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rbl
2010-07-29, 13:54
If I try to copy a large file over the network whilst listening to music, then the music starts breaking up. I have a good wireless connection between the dual core server, and a wireless SB3, with decent signal strength (> 75%). I have tried increasing the priorities in the SBS settings to no avail. Is there a way around this? Do other people have the same problem? I am running SBS7.5.1 on a 32 bit Windows 7 laptop, although it happened with Vista and previous version of SBS too.

Phil Leigh
2010-07-29, 14:03
If I try to copy a large file over the network whilst listening to music, then the music starts breaking up. I have a good wireless connection between the dual core server, and a wireless SB3, with decent signal strength (> 75%). I have tried increasing the priorities in the SBS settings to no avail. Is there a way around this? Do other people have the same problem? I am running SBS7.5.1 on a 32 bit Windows 7 laptop, although it happened with Vista and previous version of SBS too.

yes - wire sbs to router!

CatBus
2010-07-29, 14:17
Generally speaking, if you're running out of network capacity, your solutions are to use less or get more.

Ethernet is the cheapest, fastest, and easiest fix. Otherwise you're looking at creating segregated wireless networks for data and music, or some sort of QoS setup. This will probably require purchasing one or more new access points, voiding the warranies with custom firmware, and/or taking a crash course in advanced networking.

There's also the much smaller possibility that it's some other sort of I/O getting overloaded. If the server is the source or dest of those file transfers, the playback is being transcoded, AND the disk is also slow or otherwise busy, I suppose it could be disk I/O. But even that would be pretty unlikely.

pski
2010-07-29, 18:11
If I try to copy a large file over the network whilst listening to music, then the music starts breaking up. I have a good wireless connection between the dual core server, and a wireless SB3, with decent signal strength (> 75%). I have tried increasing the priorities in the SBS settings to no avail. Is there a way around this? Do other people have the same problem? I am running SBS7.5.1 on a 32 bit Windows 7 laptop, although it happened with Vista and previous version of SBS too.

CPU/memory issue.(retarded/not enough)

P

lrossouw
2010-07-29, 19:33
If both your SBS and server are running wirelessly then you are doubling the music traffic. E.g. sb <-> access point and server <-> access point. If you then copy files between another two wirelessly connected pcs then you have pc1 <-> access point and pc2<-> access point. That could add up to a lot of traffic.

So wiring up what you can to the access point/router would save some wireless bandwidth for your music. Don't forget about home plugs as an alternative to wiring.

As mentioned the server could be strained under workload.

You could try bit rate limiting (i.e. scaling down the quality of the music sent to the SB). Only really useful if you are using lossless or low compression mp3s. Also this may strain the server. And of course decreases quality.

Some routers have settings that give priority to streaming media. Not sure if it would recognize the SB traffic though and prioritise it. Mine has it but don't know if it is working.

cliveb
2010-07-29, 23:55
Notwithstanding the other good advice in this thread, you should just keep in mind that regardless of the networking infrastructure, it is of course always possible to max it out and cause interruptions to streaming.

My Squeezebox setup is entirely wired over 100Mbs ethernet. One day a few years ago a friend arrived and I decided to show him how cool it was, so started playing Dark Side of the Moon. Much to my embarrassment, the music started breaking up (this was the first time it had ever done that!). I had forgotten that at the time one of my PCs was in the process of burning a DVD from files over the network. (The story does have a happy ending - that friend went out and bought an SB3).

rbl
2010-07-30, 00:21
Thanks everyone ... I guess I had been hoping there was a way to prioritise the streamed music over the file transfer, but it looks like there isn't. I don't think it is a CPU / disk problem. Will probably just have to live with it. However two thoughts come to mind:

1) I might upgrade the server / router to N from G, but it is far from clear that this will help.

2) Is it possible to run two networks. Use routers, running on different channels. But how would the laptop log on to two separate wireless networks? Guess I'd have to get a dongle?

moley6knipe
2010-07-30, 02:56
Go wired with your SB3, seriously. If you can't be doing with running lengths of Cat5e or Cat6 cable in (entirely understandable) then just get a couple of powerline ethernet adpators. Google is your friend.

CatBus
2010-07-30, 08:41
G to N may move some of the data traffic out of the way, but the SB3 is stuck at G (unless you get yet another N router and set it up as a client bridge...). As others have mentioned, you're actually doing two hops over wireless just to play music, doubling the music traffic. G to N may improve things, but I'm dubious it would make things completely fixed.

Two routers with two non-overlapping channels is definitely doable, and you'd need a wireless dongle for you laptop to support it. Dual-homing is what it's called when you set up a single machine for two networks.

But I'm of the opinion that the ultimate problem is that, the way your network is currently designed, your laptop is a major choke point. You're already asking it to do too much, and I'm not sure creating a whole new network topology is a good idea if your laptop is still the chokepoint in that new setup.

Instead of looking at wireless access points, look at NAS devices that support Squeezebox Server. You can offload the work onto that, wire that to your network so there's only one wireless hop, and you'll be much happier. Just double-check that your music format is playing back natively and isn't transcoded (NAS devices don't have much CPU power to transcode). Or even skip the NAS device and get a real low-end PC to act as a server--there's no limits then.

