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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Gnome Mplayer playback skips
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sketchman


Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 251
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 08:20    Post subject:  Gnome Mplayer playback skips  

This doesn't seem to be related to my hardware because I can stream through FTP to a video player in my living room just fine from the same hardware(eSATA RAID box with 2 x 2TB WD HDDs in RAID 1).

This happens with video or audio when playing with mplayer. After a while of perfect playback(like 10 minutes or longer with NO issues) it just skips for 2-3 seconds like the drive has parked and has to be spun back up.

I first noticed this when playing video, so I've already tried 2 versions of the official NVIDIA driver, which didn't change anything. The mplayer cache is set at 50MB, but I've tried it totally off and everywhere in between. I have tried hardware accel off and on. Did nothing.

And here's something weird. When it does this, I just noticed it's like the whole system lags. While typing this I am listening to music and as soon as it did it the typing input lagged on screen for the same time as the skipping. It's like the whole system is loading up and has to pause before it can continue working.

Specs are as follows:
Intel Core i3 Sandy Bridge
8GB DDR3
NVIDIA Geforce 430GT 2GB
80GB HDD main boot drive
eSATA RAID box in RAID 1

Reason I mention the hardware is that, obviously, there should be no issue with it being underpowered. So what looks like is happening shouldn't be.

Ornery Puppy in question is Precise 5.7.1

If it helps this issue is completely nonexistent on Slacko 5.5 which I have as well with the same hardware via dual boot.

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Last edited by sketchman on Wed 30 Oct 2013, 08:58; edited 1 time in total
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8639

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 08:49    Post subject:  

Hmm process of elimination I suppose.
I assume on slacko you also use gnome-mplayer.

ftp...is that curlftpfs or sshfs or something else? (curlftpfs gave me similar problems but slacko works you say)

My first thought would be try mplayer from the command line to bypass gnome-mplayer...perhaps buffer settings are not reaching mplayer correctly.

Since the whole system seems to hang up it does sound like a system/ftp buffering problem.... some of these kernel releases have strange quirks.

Can you test using say NFS or samba?

Can I also assume a file played locally does not skip?

What about streaming media from the internet?

mike
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sketchman


Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 251
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 08:56    Post subject:  

Oh, no, it's the other way actually.

My setup: I'm using the PC as a server to stream to the living room HTPC using the included pure-ftpd. That works fine. The issue happens when playing files locally.

And yes, on Slacko everything works fine. Using the exact same everything. From gnome-mplayer to drivers to the file being played.

Oh, and using youtube does this too.

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8639

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 09:12    Post subject:  

Ah ok lol...gotcha

So skipping local playback...machine streams just fine.

Well in that case your drive spinning down thought might be relevant.
We tend to get that when streaming over NFS to a usb hard drive ... most noticeable when windows is the client or server.

A lot of modern hard drives do have automatic spin down as a power saving feature.... if the player is only sipping data occasionally ( an x264 movie with little action) then that can interfere with playback.... saying that I have never had it happen from a local drive.
The command line hdparm can be used to alter spin down time ...it may or may not override an internal setting but worth a try.

eg hdparm -S 12 /dev/sda

would set a 1 minute spindown time...see help for more options and yes the maths are odd.

It may well be a kernel issue...the one on precise may enable power saving features in some way that slacko does not.
There is one other thing that comes to mind and that could be cpu powersaving.... if its over zealous the cpu could be slow coming out of a slow clock mode.

Other thoughts would be to have something quietly accessing the hard drive every few seconds... a simple script for example...just for a test.

mike
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sketchman


Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 251
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 09:19    Post subject:  

So if it was the drive spinning down it shouldn't affect the whole system should it? I mean the drive is just for media. The OS is on a totally different drive.

I'll try the hdparm thing and see what happens. I'll also play with the CPU scaling thing.

It's a weird thing.

I appreciate the help.

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sketchman


Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 251
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 09:54    Post subject:  

Set hdparm to off on both disks. Still doing it. Seems worse even. Also brought up cpu scaling and disabled it. No change.

It's definitely happening more frequently now. No idea why. I'd abandon Precise for Slacko, but on Slacko pure-ftpd won't work. It'll start up and say it's running, but won't allow any connections. Just keeps saying wrong login info, when I know it's correct.

Grrr.

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sketchman


Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 251
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 10:02    Post subject:  

Gonna try Slacko 5.6 to see if pure-ftpd still won't work.

I guess I could try compiling a new kernel, but that would probably not end(or start for that matter) well. Me and compiling have never gotten along.

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sketchman


Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 251
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 11:29    Post subject:  

Seems to be somehow related to the Precise kernel. That's my guess anyway. Regardless, it's not worth fooling with when Slacko 5.6 comes with a newer one, and so far doesn't have the issue.

So I've replaced my 5.5 install with it and I'll be set for a while again. FTP server works and media playback (again so far Smile) is fine.

Thanks for the convo anyway, mike.

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8639

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct 2013, 12:47    Post subject:  

No problem...I was going to suggest using pureftp configs from slacko but seems like all is ok again.

If the system has to wait for a drive to be available I usually find a certain hanging up effect on the whole system...perhaps its to do with prioritising drive access.

Anyway a kernel quirk does seem to be culprit here,, I had to swap a kernel cos it hard locked NFS sharing anthing with a fat file system and also used excessive cpu burning cd's.

glad you got sorted

mike
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