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jotap_66
2007-05-27, 00:35
Hi:

I have a SB3, in my home, using a Slimserver in my work...My problem is, that It does work bad (in the day) but in the night (12am to 7am) works OK...I have a decent internet connection (4Mbit/300K)

When I have the problems, I have the SB unusable because drops in sound...These also varies with the sound format used....:

MP3 (192K) Works OK always...
OGG (160K) I have several drops of sound
FLAC (600-900K) Similar to OGG...

I think that the problem is outside of my ISP...Also if I use SoftSqueeze, I have similar problems...but these problems dissapear if using SoftSqueeze with a VPN connected to my work VPN

The problem is that SB3 has no VPN client...I was told about 2 solutions

1) Use a router with a VPN client...My modem has no VPN client

2) Use a VPN client on my PC...I read about OpenVPN but I have no idea of how to configure it


3) I am not sure, but I am thinking in a third solution...If I could increase the buffer of my SB3...but I don't know how to do this...

Could you help me?

With many thanks in advance

JP

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-27, 07:20
I have a SB3, in my home, using a Slimserver in my work...My problem is, that It does work bad (in the day) but in the night (12am to 7am) works OK...I have a decent internet connection (4Mbit/300K)

Obviously, right off the bat, you won't be able to play files higher than 300K, so no FLAC or high-bitrate MP3s. Of course, you'll never get what your ISP rates, count on 200K. There's some overhead for the SB3 graphics and commands, 50K-80K - so you should be playing 128K or less. It's amazing that MP3 at 192K works, you must be right at the limit.


MP3 (192K) Works OK always...
OGG (160K) I have several drops of sound
FLAC (600-900K) Similar to OGG...

Interesting that ogg at a lower bitrate than MP3 doesn't work, but the fact remains: you must transcode everything to MP3 with a connection like that.


I think that the problem is outside of my ISP.

What makes you think that? It really looks like ISP congestion and/or daytime throttling is at play here.


Also if I use SoftSqueeze, I have similar problems...but these problems dissapear if using SoftSqueeze with a VPN connected to my work VPN

This could be because the VPN has its own buffer or VPN traffic is not subject to your ISP's throttling/bandwidth shaping.


3) I am not sure, but I am thinking in a third solution...If I could increase the buffer of my SB3...but I don't know how to do this...

It's not possible. The buffer is fixed. Besides, even with a larger buffer, it appears your ISP simply can't keep up.

Install LAME on the server. Go to Player Settings - Audio - Bitrate Limiting and set 192K to start because you indicate that works OK. Now go to Server Settings - File Types and uncheck Ogg Vorbis - Ogg Vorbis (built-in) and FLAC - FLAC (built-in). Check Ogg Vorbis - MP3 (sox/lame) and FLAC - MP3 (flac/lame).

BTW is there a reason you have your server at work? It's really complicating things and limiting your usability and sound quality.

rudholm
2007-05-27, 08:43
I think the OP said his home internet connection was "4Mbit/300K". I take that to mean 4Mb inward and 300Kbps outward, which should be plenty for FLAC.

However, I really think this is indeed a problem at the ISP level. I've been doing performance monitoring on the cable modem at my home and I find that midnight to 7AM are indeed the best times for download speeds. Here's a graph of the performance of my "10Mbit/1Mbit" service: http://brainflux.net/~mark/netspeed-old.png (I switched to "3Mb" DSL on February 13) note that the advertised 10Mbit download speed dipped below 1Mbit nightly during peak usage hours and while it occasionally flirted with 9Mb, it never delivered 10Mb. (they've since made improvements, after much complaining on my part).

OpenVPN isn't going to provide any fix here, and I suspect the file format per se isn't the issue, it's just one of available bandwidth. I think that Ogg is performing similarly to FLAC because it's being transcoded to FLAC on the server end.

If using the work VPN really solves the problem, then I'd further suspect ISP traffic shaping (ugh!)

One thing to try would be to use SSH to tunnel the slimserver ports (TCP 3483 and 9000) and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then I'd definitely think ISP-side traffic shaping is contributing to the problem during those non-morning hours.

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-27, 08:47
I think the OP said his home internet connection was "4Mbit/300K". I take that to mean 4Mb inward and 300Kbps outward, which should be plenty for FLAC.

Is that common in the U.S.? I almost never see download lower than upload here. I therefore assumed he meant the other way around.

rudholm
2007-05-27, 08:56
Is that common in the U.S.? I almost never see download lower than upload here. I therefore assumed he meant the other way around.

I think he is talking about his home Internet connection, so 4Mb would be the download speed (i.e. toward his home), and 300Kb would be the upload speed (i.e. away from his home). He doesn't tell us about his work Internet connection, but one assumes it's something symmetrical (and more robust than a home-grade DSL or cable modem link).

jotap_66
2007-05-27, 12:22
Well, this forum is wonderful...

Firstly, thank you very much for your answer...

