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unbiased
Level 7

Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

Hi, since it seems to be going unanswered in the General discussion forum, I will ask it here to any developers that might have a clue about it.
The issue is with my new Roku 3 when listening to music channels like ShoutCast or TuneIn. Upon first fresh boot up, running Shoutcast to listen to any music station buffers up real quick and starts playing almost immediately.
But after some time something goes astray within the software and if you change channels, then it hangs on buffering usually at about 44% and then creeps up from there real slow. Sometimes it can take up to 2 minutes or so before the station is fully loaded and starts to play. By that time the song information and logo on displayed on the screen is out of sync with the actual song audio that is playing. The music is one song behind the song title and logo information displayed on the screen. If you pause the station and hit play to resume the song again, it will hang and begin slow buffering again. This is very annoying to deal with.
If you reboot the Roku 3 then the music stations will load up quick and fine again... for a while. After leaving the Shoutcast channel and then coming back to it again, it will hang with the slow buffering issue again.
The slow buffering issue will remain that way forever until the Roku 3 is rebooted fresh. Upon which of course after running any music channel app for a little while, something in software settings gets corrupted and it starts slow buffering forever again.

since this is the development forums, I am hoping that someone out there has a clue what can be the cause of this?
I've recommended in the General forums to the Shoutcast developer @TheEndLess to maybe try adding an explicit call to the Garbage Cleanup function after a stop and start point of a station to see if maybe that will clear out any garbage that may be interfereing with the buffer settings or pointers. But it seems to be falling on deaf ears there. Hopefully it will be read here and some guru might have a poke at fixing it.
I understand after searching the web that this is a known issue affecting "Live MP3 streams" only on all Roku boxes. But to date no one seems to have paid it any mind. It was also stated to me that it looks to be a bug in the Roku SDK or firmware and it has nothing to do with the actual channel apps. Whatever, please someone take a look at this issue and fix it.
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11 Replies
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TheEndless
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

"unbiased" wrote:
I've recommended in the General forums to the Shoutcast developer @TheEndLess to maybe try adding an explicit call to the Garbage Cleanup function after a stop and start point of a station to see if maybe that will clear out any garbage that may be interfereing with the buffer settings or pointers. But it seems to be falling on deaf ears there.

It has not fallen on deaf ears. It has fallen on extremely busy ears. I have quite a few projects going on at the moment, and in the four years that the SHOUTcast channel has been available, yours is one of maybe three complaints I've received about the slow buffering. That gives it a less than critical priority on my TODO list.
While I appreciate that it is clearly frustrating for you, and I understand that you are trying to help, I assure you that I am a competent developer and have already tried all of the suggestions you have made, as I've tried to correct the issue several times in the past.

That being said, I have been in contact with Roku engineers who have given me a potential workaround. I have not yet had a chance to try it to see if it works, but as I am in mid-refresh of the channel, if it does, it won't likely be available until I've completed the rest of the update. I do not currently have an ETA for that.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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unbiased
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

@TheEndLess - Hey, thanks for the update! I hope you are able to test out the new lead you got from Roku and that it does fix the MP3 live streaming slow buffering issue.
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unbiased
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

Hello Roku, anyone working on this fix yet or can explain what is causing the MP3 live streaming slow buffering to occur? What's taking so long? This is important to the overall user satisfaction of the Roku boxes!
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unbiased
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

Any update to fix this MP3 Live Streams problem of slow buffering on music channels? Where is the Roku3 support?
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TheEndless
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

"unbiased" wrote:
Any update to fix this MP3 Live Streams problem of slow buffering on music channels? Where is the Roku3 support?

You are nothing, if not persistent.. Smiley Wink I just sent you a PM.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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swittet
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

TuneIn on my Roku HD always gets stuck buffering, but I found this solution:

I start my station and play. I get the message "buffering"
Up Arrow (return to the station button)
Select (press button and return to the station screen. Control now says "Pause", as if it is playing, but I can't hear anything)
Select Pause
Select Resume
For me, the station starts immediately. This works consistently on my system.
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Highlighted

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

Did anyone find a solution to this issue or at least a workaround (on the developers end, not the clients, thats not a workable solution to make your clients jump through hoops!)

Thanks
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belltown
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

"steveintheukok" wrote:
Did anyone find a solution to this issue or at least a workaround (on the developers end, not the clients, thats not a workable solution to make your clients jump through hoops!)

Thanks

http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=63904#p482905
https://github.com/belltown/
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LordDewi
Level 7

Re: Anyone figured out fix for mp3 slow buffering issue?

While it's probably not the best solution for developers when playing audio, because they want to use the roAudioPlayer and continue to display the details of the individual episode while playing it, which I've noticed in other Audio only channels, I've found that using the VideoPlayer screen instead, that there is no buffering, that I've noticed.

I'm using a Roku XD though, an older device obviously. But I've created a few test channels that pull Audio from RSS feeds, podcasts mainly. The RSS or MRSS example though only used videos. I found, through testing, that I could change the <streamformat> to an audio format, eg MP3, and it still worked in the VideoPlayer. Since then I've realized that when I Play the audio it jumps to the VideoPlayer screen though, which just shows the title and the progress of the audio. In other Audio only channels I've looked at most stay on the Episode Detail screen, which shows the description and other details, while still playing the audio. I'm a VERY new developer so I don't know if it's possible to stay on that screen while playing the Audio, probably not, since Video would want it's own screen. However a more seasoned developer may be able to make this work.

I guess the point I left out is that I haven't experienced any buffering problems using this method.

@belltown discusses this more in the following post, although I came across it accidentally while developing my channel.

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=51192&p=484243#p484243
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