occurs, length of gap etc.

When the problem does not occur, the time between the last audible sound of the song (end) and the first (start) is 1.15s.

When the problem does occur, the time between the end and the beginning is 8.85s.

The pause or gap is 7.7s before the end of the song.
The length of the pause is 2.25s.
0.75s of the song is dropped out completely, i.e. not played.
The uncertainty in these measurements is +/- 0.1s

Music output settings

Music settings when problem does not occur

System sound settings when problem does not occur


1 Answer 1


After some help from apple support and I have a fix for this.

The AE I was using, though it's second generation uses firmware 7.8.1, it's not the latest AE, which is the only one currently supported by Apple.

The latest version works properly, no pauses.

I should have looked harder for a clear statement as to which AE was supported.

To be clear, model A1264 has the problem, model A1392 does not.

The Apple engineer said that the A1392 will only be supported for another year at most, so some other problem may occur in the future as apple continues to upgrade software.

Anyway, I have my solution so I'm considering this closed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .