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    Syncing issues - Music pauses and restarts "randomly"

    Hello,

    I am attempting to fix an issue I have been having with syncing audio across Radios, Boom, and esp32s and having issues with dropouts. Sometimes when it happens it is because a player has lost its connection to the server. Other times I see nothing happening to cause this. I checked the server.log but not seeing anything. I am unsure which item under advanced logging would help me get to the bottom of this. Right now I am having an issue where the players will get out of sync, the music will pause and then sometimes resume, sometimes just stop. I have (player.sync) - Multi-Player Synchronization Logging set to Error but do not see anything in the logs. Am I looking in the wrong place for this info? Anything that I can do to better debug it?

    Thank you,

    -Syco54645

    #2
    If player is losing contact with server then better to checkout the is issu ewhen player is NOT synced as syncing will only complicate things.

    Detail of network will help - are all player wireless/wired, are wifi extenders being used ?, router mesh or single ? etc.
    What is the LMS server ? (e.g. Pi2, i7 server with 16Gb Ram etc., virtual machine on other system)

    Did this problem suddenly start or have drop outs always been a problem ?

    Do players drop out ONLY when syncing ?
    What is the source when problems happen - files or internet streaming ?

    Enable player.sync to INFO see what is happening when sycning - it may highlight which player is key to problem ?
    Enable player.source to INFO to see player control
    Enable player.streaming too INFO to see player status when streaming.


    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by bpa View Post
      If player is losing contact with server then better to checkout the is issu ewhen player is NOT synced as syncing will only complicate things.

      Detail of network will help - are all player wireless/wired, are wifi extenders being used ?, router mesh or single ? etc.
      What is the LMS server ? (e.g. Pi2, i7 server with 16Gb Ram etc., virtual machine on other system)

      Did this problem suddenly start or have drop outs always been a problem ?

      Do players drop out ONLY when syncing ?
      What is the source when problems happen - files or internet streaming ?

      Enable player.sync to INFO see what is happening when sycning - it may highlight which player is key to problem ?
      Enable player.source to INFO to see player control
      Enable player.streaming too INFO to see player status when streaming.

      Thank you for the detailed reply. Sorry about not providing decent info about my setup.

      First I can say for sure that Radios drop out even when they are not in a sync group, really there are only 2 that are not always synced. They are in our kids's bedroom's. (fun fact, my 7 year old has used it for nothing but Electric Light Orchestra since he got it on Christmas... proud dad moment right here!). One is on and playing 24/7 and the other is only on occasionally.

      I have a pair of Netgear Nighthawk R7000 that are running DD-WRT. It is an 802.11AC device. One is in the addition area that did not have wifi coverage from the primary router, it is connected directly to the home network. It is running in AP mode, DNS is handled by the other router. The home network is cat 6e cables in the walls that were easy to run. Only 1 device is near any of these drops.
      I am running both 2.4 and 5ghz bands on my routers. I check every so often to make sure that the channel is not getting too busy with my neighbors signals. I do not have WiFi 6.

      LMS is running inside of a docker container, snoopy86/logitechmediaserver specifically. The server software is unRAID. LMS is reporting version 8.2.1 - TRUNK @ UNKNOWN. Total songs are 36339, duration is 116 days 22:19:49. I am not limiting this container's access to CPU or memory. CPU are a pair of Xenon E5-2650, this is a total of 16 cores and 32 with hyperthreading. The system has 112 gig DDR3 ECC ram... I know it is an odd number, it has been incredibly hard to source working sticks for some reason...
      I have 13 devices in total
      • 7 Squeezebox Radios (fw: community firmware 8.0.1-r16907)
      • 1 Squeezebox Boom (fw: 57)
      • 2 Raspberry Pi running pCP (fw: v1.9.9-1392-pCP) (these are being replaced when I have time to solder)
      • 2 SqueezeESP32 (fw: 1.0-1254-16) (more when I have time)
      • 1 Windows computer that runs Squeezelite-X (fw: 1.9.9-1419)
      I realize syncing is supposed to be dicey with the Pi and Windows computer and have dropped them out of the sync group for days and still have the issue.

