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Terrence Jones
2004-06-19, 14:18
Hello all...

I just got my squeezebox running in the last couple of days. I'm
trying to get things going on a generally underpowered machine. As we
all know this is a bad idea but hopefully some of the problems I'm
experiencing can help with the overall development.

My big issue is losing the network connection to the server. By this
I mean that all TCP/IP traffic in and out of the server is gone. I
cannot ping the server, hit it's slim web server, or browse the web
from the server.

The server is a PII 250 MHz with 196MB RAM. I'm trying to server
18,000 songs off of a couple of speedy SATA drives. I'm currently
running the 6/18 daily under Windows with DB caching enabled. The
server is running as the windows service (Window's optimized for
background services). The squeezebox is connected via ethernet.

Even with the machine being underpowered, after waiting 6-8 hours for
song scan everything run's ok in general. I'm getting the network to
drop out when ever I try to do anything dealing with large files.
These are the things that will make the network go:

-- Shoutcast or any streaming audio (as was mentioned elsewhere)
-- Trying to play all songs (via browse albums)
-- Trying to play giant playlist with all songs (memory shot up to 144MB)

-- Various things here and there that cause short drop outs.

I've been monitoring the server connection by continuously pinging it.
I often see short drop outs as I'm browsing through the DB via the
remote. When the network is down for a long long time such as when
tyring to play all songs, I can get the network back by disable the
NIC and re-enabling it.

One very interesting thing is that I can get the server running again
by opening a web browser to it (on the same machine) and hitting STOP.
This also works to get he server back when under the shoutcast
problem.

To note: I've never had to restart the server or the squeezebox. I'm
always able to get it back somehow. With the 18,000 songs I
definitely try to avoid re-starting the server.

What do you guys think? There's something more going on than just the
underpowered machine I think. I should _never_ lose the server's
network. No program should be doing that.

Thanks,

Terrence

dean
2004-06-20, 12:24
Terrence,

That machine does seem a little underpowered for the application, but
that doesn't explain why your network goes out. (I wouldn't run
Windows on any machine with less that 256M of RAM for any purpose...)

From your description, it sounds like the network goes out when the CPU
is under heavy load.

What version of Windows are you running?

Have you tried a different network card?


On Jun 19, 2004, at 2:18 PM, Terrence Jones wrote:

> Hello all...
>
> I just got my squeezebox running in the last couple of days. I'm
> trying to get things going on a generally underpowered machine. As we
> all know this is a bad idea but hopefully some of the problems I'm
> experiencing can help with the overall development.
>
> My big issue is losing the network connection to the server. By this
> I mean that all TCP/IP traffic in and out of the server is gone. I
> cannot ping the server, hit it's slim web server, or browse the web
> from the server.
>
> The server is a PII 250 MHz with 196MB RAM. I'm trying to server
> 18,000 songs off of a couple of speedy SATA drives. I'm currently
> running the 6/18 daily under Windows with DB caching enabled. The
> server is running as the windows service (Window's optimized for
> background services). The squeezebox is connected via ethernet.
>
> Even with the machine being underpowered, after waiting 6-8 hours for
> song scan everything run's ok in general. I'm getting the network to
> drop out when ever I try to do anything dealing with large files.
> These are the things that will make the network go:
>
> -- Shoutcast or any streaming audio (as was mentioned elsewhere)
> -- Trying to play all songs (via browse albums)
> -- Trying to play giant playlist with all songs (memory shot up to
> 144MB)
>
> -- Various things here and there that cause short drop outs.
>
> I've been monitoring the server connection by continuously pinging it.
> I often see short drop outs as I'm browsing through the DB via the
> remote. When the network is down for a long long time such as when
> tyring to play all songs, I can get the network back by disable the
> NIC and re-enabling it.
>
> One very interesting thing is that I can get the server running again
> by opening a web browser to it (on the same machine) and hitting STOP.
> This also works to get he server back when under the shoutcast
> problem.
>
> To note: I've never had to restart the server or the squeezebox. I'm
> always able to get it back somehow. With the 18,000 songs I
> definitely try to avoid re-starting the server.
>
> What do you guys think? There's something more going on than just the
> underpowered machine I think. I should _never_ lose the server's
> network. No program should be doing that.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Terrence
>

Terrence Jones
2004-06-20, 22:39
I'm running Windows 2k currently. In general the machine is very solid and
has been serving music (share drives) for some time with no problem. It is
generally true that the network dies when the CPU is loaded but that is not
always the case. I hope to find a more beefy machine soon.

