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?

  • 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
  • 1
    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? Mar 11 '14 at 19:55

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.

  • 1
    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
  • 3
    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
  • Extending on @XQYZ's comment, you should be able to right click the songs inside of iTunes and transcode them. If this doesn't work, try the file menu then find the encode to menu.
    – bret7600
    May 3 '15 at 23:35

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

  • Tried this and it didn't work. Made sense though...
    – Owen
    Feb 9 '11 at 14:24
  • 1
    local networks should not have a bandwidth problem with 360kbps as most get between 100Mbps to 1Gbps. Jun 11 '12 at 19:33
  • @TravisPessetto wired ones perhaps-- wi-fi ones do not. Aug 3 '15 at 12:31
  • @whiskeychief wifi theoretically can be that fast. Wireless n has theoretical speeds of 300Mbps and wireless ac even faster. I could be wrong in saying most, but I should say many. Aug 3 '15 at 16:12

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