      The Squeezebox Radios are the only devices that I have issues with, other than the odd times that the server needs rebooted.
      The Radios are all connected to the WiFi and running wlan-poke. All except for 1 report a signal strength of 100%. The other is reporting 87-88%
      When I started I had 3 radios and would have the issue every so often. They were running the community firmware at that time but not wlan-poke. I still had the dropouts then. To be clear they are not constant, unless they are. What I mean is it can go literal days without having an issue or it can be like today and have nonstop dropouts. Not every dropout causes the music to pause, some just show as the playlist being empty when one drops and it repopulates when it reconnects. I work from home and run it all day with the player on my "spare" 3rd monitor so I can monitor the playlist then. I had a mixture of both of these today. Truthfully I am not sure if I have dropouts that do not interrupt the music, it could happen when I am not working and I would be none the wiser.

      The source of the sync does not seem to matter. Mostly I use my local music and that is mostly FLAC and 320kbps mp3 files. I have had it happen when streaming from the Live Music Archive plugin as well.

      I have had 6 of the radios act up at this point but 1 of them is hardly used so that may still suffer as well. The issue seems to be location based in that certain areas act up more than others. I have moved physical locations and the issue got worse in the original location. Of course this could just be a coincidence.
      Eventually the Radios will drop and not reconnect. The screen shows that it is still playing but the time is not moving. The WiFi icon can be red but I have had many times where it was not. Trying to navigate to My Music causes it to realize that it cannot connect to the server. I cannot remember if the wlan-poke info page is accessible at this point and I (un)fortunately do not have any Radios in this state ATM. The only way to recover them is to reboot. Sometimes they are fine for days, sometimes they immediately start back up with dropping off.

      Here is some of the log from around when it was dropping enough to interrupt the music. https://pastebin.com/Cr7KuaTw

      Sorry this was a bit long but it should present everything that I know about the issue in my trying to troubleshoot.

      Comment


        #4
        Great detail. bpa is much more knowledgeable to help you, but I have a few thoughts that aren't a solution, but might shed some light. Have you tried temporarily running an ethernet cable to a radio in a trouble spot? Also, I have assumed you have swapped radios from ok to trouble spots and the problem is in the spot, not the radio?

        Would you consider your area urban or rural or somewhere in between? I use an app (android) called wifi analyzer that can show the relative strength of my and my neighbor's wifi signals as I roam around. Often their wifi name indicates who they are . It might help by seeing what the radios in the trouble spot see,

        I agree on ELO. If you have not heard the newer "Jeff Lynn's ELO" it is quite good IMO. "Alone in the Universe" I think...Oh, just checked, "newer" is 2015..time flies.

        Jim

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Redrum View Post

          I agree on ELO. If you have not heard the newer "Jeff Lynn's ELO" it is quite good IMO. "Alone in the Universe" I think...Oh, just checked, "newer" is 2015..time flies.

          Jim
          I wasn't happy with Jeff Lynne rerecording Xanadu for a greatest hits album. Who wants to hear that rather than Olivia Newton John?
          Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
          Bedroom: Radio
          Bathroom: Radio

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by slartibartfast View Post

            I wasn't happy with Jeff Lynne rerecording Xanadu for a greatest hits album. Who wants to hear that rather than Olivia Newton John?
            But, he wrote it. So we need to give him a pass

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Redrum View Post

              But, he wrote it. So we need to give him a pass
              Maybe but I'll bet his reasons for rerecording that and other songs were financial. When you buy a greatest hits you want to hear the songs that were actually hits not facsimiles made 30 years later. Reminds of "Top Of The Pops" albums that came out in the 70s with all the hits but not by the original artists 🤣
              Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
              Bedroom: Radio
              Bathroom: Radio

