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The "Received:" header says "81-86-176-91.dsl.pipex.com", in case that
helps.]


Hi again,

this time I'm looking for clues on the probably-network-related hassles I've
been having recently.

In brief ... My SliMP3 had been running fine for at least a year, with my
usual pattern of just playing everything on shuffle and hitting "next" when I
get something I don't like. After some changes of flatmates a couple of
months ago (and hence PCs on the network, which may or may not be part of the
problem), I now find it "skips" quite often, where "skip" really means "skip
back a second or two". With the 3.0b4 server this happened every few seconds
so it was unusable; with both 3.0 final and 5.1.5 it seems to happen only a
few times per song (on average) but it's still quite irritating.

Now for some more gory details ...


The flat network is laid out as follows:

Blueyonder cable modem
|
|
|
gateway PC (P100, Debian, providing firewall, DHCP and DNS)
|
|
|
BENQ 10/100 8-port switch (hallway) --- PPro200, Debian, SliMP3 server 3.0b4
| \
| --- [4 other PCs, all running Windows]
|
BENQ 10/100 8-port switch (my room) --- SliMP3 === amp === speakers
| \
| --- [Windows PC, turned off]
|
Athlon XP 2400+, Debian, running SliMP3 server 3.0 or SlimServer 5.1.5

On each of the Slim-server machines the music is being read from a local
drive. Neither machine is heavily loaded, nor is there any obvious change in
load, IO activity or network traffic when the skipping happens. (Might well
be non-obvious changes, though.)

If I disconnect the switch in my room from the rest of the network, the
skipping still happens.

If I connect the SliMP3 to the network somewhere closer to the P100 (assuming
that's running the server), the skipping seems to happen less often. If I
connect the SliMP3's audio output to my PC's "aux in", instead of to my
hi-fi, the skipping seems to happen less often! This seems a bit
implausible, but I've been re-testing this as I write, and it still seems to
be true, whether or not I use the same Ethernet cable. It *is* an old,
second-hand amp, and I've had problems with the power supply in this room(*),
so maybe it's some interference problem?!?

(* One set of light fittings is connected to a spur off the ring main, rather
than to the overhead light circuit. When we got a new set of circuit
breakers and an RCD fitted in the flat, those fittings kept blowing bulbs and
tripping breakers, until I change to low-power flourescent bulbs.)

Any network-diagnostic or other clues most welcome. I'm not feeling *too*
music-starved at the moment, as I just bought an iRiver iHP-120 MP3
player :-) but it'd be good to get the SliMP3 usable again.

Thanks in advance,
Hugh