Audio problems

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Philip, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Philip

    Philip Guest

    I have a bog-standard Dell Dimension 3000 that spends its life playing
    out programmes on my FM radio station.

    Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    of whatever it had got to when it went mad.

    An identical Dell Dimension with the same software configuration, bought
    at the same time and feeding the transmitter in another town, doesn't
    do that.

    The one that's playing up is running Windows XP with latest patches, and
    Station Playlist Studio, a first-class NZ made radio playout program
    that uses playlists generated in another product from the same company
    to present what should be played when and where it should appear.

    The playout is organised by Studio and presented thru WinAmp, using a
    freeware program SQRSoft to generate crossfades between tracks.

    The author of StationPlaylist Studio tells me he's never heard of this
    happening before, and the Yahoo discussion group has not turned up
    anyone else that is having this specific difficulty. The playout program
    has not crashed or locked up - it just doesn't get the message that this
    track is finished and it's time to move on to the next.

    Question to the group:

    What would cause such a problem? Both machines have 256 MB of RAM -
    should I increase it? But then why is this not happening on the other
    machine? or is this sort of thing symptomatic of bad RAM? I did try
    inserting (slightly slower) RAM from a defunct HP computer that is
    cluttering up our space. The problem pooter booted but would not stay
    booted, and went into a cycle of re-booting that wasn't pretty.

    The unreliability is enough to make me consider buying a new machine
    just so I don't have to go in and fix it every few days - but that is a
    drastic answer to a problem I feel should be more cheaply handled.

    Advice, suggestions, opinion all welcome. I'm just waiting until it
    decides to fall over during one of our broadcasts of The Goon Show -
    some of the effects might be quite hypnotic if sampled for the four
    hours it could take me to become aware of the problem...

    Philip

    Primetime Radio 1ZZ
    Bay of Islands
    Philip, Sep 17, 2005
    #1
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  2. Philip

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "Philip" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have a bog-standard Dell Dimension 3000 that spends its life playing out
    >programmes on my FM radio station.
    >
    > Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    > disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    > of whatever it had got to when it went mad.
    >
    > An identical Dell Dimension with the same software configuration, bought
    > at the same time and feeding the transmitter in another town, doesn't do
    > that.
    >
    > The one that's playing up is running Windows XP with latest patches, and
    > Station Playlist Studio, a first-class NZ made radio playout program that
    > uses playlists generated in another product from the same company to
    > present what should be played when and where it should appear.
    >
    > The playout is organised by Studio and presented thru WinAmp, using a
    > freeware program SQRSoft to generate crossfades between tracks.
    >
    > The author of StationPlaylist Studio tells me he's never heard of this
    > happening before, and the Yahoo discussion group has not turned up anyone
    > else that is having this specific difficulty. The playout program has not
    > crashed or locked up - it just doesn't get the message that this track is
    > finished and it's time to move on to the next.
    >
    > Question to the group:
    >
    > What would cause such a problem? Both machines have 256 MB of RAM - should
    > I increase it? But then why is this not happening on the other machine? or
    > is this sort of thing symptomatic of bad RAM? I did try inserting
    > (slightly slower) RAM from a defunct HP computer that is cluttering up our
    > space. The problem pooter booted but would not stay booted, and went into
    > a cycle of re-booting that wasn't pretty.
    >
    > The unreliability is enough to make me consider buying a new machine just
    > so I don't have to go in and fix it every few days - but that is a drastic
    > answer to a problem I feel should be more cheaply handled.
    >
    > Advice, suggestions, opinion all welcome. I'm just waiting until it
    > decides to fall over during one of our broadcasts of The Goon Show - some
    > of the effects might be quite hypnotic if sampled for the four hours it
    > could take me to become aware of the problem...
    >
    > Philip


    In case it's a big update that's causing the problem, or something else
    even. Uninstall the programs, then reinstall them and see what happens.
    Perhaps yours is overloaded with tunes compared to other PC if yours starts
    off playing them properly.
    More RAM wouldn't hurt for what you're doing, bringing it up 512MB would
    make a big difference in the performance. Shouldn't cost much these days.
    Could be the version of Win Amp as well. I'm sure these been some kind of
    problem with one version of Win Amp.
    It's a wonder you don't just use the playlist on media player to play them
    anyway. You could even try media player and see if they still stuff up.
    Might help you pin point the problem.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Sep 17, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. T'was the Sat, 17 Sep 2005 18:34:05 +1200 when I remembered Philip
    <> saying something like this:

    >Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    >disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    >of whatever it had got to when it went mad.


