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gordec

Windows Server or Audiolinux

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I'm currently using regular Windows 10 Home Edition running Jriver DLNA server to stream to iFi Pro iDSD. PC and Pro iDSD are both connected to a network switch. All music files are on the internal PC. Moving everything to network has made a huge difference. However, audio tend to start stutter after a few days and I have to reboot Windows 10. I feel it's due to Windows 10 not optimized as a DLNA server. I have done everything possible to resolve the stuttering, but it will eventually start to stutter.

 

I'm thinking about dual boot Win Server or Audiolinux. I'm not sure which is the most efficient way of approaching this. Will AudioLinux allow me to run Jriver DLNA server and pull files from the internal harddisk? The documentation is kind of disorganized on their website. I would go buy a network renderer, but I'm actually very happy with the sound. I just want more stability. 

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The iFi Pro iDSD is already a UPnP/DLNA renderer (aka network audio file player, aka streamer), so there should be no need to buy (another) one!

 

Even a low spec'd Windows 10 Home Edition laptop (without doing anything special to it) should be ok to run a UPnP/DLNA media server. The UPnP/DLNA media server simply provides the audio files over the network for the UPnP/DLNA renderer (eg, the iFi Pro iDSD) itself to play.

 

What audio file types and resolutions do you have stored on the Windows 10 computer?

Are you just using JRiver as a UPnP/DLNA media server or are you also using its user interface to control the playback of your audio files on the iFi Pro iDSD (ie, JRiver's UPnP/DLNA controller)?

If you are not using JRiver's UPnP/DLNA controller, what UPnP/DLNA controller are you using and on what device is it running on (eg the same Windows computer, another computer, a smartphone, a tablet, an iPad, etc)?

 

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46 minutes ago, gordec said:

I'm currently using regular Windows 10 Home Edition running Jriver DLNA server to stream to iFi Pro iDSD. PC and Pro iDSD are both connected to a network switch. All music files are on the internal PC. Moving everything to network has made a huge difference. However, audio tend to start stutter after a few days and I have to reboot Windows 10. I feel it's due to Windows 10 not optimized as a DLNA server. I have done everything possible to resolve the stuttering, but it will eventually start to stutter.

Degradation like this is generally indicative of some kind of resource leak. Does restarting just the Jriver server help? If not, use the Windows Task Manager to look for anything consuming lots of memory or CPU time.

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25 minutes ago, Cebolla said:

The iFi Pro iDSD is already a UPnP/DLNA renderer (aka network audio file player, aka streamer), so there should be no need to buy (another) one!

 

Even a low spec'd Windows 10 Home Edition laptop (without doing anything special to it) should be ok to run a UPnP/DLNA media server. The UPnP/DLNA media server simply provides the audio files over the network for the UPnP/DLNA renderer (eg, the iFi Pro iDSD) itself to play.

 

What audio file types and resolutions do you have stored on the Windows 10 computer?

Are you just using JRiver as a UPnP/DLNA media server or are you also using its user interface to control the playback of your audio files on the iFi Pro iDSD (ie, JRiver's UPnP/DLNA controller)?

If you are not using JRiver's UPnP/DLNA controller, what UPnP/DLNA controller are you using and on what device is it running on (eg the same Windows computer, another computer, a smartphone, a tablet, an iPad, etc)?

 

 

I'm not saying buying another renderer. I'm currently using Jriver both as DLNA server and playback. Using Pro iDSD as a network renderer. I just occasionally experience stutter but once it stutters I have to reboot, so somewhere there is memory leak or data overload. 

 

36 minutes ago, One and a half said:

Did you try to disable all the offload functions in the network interface card?

Made a huge improvement to my throughput of data.

 

I'm going to try that tonight. I didn't know about that. 

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1 minute ago, mansr said:

Degradation like this is generally indicative of some kind of resource leak. Does restarting just the Jriver server help? If not, use the Windows Task Manager to look for anything consuming lots of memory or CPU time.

 

I did do Task Manager and used LatencyMon. LatencyMon made me turn off wifi adapter which was interfering.

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1 hour ago, One and a half said:

Did you try to disable all the offload functions in the network interface card?

Made a huge improvement to my throughput of data.

That doesn't make sense. The offload functions are there to improve performance by taking load off the CPU. What hardware did you experience this with?

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1 hour ago, gordec said:

 

I'm not saying buying another renderer. I'm currently using Jriver both as DLNA server and playback. Using Pro iDSD as a network renderer. I just occasionally experience stutter but once it stutters I have to reboot, so somewhere there is memory leak or data overload. 

 

 

I'm going to try that tonight. I didn't know about that. 

See also this post.

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3 hours ago, One and a half said:

Did you try to disable all the offload functions in the network interface card?

Made a huge improvement to my throughput of data.

 

Lots of offload options. Do I turn off everything that contains "offload"? thx.

