Problems with streaming audio



  • I've been trying Vivaldi out on a variety of Web sites that I frequent, and even as a beta (or alpha) it has been good enough that I've set it to be my default browser. The exception is streaming audio, or online radio. On the sites www.accuradio.com and www.live365.com, I get frequent pauses and a lot of "disk thrashing" activity. Last night I switched between Vivaldi and Firefox a few minutes at a time, and the performance of Firefox was notably smoother, with few pauses and no thrashing. The third music site I have an account with, Rhapsody, is working fine with Vivaldi. I found that Adobe makes two versions of Flash, so I installed the one that is recommended to be better with Chrome. Is anybody else having this kind of problem?



  • I haven't tried any "streaming" audio in Vivaldi yet, so I'm just thinking "out loud".

    If you can determine the type of stream (e.g., maybe with URL Snooper?) you might be able to tell how Vivaldi is handling it by checking vivaldi://plugins for the MIME type (expand Details to see MIME types and other details).

    For example, I notice on my Vivaldi test machine that most of the possible audio MIME types (including .rtsp used by a lot of Internet radio streams) appear to be handled by Apple QuickTime. I usually don't even install QuickTime on my Windows machines for the last several years, but this happens to be an old laptop given to me by a friend that used iTunes and has transitioned to only Apple products (laptops, tablets, & phones), so QuickTime was already on here when I started using Vivaldi.

    I'm not sure what this will tell you, but it might provide some clues. Unfortunately, AFAIK, there isn't yet a convenient way to specify what plug-in or utility will automatically handle each MIME type in Vivaldi. But I'm thinking you might discover a plug-in handling the MIME type needs to be updated… ...or perhaps that plug-in could be disabled in Vivaldi so a different plug-in could take over the job in Vivaldi... ...or perhaps a different plugin could be installed to take over the job (e.g., installing VideoLan VLC on your system would probably make it available to Vivaldi as a plug-in, and it will handle nearly any streamed content well)

    ...But like I said, I'm just thinking "out loud" and maybe none of the above will be relevant or helpful. :P



  • Thanks, Veggie :) . As best as I can tell, these are all Flash. I set Plugs-in in /chrome/settings/content to "click to play" and got Flash errors on www.accuradio.com and www.live365.com. I know that Rhapsody (the one that is giving me no problems) uses the AAC format in a Flash player; live365 is apparently all .mp3, again in a Flash player; I don't know about accuradio.

    I can try installing VLC; I remember that player from Linux, and it really is good. But I suspect that what's going on here is that Vivaldi isn't handling the relatively heavy load of data quite as efficiently as it will in the final release; that would explain all the disk-writing (what I called "thrashing").



  • @eggdog:

    Thanks, Veggie :) . As best as I can tell, these are all Flash. …that would explain all the disk-writing (what I called "thrashing").

    I'm no expert in this area, but over the years I've tried to listen to and/or capture numerous audio streams so I've picked up enough to muddle around and sometimes figure something out.

    I've also noticed a lot of disk "thrashing" with Vivaldi on numerous websites that seem to be downloading a lot of content without any audio streaming (e.g., lots of Disqus comments, endless scrolling with lots of images, etc.), and once or twice per day I get lots of disk thrashing when I'm not doing anything different in Vivaldi than I was 2 or 20 minutes earlier, and suddenly for several minutes I almost can't do anything because the whole system is non-responsive or nearly non-responsive (and CPU usage typically doesn't spike during these times). I still haven't figured out what that might be, but functionality is so impaired during those stretches that I can't do any diagnostics to figure it out. In any case, I don't think the Vivaldi caching is probably very efficient or well-optimized yet.

    But many streams don't use the same caching as used for websites, and I don't understand where the data is temporarily located on the HDD (if it is) or how the browser (or plugin) is managing the stream for many of the ones I've tried to figure out. It seems plausible to me that they might produce disk thrashing, especially if the steam management is not optimized and/or maybe pagefile.sys is being over-utilized due to limited RAM. (?)

