What’s Going On With Truncated iTunes Downloads? (Updated)

I’m re-posting this, since I keep getting emails from people who have come across the problem. If you have this issue, see the end of the article for an AppleScript that can find truncated tracks in your iTunes library.

I got an e-mail the other day from someone I’m in touch with regularly at a classical music label. He had bought some music from the iTunes Store, and found that a couple of the tracks were truncated. They were the correct length and size, but the music cut off before the ends of the tracks. In his case, these were tracks downloaded automatically. He had bought the music on his iPhone, and had iTunes on his PC set to automatically download his purchases.

I came across a similar problem yesterday. I bought some music from the iTunes Store, and one of the tracks cuts off after about 4:15 (the entire track is 12:59). Here’s how it looks:

This is similar to what my friend reported, but in my case these weren’t automatic downloads; these were regular downloads. Curiously, when I went to my Purchased list, the album in question doesn’t show up, even though the order is in my order history. I’ve contacted iTunes Store support to get another download, but I’m curious if other users have been seeing this problem. If so, post a comment below.

Update: My problem got fixed when a friendly iTunes Store representative put my purchases back in my download queue. (Interestingly, they don’t ask you to re-download from the Purchased list.) But I’ve heard from many other people who have had this problem, one of whom e-mailed me today saying that Apple is now asking for a lot of network information, such as his ISP and the type of connection he has (DSL, dial up (!!!), cable, etc.)

Update: since I first posted this article, I’ve heard from a number of people who are getting truncated downloads when they download tracks from iCloud. These are matched tracks, apparently, not tracks that were uploaded, and this seems to be happening fairly often. I downloaded 53 tracks yesterday, and 4 of them were truncated; that’s 7% of them, or 1 in 14. Re-downloading them results in good tracks, so this is clearly a server issue. If you have downloaded truncated tracks from iTunes Match, post something in the comments.

Update 2: Doug Adams wrote an AppleScript that can detect truncated tracks.

34 thoughts on “What’s Going On With Truncated iTunes Downloads? (Updated)

  1. Yes, same
    Here. Bought Rachel Podger’s Vivaldi op.9.”La Cetra” . 3 tracks cut off before proper ending. Because of iTunes match and iTunes in the cloud I deleted them from iTunes library and redownloaded one at a time. Seen okay now.
    Another issue that Apple have failed to help me with is a flakey iTunes match cloud symbol since I installed mountain lion. I keep having to click on the cloud icon to get the iTunes matched songs to show availability to download. This lasts just a minute before the cloud icon changes to a strike off symbol. Annoying as all was fine before mountain lion.

  2. Daily it seems less and less propitious to dealing with computing. As storage becomes cheaper, so cloud computing appears. Does it work? Maybe. OSX: ever slower. MS Office: ever more horrible (2008 was tolerable, 2011 quite intolerable: hence Mellel for word processing). And so much junk. iTunes for books: I’ve yet to find a title there which I seek. And no downloads of music. Why would one when CDs are so well priced. And so it goes on. Fatuity piling upon fatuity, very nearly all of it demoralising and thoroughly dispiriting.

  3. Thank God – it’s not just me. I decided to update a huge chunk of my library – about 5000 tracks – and I estimate that about a third of the downloads were truncated. I can’t find out which ones though, without playing them all. If I hadn’t kept a copy of the tracks I was downloading, I’d be screwed. I’ve just restored the lot. I don’t think I’ll be downloading anything else until Mountain Lion’s been out for a few weeks and the Olympics are finished.

  4. I should have pointed out above that the truncated tracks were all from iTunes match, as I was bulk upgrading some of my low bitrate music.

  5. I have found the truncating to be present when I download classical music from sources other than Apple also. Seems to occur when I download a batch instead of just a single track. When I buy a symphony, for instance, I download each track singly and so far haven’t had any trouble.

      • This happened when I downloaded from eClassical.com. A source that I love and continue to use. When this happens I merely redownload the tune from the match and so far it’s been OK.

  6. Kirk, I just discovered one of my 16,000-plus iTunes Match upgraded tracks is truncated, now I’m wondering how many others are like that. Are you aware of any tools to scan the library?

  7. So this is still happening then? I haven’t downloaded anything since my initial stab, and am thinking of waiting for iTunes 11 before I try again.

  8. Bought a new MBP with iTunes 7 and Mountain Lion. Started getting the truncated song issue, too. 2 tracks so far. Both seem to be older downloads, but I have no idea when or how I DLed them. We’re talking years since I acquired them.

  9. The tracks are fine. They play on QuickTime all the way through. Mine cut off at 1:52 or so and the only ones affected are those I downloaded from apple. I see one suggestion is to simply find them all and reload them. What a pain. They really screwed up this time. The apple rep told me to down load the newest version of itunes. No joy there.

    • Mine don’t play through QuickTime any differently. As I show in the screenshot, they don’t have music all the way through.

