Rebuffering is back

#1
It's a pity your customer support has to be handled via this public forum as this problem may be of my doing - but that is your choice. I see that in the past others have complained about similar breaks.

I tried putting a special programme out for St. Patrick's Day, just a 30 minute show repeating played direcly from the uplink machine with Winamp. i.e. nothing too taxing.

The playback started out just a few seconds behind the uplink but within 3 minutes my radio was repeatedly rebuffering, whilst my uplink (which I was both graphically and audibly monitoring) was working witout a visible hitch. No breaks in the uplink stream, in fact a smooth line. After 20 minutes my radio had rebuffered so often that the downlink was nearly 3 minutes behind the uplink. It was completely unlistenable.

Now please if it is somthing that I am doing then fair enough, but I can't for the life of me see what it might be. My uplink works and is continuous. As I have mentioned before, I monitor and listen for pleasure to several different feeds at different times and this one is by far the worst - in fact I only get a problem on the other feeds very occasionally, perhaps once a WEEK!

I have now turned the stream off as it is completely unusable for its designed purpose - I wouldn't be happy to listen to 10 second breaks every minute, and neither should my listeners.

Were you by any chance doing anything to your server this morning? What on earth can cause this?

Is there any softare that I can install to isolate the problem and prove that my uplink is not the cause? I have now tried several different uplink programs all give problems at different times but this simple set up today was the worst ever.

If it helps it seems that your server is "obviously" storing the feed for a short time (on hard disk or memory?) and it gets "glitched" between the uplink and downlink resulting is discontinuity and thereby requires rebuffering. If your server did not receive the data surely it would "ask" for a resend which I would see on my uplink stream? Am I wrong in this?

I just want to get to the bottom of this and not have to trouble you again.
 
#2
We had this issue last night too. At first I thought it was our connection to the internet, so took the IR stream off and switched to another server - this ran fine. As soon as we went back to the IR one we had buffering and loss of connection, with the error message "unable to send data fast enough, buffer cleared". I had previously shouted loudly at BT about this issue when it appears the problem is not BT related. There obviously is a problem getting the stream from the encoder out to the Internet via the IR servers if you're having the same issue.
 
#3
Hello there, I can only help out as a way of a Moderator here. I do not have any direct contact with IR Servers, I do not manage them but I help out on the forums for support related issues.

Regarding you "unable to send data fast enough, buffer cleared" message, were you using SAM BRoadcast for this, or a Spacial Encoder? (Notice SpAcial, not Special!!)? I have only ever seen this problem using their encoders, never in the official SHOUTcast for Winamp plugin.
 
#4
Well as I said I am using the bog standard Winamp setup and it certainly affects me.

I don't mean to be sarcastic but this is all getting darned annoyng! It has affected my stream off and on since I started up, has caused me to have to re-engineer my uplink system to avoid what I thought might be a problem with my audio server, but continues and I have to keep switching off.

I am presently monitoring a Shoutcast server that has been up continuously since the first of March, and is coming from a huge and very busy university network that carries video feeds and all sorts of stuff - it presently has75 listeners (300 peak in the evenings) and has not "glitched" once. There is incidentally just 5 seconds between uplink and downlink - your server buffering delay can often be measured in minutes. Is that a clue?

By the way I use Logik IP radios to listen (saves tying up computers), don't know if that helps with diagnosis. They work fine on other streams.
 

Support

Level 1 Support
Staff member
#5
We are sorry to hear of you issues. Could you give us the exact times / dates of the issues to we can check out the logs and latency around that time.

It's a pity your customer support has to be handled via this public forum as this problem may be of my doing - but that is your choice. I see that in the past others have complained about similar breaks.
We do offer support by email too. You can always email us at contact@internet-radio.org.uk if you would prefer. There is a link 'Contact Us' in the footer of each page.