    Often this happens when the CPU usage hits 100%, and gets too busy to
    play your music, so just loops the last little bit in memory. Since
    you're using Windows XP, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc (not too sure if
    this works in Home edition, works in Professional though) to bring up
    the Task Manager. In the performance tab, there's a graph showing
    current CPU usage. If it's at 100% near all the time, either

    A) There's a rogue application using all of your CPU time
    B) Your CPU is not powerful enough to do all the things you want to do

    To find out what application has been taking up most of your CPU time,
    go to the processes tab of task manager, then go view > select columns
    > and tick the CPU Time box, then go OK. Click on the CPU Time header,

    which will arrange the programs running by CPU time. Don't worry about
    System Idle Process, it normally takes all the idle time. But if
    you've got another program that's up there with System Idle Process or
    *higher* than System Idle Process, I'd be interested to see what that
    program is.

    There are other things that can cause temporary CPU usage to hit 100%.
    Often when a CD is being read, explorer freezes for a second to read
    the information off the CD. This can cause your CPU usage to hit 100%
    and give your music that stutter.
    --
    Cheers,

    Waylon Kenning.
    Waylon Kenning, Sep 17, 2005
    #3
  4. Philip

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "Waylon Kenning" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > T'was the Sat, 17 Sep 2005 18:34:05 +1200 when I remembered Philip
    > <> saying something like this:
    >
    > >Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    > >disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    > >of whatever it had got to when it went mad.

    >
    > Often this happens when the CPU usage hits 100%, and gets too busy to
    > play your music, so just loops the last little bit in memory. Since
    > you're using Windows XP, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc (not too sure if
    > this works in Home edition, works in Professional though) to bring up
    > the Task Manager. In the performance tab, there's a graph showing
    > current CPU usage. If it's at 100% near all the time, either
    >
    > A) There's a rogue application using all of your CPU time
    > B) Your CPU is not powerful enough to do all the things you want to do
    >
    > To find out what application has been taking up most of your CPU time,
    > go to the processes tab of task manager, then go view > select columns
    > > and tick the CPU Time box, then go OK. Click on the CPU Time header,

    > which will arrange the programs running by CPU time. Don't worry about
    > System Idle Process, it normally takes all the idle time. But if
    > you've got another program that's up there with System Idle Process or
    > *higher* than System Idle Process, I'd be interested to see what that
    > program is.
    >
    > There are other things that can cause temporary CPU usage to hit 100%.
    > Often when a CD is being read, explorer freezes for a second to read
    > the information off the CD. This can cause your CPU usage to hit 100%
    > and give your music that stutter.
    > --
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Waylon Kenning.


    I setup a brand new budget computer for someone only a few days ago, and it
    was slightly better than most as it came with a Radian 64MB video card. I
    didn't expect to hear and see so many pauses while memory was shuffled
    around with it's 256MB RAM and the swap file. I expected 256MB to perform
    better, in previous versions of Windows it would've but XP has around 30
    applications running in the background. It also has Nortons, though that
    probably doesn't make much difference. Compared to a PC with a GB RAM
    everything starts very slowly, just too damn slow for me. After seeing that
    new PC without having to bother with shared video memory, the bottom limit
    for RAM in a PC running XP should be 512MB.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Sep 18, 2005
    #4
  5. Philip

