Topic: Audio rebuffering and dying, many different sources
I've just read the entire thread about Pandora stopping. I thought about adding to that thread, but my problem seems to be more generalized. It happens on many sources, and on two different C1s.
I first got the Chumbys several years ago (back before Woot became the POS it is today). I often listened to audio; either Pandora, Shoutcast (IIRC), and often one of several of My Streams. I don't recall having any problems.
Then as I acquired other audio gear, the Chumbys fell into a period of disuse ... only retained for the various clock widgets.
A few days ago, I decided to try listening again.
Pandora was a flop. It would play part of a song, then silence. Part of another song, then silence. During the silence, the small text at top left of screen said it was still playing the same channel. This would repeat multiple times, then the Chumby would just quit playing and go into Idle state.
I then tried IHeartRadio. Basically the same behavior. (I also discovered that some of there Genre listings are full of crap. e.g. Jazz / Smooth Jazz 94.5 is definitely NOT smooth jazz.)
"OK," I thought, "maybe these services have changed since the original Chumby days; maybe they don't work for anyone." So I decided to try a few of My Streams.
I tried a local NPR station that is professionally streamed at 96kbps and is extremely reliable. I had similar problems with all three of its different program channels. Sometimes (situation #1) audio goes dead for a few seconds, then resumes; this repeats. Sometimes (situation #2) connection seems to drop, then re-establishes a new stream. (I know this because when you first connect to a stream, there is a :15 "welcome" voice message.)
I tried a 160kbps stream generated by Icecast on a PC here on my own local network. Again, there is frequent re-buffering. IMHO this eliminates a lot of variables. My server sends out a continuous stream, never sends any other queries (are you still listening? etc.) and streams very reliably both within my local LAN and also over the internet to other locations. Only Chumby chokes and rebuffers.
Finally, thinking this might be a memory issue (as suggested in the Pandora thread) I streamed a station that uses a 64kbps bitrate. Same thing ... after a while, it either rebuffers, or goes to "Idle" and needs to be re-started manually.
BTW, My Streams are all plain vanilla MP3 streams. The URLs are either MP3 or M3U. I can listen to all these streams just fine on my PC forever ... literally for days!
I have tried all these tests over the past few days, on BOTH of my Chumby Ones. It's not just one defective unit. It's not my network (AFAIK). The C1s are now in the same room as the WiFi router, so there's no question about weak signal and dropouts. The C1 info screen says Signal Quality: 100%.
It seems to me that there's some fault in the way the C1 gets the stream, buffers it, plays it. Because of the fact that it's dropping the stream, then establishing a new connection, I think the problem is somewhere before the decoding of the stream data. It might be a memory issue, but I doubt that it's related to audio buffer size (that wouldn't cause the stream to drop). And AFAIK, it did not do this a few years ago (prior to shutdown of the original Chumby website). I don't know enough about what firmware is fixed "in the box" and what might be downloaded from the website at some point.
By the way, I have only one widget (Station Digital Clock) so nothing is cycling in the background. And when I am playing audio, I always leave the screen on the station where I started the audio playback. So there is no screen switching going on, no animations, etc.
I sure hope this data provides a clue for somebody. My situation has changed, I listen to some talk shows where the C1 audio system would be adequate and much more convenient than anything else. And now Chumby can't play audio correctly. :-(
Someone please help!!!