radio streams drop - found a solution

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radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby Bulkley » 2021-01-05 02:33

I enjoy listening to radio on my desktop. I use either Radiotray or Goodvibes to stream source URLs such as this: http://bbcwssc.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcwssc_mp1_ws-einws . Randomly the stream will drop; maybe it's just pausing so long that I get frustrated and restart it. I thought it was a Stretch problem but it's doing it in Buster too. I thought it was a Radiotray problem so I installed Goodvibes and it also does it. The first time I experienced this I thought it was slow Internet but we now have fiber and speeds I only dreamed of. By random I mean that a stream may drop several times in an hour or go a whole day without dropping. All of my radio sources have the problem. I have not seen any error message; there may be one but I haven't seen it. Searching on line shows that this is an old problem; there are bug reports and suggestions but no firm solutions.

Radiotray has a log that shows such as this:
Code: Select all
2021-01-04 16:24:39,989 - DEBUG - playing
2021-01-04 16:24:39,990 - DEBUG - Received MESSAGE_STATE_CHANGED (<enum GST_STATE_PAUSED of type Gst.State> -> <enum GST_STATE_PLAYING of type Gst.State>)
2021-01-04 16:24:39,990 - DEBUG - playing
2021-01-04 16:24:46,061 - DEBUG - Checking timeout...
2021-01-04 16:24:46,061 - INFO - Timed out, but not retrying anymore
2021-01-04 16:24:51,150 - DEBUG - Checking timeout...
2021-01-04 16:24:51,151 - INFO - Timed out, but not retrying anymore
2021-01-04 16:24:56,877 - DEBUG - Buffering 0
2021-01-04 16:24:56,879 - DEBUG - Received MESSAGE_STATE_CHANGED (<enum GST_STATE_PLAYING of type Gst.State> -> <enum GST_STATE_PAUSED of type Gst.State>)
2021-01-04 16:24:56,879 - INFO - Received PAUSE state.
2021-01-04 16:24:56,880 - DEBUG - paused
2021-01-04 16:24:56,882 - DEBUG - Received MESSAGE_STATE_CHANGED (<enum GST_STATE_PLAYING of type Gst.State> -> <enum GST_STATE_PAUSED of type Gst.State>)


Unfortunately, that doesn't mean much to me. I get that something changed STATE but doesn't say what or why.

Any thoughts?
Last edited by Bulkley on 2021-02-26 17:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: radio streams drop

Postby Bulkley » 2021-02-25 02:42

An update. In my opening post I stated that all stations drop streams. It turns out that the ones that drop are ones I listen to for news, principally CBC and BBC. They each have several stations. To some extent certain stations are worse than others. For example, BBC Radio 4FM drops frequently while BBC Radio 4LW rarely does, if at all so some alternatives are available.

As delivered, Goodvibes self recovers a dropped stream while Radiotray has to be manually restarted. I found a partial fix for Radiotray.
Code: Select all
edit /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/radiotray/AudioPlayerGStreamer.py .   Scroll down to line 156 and # out self.player.set_state(Gst.State.PAUSED)
Restart Radiotray. (from https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... ug/1182084 at the bottom by dino99) Doing this eliminated most of the drops; for the others Radiotray now restarts the stream by itself.

Switching to Goodvibes could have been an easy solution except that it has a lousy station menu which is displayed in a single column. It gets pretty clumsy when one has many stations. Radiotray has a much better menu with sub menus that enable categories.
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Re: radio streams drop

Postby CwF » 2021-02-25 13:25

Almost off topic, but related...
I used to live way off the grid and the only radio was a motorola digital 2way base station, 24/7. So under XP I had radio from satelite. When I saw mention of Goodvibes it was so fitting since I bought my first Optonica amps at Good Vibes. I installed it, never tried though since I now live in the middle of a rather large infestation of humanity. I built an antenna and get 80+ digital TV and many radio stations are now digital (HD).

So I was recently listening to a talk show, the kind that makes money selling pillows not the the kind the fairness doctrine insist on, and the subject was sketchy - and then DEAD AIR! Oh no, here's my chance to check = the internet feed was still 'on air' ! I guess that kill switch was wired before the IT guy hooked up for streaming...beautiful.

Eventually the boonies got fiber and most feeds where rock solid. I can't help but think that such slow real time streaming in the modern systems must be a pain. If electronics had patience, they'd run out.

