An audio file is loading slowly - slow stutter on high res playback

I am having slow stutter on high res playback files Roon reports slow load and stutters. WIN 10 i5 16 GB RAM.

I have removed MS defender because it helped but it still stutters.

Hi @Douglas ---- Thank you for the report and my apologies for the troubles here. To help me better understand what could be causing this behavior to occur may I kindly ask you to please provide the following information:

  1. An expanded description of your current setup as seen here.

  2. Please describe your network configuration/topology, as well as providing insight into any networking hardware you are implementing. I want to understand how your devices are communicating and what tools you are using to make those connections possible.

-Eric

very same just happened here :hushed:

rebooted NAS, Mac mini, Aries, 2Qute DAC, Audiophilleo and USB Regen: issue was still there

tried the very same 24/192 album from just the Aries and all was fine
tried also (same album) from Audirvana and all was fine

went back once more to Roon and… playing fine, finally. though… :neutral_face:

EDIT: spoke too soon: Roon is acting again :frowning:
EDIT2: definitely something wrong with Roon playing 24/192 files :-/
EDIT3: looking at my NAS’ network graphs… Roon is pulling data at 1MB/sec (max) when playing fine but I see some sudden bursts at 15MB and even close to 30MB/sec that maybe correspond to issue’s occurrences
EDIT4 (and last): just happened again and… no: those bursts were definitely Audirvana preloading tracks in RAM
giving up now with 24/192 (and above) files in Roon. up to 24/96 all is fine though

tried again playing 24/192 files yesterday evening and all was fine :confused:
but… having this mystery solved once for all would be great, so let’s drop a flag for @support :wink:

already reported this issue a couple of times (first time months ago, in Roon 1.2, and last one just a couple of weeks ago)
uploaded my Roon library and been told all was fine with it
changed from a 10/100 ethernet switch to a gigabit one, as that could be a bottleneck, but… here I am once more

don’t own many albums in 24/192 or DSD format so I seldom face this issue (plus it is not always there)
though every time I faced it was with “ultra-HiRes” material (DSD, till yesterday, as I have more DSDs than 24/192 files)

:popcorn:

Hi @pl_svn ----- Thank you for the feedback here. I am sorry if I missed this in your report and you are having to repeat yourself :innocent: but, can you confirm if you notice the same behavior when you try playing 24/192 content from local storage as opposed from the NAS?

Furthermore, are you noticing the same issue when streaming TIDAL content?

-Eric

hi @Eric no worry :wink:

I’m not using Tidal (Qobuz is the streaming service I use. from just the Aries, obviously)
Mac mini’s local 128GB SSD? Nope, that’s for OS and apps only: all my music is on the NAS so I never tried

though… as I wrote… yesterday when Roon was misbehaving I tried playing the very same album from the Aries and from Audirvana without the slightest glitch on either
Audirvana is on the very same dedicated, headless, Mac mini that runs Roon Server and the Aries is connected to the very same gigabit switch the NAS and Mac mini are connected to

setup is:

  • Qnap HS-251 NAS, dedicated to music only, all services/apps but SMB turned off
  • dedicated, headless Mac mini (late 2012) quad core i7 2.3GHz, 128GB SSD running just Mac OS 10.11.6 and Roon Server
  • Auralic Aries
  • Netgear GS105Ev2 gigabit switch connecting all the above
  • Audioquest Cinnamon (NAS) and Vodka (Mac mini and Aries) ethernet cables

ok, sorry @Eric but… Roon’s at it again today :rolling_eyes:

been playing a couple of 16/44 albums with no issue then started playing a 24/192 one and a few seconds into track 1 Roon starts distorting more and more 'till the “A track is loading slowly etc etc” alert pops up
Roon, then, jumps to next track and everything starts over again :angry:

playing, now, the very same album using my Aries and all is smooth as silk
again: Aries is connected to the very same ethernet switch the Mac mini is connected to and album is on the very same NAS Roon is reading from :neutral_face:

oh… and no DSP at all: just straight playing file’s native bit/sample rate!

aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!
:stuck_out_tongue:

the above should rule out, as culprits, the NAS, switch, and Aries

now to also rule out Mac mini’s ehernet port/connection/whatever… let’s try Audirvana on the very same Mac mini that runs Roon Server :wink:

doing it right now and… all is fine!

then back to Roon and… all is working fine now :confused:

EDIT: spoke too soon once more
All is fine using, as I was doing with Audirvana, my “secondary” system (USB out from Mac mini > USB Regen > Metrum Acoustics Hex DAC > Teac HA-501 amplifier > headphones)

as soon as I move Roon’s output to the Aries… distortion then “A track is loading slowly…” again :angry:

hope this gives you some clue on what might be going on :neutral_face:
(looks, to me, the issue is in Roon/Aries communication)

Hi @pl_svn ----- Thank you for feedback and following up with me. So based on your most recent post as soon as the Roon’s output is sent to Auralic Aries, this issue pops up again BUT when you use your “secondary” system with Roon things are stable, correct?