I plan to change the NIC tomorrow. We'll see if that does anything.

Thanks,

Terrence

"dean blackketter" <dean (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com> wrote in
message news:78FEE8AE-C2EF-11D8-B2B5-000393DB3CFA (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com...
> Terrence,
>
> That machine does seem a little underpowered for the application, but
> that doesn't explain why your network goes out. (I wouldn't run
> Windows on any machine with less that 256M of RAM for any purpose...)
>
> From your description, it sounds like the network goes out when the CPU
> is under heavy load.
>
> What version of Windows are you running?
>
> Have you tried a different network card?
>
>
> On Jun 19, 2004, at 2:18 PM, Terrence Jones wrote:
>
> > Hello all...
> >
> > I just got my squeezebox running in the last couple of days. I'm
> > trying to get things going on a generally underpowered machine. As we
> > all know this is a bad idea but hopefully some of the problems I'm
> > experiencing can help with the overall development.
> >
> > My big issue is losing the network connection to the server. By this
> > I mean that all TCP/IP traffic in and out of the server is gone. I
> > cannot ping the server, hit it's slim web server, or browse the web
> > from the server.
> >
> > The server is a PII 250 MHz with 196MB RAM. I'm trying to server
> > 18,000 songs off of a couple of speedy SATA drives. I'm currently
> > running the 6/18 daily under Windows with DB caching enabled. The
> > server is running as the windows service (Window's optimized for
> > background services). The squeezebox is connected via ethernet.
> >
> > Even with the machine being underpowered, after waiting 6-8 hours for
> > song scan everything run's ok in general. I'm getting the network to
> > drop out when ever I try to do anything dealing with large files.
> > These are the things that will make the network go:
> >
> > -- Shoutcast or any streaming audio (as was mentioned elsewhere)
> > -- Trying to play all songs (via browse albums)
> > -- Trying to play giant playlist with all songs (memory shot up to
> > 144MB)
> >
> > -- Various things here and there that cause short drop outs.
> >
> > I've been monitoring the server connection by continuously pinging it.
> > I often see short drop outs as I'm browsing through the DB via the
> > remote. When the network is down for a long long time such as when
> > tyring to play all songs, I can get the network back by disable the
> > NIC and re-enabling it.
> >
> > One very interesting thing is that I can get the server running again
> > by opening a web browser to it (on the same machine) and hitting STOP.
> > This also works to get he server back when under the shoutcast
> > problem.
> >
> > To note: I've never had to restart the server or the squeezebox. I'm
> > always able to get it back somehow. With the 18,000 songs I
> > definitely try to avoid re-starting the server.
> >
> > What do you guys think? There's something more going on than just the
> > underpowered machine I think. I should _never_ lose the server's
> > network. No program should be doing that.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Terrence
> >

Jack Coates
2004-06-20, 23:14
FWIW, this sounds like a network card offloading some functions that ought
to be in hardware to its driver.

I'd be very interested in packet traces, and I'd expect that problem to go
away if running Linux.

However, that machine is very underpowered for that library and I'd expect
some problems with any OS, particularly when transcoding, using the web
UI, or streaming Internet radio.

