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WinAmp Issues - Can Anyone Help?
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korkster
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 2:06 pm   Post subject: WinAmp Issues - Can Anyone Help? Reply with quote


Greetings!

I seem to be experiencing alot of problems with WinAmp. When I first click on a stream (doesnt seem to matter whether its L365 or SC) the stream seems very stable and smooth. After some indeterminate period of time, however, the stream becomes choppy. When I look at my Task Manager in Windows, I can watch the winamp.exe file jump the the top and gobble up like 98% of the CPU, then retreat. Then a few moments later it does the same thing. Each time it jumps to the top, is when I get the skip. In order to repair the situation, I have to click "play" on winamp when this begins to happen. All is well for another 15-20 minutes, until it starts doing the skipping again.

I cant seem to find anything regarding this on Nullsoft. Does anyone else have this problem? Can anyone hazard a guess on the issue, and how I might fix it?

Thanks,
Kork
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 2:25 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Same damn problem here. You've pointed me in the right direction. I'm pretty certain it is the mp3PRO plug-in. Right now I'm trying different settings to see if there's a cure. Let me know if you get good results.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:06 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I have the same problems on my linux MP3 player (mpg123) which doesn't have any MP3Pro support. I've looked at the CPU usage too and that stays stable.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 4:07 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


From my experiments and what Chandler has said, I now think that it is NOT the mp3PRO plugin that is causing the problem but in fact it only reacts to a buffer by pausing instead of displaying the numeric percentage countup. I tried every setting possible and nothing would improve it. I only noticed a change when I turned it off. Then, after 15 minutes it goes into buffer instead of the pause with the plug-in disabled.

I will try listening with various other players tonight to see what happens.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:02 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


We already experienced this problem months ago when the cable modem was on the fritz and causing the stream to consistently buffer.

Our listener "SirFergy" and I troubleshot this for several days on several different machines and from what we found it IS the mp3PRO plugin.

Mp3PRO simply does not like stutters in the stream created by lack of bandwidth.

Where other formats simply pause, mp3PRO spikes the CPU which makes the stutter more prominent.

We've fixed our bandwidth problems on our end when we replaced the modem.

Try listening to the 32k stream and see if you have the same problem.

You can also disengage the mp3PRO plugin if you immediately want the CPU spikes to go away.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 5:54 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Yes, I agree that it IS the plug-in causing the spike. Now we have to figure out why the stream buffers for a lot of people after listening for 15 minutes.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:10 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I got the buffering again after 15 minutes again, using QCD. I even went out a bought another cable modem. I got a little bit more bandiwdth out of it but nothing to brag about. I'm now going to try streaming with regular MP3 instead of mp3PRO to see if that is the problem.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:48 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Being in audio for a significant period of time, I know that computers do have alot of issues on this regard. The dialog I've seen here is impressive, gentlemen. Its at least nice to know that the stuttering isnt just my computer.

The issue I think, if its like other audio-based things revolves around the synchronized adding-to and depletion of the stream buffer (which, as Cocles points out, can be a bandwidth issue, but NOT totally). The skipping is going to happen when the buffer is depleted quicker than it can be replenished. Much like having a bucket of water that drains the water quicker than it fills up. The issue becomes in trying to regulate the fill and depletion rates properly.

Listening at 32K does help and seems to delay the period of time before buffering occurs. But after experimentation on my end, I still get buffering at 32k, and it happens with or without the MP3Pro plugin. And it happens with Winamp and Windows Media Player. Furthermore, I dont seem to experience the stuttering on other internet radio stations (i.e. Beethoven.com and WOLF-FM), so I cant explain that one very well.

In any case, thank you all for your help and your expertise!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 7:47 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Man I'm glad I found this thread! This problem has been bothering me for a long time. Originally I was using Winamp 2.91 when it first started. I would be listening to SS and after 5 to 10 mintues my CPU usage would start spiking over and over making the music stutter and impossible to put up with. I tried Winamp 2.95 as well but could not fix the problem no matter what I tried, and searching the Winamp forums turned up nothing helpful. Therefore I haven't listened to SS for a while (sadly) until very recently after doing a fresh format of my PC. This time I'm using Winamp 5 RC10 and I see (hear!) the problem is still the same. The only thing that has remained the same between all these Winamp versions in the MP3Pro 1.2 plug-in, though I've never run into the CPU usage / skipping problem on other MP3Pro enabled stations AFAIK. I see that a WMP version of the stream is now available and have been listening to that while I type this post. So far so good, no stuttering. Don't know if these comments help or not, but I just wanted to add my "me too" to this thread. Good luck on figuring out what it is, I really prefer to use Winamp for my music listening purposes, especially internet radio. Take care!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:40 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Your problem might solved simply because Windows Media Player doesn't support mp3PRO. (At least I don't think it does.

