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iTunes for Windows XP: Troubleshooting video playback

Symptoms

This article pertains to video playback performance issues in Windows XP. Below are some things to check if, when viewing a movie in iTunes for Windows, you notice that a video appears distorted, intermittently pauses, or has audio that is out of sync with the image on-screen.

Note: For Windows Vista and Windows 7, see this article.

Resolution

Check your system requirements

  • Be sure that your computer meets the requirements to properly playback video in iTunes. These requirements are detailed on the iTunes download page

Update your software

  • Check to see if you have the latest video and audio driver updates for your computer and any installed components. For instance, video driver software updates often offer improved graphics performance for your system. Read this article to learn more about updating drivers on your Windows PC.
  • Check to see if there's an update available for iTunes or QuickTime.

Increase Display Color Quality

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  2. Open the Display control panel.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Choose the Highest setting from the Color Quality pop-up menu as shown here:

  5. Click OK.
  6. You screen may flash briefly and you may see and message asking you to confirm the settings. Click Yes if the image on screen looks normal. Note: If the screen looks dark or distorted, just wait 15 seconds for the screen to revert to it's previous state.

Disable Direct3D video acceleration in QuickTime

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  2. Open the QuickTime control panel.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Deselect Enable Direct3D video acceleration in the Video section as shown here:

  5. Click OK.

Disable DirectX in QuickTime

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  2. Open the QuickTime control panel.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Select Safe mode (GDI only) in the Video section as shown here:

  5. Click OK.

Modify your System Drive Configuration

The data transfer method for your computer's optical drives and hard drives may not be configured for optimal performance. If your computer's drives are capable of Direct Memory Access (DMA), make sure this feature is enabled. The steps below outline how to enable this feature.

To turn on DMA:

  1. Open Device Manager (right-click on My Computer and in the shortcut menu, click Manage).
  2. Select Device Manager.
  3. Click the plus sign next to IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

  4. Right-click on the IDE bus that contains your hard drive, and in the shortcut menu, click Properties.
  5. Click the Advanced Settings tab.
    Make sure the Transfer Mode for the devices on the bus is set to DMA if available, not PIO Only.

  6. Repeat steps 4-5 for the of the IDE Channel devices listed under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
  7. Restart your computer and play a movie in iTunes again. If you made any changes to the transfer mode for any IDE channel devices, you should notice improved playback performance
Last Modified: Sep 11, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Sep 11, 2013
  • Article: TS1386
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