AirPlay woes - dropouts and playing at variable speed!

You know I love Roon … BUT … I’m having real trouble with AirPlay, connected to an Apple TV 2 and an Airport Express over a wired ethernet network and ethernet-over-power adapters. It skips every few minutes, and sometimes stops working completely. And if I group an Apple TV 2 and an Airport Express, one drops out quite often.

And now it’s doing a really crazy thing, it’s actually playing at VARIABLE SPEED, making music sound awful. What is going on? Have you experienced this anywhere? This is an Apple TV 2 into a NAD amp with digital input.

I’m pretty sure neither the master or the slave mac are busy, and there’s very little else going on on the network.

If I pause it and swap to iTunes, iTunes finds the Airplay devices immediately and plays fine.

You know I want this to be the best thing ever - but unfortunately this is making it unusable. Please help!

Hey @pcwilliams. We’re glad to have you on board.

I haven’t heard of anything like this, especially the variable speed thing. I’m going to try living with AirPlay for the weekend and see how much of this I can reproduce.

Thanks @brian … I just rebooted the master iMac, and with nothing else running I’m still getting sporadic dropouts in AirPlay playback to an Airport Express 2 or Apple TV 2, even with local ALAC content. Will be great when this works reliably. Thanks - Paul

I moved 2 posts to a new topic: Variable speed playback (local)

I spent many hours over the weekend looking at AirPlay. There are some fixes coming, and it’s looking a lot more stable.

One thing I was unable to reproduce was variable speed playback–which makes me wonder:

  • Which devices did you hear the variable speed behavior on?
  • Was there anything special about the content (in particular, unusual sample rates? mono content?)
  • Anything special you guys remember doing before this happened?

I moved a post to an existing topic: Variable speed playback (local)

Hi @Brian - thanks for looking into this. Some more info for you - I’d had my Roon server (on iMac) running for a day or two, and had started playing with grouping two AirPlay devices (Apple TV 2 and 2nd gen Airport Express). I got quite a lot of dropouts, and am pretty sure I ungrouped so I was left with just the Apple TV 2 playing - I started to notice a track or two seeming like they were playing slow, then it became REALLY noticeable - very variable speed. iMac was on a wired LAN; Apple TV was on an extension to that running over the power circuits in the house, which usually works very reliably. Content was a combination of ALAC, and AAC, possibly some TIDAL.
The dropouts were happening frequently; the vari-speed was for about 10 minutes until I just had to switch it off. After a restart later the vari-speed had gone.

Hi @brian, @danny - unfortunately 1.0 release 9 isn’t much better for AirPlay. Playing to a Bowers & Wilkins Z2 speaker over ethernet, drops out every few minutes (although UI shows track continuing to play). Sometimes when I stop the track and start it again it comes back, sometimes not. And sometimes it comes back at 100% volume rather than the previous volume set on the speaker.

Update: just had it stop playing again, this time to a group of an Apple TV2 and an Airport Express, all connected over wired ethernet, and all local content (not TIDAL). As far as the UI is concerned, it is still playing to the group.

As I said before, I really want to love this product but it feels like it just isn’t quite finished yet :frowning: The one thing this software must be able to do is be absolutely rock-solid at audio playback - everything else is secondary. So far, I’ve never been able to use Roon for more than a few minutes without it falling over in some way. And I’ve tried 3 different Macs as the server.

I can confirm a similar experience with Airplay. Using 4 Airport Express endpoints, the signal drops every 10-15 minutes, then it usually comes back after 10-15 seconds. It does not matter which of the four I am using. No problem streaming from iTunes or other applications. Before ver. 9, the problem was more severe, with drops every one-two minutes. So it improved for me, but it is not fixed yet.

@gianfri – are your four grouped at all or does this happen when playing to just one?

It will happen regardless. I tried both ways.

Any progress on identifying the reason for the AirPlay drops? the problem persists, whether I use one or multiple endpoints, and local or Tidal files…Thanks!

We’re releasing a new build shortly that resolves a bad interaction between iTunes/iOS and Roon. We are hoping that it will solve your problem.

OK thanks!

build 16 should have these fixes, and is out now.

Turn off any DPS filters you may me using and see if that helps.