Roon suddenly cannot maintain playback over grouped zones

Roon Core Machine

Windows 11 Pro running on a Minisforum UM560
AMD Ryzen 5 5625U 2.30 GHz with Radeon Graphics, 16 GB RAM
Roon version 2.0 (build 1300) production

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Connected via Ethernet (no VPN) to a Vodafone Station router (firmware 19.3B70-1.2.49)

Connected Audio Devices

Using two SMSL PO100 USB Digital Interfaces
1 connected to a Denon AVR for main speakers
1 connected to a Martin Logan MDA16 for distribution to other speakers

Number of Tracks in Library

streaming via Tidal

Description of Issue

For the past 2 days, Roon will fail to maintain playback when both of my zones are grouped together. I have been reliably using this setup for approximately a year now with no issues.

However, suddenly, a number of issues have begun to happen. Sometimes independently, sometimes at the same time:
• zone will become extremely out of sync
• zone will begin stuttering
• zone will begin playing must “slowly” - (similar to the effect when a portable cassette player began to run out of battery)
• zone will stop playback entirely

pausing/playing the music will often remedy the issue, but often only for less 30 seconds, before the issues begin recurring again. I checked my computer’s CPU/memory usage and nothing looked out of the ordinary. I also tried rebooting the computer. I then tried downgrading Roon server (to a previously downloaded version) and re-updating to the current version. Nothing has had any effect so far.

Have you rebooted everything including the network?

Indeed sounds like a network related issue that could be resolved with a reboot.
You mentioned network is via Ethernet. Are all devices connected directly to the router? Anything on WiFi?

So, both PO100 USB optical outputs are connected directly to the core windows machine. The only network connection between the outputs and the outside WAN is the single ethernet cable to the windows machine from my ISP-provided router.

Funnily enough, after I posted this, the router reset itself (I noticed when my laptop temporarily lost WiFi).

That didn’t have any effect, but I did notice another detail: while my primary zone (connected to my Denon AVR) plays just fine, the other zones fail to play properly even when not in a group.

I haven’t changed any of my wiring/settings for nearly a near though, so not sure why this issue would suddenly manifest.

Windows updates can play havoc with any system.
I’d look up the latest network drivers from the network chip/card manufacturer rather than windows update.

1 Like

Life got in the way and had to put off troubleshooting this.

I’m beginning to think one of the PO100’s has died… Last night I updated the Windows drivers and have restarted a few times, but even though Windows still seems to show both devices are connected, as of this morning Roon now only shows the outputs for one of them as connected to my core machine.

Well, closing the loop here: I replaced the in-theory-broken PO100 with a different TOSLINK adapter that arrived today, and no more audio issues - so it does seem to have been a hardware and not network/software issue.

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