Audio Skipping issues

Discuss with other members how to distribute and setup whole house audio and video. Let everyone know what combination of products you are using to accomplish this.
bogart
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Audio Skipping issues

Postby bogart » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:17 pm

I realize this is a bit OT for this forum, but here goes. I'm running my music server on the same PC as MLServer. It's a 1.5GHz Xeon with 768mb RAM. Sound card is an M-Audio DiO 2448. Seemingly out of nowhere, audio playback has been horrid. I'm getting skips (buffer underruns) very frequently during audio playback. When this is happening, CPU load is comfortably below 30%, and memory usage is at the bottom of the scale.

I've reinstalled the driver more times than I care to count, hoping in vain that it'd make a difference. Playback software makes no difference -- happens in JRMC, happens in Win Media Player.

I've cranked the buffer up to 5 seconds with no improvement. I've changed playback to use WaveOut, Direct Sound, and ASIO, all with the same results.

I've run a ChkDsk with clean results.

This happens with and without MLServer running.

Basically I am stumped... I'm just about ready to reformat the computer and give it another go, but the pain of doing that prompted me to at least throw this one out for discussion first. Thoughts?

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DavidL
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Postby DavidL » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:32 pm

You might try to remove all audio codecs and reinstall J. River again. Maybe an app stepped on the codecs and installed some hog wash that is messing with your system.

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Postby gregoryx » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:44 pm

I was having some weird slowness and CPU stuff with JRMC. I updated some drivers - Nvidia core and ATI video - after reading those things had helped with other JRMC users - and it made a difference. NOT what I expected.

You don't mention how much memory JRMC is using.

Also, it may be worth trying the native audio rather than the M-Audio as well; I had an issue with that years ago.

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Postby bogart » Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:15 am

Thanks to both of you for the quick responses. I had heard that video cards could interfere in this way, so I'll give those a go.

I'll take this as an opportunity to test drive MC12 as long as I'm installing things.

JRMC is usng about 31.5MB of memory during playback.

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Postby bogart » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:51 am

I installed MC12 this morning and, cross your fingers, it seems to have eliminated the skipping. I've not tested win media player (and I really should get to work instead of staying home and playing automation...), but I will update when I return.

Edit: A light day at work and VNC make for good experimentation. My roommate's office is on the 3rd floor of my house, so I'm sure he didn't mind all the phone calls of "is it skipping now?"

WMP is fully functional without skips. JRMC12 plays skip-free until it crashes about 75% of the way through a song. Looks like I need to get a more stable release :lol:

Edit 2
Bad news! Looks like a return to problems upon arriving home from work. Which gives me one idea--the computer is in a pretty warm 3rd story room, and the problems are correlated with the recent upswing in temperatures and sunny days baking the roof above this 3rd floor room. I'm wondering if heat in the server is an issue. I planned to move the computer to the basement anyway, this'll give me a chance to test that theory tonight.

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gregoryx
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Postby gregoryx » Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:22 pm

It seemed that my network and drive controller updates did more for the skipping (and other JRMC delays) than anything else - including the video drivers.

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Postby bogart » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:22 pm

So I've tried a variety of things so far. I've updated the NIC drivers, IDE Drivers, and Video Card drivers. Installed MC12 (program crashes after 1 song). I have relocated the server to the favorable cool climate of the basement. I have deleted the windows Fraunhofer mp3 codec and reinstalled. I've reinstalled soundcard drivers. I've tried waveout, directsound, and ASIO.

I still have skipping. Less severe at first after reboots, but still present.

Any other ideas? I'm half tempted to reformat the server and give it another go.

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gregoryx
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Postby gregoryx » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:18 pm

Have you tried using the native audio instead of M? Just as a test?

Can you MAKE it do it? with processor load? or anti-viral scans? or file transfers?

Could the hard-drive be going bad? Pull SMART on it. Look for correlation between SMART incrementing and the skips.

I'll keep thinking... :?

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Postby bogart » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:49 pm

Interesting idea! I pulled SMART data, and unfortunately(?), everything checks out OK. I'm really plumbing the depths of your knowledge here! I really appreciate your thoughts on it... and hopefully we're creating a good troubleshooting list for posterity!

Another check on win media player gave flawless playback after nasty skipping in MC11. I'm focusing down on JRMC now to see what I can get with a reinstall.

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Postby bogart » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:20 pm

Just finished a skip free track. I basically cleared everything off of the computer except ML, installed a fresh MC11, and am declaring victory.

Thank you Gregory and Smooth!!!
:D

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Postby DavidL » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:05 pm

fingers crossed for Ya!
Hope it works.

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Postby gregoryx » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:38 am

Good luck! Let us know. :)

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Postby bogart » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:18 am

It's definitely worth sharing that things are holding up. I might even be able to remove the chewing gum and paper clips keeping things together :D

Thankfully, this has silenced critics of the home automation ambitions, as well. It's weird how friends don't understand until they come over and play with it for themselves...


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