Old 2nd February 2005, 02:57   #1
kdawgonair
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rebuffering

I just started a college radio webcast, at kdawg.redlands.edu. We are running a 96kb stream, and on campus over the LAN it sounds great. But off campus it sounds fine, but keeps rebuffering. I talked to our sysadmins, and they tell me we aren't using even 15% of the alloted upwards bandwidth. So does anyone have any idea on why the stream cuts out so often? We figure there must be some itnernal problem. Has anyone run into this before? Thanks.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 03:00   #2
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we got the same response from our IT people. It doesnt happen super often for us though. Once it leaves the university network it can run into any kind of problems, it could be end users. It could be a router somewhere inbetween dropping packets or having high lag.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 13:44   #3
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Rebuffering is almost always a listener issue. Remember, the listener must have at least the downstream bandwidth of your stream -- @96kbps, dial-up is out of the question. Also, even though a listener has sufficient inbound bandwidth (broadband), they do not have all of their bandwidth all of the time if they are doing something else while they try to listen -- the stream needs to arrive on-time, so browsing may cause rebuffering because the browser will attempt to use all of the bandwidth available to it when it retrieves data from a website, causing the stream buffer in the player to underrun. Lastly, if a listener is utilizing their maximum upload potential [p2p?], their download potential will degrade to near the level of their upload rate.

Your outbound (upload) "potential" is 96kbps X the number of concurrent listeners on the internet listening at any instant up to MaxListeners -- make sure you multiply the bitrate.

LAN listeners do not have to pass through the narrow internet pipe, so they will not be affected by the internet bottleneck.
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Old 6th February 2005, 22:02   #4
kdawgonair
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well

I've tested it at various broadband locations, and I can get other 96kbs streams just fine, even higherbitrate streams, but the connection to my station isn't working out still. I don't think the problem is on the listener side.
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Old 6th February 2005, 22:07   #5
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Well, the difference is... for you to listen to another stream, your inbound bandwidth is being used. When someone on the internet listens to YOUR stream, your outbound bandwidth is being used.

All broadband is asymetric, that means your inbound is many times faster than your outbound.

You may not have the outbound bandwidth to support the bitrate you want to stream at.

What do you get for this test: http://miranda.ctd.anl.gov:7123/ ?
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Old 9th February 2005, 17:59   #6
kdawgonair
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let me clarify

the stream is hosted on campus with a few mbits dedicated to it right now to deal with this problem. I am listening to it from off-campus, so the stream is not commng from my comp. I can listen to other streams just fine, from my home, off campus, but not my campus stream, just as many others are experiencing. See what I'm saying? I, from another state even, can listen to a 128 stream perfeclty on my broadband connection, but when I try the 96k stream that I'm running from school, it keeps rebuffering. The school is giving it PLENTY of bandwidth on the up. So again I'm stuck.
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Old 9th February 2005, 18:09   #7
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Examine the admin page of the DNAS (and refresh it every minute or two) -- look for an ever increasing buffer position on connections to the internet -- if it keeps getting larger, the outbound bandwidth is just not there, no matter what the admins say. Once the buffer position gets past 1,000,000, expect the client to start rebuffering, and the underruns counter to increase by one, indicating a listener rebuffer.

Maks sure the admins understand that the outbound bandwidth to the internet required is per connection/listener -- 10 connections @ 96kbps would require 960kbps, almost 1 megabit persecond of outbound bandwidth.
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Old 16th February 2005, 06:21   #8
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I'm not seeing this buffer position that you are talking about...the listeners are sorted by how long they have been listening. I'm listening right now off campus and have had to rebuffer numerious times within two minutes, but no underruns are shown on the admin page to my ip. I am the only off campus listener right now during this test and its choppy. I know for certain that the upstream bandwidth is way over 1mbit/sec, and I'm only one listener and this is happening. Again, other startions, even at a higher bitrate than 96 are comming in perfectly on my broadband connection. I think this problem is internal, and I'm wondering if there are any other suggestions for this problem. Thanks
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Old 16th February 2005, 15:05   #9
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Only suggestion I have is to upgrade the upstream bandwidth at your school... plain and simple, there isn't enough for streaming.

