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iTunes on Mac OS X 10.5 is consistently using 10-11% of the cpu when playing one song. I understand that iTunes is a resource hog and my iTunes library is pretty big but could any other programs be acting on it, or are there any steps I can take to reduce the cpu usage?

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are you using smart playlists? – John T Aug 11 '09 at 16:02
I usually use party shuffle or shuffle through a smart playlist. Would that actively increase cpu usage? – Josh Vera Aug 11 '09 at 18:15
Party shuffle? What version are you using? – Richard Hoskins Aug 12 '09 at 4:03
Also, what are your machine specs? – Richard Hoskins Aug 12 '09 at 4:04
I'm using iTunes 8.2.1 on a late 2008 2.4ghz Macbook Pro with 2 gbs of ram. – Josh Vera Aug 12 '09 at 8:47
up vote 3 down vote accepted

iTunes uses about 6% CPU on my 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo to play a 238 kbs (VBR) MP3. But, so does VLC playing the same song. Playing the song from the command line with Sox takes about 3%. It seems reasonable to me, decoding compressed music is not free.

!0% could be about right on a slower processor. My G4 is unavailable for comment right now.

Visualizer takes a lot of CPU. Equalizer adds a percent or so, as well.

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I see the same usage on my old macbook. – Herms Aug 11 '09 at 18:29

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