Newest V3: So many beach balls, so many force quits. Is it just me?

Russ Welti's Avatar

Russ Welti

21 Aug, 2011 11:57 PM

I just updated to the very latest V3 that can be downloaded as of today. (I won't launch the program to verify, it takes forever to come up and I'm sure to have a bad experience).

One year old iMac Intel 2.4Ghz Duo, 10.6.8, 2GB RAM. Besides beatunes, iTunes, Safari, Email and Terminal running (plenty of free memory according to Activity Monitor). Later I tried quitting Safari and iTunes to free up memory, no change, and as I said, memory is not likely the problem.

About any thing I do causes a beach ball it seems. Even simple searches can hang the tool. Especially, and repeatable, if I right click a song and ask to tap out the BPM, up comes the BPM tapping window OK, but if I click the play button to begin tapping, it's beach ball and force quit. I'm afraid to click on any button, as it frequently means the end of my session and a relaunch.

There are other things that seem to cause this, not as easy to repeat, I'm tired now, and no more time for this. It is true that this version launches slightly faster but not much, it still takes, oh, 30 seconds to launch.

I have 8000 songs in my library, I feel that is not so very many, but maybe that is too much.

The best solution for me is to go back to V2, if I can, because my recollection is that I had far fewer problems. I will try that another day.

Is it possible that "feature-creep", adding too many new features and functions, has torpedoed the program's core functions?
(I feel that way about lots of stuff, especially Adobe products and MS Office.)

The focus, IMHO, should be on fine tuning the existing, core features. I was not even using more than 1/3 of the features beatunes 2 had. I didn't need or want new features, to be honest.

Sorry for my rant, I am just disappointed and frustrated.

I don't care about the money, I like to support independent S/W developers. But I feel I can no longer do the BPM analyses, which was at least 2/3 of the reason I like beatunes.

It is so hard waiting for software to react to a mouseclick, whilst in Activity Monitor I see it using only 4% of the CPU and 80% of the CPU is free, and no obvious memory issues. What is it doing?

So finally my question: how many others are having issues with V3?

Thanks for reading,

Seattle, WA

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by hendrik on 22 Aug, 2011 07:43 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hi Russ,

    just to clarify, do you see multicolor beachballs or shades-of-blue-beachballs?
    What are the 1/3 of the functions that you use the most?



  2. 2 Posted by copuf on 22 Aug, 2011 08:03 PM

    copuf's Avatar

    I've been using beaTunes 3.0.3 the past week and it's worked fine. However, today I downloaded 3.0.4 and it keeps hanging up, crashing, and giving me fatal errors.

  3. 3 Posted by r welti on 22 Aug, 2011 11:48 PM

    r welti's Avatar

    Hi hendrik, 

    I will try again tonight when I am home, I am pretty sure it was multi-colored, as in OS X (not Java).  I know the two beach balls you are talking about.

    Thank you for answering, I was very frustrated at the time. I realize how hard you must work on this, and you yourself probably get frustrated much of the time.

    I am certainly not a power user, not a DJ. Analyzing and fixing the library meta-data (big one), including assigning BPM and "mood" (color?) and key is the main usage I do, and of course creating playlists. That was pretty much all I do with it. 

    It's still a great tool, and I respect your programming skills.

    Let's see if I'm the only person with issues, maybe more will be revealed.


    From: hendrik <[email blocked]>
    To: [email blocked]
    Sent: Monday, August 22, 2011 12:41 AM
    Subject: Re: Newest V3: So many beach balls, so many force quits. Is it just me? [Problems]

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by hendrik on 23 Aug, 2011 06:49 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hi Russ,

    if it's the multicolor ball, the OS is taking the time... However, this is usually due to two different things:

    • memory contention
    • disk IO

    Since you only have 2GB, I would assume it's memory contention. Can you take a look at at Activity Monitor while beaTunes is running. What does the overall System Memory tab (in the lower half of the window) indicate? Any green (i.e. free) memory left?