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Redrum View Post
                Great detail. bpa is much more knowledgeable to help you, but I have a few thoughts that aren't a solution, but might shed some light. Have you tried temporarily running an ethernet cable to a radio in a trouble spot? Also, I have assumed you have swapped radios from ok to trouble spots and the problem is in the spot, not the radio?
                So I have not tried to run ethernet to one of them, my wife HATES when I have cables snaking around and I value my life. :P That is something I have thought about trying but did not have any cables long enough to reach those areas.
                That is correct, swapping radios to problem locations seem to follow the locations other than the radios. Perfect example, swapped "Water Cooler" and "Dad's Office" because the water cooler was constantly falling off. Once swapped Dad's Office started to exhibit the issue, albeit not immediately. Eventually the Dad's Office (in the
                water cooler location) fell off and stayed off. Of course we cannot keep this simple, Water Cooler (which was now in my office) did the same thing eventually.

                Originally posted by Redrum View Post
                Would you consider your area urban or rural or somewhere in between? I use an app (android) called wifi analyzer that can show the relative strength of my and my neighbor's wifi signals as I roam around. Often their wifi name indicates who they are ​. It might help by seeing what the radios in the trouble spot see,
                I live in the suburbs. The previous owner of the house did additions that are property line to property line. My house is the one with the Purple J on it. I made sure to be on a channel with low congestion but did not concern myself with the signals everywhere. I know that WiFi6 apparently causes issues for the wifi radio so I am curious if someone has a WiFi6 device around me, I have asked but some people do not know what I mean. Also for it to disable the radios in the laundry room, master bedroom, and dad's office it would need to be in the middle of my house, my office is where near the white car in the driveway, the master bedroom is under the J and the laundry room is more or less under there.

                ​​
                Originally posted by Redrum View Post
                I agree on ELO. If you have not heard the newer "Jeff Lynn's ELO" it is quite good IMO. "Alone in the Universe" I think...Oh, just checked, "newer" is 2015..time flies.

                Jim
                ELO is one of my top bands, I believe Jeff Lynne is (or was) entirely underrated. I bought "A New World Record" on vinyl when I was around 10, for a quarter. I was blown away. My wife and I were lucky enough to see Jeff Lynne's ELO when they came through last time. Easily one of the best we have seen. Alone in the Universe sounds identical to the ELO that I know and love. Most bands struggle with "hiatus" and maintaining their sound, but not Jeff. I assume you know of the Traveling Wilburys but if not, check them out asap. Especially volume 1.

                My youngest is a bit of a musical connoisseur and is constantly impressing me with the things he picks up on. My wife and I are huge Dave Matthews Band fans, we follow them around a bit in the summer. This year we are taking the kids with us, my 14 year old is kinda "yeah i guess it will be fun" but my 7 year old is "HOLY CRAP I AM GOING TO SEE DAVE AND TIM IN PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". The other day I was showing him a video of some song live and afterwards Franklin's Tower by the Grateful Dead came on. I asked if he liked the song, he said "of course, it is dave matthews!". I told him "no, listen to the singer" and he said "oh yeah this is the grateful dead. silly me. i love this song!". Another time the song "Thank You Fellime Be Mice Elf" by Sly & the Family Stone came on. This is a song that DMB covers, but of course adds their own flair. He asked me "isn't this Dave Matthews?" and I was SUPER impressed. I told him that no, this is the original and Dave just plays it because he likes it. Hopefully his musical journey is just beginning.

                The 14 year old, not sure what he likes. He found Modest Mouse on the server and "kinda liked" them. He likes some songs by Train. I have tried just showing him various genres but that did not help. I have not given up yet, I will prevail!


                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Syco54645 View Post
                  I realize syncing is supposed to be dicey with the Pi and Windows computer and have dropped them out of the sync group for days and still have the issue.

