<Rant> <Nonsensical Gibberish>
I was sitting there listening to my music... As you do... And I thought to myself "Bored now, let's see what they have in the iTunes store."
So I go, log on to the store, find some trash that I want and hit 'buy' and get some "random error 0x2834838" which means - "We have released an update" (it is Apple's secret code you see).
So I download the update - 6.02.23 - which tells me to stop playback so it can update (I was using the WinAmp - iTunes plugin). So I stop playback. Let it update and don't restart.
I reload WinAmp and to my surprise and annoyance whenever a high point in a song or music is hit (not sure what the actual 'criteria' is) the sound judders and shakes until you pause playback and then play again (which fixes it for a short time).
So I thought to myself .. *OK no problem* and restarted....
Same problem... But I thought, *HEY* I'm a big geek, I can fix this... But I couldn't. Not trying my own things, and not following Apple's support instructions and nor could I while messing with QuickTimes useless preferences dialog box.
Everything else plays fine (MP3, OGG, WMA, CDA, et al). But anything encoded by iTunes breaks (CDs and Music Store files).
So I thought *OK NO PROBLEM!* I'll downgrade... So I removed the new iTunes and found an older version on some site... But for some crazy reason the problem persisted.
After reading the many support threads on this very topic from other Apple customers it appears as if Apple drops in a driver that it never removes, and which down-grading doesn't remove either.
I contacted Apple with my concerns (listed above) and this is the reply I received:
Apple wrote:Dear Customer,
Thank you for contacting the iTunes Music Store.
Audio files purchased through the iTunes Music Store are available in the
MPEG-4 protected AAC audio format. These files are encoded at 128 kilobits per second (kbit/s). There are no other codecs or bit rates available from the iTunes Music Store.
You cannot convert protected AAC files to other formats, including MP3. [...]
Idiots. Why waste my time and theirs by not reading what I sent them?
Guess what... Even if Apple fix this issue with their next release I'm going to have to reexamine my future purchases via the iTunes music store. If my music will 'randomly' break for unknown periods of time I'd just be better off with less music that I can rely on to work (Since when does music break?).
PS - This is what happens when you give DRM technology a chance to work. It screws you over big time and you end up using the non-DRM-ed equivalent.
</Rant> </Nonsensical Gibberish>