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  1. #1
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    One cause of rebuffering on the Touch

    This is a tale of someone who was, and still is, extremely happy with their Logitech Touch but who had one nagging problem for which there was a work around, but for which the cause was, nonetheless, not understood.

    Under certain conditions the Touch would start ‘rebuffering’ to the extent that it was not possible to listen to the music. Changing tracks exacerbated the problem. Rebuffering could very occasionally happen at any time, but it would reliably occur when playing 24 bit 96Khz FLAC tracks and sending PCM to the Touch (by setting the appropriate options in the File Types section of the SB server settings so that FLAC – FLAC and FLAC – MP3 were disabled, and FLAC - PCM was flac). Sending the tracks as ‘native’ FLACs almost completely solved the problem, but the cause was still unknown and kept me awake.

    There are, no doubt, dozens of reasons why one might get such problems. You might or might not have the same problem as I did. I have tried to give a few hints below as to how you might narrow the problem down to see if the cause of your problem is the same as mine.

    In my case the setup consists of:
    • a 2cpu 2Ghz PC with 3GB memory running XP SP3, with SB version 7.5.3 or 7.5.4 – the SB version made no difference
    • a network consisting of 3 gigabit switches, several wall sockets, and sundry lengths of Cat 5 or better Ethernet cable of varying ages
    • a Touch running 7.5.4, 7.5.4 or 7.6.0 r9441 – the version made no difference

    To cut a long story shorter, several things had to be done to locate the problem. I shall simplify what I actually did and explain what I should have done in an orderly fashion, to avoid long tales of going down long and totally mistaken routes in an attempt to find the source of the problem.

    First, and simplest, was to use Task Manager in Windows to view the Network Traffic. This gives a visual feel for the traffic being sent to the Touch. In my case using PCM and 24/96 recordings, the traffic was a bit erratic, but hovered around 6 to 8% of the network capacity. The network speed was 100Mbps. The CPU was low at only a few %. See 'network traffic fixed 2.jpg' attached to this post (the first of the images below).

    Secondly, I wanted a way of looking at the network traffic in more detail. I’m no TCP/IP expert, but have some knowledge of computer protocols. I installed Microsoft Network Monitor from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/e...displaylang=en . I captured a few seconds of traffic when sending data as PCM from the PC to the Touch, and then sending as FLAC. The program showed, in plain English, many ‘retransmit’ packets being sent in both cases, such as:

    4860 13:34:35 09/05/2011 10.4931640 SQUEEZ~3.EXE 192.168.1.2 192.168.1.9 TCP TCP:[ReTransmit #4838][Continuation to #4833]Flags=...A...., SrcPort=9000, DstPort=33584, PayloadLen=1460, Seq=2798448564 - 2798450024, Ack=1411749148, Win=64226 (scale factor 0x2) = 256904 {TCP:28, IPv4:26}

    4861 13:34:35 09/05/2011 10.4931640 SQUEEZ~3.EXE 192.168.1.2 192.168.1.9 TCP TCP:[ReTransmit #4839][Continuation to #4833]Flags=...A...., SrcPort=9000, DstPort=33584, PayloadLen=1460, Seq=2798450024 - 2798451484, Ack=1411749148, Win=64226 (scale factor 0x2) = 256904 {TCP:28, IPv4:26}

    This was a surprise, and indicated a network issue of some form.

    Third, I connected the Touch directly to the PC using my most recent piece of Cat 6 Ethernet cable and no switch, to see if the problem was due to the physical network. To make this work the Touch had to have a fixed IP address. In my case the problem was, if anything, worse than over my full network.

    I now knew I had a problem either with the Touch itself or the PC. There’s little I could do about the Touch, other than note that other people successfully send 24/96 PCM to their Touch with no difficulty. PCs are a different matter, since no two are the same.

    If it is not the network, work back from there into the PC itself. How about the network card? My PC has a built-in Nvidia nForce 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet NIC. Looking at the device properties, under the Advanced tab there are many options. I tried several. Turning ‘flow control’ on seemed to help, but after listening for an hour the problem came back. I won’t bore you with the other options I tried, none of which helped. However, one option completely fixed the problem.

