iTunes for Windows, perhaps the strangest solution ever

iTunes has been getting increasingly creaky on my Windows 8.1 computer. The first symptom was that after Windows had been running for a while it would fail to refresh my podcasts, even when I manually told it to. ‘[F]or a while’ might be half an hour or several days, with no clear indication why the difference. I’d click the refresh button, it would rotate, and then nothing would happen. Only when I’d go to close iTunes would the ‘refresh’ whirligigs appear next to the podcasts, but still they wouldn’t update. Closing (this worked on the second attempt) and restarting iTunes didn’t help. A Windows reboot was required.

In addition a circled ‘i’ indicator would appear next to my podcasts periodically, informing me that because I hadn’t listened to that particular podcast for some time, it would no longer update. Problem was, this was for podcasts that I’d updated and listened to that very day.

And then a couple of days ago, iTunes started crashing when I’d connect my iPod Nano to the computer. A reboot helped the first time. But then it came back. A ‘Repair’ of the installation from Windows control panel appeared to help for a day or two, but then it came back. This morning I did a complete uninstall, a registry clean and a re-install of iTunes. It crashed on the very first start-up. I was starting to have dark thoughts about having to do a clean re-install of Windows. But first I googled around, and soon came across what appears to be a solution, but a very strange one indeed. But many people appear to have done it, and most have reported it worked.

You go to “C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support” and copy from there the file QTMovieWin.dll. Then you go to “C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes” and paste it in. I did. And iTunes now works. We’ll see how long it works and whether it resolved the other problems, but for now I’m happy.

But it does raise strange questions. First, why would iTunes crash because it can’t find a Quick Time Movie DLL? That’s pretty poor behaviour. Second, why did it not crash before given the absence of that DLL. Third, why hasn’t Apple set iTunes to look for the DLL in the Apple Application Support folder? Alternatively, why doesn’t the iTunes install put it in the iTunes program folder?

According to the forum where I found this solution, Apple itself suggested the fix. And that was ten months ago. Since then there have been several upgrades of iTunes (which I have dutifully installed as they’ve become available).

I’ve always felt that iTunes wasn’t a very good product on Windows machines (although I hear it works magnificently on Macs).

Update (The next day): That worked very nicely indeed … for 24 hours. Now iTunes crashes again every time I connect the iPod Nano. Maybe it’s the Nano that’s the problem.

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