    -=rjh=- Guest

    E. Scrooge wrote:
    > "Philip" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>I have a bog-standard Dell Dimension 3000 that spends its life playing out
    >>programmes on my FM radio station.
    >>
    >>Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    >>disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    >>of whatever it had got to when it went mad.
    >>
    >>An identical Dell Dimension with the same software configuration, bought
    >>at the same time and feeding the transmitter in another town, doesn't do
    >>that.
    >>
    >>The one that's playing up is running Windows XP with latest patches, and
    >>Station Playlist Studio, a first-class NZ made radio playout program that
    >>uses playlists generated in another product from the same company to
    >>present what should be played when and where it should appear.
    >>
    >>The playout is organised by Studio and presented thru WinAmp, using a
    >>freeware program SQRSoft to generate crossfades between tracks.
    >>
    >>The author of StationPlaylist Studio tells me he's never heard of this
    >>happening before, and the Yahoo discussion group has not turned up anyone
    >>else that is having this specific difficulty. The playout program has not
    >>crashed or locked up - it just doesn't get the message that this track is
    >>finished and it's time to move on to the next.
    >>
    >>Question to the group:
    >>
    >>What would cause such a problem? Both machines have 256 MB of RAM - should
    >>I increase it? But then why is this not happening on the other machine? or
    >>is this sort of thing symptomatic of bad RAM? I did try inserting
    >>(slightly slower) RAM from a defunct HP computer that is cluttering up our
    >>space. The problem pooter booted but would not stay booted, and went into
    >>a cycle of re-booting that wasn't pretty.
    >>
    >>The unreliability is enough to make me consider buying a new machine just
    >>so I don't have to go in and fix it every few days - but that is a drastic
    >>answer to a problem I feel should be more cheaply handled.
    >>
    >>Advice, suggestions, opinion all welcome. I'm just waiting until it
    >>decides to fall over during one of our broadcasts of The Goon Show - some
    >>of the effects might be quite hypnotic if sampled for the four hours it
    >>could take me to become aware of the problem...
    >>
    >>Philip

    >
    >
    > In case it's a big update that's causing the problem, or something else
    > even. Uninstall the programs, then reinstall them and see what happens.
    > Perhaps yours is overloaded with tunes compared to other PC if yours starts
    > off playing them properly.
    > More RAM wouldn't hurt for what you're doing, bringing it up 512MB would
    > make a big difference in the performance. Shouldn't cost much these days.
    > Could be the version of Win Amp as well. I'm sure these been some kind of
    > problem with one version of Win Amp.
    > It's a wonder you don't just use the playlist on media player to play them
    > anyway. You could even try media player and see if they still stuff up.
    > Might help you pin point the problem.


    You can't even *start* to compare a normal media player playlist with
    what the OP is running, it is like comparing edlin to Word. Normal
    playlists just step through a list of files, whereas a radio station
    needs to schedule regular IDs, cycle through advertising, schedule
    events to happen at specific times and so on. There's a lot to these
    applications.

    Have a look: http://www.stationplaylist.com/

    There are also OS applications available, for example
    http://www.campware.org/en/camp/livesupport_news/

    which gives both desktop and browser access (for remote control) to the
    interface.

    And there's heaps of others. I've pretty much got to the stage where I'm
    thinking about moving from straight playlists to this kind of software
    for my own FM station which I run at home.

    It's really impressive to see software like StationPlayList making its
    way in the world, and then find it originates from NZ. It is less
    impressive that Labour's "Knowledge Economy" hype probably cannot take
    any credit for this. Notice how that phrase never appeared during this
    election?
    -=rjh=-, Sep 18, 2005
    #5
  6. Philip

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "-=rjh=-" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > E. Scrooge wrote:
    >> "Philip" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>
    >>>I have a bog-standard Dell Dimension 3000 that spends its life playing
    >>>out programmes on my FM radio station.
    >>>
    >>>Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    >>>disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    >>>of whatever it had got to when it went mad.
    >>>
    >>>An identical Dell Dimension with the same software configuration, bought
    >>>at the same time and feeding the transmitter in another town, doesn't do
    >>>that.
    >>>
    >>>The one that's playing up is running Windows XP with latest patches, and
    >>>Station Playlist Studio, a first-class NZ made radio playout program that
    >>>uses playlists generated in another product from the same company to
    >>>present what should be played when and where it should appear.
    >>>
    >>>The playout is organised by Studio and presented thru WinAmp, using a
    >>>freeware program SQRSoft to generate crossfades between tracks.
    >>>
    >>>The author of StationPlaylist Studio tells me he's never heard of this
    >>>happening before, and the Yahoo discussion group has not turned up anyone
    >>>else that is having this specific difficulty. The playout program has not
    >>>crashed or locked up - it just doesn't get the message that this track is
    >>>finished and it's time to move on to the next.
    >>>
    >>>Question to the group:
    >>>
    >>>What would cause such a problem? Both machines have 256 MB of RAM -
    >>>should I increase it? But then why is this not happening on the other
    >>>machine? or is this sort of thing symptomatic of bad RAM? I did try
    >>>inserting (slightly slower) RAM from a defunct HP computer that is
    >>>cluttering up our space. The problem pooter booted but would not stay
    >>>booted, and went into a cycle of re-booting that wasn't pretty.
    >>>
    >>>The unreliability is enough to make me consider buying a new machine just
    >>>so I don't have to go in and fix it every few days - but that is a
    >>>drastic answer to a problem I feel should be more cheaply handled.
    >>>
    >>>Advice, suggestions, opinion all welcome. I'm just waiting until it
    >>>decides to fall over during one of our broadcasts of The Goon Show - some
    >>>of the effects might be quite hypnotic if sampled for the four hours it
    >>>could take me to become aware of the problem...
    >>>
    >>>Philip

