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Kevin Hawkins
2004-07-28, 02:51
Hi Jeff,

I have been seeing this behaviour for a while on XP - maybe 9 months
- with my system which has 8 SliMP3 players - although only a couple are
ever playing currently - I have a large library 100K tracks on a 2 Ghz 512MB
Ram machine. The machine is almost dedicated to SlimServer. Even when just
playing I get 'pauses' about every 20 mins where the display blanks and I
lose audio for 30 secs or so. If I search for a track I lose my displays for
over 15 minutes :-( I am unable to add more RAM due to a motherboard
limitation. The total hangs are not very frequent but definitely do happen
from time to time. I am going to try one more time shortly by moving this to
another machine with 1GB RAM as I believe it's a memory sizing issue
buthistrorically I have experienced the same problem here on three different
XP machines as I tried resolving this. Other users I know have similar
issues ongoing.

I have submitted many cries for help to this Slim list and also
filed some bug reports - and although I have often got an initial response
the problem has never been solved. Indeed the outstanding bug was even
closed as 'solved' last week even though my emails in relation to that bug
clearly state that it wasn't. The Q about duplicate tracks and whether they
could cause any problems still, I believe, remains unanswered.

Of recent date I have begun to lose faith in the SlimServer on XP -
SlimDevices seem to always support XP as a secondary platform to Linux and I
see too many posts saying 'unable to reproduce the problem' / try the
nightly / we havent got such a large library to test against - and then
just hoping it goes away . Demoing my 'toy' to visitors is no longer the joy
it used to be. I am afraid the constantly evolving nature of the SlimServer
software seems to have worked against the usability on Windows and I have
lost confidence. As you can see from the number of players I have, I was
previously 'sold'. Having any end user product where you get 30 second
interruptions to the audio just while playing or where the UI blanks on
launch or for periods of time when you hit 'search' is clearly a design
failing - or my hardware is not capable enough. I had high hopes that the
5.2 / 5.3 release would create the stability/usability milestone that was
promised - it fell short I'm afraid for me.

As I said I remain convinced it's a memory issue - and I am hoping
this >might< be the only issue - I am going to try 1GB and if that fails I
am considering installing Linux which is new ground totally for me. I have
had greater success with the standard application version (rather than the
service which just doesn't work well for me and additionally introduces high
cpu lockouts). I also have the same library (which is on NAS) served by
other music applications now without problem. Indeed as I have such an
investment in players I am considering totally push driving the SlimServer
via the CLI and removing its own need to manage a library. Although I would
lose the IR control and all search facilities I could still at least play
uninterrupted music and select via a home theatre front end / web interface.
I love my Slim players but they are just not delivering the useabilty for me
anymore.

Kevin


> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf
> Of Jeff Allison
> Sent: 25 July 2004 18:08
> To: 'Slim Devices Discussion'
> Subject: [slim] Problems with Windows service
>
> I'm wondering if _anyone_ on this list is seeng the sort
> of behavior that I described in my earlier post (see
> below). I didn't get much response to my original
> message, so maybe I'm alone here. I have submitted this
> problem to Slim Devices support, but haven't had any
> resolution yet. It's been two weeks and I'm in the
> position of having to restart the slim server on a daily
> basis. Needless to say this is sub-optimal.
>
> To review, I upgraded to 5.2 on my Windows XP box and
> things seemed fine. But after a while I noticed that the
> Squeezebox would lose connection to the server (symptom:
> the Squeezebox display is blank). I'd check the server
> and it would look just fine, running and not doing
> anything weird. Restart the server and everything's OK
> again, for a while.
>
> If nobody else is seeing this, then I have to assume it
> has something to do with my setup here. But I don't think
> that I changed anything to cause this to start happening.
>
> Windows XP Pro SP1 on a 1.2 Ghz Celeron with 256 Mbytes of
> RAM Linksys wireless network
>
> Thoughts anyone?
>
> - Jeff

kdf
2004-07-28, 03:04
so upgrade to a system that will let you install more memory. I mean, sheesh...I
want unlimited songs, instant response and every single sorting algorithm
possible. I'm sorry for being one of those who 'can't reproduce, but
really...I can't. I can't possibly siphon enough songs, nor does my volunteer
effort here pay for enough storage to hold a library of such size. Were it
even possible, I woudln't even consider crippling it with windows. not just
beucase of religious issues, but becuase I can't afford windows. I run linux.
to develop in perl under windows, you need to pay money, as with anyting in
windows. Were it not so blocked I'd be more than willing. Put blame where it
belongs.
-kdf
Quoting Kevin Hawkins <lists (AT) ukusa (DOT) demon.co.uk>:

