USB 2.0 too slow for FLAC streaming
Nov 13, 2008 at 7:45 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

Tyson

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Hi all,
I solved an incredibly annoying problem recently - I was getting skips/stutters when I listened to my FLAC files via my Squeezebox Duet. I thought the problem was due to wireless dropouts or poor buffer performance on the part of the server and/or controller. But it was actually due to the fact that I had started to re-rip all my music to (very large) FLAC files stored on an external USB 2.0 hard drive.

I noticed that my smaller .ogg files did not have the problem at all, and that the FLAC files also did fine if I moved them to my Laptop's internal hard drive and streamed them from there. So the stream from the USB connected external HD was the culprit.

The solution is very simple - check your laptop and your external HD for eSATA connectors (they are labeled). If both have it, you are in luck, simply buy an eSATA cable and hook it up that way, done.

If your laptop does not have an eSATA connector, you can buy a plugin card. My Toshiba laptop has an ExpressCard Slot, but some laptops have an PCMCIA slot, so just double check yours before heading out to the computer store (or newegg.com).

If your external HD does not have an eSATA connector, you will have to buy a new HD, no way around that.

Hope this helps others that might be having the same frustrations.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 8:11 AM Post #2 of 16

Alai

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Yeah, that's why, for external usb hard drives, I use purely for storage purposes. No data retrieval via programs whatsoever.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 8:18 AM Post #3 of 16

Cankin

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I use my USB external hard drive and play FLAC from it everyday without any problems
confused_face(1).gif
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 8:30 AM Post #4 of 16

Tyson

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Does your HD have 32mb buffer, or 16mb? Mine only has 16mb
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 8:51 AM Post #5 of 16

vegaman

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The HD buffer shouldn't matter here, the problem will probably be computer side buffering or just a crappy chip in the external case. Maybe try playing the files on your laptop... they'll likely play fine there. So you could look for updates to the squeezebox software or see if there's any buffer options.
And if you don't have e-sata on your external and do want it... if the drive inside is SATA you can just get a new case and not a whole new external.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 10:25 AM Post #6 of 16

Tyson

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Actually, after further troubleshooting, it was NOT the USB 2.0 connection causing the problem (cause it started doing the same skipping with files loaded to my laptop's internal HD). On a whim I disabled the one app I know can be a resource hog - Norton 360. Music played PERFECTLY, immediately. Been perfect ever since. So I uninstalled Norton and am using Windows Firewall and AVG instead, much lower resource usage.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 1:54 PM Post #10 of 16

smuh

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You probably want to edit/change the topic
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Otherwise it could hurt somebodies feelings
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Nov 13, 2008 at 2:25 PM Post #11 of 16

moogoob

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Norton... I've never know it to solve problems, only cause them.
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Nov 13, 2008 at 3:28 PM Post #13 of 16

krmathis

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USB 2.0 is plenty fast for FLAC audio streaming.
USB 2.0 have a maximum transfer rate of 480Mbps, while a FLAC file rarely go above 1Mbps (at least for 16-bit/44.1KHz audio data).
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 3:33 PM Post #14 of 16

illy2k

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cankin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I use my USB external hard drive and play FLAC from it everyday without any problems
confused_face(1).gif



x2

I have a FreeAgent Pro 500GB external over USB feeding me FLAC and ALAC files no problem.
 

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