Look, there are inevitable issues with operating system updates. Yesterday’s 10.6.7 update has fixed a bunch of vulnerabilities as well as 2011 MacBook Pro display flickering and lock ups, but it also introduced new hiccups. Some owners of the new 13-inch MacBook Air are experiencing crashes when attempting to run iTunes 10.2.1, according to a thread on the Apple Discussions forum started yesterday.

The posts describe unresponsiveness when running the latest iTunes version under 10.6.7, requiring folks to force-quite the jukebox application. Here’s how one poster put it:

Every time I run iTunes 10.2.1 I get as far as the window displaying correctly then within 20secs the machine freezes and is unresponsive to anything other than a forced shutdown via the power button. I have fixed disk permissions with the same result.


Apple didn’t respond on the forum, but an iTunes software update is likely to fix this bug. Here’s what you can do to avoid teething problems stemming from software updates.

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  1. Use TimeMachine – Even though TimeMachine works only with external hard drives (will work with internal volumes in Mac OS X Lion), it makes sense to invest into an external drive. Better yet, buy a NAS that supports TimeMachine so everyone on your local network can store their documents on it. Perform a TimeMachine backup prior to installing the OS update so you can revert back if issues persist.
  2. Avoid Software Update – Download a combo update from Apple’s support site rather than choosing Software Update… from the Apple menu. Strange as it may sound, it can result in a smoother running system and fewer compatibility issues.
  3. Repair Disk Permissions – This is a common problem after a software update has been applied, albeit an easy one to solve. Run Disk Utility, select your boot drive in the lefthand column and click the Repair Permissions button. Once it’s finished doing its thing, restart your computer.
  4. Trash Application Preferences – Quit the app that’s been acting up, search for its settings inside the Users/yourusername/Library/Preferences folder and trash the files. I was able to resolve issues this way in several instances. In the case of iTunes, you’re looking for com.apple.itunes (this is where your iTunes settings reside). Trashing the iTunes Library Genius.itdb file found in /Music/iTunes inside your home folder may also help.
  5. Reinstall Offending Application – If iTunes or any other application won’t play nice with the updated OS, consider re-installing the offending program. iTunes 10.2.1 installer is available here.

iTunes works just fine on my system, but I have a Mac mini, not the superthin notebook. If you are able to replicate this issue on your brand spanking new 13-inch MacBook Air, tell us in comments.

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