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shadesbass
2008-09-27, 12:03
Hello all,

Apologies for the vague thread title, but I couldn't think of a concise and suitably descriptive one at the time...
I'm having some problems running my Duet with Ubuntu 8.04.1 and SqueezeCenter 7.2 in an "all-wireless" configuration (server wireless signal strength = 89-91%, Receiver in same room as router so estimated >95% signal strength).

Firstly, and most importantly, I have just performed a hardware reset on both the Controller and Receiver after having problems connecting everything together in wi-fi land. Everything now appears to be seeing everything else, but I'm only getting 10-30 seconds of flac playback before the audio stream grinds to a halt.
At this point the Ubuntu System Monitor continues to show a network transmission rate of around 40KiB/s even though the audio output of the Receiver is depressingly sporadic (<1s bursts every 5-10 seconds) and I have no other programs running in Ubuntu (and nothing else connected to my network). This reported network traffic continues for about 30 seconds after pausing the audio playback. The problem occurs whether I use the Controller or the SC web GUI to initiate playback, however 256kbps CBR mp3's seem to play fine.
I will eventually be getting a Homeplug/Powerline system, which should provide a more reliable connection between server and Receiver, but I was previously running the Duet with a WinXP system and SqueezeCenter 7.1 with no problems.
Can anyone shed any light as to why I could be seeing this issue?

Secondly, I have the Ubuntu GUI disabled by default on startup to reduce boot-up time (as per this thread (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=52840&page=2)). However, the wi-fi connection doesn't appear to connect unless I load the GUI, which obviously defeats the point. Is there any way of fixing this, or should I just live with it until I get my Homeplugs?

Any help gratefully appreciated!

shadesbass
2008-10-02, 09:53
Bump. 116 views and no suggestions?!

I've tried with flac files encoded using both EAC (under WinXP) and Sound Juicer (under Ubuntu) and both result in choppy playback. They play fine on the local machine (using Rhythmbox) and played fine when streaming from an identically spec'd WinXP machine. What's different about streaming from Ubuntu??

pablolie
2008-10-02, 17:48
what is the system spec for your Ubuntu system? i know that Ubuntu runs on lower spec machines, but i think it tends to run slow on those, so i would not trust its ability to stream flacs, especially with multiple SBs in the house, on a lower spec machine.

i run it on ubuntu 8.04 with 2gb of ram and an intel e8400, and there are no issues when it comes to playing music.

there are plenty of dhcp and wirless related issues on the Duet, though - none of which occur on my SB3s and Booms.

radish
2008-10-02, 19:22
At this point the Ubuntu System Monitor continues to show a network transmission rate of around 40KiB/s even though the audio output of the Receiver is depressingly sporadic (<1s bursts every 5-10 seconds) and I have no other programs running in Ubuntu (and nothing else connected to my network). This reported network traffic continues for about 30 seconds after pausing the audio playback. The problem occurs whether I use the Controller or the SC web GUI to initiate playback, however 256kbps CBR mp3's seem to play fine.


40KB/s is too low for FLAC, I'd expect more than double that if it's actually playing - which would account for why the music keeps stopping! The question is why the bandwidth is so low - is the server unable to stream any faster, or is the network constrained? Can you run the network test from SC's Help menu? You need to be able to get a solid result for at least 1mbps to be safe for FLAC playback.

shadesbass
2008-10-03, 01:23
Many thanks for your replies!


what is the system spec for your Ubuntu system? i know that Ubuntu runs on lower spec machines, but i think it tends to run slow on those, so i would not trust its ability to stream flacs, especially with multiple SBs in the house, on a lower spec machine.

i run it on ubuntu 8.04 with 2gb of ram and an intel e8400, and there are no issues when it comes to playing music.

there are plenty of dhcp and wirless related issues on the Duet, though - none of which occur on my SB3s and Booms.
I'm at work now, but off the top of my head: 1GB Kingston RAM and 2.4GHz P4 CPU. The Duet is my only SB system.
I have noticed Ubuntu running a little slow when trying to run several applications (e.g. watching a video and running Firefox can cause choppy video playback and is slow to switch between apps), but assumed it would be OK for streaming flac with no other apps running.
Like I say, I was running an identical spec WinXP machine with no problems.


