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View Full Version : SB3: randomly jumps to next track (after working fine for years)



narten
2013-12-14, 09:42
Over the last few months (not entirely sure when), my squeezebox v3 has started randomly jumping to another track while I'm listening. Sometimes I can listen to 30 minutes without a jump, sometimes it happens after only a few minutes.

I have not been able to correlate it with anything or figure out where to look. My network is very good, and I've even gone as far as running wired ethernet cable to the SB to eliminate wifi as the culprit (still had problems). I'm also not seeing any error messages show up anywhere I've looked.

Any ideas what I can do? And how I can debug this? The various wikis that talk about logging and such appear way out of date and are thus not helpful.

I'm running the most recent version of the media server on windows 8.

Any suggestions? This is incredibly frustrating, as I had not had this problem for many years previously.

Thomas

garym
2013-12-14, 10:56
Over the last few months (not entirely sure when), my squeezebox v3 has started randomly jumping to another track while I'm listening. Sometimes I can listen to 30 minutes without a jump, sometimes it happens after only a few minutes.

I have not been able to correlate it with anything or figure out where to look. My network is very good, and I've even gone as far as running wired ethernet cable to the SB to eliminate wifi as the culprit (still had problems). I'm also not seeing any error messages show up anywhere I've looked.

Any ideas what I can do? And how I can debug this? The various wikis that talk about logging and such appear way out of date and are thus not helpful.

I'm running the most recent version of the media server on windows 8.

Any suggestions? This is incredibly frustrating, as I had not had this problem for many years previously.

Thomas

have you looked at your server log. First, go into LMS WebGUI > SETTINGS > ADVANCED > Logging and set "server" log to "DEBUG". Then on information tab later you can see the server log and see if you notice any messages related to skipping forward.

cliveb
2013-12-14, 11:01
Over the last few months (not entirely sure when), my squeezebox v3 has started randomly jumping to another track while I'm listening. Sometimes I can listen to 30 minutes without a jump, sometimes it happens after only a few minutes.

I have not been able to correlate it with anything or figure out where to look.
Could it be a rogue IR signal that's being interpreted as a "next track" button press?
Could it even be that your SB remote has a slightly dodgy next track button that occasionally triggers itself?
(I remember an old TV remote I once had where the volume-up button got locked on due to a fleck of carbon shorting out its contacts).

An obvious experiment would be to place something opaque in front of the SB3's IR receiver window to see if that stops the skipping. If it does, start looking for possible IR-emitting culprits (starting with simply removing the SB3's remote from the room).

Deaf Cat
2013-12-22, 04:07
Hi
I had similar problem a good while back, I am running on an old pc pentium D which should in theory work fine.

It seemed that it had trouble part way through tracks, and then skipped, just now and then, started to have the problem just out of the blue.

I turned the pc into a dedicated music server, stripping out all unwanted software, services etc. that seemed to improve things a bit. I then took the external usb drive apart made it an internal and connected it directly via a sata cable to motherboard. This sorted the problem, been running fine for about a year now.

Until last week! so.. I guess it may have clogged it's self up somehow..

I don't understand why it should not just work though, a bottle neck turns up that should not be there...??

Cheers
DC

narten
2013-12-27, 06:22
Thanks for the suggestions. Things are working better for me now. Here is what I've learned.

First, there is a "network test" plugin that supposedly allows you test the quality of the network connection between an SB and the LMS. It doesn't appear to work properly. It shows no packet loss for data rates under 1Mbps, but shows packet loss at 1Mbps and a very high loss at 1.5 MBps. It does this regardless of the quality of the underlying network connection (I tried multiple things) and I got the same results when running the test on a friends system. And I wouldn't be able to stream any of my lossless compressed streams if the error rate was that high, but I can... Too bad... (And a real shame that this sort of thing isn't documented anywhere... are the wikis even in use anymore?)

I did try isolating the remote control (and others I had) to rule out errant IR signals. That wasn't the problem.

I ended up moving my wireless access point closer to my SB. That seems to have done the trick, even though the SB was never showing any errors (in the past, when it lost a network connection, it would display that it lost the connection and needed to reconnect).

Poking around the log files is challenging. It is unclear what specific logging features to enable, and of course its hard to figure out what any of them mean.

What I did observe from the log file was that when I had a "skip", the log file showed the buffer draining over a period of 30 seconds, then reestablishing a connection. So its clear that there is a network problem that is obvious when it happens, but it takes a full 30 seconds before recovery is attempted (that seems broken). And when the connection is reestablished, it just goes to the next track rather than restarting the audio stream from where the loss started.