    You didn't mention what plug-ins are set to manage any particular MIME types (see vivaldi://plugins), but if your streams are accessed via an embedded "Flash" player on a webpage, they probably are all .swf MIME-type, handled by Adobe Flash Player and typically found in C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\ folder on Win32:

    Pepper PPAPI C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\pepflashplayer32_17_0_0_169.dll (or similar)
    NPAPI C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32_17_0_0_169.dll (or similar)

    I thought Vivaldi would only use the PPAPI version but I see both listed in my vivaldi://plugins. So you might make sure you have the most recent versions (visit Adobe Flash Player - About to check). Adobe has been moving toward auto-updating of Flash Player, which a couple years ago I would have adamantly resisted, but now I think it's probably a good idea [maybe partly because it is so cumbersome to manually keep up with all 3 versions (ActiveX, NPAPI, & PPAPI) :P].

    Your radio webplayers might also Adobe Shockwave Player (instead of or in addition to Flash Player ?). Adobe's folder structure (and names) for Flash Player and for Shockwave Player are frankly confusing, but the Shockwave Player plugin will probably be:

    C:\Windows\system32\Adobe\Director\np32dsw_1217157.dll (or similar)
    (There will probably also be files with same version number that get updated in C:\Windows\System32\Adobe\Shockwave 12)

    Visit Adobe - Test Adobe Shockwave Player to check what is currently installed and what is the most recent available version. (Right now, I'm having trouble getting that page to work properly in Vivaldi, but will post back with an update if I figure anything out.)

    I find Adobe's site incredibly frustrating to navigate if you're looking for specific versions and/or full installer downloads, but here are links for current (version not specified in filename) direct FTP full installer downloads for:

    FTP Download ActiveX Flash Player for IE [current full installer]

    FTP Download NPAPI Flash Player for Firefox, Opera 12.x [current full installer]

    FTP Download PPAPI Flash Player for Opera 15+, Vivaldi & Chromium-based browsers [current full installer]

    Since you know one of the streams is .mp3, you might also check that MIME-type in vivaldi://plugins. It probably won't be listed as .mp3, but rather as .mpeg, and you may see several related MIME-types under both audio and video beginning with ".m" or ".mp" (.mpg, .mp2, .mpm, .mpv, .mpa). Again, on my system those are listed as being handled by QuickTime, but yours may be different.

    Probably should have started with this, but maybe it would be helpful if you list all the plug-ins displayed in vivaldi://plugins (you could collapse the Details and just copy and paste, then edit out the excess Disable/Always allowed info).



  • Here's my plugin list. I apparently don't have one for Shockwave.

    Yes, it's really annoying to try to find anything on Adobe's Web site. Now that I think about it, everything about Adobe is really annoying.

    Adobe Flash Player (2 files) - Version: 17.0.0.169 Shockwave Flash 17.0 r0
    (I saw that they were both enabled, so I disabled the NPAPI one after doing this cut & paste)
    Java(TM) (2 files) - Version: 11.40.2.25 NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
    Silverlight - Version: 5.1.30514.0
    Chrome PDF Viewer
    npIntelWebAPIIPT - Version: 3.0.72.0
    Foxit PhantomPDF Plugin for Mozilla - Version: 2.2.5.107 Foxit PhantomPDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape
    Foxit Reader Plugin for Mozilla - Version: 2.2.5.107 Foxit Reader Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape
    npIntelWebAPIUpdater - Version: 3.0.72.0 Intel web components updater - Installs and updates the Intel web components
    Microsoft Office - Version: 15.0.4514.1000 The plugin allows you to have a better experience with Microsoft SharePoint
    NVIDIA 3D (2 files) - Version: 7.17.13.2702 NVIDIA 3D Vision plugin for Mozilla browsers

    I went through the MIME types for every one, and I couldn't find any that handled .mpeg (or anything that looked like .mpeg or .mp3). Is this a problem?

    Maybe I can disable all those Firefox/Netscape plugins? If I disable them in Vivaldi, I should think they'll still be available for Warm Doglike Mammal, but if I'm running Vivaldi, they're probably just taking up a bit of power and not really doing anything,. Does this sound correct?

    I have been getting random thrashing the last couple of days, too – on the New York Times Web site, for instance, and all the time if I'm trying to organize bookmarks. I tried cleaning out my cache, but that made no difference.

    Thanks!



  • @eggdog:

    Here's my plugin list. I apparently don't have one for Shockwave.

    Hmmm. It shows up last in my plug-ins list, but you might simply not have it installed.

    Did you visit the Test Adobe Shockwave Player page? I still can't get it to work on my Vivaldi installation (try it in another browser to see how it should behave).

