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View Full Version : Very slow performance with SlimServer 6



Eric H
2005-09-18, 09:15
My collection of music has steadily grown, but it is not THAT big(12000 songs in Apple Lossless). However, the responsiveness and performance of the SlimServer has continually decreased to the point of being a serious problem.

Here is a specific example of the problems I am encountering. I can be browsing music on the Squeezebox by Genre, if I ask it to display all the ALBUMS, well the Squeezebox will just freeze up. No responsiveness at all. After about 20-30 seconds, the Squeezebox will say it can't communicate or locate the SlimServer. If you just sit and wait, it will finally come back. However, this is ridiculous & unacceptable. I have configured the Slimserver to use iTunes or not to use it and the performance problem is the same.

I have both Squeezebox wireless and Squeezebox 2 wireless. The performance problem is identical on both types of units. This makes me assume that the problem lies in the SlimServer software. Either the application or the database is seriously limited.

Does anyone know what the performance bottleneck is in this software? Is Slim Devices planning on resolving this issue? Is there another software server alternative which does not have this kind of problem?

I love the concept of the Slim Devices Squeezebox, but this performance issue is really its worst characteristic.

dean
2005-09-18, 09:34
Eric,

What version are you using?


On Sep 18, 2005, at 9:15 AM, Eric H wrote:

>
> My collection of music has steadily grown, but it is not THAT big
> (12000
> songs in Apple Lossless). However, the responsiveness and performance
> of the SlimServer has continually decreased to the point of being a
> serious problem.
>
> Here is a specific example of the problems I am encountering. I can be
> browsing music on the Squeezebox by Genre, if I ask it to display all
> the ALBUMS, well the Squeezebox will just freeze up. No responsiveness
> at all. After about 20-30 seconds, the Squeezebox will say it can't
> communicate or locate the SlimServer. If you just sit and wait, it
> will
> finally come back. However, this is ridiculous & unacceptable. I have
> configured the Slimserver to use iTunes or not to use it and the
> performance problem is the same.
>
> I have both Squeezebox wireless and Squeezebox 2 wireless. The
> performance problem is identical on both types of units. This makes me
> assume that the problem lies in the SlimServer software. Either the
> application or the database is seriously limited.
>
> Does anyone know what the performance bottleneck is in this software?
> Is Slim Devices planning on resolving this issue? Is there another
> software server alternative which does not have this kind of problem?
>
> I love the concept of the Slim Devices Squeezebox, but this
> performance
> issue is really its worst characteristic.
>
>
> --
> Eric H
>

Jess Askey
2005-09-18, 09:38
You should probabaly give the specs of your SlimServer box so that
someone can answer your question properly. If you run Linux, you can use
'top' to see processes and CPU usage for each. When you get your delays,
you may see your CPU at 99% with SlimServer.

I have a PII-366 with 384M RAM running Mandrake Linux 9.2 with a 320 gig
drive holding a library of approx 12,000 mp3's. In my case, my server is
not fast enough for SlimServer. I get delays on playing large playlists
of about 5 minutes before the music starts streaming well. My server is
just underpowered for SlimServer and I need to upgrade my hardware. Im
running 6.1 now and it is much better than 6.0 but still sort of clunky.
Im anxiously awaiting 6.2 :-)

1GHz boxes can be found on Ebay for about $125.

Eric H wrote:

>My collection of music has steadily grown, but it is not THAT big(12000
>songs in Apple Lossless). However, the responsiveness and performance
>of the SlimServer has continually decreased to the point of being a
>serious problem.
>
>Here is a specific example of the problems I am encountering. I can be
>browsing music on the Squeezebox by Genre, if I ask it to display all
>the ALBUMS, well the Squeezebox will just freeze up. No responsiveness
>at all. After about 20-30 seconds, the Squeezebox will say it can't
>communicate or locate the SlimServer. If you just sit and wait, it will
>finally come back. However, this is ridiculous & unacceptable. I have
>configured the Slimserver to use iTunes or not to use it and the
>performance problem is the same.
>
>I have both Squeezebox wireless and Squeezebox 2 wireless. The
>performance problem is identical on both types of units. This makes me
>assume that the problem lies in the SlimServer software. Either the
>application or the database is seriously limited.
>
>Does anyone know what the performance bottleneck is in this software?
>Is Slim Devices planning on resolving this issue? Is there another
>software server alternative which does not have this kind of problem?
>
>I love the concept of the Slim Devices Squeezebox, but this performance
>issue is really its worst characteristic.
>
>
>
>

ModelCitizen
2005-09-18, 10:10
I can be browsing music on the Squeezebox by Genre, if I ask it to display all the ALBUMS, well the Squeezebox will just freeze up. No responsiveness at all. After about 20-30 seconds, the Squeezebox will say it can't communicate or locate the SlimServer. If you just sit and wait, it will finally come back. However, this is ridiculous & unacceptable.

