Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

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hemlock
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:44 pm

Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by hemlock » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:22 am

Right off the bat - yes I have submitted a support ticket. That was almost a month ago and things aren't going well there so I thought I'd try my luck here.

I have a BluOS MDC module. It is hardwired to the network (no wifi). For many months it worked without issue. Then, early this year (seemingly after the last BluOS software update) it started skipping for TIDAL MQA files quite regularly (like every few minutes).

Support has really only focused on my network, although nothing there has changed since it was working well. I have a 300 mbs internet connection (and just had my IPS out to my house to verify its health - it seems very healthy). Internally my network is gigabit using Cat 6. Speed tests from any computer are very good (close to my 300mbs max, sometimes over). If I take a computer and plug it into the same network drop as the BluOS device, that computer can play the same files while simultaneously streaming Netflix, HD YouTube, and copying files from a NAS with no interruptions or slowdowns of any kind.

To ensure the problem is not related to any other malfunctioning device on the network, I disabled Wifi on my router and plugged the BluOS device and one computer directly into the router (the computer just to control the player). I have done this with more than one computer (just in case the computer itself was malfunctioning). I have tried multiple ports on the router (in case one was malfunctioning) and I have swapped network cables.

Support has provided various settings to try on the router, none of which increased or decreased the amount it skips. I have obviously reset everything a million times.

I have even done a factory reset on the router and re-flashed with the latest firmware (no change). I have reflashed the bluOS device with the latest firmware (no change). Hardware NAT is working correctly and the ISP's modem is in bridge mode so I'm not experiencing a double NAT translation.

Support even remote connected to my computer to investigate (but it seems all they did was change the device's DNS to 1.1.1.1).

There's no indication that there are any problems with my network at all. Any tests I run come up very positive (ping of <10ms, ~3ms jitter, no packet loss, 200-300mbs using speedtest).

So basically I've been pushed aside - it seems like support are only able to resolve issues if they are network related. (In fact, it seems like that is all they are even willing to consider).

Does anyone have any advice? Alternatively, is there anyone out there with an original BluOS MDC module, latest firmware, who uses TIDAL MQA? (which is almost brand new - I was ignorant when I purchased it and didn't realize I was getting old stock).


Here's an example of the logs during one of these timeouts:

Code: Select all

Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.warn ./ms.pl: ProxyCodec::__ANON__ ProxyCodec.pm (412) Stream connection timed out
Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: StreamCodec::drainAndRetry StreamCodec.pm (1462) Retry Tidal:103220885 @ 24965513/114348275
Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 127.0.0.1: /error?7
Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?7
Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?7
Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?clear=1&counter=7
Mar  6 19:19:53 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?clear=1&counter=7
Mar  6 19:19:54 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: StreamCodec::_getStreamOrPlaylist StreamCodec.pm (495) Tidal:103220885
Mar  6 19:19:54 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 127.0.0.1: /error?8
Mar  6 19:19:54 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?8
Mar  6 19:19:54 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?clear=1&counter=8
Mar  6 19:19:54 (none) user.info ./ms.pl: main::HttpRequest ./ms.pl (988) [1] 192.168.1.20: /error?8

vlrdngr
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:07 am

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by vlrdngr » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:46 am

FYvvM

hemlock
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by hemlock » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:34 am

Honestly I don't really see how this is related. My issue doesn't have anything to do with iOS and the symptoms are quite different.

I don't receive a 'no player selected' screen (I did when I first received the device but that was fixed with firmware updates).

SeppiE
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by SeppiE » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:11 pm

I understand why Bluesound changed the DNS entry on your router, you may want to try the OpenDNS or Google ones to see if that helps.

From experience Tidal do have issues but never been able to pin them down and a restart of the router / player gets you connected onto analternative Tidal server and works again.

Might seem odd but do try connecting via wifi and once playing MQA from Tidal check all other devices that connect to your router are turned off. You can try via wired as well with everything else off.

hemlock
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by hemlock » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:33 pm

I get why they changed the DNS entry as well (I had already changed it on my router due to their instruction). I question if DNS lookups are going to cause timeouts during a stream that has already been playing, but that's fine - it was easy to try (and both Google and OpenDNS have been tried).

