PDA

View Full Version : FLAC problems / Squeezebox 2



ajc79
2010-01-18, 16:08
Hello all,

I've recently re-ripped my music collection as FLAC instead of WMA. Since doing this, i'm having problems with streaming music to my Squeezebox 2.

The tracks will occasionally stop playing, the track timer bar just pauses and the audio stops. Pressing play again starts the track playing from the start. It happens on various FLAC files, and it didn't occur before with WMA.

So far i've:

Done a network test on the Squeezebox and this is 100% for all tests except 5000kbps, which stays at about 90%. Wifi signal is 90%, ping times under 1ms.

I also connected the Squeezebox via cat5 rather than Wifi - the problem still occurs

Re-applied firmware 130 to the Squeezebox - the problem still occurs

Checked the integrity of the FLAC files using 'flac -t' at the command line (they were OK)

The server running Squeezebox Server (Version: 7.4.1) is a small Windows Home Server, which doesn't have any obvious problems in Performance Monitor and otherwise functions OK. It's not running any other disk-intensive processes and has just been defragged.

I've read a couple of things about checking the amount of buffer the squeezebox has, but I couldn't find these options - perhaps they were only available in earlier versions of the software?

The only thing I have left to try is setting a static IP rather than DHCP, but i'd be surprised if this fixes it.

Anyone got any other ideas?

Thanks in advance..

ajc79

mvordeme
2010-01-18, 16:19
I have occasionally been having similar problems which could usually (but not always) be fixed by restarting the server.

Edit: Oh, wait. Did you clean and re-scan the library?

ajc79
2010-01-19, 05:03
I have occasionally been having similar problems which could usually (but not always) be fixed by restarting the server.

Edit: Oh, wait. Did you clean and re-scan the library?

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I did - once I deleted the WMAs and replaced them with FLACs, I did a clear & rescan.

Could the scan job be causing the problem, as it's checking for new music periodically?

ajc79

avta
2010-01-19, 08:39
Just a thought but you might try 7.4.2

kphinney
2010-01-19, 15:34
Does it appear that your entire library is being scanned or does it stop partially into it? Check the log and follow this post for more info:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=74082

TiredLegs
2010-01-19, 16:53
Using both Squeezebox 2 and 3 hardware, I'm running thousands of FLAC files off a Buffalo LinkStation NAS with 7.3.3 Squeezebox server. This server is underpowered for the purpose relative to most users' servers, yet I don't experience the problem you're having. (I always use static IP addresses, although I'd be surprised if that made a difference in the problem you're having.)

A few avenues of investigation for you come to mind:

1. The larger file size of FLAC vs. WMA might be bogging down your network. Sounds like you've already looked into that, but could it be a router or network switch issue? Does the problem happen at a specific time in a track, such as always in the first few seconds, or can it happen at any point in a track?

2. Something inside the FLAC files could be the culprit. Do you have unusually large album artwork embedded in your FLACs? (All my FLACs have 300x300 or 400x400 album art embedded.) Anything else embedded in the FLAC tags that might gag the server?

3. Perhaps your Squeezebox server is set to transcode FLAC to some other file format, choking the server? Check "File Types" page under Advanced in server settings. I have FLAC file type set to Native for FLAC streaming, and disabled FLAC to MP3 streaming and FLAC to WAV streaming.

ajc79
2010-01-20, 02:28
Just a thought but you might try 7.4.2

I could give it a go. I did read the change log and there wasn't anything specific for my problem, but if it's stable it's worth a punt I guess..

ajc79
2010-01-20, 02:28
Does it appear that your entire library is being scanned or does it stop partially into it? Check the log and follow this post for more info:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=74082

It looks like the directory scan is OK, there's no errors in the log.

Thanks

pablolie
2010-01-20, 06:35
other thoughts -

- powercycle the player. consider a factory reset for the player(s).

- make sure you don't have any weird file format conversions going on (advanced/file types) - you want all native formats -especially FLAC- to be unconverted ie stay "native".

- perhaps try running the SBS at higher priority settings (check "performance" under settings/advanced)

- are you synchronizing to more than one player at once?

- checked your network device drivers? checked the interface stats for errors?

i can only imagine how unnerving this is. hang in there, it should work. i have a humble little server, and use wireless, and yet can reliably stream flacs to all players (except the Boom that sits on top of the microwave and only gets 40% signal strength to start with :-), and that only when i turn the microwave on).

i agree with what someone else mentioned - sometimes you have to restart SBS. i have an always on computer that acts as my SBS server, but every 2 months or so something weird will happen where i'll have to powercycle the player or restart the server.

ajc79
2010-01-20, 06:57
Using both Squeezebox 2 and 3 hardware, I'm running thousands of FLAC files off a Buffalo LinkStation NAS with 7.3.3 Squeezebox server. This server is underpowered for the purpose relative to most users' servers, yet I don't experience the problem you're having. (I always use static IP addresses, although I'd be surprised if that made a difference in the problem you're having.)

A few avenues of investigation for you come to mind:

1. The larger file size of FLAC vs. WMA might be bogging down your network. Sounds like you've already looked into that, but could it be a router or network switch issue? Does the problem happen at a specific time in a track, such as always in the first few seconds, or can it happen at any point in a track?

2. Something inside the FLAC files could be the culprit. Do you have unusually large album artwork embedded in your FLACs? (All my FLACs have 300x300 or 400x400 album art embedded.) Anything else embedded in the FLAC tags that might gag the server?

