Bluesound problems

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #1

@support
Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Windows 10 PC (Core i7, 32GB Ram, Samsung SSD 1Tb)
alternating with
MacBook Pro 13 (2017), 1Tb SSD, Mac OS Mojave

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Synology RT2600ac Router

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Bluesound Flex 2i, wireless (placed 9ft away from router, excellent signal quality as listed in Bluesound diagnostic)
Allo Digi One, wireless => Marantz Receiver

Description Of Issue
When the Bluesound Flex 2i is selected:

  • Music takes 5-15 seconds to start after hitting playback. This happens about 50-70% of the time. Occasionally music playback will start without issue.
  • Skipping track will occasionally result in no sound, even as Roon shows that playback is progressing normally.
  • Sometimes hitting play will result in no audio even as Roon shows that playback is progressing normally. Stopping the music and then restarting will sometimes correct this but other times I have to select a different track in order for audio to initiate

My All Digi One works without issues.

The above issues are not new and they only occur when audio is sent to the Bluesound speaker. The reason I am raising the support call:
If I transfer my Roon Core to my MacBook Pro 13 (2017 model), the problems are reduced to a great extent.

Is it possible that something is wrong on my Windows 10 PC that when combined with Bluesound specifically, causes the problems I am witnessing?

(Dylan Caudill) #3

Hi @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

Can you describe how the MacBook and the PC are connected to the network? Is there any difference in how they’re connected? If you connect the MacBook in the exact same way (using the same Ethernet cable, in the same place, etc.) do you see the same behavior occur?

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #4

Hi @Dylan

Both PC and MacBook are wirelessly connected (I know this is not ideal). They are both in the same location (10 Ft away from the router).

I could easily connect the pc to the router with an ethernet cable to see if things change… I will do that later and report back. Should be an interesting experiment.

(Ken Lesniak) #5

I’ve got a pulse mini 2i. Same kind of problems. Only device I have issues with. There’s clearly something wrong with them or the interaction with Roon, but I’m not in a position yet to run experiments to defend that.

I also have a node 2 (NOT a 2i) and I haven’t seen issues with it, but I haven’t checked with recent firmware.

It’s so easy to see the issue, just queue up any song and click around in the timeline a bit and it will go south very quickly.

(Craig Palmer) #6

To me the issue seems to be with blue sound speakers. I have node2s (2), NAD CI720s (10) and NAD CI580s (2) with no delay, skipping or sync problems.

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #7

After a brief test I am finding that the problems disappear once I transfer the core to my MacBook Pro. This is is with a wireless connection for both MacBook Pro and Windows PC, same placement.
Using Roon (Core) with the PC and sending music to a single Bluesound Flex 2i results in sluggish app responsiveness (iOS on iPhone XS) and subsequently the problems I mentioned at the start of the thread: Delayed playback start (in the best case), loss of audio when skipping tracks and (new problem) temporarily disappearing Bluesound Flex 2i from the available audio devices in Roon.
Switching the core to the MacBook Pro has so far cured all these problems. The change / improvement is instant and dramatic. Snappy playback, stability even when skipping tracks or sliding playback forward - backwards and instant iOS app responses.

Granted… I have been using the MacBook Pro for 2 hours in this test so no guarantee this good behaviour will continue but I will leave it thus and see what happens till tomorrow.

I have switched the core a few times and even restarted the PC after doing so. In each swap the change is dramatic and immediate. Smooth Roon - Bluesound with the Core on the MacBook Pro and terrible with the Core on the Win 10 PC.
What is really strange is that this problem occurs only with the Bluesound - Win 10 PC. When using the PC with the Allo Digi one there is no issue at all.

I will keep experimenting and report back

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #8

Roon and Bluesound continue to work well with the Core located on my MacBook Pro. I have tried skipping tracks, fast forward using the slider bar and I am experiencing none of the problems I encounter with the Windows PC. Granted, if I skip a lot in quick succession (4-5 times) I get a 3-5 second delay before playback initiates. This only happens if I skip a lot and it is minor compared to what I experience when the core is operating on the PC.

There is definitely something strange happening with the Win 10 PC and perhaps in combination with the Bluesound device. Tonight I will try to move the core to the PC again and use an ethernet cable to see if that makes any difference.

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #9

One more thing to note, yesterday I was checking the PC (with Roon core running there) and I noticed that I was being asked again to allow Roon through the windows firewall. This is strange as I had already allowed it through only a day or two before. I have allowed it through again but this results in the multiple instances of Roon enabled:

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #10

Final set of experiments with very interesting results:

Experiment 1: Roon Core on MacBook Pro 13, wireless connection to router. Various placements around the flat. Music sent to Bluesound Flex 2i also wireless (excellent signal indication in diagnostics).
Result: Almost flawless operation. I can skip, fast forward a lot with no problems. Instant playback. If I skip a lot in succession I may get 3-4 seconds before playback initiates. No big issue there and it happens only rarely.

