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puzzler
2008-09-14, 19:13
When I try to play a flac file on my squeezebox, the audio is very choppy.

First, I tried going into the file settings, and "disabling" the native flac, figuring this would force it to transcode. Doing this caused the audio to play smoothly, but every 20 seconds or so, it would pause for "rebuffering".

Second, I tried setting a limit on the bitrate. This had no apparent effect.

Any suggestions?

Skunk
2008-09-15, 08:27
If you disabled native FLAC it may be trying to stream even more bandwidth intensive .wav, which would explain the buffering. Not sure why the FLAC would be choppy though.

In the bitrate limiting options did it give you a warning that LAME isn't installed?

Any way you could move the SB closer, or try a wired connection if you're not already? It also might help if you list your system and router specs (if using wireless).

bpa
2008-09-15, 08:53
Run netwrok test and see what is the maximum bit rate that cna be sustained at 100%.

If it is less than 1500kbps - then your network connection cannot sustain a rate needed for FLAC.

puzzler
2008-09-15, 09:51
The SqueezeCenter tells me that LAME is properly installed. Is there a more accurate way to test this?

Your theory that it is transcoding on the fly to wav is interesting. How can I determine this for sure, and how can I force it to transcode to mp3? As I mentioned before, limiting the bitrate did not seem to accomplish anything.

This is in fact a wireless connection. The router is fairly far away from the Squeezebox, and I have a wireless range extender between them. When I first started having flac problems (it used to work fine), I hypothesized that the Squeezebox was failing to pick up the range extender, and was latching on to the weaker router signal. That seems to happen sometimes with my laptop.

When I run a speed test on my laptop, I get a download speed of 11227kbps and upload of 2021 kbps. I don't know how to get accurate information for how the Squeezebox is performing on the wireless network. The SqueezeCenter shows a wireless "strength", but the number doesn't seem to correspond to anything meaningful.

But okay, let's assume that it's a problem with the way my Squeezebox sometimes picks up the weaker signal. How do I fix it?

Thanks!

bpa
2008-09-15, 10:01
On your SB - using SB UI - under Extras there is a "Network test" menu. Run that test - it only tests the speed between SC and SB.

kgturner
2008-09-15, 12:18
is it just one flac file or all of them? i encountered this problem once. my entire flac collection was skipping. i end up figuring out that i was using my computer while encoding to flac. apparently the extra processing drain caused problems. much like using your computer while burning a cd can create a coaster. hopefully this isn't your issue.

kevin t

puzzler
2008-09-15, 14:41
On your SB - using SB UI - under Extras there is a "Network test" menu. Run that test - it only tests the speed between SC and SB.

OK, I tried this, and up to 2000kbps, I'm getting 100%. As I go higher than this (2500, 3000, etc.), it starts to degrade a bit, like 97%.

On some of my Flacs, I get a longer period of smoothness before it gets choppy, but it seems to be a problem on all the Flacs I've tried. The bitrate of one of these flacs (just to pick one as an example) is showing up on the squeezebox as around VBR 976kbps.

So I'd say this rules out the wireless network as the source of the problem. My guess is that it's a problem with either the way SqueezeCenter is delivering the Flac, or the way the Squeezebox is decoding it.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

bpa
2008-09-15, 15:04
I wouldn't rule out possibility of wireless problem just yet. 2000kbps is borderline especially if there is anything else happening on the network (e.g. automatic updates, networked drives, interference from other nets).

The figure of 976 kbps VBR is probably the average (e.g. file size divided by duration) and there could be bursts of higher bitrates.

If you test with a wired connection (e.g. temporarily move SB to router, connect with wire and use headphones) and there is still a problem only then you can be sure that the wireless network is not the problem.

marco@yway.nez
2008-09-25, 13:47
OK, my bitrate might be a bit low thus, when streaming it's kinda choppy when I start playing flac files from the remote. But as soon as I just play one song from the computer where I have SC running, and then go back to the remote and play another song I have no problem any more.

chinablues
2008-09-26, 05:32
I had similar issues with FLAC re-buffering a week or so back. Now OK. Going back further in time, FLAC ran fine for me. I don't know why it went from working to stuttering to working. I frequently install the latest Beta (now with 7.3 - 23276), so it could have been one of the earlier 7.3 betas that had an issue. Also been fiddling with memory on computer & now back to 8GB (Vista Ultimate 64 bit). Was at 8, then to 4 for a while then back to 8. I cannot correlate the changes to the FLAC stuttering, but I can confirm it 'happened to me too'.

Edit. WOW is this freaky or what. As I finished the above & posted, the FLAC I was listening to suddenly died, stuttered & came back! Just done it again now!! Duet Controller reports 'rebuffering' then 'rebufering failed'.

Dan

Transporter + Duet

puzzler
2008-09-26, 08:57
So again, I'll ask, is there a workaround? Is there a way to make the server transcode to avoid the stuttering? All my attempts to do this have been unsuccessful. Anyone else?

bpa
2008-09-26, 10:14
Did you test with a wired connections to rule out wireless issues ?

puzzler
2008-09-26, 10:19
Next time I tried, the flac played back fine over the wireless, so there was no point in testing the wired connection. As other posters have pointed out, the problem seems somewhat intermittent and erratic. But I'd like to find a way that makes it work all the time, because inevitably, the problem always occurs when I have guests over and I'm bragging about the Squeezebox, and then it looks bad :) .

chinablues
2008-09-26, 10:53
Agree with Puzzler. It ain't a wireless issue. I've been running FLAC's on a wireless network to Transporter for almost as long as the Transporter has been on the market. Never seen this problem until 'recently'. I'm typing this listening to Etta James flawlessly on FLAC. But as per my previous post, it (or another track) could suddenly start the stuttering/rebuffering issue.

Late in Thailand. Maybe I'll try some things tomorrow as it seems to be difficult to find a 'hard' fault here. Questions/thoughts:

1. Is it a 7.3 beta issue?
2. Is it certain tracks & not others?
3. I've applied Replay Gain on a lot of tracks (using dbpoweramp). Maybe it's something to do with this? (perhaps some tracks don't have RG & some do...I'll check more tomorrow)
4. Recently I added a Duet. Is it something to do with streaming to two devices? (transporter & duet)

Dan

toby10
2008-09-26, 10:57
Next time I tried, the flac played back fine over the wireless, so there was no point in testing the wired connection. As other posters have pointed out, the problem seems somewhat intermittent and erratic. But I'd like to find a way that makes it work all the time, because inevitably, the problem always occurs when I have guests over and I'm bragging about the Squeezebox, and then it looks bad :) .

You may well be correct that WiFi is not the issue. But that's just the problem with WiFi, it can be "intermittent & erratic" at times. :)