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jds
2008-07-26, 12:14
I got a Duet about 4 months ago to replace my dying Roku. I have had dropouts and lousy connections for the first 30-60 seconds of any selection (but not after that) since day one.

My music is all stored on a ReadyNAS NV+. I am running in "hybrid" mode -- the Duet is hardwired to the network via Ethernet. When I first started using it, I had to run SqueezeCenter on my desktop, and the problems began. Since then I have upgraded the NAS firmware to the latest version, which allowed me to run SqueezeCenter directly on the NAS. Same problem. I messed with the SqueezeCenter settings -- same problem. Tried using wireless mode -- same problem. RMA'ed my Duet and had it replaced under warranty -- same problem.

To be as specific as possible, when starting any song, album, or playlist, the music starts after several seconds, then stops (and the bright white indicator dims), then comes back after 5-20 seconds (and the indicator brightens). This repeats several times, then the rest of the selection plays without problem, unless I fast forward to the next song, in which case it returns for the first minute of playback.

Most of my music is AAC format, ripped @ 256 OR 320kbps. On the few tracks I have ripped at lower bitrates, the players seems to work just fine. Internet radio plays without problems, so I suspect it is a either a server-side issue or a buffering problem.

The NAS was perfectly capable of streaming at these bitrates to my Roku, so I don't think it is a problem with the Infrant.

Has anyone else seen something like this?

bpa
2008-07-26, 12:48
There have been a number of different problems with sikialr symptoms when playing AAC.

Unlike Roku which can play AAC files natives - AAC files must be transcoded with the SC Server into Flac or MP3 and the Flac/MP3 is then played by the SBR. SO your problem is not the NAS but more likely to be the transcoding process.

The problems that can arise from the transcoding vary from the utility errors, server overload or network problems (Flac requires 1500kbps) .

First - describe your system OS, SC version, PC type, network etc.

Second - do MP3 files play OK ? If they play OK then the problem is not the Duet hardware but most likely transcoding or network related.

If MP3 files play OK - can you play Flac files OK ?

jds
2008-07-26, 14:16
First, thanks for trying to help.

I just ripped a CD using MP3 instead of AAC -- still having the same problem.

I am ripping using a PC, but the whole point of setting up SqueezeCenter on the NAS is that the connection does not rely on anything but the Duet and the NAS being powered up to work.

As part of my own troubleshooting, I moved the Duet around on my network so that there was only a single Netgear router between Infrant and Duet -- no improvement.

SqueezeCenter Version: 7.0.1 - 19705 @ Wed May 14 20:00:08 PDT 2008 - Netgear RAIDiator - EN - utf8
Server IP address: 192.168.1.107
Perl Version: 5.8.8 sparc-linux
MySQL Version: 5.0.24a-Debian_3.infrant1

Platform Architecture: sparc-linux

bpa
2008-07-26, 14:28
I am ripping using a PC, but the whole point of setting up SqueezeCenter on the NAS is that the connection does not rely on anything but the Duet and the NAS being powered up to work.

Ideally when using a NAS you should play formats that are native to SBR - which are MP3, Flac, WMA and OGG.

Playing AAC files will only work if the NAS is capable of transcoding AAC files in realtime. I think the NAS CPU may not have enough CPU to decode AAC and then re-encode into Flac/MP3 in realtime. Other Netgear NAS users may comment about AAC files.

However, if MP3 files also have the same problem then it look like a network issue.

Can you play MP3 or WMA internet streams without problems ?

jds
2008-07-26, 15:27
I don't think it is a processor power issue, because once the intermittency issue subsides after the first minute or so, it works just fine for a long time -- hours if I have Random Mix going.

I have 200 Gigs of music encoded in AAC. It played back fine on the Roku (until the hardware started falling apart). I definitely did NOT understand that the Squeezebox could not play this common format natively when I got it. The reviews I saw all looked like this:

<blockquote>The DRM issue notwithstanding, the Squeezebox's file compatibility is otherwise stellar: MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, and Ogg Vorbis files can all be streamed without issue. In other words, if your music files are free of DRM restrictions, there's a good chance the Squeezebox will play them.</blockquote>

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-media-receivers/logitech-squeezebox-duet/4505-6739_7-32815168.html

I noticed that if I pull the Ethernet cable out while the Duet is playing it takes a long time to empty the cache and lose playback. If I had to guess, I'd say the player is starting playback with less than a full cache, which runs out causing the dropouts. If there was some way to tell it to fill the cache before beginning, all would be well...

bpa, your help is greatly appreciated.

bpa
2008-07-26, 17:04
I don't think it is a processor power issue, because once the intermittency issue subsides after the first minute or so, it works just fine for a long time -- hours if I have Random Mix going.

