ARC Diaries: One day it's fine, the next it's black

Some thoughts on my recent weekend away, having re-installed ARC & finally got it working again.

  1. As a rule, it behaved itself very well. On almost every occasion, once it had got the attention of my narcoleptic hard drive, the music started playing as expected.

Let joy be unconfined.

  1. We found that it would play and stop repeatedly when we were in a patchy wi-fi area. I’m assuming this is a buffering issue and I’m inclined to ask once again (although to be fair, last time it was regarding the main app) what limits ARC’s ability to buffer a whole song or even album when it gets a decent connection?

  2. To guard against (2) I downloaded some albums to my phone. I wanted to make a playlist during some free time, ready for the journey, rather than having to bugger about making a queue prior to setting off, but the playlists seen to show as a long list of individual tracks. Is there a way to view playlists in “album” view?

  3. Further to (3) I’d really like to shuffle by album rather than track but I couldn’t easily see a way to do that. Is there a preference somewhere that I didn’t spot?

  4. One time, for no reason that I can think of, the screen just went completely black, but the little white line at the bottom which you swipe up to quit the app was still visible. Regardless of how many times I quit & relaunched the app, I just got the black screen. Re-starting the phone made no difference either.

In the end, I deleted & re-installed the app from TestFlight which fixed it.

  1. I need to buy a standalone sat-nav as my phone can’t play music & tell me where to go at the same time. Not if the battery is going to last all the way home.

I have had very good results with losing service when an album is playing. It definitely appears that the remainder of the album is buffered. I seem to get better results if I am a couple of tracks into the album when service drops. I test this quite frequently in the mountains in Northern California. What does appear inconsistent though is getting it to restart buffering once cell service is restored.

It seemed to be doing that okay. Except at one point when it stopped for a while & then restarted the same track. Which was a bit of a pain as I wasn’t it a position to mess with it.

How were you listening? From my experience if I listen to a whole album, then all the songs are loaded into the queue, and I lose the connection, it seems like I have a margin of 3 to 5 songs (I don’t know if it depends on the number of songs, the duration or the size in MB of the single track).

However, this could be an additional feature for smart downloads: when you start listening to an album that you have not downloaded, ARC automatically downloads it via SDL and at the end of listening it is automatically deleted unless the user does not move to downloads to keep.
It should be a user-activated option as you will have a greater consumption of data traffic that perhaps you don’t want to have.

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Hmm, well I only listen to whole albums, so I would’ve pressed play on an album & started driving.

This particular issue was a new one and, ironically, was only a problem because ARC was actually working. Since that time when it stopped working months ago, getting it to work at all was the problem.

It’s also worth mentioning that playing music through Spotify on my wife’s phone also wouldn’t work until we were out of the dead zone.

The feature you suggest would be a good addition!

By the way, I don’t want to appear rude. I am clicking the reply button beneath the other users comments but my browser is not showing that I’ve specifically replied to them. Is it just me or is that missing for everyone?

When I go to edit my post, it shows correctly that I’m editing a specific reply.

In my experience, as long as it has had a few minutes to buffer, the album will finish out even with no cellular service. I do this all the time.

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I suspect we set off with little to no cell service.

We were in North Wales at the time and were unfamiliar with such things. As we’ll be moving there soon, I expect we’ll learn very quickly. :slight_smile:

None of which particularly explains why my ARC screen went completely black and, despite all attempts to get in going again, I ultimately had to reinstall it.

I was at my brother’s house at the time, by the way, on good wi-fi where ARC worked perfectly well both before & after the blackout incident.