    On this NIC there is an option to set the speed/duplex settings for the NIC. Options include fixed speeds of 10 or 100 Mbps at full or half duplex (FD or HD), 10 or 100Mbps with ‘autoneg’ full or half duplex, or Autonegotiation. My NIC was set at ‘100Mbps full duplex’ following advice given elsewhere. This was my mistake.

    Setting my NIC to ‘Autoneg for 100FD’ solved my problem completely. I also did a few tests with ‘Autonegotiation’ and had no problems.

    For details of why a fixed speed might be a bad idea for some systems, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonegotiation

    Going back to my small kit of tools, using Task Manager the network traffic is now much smoother, and stable at around 4-5%. Using Microsoft Network Monitor, I could find almost no retransmissions. See See 'network traffic autoneg 2.jpg' attached to this post (the second of the images below).

    I know that other people have reported using fixed speed NICs successfully. I can only guess that in such cases their network, switches and PC are either capable of handling the retransmission loads, or their switches or NIC are in some way avoiding the speed negotiation problems that bedevilled my system.

    Now I can sit back and enjoy the music without that nagging doubt in my mind.

  2. #2
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    Radio stream Rebuffering

    Great post Tim!!!

    Rebuffering on my SB3 has been driving me potty too. FLAC over my internal network was faultless but streaming radio was a complete no-no so it looked like an ISP/Network issue. They (the ISP) had almost persuaded me it was not a network problem because there were no packets actually being dropped
    (at the command prompt:- "pathping bbc.co.uk").

    My NIC (Atheros L1) doesn't have the full range of settings and was already set to "Auto" but I followed your advice and loaded the Network Monitor and found a huge number of "Continuation" packets. I suspect this is caused by poor settings for MTU and RWIN on my SBS Vista machine. I went to
    http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/MTU2.htm
    and followed their advice and it has been streaming flawlessly for the last hour. I should add that I used SqueezePlay on the SBS machine (Vista) cabled to the router to eliminate other issues. CPU & memory loads were incredibly low but the NIC must have just been giving up the ghost with all the fragmented packets.

    So my advice is:-

    1. Follow Tim's advice above re: setting up the PC interface.

    2. Visit "Kitz" as it seems the MTU & RWIN settings are TOTALLY dependent on your ISP. Their advice summarised:-
    Use Ping to determine the best MTU for your ISP (mine was 1458)
    Use their calculator to find RWIN based on your line speed.
    Download Dr.TCP to set the values on your PC.

    3. Set the new MTU value on your router (or at least make sure it is larger than the calculated value).

    4. BUT, despite the fact that it is now streaming cleanly, Vista has already seen fit to reset the MTU on reboot to 1486.
    "netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces"
    Vista is supposed to tune MTU automatically but we know what a pile of cack Vista is. There is a shed load of advice on Kitz for setting on Vista; I haven't followed that yet (ain't broken now so why fix it).

    Hope this helps.

    Reg
    Last edited by RegH; 2011-07-12 at 12:41.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Phil Leigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RegH View Post
    4. BUT, despite the fact that it is now streaming cleanly, Vista has already seen fit to reset the MTU on reboot to 1486.
    "netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces"
    Vista is supposed to tune MTU automatically but we know what a pile of cack Vista is. There is a shed load of advice on Kitz for setting on Vista; I haven't followed that yet (ain't broken now so why fix it)...
    The best fix for Vista is to replace it with Win7 - fast, stable and above all reliable.
    You want to see the signal path BEFORE it gets onto a CD/vinyl...it ain't what you'd call minimal...
    Touch(wired/W7)+Teddy Pardo PSU - Audiolense 3.3/2.0+INGUZ DRC - MF M1 DAC - Linn 5103 - full Aktiv 5.1 system (6x LK140's, ESPEK/TRIKAN/KATAN/SEIZMIK 10.5), Pekin Tuner, Townsend Supertweeters,VdH Toslink,Kimber 8TC Speaker & Chord Signature Plus Interconnect cables
    Stax4070+SRM7/II phones
    Kitchen Boom, Outdoors: SB Radio, Harmony One remote for everything.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Leigh View Post
    The best fix for Vista is to replace it with Win7 - fast, stable and above all reliable.
    Agreed. I took the plunge to go from XP to Win 7 last month, and so far have had few problems that weren't of my own making. SB has been running fine, both locally and for internet radio.

