I am new to Roon still on my trial period but l love it. My ripped CD-collection has come to life after many years of only Spotify listening. I’m running the core on a QNAP TVS-471 NAS and have 8 airplay endpoints, where 6 are airport expresses and 2 are Marantz receivers. The AE:s are all on wired ethernet and are not acting as routers or wifi access point. They are purely audio-players and the network is handled by Ubuquiti Controller, Switches and access points.
The only problem I have encountered is that sometimes some of the AE:s stay silent. I’ve seen that others have had similar problems on Airplay 2 endpoints but understand that it should be corrected in thet latest Roon release. I can’t get any real pattern in when it works and not. I can play a gorup of twe AE:s and one of them gets sound but not the other. Signal path looks identical. I can play to all devices directly from an iPhone/iPad/Computer. It seems that sometimes playing to a endpoint form another device and then closing that connection wakes the AE up to be available for Roon. But it don’t seem to be that other devices lock the AE:s because I sometimes get the problem first thing in the morning when nothing has played for many hours. I use Airfoil from a mac but it si configured to release endpoints after a while of inactivity.
I will do some more systematic testing but would appreciate any input on possible causes or ways of testing this. I realize that I could switch the AE:s for PI:s or some other better media players and will probably do that for quality reasons on my main listening rooms, but I would prefer not having to switch in all the casual listening rooms in the house. Also I will continue to use Spotify and as long as there is no integration with Roon it will be important that Spotify + Airfoil still is usable in all rooms.
All help and suggestions greatly appreciated, thanks
Have you noticed any specific content seems to cause this behavior? If you play a track that is silent for one AE is it the same for the others? If you play that content again later to that same endpoint does the same thing happen?
Does this happen only when grouped, or does this occur when playing to each device individually as well?
No it does not seem content related. If it is silent for a track on one of the AE:s that track can be played once I get that AE playing again. And It does occur for individual devices as well as for some devices of a group. I will try to find some pattern but it is a bit hard since I have no way of forcing the problem to occur once a endpoint has started playing. Once sound has started I’ve had them playing for hours without problems. So I guess it has to do either with discovery of active devices or that some other client is blocking. If I play a track with airfoil from one computer and then try to play from another source i will get an error message about the endpoint being busy. I will check if it is the same with Roon if I occupy the endpoint from another source.
I’d like to propose a test that should give us some additional insight here and help narrow down where this behavior is stemming form. If you have another device that you can temporarily use as a Core machine (Mac or Windows device) does the same behavior occur? Or is it specific to the QNAP?
Sure, I’ll try with a Mac Mini and see if that makes any difference
It seems that long periods of inactivity before trying to play might have something to do with the problem. When I started to listen yesterday morning the problem was there, however after rebooting the AE everything worked fine for at least an hour until I left for work. When i came home in the evening it again was silen. After playing to the AE with other sources and pausing that I eventually got Roon working and then it kept working for hours. It also seems to be just one AE that has this problem. I had problems getting audio for other AE:s after the first install but for all but one AE they disappeared after a reboot. Late last evening I installed Roon Server in a Mac Mini and just mounted the media from the QNAP. I have not seen any problems since and it worked first thing in the morning. I will try when I come home later this evening and the devices have been unused for a while. If it works I will switch back to the QNAP and see if the problem comes back.
I did a couple of other updates yesterday. The QNAP was upgraded from 4 to 16 GB RAM and all Ubiquiti switches and access points were updated to the latest SW-version since I found some release notes describing problems with airport/bonjour discovery. I also discovered that a Zyxel smart switch was configured with a faulty IP-adress for the Web-management GUI. Apparently that model defaults back to IP 192.168.1.1 whenever a FW-update is done. And that is the same address as my Unify GW. The Zyxel was in between Roon and the AE so that might have affected, however it is then strange that the other clients worked without problems.
Hi again @dylan
It worked fine for a day from the Mac Mini for a day then I switched back to the QNAP and it worked for about a day but this morning same problem again. I’ve only noticed the problem on one of my AE:s but it is the one used most so might be a coincidence. All AE:s are 2n gen running FW 7.8. But it is really strange that Roon can play to other AE:s in my network but not one of them. For me that suggests that the problem is the AE. But at the same time other apps like AirFoil and iPad/iPhones can play to all AE:s. That suggest the problem is Roon or the Roon server.
I noticed a couple of things. When Roon tries to play to the Zone it is in play mode (pause button visible) but the time is not counting. Even if I press pause and then play it looks like the stream is paused. When I play to the device not working in Roon from my iPad it took quite a long time before it connected. But if I then disconnect and try again from Roon it works. Don’t know if that gives any clues.