    >>
    >>
    >> In case it's a big update that's causing the problem, or something else
    >> even. Uninstall the programs, then reinstall them and see what happens.
    >> Perhaps yours is overloaded with tunes compared to other PC if yours
    >> starts off playing them properly.
    >> More RAM wouldn't hurt for what you're doing, bringing it up 512MB would
    >> make a big difference in the performance. Shouldn't cost much these
    >> days.
    >> Could be the version of Win Amp as well. I'm sure these been some kind
    >> of problem with one version of Win Amp.
    >> It's a wonder you don't just use the playlist on media player to play
    >> them anyway. You could even try media player and see if they still stuff
    >> up. Might help you pin point the problem.

    >
    > You can't even *start* to compare a normal media player playlist with what
    > the OP is running, it is like comparing edlin to Word. Normal playlists
    > just step through a list of files, whereas a radio station needs to
    > schedule regular IDs, cycle through advertising, schedule events to happen
    > at specific times and so on. There's a lot to these applications.
    >
    > Have a look: http://www.stationplaylist.com/
    >
    > There are also OS applications available, for example
    > http://www.campware.org/en/camp/livesupport_news/
    >
    > which gives both desktop and browser access (for remote control) to the
    > interface.
    >
    > And there's heaps of others. I've pretty much got to the stage where I'm
    > thinking about moving from straight playlists to this kind of software for
    > my own FM station which I run at home.
    >
    > It's really impressive to see software like StationPlayList making its way
    > in the world, and then find it originates from NZ. It is less impressive
    > that Labour's "Knowledge Economy" hype probably cannot take any credit for
    > this. Notice how that phrase never appeared during this election?


    Yes, but if he has problem cramming in a lot of files into media player and
    getting them to play properly then it's not his other software.

    Anyway I think he should shove more RAM in his computers for starters. So
    should everyone running XP on 256MB.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Sep 18, 2005
    #6
  7. Philip

    Rob J Guest

    On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 11:30:00 +1200, "E. Scrooge" <scrooge@*shot.co.nz
    (*sling)> wrote:

    >
    >"Waylon Kenning" <> wrote in message
    >news:eek:...
    >> T'was the Sat, 17 Sep 2005 18:34:05 +1200 when I remembered Philip
    >> <> saying something like this:
    >>
    >> >Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    >> >disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three seconds
    >> >of whatever it had got to when it went mad.

    >>
    >> Often this happens when the CPU usage hits 100%, and gets too busy to
    >> play your music, so just loops the last little bit in memory. Since
    >> you're using Windows XP, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc (not too sure if
    >> this works in Home edition, works in Professional though) to bring up
    >> the Task Manager. In the performance tab, there's a graph showing
    >> current CPU usage. If it's at 100% near all the time, either
    >>
    >> A) There's a rogue application using all of your CPU time
    >> B) Your CPU is not powerful enough to do all the things you want to do
    >>
    >> To find out what application has been taking up most of your CPU time,
    >> go to the processes tab of task manager, then go view > select columns
    >> > and tick the CPU Time box, then go OK. Click on the CPU Time header,

    >> which will arrange the programs running by CPU time. Don't worry about
    >> System Idle Process, it normally takes all the idle time. But if
    >> you've got another program that's up there with System Idle Process or
    >> *higher* than System Idle Process, I'd be interested to see what that
    >> program is.
    >>
    >> There are other things that can cause temporary CPU usage to hit 100%.
    >> Often when a CD is being read, explorer freezes for a second to read
    >> the information off the CD. This can cause your CPU usage to hit 100%
    >> and give your music that stutter.
    >> --
    >> Cheers,
    >>
    >> Waylon Kenning.

