iTunes crashes the OS X Dock

iTunes 11 icon

Since this is the second time I've had this happen to me, I figured I'd post the relevant fix here for my future benefit. Essentially what happens is, everytime the song changes in iTunes, the Dock process gets an unhandled exception and is forced to restart. I have observed this under OS X 10.7.4 and OS X 10.7.5 and under iTunes 10.6 and iTunes 11.0. It only happens when I reformat my disk and then restore my files via rsync (I don't use TimeMachine actually so I'm not sure if that's a factor or not).

Here's the fix:

defaults write com.apple.dock itunes-notifications -bool FALSE; killall Dock

What's going on is the remnants of a hack (hidden) feature of the Dock in OS X 10.7.[123]. In the earlier versions of Lion you could enable a little dock popup notification everytime the song changed by following directions here

Unfortunately, Apple broke this feature in the latest Dock builds. Since it was never a documented feature in the first place, they must have assumed that defensive coding was unnecessary. Or, perhaps the feature simply broke, but not enough people are testing it for the bug to be fixed. At any rate, it was a great feature that I hate to see go. I suppose now I'll have to get GrowlTunes set up for something.

tags: technical short