    Looks like I forgot it above, but here is a Shockwave download link (it will download a 4.77MB installer, or you can click on the "Need Shockwave Player for a different computer?" link for 13.2MB full installer with "Xtras" (probably not needed, but I usually install it).

    I went through the MIME types for every one, and I couldn't find any that handled .mpeg (or anything that looked like .mpeg or .mp3). Is this a problem?

    TBH, I don't know for sure, as Flash Player can maybe/probably handle .mp3 for your web radio. If you install VideoLAN VLC, I imagine it might be displayed as a plug-in that could handle .mp3s (but I don't know if VLC is needed, and even if you install it, I'm not sure Vivaldi is finding all the available plug-ins anyway).

    If you want to post some links to specific sites you've been listening to, I'd be glad to at least try them here as soon as I get a chance, to see how they work on my end and whether I can think of anything else.

    Maybe I can disable all those Firefox/Netscape plugins? If I disable them in Vivaldi, I should think they'll still be available for Warm Doglike Mammal, but if I'm running Vivaldi, they're probably just taking up a bit of power and not really doing anything,. Does this sound correct?

    You could disable them in Vivaldi and that would have no effect on whether other browsers still have them enabled and have access to them. But I don't think any of those plug-ins are using any resources except when actually in use so I don't think disabling any of the them will make any difference, other than making it so Vivaldi can't use them. (They are essentially other programs linked to your browsers, and the browsers use the the appropriate plug-in for certain specialized work when needed. Maybe not a great analogy, but think of a light bulb (plug-in) with multiple switches that can turn the light on and off. Disabling a plug-in in Vivaldi would be like disconnecting one light switch (browser) from the light, so it can no longer turn the light on and off, but leaving other switches (browsers) still connected to the same light. The light is using power only when one of the switches turns it on, whether the Vivaldi switch is connected or not. This is different from Vivaldi extensions, each of which has a running vivaldi.exe process when it is enabled, so 5 extensions = 5 more vivaldi.exe processes running the whole time the browser is running.)



  • Are you using the 64 bit browser? If so Shock player will not work and you will see the plug in did not load error. You'll have to uninstall the 64 bit version and install the 32 bit version. Hopefully Adobe will offer a 64 bit version in the future. I can run accuradio with no problem using the 32 bit browser.

    The text below is from Adobe….......................
    If you can't view content with the Shockwave Player, it could be that your computer is running a 64-bit Web browser on a 64-bit Windows operating system. Shockwave Player does not run in most 64-bit browsers in Windows. If you attempt to download the Shockwave Player in a 64-bit browser on Windows operating system that does not support Shockwave Player, you see a message from Adobe and a link back to this page. To install Shockwave Player, use a 32-bit Web browser on your 64-bit Windows operating system. All major browsers are available in 32-bit versions and the Internet Explorer 32-bit browser is the default browser on Windows 64-bit systems.



  • gdveggie: If you want to post some links to specific sites you've been listening to, I'd be glad to at least try them here as soon as I get a chance, to see how they work on my end and whether I can think of anything else.

    The two sites that have given me the most trouble are Live365 and AccuRadio. I've also had some trouble with TuneIn, but that site is more of an aggregator, and the troubles may be outside their site. You're certainly welcome to try them, and I hope you find something good to listen to! :) I'm not sure if you need an account to listen to all of these. I know that AccuJazz, a part of AccuRadio, allows listening without signing in, and that's my favorite section of the AccuRadio empire anyway. :)

    Rhapsody is the one music site that has given me almost no trouble. I did have one track stall on me, but that can happen any time. Rhapsody definitely doesn't have a free preview.

    I've gotten two updates since we last spoke, and we seem to be on the preview to the third TP. I think some things are smoother now.

    ajsloan: Are you using the 64 bit browser? If so Shock player will not work and you will see the plug in did not load error.

    I don't think I have the Shockwave player installed, but I'm not getting any "Shockwave not installed" messages. I did get some "Flash player not installed" messages when I had plugins set to "click to play", so I think the sites are looking for the Flash player.

    Are there any drawbacks to installing Shockwave? I was on Linux for about 8 years and only went back to Windows last year, and I never missed Shockwave in all that time.

