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Stability issues with Mac Mini server running JRiver used to playback music via DNLA


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Apologies up front if there is a more appropriate forum to post this in. It crosses several topics (networked audio, equipment, software).

 

 

Bottom line up front:

 

I’m looking for an alternative to my current Mac Mini / JRiver - based music server setup that is more stable. I leave the computer on 24/7, with JRiver running, and I expect to be able to playback music using my iPhone running JRemote whenever I want to listen to something. This works more often than it doesn’t, but too often I attempt to play music via JRemote and get nothing, at which point I turn on the TV only to discover the Mac has thrown a dialog box or an error or JRIver has crashed. Once I clear out the dialog box / error window and if necessary relaunch JRiver or reboot, the system works as designed. This happens often enough that I want a solution that is more stable, preferably using the same hardware I already own, but if necessary I’d switch hardware. To be very clear, I’m not looking for new functionality or improved sound quality, just better stability.

 

 

Setup:

 

Mac Mini (2011) with 8GB RAM running OS X El Capitan and JRiver MC 21. The monitor is my main TV which I use to watch video. Music is stored on a 3TB local external hard drive that is connected to the Mini via Firewire 800. The Mini is connected to a 802.11ac router via ethernet cat 6. It feeds two separate music systems via USB 2.0 (one home theater / stereo, one headphone rig). Additionally, there is a 3rd system that I stream music to over my home network via DNLA. I use an iPhone running JRemote as my primary controller, again via DNLA.

 

 

Uses:

 

90% listen to 2ch music stored on the hard drive on one of the three systems I already mentioned (two connected to the Mini via USB, one remote system that streams from JRiver).

 

9-10% streaming video over the internet (I do the vast majority of my video watching using a Roku rather than the Mini, but I’ll use the Mini to watch sources that aren’t compatible with the Roku).

 

0-1% Multi-channel video content. On those rare occasions where I watch multi-channel via the Mini, I use XBMC for OS X rather than JRiver. I do this infrequently enough that I don’t mind the process of quitting JRiver, modifying the necessary configurations on the Apple MIDI utility, and launching XBMC, then when I’m done reconfiguring the system for music / 2ch.

 

 

Any suggestions? Would running XBMC on Linux and using it for music playback offer me the stability I’m looking for? (I could always boot back into OS X when I want to use the computer to stream video over the internet.) Other ideas? I really am hoping to avoid buying a dedicated music server, though that’s probably the solution that would offer the most stability.

 

Thanks, and if anything in my description is unclear, or if there is additional info you need me to provide about my system or how I use it, just let me know.

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Admittedly, I've always been rather suspicious how JRMC copes with its jack of all trades nature and wished that JRiver would supply their relatively bloated software in a more modular and (better still) a more distributed form.

 

It certainly makes sense to use software mainly designed for video, actually for video, so using XBMC/Kodi, Plex, etc.

 

Likewise the same for audio. You could try swapping JRMC and its built-in UPnP/DLNA contents (& the rest of its built-in unwanted non-UPnP/DLNA parts) for an actual separate UPnP/DLNA media server (or two - one for the remote location on the network, the other for music files local to the Mac), an actual separate UPnP/DLNA renderer and an actual separate UPnP/DLNA control point or 2 or 3...

For example:

UPnP media server for Mac or remote device - MinimServer

MinimServer features

 

OpenHome (aka UPnP with Linn extensions) renderer for Mac - OpenHome Player

OSX

 

OpenHome control points to choose from:

Linn Kazoo & Lumin (iOS)

Linn Kazoo, BubbleDS Next & BubbleUPnP (Android)

Linn Kazoo (Mac)

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Hmmmm.

 

I have the same JRMC complaint on a Win7 Zuma. Windows dos an update, or JRiver hiccups and has an error message, or some other issue and the lady of the house is texting me that she can't get the music to play. I'd love to figure out how to isolate the Zuma with a stable JRiver so that nothing can screw it up. I love JRemote or I'd try something different. And I'm beginning to like running Roon on the Zuma.

 

More and more I want a toaster. But when it works, I love it.

JJinPDX

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@Cebolla, thanks for the suggestions. Makes sense that JRiver, being a one size fits all platform that performs all DNLA functions, might be less stable than lighter weight software that do individual functions very well. I'll definitely look into Minimserver.

 

Do you think switching from OSX to Umbutu or Debian would get me better stability? I get the sense that a significant percentage of the errors are from OS X rather than JRiver.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Possibly, though any better stability may also be due to the Linux version of JRMC itself being different. I've seen it mentioned that it's more streamlined:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f8-general-forum/there-any-windows-direct-stream-digital-player-29640/#post576049

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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  • 3 weeks later...

Quick update -- for the last 2 weeks I've been running Kodi for Mac instead of JRMC. It seems to have all the features I need, and it crashes less often than JRMC. Of course, other Mac processes that would interrupt JRMC also interrupt Kodi, so it's not a complete fix. Still, for the time being I'm happy with the stability improvement.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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