Experiment 2: Roon Core on Windows PC with ethernet cable connection to the router. Sending music to the same Bluesound Flex 2i.
Result: Perhaps a small improvement compared to using the PC wirelessly. Skipping 2-3 times in succession results in a delay of 9-15 seconds before audio is heard. A small improvement in responsiveness compared to a wireless connection but overall the same issues remain.

I also tried completely uninstalling Roon from the Windows PC, removing all instances from the windows firewall and then reinstalling.

There is definitely something going on with the Windows PC when it hosts the Roon Core. Curiously there are no problems at all when sending music to the Allo Digi One.

There is no problem in operation when the Roon Core is located on the MacBook Pro.

(Noris) #11

Hi @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

You mentioned that you have reinstalled the Roon Core on the Windows PC, but have you also set your old database aside? It would be best to perform a clean version of this test, please use these instructions to set the old database aside:

  • Make a Backup of your current Roon Database
  • Exit out of Roon
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location
  • Find the folder that says “Roon”
  • Rename the “Roon” folder to “Roon_old”
  • Restart/Reinstall the Roon App to generate a new Roon folder
  • Verify if the same behavior occurs on the Windows PC
(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #12

Great idea @noris

I am traveling with work at the moment but I will try out what you recommend as soon as I am back on Sunday. Will report back then.

1 Like
(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #13

Hi @noris,

Just wanted to update that I followed your recommendations and renamed the Roon folder. I subsequently reinstalled Roon and that generated a new Roon folder as you indicated. I confirmed this as I could now see the ‘Roon_old’ under the new ‘Roon’ folder. Should I restore the database after I do this or should I try to create a new one in order to perform the test?

Many thanks

(Noris) #14

Hi @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

I would try using the fresh database for a day or two and verify how it performs. Afterwards you confirm if things are operational with no database, you can restore the database from the backup. The Roon_old folder is your old database and is a fail-safe in case you have issues restoring the backup, so I would leave the Roon_old folder in place for a week or two until things have stabilized in the new install.

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #15

Many thanks @noris,

I have just completed the test and the result is very interesting:
Partial improvement but problems persist when using my Roon Core on the windows 10 PC. The improvement is that the playback delay is marginally reduced to 5-11 seconds (from 7 - 15 seconds). In addition successive skips and fast forwarding do not lead to the system hanging completely. playback delay will occur 70% of the times that I skip or fast forward. There is a playback delay but the music will eventually start on the Bluesound Flex 2i. (when using the full database the playback delay is more frequent and the audio will occasionally fail to start altogether)

The above test is carried out with Roon core freshly installed and with a completely new database. I have just copied 4 tracks in a temporary folder and pointed Roon to that.

Switching the Roon core to my mabook pro 13 (with the full database) results in drastic improvement and responsiveness. No problems at all no matter how much I skip and fast forward tracks. Playback begins almost instantly (1 second delay) and there is no issue at all.

I also used a new Mac mini (2018 model) from work and the behaviour is exactly as in the MacBook Pro. No problems at all.

Can we conclude there is something going on in the Win10 installation?

Cheers

(Noris) #16

Hi @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

Thanks for sharing your findings, the results are interesting indeed. It’s also very curious that the Allo does not display any of these issues. I would like to take a look at logs next to see if there is any additional info contained in them. Can I please ask you to:

  1. Reproduce this issue and note the exact local time + date when this behavior occurs (using the Windows Core)

  2. Let me know this info and then manually send me the logs from your Core by using these instructions? The best way to get them over to me would be via Dropbox / Google Drive / Send.firefox.com

  3. Also attach a copy of your bluesound logs to this diagnostics report. You can get these logs by navigating to Bluesound’s IP Address in a web browser -> Diagnostics -> More -> Copy+ paste the text into a text editor and send it as a shared Dropbox/Google Drive/Firefox Send link as well.

Thanks!

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #17

Hi @noris

Logs are ready :slight_smile:

Roon logs are accessible here (dropbox):

Corresponding Bluesound (Flex 2i) logs are accessible here:

I hope you can access the above without issue but if not please let me know and I will find another way to send them over.

The experiment was quite easy to carry out as the issues appeared almost immediately. This is is with Roon Core on the Windows 10 PC, sending audio to a single end point: Bluesound Flex 2i.
The Roon Core is operating with a new / fresh database as per your guidance. Only 4-5 tracks imported to the new database.

The time stamps / experiment times are as follows:
08:10 (UK local time): initiated playback. there was a delay of 3-4 seconds but music then started fine. I allowed the track to play for 5-10 seconds and dragged the slider forward to a bout 2/3 of the track. There as a delay of 5-10 seconds for playback to start again.
08:11 (local time): Skipped to the next track and then again to the one after that. Delay of 10+ seconds before audio started.
08:11 to 08:12: As the track was playing, I moved the slider forward to about 2/3 of the track. There was a delay of 10 seconds after which Roon the playback seemed to start but there was no audio at all. Roon was showing the track playing but there was no audio at all no matter how long I waited. I had to stop playback and rewind to a different track before audio was reestablished.

