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Vic
2004-12-17, 01:47
G'day everyone,

I'm new to SlimServer, having found it (and the SqueezeBox) completely by
accident while surfing the other day. I'm completely hooked - and about to
shell out for a SqueezeBox. I'm really impressed with the package and the
community that's around it -- great work, Slim Devices (and community)!

There's just one thing that bothers me. I've been playing with SoftSqueeze
to get a feel for the way the server and the player work together, and the
problem is with the "Now Playing" display. It changes to show the next
track as much as 30 seconds before the current track has finished. If the
progress indicator is running, it will sit there on "0:00" for about 20
seconds (still while the current song is playing), then about 10 seconds
before the end of the current track it starts counting... When the next
track does start playing, the time shows 11 or 12 seconds.

If I skip back to the start of this track, everything is fine: counter back
to "0:00" timed with the start of the track. But then toward the end of the
track the same thing happens again.

Of course if I want to hear that track again, I'm in trouble: because the
player already thinks it's on the next track, if I press rewind once I
actually get the next track (instead of the one I'm hearing).

The same problem happens with Internet radio: I was listening to KHAHA, for
example, and the delay was almost a minute. A couple of times the display
was two segments ahead of what was playing at the time.

I'm running SlimServer v5.4 (downloaded on Tuesday) on Gentoo AMD64 Linux.
The SoftSqueeze I've been using is either 1.12 (the one packaged with Slim-
Server) or 1.14 (downloaded direct), on Windows XP. I've used two different
Windows machines, one on 802.11b and the other straight on 100Mbps Crashernet.
These Windows machines have had both 1.4.2 and 1.5 of the Sun JRE. Just for
grins I tried running SlimServer on the Windows box with SoftSqueeze pointing
to localhost, and while the delay was better it was still there (probably as
much as 10 seconds).

I know that in general there might be a bit of lag between the server and the
player due to buffering, but I would not have expected anywhere near this
much delay. Plus if I'm driving SoftSqueeze's playlist through SlimServer's
web interface, when I hit "Play" the sound starts almost instantly -- no
evidence that it's filling a buffer at all (or at least it's filling it real
quick).

I have Googled like crazy looking for help, but couldn't find anything.
Anyone seen anything like this before? My biggest concern is if a real
Squeezebox would do the same thing -- that would be a big problem for me[1].

Cheers,
Vic

[1] My wife is sick of all the computerised things in the house that "don't
quite work right". She'd expect it to work just like a CD player...

kdf
2004-12-17, 02:49
Quoting Vic <slimvic (AT) veejoe (DOT) com.au>:


> There's just one thing that bothers me. I've been playing with SoftSqueeze
> to get a feel for the way the server and the player work together, and the
> problem is with the "Now Playing" display. It changes to show the next
> track as much as 30 seconds before the current track has finished. If the
> progress indicator is running, it will sit there on "0:00" for about 20
> seconds (still while the current song is playing), then about 10 seconds
> before the end of the current track it starts counting... When the next
> track does start playing, the time shows 11 or 12 seconds.

Unfortunately this is a known bug at this time. What you are seeing is the
buffering time. In my experience, the hardware does show this effect to a
lesser extent, but it does exist. I find that if I dont actually sit and stare
at the screen, I dont mind it so much :)

> Cheers,
> Vic
>
> [1] My wife is sick of all the computerised things in the house that "don't
> quite work right". She'd expect it to work just like a CD player...

The obvious response is that its not a cd player. Imagine if a CD player had to
work just like a cassette tape. Or worse, an 8-track. One good thing to
mention is to think of the clutter that will be removed when all those cd's can
be packed away for good.

-kdf

Vic
2004-12-17, 03:34
Thanks for the response kdf!

On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 01:49:48AM -0800, kdf wrote:
> Unfortunately this is a known bug at this time. What you are seeing is the
> buffering time. In my experience, the hardware does show this effect to a
> lesser extent, but it does exist. I find that if I dont actually sit and stare
> at the screen, I dont mind it so much :)

I know what you're saying, but it seems to be *way* in excess of buffer time.
Especially since the music starts instantly upon pressing play, with no gaps
or lags between then and when the display starts going off. And sure, in
reality I'd probably be using one of the screensavers or something, so
probably won't be starting at it either!

