Playback occasionally fails

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


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

Core connected by Ethernet to a Verizon Fios G-1100 router

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

IQaudIO PiDAC+ and Google Chromecast Audio, both over WiFi

Description Of Issue

Playback sometimes falters and stops, giving the error message, “An audio file is loading slowly. This may indicate a hardware or performance problem.” Sometimes the album view appears blank after playback failure. This has happened with local files and streams from Tidal and Qobuz. It seems to be happening more frequently, although it is still not a regular occurrence.

Many thanks.

Hello @Jesse,

Just so that you are aware, we highly discourage using ISP provided routers, as we have often seen these to be less reliable than standard consumer-grade equipment (as mentioned in our Networking Best Practices).

Does this behavior occur on the HDMI output of the ROCK as well? Since this occurring with both local and streaming files, I suspect that the issue is either in the Router, the ethernet cable between the router and core or the WiFi connection between your endpoint and Core. Verifying how HDMI output behaves would allow us to eliminate the endpoints and then we can focus further on the router or Core.

Thanks, @noris

I have had the NUC connected by HDMI and USB in the past, but I don’t recall if this problem came up in those configurations. It doesn’t happen regularly enough to perform a quick, definitive test. I’ll try running a USB connection for a while and see what happens (the NUC will have to be connected by WiFi in that case, since there is no Ethernet connection available near the stereo).

The problem does seem to extend beyond playback - even after playback has stopped, albums disappear from album view, and a reboot is required to restore normal functioning. Does that still sound like a networking issue?

Is it possible to run a diagnostic on the core to see if there are hardware problems?

Hello @Jesse,

I have just enabled diagnostics mode for your account and what this action does is automatically upload a set of logs to our servers. I took a look through them and I am not noticing any database issues at the present time. This is not to say that it is not a hardware problem, but to say that we should perform some more testing here to narrow down the possibilities.

I would like to also eliminate WiFi from this equation. Please connect your NUC via Ethernet to the primary router and select the HDMI zone for playback. Even if there is nothing connected to the HDMI output let it run for some time and verify if you see the same message appear on your Roon Remote.

Hi @noris

Thanks, will do. But that test is likely to be inconclusive since the problem does not regularly occur.

Two nights ago (August 27th), playback failed repeatedly, including after rebooting the system. Do the logs show anything amiss on that day?

In case I consider buying a new router, have you found that Eeros or mesh networks are a pretty stable option? I see they are recommended on the page you linked, but still with wired connections for the core and endpoints, which will not be possible here.

Hi @Jesse,

I took a look at the logs and there appears to be some instability contained in them, but it is hard to say what exactly occurred. It looks like the connection to your Living Room zone, to your iPad and to our account servers dropped around the same time, indicating some kind of network instability.

This test should help clarify where things are going wrong.

As a general rule, we can’t recommend as specific router brand, but I haven’t seen many issues surrounding Eero routers, and the absence of reports may be a good things :slight_smile: .

You can also ask in the software section (#roon) for other members opinions on specific types of mesh networks. My suggestion would be to have one of the mesh endpoints that have Ethernet out next to your audio gear, and if you need to split the connection I would advise using an unmanaged switch to facilitate this.

Hi @noris

Do you think that means the NUC itself is probably fine?

I set the core to play music through its HDMI output last night, and when I returned after a few hours it was still playing. As I type, Roon is streaming smoothly to the PiDAC+ in my original configuration.

If I use an Ethernet connection at both ends of a mesh network, but those ends are connected to each other wirelessly, that’s still a more stable connection than having audio devices connected wirelessly?

Hi @Jesse,

Yes, I think the NUC is working as expected and that you should troubleshoot the router further first if you were to make any changes. As mentioned previously, ISP provided routers have been unreliable from my experience.

Yes, since the mesh network would have a “backhaul” to rely on it would be more stable than direct wireless access. After setting up your mesh network, I would verify that there is a good output signal for all the access points and then configure the devices with an unmanaged switch as recommended.

Hi @noris,

Thanks for your help a few weeks ago. I’m experimenting with a mesh network as you suggested.

Do you know if a tri-band model (Eero pro) would have an advantage over dual-band (Eero) for Roon specifically? The use, again, is to create an ethernet connection at a location not far from the router but where wiring is not available.

Do both tri-band and dual-band allow a continual backhaul?



Hi @Jesse,

As far as I am aware, both have a backhaul, but the difference is that the pro’s have an additional WiFi channel at 5.2Ghz. Do note that I have not tested either option but I don’t believe this additional channel does anything specific for Roon, the Eero documentation states that the Pro line is “twice as fast” which I assume is referring to the throughput speeds on WiFi.

If you’re not at a location too far from the router, the hardware version you use may not be too critical, though I would certainly still purchase these units from a place with easy returns, in case one option doesn’t end up working right for you.

I have also located the following threads regarding Eero if you wish to review them:

Hope this helps!

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