Tom Hutcheson
2010-07-30, 12:21
A few years ago I bought myself a 100 foot ethernet cable that I coil up and keep in a drawer. If I ever have any kind of network "problem" I do a quick ethernet hookup. Whether the network problem is solved (or not solved) I pretty much have figured out where to look next. I aslo use it a lot on friends' networks. Invaluable tool.

rbl
2010-07-31, 03:57
I actually have a NAS server. Buffalo Linkstation Pro LS-500GL, prob 3 years old or so. I never used it as a server since I always assumed it would be even more unreliable / painful than running SBS on Windows (and also I used to use Inguz EQ but have pretty much given up on that now, and try to use softsqueeze / squeezeplay too).

A 100ft backup cat6 is a good idea, but frankly in this day and age is rather disappointing that these wireless things don't work better!

funkstar
2010-07-31, 07:00
A 100ft backup cat6 is a good idea, but frankly in this day and age is rather disappointing that these wireless things don't work better!
In some ways wireless was more relaible several years ago, before everyone started using it. You might have bandwidth limitations because of other visible networks on the same channel as yours causing interference. Or if there are a lot of other networks it might be virtually impossible to get a clean signal, they all use the same frequencies after all. This goes for cordless telephones and BlueTooth as well, the 2.4GHz spectrum is a complete mess.

slate
2010-07-31, 07:40
not to speak about microwaves and other noisy appliances...

It is really astounding the amount of problems people have, when thinking about the tiny amount of data needed for playing a tune.

I swear to cables as it just works!!! and I do not even have the need for streaming video. When I restored the house I live in , I got cables put in the walls and established a central crosspoint.
Unfortunately I didn't consider this during a previous stage so no cabled connection in the livingroom :-(

So when I got my first Duet I also went wireless. I used a laptop an netstumbler and it could see 10+ networks and their channels + signal strength. I picked the best channel (1 or 6 or 11) and this far no problems.

One should also consider the powerline option

rbl
2010-07-31, 09:20
But powerlines also suffer from noise apparently. I think going to N at 5GHz makes sense since not many people use it (yet), and at least you dodge bluetooth, phones and microwaves. Of course the SB3 is still G, but at least part of the network would be better

funkstar
2010-07-31, 11:19
But powerlines also suffer from noise apparently. I think going to N at 5GHz makes sense since not many people use it (yet), and at least you dodge bluetooth, phones and microwaves. Of course the SB3 is still G, but at least part of the network would be better

Everything suffers from noise, even ethernet cables, it's all about the kind of noise and how it's managed. Cat5 etc. handles noise very well and is designed specifically for what it does, hence why it does it so well and is so reliable.

Powerline Networking suffers from noise, but as the signal is confined to your homes circuit there is less chance of disruption from your neighbour.

Wireless doesn't just suffer from noise and interference, there is congestion to contend with too. When you are transferring data between two devices over wireless you are sending to the access point then it is sending to the other device. So any bandwidth you do have is being halved straight away.

Then you have cheap wireless access points and routers (even devices costing a lot can actually be cheap hardware with a nice shiny case) that struggle to maintain a broadband connection, DHCP, NAT, firewall, and multiple data streams at the same time. too much work and they will start dropping packets, this is bad when it comes to streaming audio nd video as once it's gone it's gone. When transferring a file the computers can always ask for a packet to be re-sent.

I'm not trying to make excuses for your problems, just trying to highlight the many variables that effect wireless networking :)

funkstar
2010-07-31, 11:21
here's another thought: how regularly are you doing these large file copies?

Whenever I need to copy a bunch of data to or from my laptop I always hard wire it, simply because it is just sooooo much faster to do it with gigabit ethernet compared to any form of wireless :)

rbl
2010-08-01, 10:17
I could do that. But does the laptop then have two connections to the router, one wireless, and one wired? If not I would have to stop the music and close open files etc, then reconnect everything via the wired, just to restart everything again when going back to the wireless. Can be done, but frankly I may as well just turn the music off when I transfer large files. Unfort I do transfer large amounts of data a couple of times a week so a bit of a drag ..

Have taken a quick look at the powerline alternative. Seems for compatibility you have to go for "homeplug" which is a max of 85mbps which I guess is ok (better than wireless, but not the new N standard). Have to say am getting bored of having to buy endless new electrical widgets!

funkstar
2010-08-02, 02:09
Ah, I didn't realise the server was on your laptop as well, yeah that would make a lot of sense as to the music breaking up.

There are version of powerline ethernet adapters that go up to 200mbit and even gigabit for the very newest ones. You have to keep them all the same as far as I'm aware.

Also remember that to get the full benefit from N wireless you need to make sure all your N equipment is 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz, most of it isn't. Most of it is just 2.4GHz.

CatBus
2010-08-02, 13:30
I actually have a NAS server. Buffalo Linkstation Pro LS-500GL, prob 3 years old or so. I never used it as a server since I always assumed it would be even more unreliable / painful than running SBS on Windows (and also I used to use Inguz EQ but have pretty much given up on that now, and try to use softsqueeze / squeezeplay too).

A 100ft backup cat6 is a good idea, but frankly in this day and age is rather disappointing that these wireless things don't work better!

Sounds like the NAS solution is not for you. Still, you can pick up a used P3 desktop with a gig or RAM or so for $50, and it plus a wired connection would behave better than the NAS or any combination of wireless.

rbl
2010-08-03, 02:26
I think you are right, but think I may try a homeplug powerline ethernet first as I don't feel my laptop is a bottleneck in itself - certainly the processing power required by SBS is negligible. Also the microwave causes it all to stutter too which homeplug should fix! Still seems odd to me to be honest as I would have thought with the large buffer that the SB3 has that it would work, but clearly it doesn't!