Roon saves its scanning until I want to use the stereo

OSX 10.12.3, mac mini late 2012, 16gb ram

I organize my music folder using iTunes, so I am not going to attempt your suggestion of dividing the music files among separate watched folders…thanks for thinking of it, though.

I use two Cisco SG200-08 8-port Gigabit Smart Switches (SLM2008T-NA) in between the Drobo upstairs and mac mini downstairs. It never occurred to me to monkey with their configurations but if anyone has ideas I’m all ears.

So, after a good long while (12 hours?) Roon scanned once again through my 281,000 tracks…and what did it do immediately after that? Started scanning again…here’s what it looked like just after the new scan:

Guys, I just came home from work and noticed there was a new bug fix, so I installed Build 200.

And… Apparently, it seems like in my case, it was a bug that has now been fixed. The spinning wheel has gone and at last, I can play with upsampling without dropouts, skipping or other problems. I’m halfway through an album now, upsampling redbook quality to DSD128 over ethernet, still no issues so really hope it’s stable now.

In reply to your answers, @Ronnie, indeed I did use one 8TB WD My Book, but I’ve recently (though before upgrading to 1.3) added a 4TB WD My Book Studio. So from one to two watched folders, both connected directly to my core via usb.

So thanks for Build 200 guys! And @Dan_Levy, hope your problems will be solved soon too.

Hey @Dan_Levy – can you zip up your Logs folder for me? You can find it your database, as described here.

Once you have the logs zipped up, if you can upload it to Dropbox and drop a link here, we will will investigate. If you don’t have Dropbox, let us know and we’ll give you some instructions about uploading them directly to us.

I would also be interested to see if anything changes with these switches removed. Is there anyway you can run for a day or two with these two devices plugged directly into a standard router?

@koen, we can absolutely look at your logs too, just zip them up and we’ll investigate.

@mike, please do! RoonServer logs are zipped (I assume you don’t need RAATServer logs?), how do I get these to you or @support?

This made it all make sense to me. I know what’s happening.

Roon knows that it can’t trust NAS’s to report on filesystem events in all cases–and there’s no way for us to detect whether events are coming or not. NAS’s just silently report a subset of events, or none at all. So “real time watching” isn’t real time all the time.

We did some research and found that just about every piece of software that attempts to do “real time watching” on NAS’s eventually runs into this limitation, and supplements it with a periodic scan of the storage folder. Plex does it, JRiver does it, so do others, and so does Roon.

This is not new with 1.3, by the way–it was added somewhere between 1.1 and 1.2.

So in addition to the “real time watching” Roon kicks off a scan of your storage locations once every 4 hours. This is a simple recursive directory listing–we are not actually poking around inside the files.

In the vast majority of cases it does not take hours. For example, on a spinning disk on my 5 year old Windows machine, it lists 100,000 files in about 10 seconds. Over an SMB connection to the same disk, the scan takes about 30 seconds. The same files on my QNAP TS-453 take 50 seconds. You could extrapolate this to much larger libraries at these rates and never see something take more than 5-10 minutes.

Before I used the QNAP, or this Windows machine, I had a Drobo for about 5 years. It seemed great at first, but over time, as it filled up, it started ruining things for me. Everything worked slow/worse/not at all. Eventually, I got down to troubleshooting the thing and figured out that each filesystem operation took about 100ms, not matter what it was or how idle the Drobo was. Open a file? 100ms. Seek 1024 bytes into the file? 100ms. Read 4096 bytes from the file? 100ms. List a directory? 100ms per file to get the file size/modification time. Even simple operations on that thing were excruciatingly slow. The Drobo was so bad that it nearly caused me to give up on NAS’s entirely.

The reason why it is scanning constantly is because an operation that should take a few minutes is taking 12 hours, and by that point, it’s time for the next “once per 4 hours” scan.

I’ll say one good thing about Drobo: it went through a couple of drive failures without losing any data. But it did take me almost 2 weeks to extract the data from its clutches 100ms at a a time. Drobo. Never again.

Not sure about @koen’s situation. The interesting question there is whether or not the scan is taking 4+hrs or not, since that’s the threshold for “constant scanning”.

(@ben @mike fyi)

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This is fascinating, though disconcerting! I appreciate your taking the time to write this up.

As I have been investigating, I noticed that the (optional) 64gb mSATA SSD I installed in the Drobo was no longer showing up in Drobo Dashboard. Why? I think it has failed, at least temporarily, because of a longstanding problem Drobos have with not sitting still long enough for the mSATAs to do garbage collection. Eventually they konk out. (I knew nothing of this til I read this post:

I wonder if, however maddening Drobos are anyway, the performance would improve once again if I installed a new mSATA card…they are cheap enough to try at $37 so I will report back on any improvements.

Thanks again, @brian!

@brian and @support, I’m afraid that with the solution of my problem, I have a new problem. When looking at my logs, please bear in mind the following: I have continuous dropouts with whatever I played today. Upsampling, but also many redbook cd’s. Upstairs (the Mac with the core) but also downstairs (the bridge, connected to the core by ethernet). It’s almost as if I’m back to wifi again and it makes for very unpleasant listening.

Mismatched memory pairs is not really going to be your friend here…

Have you tried rebooting both the Core and and the Bridge to see if that makes the difference it made the last few times you did??

