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View Full Version : Late night server hangs = ruins party :(



Orb
2011-10-06, 07:21
Ok guys, you know how it is. Its late at night, you're having a great party. You're wrecked but still want more music. You spin down the menu of artists but in your drunken state you select play instead of going into the artist folder and selecting an album. SB then tries to buffer up the entire artist folder which might contain 50 or more albums. SB then hangs unresponsive and you're left with no music.

I've found the only solution is to restart the PC which frankly ruins the moment. This has happened to me on and off for the last 6 years ever since I got my SB2.

Now I have just updated server to the latest but is there anything else I can do? SQ should not lock you out, it should allow you do select something else if you mistakenly selected to play an entire massive folder.

Any tips appreciated.

aubuti
2011-10-06, 07:53
Maybe a plugin that integrates the SB remote with one of these: http://www.amazon.com/BreathKey-Breathalyzer-Keychain-Professional-Features/dp/B000EB5MJY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317912192&sr=8-1

More seriously, you may want to try reducing the maximum number of tracks allowed in a playlist. I forget exactly where the setting is, but probably under Settings > Advanced > Performance. To be honest, I don't know what happens if you set the max to 200 tracks and then you try to load an artist's entire oeuvre of 800 tracks. Does it just take the first 200 and stop? Try it out when there's not a party going on and see if it helps.

Alternatively, you could try using one of the other remote solutions, such as iPeng + iPhone (or iPod touch), which has a "party mode". The main intent of party mode is to prevent users from wiping out the current playlist when they mean to add new tracks to the current playlist, but it may help in your case as well. There may be something similar in the SB applications for Android devices.

Finally, a more powerful server may help. SBS isn't really "buffering" anything in your situation, it's just building a new playlist. You need to make sure that you're not asking the server to build a playlist that is so big that it takes over the whole CPU and locks up the machine. For example, because the SB Touch has very limited CPU and RAM, if you are using the Touch's built-in server (TinySBS) it won't let you build a playlist with more than 100 tracks. Personally, I would try any of the proposed alternatives above before getting a new server just to deal with this issue, but it is something else that could help.

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 07:58
What is your servers performance cuing up 50 albums should work fine actually ? it should not hang ?

But note that SS/SC/SBS/LMS have performance issues with large playlist so yes it can happen, it uses far more cpu than it should for such a thing as a playlist.

Some hints, using the web-UI go to settings advanced and select performance:

Maximum Playlist Length:

0=unlimited playlist size, 500=default value, set a size that your server can handle .
What ever you press play on the server never attempts to cue up more tracks than this limit.

Database Memory Config If you are running on good performance machine set this to "high"

You should also use the artwork pre-caching while scanning ,scan is slower but many artwork sizes already exist for the player and web-UI's otherwise such operations are done when scuing up tracks .

Use "album" "artist" and "genre" menus, don't use "music folder" . Music folder is for when you tagging is nonexistent or sucks performs worse than the normal menus

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 08:09
Some experiments.

cued up all my Miles Davis albums 331 tracks no problems.

Van Morrisson 286 different tracks shuffled

Tried the whole country genre 778 tracks no problem shuffled.

And finally the whole "rock" genre here it hit my playlist limit at 4000 tracks (shuffled) to and went silent for 4 seconds before it started to play

This on a puny 1,2GHz 1Gb ram via-epia C7 server ? running linux

aubuti
2011-10-06, 08:14
Thanks for your experiments Mnyb. And I am pretty sure that having shuffle mode on when doing those playlists increases the processing load by a huge amount, as compared to non-shuffled.

Orb
2011-10-06, 08:15
Thanks for the suggestions guys, I have lowered the playlist to 250 so I'll see if that makes a difference.

I've also noticed before that the same thing happens on some WAV files. Most of my stuff is mp3 but there are a few WAVS. Computer is a windows box running vista. It is in its final days but I'd like to get another 6 months or so out of it. These problems only ever occur when I'm in party mode and least capable of dealing with technical trouble but that is always when I get an issue.

Regarding folders. I organise my music in folders. So Drive Z is for music only. Then a create a folder for each artist. Within that Another folder for each album and its songs. I much prefer to access my music this way. I've never found tags to work so well as this.

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 08:18
Of your server has limited performance:

Don't use file formats that require server side transcoding to work .

Don't force the server to transcode in some misguided audiophool belief that it "sounds better"

Don't use to many UI's at the same time.

WEB-UI uses some cpu and so does SqueezePlay based ones like a Controller, or also the pad apps .

Worst performance in my experiments is something like choosing tracks for my Touch with my controller and have the web-UI open at the same player and also ipeng at the same time :) then the server should serve track info and pretty pictures to 4 locations at the same time.

aubuti
2011-10-06, 08:19
I much prefer to access my music this way. I've never found tags to work so well as this.
Please reread your original post, Mnyb's test results using the tag-based browse modes and a server without much horsepower, and then think again about how well Browse Music Folder is really working for you....

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 08:28
Thanks for your experiments Mnyb. And I am pretty sure that having shuffle mode on when doing those playlists increases the processing load by a huge amount, as compared to non-shuffled.

Yes found that out when we had the unoptimized dB bug pressing shuffle 3 times fast sent the server to 100% cpu in 20 minutes after this bugfix performance is radically better.

Performance with playlist have never been fantastic with this software , therefore I've taken to the habit of using erlands dynamic playlist plugin,luckily I'm more of an album person I have 20 or so playlists but thats all.

Random play is used sometimes until I stumble upon something i really want to hear

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 08:36
OP has some wav files, these are not always tagged a limited set of applications supports that, so they usually aren't .