Just tried another experiment. Loaded up SoftSqueeze on my Mac OS X box, and
it did the same thing. But, when I synchronised the two players (one on the
Mac, the other on Windows) the display was almost perfect! Then, when I
dropped the Mac out of the sync (just pressed the "power" button), the Windows
one played on for a little while then jumped forward about 30-45 seconds.

Just a WAG, but I'm thinking that the issue might be what gets used as a
clock source (for want of a better word). For a SqueezeBox, and for the case
where multiple clients are synchronised, the SlimServer is probably doing
*all* the work. A standalone SoftSqueeze might be trying to get some clocking
locally via the OS, which probably differs from what comes in on the stream.

I thought it might have been time synchronisation (or a lack of it) between the
machines, but the clients are all getting time via NTP from the machine that's
running SlimServer. So maybe that theory's a dud too...

> The obvious response is that its not a cd player. Imagine if a CD player had to
> work just like a cassette tape. Or worse, an 8-track. One good thing to
> mention is to think of the clutter that will be removed when all those cd's can
> be packed away for good.

You know that, and I know that, but... :) Seriously, I agree with you, and I
don't think it will be a hard sell. Our 9-month old son started crawling a
fortnight ago, and it won't be long before he discovers CDs (literally)...

Cheers,
Vic

Aaron Zinck
2004-12-17, 07:28
For what it's worth, I find my squeezebox to be right on. I've never seen
the audio lag the display. The only time I've experienced this is when
using softsqueeze over the internet (as I'd expect). I should mention that
my music collection consists of 320k CBR mp3s and I run my squeezebox
bandwidth at "no limit". Perhaps your collection's in a non-mp3 format that
has to be transcoded, thereby throwing the timing off a bit?


"Vic" <slimvic (AT) veejoe (DOT) com.au> wrote in message
news:20041217103416.GB22075 (AT) enterprise (DOT) veejoe.com.au...
> Thanks for the response kdf!
>
> On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 01:49:48AM -0800, kdf wrote:
> > Unfortunately this is a known bug at this time. What you are seeing is
the
> > buffering time. In my experience, the hardware does show this effect to
a
> > lesser extent, but it does exist. I find that if I dont actually sit
and stare
> > at the screen, I dont mind it so much :)
>
> I know what you're saying, but it seems to be *way* in excess of buffer
time.
> Especially since the music starts instantly upon pressing play, with no
gaps
> or lags between then and when the display starts going off. And sure, in
> reality I'd probably be using one of the screensavers or something, so
> probably won't be starting at it either!
>
> Just tried another experiment. Loaded up SoftSqueeze on my Mac OS X box,
and
> it did the same thing. But, when I synchronised the two players (one on
the
> Mac, the other on Windows) the display was almost perfect! Then, when I
> dropped the Mac out of the sync (just pressed the "power" button), the
Windows
> one played on for a little while then jumped forward about 30-45 seconds.
>
> Just a WAG, but I'm thinking that the issue might be what gets used as a
> clock source (for want of a better word). For a SqueezeBox, and for the
case
> where multiple clients are synchronised, the SlimServer is probably doing
> *all* the work. A standalone SoftSqueeze might be trying to get some
clocking
> locally via the OS, which probably differs from what comes in on the
stream.
>
> I thought it might have been time synchronisation (or a lack of it)
between the
> machines, but the clients are all getting time via NTP from the machine
that's
> running SlimServer. So maybe that theory's a dud too...
>
> > The obvious response is that its not a cd player. Imagine if a CD
player had to
> > work just like a cassette tape. Or worse, an 8-track. One good thing to
> > mention is to think of the clutter that will be removed when all those
cd's can
> > be packed away for good.
>
> You know that, and I know that, but... :) Seriously, I agree with you,
and I
> don't think it will be a hard sell. Our 9-month old son started crawling
a
> fortnight ago, and it won't be long before he discovers CDs (literally)...
>
> Cheers,
> Vic