Roon Server on Linux Tidal pops and static

I’m running Roon Server on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on Hyper-V. It has worked brilliantly until the last upgrade to build 324. I had disturbing pops when streaming Tidal that could best be described as static, like something shorting out. A lot of tracks were un-listenable. At first I thought I had blown speakers when my miniDSP had somehow had volume set to max while I scrambled to hit the power button. Fortunately that wasn’t the problem. I discovered I didn’t have these artifacts when streaming FLAC stored locally.

Since it’s running on a VM I was able to roll back to build 323 from a backup. The static problem went away. Based on posts of other people having what seemed to be related problems with Linux, ffmpeg seemed the likely culprit. I am no linux guru by any stretch. I knew just enough to follow Roon’s installation instructions which were “sudo apt-get install ffmpeg”. After some difficulty I was able to upgrade ffmpeg to version 3.4.2-1 and the problem went away on build 324 at least for my one test song, Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes.

I just wanted to post my experience so it may help others and save a few gray hairs. It’s unfortunate that the new build has problems with ffmpeg version 2.8.14 because I think that’s the default for Ubuntu 16.04 so a lot of people may run into it.

Regards,
Lawson

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Thanks for the feedback @LawsonM, very appreciated!

Just to confirm you were on B334 (not 324), downgraded to B333, then figured out how to update FFMPEG and went back to B334, now the issue is not present, correct?

-Eric

Correct. I must have messed up the build numbers. The latest release, B334, had the problem running on generic Ubuntu 16.04. Reverted to a backup from two weeks ago (which I think was B323) and everything was normal. Reverted back to B334, confirming problem returned. Updated FFMPEG on B334 and the problem seemed to be corrected, although I have not done extensive testing. This seemed to only affect Tidal streams but I don’t have an extensive library. I primarily stream Tidal with a few CD’s ripped to FLAC thrown in the mix. FLAC didn’t have the problem.

Lawson

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Thanks for the update @LawsonM! Please do let me know if you notice these audio artifacts again with the updated ffmpeg in place.

-Eric