Interestingly the Bluesound logs show timestamps that are one hour before the above timestamps. Not sure why and I tried rebooting the speaker but this persisted.

After the above experiments I switched the core back to the MacBook Pro and all was fine with no delays, no audio loss. Very snappy problem free operation.

Very puzzling results right?

Cheers

(Noris) #18

Hello @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

Thanks for sharing those logs, I have forwarded them to the technical team for closer inspection. It may take a bit of time to review them but I was wondering if you could also let me know the following information as I believe it may be helpful:

  1. If you run a speedtest from both machines by using speedtest.net or fast.com, can you let me know the reported speeds?

  2. When the delay occurs, does the play bar appear to move at all or does the play bar get stuck on 0:00 until the 5-15 second delay has completed?

(Tom Keenan) #19

I had sync problems with my Bluesound devices in the past, but recently they seem to have gone away. Have you updated every device to the latest BS firmware/software? I’ve also found that grouping BS devices from within the BS application (not in Roon) seems to help.

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #20

Hi @noris

Completely understand it may take some time and no problem at all :slight_smile:

Regarding the additional info:

  1. Speedtest
  • Windows 10 PC: 54 Mbps download, 3.8 Mbps upload, 20ms ping
  • MacBook Pro 13 (roughly at the same position): 40Mbps download, 2.9Mbps upload, 15ms ping.
    So overall the MacBook Pro presents lower speeds but a bit faster ping.
  1. delay types
    I experience 3 types of delay, sometimes occurring one after the other.
  • Delay type A: play bar starts to move and there is no sound. Usually it takes 5 seconds before the music starts. The first 5 seconds of the track are therefore lost.
  • Delay type B: The bar does not move and there is no sound. Usually it takes 8-9 seconds before the bar begins to move.
  • Delay type C (the most rare): This is technically not a delay as the bar begins to move but there is no sound no matter how long I wait. I need to skip a track in order for the sound to begin again. I thought I should mention it as I encountered it in the test that I reported (with the logs provided).

When I start sliding the bar forward I initially experience type A delay only. If I skip again and then again I begin to experience type B immediately followed by type A delay. When this happens (after dragging the slider forward to about 2/3 of the track), the bar initially does not move at all for about 8 seconds (type B delay). It will then start moving but still there is no audio coming through. This takes 5 seconds (type A delay) and the audio comes back. This Type B + A delay occurs if I skip / slide forward a few times in quick succession (usually 3+). This delay also happened in my brief experiment I reported and hopefully the logs captured it.

Lastly, delay type C is quite rare but it did occur in my brief test. It happens if I skip tracks in succession and also slide the bar forward to fast forward. 5 - 6 skips can trigger it but not always. It will usually be Type B and then Type C in succession. This did happen in the brief test I ran.

All these issues indeed only occur when I send music to the Bluesound Flex 2i. No problems at all when I send music to the Allo Digi One as long as the latter is not grouped with the Bluesound. Once grouped, the problems occur the same way as when I am sending music to the Bluesound alone.

These problems of course go away completely when the MacBook Pro / Mac mini is used for the Roon Core.

Lastly (maybe useful), I also notice a delay on the Roon iOS app when the core is running on the Windows 10 PC. Launching the Roon app on my iPhone (frequently) takes 2-3 seconds before the connection to the Roon core is established. The app appears to be trying to connect for a few seconds.
Again, if the core is running on either the Mac mini or the MacBook Pro, the iOS connection is instant and snappy. This delay with the Roon Core on Windows 10, occurs regardless of Bluesound devices being used or not.

Quite interesting results. I am thankfully able to run the core on the Mac so my Roon experience is fine but I would love some insight regarding the combination of Windows 10 PC Roon Core and Bluesound devices.

All my problems with blue sound in the past year have been experienced with the Roon Core running on the Windows 10 PC so I am wondering whether there is something that stems from that combination alone.

Lets see what we find in due time.

Many thanks
Yiannis

(Yiannis Kouropalatis) #21

Hi Tom and many thanks for the heads up regarding firmware. I know the sync issues you refer to and they were thankfully fixed a few months ago (took a while before they were addressed though). In my case, I have indeed double checked and the Bluesound speaker runs the latest firmware. If I group my Bluesound Flex 2i with my Allo Digi One (main hifi), I have perfect sync. The issues I am encountering are these strange delays in playback after skipping or fast forwarding. Occasionally I will lose the audio completely that way. These problems only seem to occur when the Roon Core runs on my Windows 10 PC in combination with Bluesound devices. No problems at all when using the Roon core on Mac.

Cheers