> Hi Jeff,
>
> I have been seeing this behaviour for a while on XP - maybe 9 months
> - with my system which has 8 SliMP3 players - although only a couple are
> ever playing currently - I have a large library 100K tracks on a 2 Ghz 512MB
> Ram machine. The machine is almost dedicated to SlimServer. Even when just
> playing I get 'pauses' about every 20 mins where the display blanks and I
> lose audio for 30 secs or so. If I search for a track I lose my displays for
> over 15 minutes :-( I am unable to add more RAM due to a motherboard
> limitation. The total hangs are not very frequent but definitely do happen
> from time to time. I am going to try one more time shortly by moving this to
> another machine with 1GB RAM as I believe it's a memory sizing issue
> buthistrorically I have experienced the same problem here on three different
> XP machines as I tried resolving this. Other users I know have similar
> issues ongoing.
>
> I have submitted many cries for help to this Slim list and also
> filed some bug reports - and although I have often got an initial response
> the problem has never been solved. Indeed the outstanding bug was even
> closed as 'solved' last week even though my emails in relation to that bug
> clearly state that it wasn't. The Q about duplicate tracks and whether they
> could cause any problems still, I believe, remains unanswered.
>
> Of recent date I have begun to lose faith in the SlimServer on XP -
> SlimDevices seem to always support XP as a secondary platform to Linux and I
> see too many posts saying 'unable to reproduce the problem' / try the
> nightly / we havent got such a large library to test against - and then
> just hoping it goes away . Demoing my 'toy' to visitors is no longer the joy
> it used to be. I am afraid the constantly evolving nature of the SlimServer
> software seems to have worked against the usability on Windows and I have
> lost confidence. As you can see from the number of players I have, I was
> previously 'sold'. Having any end user product where you get 30 second
> interruptions to the audio just while playing or where the UI blanks on
> launch or for periods of time when you hit 'search' is clearly a design
> failing - or my hardware is not capable enough. I had high hopes that the
> 5.2 / 5.3 release would create the stability/usability milestone that was
> promised - it fell short I'm afraid for me.
>
> As I said I remain convinced it's a memory issue - and I am hoping
> this >might< be the only issue - I am going to try 1GB and if that fails I
> am considering installing Linux which is new ground totally for me. I have
> had greater success with the standard application version (rather than the
> service which just doesn't work well for me and additionally introduces high
> cpu lockouts). I also have the same library (which is on NAS) served by
> other music applications now without problem. Indeed as I have such an
> investment in players I am considering totally push driving the SlimServer
> via the CLI and removing its own need to manage a library. Although I would
> lose the IR control and all search facilities I could still at least play
> uninterrupted music and select via a home theatre front end / web interface.
> I love my Slim players but they are just not delivering the useabilty for me
> anymore.
>
> Kevin
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf
> > Of Jeff Allison
> > Sent: 25 July 2004 18:08
> > To: 'Slim Devices Discussion'
> > Subject: [slim] Problems with Windows service
> >
> > I'm wondering if _anyone_ on this list is seeng the sort
> > of behavior that I described in my earlier post (see
> > below). I didn't get much response to my original
> > message, so maybe I'm alone here. I have submitted this
> > problem to Slim Devices support, but haven't had any
> > resolution yet. It's been two weeks and I'm in the
> > position of having to restart the slim server on a daily
> > basis. Needless to say this is sub-optimal.
> >
> > To review, I upgraded to 5.2 on my Windows XP box and
> > things seemed fine. But after a while I noticed that the
> > Squeezebox would lose connection to the server (symptom:
> > the Squeezebox display is blank). I'd check the server
> > and it would look just fine, running and not doing
> > anything weird. Restart the server and everything's OK
> > again, for a while.
> >
> > If nobody else is seeing this, then I have to assume it
> > has something to do with my setup here. But I don't think
> > that I changed anything to cause this to start happening.
> >
> > Windows XP Pro SP1 on a 1.2 Ghz Celeron with 256 Mbytes of
> > RAM Linksys wireless network
> >
> > Thoughts anyone?
> >
> > - Jeff
>
>
>

Andrew W. Donoho
2004-07-28, 07:23
Kevin,

With these kind of pauses, you are probably seeing a swap to virtual
memory. This will be no different under Linux. I run Linux on a
similarly sized RAM machine to yours and have pauses (7K tracks). I
have minimized the pauses by increasing the execution priority of the
slimserver task. While I believe that the folks at Slim Devices do need
to look into this problem, it is rare for their customers to be
supporting libraries of 100K tracks. There are multiple ways to solve
this problem and from my reading of the developer list, Slim is going
to implement the best answer of using a real database to hold metadata.
This should both minimize RAM use and support large libraries.

We are entering a new world of server supported consumer devices. Slim
is doing something that very few other vendors have the cojones to try
- support arbitrary servers communicating with a resource tight CE
device. If Slim were Sony or Philips, you would be buying a custom
jukebox device to serve up these tracks and getting above 20K tracks
would cost you plenty. HP and MS would be happy to sell you a custom
media center server for your task. For the kind of performance
guarantees you are asking for, a custom server is one of the few ways
Slim Devices could meet them. It would probably be one of the least
cost/highest profit paths for them also but it would also limit their
market share growth rate. So what do you want? Slim to support what I
believe is your inadequate hardware or sell you a box so that they can
guarantee you a pause free experience?

Andrew

On Jul 28, 2004, at 04:51, Kevin Hawkins wrote:

> Hi Jeff,
>
> I have been seeing this behaviour for a while on XP - maybe 9 months
> - with my system which has 8 SliMP3 players - although only a couple
> are
> ever playing currently - I have a large library 100K tracks on a 2 Ghz
> 512MB
> Ram machine. The machine is almost dedicated to SlimServer. Even when
> just
> playing I get 'pauses' about every 20 mins where the display blanks
> and I
> lose audio for 30 secs or so. If I search for a track I lose my
> displays for
> over 15 minutes :-( I am unable to add more RAM due to a motherboard
> limitation. The total hangs are not very frequent but definitely do
> happen
> from time to time. I am going to try one more time shortly by moving
> this to
> another machine with 1GB RAM as I believe it's a memory sizing issue
> buthistrorically I have experienced the same problem here on three
> different
> XP machines as I tried resolving this. Other users I know have similar
> issues ongoing.



____________________________________
Andrew W. Donoho
awd (AT) DDG (DOT) com, PGP Key ID: 0x81D0F250
+1 (512) 453-6652 (o), +1 (512) 750-7596 (m)