After reading your answers (fast, I must read, slowly), well, I must tell you:

1) my cable is asymetric giving 4Mbit for download and 300K for upload...I think this is for limiting the P2P programs...and I outside U.S. I am in Valencia (Spain)....About the connection in my work is much faster...

2) The connection works much better using VPN...I can use access to the slimserver (in my work) without VPN but I only do this (with VPN) with the SoftSqueeze...I dont know how to do it with the Squeezebox..


3)About the rudholm idea:



OpenVPN isn't going to provide any fix here, and I suspect the file format per se isn't the issue, it's just one of available bandwidth. I think that Ogg is performing similarly to FLAC because it's being transcoded to FLAC on the server end.

If using the work VPN really solves the problem, then I'd further suspect ISP traffic shaping (ugh!)

One thing to try would be to use SSH to tunnel the slimserver ports (TCP 3483 and 9000) and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then I'd definitely think ISP-side traffic shaping is contributing to the problem during those non-morning hours.

You could be right, Anyway I did several tests, using the ISP internal network, and I obtain 3.8Mbit (4Mbit is what they sell)...They guarantee 4Mbit in his internal network +- 20 %....I can't speak with them...

┐Could youu explain me how to do the tunnel with the slimserver? Is this better than VPN?


4) About Mark questions:




Install LAME on the server. Go to Player Settings - Audio - Bitrate Limiting and set 192K to start because you indicate that works OK. Now go to Server Settings - File Types and uncheck Ogg Vorbis - Ogg Vorbis (built-in) and FLAC - FLAC (built-in). Check Ogg Vorbis - MP3 (sox/lame) and FLAC - MP3 (flac/lame).

BTW is there a reason you have your server at work? It's really complicating things and limiting your usability and sound quality.

You are right, is complicating things...Well the point was to have same music in my home and in my work...

About sound quality...When it works OK ┐Have I lowering the sound quality?



Thank you very much again....

JP

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-27, 12:35
1) my cable is asymetric giving 4Mbit for download and 300K for upload...I think this is for limiting the P2P programs...and I outside U.S. I am in Valencia (Spain)....About the connection in my work is much faster...

OK, that's what I thought. What's more limiting here would be the upload speed of your work connection. Your download speed at home is sufficient. However your ISP could be mucking about with the traffic (bandwidth shaping) or it could be congested.


You are right, is complicating things...Well the point was to have same music in my home and in my work...

It would probably be better to store your music at home - for one thing, you'd have a lot more control over the server and the network. That way you'd get maximum performance at home and you can get it at work too using SoftSqueeze or stream.mp3. You'll have to port-forward ports 3483 TCP/UDP and 9000 TCP on your router.


About sound quality...When it works OK ┐Have I lowering the sound quality?

If you have lossless files like FLAC or WAV and you have to transcode to MP3, yes.

jotap_66
2007-05-27, 12:45
OK, that's what I thought. What's more limiting here would be the upload speed of your work connection. Your download speed at home is sufficient. However your ISP could be mucking about with the traffic (bandwidth shaping) or it could be congested.

OK....





It would probably be better to store your music at home - for one thing, you'd have a lot more control over the server and the network. That way you'd get maximum performance at home and you can get it at work too using SoftSqueeze or stream.mp3. You'll have to port-forward ports 3483 TCP/UDP and 9000 TCP on your router.

To avoid problems, I must to do this...




If you have lossless files like FLAC or WAV and you have to transcode to MP3, yes.

I dont understand this...Are you telling me that if I have a .flac, the conversion is automatic to .mp3, or Are you telling to me that to hear this OK, I must convert....

Thank you again

JP

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-27, 13:25
I dont understand this...Are you telling me that if I have a .flac, the conversion is automatic to .mp3, or Are you telling to me that to hear this OK, I must convert....

If you haven't made any changes to the default server installation, and it appears you haven't, then no, there's no transcoding going on. FLAC is sent as FLAC but it appears that there isn't enough bandwidth. This is very common for FLACs.

However if you solve the problem by bandwidth limiting/transcoding as I suggested, then yes, you will be impacting sound quality. Not so much at higher bitrates but if you're forced down to 128 or lower you will probably start to notice.

jotap_66
2007-05-27, 13:29
If you haven't made any changes to the default server installation, and it appears you haven't, then no, there's no transcoding going on. FLAC is sent as FLAC but it appears that there isn't enough bandwidth. This is very common for FLACs.

However if you solve the problem by bandwidth limiting/transcoding as I suggested, then yes, you will be impacting sound quality. Not so much at higher bitrates but if you're forced down to 128 or lower you will probably start to notice.

Thank you very much, I think that I am going to buy a new hard disk...

The bad thing was that a month ago, all worked well...

jotap_66
2007-05-27, 14:27
I got it!!!

I use a PC with XP and the ssh with putty port forwarding (I learned to do it) and then I started VPN in the PC...and it works OK.....


THANKS!!!!

JP