This is very similar to my experience of SlimServer. As my library has grown the performance has decreased, this with a SB1 and a SB2 (library currently consists of 800 flac albums). I was hoping that the addition of the database with version 6 might sort out my performance problems, but instead they have just got worse.
The differences between your experience and mine is that I never receive the "Can't locate SlimServer" message and that I can sometimes wait for over a minute for it to list albums/artists/tracks. What is interesting is that performance varies, sometimes it can list stuff quickly, but this is rare (and never when I am in a hurry).

I have used four different Windows XP machines for SlimServer, the last one being a 3.5ghz, 1gb RAM machine. The perfomance on all of them has been similarly deplorable. I am currently using 6.1.1.

I have also used three different wireless networks. In desperation I am now using a wired network, but perfomance has not increased.

I mainly use the remote.

MC

radish
2005-09-18, 11:09
This is very similar to my experience of SlimServer. As my library has grown the performance has decreased, this with a SB1 and a SB2 (library currently consists of 800 flac albums). I was hoping that the addition of the database with version 6 might sort out my performance problems, but instead they have just got worse.
The differences between your experience and mine is that I never receive the "Can't locate SlimServer" message and that I can sometimes wait for over a minute for it to list albums/artists/tracks. What is interesting is that performance varies, sometimes it can list stuff quickly, but this is rare (and never when I am in a hurry).

I have used four different Windows XP machines for SlimServer, the last one being a 3.5ghz, 1gb RAM machine. The perfomance on all of them has been similarly deplorable. I am currently using 6.1.1.
MC

See, this is the weird bit. I also have around 800 albums, mixture of flac and vorbis. I'm also running 6.1.1 on XP. My hardware is low spec - Athlon 1.3 & 512mb. However, using the tests in the original post (Browse Genres/All Artists or Browse Artists/All Albums) the response is instant - no lag at all. The slowest thing I can find to do is Browse Albums/All Songs, which takes around 30 seconds (for ~10000 tracks). I can't explain the difference between my experience and others.

stinkingpig
2005-09-18, 11:42
radish wrote:

>ModelCitizen Wrote:
>
>
>>This is very similar to my experience of SlimServer. As my library has
>>grown the performance has decreased, this with a SB1 and a SB2 (library
>>currently consists of 800 flac albums). I was hoping that the addition
>>of the database with version 6 might sort out my performance problems,
>>but instead they have just got worse.
>>The differences between your experience and mine is that I never
>>receive the "Can't locate SlimServer" message and that I can sometimes
>>wait for over a minute for it to list albums/artists/tracks. What is
>>interesting is that performance varies, sometimes it can list stuff
>>quickly, but this is rare (and never when I am in a hurry).
>>
>>I have used four different Windows XP machines for SlimServer, the last
>>one being a 3.5ghz, 1gb RAM machine. The perfomance on all of them has
>>been similarly deplorable. I am currently using 6.1.1.
>>MC
>>
>>
>
>See, this is the weird bit. I also have around 800 albums, mixture of
>flac and vorbis. I'm also running 6.1.1 on XP. My hardware is low spec
>- Athlon 1.3 & 512mb. However, using the tests in the original post
>(Browse Genres/All Artists or Browse Artists/All Albums) the response
>is instant - no lag at all. The slowest thing I can find to do is
>Browse Albums/All Songs, which takes around 30 seconds (for ~10000
>tracks). I can't explain the difference between my experience and
>others.
>
>
>
>
Yeah, I have great performance on 6.1.1 too, 8145 MP3 and OGG tracks.
Still, the type of track should only be an issue when playing music, and
it seems ModelCitizen's problem is during browsing. SysInterals' Process
Explorer would be my next troubleshooting step if this was my box.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org : It's a Scientific Venture!
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
so across the Western ocean I must wander." -- All for Me Grog, traditional

Music Machine
2005-09-18, 12:31
Can the skin affect performance?

ceejay
2005-09-18, 15:00
There have been a few messages of this type before, so its fair to say this is not just a single rogue PC configuration problem. On the other hand, there are lots of people for whom slimserver is working fine.

I have a smaller library - 5000 tracks, 500 albums, but running on an underpowered 600MHz P3 with Windows XP SP2. Just now, with the PC also being hammered by another process, I couldn't get any query to take more than 7 or 8 seconds - which seems ok to me. Without the extra stuff, the longest query is about 4 seconds. Slimserver 6.1.0.

So the answer isn't simply "slimerver performance sucks", but clearly some people are having problems. Do we have a performance expert in the audience who can help identify some pointers or diagnostics?