                  The Squeezebox Radios are the only devices that I have issues with, other than the odd times that the server needs rebooted.

                  The Radios are all connected to the WiFi and running wlan-poke. All except for 1 report a signal strength of 100%. The other is reporting 87-88%
                  When I started I had 3 radios and would have the issue every so often. They were running the community firmware at that time but not wlan-poke. I still had the dropouts then. To be clear they are not constant, unless they are. What I mean is it can go literal days without having an issue or it can be like today and have nonstop dropouts. Not every dropout causes the music to pause, some just show as the playlist being empty when one drops and it repopulates when it reconnects. I work from home and run it all day with the player on my "spare" 3rd monitor so I can monitor the playlist then. I had a mixture of both of these today. Truthfully I am not sure if I have dropouts that do not interrupt the music, it could happen when I am not working and I would be none the wiser.
                  OK a lot of detail but I feel Radio and Wifi problems are the main issue but you may have more than one issue.
                  Sync works best with a players of similar h/w and similar network paths so adding SqueezliteX (windows), Boom and Pi could be adding a secondary issue. Player with similarly sized internal buffers (decode & output) tend to sync better so if using Squeezleite X and Pi you could try sizing the buffers to be similar to Radio.

                  General forum opinion is that the Radio Wifi issue seem to be related to Wifi6 interference - in your case probably from neighbours (if your location is rural with no obstructions this can be distant).

                  I am vaguely familiar with wlanpoke - Have you checked the log from wlan poke to see when it reset a Radio wifi. If you enable LMS player.sync to INFO - it would be interesting to see if sync problems occur at same time as wlanpoke radio reset.

                  There are LMS sync parameters that can be tweaked but best done with a plan not at random. A plan can be devised after checking whether problem is originating from player with bad reception to your router or wlanpoke wifi reset.


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bpa View Post

                    OK a lot of detail but I feel Radio and Wifi problems are the main issue but you may have more than one issue.
                    Sync works best with a players of similar h/w and similar network paths so adding SqueezliteX (windows), Boom and Pi could be adding a secondary issue. Player with similarly sized internal buffers (decode & output) tend to sync better so if using Squeezleite X and Pi you could try sizing the buffers to be similar to Radio.

                    General forum opinion is that the Radio Wifi issue seem to be related to Wifi6 interference - in your case probably from neighbours (if your location is rural with no obstructions this can be distant).

                    I am vaguely familiar with wlanpoke - Have you checked the log from wlan poke to see when it reset a Radio wifi. If you enable LMS player.sync to INFO - it would be interesting to see if sync problems occur at same time as wlanpoke radio reset.

                    There are LMS sync parameters that can be tweaked but best done with a plan not at random. A plan can be devised after checking whether problem is originating from player with bad reception to your router or wlanpoke wifi reset.

                    Thank you for the detailed reply. I would say the issue is only WiFi based at this point. When the dropouts start happening, if they progress to really bad, then a device will always be missing at some point in the near future. The Water Cooler fell off over the night, just went in there and it was disconnected. WiFi icon is blue, I cannot get to wlan poke status page or a response from ping. The radio reports its IP address as 192.168.1.105 so it thinks it is still connected. This may be a good chance to pull any data, provided it will work via ethernet when it is in this state.

                    I ordered parts last night to attempt to build a WiFi to ethernet bridge, if the WiFi radio hates new WiFi standards this would be the best fix I can think of. I doubt the source of the blobs will be found. Maybe another device somewhere else has better blobs that we can steal but i am not holding my breath there. Maybe a good samaritan will leak the the source for the radio. Being an Android hacker in a past life may have made me disproportionately salty but finding newer blobs for newer Android versions was not very common. I guess someone could reverse the FW and write a new one but not sure how good to technical docs are for the wifi radio and that would be pretty important.

                    The Boom has only been in the mix a few weeks and the problem predates that. Additionally the problem existed when I had nothing but Radios.

