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Troubleshooting Sync issues...

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  • Troubleshooting Sync issues...

    Hey all, wondering if I could get some input on an issue I'm having?

    I have a handful of devices (2x tablets and a desktop, running various squeeze player software, detailed below).

    I can play audio (either local music or streaming from digitally imported) to one device with no issues.

    If i sync more than one device though, i run into two issues:

    1. The sync is slightly off. (More noticeable for local playback)
    2. The music skips during playback. (More noticeable for the streaming playback)

    My server is a Centos Stream 9 VM running LMS 8.3.1 with 2x processor cores and 4GB RAM... processors are idling at less than 10% usage. RAM is a little over 50%, at 2.5GB usage (consistently).

    On the tablets I'm running SB Player 1.5.4
    On the desktop I'm running Squeezelite-X 1.9.9-1419

    *The tablets are old kindle fires that were just collecting dust.

    Out of curiosity, do the players need to be able to communicate with each other to sync or does that happen via the server?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Sync is managed by LMS - players do not talk to each other.
    It might be that the underlying software stack makes it not possible to do real sync ... however, if the offset is consistent then you could try adjusting the delays in the player sync settings.

    For the skipping ... first step is to make sure that you are running a recent version of LMS ... just in case it is already fixed.
    Paul Webster
    Author of "Now Playing" plugins covering Radio France (FIP etc), PlanetRadio (Bauer - Kiss, Absolute, Scala, JazzFM etc), KCRW, ABC Australia and CBC/Radio-Canada
    and, via the extra "Radio Now Playing" plugin lots more - see


    • #3
      To add to what Paul suggests, I have found that sync on ethernet (with the same type of player) works as expected, sync on wifi is very dependent on wifi signal quality, strength. Also, it just takes one struggling player to sabotage the whole sync family. You can experiment by taking one player at a time out of sync to see if you find a weak link.

      Also, as sync is handled by LMS (as Paul mentions), each player type can handle the stream differently (latency?) causing slight delays. I regularly have a touch (main floor) synced with a receiver (basement) and they are always a little off. I have to have them only loud enough to serve their room, otherwise the perceived delay drives me nuts. As Paul mentions, there are trims in LMS setting that I have not tried.

      When I get a couple players that are badly out of sync, I unsync/sync to get them back. That doesn't always work.

      I remember (or dreamed it) way back that because of the way sync is handled/designed, it will never be perfect. Perhaps that's because it's up to each player on how to handle it. I am unsure of the software architecture, but I don't think there is a clock of sorts to insure exact sync.



      • #4
        Paul Webster / Redrum - Thank you both for the feedback!

        I suspect that one or both of the tablets might be an issue (They're OLD kindle fires)... the problem existed when i was just using those two devices (running the same version of the software).

        I don't have an easy way to test wired vs wireless... most devices in the house are wireless


        • #5
          Originally posted by UserZero
          ...I suspect that one or both of the tablets might be an issue (They're OLD kindle fires)... the problem existed when i was just using those two devices (running the same version of the software).
          I think it's very likely that's correct. In the initial message announcing SB Player (ten years ago!) the author said "The quality of synchronized playback can vary a lot depending on the device. It works well on a Galaxy Nexus, but it won't be perfect and will need to be adjusted in your server settings.‚Äč" I don't think that's any less true now.

          Usually running latest beta LMS nightly on Raspberry Pi OS with virtual players. Occasionally using SB Radio, Boom or Classic.


          • #6
            Again, dim memories, but I remember reading way back (around 2007, when I was deciding between sb and sonos) that sync would never be perfect, because there is no common "clock" to align audio samples for all players/self correct. I seem to remember (again, or my brain made it up) that this is something Sonos does better.

            I took a look around, and found some interesting posts from around 2007. Now, understanding they are discussing changes to improve sync, and things may have been implemented (would need to look at LMS version change log), but I assume the underlying software architecture still exists.

            Some interesting info