Decades ago I equipped up a Ford van for a guy on some mission. Fitted a secondary alternator with a manual field feed, fat wiring to his racks. He could pull off a 5000W broadcast. I think the FAA got mad at him for wrong place wrong time.. Let's hope we don't regress to that!
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Re: radio streams drop

Postby Bulkley » 2021-02-26 17:26

Yes, I lived and worked in remote locations and have some familiarity with radio phones and other gear can be used for basic communication. Many evenings were spent listening to the chatter . . .

The fix in my previous post is working well.

A while back I tried Radiotray-ng. I tried both pre-configured debs and I did my own build. Neither worked giving a gtk warning. Radiotray-ng works in MX but not my Debian 10 with Openbox. It is not compatible with native Radiotray.
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Re: radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby kalle123 » 2021-03-06 08:01

Under Buster radiotray-ng works very well here, but under Bullseye you have to adjust 3 files in the package and then build radiotray-ng for Bullseye yourself. Tested it on two Bullseye installations yesterday. One issue I found, the icon in the panel here (Xfce) does not change between 'radiotray-ng-off and radiotray-ng-on'.

For the adjustment under Bullseye necessary see https://github.com/ebruck/radiotray-ng/issues/165

And radiotray we will not see under Bullseye any more. It is getting obsolete :roll:

br KH
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Re: radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby CwF » 2021-03-06 13:31

As the price of the data stream has finally become cheaper, and faster, FTA streamed is getting sucked up into walled gardens isn't it?
Even more obsolete - I still have a serial connected Visteon HD radio that need an interface completed to run native on Linux. maybe the serial port is the odd factor!
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Re: radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby Bulkley » 2021-03-06 16:42

kalle123 wrote:And radiotray we will not see under Bullseye any more. It is getting obsolete :roll:

You're probably right about that. I'll miss it. Radiotray is simple and does what I want/need. Goodvibes would be okay if it had a decent menu.

Thanks for the link. It would be good if Radiotray-ng made it into the Debian repository but I don't think it will happen. I may be wrong but I think its developer confuses Ubuntu with Debian and assumes that it should work on both without adaption. In my case I suspect my bare bones Openbox system is missing something that -ng needs. Someday I'll figure it out but I'm in no hurry now that I have radiotray working.

CwF wrote:As the price of the data stream has finally become cheaper, and faster, FTA streamed is getting sucked up into walled gardens isn't it?

I'm not sure what you mean about "FTA streamed" but your walled garden analogy fits. Personally, I don't want to join an assortment of walled gardens in order to surf the radio sphere and be inundated with advertisments.

I suspect that there is a parallel goal of a fusion of browser with operating system, not exactly a new idea. Eventually we may have to use a browser in order to listen to radio. I'm not looking forward to that. It's awkward and unnecessary.
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Re: radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby CwF » 2021-03-06 17:36

Bulkley wrote:"FTA streamed"

Free-To-Air as in broadcast.
I'm one of the weirdos not to subscribe to anything, even free. You'd think by now any FTA, the stuff on your am/fm radio and rabbit eared TV's, would be somehow available without an account and logon.
Sure, with effort many are available, most are not.
I do have various tuners integrated, so even on my computers the media is FTA sourced and rarely through the internet since I now live in a big city. I still don't have a hardware radio running under Debian, and have had them for a decade.
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Re: radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby Bulkley » 2021-03-06 18:21

CwF wrote:
Bulkley wrote:"FTA streamed"

Free-To-Air as in broadcast.

Thanks. I knew it wasn't Free Trade Agreement. :wink:

I'm one of the weirdos not to subscribe to anything . . .

You're not the only one. I still don't have a cell phone; can't stand the things. When I watch others use them I can't help but assume they might as well have electronic implants in their brains. When I leave home I'm computer free. :D
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Re: radio streams drop - found a solution

Postby kalle123 » 2021-03-07 16:40

Bulkley wrote:You're probably right about that. I'll miss it. Radiotray is simple and does what I want/need. Goodvibes would be okay if it had a decent menu.


But I have to admit, radiotray-ng also seems to be dead. Had a closer look at goodvibes, I think, it will do. It is in the repos (stable, testing and sid), simple, runs from panel.
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