Ceejay

stinkingpig
2005-09-18, 20:17
ceejay wrote:

>...So the answer isn't simply "slimerver performance sucks", but clearly
>some people are having problems. Do we have a performance expert in
>the audience who can help identify some pointers or diagnostics?
>
>Ceejay
>
>
>

Performance profiling is tougher on Windows because it generally
requires sitting at the box or controlling it via remote desktop.
Screenshots from Process Explorer could be handy for diagnosing memory
leaks, but won't show you anything about disk usage. Some vmstat
information has been posted by Linux users with performance problems,
check the archives. It was inconclusive though, IIRC.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org : It's a Scientific Venture!
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
so across the Western ocean I must wander." -- All for Me Grog, traditional

radish
2005-09-18, 20:35
ceejay wrote:

>...So the answer isn't simply "slimerver performance sucks", but clearly
>some people are having problems. Do we have a performance expert in
>the audience who can help identify some pointers or diagnostics?
>
>Ceejay
>
>
>

Performance profiling is tougher on Windows because it generally
requires sitting at the box or controlling it via remote desktop.
Screenshots from Process Explorer could be handy for diagnosing memory
leaks, but won't show you anything about disk usage. Some vmstat
information has been posted by Linux users with performance problems,
check the archives. It was inconclusive though, IIRC.

Perfmon will log pretty much any metric you can think of (including process stats) to file or a db for later analysis. If someone could come up with a list of useful stats, it should be possible to create a template file for people to download and use to grabs stats.

stinkingpig
2005-09-19, 09:47
radish wrote:

>stinkingpig Wrote:
>
>
>>ceejay wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>...So the answer isn't simply "slimerver performance sucks", but
>>>
>>>
>>clearly
>>
>>
>>>some people are having problems. Do we have a performance expert in
>>>the audience who can help identify some pointers or diagnostics?
>>>
>>>Ceejay
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>Performance profiling is tougher on Windows because it generally
>>requires sitting at the box or controlling it via remote desktop.
>>Screenshots from Process Explorer could be handy for diagnosing memory
>>
>>leaks, but won't show you anything about disk usage. Some vmstat
>>information has been posted by Linux users with performance problems,
>>check the archives. It was inconclusive though, IIRC.
>>
>>
>
>Perfmon will log pretty much any metric you can think of (including
>process stats) to file or a db for later analysis. If someone could
>come up with a list of useful stats, it should be possible to create a
>template file for people to download and use to grabs stats.
>
>

disk I/O, physical memory I/O, virtual memory I/O.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org : It's a Scientific Venture!
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
so across the Western ocean I must wander." -- All for Me Grog, traditional

abdomen
2005-09-19, 10:18
In addition to capturing performance metrics, it might be a useful troubleshooting experiment to stop all services and other processes by clicking End Process on everything but slim.exe in the Processes tab of Windows Task Manager. For good measure, I would also restart slim.exe after doing this. Operating the Squeezebox at this point may give an indication of whether other software is contributing to the performance problem.

Note that clicking End Process on processes that may effect the basic operation of the computer will result in "This is a critical system process. Task Manager cannot end this process." Be sure to restart the computer afterward, as this experiment will probably shut down any antivirus software that is running.

ModelCitizen
2005-09-19, 13:20
it might be a useful troubleshooting experiment to stop all services and other processes by clicking End Process on everything but slim.exe in the Processes tab of Windows Task Manager.

Unfortunately, if you do this you end up with no network to broadcast across (those pesky svchost.exe's you see). I'm afraid I've been there, done that and it took lots of my time and I got nowhere.

I'll have a look at Permon and Process Explorer as soon as I've stopped working, putting kids to bed, sleeping, waiting for Slimserver to list tracks etc. It looks like I have to get Perfmon to monitor disk I/O, physical memory I/O and virtual memory I/O. Not too sure what I am looking for Process Explorer to tell me but maybe it'll become clear when I download it.

I must note that loads of other programs work just fine on all the computers I have run SlimServer on (e.g. Photoshop, Soulseek, Azureus, MapInfo, VMVare, IIS, Retina, iTunes, Foobar2000, various games... even Office 2003!.... to name but a few). The only sofware I have continuing frustration with is Slimserver (OK, Soulseek is not too brilliant either... but at least it works well for a week or so before taking all my RAM and then only needs a restart to recover).

Thanks for you help.

MC

shvejk
2005-09-19, 14:03
Burn yourself a copy of SlimCD, boot your PC, mount the hard drive and give
it a try.
You can easily find out if your Windows setup is at fault.
http://www.herger.net/slim/detail.php?nr=763&kategorie=slim
I used to have annoying issues with my Windows setup.
SlimCD works great for me and it is very stable.
Hope it helps.

ModelCitizen
2005-09-19, 14:20
Burn yourself a copy of SlimCD, boot your PC, mount the hard drive and give it a try.

I tried this before Michael, when you first announced the CD, but the thing would not work... I'm sorry I can't remember just what it was that happened (or didn't happen). [Late edit: may have been something to do with CDRom drivers]

I have used three or four different machines to run Slimserver, one of them brand new and untouched before Slimserver install.

This notwithstanding, I am downloading the CD again.

Thanks
MC