Jack

> I'm running Windows 2k currently. In general the machine is very solid
> and
> has been serving music (share drives) for some time with no problem. It
> is
> generally true that the network dies when the CPU is loaded but that is
> not
> always the case. I hope to find a more beefy machine soon.
>
> I plan to change the NIC tomorrow. We'll see if that does anything.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Terrence
>
> "dean blackketter" <dean (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com> wrote in
> message news:78FEE8AE-C2EF-11D8-B2B5-000393DB3CFA (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com...
>> Terrence,
>>
>> That machine does seem a little underpowered for the application, but
>> that doesn't explain why your network goes out. (I wouldn't run
>> Windows on any machine with less that 256M of RAM for any purpose...)
>>
>> From your description, it sounds like the network goes out when the CPU
>> is under heavy load.
>>
>> What version of Windows are you running?
>>
>> Have you tried a different network card?
>>
>>
>> On Jun 19, 2004, at 2:18 PM, Terrence Jones wrote:
>>
>> > Hello all...
>> >
>> > I just got my squeezebox running in the last couple of days. I'm
>> > trying to get things going on a generally underpowered machine. As we
>> > all know this is a bad idea but hopefully some of the problems I'm
>> > experiencing can help with the overall development.
>> >
>> > My big issue is losing the network connection to the server. By this
>> > I mean that all TCP/IP traffic in and out of the server is gone. I
>> > cannot ping the server, hit it's slim web server, or browse the web
>> > from the server.
>> >
>> > The server is a PII 250 MHz with 196MB RAM. I'm trying to server
>> > 18,000 songs off of a couple of speedy SATA drives. I'm currently
>> > running the 6/18 daily under Windows with DB caching enabled. The
>> > server is running as the windows service (Window's optimized for
>> > background services). The squeezebox is connected via ethernet.
>> >
>> > Even with the machine being underpowered, after waiting 6-8 hours for
>> > song scan everything run's ok in general. I'm getting the network to
>> > drop out when ever I try to do anything dealing with large files.
>> > These are the things that will make the network go:
>> >
>> > -- Shoutcast or any streaming audio (as was mentioned elsewhere)
>> > -- Trying to play all songs (via browse albums)
>> > -- Trying to play giant playlist with all songs (memory shot up to
>> > 144MB)
>> >
>> > -- Various things here and there that cause short drop outs.
>> >
>> > I've been monitoring the server connection by continuously pinging it.
>> > I often see short drop outs as I'm browsing through the DB via the
>> > remote. When the network is down for a long long time such as when
>> > tyring to play all songs, I can get the network back by disable the
>> > NIC and re-enabling it.
>> >
>> > One very interesting thing is that I can get the server running again
>> > by opening a web browser to it (on the same machine) and hitting STOP.
>> > This also works to get he server back when under the shoutcast
>> > problem.
>> >
>> > To note: I've never had to restart the server or the squeezebox. I'm
>> > always able to get it back somehow. With the 18,000 songs I
>> > definitely try to avoid re-starting the server.
>> >
>> > What do you guys think? There's something more going on than just the
>> > underpowered machine I think. I should _never_ lose the server's
>> > network. No program should be doing that.
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> >
>> > Terrence
>> >

John Gorst
2004-06-21, 03:10
dean blackketter wrote:

> Terrence,
>
> That machine does seem a little underpowered for the application, but
> that doesn't explain why your network goes out. (I wouldn't run Windows
> on any machine with less that 256M of RAM for any purpose...)
>
> From your description, it sounds like the network goes out when the CPU
> is under heavy load.
>
> What version of Windows are you running?
>
> Have you tried a different network card?

In peoples experience would a Celeron 600, 256mb (or maybe 312mb??)
running linux (mandrake 10) be up to the task of being a music server?
What is the rule for how many songs can be in the database - I will have
a 160gb hard disc to fill with flac files.

Aiming to run three streams, would want them all to work at the same
time, but this would probably be a rare occassion.
1)to a native squeezebox, mixture of native MP3 or flac-->wav.
2)to a softsqueeze (same machine), mixture of native MP3 or flac-->wav
3)to a http mp3 client, everything transcoded (in slimserver) upto 320kbps

Terrence Jones
2004-06-21, 19:35
Bingo!

I replaced the el-cheapo NIC with a 3COM and it makes all the difference in
the world.

I'm no longer seeing my network access disappear, I can transcode MPCs, I
can stream from the web. Sure I'm still underpowered and I do get the
occasional drop out when browsing the DB or searching, but it otherwise
seems solid.

Are there any performance tricks to play to optimize for a low powered
machine? I was thinking that perhaps transcoding everything to WAV might be
more efficient. Since I'm wired I'm not concerned with bandwidth. Any
other ideas?

