Airplay failing to play

Roon Core Machine

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Connected Audio Devices

Number of Tracks in Library

Description of Issue

[Moderated] Problem with Airplay not working.

Roon indicates it is playing but there is no progress on the play progress bar and no sound.

I consistently encounter this problem when trying to play an Airplay group. I often have to reboot my Intel NUC several times to get it working.

I know it isn’t the endpoints because I can play Tidal, Apple Music, Spotify, et al via my iPhone with no issue.

Also, all of these recent updates seem to have once again broken the iOS app which crashes whenever I open it.

Sorry for the rant but as a lifetime subscriber who doesn’t complain much, this is pushing me over the edge.

Jim, can you provide additional information on your network, including the router you use, what audio devices you have, and whether thse audio devices are connected via Ethernet cables or WiFi, and what type of WiFi you are using? This can help diagnose your issues.

Regarding the iOS app, I have read other posts that deleting it from your iPhone and reinstalling it may help.

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• Roon Core (current build) on Intel NUC
• Library installed on Samsung SSD connected via USB
• Internet setup and router is whatever is supplied by Google Fiber
• Wireless setup with three Google Mesh units
• Bluesound Vault 2i and NUC connected directly via Cat 6 ethernet
• Airplay group consists of the Bluesound Vault and 4 Sonos One speakers

Note that this system has worked flawlessly until recently. Now, intermittently, the Airplay will stop working. Roon indicates playback is occurring but there is no sound from any of the speakers. I can stream via Airplay to any or all of the devices with no issues using my iPhone. Eventually, it will start working for a while but I now know it is temporary after several months of dealing with it.

Regarding the iOS app, deleting and reinstalling does fix it temporarily, but in the past, it would start crashing again. This was an old problem that seemed to have been fixed as I have not experienced it for well over a year. Perhaps the plethora of updates being released lately has broken something? I don’t know but it is frustrating and suspicious to have everything working so well for so long, and then after several new updates I get this. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Thanks for the information Jim. A few more questions to assist with understanding your network configuration.

Are the Google WiFi mesh devices configured as:

Google Fiber Modem → Ethernet cable → Google WiFi mesh acting as router → WiFi to 2 other (or 3 other?) Google WiFi mesh units

OR

Google Fiber Modem → Ethernet cable → Google router (that is not a Google WiFi mesh device) → WiFi to 3 other Google WiFi mesh units

or are some of the Google WiFi mesh devices connected by Ethernet cable back to the Google router?

Are the Vault and NUC directly connected to the Google router via Ethernet, or to a Google WiFi device via Ethernet, and the Google WiFi is connected wirelessly to the Google router?

Are all the Sonos speakers connected to your network wirelessly?

Connection is: Google Fiber Modem → Ethernet cable → Google router (that is not a Google WiFi mesh device) → WiFi to 2 other Google WiFi mesh units

No. The 2 other mesh devices are not connected via ethernet

The Vault and NUC are directly connected to the Google router via Ethernet

Yes, all Sonos are connected wirelessly.

FYI: The Airplay group has decided to work (at least temporarily) since the last post.

Thank you Jim, and glad to hear everything is working for now. My belief is that with your network primarily using WiFi to connect devices, that may be a weak link. As I understand it, when Sonos devices connect using Airplay, they must connect over the WiFi network, which adds to potential network congestion.

Since the Core and the Vault connects to everything wirelessly (other than the Google router), there may be too much strain on the network for a consistent set of connections, especially when grouping devices. Roon requires some very specific timing synchronization across endpoints and especially grouped endpoints. If one becomes disrupted, it may take the entire group down until the network resynchronizes, which may be what you are experiencing.

Since the Google mesh devices do not separate the 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands, it is difficult to determine if you are having issues when the connection may be on the lower-capacity 2.4GHz band.

I have set up a number of mesh networks in the past few weeks, and while the Google mesh devices are useful, they tend to be much lower capacity (in terms of how many devices can be connected, and how fast each connected device can transmit and receive) compared to more modern mesh systems from ASUS, Netgear, and other vendors.

I don’t know if this is an option, but an upgraded router and mesh system may take care of everything. Google allows you to bring your own router now, and that worked for a friend’s network that I rebuilt for him using an ASUS mesh system.

Thanks Robert. That theory would be more plausible if the problem hadn’t started within the past two months. Up until that point, everything had been working flawlessly for years with this same setup. Also, I have to say this has me loathing Roon updates when everything is working fine.
I appreciate your time and effort.

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