Offload1.JPG

Offload2.JPG

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3 minutes ago, gordec said:

 

Lots of offload options. Do I turn off everything that contains "offload"? thx.

Offload1.JPG

Offload2.JPG

Well, that's what the man says " In almost all cases performance is improved only marginally when enabling network interface offload features on a PC. Offloading tasks from the CPU to the network adapter can help lower CPU usage on the PC at the expense of adapter throughput performance. "

See also the other post on increasing the transmit and receive buffers.

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2 hours ago, One and a half said:

Troll,

 

I experienced stuttering on DSD256 files over the network, and thought about the network card to see if some settings would improve, it might be restricting data for reasons unknown.

See this post for the optimisation of Network cards posted November 12. References are linked. Following the suggestions, the stuttering cleared and noticed, DSD file transfer speeds from one server to the other had improved. 

 

So far, here are the NICs that I've used the recipe with.

 

Intel I210

Intel I217-LM

Intel i210

Intel i350

 

 

 

What do you set receiver buffer as? There doesn't seem to be a limit. There is limit to transfer buffer which is 1024.

 

Also is there any benefit in adding a dedicated PCIe network card? I'm currently using the motherboard card. I don't want to go crazy as to get a JCAT or SOTM femto/turboclock/noisemurderer card.

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39 minutes ago, gordec said:

 

What do you set receiver buffer as? There doesn't seem to be a limit. There is limit to transfer buffer which is 1024.

 

Also is there any benefit in adding a dedicated PCIe network card? I'm currently using the motherboard card. I don't want to go crazy as to get a JCAT or SOTM femto/turboclock/noisemurderer card.

For the Intel NICs there is a transmit buffer and a receive buffer and both maxed at 2048. If one buffer is 1024 try the same.

 

At this stage where you're going to decide on a different OS, the same network card is fine. I have the JCAT card, it's a minor/small difference in resolution improvement but the main thing the JCAT allows a direct connection to the network streamer, and the network using Windows bridge, that's it, no need to go through multiple switches or routers, direct line of sight. Unless you have a three storey home to wire through.

 

IMHO Windows Server does a good job of transferring audio data, for network streamer, you don't need any audio extensions, that's what crippled Windows 10 pro for me in a recent update, the SQ was unbearable. 

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3 minutes ago, One and a half said:

For the Intel NICs there is a transmit buffer and a receive buffer and both maxed at 2048. If one buffer is 1024 try the same.

 

At this stage where you're going to decide on a different OS, the same network card is fine. I have the JCAT card, it's a minor/small difference in resolution improvement but the main thing the JCAT allows a direct connection to the network streamer, and the network using Windows bridge, that's it, no need to go through multiple switches or routers, direct line of sight. Unless you have a three storey home to wire through.

 

IMHO Windows Server does a good job of transferring audio data, for network streamer, you don't need any audio extensions, that's what crippled Windows 10 pro for me in a recent update, the SQ was unbearable. 

 

Thanks. I'm going to just play around the current settings. I spent good past 2 years finetuning everything. I'm finally happy. May just enjoy music as long as it's not stuttering.

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Umm - it’s Windows. Just set it to reboot once a day and the problem will probably disappear. 

 

That sounds snarky, but it really isn’t. Just a best practice with Windows, especially a non-server version of Windows. ;)

 

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8 hours ago, One and a half said:

I experienced stuttering on DSD256 files over the network, and thought about the network card to see if some settings would improve, it might be restricting data for reasons unknown.

See this post for the optimisation of Network cards posted November 12. References are linked. Following the suggestions, the stuttering cleared and noticed, DSD file transfer speeds from one server to the other had improved. 

 

So far, here are the NICs that I've used the recipe with.

 

Intel I210

Intel I217-LM

Intel i210

Intel i350

It's possible, obviously, that the processor on the NIC is too slow to handle, say, TCP checksumming at full wire speed. This would still be useful for an underpowered host computer, whereas a typical desktop machine would likely perform the task better itself. I'd expect such lacking performance from a low-end product like Realtek, or in a device targeting low-power embedded systems, not from an Intel server NIC. Another, perhaps likelier, possibility is that Windows is rubbish and doesn't work properly with the offload features.

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Strange, I can easily max out gigabit network on Windows with SMB file transfers, Intel NICs and all offloads enabled... If the speed falls below that 100 megabytes per second, it is because of the spinning HDD not being able to keep up constant speed... This is on stock Win 10 Pro which is still even latency optimized for multimedia use. Windows Server versions are I/O bandwidth optimized instead and should perform even better on such test.

 

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I went out and bought an Asus 10G Ethernet card along with 2 Cat6a cables. This so far has made a huge difference. I think the onboard gigabit ethernet port just doesn't have enough to continuously stream large files. I wonder if I should also get a 10G network switch. Right now the connection is PC->gigabit switch (connected to router)->pro idsd. If I use a 10G switch in this configuration the whole chain should now be 10G because the signal doesn't go back to the may router which only has a Cat5a cable.

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