I haven't used iTunes in a long while, preferring to use a much more lightweight program such as VLC to play my music as I no longer have an iDevice and therefore no need for the sync and backup features of iTunes.

However I recently noticed that some of the songs I purchased from the iTunes store a long time ago (2010-ish I think) are in m4p format (all DRM'd up) and therefore cannot be played outside of iTunes. So I reinstalled iTunes to the latest version ( onto my PC (running Windows 10) on which I had not previously had iTunes installed.

iTunes seems to have installed correctly and I was able to authorize the PC to play the old protected songs and I can play them just fine. What I can't seem to do no matter how I try is get iTunes to burn any playlist to disk. I've tried a playlist with protected songs, one without protected songs, even a playlist with just one unprotected song. Every time iTunes just crashes and windows does it's usual fruitless search for solutions.

I just so happened to have Visual Studio installed on my PC so I clicked debug in the hopes that maybe I could make sense of the error but lacking much experience with C++ all I could tell was that it was trying to access a memory location of 0xFFFFFFF(not sure how many F's) which leads me to suspect it's some kind of null pointer or something, but it doesn't say where in the code it comes from so isn't much help to me.

Googling lead me to several things which were clearly for older versions of iTunes and finally to an apple support article purportedly for iTunes 12 that said confirm the burning settings which it told me I would find in preferences under the Advanced tab. But I guess their instructions are out of date because there are no burning options under the Advanced tab that I can find, nor could I find them under any other tab.

Finally having inserted a blank CD to one of my burners (my PC has 2) iTunes prompted me to burn a disk, but it still crashes just the same.

I'm at a loss as to what to try in order to listen to my old music short of using iTunes to play it. I also figure that perhaps it's a bug in iTunes and waiting for a new release may resolve it, but if there is any way around it I would prefer not to wait.

  • How are you trying to burn the playlist? If you right click on the playlist and select "Burn Playlist to Disk" you should be able to change the "Burn Settings".
    – DavidPostill
    Jun 25, 2016 at 20:23
  • It's when i right click on the playlist and choose Burn Playlist to Disk that iTunes immediately crashes
    – m3z
    Jun 25, 2016 at 20:25
  • But thank-you, you just jogged my memory. My pc has a weird 3rd cd drive that appears when you enumerate cd drives - something to do with the fact that my motherboard has a hardware emulated cd drive on it for a network management protocol. I've just gone to the device manager and disabled that 3rd drive and now it's working correctly. thanks
    – m3z
    Jun 25, 2016 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


In short - It turns out that a virtual CDROM drive that I have on my system causes iTunes to crash. Disabling the virtual CDROM drive in the device manager was sufficient to allow iTunes to work.

For those interested in more detail, the virtual CDROM drive on my system is there because I built my pc using what is really meant to be a server motherboard. It is an Asus Z9PE-D16 which includes a remote management interface which supports attaching a remote cdrom drive. It seems that in part, this remote cdrom drive is emulated using hardware built into the remote management interface which means that the drive appears in the device manager even when it's not in use.

Although it doesn't show up in "My Computer" unless a disk is attached I had previously seen MakeMKV enumerate it as one of the disk drives and then log an error when it could not be accessed. Clearly MakeMKV has better error handling than iTunes.

  • I had the exact same problem and this fixed it. Dec 17, 2016 at 13:10

Anecdotally, I just solved my issue here. I had Daemon tools installed which may have had something to do with the disk drive messing up. Uninstalling it fixed this problem but it may not be the most fitting solution for you.

  • 1
    This is more-or-less what the accepted answer says
    – bertieb
    Apr 4, 2017 at 13:37

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