MP3s Played in iTunes Skip After 30 Seconds

I’ve been having an odd problem in iTunes lately, and I haven’t been able to figure out how to fix it. I’ve also seen that this has been a problem for other users, as seen on Apple’s support forums. (Here’s one thread describing the problem.)

When I play certain MP3 files, they play for exactly 30 seconds, then skip. This happens to almost all MP3 files I’ve gotten lately, and the one thing they have in common is that they are encoded with LAME 3.99; older MP3s encoded with earlier versions of LAME don’t skip, and I have a handful of MP3s encoded with LAME 3.99 that don’t skip as well.


These are all purchased MP3 files, from classical music sites; one of the files is shown in the screenshot above.

If I try and play these files on my other Mac, they don’t skip; if I send them to someone else, they don’t skip. So there seems to be something going on which is a combination of my main iTunes library, and the LAME 3.99 encoding.

Some Apple forum posters suggest dragging the files to the Finder, then re-adding them to iTunes; if I do that, the first file may play correctly, and sometimes a couple more on on album, but not all of them. And it’s not clear that this solves the problem completely anyway.

Has anyone seen this? Any suggestions to resolve the issue? I’m stumped by this one.

Update: I think I found a solution. Since this was only occurring on one of my Macs, I figured it was a combination of two problems: the MP3 files, and my iTunes library. So I rebuilt my iTunes library (I describe that here; interestingly, it also helped me find the solution to another issue), and, for now, the tracks are playing correctly.