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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    322

    BBC iPlayer Performance problems / question

    Hello

    I'm experiencing some performance/buffering issues with BBC iPlayer Plugin 1.2.9 and could use some advice. Recently (last few weeks?) I have found buffering issues when using "Listen Live" on BBC Radio Scotland. I can listen to radio for perhaps 5-10 minutes and then it'll stop; if I look at the SB3 screen it'll say Buffering 5% and it usually never advances beyond 5%. Sometimes it does advance, and the music will start again after 20 mins or so, but usually it does not and I have to choose Listen Live again.

    When this happens, there is virtually no network traffic across my internet connection (8Mb downstream). Conversely, yesterday I was listening to a "staff picks" stream on the same SB3 at the same time as I was practically maxing out my internet connection with a 23GB binary download; the download was coming down at 825KB/s (almost full rate for my line) and yet the audio didn't skip a beat - in fact I forgot about my download at one point as I was listening to the music! So I do not believe this is a bandwidth issue.

    I have the iPlayer plug settings at their default, the only thing I have changed is the overall "Radio Station Buffer Seconds" value, which is 30 seconds.

    The SB software is the latest and is running on a Linux VM installed under Hyper-V; The VM has 2GB RAM and oodles of CPU.

    Logitech Media Server Version: 7.7.2 - r33893 @ Wed Mar 14 05:46:46 PDT 2012
    Hostname: music.123XXY.co.uk
    Server IP Address: 192.168.1.60
    Server HTTP Port Number: 9000
    Operating system: Debian - EN - utf8
    Platform Architecture: x86_64-linux
    Perl Version: 5.14.2 - x86_64-linux-gnu-thread-multi
    Database Version: DBD::SQLite 1.34_01 (sqlite 3.7.7.1)
    Total Players Recognized: 3


    Can anyone suggest any diagnostics or ways to alleviate this issue? I am not sure where the problem lies, but I do not think it's bandwidth. I only seem to get this issue with the iPlayer plugin.

    Ping times for my connection to www.bbc.co.uk are around 28ms.

    Many thanks



    Jim

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    11,522
    Some more details on player (e.g. only SB3 ?) , the station and format being played may help.

    Flash and AAC format will require the server to do transcoding into Flac so you will have a processor load and a network load. Playing WMA format means stream goes direct from BBC to player so problem will therefore be network connection issue or possibly some local interference.

    IIRC for UK listeners R3 AAC is 320kb/s whereas other stations are 128kbps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    322
    Many thanks BPA. This is the current stream (copy-pasted from the browser):

    Bitrate: 128kbps CBR (Converted to 705kbps FLAC)
    URL: iplayer://live?ms=http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/4/mtis/stream/bbc_radio_scotland_fm&icon=http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/img/radio/bbc_radio_scotland_1.gif
    Title: BBC Radio Scotland

    These are my players:


    Gracefield Boom
    Player Model: Squeezebox Boom
    Firmware: 57
    Player IP Address: 192.168.1.205
    Player MAC Address: 00:04:20:1e:40:20
    Wireless Signal Strength: 93%

    Gracefield Kitchen
    Player Model: Squeezebox Classic
    Firmware: 137
    Player IP Address: 192.168.1.203
    Player MAC Address: 00:04:20:12:53:25
    Wireless Signal Strength: 56%

    Gracefield Lounge
    Player Model: Squeezebox Classic
    Firmware: 137
    Player IP Address: 192.168.1.206
    Player MAC Address: 00:04:20:06:1c:47
    Wireless Signal Strength: 73%


    All three are synced, though usually only Lounge is switched on when I'm listening to radio.

    Jim

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    11,522
    Quote Originally Posted by jimwillsher View Post
    Many thanks BPA. This is the current stream (copy-pasted from the browser):

    Bitrate: 128kbps CBR (Converted to 705kbps FLAC)
    URL: iplayer://live?ms=http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/4/mtis/stream/bbc_radio_scotland_fm&icon=http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/img/radio/bbc_radio_scotland_1.gif
    Title: BBC Radio Scotland
    The choice of format depends on your settings in the plugin. Since the stream is converted and you have IP3K basedd players which cannot play AAC natively - it looks like you are playing the AAC version.

    Change the plugin setting to either play WMA only or disable transcoding and see if the problem recurs as playing WMA will effectively remove the LMS server from the playing scenario if players are NOT synced. I believe WMA also uses a different set of BBC servers to deliver the service. So if problem persists then you know the LMS server is NOT the issue.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    322
    Ok...I've unticked transcoding and it's played non-stop for three hours....looks good :-)

    many thanks



    Jim

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