Per default settings wav is transcoded to flac on the fly to save wifi bandwidth

Use FLAC and tag the files ?

Orb
2011-10-06, 10:02
Of your server has limited performance:

Don't use file formats that require server side transcoding to work .

Don't force the server to transcode in some misguided audiophool belief that it "sounds better"

Don't use to many UI's at the same time.

WEB-UI uses some cpu and so does SqueezePlay based ones like a Controller, or also the pad apps .

Worst performance in my experiments is something like choosing tracks for my Touch with my controller and have the web-UI open at the same player and also ipeng at the same time :) then the server should serve track info and pretty pictures to 4 locations at the same time.

What's that in layman's terms

Orb
2011-10-06, 10:05
Please reread your original post, Mnyb's test results using the tag-based browse modes and a server without much horsepower, and then think again about how well Browse Music Folder is really working for you....

Mmm, well maybe but I do have 10's of thousands of tracks in my library, much without tags. I've tried a few tagger apps and they either don't know the tracks so look up fails or they actually mess up the tags giving songs of an album the wrong titles.

Plus I like the organisation of a folders.

aubuti
2011-10-06, 11:02
Mmm, well maybe but I do have 10's of thousands of tracks in my library, much without tags. I've tried a few tagger apps and they either don't know the tracks so look up fails or they actually mess up the tags giving songs of an album the wrong titles.

Plus I like the organisation of a folders.
Getting your tags fixed doesn't mean you have to give up the organization of folders. They get along just fine simultaneously. In fact, even if one's music is perfectly tagged, it would be madness _not_ to keep it in some sensible directory structure such as artist/album/tracks. A key point is that BMF (Browse Music Folders) gives you exactly one way of looking at your library. A well-tagged library gives you many ways. It's like the difference between a telephone directory and a searchable database with separate fields for name, address, phone number, etc.

Also, if your folder and track names are truly well organized, then a good tagging program will allow you to use the folder and track names to write correct tags. mp3tag is one example of such a program, but many others will do it. If you do that, you'll never have the problem of having the wrong song titles. That is, unless the name of the file is also wrong. Why send the tagging program out to search for the track name or album name when you have it right there in the filename and folder name?

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 11:40
... Except for the wav files afaik the only gui app that tags wav is tag&rename , a better long term solution would be to convert wav to flac.

Things like this can be done gradually when one feels up for some tag adjusting, you can not always do things automagically much hands on work anyway.

A god start could be to be thoruogh when ripping new music, not using WMP and get untagged wav files.

It can be totally overwhelming, fondly remeber that my first 1000 cd rips was in mp3 :-/

garym
2011-10-06, 11:46
Getting your tags fixed doesn't mean you have to give up the organization of folders. They get along just fine simultaneously. In fact, even if one's music is perfectly tagged, it would be madness _not_ to keep it in some sensible directory structure such as artist/album/tracks. A key point is that BMF (Browse Music Folders) gives you exactly one way of looking at your library. A well-tagged library gives you many ways. It's like the difference between a telephone directory and a searchable database with separate fields for name, address, phone number, etc.

Also, if your folder and track names are truly well organized, then a good tagging program will allow you to use the folder and track names to write correct tags. mp3tag is one example of such a program, but many others will do it. If you do that, you'll never have the problem of having the wrong song titles. That is, unless the name of the file is also wrong. Why send the tagging program out to search for the track name or album name when you have it right there in the filename and folder name?

+1. If your file names and artist and album folders are correct, mp3tag can write correct tags on thousands of files automatically with about 3 mouse clicks to kick it off.

Orb
2011-10-06, 12:19
Ok guys, I see your point. I'll have a go with mp3tag.

garym
2011-10-06, 12:27
It's under convert menu "filenames to tags". And you can play around with field names, spaces, dashes, etc to get it right and see live what the result would be.

aubuti
2011-10-06, 12:39
Ok guys, I see your point. I'll have a go with mp3tag.
For the FLACs and MP3s do as garym says. The "preview" feature on mp3tag is extremely helpful for ensuring you get the results you want. And also remember the four fundamental rules of mass-tagging:

1) be sure you have a backup of the music library
2) test the operations on a small subset of your library before trying to do a big batch. mp3tag is very powerful. Like a chainsaw.
3) pay attention to exceptions to the rules, when your normal naming patterns don't apply. For example, compilation albums often require slightly different treatment than single-artist albums.
4) be sure you have a backup of the music library.

[Actually (1) and (4) always apply, whether or not you are doing mass-tagging.]

And for the WAVs, either tag them using Tag&Rename (mp3tag won't tag WAV), or convert them to FLAC and tag them in mp3tag. I strongly recommend the latter.

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 12:49
Trying some more things, actually a resonable sized folder does not crash my server ~300 tracks works.

then I tried a " to large " folder to see if it should hit my playlist limit 4000 tracks it never did, server just went 100% for a while and no tracks where cued up.

you don't actually have to reboot the server it comes back, eventually.

but it seems to be a " tipping piont" where it just falls apart with browse music folder .

It can be even more complicated it could actually help that my files are tagged, so I can't really reproduce Orb's situation.

Mnyb
2011-10-06, 12:53
did you try the high memory setting it migth work with your new 250 track limit, to give the server room to breath. i use the high mem setting.

amcluesent
2011-10-07, 14:17
>Any tips appreciated.<

Use one of the Controller apps with 'Party Mode' which stops you blowing away playlists with a simple 'play' instruction, rather than add or play next.

GeeJay
2011-10-07, 21:53
Take it from a frequent abuser of playlists while intoxicated, Party Mode on iPeng is a lifesaver. Nothing drags a party down more than having the music stop because someone hit the wrong button.