40KB/s is too low for FLAC, I'd expect more than double that if it's actually playing - which would account for why the music keeps stopping! The question is why the bandwidth is so low - is the server unable to stream any faster, or is the network constrained? Can you run the network test from SC's Help menu? You need to be able to get a solid result for at least 1mbps to be safe for FLAC playback.
I hadn't bothered to do the math, but was suspicious that streaming mp3 and flac resulted in the same data rate! I'll try the network test when I get home but I suspect that it is a server issue as, like I said previously, my XP system was fine.
What exactly does the network test do? I can't find any information about it on the Wiki or in the Duet manual.

I'd really like to get this working, if for no other reason than to not have to revert to using XP!

syburgh
2008-10-03, 05:02
Server hardware sounds quite sufficient, so depending on the results of your network test it will likely be a wireless issue or some rather extreme OS configuration problem. What model of wireless adapter do you have (e.g. what does lspci say)?

As you probably suspect, the next thing to test is whether playback works well using a wired connection between the server and player. If this is the case then you can isolate the issue to the OS/driver configuration of the server's wireless adapter, bad hardware, or a hostile local environment for wireless (e.g. Manhattan).

How quickly does the track begin after you initiate playback? The amounts of time you can hear music sound reasonably close the amount of data stored in the receiver's buffer (e.g. when a track starts, SC sends data quickly until the player fills its buffer, after which the data streams out at a rate close to the playback rate to keep the buffer full).

shadesbass
2008-10-03, 05:41
Server hardware sounds quite sufficient, so depending on the results of your network test it will likely be a wireless issue or some rather extreme OS configuration problem. What model of wireless adapter do you have (e.g. what does lspci say)?
Thanks for your help syburgh. My wireless adapter is a D-Link USB dongle. I'll post the exact details when I get home tonight.
Is there a list of supported/unsupported hardware available for Ubuntu?


As you probably suspect, the next thing to test is whether playback works well using a wired connection between the server and player. If this is the case then you can isolate the issue to the OS/driver configuration of the server's wireless adapter, bad hardware, or a hostile local environment for wireless (e.g. Manhattan).
Yes, that was my next plan of attack. I was also going to monitor the wireless network traffic when downloading a large file to see if the connection could exceed 40KiB/s, as this will remove the SqueezeCenter/flac decoding element from the equation.
Manhattan - I wish! Sunny old Cambridge for me... :)


How quickly does the track begin after you initiate playback? The amounts of time you can hear music sound reasonably close the amount of data stored in the receiver's buffer (e.g. when a track starts, SC sends data quickly until the player fills its buffer, after which the data streams out at a rate close to the playback rate to keep the buffer full).
It's within acceptable limits (i.e. not significantly slower than playing the first track from a CD). I'm at work so can't test it right now, but I'd estimate no longer than 3-4 seconds for a CD quality (16/44.1) flac file. I'll report back with a more accurate figure later, as the tracks I've been using have some fade-in time (I've been using the same few test tracks for consistency).

shadesbass
2008-10-03, 13:53
Well, it seems that my wireless USB dongle (or more accurately, it's interaction with Ubuntu) was the culprit. Connecting the server PC to my router via an Ethernet cable and keeping the Receiver connected via wi-fi resulted in an interrupted FLAC stream. Woo!
Googling my USB dongle model (D-Link DWL-G122) reveals that other people have had similar problems of slow speeds. I think I've improved the network speed now, but in the process managed to break SC as I'm now unable to open the web GUI! Meh, I think I'll invest in those Homeplug adapters soon...

Thanks to everyone who helped out. The network test was especially useful.

socistep
2008-10-06, 14:43
I'm going through a similar problem, playback poor for certain files such as flac when there is wireless interference from surrounding networks, have yet to try a wired solution but anticipate this will solve the problem.

Not 100% sure how to resolve yet but going to post for ideas


Well, it seems that my wireless USB dongle (or more accurately, it's interaction with Ubuntu) was the culprit. Connecting the server PC to my router via an Ethernet cable and keeping the Receiver connected via wi-fi resulted in an interrupted FLAC stream. Woo!
Googling my USB dongle model (D-Link DWL-G122) reveals that other people have had similar problems of slow speeds. I think I've improved the network speed now, but in the process managed to break SC as I'm now unable to open the web GUI! Meh, I think I'll invest in those Homeplug adapters soon...

Thanks to everyone who helped out. The network test was especially useful.