IIRC The ReadyNAS processor is a custom processor which does not not floating point support so decode AAC and re-encode into Flac is going to be hard work for it. But I don't have a ReadyNAS and other user should add their real life experience as to whether it adds any significant delays.

Regarding AAC support - unlike a Roku which just gets data from a file server. Squeezebox playback depends on a SqueezeCenter for music and display so whether AAC support is in SC or SBR is irrelevant as you need both an SC and a player (i.e. SBR) to play music.
The issue of "native" formats is really only significant when using Squeezenetwork and AAC is only used in very few streams and so it is not significant in terms of sites that cannot be played.

Back to your problem - you should try Server & Network Health under "Help" and see if the Network test and perf monitoring can point to a problem area.

jds
2008-07-26, 19:23
Back to your problem - you should try Server & Network Health under "Help" and see if the Network test and perf monitoring can point to a problem area.

Pretty sad when I need help to find help... but I can't even find a help button (did you mean in SC?). I DID find a whole bunch of this in the SC server logs:

[08-07-26 16:15:32.7027] Slim::Utils::Misc::msg (1329) Warning: [16:15:32.6964] Use of uninitialized value in hash element at /usr/share/perl5/Slim/Player/Squeezebox.pm line 1172.

[08-07-26 16:15:34.3215] Slim::Utils::Misc::msg (1329) Warning: [16:15:34.3152] Use of uninitialized value in hash element at /usr/share/perl5/Slim/Player/Squeezebox.pm line 1172.
[08-07-26 16:22:17.2779] Slim::Utils::Misc::msg (1329) Warning: [16:22:17.2717] Use of uninitialized value in hash element at /usr/share/perl5/Slim/Player/Squeezebox.pm line 1172.

[08-07-26 16:28:53.4944] Slim::Utils::Misc::msg (1329) Warning: [16:28:53.4882] Use of uninitialized value in hash element at /usr/share/perl5/Slim/Player/Squeezebox.pm line 1172.
[08-07-26 16:31:13.0873] Slim::Utils::Misc::msg (1329) Warning: [16:31:13.0809] Use of uninitialized value in hash element at /usr/share/perl5/Slim/Player/Squeezebox.pm line 1172.

Connection?

bpa
2008-07-27, 01:08
"Help" is a located at the bottom of the LHS on the Default skin. I think it is at the bottom of LHS on Classic as well. Initially to a speed test (I think it is available on 7.0.1) - check that you can get 100% @ 1500kbps.


Usually those sort of warning can be ignored in the presence of other errors (i.e. they could be side effect of problem not cause of the problem).

In this case the line of code related to getting sample size track info from the file to be played - I'm not sure what (if anything) can be deduced

jds
2008-07-27, 07:26
Found it -- thanks.

I get 100% @ 5000kbps. These tools also suggest that buffer fullness does not seem to be the problem -- it runs >90% most of the time. Yet the dropouts continue.

Siduhe
2008-07-27, 08:16
If I understand you correctly, your Duet is hardwired into your network via a router of some sort?

If so, check your router settings - in particular, do you have any speedboost or "QoS" options which shape your traffic to prioritise some types over others? Both of these can interfere with the constant stream of packets which SC needs. Also, may be worth seeing if there is a router firmware upgrade available.

jds
2008-07-27, 08:53
My Linksys WRT54GS does not have any QoS options enabled, and seems to have the latest firmware. Should I prioritize the SB?

FWIW, I have the same issues whether hardwired or wireless.

bpa
2008-07-27, 10:01
To try to isolate the problem - if you can play an highish rate MP3 stream (e.g. Radio Paradise 128k or 192k). If it plays OK then it looks like the PC is the problem.

Some Windows Ethernet drivers support a QoS features. All the built-in and 3rd party features/utilsiites that "enhance" downloads, bandwidth, response time etc. should be disabled as they typically mess up realtime datastreams.

jds
2008-07-27, 14:10
Radio paradise plays just fine.

SC was running off my ReadyNAS, so I assume no Windows mischief is involved.

Now I can't get the SB to connect via Ethernet at all. But when I switched back to WiFi and connected to SC running on my desktop instead of the ReadyNAS -- sweetness! Fast response time, no dropouts.

This isn't how I wanted to set things up, but I am not about to touch it now that it actually plays my music without dropouts for the first time in 4 months.

Thanks to bpa and Siduhe for the advice.