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I have tried both miniDLNA and Mediatomb as dlna servers (installed separately, never both at the same time). I have a small Dell 1012 Mini (Intel Atom), running 14.04 (installed on an SSD). My music and other media is stored on an external HDD (encrypted LUKS), and my media is found and indexed (stored in a database) without problems (well I have to restart the dlna server because the disk is not unlocked and available before the dnla server starts, when I boot the notebook).

During playback, things generally work fine, except now and again, say every 15 to 30 mins during an mp3 playback (different songs, it doesn't matter what I play) on my ipdio internet radio, the music pauses for about 4 secs before carrying on. The wireless connection is not lost, and the internet radio doesn't complain. The pause happens, and then music play continues.

I used to use an iomega NAS drive for my media, and that was 99.9% reliable. It did also pause very occasionally, maybe once every 30 hours of playback (also using the same ipdio radio playback client). So I think the difference here is now the notebook is the server, and I have a USB encrypted HDD for my media. The iomega NAS drive was standalone, and not encrytped

The Dell mini 1012 with the SSD is reasonably quick, but I'm still getting a pause. I'm sure the Dell has more CPU power than the iomega home media network drive.

I'm thinking, something must be interrupting the stream to the client, but what? I'm sure the internet connection to the client is fine (its wireless), as I can hear internet radio with zero problems. And because both miniDLNA and Mediatomb have the same symptoms, then it is likely to be perhaps the system accessing the media HDD (which is symlinked to my directories in my home directory).

I've looked at syslog, and see nothing, I've looked at both the logs for miniDLNA and mediatomb, and they do not log any problems

What else could I look at in terms of logs? Might usb access logs help?

What could be causing the random pause of approx 4 secs?

Is access to a USB encrypted external drive a low priority?

Even if access to a USB external drive is a low priority, I would of expected not so low that a 4 second pause is heard.

Basically, how can I go about fixing my audio pause problem, so that I can listen to music without have a random sudden pause for a few seconds?

Update
I unistalled mediatomb, and went back to minidlna. Because I feel I had more pauses with minidlna than mediatomb. But I have no statistics to back that up. My plan being, if the problem occurs more, I have a better chance of capturing it in a log file.

I also copy some mp3 albums onto the SSD of the notebook, and setup minidlna to only access the albums on the SSD (so the encrypted symlinked HDD music collection is not being accessed). I'm hoping then this will isolate where the problem area is. Is it the DNLA server and connection to the client, or is it the USB access to the encrypted drive? Well it didn't take long to answer that question. Tom Jones was suddenly paused for a few seconds during playback! So access to the USB encrypted HDD doesn't seem to be a problem.

The problem seems to be in the server to the client. The problem could be in the client, but while it worked 99.9% of the time with a NAS drive setup, then its likely not the issue. I'm using the same WLAN router too. The only changes are now that the Dell mini 1012 is the DNLA server.

Any ideas where I should look next ? Turn the debug level up on minidlna?

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  • I've been experimenting with renice and ionice. I have a combination that appears to work. setting the minidlnad to -10 and a ionice of real time priority 4 seems to stop the pauses – Ubuntu27 Mar 25 '15 at 10:40
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As mentioned in my comment. Using renice and ionice seems to have fixed my problem.

A combination of setting the minidlnad to -10 and an ionice of real time priority 4 seems to stop the pauses.

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