For those interested, I'm seeing these CPU usage stats (Again PII 250MHz,
196MB RAM,W2K):

Idle------------------------------- 5-6%
Play MP3 ------------------------ 6-9%
Transcoding MPC -> WAV------- 25-35%
MPC + Browser Refresh--------- 100% (no dropout)
MPC + Browse Albums---------- 100% (short drop)


Thanks,

-- Terrence

"Jack Coates" <jack (AT) monkeynoodle (DOT) org> wrote in
message news:2313.192.168.3.252.1087798491.squirrel (AT) mail (DOT) monkeynoodle.org...
> FWIW, this sounds like a network card offloading some functions that ought
> to be in hardware to its driver.
>
> I'd be very interested in packet traces, and I'd expect that problem to go
> away if running Linux.
>
> However, that machine is very underpowered for that library and I'd expect
> some problems with any OS, particularly when transcoding, using the web
> UI, or streaming Internet radio.
>
> Jack
>
> > I'm running Windows 2k currently. In general the machine is very solid
> > and
> > has been serving music (share drives) for some time with no problem. It
> > is
> > generally true that the network dies when the CPU is loaded but that is
> > not
> > always the case. I hope to find a more beefy machine soon.
> >
> > I plan to change the NIC tomorrow. We'll see if that does anything.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Terrence
> >
> > "dean blackketter" <dean (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com> wrote
in
> > message
news:78FEE8AE-C2EF-11D8-B2B5-000393DB3CFA (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com...
> >> Terrence,
> >>
> >> That machine does seem a little underpowered for the application, but
> >> that doesn't explain why your network goes out. (I wouldn't run
> >> Windows on any machine with less that 256M of RAM for any purpose...)
> >>
> >> From your description, it sounds like the network goes out when the
CPU
> >> is under heavy load.
> >>
> >> What version of Windows are you running?
> >>
> >> Have you tried a different network card?
> >>
> >>
> >> On Jun 19, 2004, at 2:18 PM, Terrence Jones wrote:
> >>
> >> > Hello all...
> >> >
> >> > I just got my squeezebox running in the last couple of days. I'm
> >> > trying to get things going on a generally underpowered machine. As
we
> >> > all know this is a bad idea but hopefully some of the problems I'm
> >> > experiencing can help with the overall development.
> >> >
> >> > My big issue is losing the network connection to the server. By this
> >> > I mean that all TCP/IP traffic in and out of the server is gone. I
> >> > cannot ping the server, hit it's slim web server, or browse the web
> >> > from the server.
> >> >
> >> > The server is a PII 250 MHz with 196MB RAM. I'm trying to server
> >> > 18,000 songs off of a couple of speedy SATA drives. I'm currently
> >> > running the 6/18 daily under Windows with DB caching enabled. The
> >> > server is running as the windows service (Window's optimized for
> >> > background services). The squeezebox is connected via ethernet.
> >> >
> >> > Even with the machine being underpowered, after waiting 6-8 hours for
> >> > song scan everything run's ok in general. I'm getting the network to
> >> > drop out when ever I try to do anything dealing with large files.
> >> > These are the things that will make the network go:
> >> >
> >> > -- Shoutcast or any streaming audio (as was mentioned elsewhere)
> >> > -- Trying to play all songs (via browse albums)
> >> > -- Trying to play giant playlist with all songs (memory shot up to
> >> > 144MB)
> >> >
> >> > -- Various things here and there that cause short drop outs.
> >> >
> >> > I've been monitoring the server connection by continuously pinging
it.
> >> > I often see short drop outs as I'm browsing through the DB via the
> >> > remote. When the network is down for a long long time such as when
> >> > tyring to play all songs, I can get the network back by disable the
> >> > NIC and re-enabling it.
> >> >
> >> > One very interesting thing is that I can get the server running again
> >> > by opening a web browser to it (on the same machine) and hitting
STOP.
> >> > This also works to get he server back when under the shoutcast
> >> > problem.
> >> >
> >> > To note: I've never had to restart the server or the squeezebox. I'm
> >> > always able to get it back somehow. With the 18,000 songs I
> >> > definitely try to avoid re-starting the server.
> >> >
> >> > What do you guys think? There's something more going on than just
the
> >> > underpowered machine I think. I should _never_ lose the server's
> >> > network. No program should be doing that.
> >> >
> >> > Thanks,
> >> >
> >> > Terrence
> >> >