  10. I recently downloaded a bunch of Amazon MP3s and random tracks are not played in full by iTunes. At this point they all cut off after 1 minute. These tracks all play fine in other players. I deleted and re-added them to the iTunes library and some of them were fixed but others now only play for 4 minutes then stop. Incidentally, on the question of iTunes Match I don’t use it, I tried to Match my library a while ago but it failed to complete. Amazon checked the tracks and they agree with me that they are OK. Apple of course make no comment. The end result of all this is that I’m no longer playing music in iTunes, after 10 years. Like they say, always have your boots on and be ready to leave.

  11. I buy a lot of songs that I don’t get round to listening to in full, some dating back years! Fortunately with iTunes Match, I get to catch up on all the old stuff while I’m at work. However, I’m discovering that tracks I haven’t played before (or haven’t played for a long time) actually have glitches in them, some in several places! These songs are so old that iTunes no longer sells them, or they have been replaced with different versions, possibly from different labels.

    I spoke with iTunes Chat Support a couple of weeks ago, and was told I should delete the file from iTunes Match and re-upload it. Which is a bit weird, because it was originally purchased from iTunes and so you’d assume the file to be identical to whatever is on their servers. I’m guessing that because they no longer sell that version, the file will not be matched and will upload instead. I’ve yet to investigate this part of it because my main iTunes machine is in storage while I do some home decorating… Will report back with my findings!

  12. I have a similar problem but with a twist. I have come across a significant number of songs that are truncated as you describe. HOWEVER, the truncated songs are corrupt only on portable devices (iPhone and iPad). The songs play perfectly fine in my home computer (source) and I have my office computer registered with iTunes Match. They play perfectly in the office computer too!! Office CPU is entirely iCloud dependent.

    Long story short, I went through costumer support and for a particular truncated song we logged off my Apple account on ALL devices, deleted the song from the Library, added the song again and finally reactivated iTunes Match. It basically uploaded/updated the whole library. Reactivated iTunes in my portable devices and the song played perfectly.

    Unfortunately as I’ve come across this issue with other songs, I’ve repeated the very time-consuming process without any success! What baffles me is how come there’s no issue at all on the desktops and it doesn’t work in the portables??

    Any advice?

      • Makes total sense.

        That makes me suspicious that my download may be the problem. Ill try downloading the individual songs that are truncated and repeating the process to see if that works, I’ll update here when done.

        Thanks so much for your reply.


  13. UPDATE: I downloaded a “test” song again and added it to the iTunes library. Once synced with iTunes Match I tried it on the iPhone —-> EXACT same problem.

    So I found a CD that I hadn’t ripped and went for it. No issues ripping and adding the songs to iTunes. Almost immediately they appeared in the Matched devises —> TRUNCATED! Still play fine on iTunes but not on iOS.

    So, it’s not the source of the files. Somehow my thought is now that my iTunes software is corrupt at some level so that when it uploads the songs they have some conflict that the iTunes software can deal with while the iOS can’t.

    My next step is to uninstall iTunes and start from scratch unless someone has other ideas. This is puzzling but frustrating!

  14. SOLUTION: I starting suspecting some “corruption” in my iTunes may be responsible for the faulty uploading of the tracks. While this problem was very sporadic in the past it seems that lately it’s happening with most (90%) of the song I upload (even after they were ripped from the original CD). So I uninstalled iTunes and installed the newest version. Unfortunately this didn’t fix the problem. However I was suspicious enough of my home CPU that I deleted the faulty album from the library and then went to my office.

    I’m happy to report that after downloading the album and adding it to the OFFICE CPU iTunes it worked like a charm. Now all the music I’ve uploaded via my newer office CPU is playing perfectly on my iOS devices!!

    Bottom line: it seems that either iTunes or something in the software of an older (3-4 years?) computer may have corrupted the files just enough that iOS cannot handle the glitch but iTunes does. I will continue adding music to my library through the office and if I run into trouble I’ll update the thread.

    I hope this helps other folks with the same issue.


    • JG – Your example sounds like the experience I’ve had as well. However, in your search for solutions have you come across the issue of truncation where the song is purchased directly from the Apple store to a mobile device (iPhone 6, iOS8), but it plays successfully through on the desktop in iTunes?

        • So is there a solution per song on the mobile device where truncation has occurred? I’m running iMatch on the mobile device obviously. Any recommendations appreciated.

            • Interestingly enough, I attempted that already with the same results as the original download with the truncation. So, I opened a ticket with Apple but have had no good resolution.

  15. No truncation when I sync to iPad, but does truncate when I sync to iPod.

    How do I fix once problem songs are found on my PC?

    • Hi Tom, could you specify a bit more what you’ve done so far?
      Fixes range from removing and re-adding the problem song to your library to having to use a whole new computer.
      By sync you mean cable iTunes connection or automatic iTunes Match sync?


  16. I too have encountered this problem, only recently.

    I downloaded some tunes from MP3 Fiesta and also from Amazon Prime. The tracks were all truncated at different lengths. I tried re-downloading them but the same thing happened. They play OK on the originating site but not on iTunes.

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