I did @Ronnie. Will try again today. Are you suggesting the impact can be so enormous? I had this issue the whole day yesterday, even with redbook, but I didn’t have it at all the entire evening before, even with upsampling redbook up tio DSD128…

I’m willing to believe you and to invest the euros, but I have my doubts as the spinning seems to have been a 1.3 bug. I’ll wait for the Roon guys to finish investigating my logs first Ronnie.

When looking at these issues, I try to focus on if the problem is “intermittent” or is it “consistent”

As regards your “performance” issues being v1.3 only, I don’t think I can agree…as I am sure you will remember our crossed posts from 3 weeks ago regarding your Mac Mini’s performance…and that was with Roon v1.2

I’m sure you will also recall that this issue was [at least temporarily and on a few occasions since] solved by rebooting the Core…which appears to get rid of the performance problems

In my experience, when a problem is intermittent like that, and can be solved by a reboot, I tend to focus on hardware / connectivity first, rather than software…as software usually causes consistent issues, not intermittent ones

An 8Gb RAM module for your Mac Mini is about €62…and even if it doesn’t solve this particular issue…it will be a good investment for the health of your machine…do a search on mismatched RAM modules and you will get an inkling of what I’m saying…espeically when the discrepency between the two is so large [8gb versus 2gb]

Hi @Ronnie, I’m not saying I had no issues before 1.3 and I really do appreciate your help. It’s just that the issues are so specific: Roon Bridge is continuously losing connection to the core. Often long enough to stop music playback completely, other times very shortly: the Album view screen then flashes white (connection lost), also tracks are loading slowly and the skip or drop out.

The short intervals / connection lost (the ones without stopping music playback) with the screen flashing are new, as is the frequency. Also, the times the connection is completely lost and the Bridge is trying to reconnect to the core have increased. This appeared to have been solved by switching from wifi to ethernet, but is now back in unprecedented frequency. Besides that, I am wondering to what extent mismatched RAM causes connectivity problems.

I read on the forum about others having connectivity problems with 1.3 (though I think that was mostly with remotes), so I was merely trying to approach the issue as broad as possible, not to reject your suggestions. I’ll do a search on mismatched RAM right away, thanks again Ronnie.

@Ronnie, I’m even more confused now after my search. Apparently, the mismatched RAM module issue is not undisputed. I find sites where it is claimed not to make any difference. As expected, I also find sites claiming the opposite. However, even more confusing is the opinion, that two different capacity memory modules will be just fine – only two modules of different speeds would matter, as these would make the machine run at the speed of the slowest modules.

If this is true, then I should replace all RAM in both Mac Minis to be sure. I don’t have the technical background or experience to be able to draw my own conclusions on this, and I appreciate your help, obviously without having any commercial interest in me buying more RAM. Are you perhaps able to shed a bit more light on the issue?

Always do as a manufacturer suggests.

Sorry Koen
But I can’t offer you anything more definitive…other than outlining many experiences in the past where I’ve personally seen unexplainable PC issues solved by upgrading or even downgrading memory back to matched pairs…after all, there’s a reason why RAM Manufacturers usually sell their products in matched pair kits…e.g. 8Gb in 2 by 4Gb modules

And likewise remember that Apple and all other PC manufacturers supply their PC’s with matched RAM pairs…rather than just 1 module…ever wonder why??

It’s also worth remembering that in previous exchanges, where you’ve wondered if your QC i7 Mac with SSD needed to be replaced / upgraded…or your WD USB Storage…or replacing ethernet cables with “audiophile” versions…I stated that there was no need…and that was for options costing far more than the €62 suggested upgrade below…so I’m not making this relatively inexpensive suggestion lightly!!

It’s also worth remembering that upgrading from 10Gb to 16Gb can only help with your large 250,000 track library…and it certainly won’t cause any performance downgrade

For €62 in the overall scheme of things, I think it’s a worthwhile investment…but ymmv!!

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Below is an image an link to the RAM Module I would suggest

The problems of 3 weeks ago and now are related to inconsistent performance on your Core, which causes knock on problems of high processor usage interrupting playback etc.

Therefore, there is no present need to do anything on your Bridge Mac [at least as I see it]

I would check your current 8Gb ram module in your QC i7 Mac to make sure it matched the specs as below…especially the speed…and if it does then I would simply replace the current 2Gb module with the one below

Your decision in the end

Thanks @Ronnie, it’s not that I am not willing or able to spend the €62, I was trying to understand the issue.

@support, any news from looking into my logs? I sent these nine days ago but haven’t heard back. I have replaced my RAM to match, so 2 x 8GB now as @Ronnie suggested, but unfortunately, it doesn’t make any difference. I have tested for six days, from redbook to upsampling to DSD128, but still many dropouts, skipping and losing connection. Many times, Roon just stops playing at all. Problems have absolutely gotten worse since 1.3 in my case. But I see more and more posts from others with similar or related problems. I would really appreciate an update. Thanks, Koen

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Also, often when I don’t like the choice Roon Radio comes up with, I press next. Not an issue in 1.2, but in 1.3 Roon Radio stops altogether more often than it goes to the next song. Not a big deal, but an illustration to point out that I think there are some bugs in 1.3 that didn’t bug me in 1.2. Also, I didn’t mention the ticking (soft pops and clicks clearly audible, like playing vinyl) that sometimes occur.

Hi @mike
Can you take another look at this…as I know the issue has been going on for quite some time now…and the logs will be the best place to see what’s causing the symtoms described above

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