Skipping/drop outs while playing Tidal tracks

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

Windows 10, Roon 1.6 build 401, 64bit

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

WiFi, Netgear router

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

Sprout connected over USB to Macbook
Raspberry Pi with Hifiberry digital out, connected over WiFi

Description Of Issue

Playing Tidal tracks results in frequent skipping and drop outs in most tracks. This has started happening over the last couple months, but it feels like it’s gotten significantly worse in the past week or two. Sometimes the track will just skip to the next one in the queue, as well.

One of the major benefits of Roon to me is being able to unify my local library with music from a streaming service, so not being able to play Tidal tracks correctly is a huge issue for me.

Other notes:

  1. This happens whether I have DSP on or off for the output zone
  2. This does not happen for tracks that are stored on my core machine, just Tidal tracks
  3. This happens both on my Sprout and my Raspberry Pi output devices
  4. This happens for both MQA and regular Tidal tracks.
  5. When I’m playing an MQA track, I see that the Signal Path flickers during each skip, with the MQA text under the Authentication step disappearing and then coming back.
  6. Previously, I had a regular Tidal subscription and found that tracks would sometimes “brownout” or start playing static for a brief moment and skip to the next track. I updated to a Tidal hifi account and that problem went away, but now I have the skipping issue

Hi @Jeff_Balboni,

I just want to confirm with you here, when you are outputting via the Rasberry Pi, is it still feeding into the Sprout or are you using the digital out to stream to another DAC? Can you confirm that the same behavior occurs on Windows 10’s “System Output”?

How is the Macbook connected in this setup, is it on WiFi or Ethernet? Is there any change if you connect your Macbook via Ethernet as a temporary test? What is the exact model of your Netgear router? We have seen a few Netgear routers need special settings applied to work properly with Roon and we have documented a few of these cases in our Networking Best Practices guide.

– Noris

Thanks for the response!

The Raspberry Pi is outputting to a Denon receiver via the digital out. Not connected to the Sprout.

The Macbook is connected via USB to the Sprout and to Roon over wifi.

My router is a Netgear R7000P. I’ll test things out over ethernet this evening and get back to you.

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I’m betting you have some Wifi or internet issues. How old is the MacBook? What is the wifi connection - hold down option key and click on the wifi in the tom menu bar. - you should see something like this image below.

Is the Windows core also connected by Wifi to your router or is it LAN cable

if you run a test what is your internet speed like?

What model RPi is its and just for giggles what OS is it running.

Alright, so it looks connecting the Windows core via ethernet causes the issue to go away, so maybe the wifi adapter on that PC has some problems (I don’t use it for much outside of a Roon core). Things have been working without issue for a year or two with the current setup and my Internet is consistently fast and stable on all devices throughout the house, so I assumed it was Roon specific. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

Hi @Jeff_Balboni,

Glad to hear that things are stable on Ethernet! I agree that it could be the WiFi module in your PC or the router as well. If you wish to troubleshoot this further it would be an interesting test to see if you experience this issue with another PC running the Roon core on WiFi.

If things are unstable with another Core, it’s probably the router. If things are stable with another Core, it’s probably the Macbook’s WiFi module. You can also look into a dedicated Roon Core such as Roon ROCK if you’d like to have something always on and Ethernet connected, the ROCK kits are fairly cheap these days.

– Noris

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