I have indeed tried via wired with everything else disconnected and the wifi completely disabled. I have not then gone back to try wifi. I'll give it a shot, although I installed a network drop near the device specifically because I was having wifi streaming issues when I initially set up the device. ...however I see the value of this from a troubleshooting perspective (even if that wouldn't really be a viable end state), I can move it right beside my router using wifi to see if the skips go away.

As for getting a different TIDAL server - maybe, but that would seem more likely if the problem was intermittent. The problem is highly consistent, and persists across reboots (reboots of the router, cable modem, and player). Meanwhile other devices play TIDAL flawlessly.

The problem started at a certain point. Never once occurred prior, and occurs 100% of the time since over the course of about 6 weeks. Just saying that makes it seem unlikely it is a server selection issue (although I understand that can be an issue).

If I thought it would solve the problem I'd replace the router and move to a different service level from my ISP (as moving to 600 would necessitate a new cable modem - so I'd be doing it more to test with different hardware than the delusion that I need 600mbs to stream TIDAL). That's not a negligible cost though so without having a reason to believe it would solve the problem, I hesitate to do it. My current router is generally well regarded (Asus RT-AC68U). Since the issue began I have even tried using alternate firmware for the router (the Merlin AsusWRT variant). The problem is consistent regardless of the router firmware used.

One thing that doesn't seem to be addressed though - it was working with ZERO timeouts for around 8 months(? ish). Then I apply a BluOS software update and it times out consistently. It can absolutely be coincidence, but the rest of the environment didn't change and we are talking about a problem that 100% does not happen to a problem that 100% does happen. It is not intermittent. The issues being suggested don't seem to jive with that sort of pattern.

SeppiE
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by SeppiE » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:45 pm

If you have a mobile phone, hot spot option and plenty of data you could try that to eliminate your router and ISP entirely.

Presume you can play hires files (24/192) locally from a NAS / Share?

hemlock
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by hemlock » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:09 pm

I have no high res files locally. I basically live off of streaming services. I will try to get some and see. I can copy a gig of data from a NAS to a computer in the blink of an eye so certainly total throughput is vastly above what is required for MQA, but still, worth a try. I understand why these cases are different.

I do have enough data to try out using my phone as a hotspot. I can give that a shot. If the problem goes away it would tell me something (so that has value), but if the problem persists then I'm not sure it tells me much though as a cellular hotspot is less than ideal for this sort of thing. I believe that my cellular provider throttles hotspot throughput (not certain on that but browsing using my phone as a hotspot feels slower subjectively). ...still - good to try for troubleshooting. Likely tomorrow morning before I can dig into these ideas but looks like I have a weekend project.

If anyone has ideas that require more technical ability lay it on me. I once had to reverse engineer a compiled server binary using packet inspection to port it to Java (the source code had been lost). This was back in the day when Wireshark was Ethereal (pre-smart phone olden-times). So I'm not a network engineer but I'm technical and willing to put effort into this.

Thanks for the ideas!

SeppiE
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by SeppiE » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:21 pm

You don’t need a great connection for Tidal MQA, thats part of the beauty of the files.

In the meantime here are some 24/192 test files and various other formats.

http://www.2l.no/hires/

Also try removing your Tidal credentials in Bluesound, boot the player then adding them again.

hemlock
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:44 pm

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by hemlock » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:34 pm

Trying out those files you linked to but can't get the player to mount any network shares.

Do you know what SMB version it requires? I'm running a Synology NAS and have SMB2, SMB3, and AFS enabled for sharing. The BluOS player doesn't detect any shares of any kind on my network.

Manually entering the share name fails.
(Just givers the error "Mounting failed").

Share name:
\\mass\music or \\192.168.1.37\music

Share is set up public but even with user creds I just get the same error. I've set up new shares with open permissions and the device can't mount the shares.

...as you might expect, all other computers (like 6 of them) can see the shares just fine, via AFP or SMB.

braino
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:01 am

Re: Regular skips when playing Tidal MQA

Post by braino » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:52 pm

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