    If that's the case, please try the following in order to lower beaTunes' memory consumption a little:

    • Install the latest version (3.0.4)
    • Make sure, beaTunes is not running
    • CTRL-Click on beaTunes3 in Finder
    • Choose "Show Package Contents"
    • in the new Finder window, go to Contents
    • Open Info.plist in TextEdit
    • Find the line <key>VMOptions</key>
    • Edit the string underneath so that it says -Xms92m -Xmx256m -ea -Xloggc:gc.log -XX:+PrintGCDetails -XX:MaxPermSize=256m -XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=256m
    • Save the file
    • Open Info.plist.template in TextEdit
    • Find the line <key>VMOptions</key>
    • Also edit the string underneath so that it says -Xms92m -Xmx256m -ea -Xloggc:gc.log -XX:+PrintGCDetails -XX:MaxPermSize=256m -XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=256m
    • Save the file
    • Now start beaTunes3
    • Go to Preferences -> Analysis and make sure you have a maximum of .2 parallel analysis tasks. If you don't, change it and restart beaTunes

    Note that , these new settings will be lost which each beaTunes update.
    This only makes sense with relatively small libraries (~10,000 songs) on system with a relatively low amount of memory.

    You also should turn off "Automatic playlist export" (in the general preferences) and avoid the missing artwork inspection as well as replay gain analysis as they are either slow or use a lot of memory.

    Hope this helps a little,



  5. 5 Posted by r welti on 23 Aug, 2011 03:27 PM

    r welti's Avatar

    Hi hendrik,


    Launched it again,  took 70 seconds until main window came up.  (With Preview, Mail, iTunes, Skitch and Software Update already running, and Activity Monitor showed 160MB free mem and 402 inactive MB).

    Then it was blue-white beachball for 60 seconds of "Synchronizing with music library" ...

    Then I right mouse a song and say Tap Beat.

    Dialog comes up with slight delay and blue-white ball for say 4 secs.

    If I patiently wait for the blue-white ball to stop, plus another sec or two, I was able to hit the play button and it played!
    But if I hit the play button during the blue-white, or too soon after it stops, I hang beatunes with the OS X multi-colored beachball.

    I do realize that issuing commands during the blue-white ball is not advisable. I believe my experience before, last time that is, was that I had waited for the blue-white to stop.  I normally would not expect things to work if I rush ahead during the blue-white.

    Note I did not download today's newest version.

    I hope this info helps in some way!

    Best regards

    From: hendrik <[email blocked]>
    To: [email blocked]
    Sent: Monday, August 22, 2011 12:41 AM
    Subject: Re: Newest V3: So many beach balls, so many force quits. Is it just me? [Problems]

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by hendrik on 23 Aug, 2011 04:01 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    I'm currently away from my main computer - but 160mb of free memory is definitely not enough..

    Am 23.08.2011 um 17:25 schrieb "r welti" <[email blocked]>:


  7. 7 Posted by r welti on 23 Aug, 2011 05:52 PM

    r welti's Avatar

    Thanks for the fast response, hendrik.

    I'll investigate memory as you suggest when I get home.

    I think 2GB RAM is more "typical" than "relatively little" for an iMac in the current, real world. I mean if your iMac is a year or more old then 2GB might be typical, right? something like that. ones come with 4GB I see. How nice.  

    Anyway I fully appreciate the memory issues for a complex program. I will experiment more.   As I said in original email, I did run it with almost all other apps closed already once, but I did not measure RAM usage.

    Thanks for your active involvement, it is fun to work with you. I am committed to beatunes.


  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by hendrik on 24 Aug, 2011 08:22 PM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Here's the thing with memory and beaTunes:

    • it may not need all the memory it's granted in the settings I described above.
    • however, it will use the memory once it's granted
    • it will fail, if it ever needs more.

    So to lower demand even more, you could also go down to:

    -Xms92m -Xmx256m -ea -Xloggc:gc.log -XX:+PrintGCDetails -XX:MaxPermSize=256m -XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=128m

    But at some point, things will simply not improve anymore and you will see Java OutOfMemory errors. That's a situation you want to avoid, as it could potentially corrupt the internal beaTunes database.


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