    >
    >I setup a brand new budget computer for someone only a few days ago, and it
    >was slightly better than most as it came with a Radian 64MB video card. I
    >didn't expect to hear and see so many pauses while memory was shuffled
    >around with it's 256MB RAM and the swap file. I expected 256MB to perform
    >better, in previous versions of Windows it would've but XP has around 30
    >applications running in the background. It also has Nortons, though that
    >probably doesn't make much difference. Compared to a PC with a GB RAM
    >everything starts very slowly, just too damn slow for me. After seeing that
    >new PC without having to bother with shared video memory, the bottom limit
    >for RAM in a PC running XP should be 512MB.


    Nortons will insist on scanning every file as it is loaded into
    memory, which can slow things right down. Load a music file and there
    will be an obvious reason for playback to slow down.
    Rob J, Sep 19, 2005
    #7
  8. Philip

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "Rob J" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 11:30:00 +1200, "E. Scrooge" <scrooge@*shot.co.nz
    > (*sling)> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"Waylon Kenning" <> wrote in message
    >>news:eek:...
    >>> T'was the Sat, 17 Sep 2005 18:34:05 +1200 when I remembered Philip
    >>> <> saying something like this:
    >>>
    >>> >Intermittently it sticks at the end of a recording, sounding like a 60s
    >>> >disk player that's "stuck in the groove". Looping the same three
    >>> >seconds
    >>> >of whatever it had got to when it went mad.
    >>>
    >>> Often this happens when the CPU usage hits 100%, and gets too busy to
    >>> play your music, so just loops the last little bit in memory. Since
    >>> you're using Windows XP, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc (not too sure if
    >>> this works in Home edition, works in Professional though) to bring up
    >>> the Task Manager. In the performance tab, there's a graph showing
    >>> current CPU usage. If it's at 100% near all the time, either
    >>>
    >>> A) There's a rogue application using all of your CPU time
    >>> B) Your CPU is not powerful enough to do all the things you want to do
    >>>
    >>> To find out what application has been taking up most of your CPU time,
    >>> go to the processes tab of task manager, then go view > select columns
    >>> > and tick the CPU Time box, then go OK. Click on the CPU Time header,
    >>> which will arrange the programs running by CPU time. Don't worry about
    >>> System Idle Process, it normally takes all the idle time. But if
    >>> you've got another program that's up there with System Idle Process or
    >>> *higher* than System Idle Process, I'd be interested to see what that
    >>> program is.
    >>>
    >>> There are other things that can cause temporary CPU usage to hit 100%.
    >>> Often when a CD is being read, explorer freezes for a second to read
    >>> the information off the CD. This can cause your CPU usage to hit 100%
    >>> and give your music that stutter.
    >>> --
    >>> Cheers,
    >>>
    >>> Waylon Kenning.

    >>
    >>I setup a brand new budget computer for someone only a few days ago, and
    >>it
    >>was slightly better than most as it came with a Radian 64MB video card. I
    >>didn't expect to hear and see so many pauses while memory was shuffled
    >>around with it's 256MB RAM and the swap file. I expected 256MB to perform
    >>better, in previous versions of Windows it would've but XP has around 30
    >>applications running in the background. It also has Nortons, though that
    >>probably doesn't make much difference. Compared to a PC with a GB RAM
    >>everything starts very slowly, just too damn slow for me. After seeing
    >>that
    >>new PC without having to bother with shared video memory, the bottom limit
    >>for RAM in a PC running XP should be 512MB.

    >
    > Nortons will insist on scanning every file as it is loaded into
    > memory, which can slow things right down. Load a music file and there
    > will be an obvious reason for playback to slow down.


    Thanks for that. Even the smallest of programs weren't loading straight
    away. Nortons is only good for 60 days of updates on it, once he's got his
    Internet account sorted out. I'll be putting Anti Vir on it for him
    instead.

    He only got the computer last Thursday. Since then someone he only knows of
    has signed himself a guest account (by the sounds of it) and has been back
    again on Sunday as well. The guy that bought the new computer wouldn't say
    no to anyone and could be easily taken advantage of. I be checking to see
    if the bugger has most likely setup his own internet account on it as well.
    Every time the computer starts the owner has to select which user (him or
    the other guy) before it starts. Most likely the other guy will have to
    remove it since he'll have put in a damn password. The poor owner isn't
    happy about it at all.

    Cheers,
    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Sep 19, 2005
    #8
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