Check and make sure you're getting a 44khz signal. If it's only 22, then you're only getting the backwards compatible regular mp3 signal.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:08 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I don't think WMP9 is capable of MP3Pro either. At least it doesn't sound like MP3Pro to me. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to view the freq. in WMP9, only the bitrate (64 kbps). Anyways, I've restored from a backup and now I'm back using WA 2.91 again FWIW.

As a side note, it's a shame that the OGG Vorbis stream no longer exists. I got a pair of Sennheiser HD570 headphones recently and they tend reveal a LOT when listening to compressed music. Especially the "warbles" in the higher frequencies, even with as good as MP3Pro is. I wonder how much I would have to donate monthly to see OGG come back? If wasn't too much I could probably be convinced to do that. I'm sure I'm not the only one who misses it.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:53 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


The problem with Ogg is not the cost.

It's the fact that no one uses it and it makes little sense to take up a 64kps chunk of Jeric's personal home bandwidth for a stream which only 7 very vocal listeners (including myself) used.

I'm a big fan of Ogg. I rip my CD's to it, and I've gotten others to as well.

HOWEVER...

There's is one place where mp3PRO excels. And that is when converting 128kps mp3's to a lower bandwidth.

128kps mp3's converted to 64k Ogg do not sound as good as 128kps mp3's converted to mp3PRO (primarily because this is one of the specific features mp3PRO was designed for).

SST's source files are all 128kps mp3. When we broadcast, those files are converted in real time to whatever we want them to be (in this case, mp3PRO).

SO while Ogg would solve our stutter problem, it would also give us an inferior stream which no one would listen to anyways?

Make sense?

Tough, I'm tired.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:00 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Ok, that all makes sense. Though I wasn't saying to replace the MP3Pro stream with OGG which is the impression I got from your post that you thought I was saying that. I was just saying that if it was just a matter of users helping out, that I would if I could. Wink

To be honest the only experience I've had with OGG is here on SS. Because of my new headphones I'm seriously thinking about re-ripping many of my CD's. What program would you recommend for making OGG files? Figure I might as well ask since you obviously have the experience with it.

Regarding the stutter, it's nothing stopping and restarting the stream every 5 to 15 minutes can't fix. No I'm not being sarcastic, it's really not that big of a bother (as long as I actually can reconnect and don't get bumped off of course). If I had to throw in my guess with everyone elses though, then I would say a big part of it is probably the MP3pro plug-in. Hope you guys are able to discover what is up so it can be fixed!

Last but not least I want to quickly mention that the SS site has really improved a lot since the last time I was here a month or so ago. I really like the timer for example. So to everyone involved, great work! Keep it up! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:14 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I recommend a program called cdEX. Just type that into google and it should pop up no problem.

The one odd thing about the program is you need to find a file called WNASPI32.DLL (whether online or somewhere already on your computer and put a copy in cdEX's main directory before you run it.

Another good question is what quality level to use.

I recommend anything between level's 6 & 8.

Personally I use 8 on all of my favorite stuff, and 6 on things I don't listen to as much. Since you use headphones, you might want to just use level 8 with everything.

As far as the stuttering goes, I've got another question.

Do you have the same problem when listening to the station via L365? Kork apparently does, I'm wondering if anyone else does too?

If you haven't tried L365 yet I strongly recommend reading Kork's L365 faq in our FAQ section before taking the plunge.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 1:55 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Live365 64k stream started doing the same thing almost immediately. Sad

Thanks for the heads up on cdEX, it's a really good find and works great! Very Happy

Edit: Ok, I disabled the MP3Pro plug-in. Now every so often it buffers and actually says so. No stuttering or CPU usage issues. So it definitely looks as if the MP3Pro plug-in has a bug that is caused when ever it needs to buffer. After that the CPU spiking/stutter is nearly continuous until the stream is restarted. I've also noticed a correlation with the time of day. About now (early afternoon here GMT -6) is when streams tend to buffer more than usual and I noticed it with both MP3Pro enabled and disabled.

Last edited by Zoidburg on Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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