If you toggle Roon ON and OFF in Lightning DS is there any change in behavior here? Furthermore, can you confirm that the Aries Digital Output is selected and active while using Roon?

-Eric

late-ish night, now, here so I’ll try toggling Roon ON/OFF in Lightning DS tomorrow and report
(though… I rebooted the Aries, yesterday, when this all started. and it didn’t help)

in the while:

  • yes: all is fine when Roon is using Mac mini’s USB out. issue pops up when Roon output is set to the Aries
  • Aries is using its USB output, not the digital one. chain is Aries USB > USB Regen > Audiophilleo > 2Qute
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ok @Eric : ready to try switching “Roon mode” on/off on the Aries

do I have to reboot the Aries (and/or Roon) in-between setting changes? :confused:

  • turned Roon OFF on the Aries
  • played something from Roon on a different zone (Aries was, obviously, not available anymore)
  • switched Roon back ON on the Aries
  • switched Roon zone back to the Aries and played a 16/44 track: all was fine
  • then tried playing a 24/192 one and… Roon’s at it again :rolling_eyes:

Testing further (Roon using Aries as output):

  • PCM up to 24/176.4 -> OK
  • PCM 24/192 -> distortion starting a few seconds into track then “A track is loading slowly” then Roon skips to next track and all starts over again
  • PCM 384 -> have none, can’t try
  • DSD 64 -> OK
  • DSD 128 -> same as with PCM 24/192: distortion starting a few seconds into track then “A track is loading slowly” then Roon skips to next track and all starts over again
  • DSD 256 -> my DAC only goes up to DSD 128, can’t try

all was working fine in Roon 1.2
Aries is on latest firmware (4.1.0)

  • no issue at all, with any of the above file formats, playing straigh from the Aries using Lightning DS

NAS’s network activity graph during Aries playbak: tracks are preloaded at 25+MB/sec so… no issue with my network

Hi @pl_svn ----- Thank you for giving the proposed test a shot and sharing the results with me. Sorry to hear that the issue has persisted :dizzy_face:

From you previous post, I see that the chain of communication looks like this running to your Aries:

Aries USB > USB Regen > Audiophilleo > 2Qute

In your testing, have you tried (temporarily of course) removing some links from this chain of communication to see if anything yields a change in behavior?

-Eric

1 Like

tried right now pulling the Audiophilleo so chain, now, is Aries USB > USB Regen > 2Qute

didn’t help: issue is there!

can’t try pulling the USB Regen as I only have no 5v wire USB cables and the 2Qute needs to see USB power
(which is provided by the USB Regen through an hard adapter)

EDIT: wait… found an old USB printer cable and tried going Aries USB > 2Qute direct: issue is there!

Just for grins try activating upsampling in Roon to the Aeris (at 24/192) and then playing lower resolution content (16/44). Yes, I know that you don’t want to change base frequencies in upsampling, but I’m more interested in the data rate between the core and the endpoint.

Use the activity monitor on the core to watch the network throughput. You should see a fairly constant outgoing stream at approximately 9Mbit/sec (1100 KB/sec).

Try the same with upsampling to 24/384 and those transfer rate values should double.

If in either case you aren’t getting a consistent transfer rate then the culprit exists between your core and the Aeries. My next recommendation would be to try a dumb switch (unmanged) in place of the Netgear that you’re using now.

Part of the issue here is that the data transfer between the aeries and the Roon core is fundamentally different than the Aeris playing direct from the NAS (UPnP) or Audirvana pulling files from the NAS. In the two latter cases the software buffers the entire file at the endpoint whereas Roon streams it out at a constant rate. If that data stream is interrupted then the buffer on the endpoint side empties out and that causes the issues that you’re seeing.

Some have found that enabling (or sometimes disabling) flow control on the switch solves these issues.

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thank you so much indeed @AMP :relaxed:

just changed settings on the switch and 24/192 tracks are now playing without a glitch
not sure if Flow Control was enabled or disabled nor how it is now (Netgear’s UI doesn’t really help :rolling_eyes: ) though… this is how it is set now:

tomorrow I’ll try going back to a dumb (PPA modified Zyxel 10/100) switch :wink:

thank you indeed once more :slight_smile:

oh, and… whilst at it… Feature Request: tracks preloading in RAM for Roon too :stuck_out_tongue: