Tidal buffering

It will be great if Roon allows us to set a buffer size for Tidal playback in Roon. We in China which is not officially supported by Tidal, has poor playback. By setting a 10/20/30s buffers, and Roon also buffers ahead for the next song in the playlist, we will be able to listen to Tidal with a smoother, non-stop playback.

I’m not sure what is going on in your situation, or exactly where the bottleneck is, but I don’t think more buffering will help.

Let me explain more about what we do currently–it’s a lot more aggressive than what you’re proposing.

As soon as you begin playback of a TIDAL track, Roon begins caching the entirety of that track + the entirety of the next track into an encrypted on-disk cache. This buffering happens as quickly as TIDAL’s servers + your internet connection allows. Playback preferentially consumes data from this cache. If we’re not able to fill the caches quickly enough to keep up with playback, it’s possible that Roon has to go back to TIDAL directly on demand.

There is an additional 10s memory buffer of decoded content for each track that sits between the on-disk cache and the playback engine in Roon’s core. Further downstream, RAAT endpoint software has an additional ~3-5s of memory buffer at the endpoint to smooth out variances on your local network.

Given this new information–does that give you any other ideas of what the problem might be?

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Thank you for explainng this. i have wondered how this works.

Brian, thanks for the explanation on how Roon does caching on Tidal playback. My friends and I in China are all having the same problem, Tidal playback is choppy and breaks consistently. Loading takes a long time, too. In the morning (Beijing time), it is smoother but around 9am, it will start breaking. And, we always encountered Roon error message stating Tidal is interrupted due to network connectivity problem. For the record, Roon 1.1 has a better Tidal playback experience than 1.2.

I have used Audirvana to test Tidal playback and I can see the buffer loading. Without VPN, Tidal will be choppy too with Audirvana. But with VPN, it is smooth playing. I believe Audirvana does the same next track buffering, too.

Again, I have to reiterate that Tidal is not officially supported in China. Hence, this could be the biggest problem. My broadband speed is 50Mbps and my friends’ up to 200Mbps. So, bandwidth should not be an issue. It’s more likely that Tidal servers are not serving (or pointing its way) to China.

Turn On your VPN

Then go to SpeedTest.net and run a Speedtest…and report the Download and Upload results here

Download 38.96Mbps and Upload 10.88Mbps

And what Country is your VPN “reporting” when you’re achieving those Download Speeds??

Singapore or USA. Both countries have the same results.

Using either Chrome browser or the Tidal app itself, can you try playing Tracks that you have seen a problem in playing thru Roon??

Make sure you set the Quality in Settings to “HiFi” to ensure that you are Streaming the Lossless versions at 1Mbps approx

Try playing for a while and see if you see the same problems or not

I have used Tidal desktop app or Audirvana+ and they are having the same problem without VPN. Anyway, I installed a VPN on my NUC now and Roon/Tidal has been running smoothly for the last 1.5 hours.

Sorry, I understood that you were having problems with Tidal thru Roon, even WITH the VPN on…which I found puzzling

The fact that Tidal / Roon is now running smoothly with the new VPN On makes more sense

With your VPN off, your traffic is 'open" and your ISP may be throttling your connection as a result…and / or Tidal MAY be restricting the traffic as it doesn’t offer its service in China

However, with your VPN On, your traffic is encrypted…making it more difficult for your ISP to see where your traffic going and what is the ‘nature’ of it…and likewise, Tidal now thinks it’s servicing a Customer in Singapore or Tidal, where it does offer its service

It will be nice if we can see the buffering bar indication.