Does any of that make sense?

bpa
2013-12-27, 07:28
First, there is a "network test" plugin that supposedly allows you test the quality of the network connection between an SB and the LMS. It doesn't appear to work properly. It shows no packet loss for data rates under 1Mbps, but shows packet loss at 1Mbps and a very high loss at 1.5 MBps. It does this regardless of the quality of the underlying network connection (I tried multiple things) and I got the same results when running the test on a friends system. And I wouldn't be able to stream any of my lossless compressed streams if the error rate was that high, but I can... Too bad... (And a real shame that this sort of thing isn't documented anywhere... are the wikis even in use anymore?)

IIRC the network test still works OK and it uses UDP to test the quality of the underlying network as packet loss can be detected easily. LMS will stream uses TCP to a player which means TCP will recover from loss of packets but this can cause problems if effective throughput gets too low.

To play a lossless Flac stream the player will need about 750kbps and a WAV stream about 1.5Mbps. When playing music the data is buffered and since TCP is used, packet loss can be "hidden" form the user if track being played are short enough to be buffered and have time taken to recover from packet loss. Since the problem has gone away by moving player closer - I would still suspect network problems.

A separate test in your network quality, you should check network stats on your LMS server.

If server is Windows then you should check TCP stats using "netstat -s -p tcp" in a command prompt window. Run netstat before playing music, play a few track and rerun netstat and see if the counters for "segments retransmitted" or "reset connections" have changed as these indiciate network errors. Checking IP stats on your router to see what IP errors are occuring between player and router

narten
2013-12-27, 09:51
IIRC the network test still works OK and it uses UDP to test the quality of the underlying network as packet loss can be detected easily. LMS will stream uses TCP to a player which means TCP will recover from loss of packets but this can cause problems if effective throughput gets too low.



Network Test absolutely does not work in a way that makes sense. I ran it on a wired 1Gbps network and it gave me the exact same results, saying it was seeing packet loss at 1Mbps. That should not be happening and other apps I run are able to get an order of magnitude higher throughput.

I wasted a bunch of time assuming the results were meaningful, but nothing I did changed the numbers I was getting.

jimbobvfr400
2013-12-27, 10:54
Just a thought but are you absolutely sure it was using the Ethernet connection. Unlike most devices just plugging in a cable won't work, you need to reset the SB and reselect the cable connection. Apologies if you already know this.

Sent from my HUAWEI Y300-0100 using Tapatalk

garym
2013-12-27, 11:29
Just a thought but are you absolutely sure it was using the Ethernet connection. Unlike most devices just plugging in a cable won't work, you need to reset the SB and reselect the cable connection. Apologies if you already know this.

Sent from my HUAWEI Y300-0100 using Tapatalk

Good point. you can easily tell if it is still connected to WIFI (even though you think it is connected to ethernet cable). In LMS > Settings > Information Tab, scroll down and under players that are WIFI connected it shows WIFI signal strength. It doesn't show this for ethernet connected players.

narten
2013-12-27, 11:59
Good point. you can easily tell if it is still connected to WIFI (even though you think it is connected to ethernet cable). In LMS > Settings > Information Tab, scroll down and under players that are WIFI connected it shows WIFI signal strength. It doesn't show this for ethernet connected players.

It was using the wired when I tested. Believe me, I've spent hours looking at this and reconfiguring things. I've gotten way better at the configs that anyone should have to...

But, its easy to test. How about running the networking test yourself? You just have to enable the plugin and restart the server. Then go see what it says. I'm curious whether anyone else is seeing different numbers that I am.

And, as I mentioned originally, I ran this exact same test on a friend's system and got the same results. At that point, I was pretty sure the test wasn't meaningful.

garym
2013-12-27, 12:43
It was using the wired when I tested. Believe me, I've spent hours looking at this and reconfiguring things. I've gotten way better at the configs that anyone should have to...

But, its easy to test. How about running the networking test yourself? You just have to enable the plugin and restart the server. Then go see what it says. I'm curious whether anyone else is seeing different numbers that I am.

And, as I mentioned originally, I ran this exact same test on a friend's system and got the same results. At that point, I was pretty sure the test wasn't meaningful.

I ran the test on two players (a transporter and a boom). Both connected via eithernet to gigabit switch with Cat6.
500kbps and less - 100%
1000 kbps - about 75%
1500 kbps - about 49%
2000 kbps - about 40%

This said, even 24/96 hires files play just fine on both with no dropouts. I'm no expert on network TCP transmissions but I suspect that even with packet loss as high as 50% (the 1500 kbps test) the buffer solves any problem from appearing (at least on my end).

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Diagnosing_Performance_Issues#Network_Performance

edit: listening now to a 24/96 album and transporter is reporting kbps of 2870 of flac file that is playing. No dropouts or rebuffering. next song is 3188 kbps and also plays OK)

bpa
2013-12-27, 13:45
Network Test absolutely does not work in a way that makes sense. .

Don't forget the test is from LMS application straight trhough to Player - that includes interfaces, cables, bridges, routers and SB3 player.
You could have a problem on your Sb3 interface, or the cable to the SB3 or the device which rate changes from SB3 to 1Gbps backbone or even the LMS application if runnong on a slow NAS.