My plan now is to not change anything else and let Roon run for a couple of days from the QNap and see how often the problem appears. Then I’ll switch back to the Mac Mini for a couple of days and see if it appears. Any other suggestions?
Just to confirm, this never happened with the Mac Mini Core at all? It would be interesting to know if, when the device is in this state on the QNAP Core, you switched right then to the Mac Mini Core and tried to play to that device does the same behavior occur?
I think the next step here is to enable some diagnostics on your account so our technical staff can get some more insight into what’s going on here.
However, before I enable this feature, I’d like to ask for your help ensuring we gather the right information.
First, can you please reproduce the issue once more and note the time at which the error occurs. Then respond here with that time, and I’ll make sure we review the diagnostics related to that timestamp.
It has never happend with the Mac Mini Core at all. The 15th dec at 21:36 CET i was playing a synced group of three AE:s. i started this from the kitchen which is the AE were I had noticed the problem before. Sound was fine in the kitchen but after a while I noticed that no sound was being played in my office or in the bathroom. I ungrouped the AE:s and tried to play in the office but the playback never started. The same problem as before with no sound and second counter not moving. I switched from the Roon core on the Qnap to the core on the Mac Mini and playback worked fine. I have been playing from the Mac Mini since then and it has been working flawlessly. The Mac Mini and the Qnap is connected to the same switch so if it was a network problem they should both have it. So it seems the problem is with the QNap.
Thanks for providing those timestamps. I have taken a look around that time and I noticed a network error, from what I can see, it appears that all of the connections from your Core dropped at the same time. I wonder if this issue could be related to the Ethernet cable on the QNAP, have you tried a different one yet?
Also you mentioned that you have Ubiquiti switches and a Zyxel smart switch, do you by any chance have “flow control” as an option on either of these? We have seen that enabling flow control has helped in the past. Our Networking Best Practices may also have some more suggestions for your specific setup here.
Since the setup works flawlessly on OSX but not on QNAP I have tagged our resident QNAP expert (@crieke) to see if he has any other ideas but do let me know if my above suggestions help.
Hi @noris ,
Thanks for the suggestions. I enabled on flow control on all switches and changed back to QNap but on the first attempt to play a group of three AE:s one (named Arbetsrum, done at 18:36 CET Dec 23) was silent. So i switched back to the Mac mini again until I have time to do more testing. I will find a new cable and test with, but it seems a bit unlikely to me that the cable from the QNap should affect communication with just some AE:s. Also if all netwok connections had dropped from the core at the QNAP it seems that it should affect playback to all enpoints and not just some. Very strange. Hopefully we can get this fixed as I prefer running from the QNap but until then the Mac Mini works fine.
Thanks for confirming that the Mac Mini is working as expected and that this issue is only affecting your QNAP.
I have submitted your diagnostics to QA for analysis to see if they can provide some more guidance as where to look next for this issue. I will be sure to let you know as soon as they have completed their report and have provided it to me.
Until I receive the analysis back from QA, I would continue using your Mac Mini machine as your core if everything is working as expected.
Just wanted to reach out to you here again and let you know the QA team has noted similar findings to the ones I had and that this seems to be networking related. Can you please provide a full network topology of what you’re using here? Please list the model/manufacturer for your Router, and model/manufacturer for any switches, range extenders, powerline adapters, ect.
I would also try another Ethernet cable for your QNAP and possibly another port on the switch/router that it is plugged into. Please let me know your findings when possible.
I’ve changed the etc cable for the QNAP and I’m going through the network to see if I can find any problems. I’ve ordered a new Ubiquity switch to replace Zyxel. That way all managed switches will be the same brand. I noticed a couple of ports on the Zyxel that seemed to Connect/Disconnect quite often. I found out that other people have seen similar issues when having Sonos gear that created loops by connecting the Wired and Wireless networks. But I don’t have any Sonos products and can’t find any other loops so I can’t find a explanation for this. Being able to manage everything from one Unifi Controller should make troubleshooting easier at least. I’m away from home for a couple of days but when I get back I will replace the Zyxel and check all cables. When that is done I will switch back to the Qnap and see if the problem appear again.
Currently I’m using a Unifi USG router/GW, 2 Unifi 8-port managed swtiches, 3 Unifi Wireless Access Points, 1 Zyxel 24-port managed switch, and a couple of Netgear unmanaged switches in rooms where I need more connections as most rooms have only 1 or 2. Some switches are cascaded but not to a depth that should cause problems. Both the QNAP and the Mac Mini is connected to a NetGear Gigabit switch that is connected to the Main Unifi switch. Same patterna for most of the Airport Expresses. There is one room where there is more hops but that room only has 2 AE:s that never has been any problem with.
Many thanks for all help so far