Another option would be external hosting.
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Old 17th February 2005, 10:18   #10
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thought i'd pop in my experiences from last night.

i run a box at managed, which is a 100mbit link to their multigigabit line at above.net .. therefore line speed should be pretty decent! even with about 7 people listening at 96kbit we were getting dropouts and rebuffers etc.. not what i want to hear when i'm paying for it (albeit not a huge amount, but hey.. moneys money )

now, the main factor i'm guessing is.. we're all british. hosting over here is majorly expensive so i put up with a bit more lag to host in the US for a lot less money. the dnas isn't reporting ANY underruns for anyone, so i'm guessing it could be clientside based.. is there a way of forcing the buffer size from the dnas so say, 30secs of content have to be buffered at the client side so lower problems (i hope!) maybe whilst a 22kbit audio clip plays for 30secs it can start the buffering for the next one to stop dead air probs?

appreciate your response.
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Old 17th February 2005, 18:06   #11
irenevan
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since we have upgraded to Windows 2003 server our server have registered some significant buffer underruns problems. it's such a waste of effort trying to explain to our system administrators that have 80% listenership experiencing 100+ of underruns is not normal and it can't possibly be a client issue.

bandwidth on our network isn't the problem and those components haven't changed. calculation-wise, one server should be able to handle the load but we put in an additional server to help remedy the situation... odd thing, additional server older server running Windows 2000 server and is serving the streams without any problems.

unfortunately, the system log files don't show anything and any performance monitoring that we have done doesn't show anything either.

it's tough to troubleshoot... asking listeners to give up their IP address so we can conduct some thorough tests (sniff packets while they listen to the different servers)... i don't blame them saying not cooperating but my hands are tied.

i'll start with installing an additional NIC since on-board NICs generally aren't very reliable and it's the easier item to test. Regardless, part of me wonders if all the new fangled "security features" that Microsoft designed into 2003 could be the culprit.
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Old 17th February 2005, 18:12   #12
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Still sounds to me that your school does not have enough upload to get it out of your LAN, OR only like 3 people or whatever, are able to connect and after that, its history. Another thing that I have had happen, and it makes no since, but I sometime can get alot of LAN listeners on my old set-up and for some reason it waked out the outbound streams a bit. Not sure why
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Old 17th February 2005, 19:41   #13
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"I'm not seeing this buffer position that you are talking about..."

You must see this "buffer posiition" -- the rightmost column in the listeners table of your admin.cgi page.

My DNAS server version is 1.8.3/Win32, so the admin page also tells me the following:

Log file: /dev/null
Configuration file: M:\Uploads\sc_serv_gui.ini
History file: none (0s interval)
Name lookups are off
Intro file is disabled
Backup file is disabled
Auto client disconnects are disabled
Source idle timeouts are 600s
Incoming interface: 127.0.0.1:30001 - Outgoing interface: ANY:30000
Get XML Stats: [Yes]
Reset XML Stats: [Yes]


This is a wealth of information, especially from a remote location. A wealth of information regarding the DNAS config, especially in the form of full path names and other DNAS switches, like the SrcIP/DestIP binding....
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Old 19th February 2005, 22:16   #14
kdawgonair
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I'm using SHOUTcast Server Version 1.9.4/win32

Address
Connect Time
Underruns
Kick IP
Ban IP
Ban Subnet
Reserve IP

Current Stream Information

Server Status:
Server is currently up and private.

Stream Status:
Stream is up at 96 kbps with 0 of 100 listeners (0 unique)

Listener Peak:
14

Average Listen Time:
1h_15m_30s

Stream Title:
K-DAWG University of Redlands Webcast

Stream Genre:
College Radio

Stream URL:
http://kdawg.redlands.edu-*

Stream AIM:
KDAWGONAIR

Stream IRC:

Current Song:

Source:
10.1.222.22[kick]

Log file: E:\SHOUTcast\sc_serv.log
Configuration file: E:\SHOUTcast\sc_serv.ini
Name lookups are off
Intro file is E:\SHOUTcast\content\intro96.mp3
Backup file is E:\SHOUTcast\content\backup96.mp3
Auto client disconnects are disabled
Source idle timeouts are 300s
Incoming interface: 10.1.222.22:81 - Outgoing interface: ANY:80
Get XML Stats: [Yes]
Reset XML Stats: [Yes]


show me what I'm not seeing
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