I ran the test on my 100Mbps network (which has router, bridges and Homeplugs between LMS and player) and I can get 2Mps 100% on my Sb3 (this is highest rate that will go).

Are you running the Network test from the Player - Settings/Information/Network test.

Have you checked the network interface statistics on your LMS server ?

narten
2013-12-27, 13:45
I ran the test on two players (a transporter and a boom). Both connected via eithernet to gigabit switch with Cat6.
500kbps and less - 100%
1000 kbps - about 75%
1500 kbps - about 49%
2000 kbps - about 40%




Those numbers are more-or-less the same as I'm seeing. You really think your network chacteristics just happen by chance to be the same as mine?

I know enough about networking/TCP to say that a UDP test can be misleading or even irrelevant. What is most likely happening is that at 1Mbps, when blasting UDP, there are buffer overflow problems on the SB itself that are the cause of the loss (not the network).

But, given that music is streamed over TCP, you'd need to measure TCP performance to get a sense for what that actual data transfer rate can be in practice. A UDP test measures something totally different...

And seeing even 10% packet loss generally kills TCP perforance. But I'm able to stream flac files with no apparent problems, which suggests that the numbers Network Test are throwing out are bogus.



This said, even 24/96 hires files play just fine on both with no dropouts. I'm no expert on network TCP transmissions but I suspect that even with packet loss as high as 50% (the 1500 kbps test) the buffer solves any problem from appearing (at least on my end).

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Diagnosing_Performance_Issues#Network_Performance

edit: listening now to a 24/96 album and transporter is reporting kbps of 2870 of flac file that is playing. No dropouts or rebuffering. next song is 3188 kbps and also plays OK)

There is no way you could stream at 3168 kbps if the numbers Network Test were showing where accurate. The math doesn't add up.

Thanks for running the tests!

garym
2013-12-27, 14:13
Have you checked the network interface statistics on your LMS server ?

what is this? Where would I find this. EDIT: Aha, this is something I'd check on my server itself (my Vortexbox running fedora linux). Not even sure how to do this....

p.s. I was really surprised to see I wasn't at 100% at even 1000kbps (see above). But the fact I can play 24/96 flac files at over 3000 kbps seems to point to the fact that my network is robust enough? (of course, I'm not having any problems, just ran the test for the OP to compare to).

toby10
2013-12-27, 14:27
I ran the test on two players (a transporter and a boom). Both connected via eithernet to gigabit switch with Cat6.
500kbps and less - 100%
1000 kbps - about 75%
1500 kbps - about 49%
2000 kbps - about 40%

That's close to what I get with my Boom on WiFi and only 10/100 network.
Mine are....
500kbps and less - 100%
1000 kbps - about 78%
1500 kbps - about 72%
2000 kbps - about 44%

garym
2013-12-27, 14:29
That's close to what I get with my Boom on WiFi and only 10/100 network.
Mine are....
500kbps and less - 100%
1000 kbps - about 78%
1500 kbps - about 72%
2000 kbps - about 44%

makes sense (the 10/100 part for sure, as the boom and transporter aren't gigabit capable anyhow).

toby10
2013-12-27, 14:32
makes sense (the 10/100 part for sure, as the boom and transporter aren't gigabit capable anyhow).

Yup, and shows consistency across basic networks in good health. Whether these results can actually tell us much beyond that I have no idea.

bpa
2013-12-27, 15:44
I did some checkiong on the plugin.

It used to use UDP but was rewritten to support Touch and Radio and now uses TCP.

In the plugin there is this line regarding max rate to test and this line is used for any player except Radio, Touch and Squeezeplay.


return 2_000_000; # FIXME - Squeezebox2 no longer works with new firmware


edit:

Looking at server's netstat is still a reliable way to see if there are network errors.

garym
2013-12-27, 15:56
Just tested with my ethernet connected TOUCH. at 10,000 kbps it was 100%. Also tested with SqueezePlay running on my WIFI connected laptop. Also 100% at 10,000 kbps. Not sure why my old style players show less than 100% at > 500kbps. same network, same server, same router, even swapped out so that Touch and Boom used same ethernet cable/connection. But again, all is working well on my end, just curious now.

Triode
2013-12-30, 05:56
It was using the wired when I tested. Believe me, I've spent hours looking at this and reconfiguring things. I've gotten way better at the configs that anyone should have to...

But, its easy to test. How about running the networking test yourself? You just have to enable the plugin and restart the server. Then go see what it says. I'm curious whether anyone else is seeing different numbers that I am.

And, as I mentioned originally, I ran this exact same test on a friend's system and got the same results. At that point, I was pretty sure the test wasn't meaningful.

Network test no longer produces meaningful results on classic (ip3k) players. I believe this was due to one of the later firmware releases. Please don't use this to diagnose network faults as at high rates the test is limited by the player's ability to receive updates.