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>>> Music playback, buffering, and skipping <<<

 
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publicpersona62 is offline Old Post 07-08-2003 01:23 AM
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publicpersona62
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Posts: 4

Music playback, buffering, and skipping

I have a TIVO hooked up through a usb/wireless access point to my 802.11 network. When I go to the setup screen, I routinely get an 80% level on the wireless signal. When I use my laptop, I can get download speeds exceeding 1.5 Mbits/sec. In other words, the wireless signal is pretty good.

I use a 1 GHz G4 iMac as my music server. This machine is used only as a server. Besides the Tivo software, I have a small website for family and friends that I run on it. Other than that, it normally does not have anyone on it, and most definitely does not have anyone on it when I am listening to music over my Tivo. Again, in other words, the machine is not loaded down doing other tasks.

In spite of this very underused network and server, I routinely get pauses and skips as i try to play music on Tivo. When this happens, the play bar appears on the screen, and the arrow changes from green to yellow. After a while, it clears itself up and the music continues playing.

I believe one of two things could be happening: One, the Tivo could simply be overloaded, because it is trying to record something at the same time it's playing back my music. I don't think this is the case, though, because I've noticed that the red light in front of the unit does not come on when the music skips, which would indicate it is recording. Second, it might be that the Tivo is unable to pull the MP3 info off the server fast enough. If this is the case, then this is a very poor implementation of the s/w. An MP3 file is only 3 to 5 MBytes. Why doesn't Tivo download it all at once at the start of the song? It would only take a few seconds. That way, there would never be any skipping.

This is very frustrating to me because, of course, it always seems to happen when I have guests over and i am singing the praises of Tivo. It never fails that I have just finished telling someone how great this thing is, when all of a sudden the music starts skipping. Pretty embarrasing.

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dth21 is offline Old Post 07-08-2003 04:05 AM
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dth21
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Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 25

Re: Music playback, buffering, and skipping

quote:
Originally posted by publicpersona62
This is very frustrating to me because, of course, it always seems to happen when I have guests over and i am singing the praises of Tivo. It never fails that I have just finished telling someone how great this thing is, when all of a sudden the music starts skipping. Pretty embarrasing.


What version of iTunes do you have installed on the iMac?

I was having similar problems with 4.0. After upgrading to 4.0.1 (and of course losing the remote streaming capabilities), things seemed to improve. Scrolling through the artist list it still a little glitchy sometimes, but songs do not cut off.

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iDriveX is offline Old Post 07-08-2003 06:13 AM
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iDriveX
Neo-Trek Lover

Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 130

This just started happening to me and upon further investigation it is actually the Apple Airport 3.1 Update. If you installed that update, it installed Firmware 5.1 on your base station. For some reason the TiVo is incompatible with this firmware revision. I have posted the older 5.0.4 Firmware on my webpage. Here's a direct link:

http://www.idrivex.com/downloads/ape504.bin

If you never installed the 5.1 Firmware Update then this doesn't apply.

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iDriveX is offline Old Post 07-08-2003 06:15 AM
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iDriveX
Neo-Trek Lover

Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 130

By the way, it isn't your music server because I have had flawless use with my PowerBook G4/867 and airport combo.

__________________
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TV-Less! :( I hate you Adelphia AND DirecTV
Linksys WUSB11 Ver. 2.6
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publicpersona62 is offline Old Post 07-10-2003 07:01 PM
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publicpersona62
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Skipping

Thanks for the suggestions, but it's not the Airport upgrade, because i'm using a Linksys router. I also have upgraded to iTunes 4.0.1, so it's not that. I really think that what happens is that there are occasional glitches in the wireless signal. I live in the middle of he city, in an apartment building, so there can be interference from neighbors microwaves, phones, etc. Tivo doesn't have enough information buffered to be able to recover from these glitches without skipping.

My point though is that these glitches are unavoidable. Therefore, the Tivo software should be a little smarter about buffering. I've looked at my network traffic while a song is being played, and essentially, data it is constantly being downloaded from my server to the Tivo, a little bit at a time. In other words, it seems like Tivo downloads a few seconds of music, pauses, then downloads some more. I don't see why they don't just keep downloading until they have the entire song as soon as it starts playing. As it gets near the end of the song, it should download the next one, and so on. That way, any glitches would more likely be limited to the time between songs, where they are less noticeable and less annoying. Sure, if you stop a song in the middle and pick another one or another playlist, you "wasted" that download, but so what? It's not like it costs anything.

This, btw, is what the iPod does. It downloads about four or five songs (depending on length) into its buffer. So any skips happen at the end of songs. They're still annoying, especially if the thing locks up while you're jogging, but I think it's a better way to do it.

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three=eight is offline Old Post 07-13-2003 08:45 PM
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three=eight
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Posts: 23

buffering

I'm not HMO'ing until TiVo adds this. It's obscene that they couldn't alot 8 or 10 Mb for a buffer from an 80 gig drive. If some don't want that make it a choice in setup. I for one can't see the use for audio streaming if it's not without pauses and clicks. Also the buffer would prevent pausing between songs. Who wants to list to "Dark Side Of The Moon" with 3 seconds between each track? Any way give me a buffer and color me HMO!!!

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bach_one is offline Old Post 07-16-2003 11:20 PM
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bach_one
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Registered: May 2003
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Here, here on frustrations with HMO slow access of wireless network

I just want to support publicpersona62 with their frustration. I too have HMO with a wireless network (Apple Imac with a Dlink router) and am bummed by how slow the TIVO is in loading the menus and the songs. It takes a good 10-15 seconds for my songlist to load and then an additional 5 seconds to when I push play to start a song. I was told that it is because I have too many songs in my library but that answer doesn't seem adequate. I have found that the only tolerable way to use HMO music playback is to just hit play and don't touch it. Let the random feature pick the songs for you. But even with that, the time between songs is a little longer than it should be.

Please fix this TIVO!

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coldtoes is offline Old Post 07-19-2003 10:00 AM
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coldtoes
vermicious knid

Registered: May 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 547

Re: Skipping

quote:
Originally posted by publicpersona62
I really think that what happens is that there are occasional glitches in the wireless signal. I live in the middle of the city, in an apartment building, so there can be interference from neighbors microwaves, phones, etc. Tivo doesn't have enough information buffered to be able to recover from these glitches without skipping.
I would agree. I'm serving my mp3s off a Windows PC, so no Airport or iTunes. But I have similar problems with my wireless network in my condo in a city rowhouse. TiVo will lose the connection with the network while playing a song, and then is unable to recover.

Problem number 1: There should be a buffer so playback is uninterrupted while TiVo tries to reconnect with the network. Problem number 2: In my case, the glitches tend not to clear up by themselves. TiVo appears unable to restore the network connection without some sort of intervention on my part - moving to the next or previous song, etc. And once it's decided the network connection is lost and gives me the "no server available" screen, I usually have to go back to TiVo Central and re-enter M&P for it to find the server again. So TiVo needs to try a little harder/more frequently to reconnect, rather than giving up so quickly.

My 2 cents.

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