                    I have not checked the wlan-poke logs but certainly can. My main OS is Linux and I live in the terminal so I can connect via ssh if ethernet works on it.

                    I posted a satellite view of my house (post #8) to show how close neighbors are, also general info about radio locations and the fact that location seems to be a contributing factor to the issue but all radios have essentially suffered this fate regardless of their locale.
                    Last edited by Syco54645; 2023-02-10, 16:05.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      When we build the Radio/WiFi FAQ should we be explicit about purple Js or should we suggest that the outdoor positioning of any single letter in a striking colo(u)r should be considered carefully?
                      Last edited by Paul Webster; 2023-02-10, 20:58.
                      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 https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...Playing-plugin

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Webster View Post
                        Whyen we build the Radio/WiFi FAQ should we be explicit about purple Js or should we suggest that the outdoor positioning of any single letter in a striking colo(u)r should be considered carefully?
                        It took me a minute to figure out what you meant. Haha. It was just a convenient thing that my wife's and son's phones show on the map right where the master bedroom is. I can share a floor plan with precise locations if we deem it necessary, may take me a while to get that made as I really don't like being on computers much when I am not working.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by bpa View Post

                          Sync works best with a players of similar h/w and similar network paths so adding SqueezliteX (windows), Boom and Pi could be adding a secondary issue. Player with similarly sized internal buffers (decode & output) tend to sync better so if using Squeezleite X and Pi you could try sizing the buffers to be similar to Radio.
                          I did not know this, but it makes sense. Thank you for this info...

                          Syco54645 I did not see any pictures ?? But, that's ok, suburbs, not apartment building. At the start of the thread you mentioned problems with syncing. Without me going back and reading everything, have you tried players with no sync at all? I bet you have.

                          The other thing I go back to is to use something like wifi analyzer. Walk from your router to both good and bad locations (take time to allow reading to settle) and see if maybe there is a neighbors signal that is relatively strong compared to yours or on the same channel.

                          I have a few radios and I don't have the problem, but I might be more rural than you. But I do know from alot of members/chatter that alot of problems started right around when 802.11ax was released. If they can remain stationary, many have used wifi repeaters or wifi dongles like vonets

                          Jim

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Redrum View Post

                            I did not know this, but it makes sense. Thank you for this info...

                            Syco54645 I did not see any pictures ?? But, that's ok, suburbs, not apartment building. At the start of the thread you mentioned problems with syncing. Without me going back and reading everything, have you tried players with no sync at all? I bet you have.

                            The other thing I go back to is to use something like wifi analyzer. Walk from your router to both good and bad locations (take time to allow reading to settle) and see if maybe there is a neighbors signal that is relatively strong compared to yours or on the same channel.

                            I have a few radios and I don't have the problem, but I might be more rural than you. But I do know from alot of members/chatter that alot of problems started right around when 802.11ax was released. If they can remain stationary, many have used wifi repeaters or wifi dongles like vonets

                            Jim
                            Odd the image should be in the post with my reply to you. Doesn't matter really.

                            My son's radio (the elo fan) has the issue occasionally. He has it running 24/7 since he received it and has occasional dropouts. I have seen at least one time where the radio was without network connection at all.

                            I intend to go around with wifi analyzer and check out the congestion along the path and at the destination. Thank you for that suggestion.

                            Yeah the vonet would fix the issue but I believe I can build one with an esp32 board that includes ethernet. If this works I will share the source on github. It may be a bit rough and require editing code to set the network info, it really depends on how far I want to take it. The I have a board coming that should be here tuesday. Should be a fun little project at least.

                            I still would like to get to the bottom of what is happening here as it may help the folks working on the WiFi issues.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Syco54645 View Post

                              It took me a minute to figure out what you meant. Haha.
                              It was meant as a joke - glad you saw it that way.

                              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 https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...Playing-plugin

                              Comment

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