View Full Version : SB3, QNAP and stalling problem

2010-01-05, 07:01
I am using a QNAP TS109II as music server over wireless to an SB3 which is feeding a Benchmark DAC via the coaxial digital output. Squeezecenter is version 7.3.2. I have recorded my LPs as 24/48 flac and I find that quite often a track either fails to start or stalls part way through. The behaviour is unpredictable. I can play two albums with no problems then it starts stalling every other track or it will start stalling at the beginning of a session.
Until recently the problem had not occurred with 16/44.1 files but now it has stalled a couple of times with those as well.
I contacted Support but their response was that officially they only supported ReadyNAS and did not have the resources to verify the problem.
Does anyone have experience of a Squeezebox stalling on tracks or have any advice to offer.

2010-01-07, 06:31
What wireless signal stength does the SB3 show? You can find it under the Info tab in SBS.

2010-01-08, 10:05
The wireless signal strength shown in the Squeezecenter Info tab is 83%.

2010-01-09, 10:41
I've got the same QNAP NAS and a SB3 and don't have any problems with 16/44.1 but haven't tried higher rates.

To check if the wireless is the problem you can try connecting the SB to your router via a network cable as a test.

Also check what format you are streaming in. If your files are in FLAC and you are streaming in another format this can overpower the CPU on the NAS as it is having to convert it. (Squeezeboxserver settings-advanced-file types). If you log in to the NAS I think there are also ways to check cpu and memory usage to check if it's getting maxed out but it's a while since I've had to do something like that as my set up is pretty reliable now.

2010-01-10, 06:34
Thanks W J.
I only have short lengths of network cable available but I'll see if I can arrange a direct connection.
The FLAC file format seems to have three streaming formats available. FLAC Decoder Native. MP3 Decoder FLAC/Lame. WAV Decoder FLAC. I'm not sure which one is actually being used. I'll try changing the Decoder for the second two to disabled and see if that has any effect.

2010-01-10, 10:34
Under settings-player-audio(top tab) there is a setting for Bitrate limiting that i have set to 'no limit' to avoid the NAS trying to convert to a lower bitrate before streaming.

My wireless strength is usually given in the 80-90% range.

I have had playback pauses/buffering when backing up my laptop to my NAS at the same time as listening to music. I think this overloaded the network.

2010-01-10, 11:28
I did some checks on my TS109II. My files are FLAC 16/44.1. Which ever way i stream the 250 MB memory is almost all used. Streaming FLAC the NAS cpu is at 10%. If I set to convert to PCM cpu usage goes up to 20% but music plays fine. If I set to stream as MP3 the cpu goes to 100% and there are major pauses and buffering in playback. The NAS is having to convert Flac to WAV and then back to MP3 and it's obviously too much for it.

To see your NAS cpu and memory usage in real time log on to the NAS and go to administration, system logs, system information. (you may need to log on as admin to see this)

Good luck. Once you get it working it's good set up.

I'm running the SB3 into a Naim Nait 5i Amp and PMC GB1i speakers. Once you get it running I'd be interested to know how much of an improvement the Benchmark DAC gives over the analogue outs on the SB3.

2010-01-10, 12:09
I've tried amending the FLAC file format settings as described and have had a good long session listening to 24/48 tracks. I think the Squeezebox lost the connection once but reconnected before stalling the track. I will keep monitoring but amending the file format settings looks like it might have done the trick.

2010-01-10, 12:46
Its difficult to quantify improvements in sound quality. Prior to going the Squeezebox route I was using a Naim CDX as my main source. I think the SB3 via its analogue output was very good but not as good as the CDX. Adding the Benchmark DAC was a significant improvement putting the Squeezebox about level with the CDX.