    Just don't ask me about DLNA, UPnP, video codecs, .ts files, different versions of WMP, and the like.

    I'll stick to the music.
    Last edited by PasTim; 2011-07-12 at 12:55.

  5. #5
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    I had not realized the benefits of upgrading to 7. I have been stubbornly resisting the change, I did not fully understand that my performance could be drastically improved. I have lots of issues with re-buffering of my audio streams, which is driving me batty. Maybe I will just have to go ahead and upgrade.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PasTim View Post
    This is a tale of someone who was, and still is, extremely happy with their Logitech Touch but who had one nagging problem for which there was a work around, but for which the cause was, nonetheless, not understood. ...
    Very useful post. I'm sure this will come in handy for future visitors to the forum!
    Home: VBA2.5 4TB or rPi4B/pCP6.1/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: rPi4B/pCP6.1/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet except Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>foobar2000
    The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP4.0, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone11 & iPadAir3 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
    Files: Ripping: dbpoweramp > FLAC; Post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Very useful post. I'm sure this will come in handy for future visitors to the forum!
    Why thank you. One tries...

    Generally these SB threads seem very helpful, which encourages people like me to have a go. When I get it wrong (especially on anything to do with audiophilia) I usually get corrected pretty quickly, and mostly quite politely, so I'm not too shy of trying again!
    LMS 7.9.3 on PC, Xubuntu 18.04, FLACs 16->24 bit, 44.1->192kbps. 2 Touchs & EDO.
    LMS plugin UPnP/DLNA Bridge to MF M1 CLiC (A308CR amp & ESLs) & Marantz CR603 UPnP renderers.
    Also Minimserver & Upplay to same & to upmpdcli/mpd PC renderers.
    Squeezelite to Meridian USB Explorer DAC to PC speakers/headphones.
    Wireless Xubuntu 18.04 laptop firefox/upplay or Android 'phone with Squeeze-Commander/BubbleUPnP controls LMS/Minimserver.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PasTim View Post
    Why thank you. One tries...

    Generally these SB threads seem very helpful, which encourages people like me to have a go. When I get it wrong (especially on anything to do with audiophilia) I usually get corrected pretty quickly, and mostly quite politely, so I'm not too shy of trying again!
    Agree. And I'm particularly fond of posters who try to systematically diagnose their problems and test hypotheses about potential sources of the problems. I've learned a tremendous amount hanging out around here....
    Home: VBA2.5 4TB or rPi4B/pCP6.1/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: rPi4B/pCP6.1/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet except Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>foobar2000
    The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP4.0, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone11 & iPadAir3 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
    Files: Ripping: dbpoweramp > FLAC; Post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  9. #9
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    There is one generally valid recommendation with computer systems these days:

    If you've got problems, DON'T TRY TO TWEAK YOUR SYSTEM.

    In most cases, defaults are the best solution and messing around will not improve anything but make it worse.

    Yours is a typical case: I know it's a religious discussion about whether it will improve your SQ to decode FLAC on the PC but knowing the Touch a bit I will never believe it does until I hear it which I don't.
    And fiddling with network settings on the PC attached to a distributed network (as opposed to just a straight cable into the Touch) WILL NOT alter your SQ, no matter what people tell you. It just won't. Under no circumstances. Never. Period.

    So what you did was two modifications to improve sound quality that brought you a lot of trouble with zero (or little) benefit.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  10. #10
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    Hi there,

    This is a great thread and gives me hope that my buffering problems may some day be resolved. on the other hand I'm thrown into a blind panic as I can only understand about ten percent of what is being said and I don't get the impression that logitech are hurrying out a user friendly fix for this.

    So maybe someone can give me some pointers. so far I only use my touch to stream music using the Spotify app via my wireless network (I'm saving for something like a vortex box when I will rip my cd collection). So my buffering problem is independant of my pc / network card setting. Recognising that many people say that wi-fi is less than optimal for a number of reasons I have tried to set up a wired network with wall plugs but have run into the well documented problems of failing to find an address. so I feel that I'm on a perpetual merry-go-round.

    Can anyone give me a pointer as to what could be my next step?

    Many thanks - I realy want to like my touch but at the moment it just makes me want to screa!

    Robert

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