3. Perhaps your Squeezebox server is set to transcode FLAC to some other file format, choking the server? Check "File Types" page under Advanced in server settings. I have FLAC file type set to Native for FLAC streaming, and disabled FLAC to MP3 streaming and FLAC to WAV streaming.

#1 - It happens at any time. Testing again last night, sometimes it seems to pick up where it left off sometimes (after 2-3 seconds), and other times it'll just give up completely.

#2 - I don't think so. The artwork is in the same directory as the flac files, and called folder.jpg. I don't believe there's anything extra embedded into the files. They were created with dbPoweramp's CD Ripper, which seems to work pretty well.

#3 - That's a good point, i'll check that setting later - I think I missed that.

Thanks!

ajc79
2010-01-20, 07:04
other thoughts -

- powercycle the player. consider a factory reset for the player(s).

- make sure you don't have any weird file format conversions going on (advanced/file types) - you want all native formats -especially FLAC- to be unconverted ie stay "native".

- perhaps try running the SBS at higher priority settings (check "performance" under settings/advanced)

- are you synchronizing to more than one player at once?

- checked your network device drivers? checked the interface stats for errors?

i can only imagine how unnerving this is. hang in there, it should work. i have a humble little server, and use wireless, and yet can reliably stream flacs to all players (except the Boom that sits on top of the microwave and only gets 40% signal strength to start with :-), and that only when i turn the microwave on).

i agree with what someone else mentioned - sometimes you have to restart SBS. i have an always on computer that acts as my SBS server, but every 2 months or so something weird will happen where i'll have to powercycle the player or restart the server.

I'm only sync'ing one player. I haven't checked the NIC drivers, or tried up'ing the priority of the server process, i'll try those tonight too.

Does anyone know how to view the buffer fullness in the latest versions of firmware/Squeezebox server?

It's good to know that it should work with flac properly, thanks everyone for your suggestions - i'll report back tomorrow once i've tried them!

ajc79
2010-01-20, 12:02
Ok, we might have some progress here!

It seems my little Windows Home Server can't handle a music scan and playing tunes at the same time.

If i have music streaming then start a scan, the music stops straight away and the Squeezebox won't start playing again till it's finished or aborted.
I've set the priority for scanner (low) & squeezebox server (high) in advanced settings, but this doesn't seem to make much difference..

So for now, i've set an automatic scan at four AM - hopefully no other intensive disk processes will happen while audio is playing..

Anyone else had this problem?

Fingers crossed, will listen to some tunes tonight - hopefully with NO extra gaps in!

kphinney
2010-01-20, 12:11
Nice find. I haven't had that issue - my server is a dual core Mac.

However, I have noticed a not quite dissimilar issue when I'm using a lot of bandwidth at once, but I really have to force it. Say, watching Hulu, backing up my laptop to the server, backing up the server to an external disk, and running a torrent all at the same time. Naturally something has to give.

maggior
2010-01-20, 12:18
Anyone else had this problem?


On my system, it becomes very sluggish when performing a scan. I haven't experienced droppouts in music, but I've experienced where it will go OTL (out to lunch) when transitioning to the next track, sometimes for upwards of 30 seconds.

I do my scans on-demand because I usually want to listen to music right after it's been loaded on the server. When I'm doing that, generally nobody else is using the squeezeboxes, so it isn't an issue.

So it looks like you found your problem. Now you can relax and enjoy some music!

Cheers!

lrossouw
2010-01-20, 19:59
Also check for under settings \ player \ audio whether bitrate limiting is on. If it is on it may be server resources.

jimbo45
2010-01-21, 03:36
On my system, it becomes very sluggish when performing a scan. I haven't experienced droppouts in music, but I've experienced where it will go OTL (out to lunch) when transitioning to the next track, sometimes for upwards of 30 seconds.

I do my scans on-demand because I usually want to listen to music right after it's been loaded on the server. When I'm doing that, generally nobody else is using the squeezeboxes, so it isn't an issue.

So it looks like you found your problem. Now you can relax and enjoy some music!

Cheers!

Hi there
the main problem with computer performance is usually SLOW DISKS -- normally not a problem when streaming audio but when scanning MySQL is used as your DB is updated.

This isn't an inherent problem with the server -- it's always a shame but most people buy rediculously overpowered CPU's (QUAD's for example) and load and loads of RAM when all you really need --especially for a server is just some DECENT FAST HDD's.

For some apps you might need a QUAD processor --that's another issue - but for any sort of server you need FAST DISKS.

I'm running my stuff on an old Pentium IV machine I got from the TIP for free -- added a HDD controler with 2 FAST 1 TB discs and running with SUSE LINUX -- works flawlessly as a server. Don't even need a screen connected.

The PIV runs fast enough at 2.6 GHZ -- the only reason these were discontinued is of higher power consumption - but as the whole computer was FREE including the OS apart from the controller and discs (2X 1.5 TB) costing 160 GBP I can afford to use slightly more power.


Cheers
jimbo

pfink
2010-01-21, 13:20
So for now, i've set an automatic scan at four AM - hopefully no other intensive disk processes will happen while audio is playing..

I have my server set to scan once a day at 4:00am, takes about an hour. I've got a couple automated tasks running around the same time but I've never had any problems with either the scan or the other jobs affecting each other.


I do my scans on-demand because I usually want to listen to music right after it's been loaded on the server. When I'm doing that, generally nobody else is using the squeezeboxes, so it isn't an issue.


I usually just browse by Music Folder if I want to listen to something right after loading it onto the server.