Is there any softare that I can install to isolate the problem and prove that my uplink is not the cause? I have now tried several different uplink programs all give problems at different times but this simple set up today was the worst ever.
We have just created a new guide for using the MTR tool for analysing network issues which we mentioned before. This is useful for us to determine where exactly the data is getting lost. You can read the guide here : http://forum.internet-radio.org.uk/guides/535-how-use-mtr-tool-analyse-network-problems.html

If you get this problem again please make a note of the date / times and run a report from MTR and email us at contact@internet-radio.org.uk with the output and your username. This will allow us to better understand where the problem lies.

Cashpot / Td1radio are hosted in different data centres so we are not sure that your issues are related but we can investigate them both if you could give us some exact times / dates.

There have been no upgrades or modifications to the server since the beginning of this month where we had some minor data centre maintenance.

Cashpot : Could you go into a little more detail about exactly what you mean when you say you re-engineer your upstream ? Also what is 'Logik IP radios' ? Is this some sort of wifi internet radio device ?
 
#6
Hello there, I can only help out as a way of a Moderator here. I do not have any direct contact with IR Servers, I do not manage them but I help out on the forums for support related issues.

Regarding you "unable to send data fast enough, buffer cleared" message, were you using SAM BRoadcast for this, or a Spacial Encoder? (Notice SpAcial, not Special!!)? I have only ever seen this problem using their encoders, never in the official SHOUTcast for Winamp plugin.
I tried using two different encoders/streaming software to check it wasn't that that was at fault. The "buffer cleared" message was when using SimpleCast by Spacial Audio. When using Edcast the encoder simply stopped streaming - bit rate dropped right down to 0 - then disconnected, then kept trying to reconnect but wouldn't.

Our main connection continued to run fine, so in the end I had to simply relay the IR server from our other one. Running the IR server on its own didn't solve the problem either - I thought initially it was the amount of bandwidth available on the line at the time, but as we had 768k available and were only using 256k that shouldn't have caused a problem. The problem was brought to my attention probably around 11.45pm on Tuesday 16th.
 
#7
I sent in two logs whilst the feed was rebuffering as requested yesterday and would apprecite your comments or any suggestions that you may have.
 

Support

Level 1 Support
Staff member
#8
Cashpot : Thanks for the report / emails. We have sent them on to out network providers. We are doing some further tests and awaiting a response from our data centre. We will contact you by email asap.

Dave @ TD1 : Yes unfortunately there was some issues that night at the time you specified on your data centre (see attachment). We have been monitoring the issue the last few days and the issue hasn't appeared again.
 

Attachments

#10
May I publicly thank you for the refund and the second server to test. I have tried to leave both up for an extended period (not so easy as one of my other projects has been down for three days - due to a firewall that refused to open!).

The second server - shoutcast - is certainly more stable than the- cp2 - one, that's using an IP radio anyway. I have noticed just one dropout on the new server, with several (although far fewer than before) on the original server. The constant 50 second rebuffering has not returned at the times that I tested it anyway.

I will try activating the auto dj feature shortly as this will be an easy way to keep the streams up 24/7 without tying up two machines at my end.

(I haven't tried it but assume there is no way to stream to two servers from one computer without getting the poor thing very confused?) ;-).
 

Support

Level 1 Support
Staff member
#11
We are glad you are getting on better with the second server. Some encoders (like edcast) allow you to stream to multiple servers at the same time. We presume you want to stream the same content to each server ?
 
#14
You could of used two different streaming programs to send different media to different streams, or you could of set the two streams to re-lay from an existing media stream for. That would of done exactly the same!!
 

axl

New Member
#15
Been encountering a lot of buffering recently after changing to different router/modems ......... when reverting back to the single playout comp modem with just the ONE computer connected there wasn't a problem, however, I need 4 comps connected to the net at the same time, one main one for streaming and the others for net searching for news/events etc ...........
 
#16
Ours has been fine (touch wood) since the last issue we reported. We're currently up streaming two separate feeds to two different servers and both are staying connected. Thanks support for the help.