Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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bwaslo
Level 7

Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

I've been using the Roku3 for a while to get music via DLNA from a server downstairs to play upstairs with the Roku Media Player.  This is for FLAC file music, only.  The setup used to work fine up until about a month ago*, now it's basically too much of a pain to deal with that it is not worth using for streaming FLAC music. 

About one out of every 10 or so songs refuses to play with a pop-up message on the screen about "malfiormed data", which stops all playback until the user clicks "Ok".   If I try to play that same song it will usually start and play just fine (though it might take as many as 5 tries to get it to play).  Since the files finally do play ok, with no stuttering or other issues after I can get them to finally start, I think that means the FLAC files on my server aren't really "malformed", right?   Also, all these files play with no issues on a Kodi media player.  

The Roku3 streams videos from Netflix, etc,. very smoothly, so I don't think it's a problem with weak or interfering wireless signal.  I tried moving antennas on both the Roku and the DLNA server's wireless, anyway, but nothing changed.   I'm looking into maybe getting a NAS to run Plex instead (which has a much less hokey user interface than RMP, anyway) but before I take that expensive plunge, thought I'd see if anyone here has any ideas.  I see no way to report problems to the software developers at Roku -- or is there a secret link for that somewhere?

(I'd also like to ask who at Roku decided that having the play order for songs be forced to be "alphabetic order" only (!!) was a good idea!  Clearly not anyone who ever listens to music...)
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61 Replies
bwaslo
Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

I spent a number of hours last night playing with the thing. It does seem to be song specific, though flac songs that Roku Media Player just wont play at all (found quite a few like that last night) can be "copied" from the server via wireless on a Windows laptop, and then those files play just fine on the laptop. I do have to rename the files with the .flac suffix first though, including files that do play directly on RMP. It seems like maybe half my flacs wouldnt play last night, and fewer of them could be coerced into playing by repeated tries than it seemed before I posted here yesterday. Many still would play if I tried a few times. On some albums all but one or two wouldnt play even after 5 retries.

I thought at first that it was happening worse on recently ripped tracks, but found at least one album ripped several years ago in which few tracks would play (all which wouldnt with "mal-formed" file error messages).

Has the RMP been updated recently to be more picky about flac formatted files? Most of my stuff was ripped using Exact Audio Copy software, if that helps.
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RokuDale
Level 8

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

RMP doesn't do the actual play, it passes the file off to the firmware and it does the playback. What version of the firmware is running on your Roku-3? There is a recent firmware update that could be affecting it.
If you put the files on a USB stick, does it play them without a problem?
rokudale
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bwaslo
Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

Thanks RokuDave, I'll give that a try (as soon as I can find one of my USB sticks!).

Current software version is 7.5.0, build 4096, last updated Nov 10 (but things stopped being 'friendly' weeks before that).

If it's firmware, that could be bad news for my plan to switch to PLEX in the Roku (assuming Plex also just hands off file to the Roku firmware).

bwaslo
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bwaslo
Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

I transfered some of the problem FLAC files from the server to a thumb drive, and they play fine directly from the thumb drive through RMP.  Does that indicate that the problem is not in the Roku (but maybe is instead in the server)?  I can copy the files from the server (via its wireless to a laptop PC) and those copied files play fine on the laptop, so I can't really guess or say where the problem might be now!

I guess since no one else here is reporting problems with streaming FLAC files, that the issue is likely something local here?  (Though I also suspect that the vast majority of Roku users do exclusively video, not FLAC audio).
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RokuDale
Level 8

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

Please pm to me your email address and I'll invite you to the box.com problem file upload area if you can find a file that always fails to play over the network yet plays fine from usb.
Also regarding the play order, if you select "*" and change the sort order to default, it will play in the order of the track number, presuming that can be found.
thanks for your help in this,
rokudale
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bbdbbd
Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

I am the same problem with some MP3 files. I used to play them all the time but now gives me the same error message.
the files are located at my  WD my book live.

Thanks
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bbdbbd
Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

Forgot the model:
4200X- Roku 3
software version: 7.5.0 build 4096-04

thanks
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renojim
Level 8

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

This could be the same problem that is keeping some streaming audio channels like Radio Paradise from working with v7.5 firmware. It will be fixed in the next firmware release. If you'd like me to take a look at one one of your MP3s that won't play, send me a PM.

-JT
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shendai
Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player starting to give "malformed data" errors

Yes, many MP3 files are giving the same message "malformed data". Both of my Roku 3s are doing the same thing, with two different but identical USB sticks installed. It's always the same files that fail. Some MP3s work, while others do not. I've tried recopying all the files fresh to a new USB stick, with no change, so apparently it's something in the OS.  All these files worked until recently.
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