Last.FM Plugin for SlimServer

  • Bryan P. Pourciau

    There is an excellent plugin available for SlimServer that allows one to play Last.FM internet radio through a SlimDevices client (see\).

    Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get it to play back reliably through the MediaMVP--lots of drops outs and hangs.  I thought perhaps my poor overloaded Linux server could be to blame (it acts as my mail/web/DVArchive/SlimServer box), but no, I can get playback to work just fine throught the SoftSqueeze program (and over a wireless connection at that)!

    Anybody have any tips or tricks or know anything about this plugin?

    • Graham Jones

      Graham Jones - 2005-11-17

      I am having similar trouble with a slimserver plugin called AlienBBC which allows you to listen to the BBC radio (live and archived) by converting the RealAudio that the BBC streams to mp3 for the MVP.  Mclient goes silent after a while (somewhere between 3 minutes and ~1 hour), but the timer on mclient continues to count as though it thinks all is working.  Again I have not seen this problem with softsqueeze, but I will do a bit more investigating to see if there are any errors being logged anywhere etc.

    • Rick Stuart

      Rick Stuart - 2005-11-17

      This is interesting (that Softsqueeze works and mclient doesn't).  There is a interesting exchange going on between the server and client to make playback appear clean.  The server is actually managing the buffer on the client.  The problem with mclient is that there is a 2nd hardware buffer that is part of the MediaMVP.  This is probably not found on the slimdevices clients.  But I, after thinking about it, don't believe this is the problem.   It is more likely there is a subtle difference between the reporting of client buffer pointer positions between the 2 clients.  I'll have to actually try the plugins to see if testing is possible.

    • Rick Stuart

      Rick Stuart - 2005-11-18

      Tried the AlienBBC plug in... (so, what is the Chris Moyles show??).  Watching a little network monitor - my first thought is that the down load from the internet and up load to the mvpmc is not anywhere as periodic as some other (more dependable for me) internet radio stations.  Hang on, Chris Moyles is working all to well - no drop outs - I'm going back to Radio1...

      Finally, there's a drop out and I think I spotted the problem in the log file...

      2005-11-18 09:07:30.4692 00:0d:fe:00:0d:74 sendEmptyChunk
      2005-11-18 09:07:30.4696 00:0d:fe:00:0d:74 1132326450.46954 sending stream, seq = 30205 len = 0 wptr = 64188 state=play inflight=
      2005-11-18 09:07:30.4704 00:0d:fe:00:0d:74 1132326450.47043 gotAck for seq: 30205 2005-11-18 09:07:30.4707 ack: wptr:64188, rptr:0, seq:30205, 2005-11-18 09:07:30.4709 bytesinflight:0 fullness:128376
      2005-11-18 09:07:30.4713 00:0d:fe:00:0d:74- play -  Buffer full, need to poll to see if there is space
      2005-11-18 09:07:30.5292 00:0d:fe:00:0d:74 sendEmptyChunk

      ...ok, so (I think) the server thinks the mclient's buffer is full and, consequently, stops sending data to the mvpmc.  Why... ah, that's the question.  I'll have to take a close look at he  data - but I am guessing...  that the mvpmc buffer fills up, the server stops sending data to mvpmc, the MediaMVP hardware buffer starts running low and accepts loads of data from the firmware and manages to empty out the firmware buffer before the server realizes what's going on.  It's either that or I've bungled the programming - which is much more likly...

    • Rick Stuart

      Rick Stuart - 2005-12-09

      Well, an mclient user / developer (Martin) has had a go at the code and came up with a number of improvements.  These changes are now part of the CVS load.  I think this should improve the stability of streaming radio stations.  Try it and let us know if it works.

    • Bryan P. Pourciau

      Still no dice with the Last.FM plugin with the latest CVS build.  It does seem that now, instead of just outright hanging after a few seconds of play, the audio just drops out then resumes a few seconds later. 

    • Rick Stuart

      Rick Stuart - 2005-12-11

      After more testing, I don't have interruptions as often as ever few seconds.  But, I do hear them.  Also, I noticed there is a good correlation with how loaded the server is (in my case a ~2.5GHz linux box) and how often I hear them.  For testing I usually use Radio1/alianBBC and run an updatedb process on the server.  With out the updatedb running, I hardly ever hear dropouts.  What troubles me more is that every so often a dropout causes the buffer pointer to get messed up resulting in gibberish - until I hit stop / play.

      Will have to look into this more.

      How powerful is your server?  Do you have similar problems with radioIO or alianBBC stations?

    • Bryan P. Pourciau

      I will have to test the radioIO and alianBBC stations.  Can someone point me to where to get the plugins/configure SlimServer?

      As for my server specs and what all its doing:

      AMD Duron 1800
      512 MB Ram
      OS: SuSE 9.1


      Mail (Postfix)
      Apache2 (my family website)
      FTP     (my family ftp server)

      In addition, I sometimes login and use desktop application for .mpeg editing (RTVTools) and DVD Burning (DVD Styler).  I know this box is fairly heavily loaded at times, but then again I can stream to a SoftSqueeze client with no noticable problems.

    • Rick Stuart

      Rick Stuart - 2005-12-13

      I think this is where I installed AlienBBC from:

      > ...but then again I can stream to a SoftSqueeze
      > client with no noticable problems.

      Good point.

    • Graham Jones

      Graham Jones - 2005-12-26

      I have had a go using AlienBBC with the new version of mclient and it seems much better thank you - I will leave it running and see how long it goes.
      Sorry for the delay in testing it - I had a few jobs to do before Christmas so didn't get chance to try.



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