Music playback skipping when I change or refresh tabs or windows in Safari

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

Roon version 1.7 build 555
macOS Catalina 10.15.5 (with recent security update 2020.06.01)
early 2017, 27 inch 5K iMac
4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Radeon Pro 580, 8 GB
second monitor: LG 27 inch 5K

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

everything hard-wired 1 Gbit ethernet
router: Asus GT-AC5300
NAS: QNAP TS-859 Pro+ / QTS ver 4.2 (2020/04/21) / fully populated with 8 x 3TB drives in RAID 6

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

DacMagic XS

Audio path:
Roon Core running on iMac
music files on QNAP NAS
DacMagic XS set to USB 2 mode supporting PCM 192/24

HQ Player 4 Desktop version 4.6.0
DAC bits = 24
Sample rate (/ Limit) = 192k

Output Device Settings
Backend = CoreAudio
Device = CA DacMagicXS 2.0
Channels = 2
Ch. offset = 0

Audio Path = QNAP (1 GB ethernet) through router to Roon Core to HQ Player to USB bus to DacMagic to headphones

Description Of Issue

This one’s got me stumped.

When playing music, sometimes when I switch or refresh tabs or windows in Safari the music noticeably skips.

I tried changing the USB port and that helped for a while but the problem returned.

I can think of a couple of things:

  • too much traffic on the Thunderbolt/USB bus caused by the extra graphic load in Safari
  • something amiss with the QNAP
  • not enough buffering in either Roon or HQ Player although with the DacMagic XS selected I can not change the buffering in HQ Player
  • a network issue

Any and all help greatly appreciated, thanks,

Hi @David_Gow,

I suggest we start by eliminating some variables here. Can you please try to start playback to your Core’s System Output zone and verify if the issue occurs there (no HQPlayer/DACMagic in the mix)?

Hi Noris. Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. It is really appreciated.

It sounds (no pun intended) like we are going to have to work our way through a number of scenarios/use cases.

It could take a while because the problem was intermittent. Do you think it would help if I try and ‘stress’ my iMac by loading-up Safari and running a couple of virtual machines to see if that increases the frequency of the problem?

A couple of quick questions:

  • Is there a way to prioritize Roon processes over other ones?
  • Is there a way to prioritize Roon packets over Thunderbolt 3/USB/Ethernet?
  • Does Roon pass any processing to the graphics subsystem?

I still suspect that Safari is a resource hog one way or another.

I’ll let you know what I find.

Thanks again,

Hi @David_Gow,


Yes. Roon uses OpenGL to perform rendering of the app, and you can check if Roon is running on the external or internal GPU (also might help).

I would wait until this issue occurs again and then check your other zones (such as System Output) to see if they still work as expected. Then we have narrowed down the possibilities.

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