    How do I determine whether I have a 64-bit browser? This is a 64-bit operating system, Windows 8.1. I looked under Help | About and got this:

    Vivaldi	1.0.162.2 (Developer Build) 
    Revision	9ec99d49948043b973a1ce3635c0505a205add5e
    OS	Windows 
    Blink	537.36 (@c4fc1926ad569ca9bd622e77402c6afb91ac4ce4)
    JavaScript	V8 4.1.0.21
    Flash	17.0.0.169
    User Agent	Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.105 Safari/537.36 Vivaldi/1.0.162.2
    Command Line	"C:\Users\Edward\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\Application\vivaldi.exe" --always-authorize-plugins --ppapi-flash-path="C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\pepflashplayer32_17_0_0_169.dll" --flag-switches-begin --flag-switches-end
    Executable Path	C:\Users\Edward\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\Application\vivaldi.exe
    Profile Path	C:\Users\Edward\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\User Data\Default
    Variations 	ed1d377-e1cc0f14
    

    which doesn't seem to tell me, or I can't read it correctly.


  • Moderator

    "WOW64" means you are using the 32-bit version. "WOW" is an acronym for Windows on Wndows, which means 32-bit windows running on 64-bit Windows.



  • In 64-bit versions of Windows, you can determine whether you're using a 32 or 64-bit browser in the Task Manager:
    Pressing Alt + Ctrl + Delete at the same time.
    Clicking Task Manager.
    Click the Processes tab.
    The number that appears after the process for your browser indicates the version in use.



  • @eggdog:

    I don't think I have the Shockwave player installed, but I'm not getting any "Shockwave not installed" messages. … ...Are there any drawbacks to installing Shockwave? ...

    How do I determine whether I have a 64-bit browser? This is a 64-bit operating system, Windows 8.1. I looked under Help | About and got this:

    …which doesn't seem to tell me, or I can't read it correctly.

    Looks to me like you're using 32-bit Vivaldi. Normally you would be able to tell from the executable path, with 64-bit programs installed in C:\Program Files, and 32-bit programs installed in C:\Program Files (x86), but at least some Vivaldi installers (including yours) are ("wrongly") installing in C:\Users_UserName_\AppData\Local. But Ayespy has already pointed out WOW64 in the User Agent string would be a reference to 32-bit Windows (and that User Agent string including WOW64 is similar to the UA string on my 32-bit Vivaldi on 64-bit Win7, while 64-bit Vivaldi on the same 64-bit Windows system specifies Win64; x64).

    Also, notice C:\WINDOWS\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\pepflashplayer32_17_0_0_169.dll where the "32" indicates 32-bit. On my 64-bit Vivaldi/64-bit Win7 installation, this path is C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\pepflashplayer64_17_0_0_169.dll where the "64" indicates 64-bit (even though it is in a system32 sub-folder :P).

    You can also tell (at least in Win7) by looking at the Compatibility tab on the file Properties dialog for the vivaldi.exe executable. If the highest level of compatibility listed under Compatibility Mode is WinXP, the executable is 32-bit. If your vivaldi.exe is 64-bit it will list Vista (or maybe higher on Win8?) as an option under Compatibility Mode.

    Finally, Sysinternals Process Explorer can be configured to include a column labeled "Image Type" that will show whether each executable running on your system is 32-bit or 64-bit.

    Regarding Shockwave, I don't know of any drawback to having it installed, although per Wikipedia there have been some allegations (e.g., by computer security journalist, Brian Krebs) of vulnerabilites due to Flash Player components included in Shockwave that are as much as 15 months behind the updates to Flash Player.

    If you do decide to try it, ajsloan is correct that it is only available as a 32-bit plug-in, and Adobe's site will not even let you download/install it if you visit with a 64-bit browser (yet another way you can tell if your Vivaldi is 32-bit or 64-bit :P – if Adobe allows you to download, you're using 32-bit Vivaldi).

    However, my 64-bit Opera does list the 32-bit Shockwave plugin in opera:plugins and 64-bit Opera does work and display the current installed Shockwave Player version at the Test Adobe Shockwave Player page, whereas 64-bit Vivaldi simply reports "No plug-in available to display this content" (and does not display Shockwave player on the vivaldi://plugins page. (Again, visit this page in another browser to see if you have Shockwave installed and to see the page work properly, as it does not work properly in either 32-bit or 64-bit Vivaldi right now.

    Having said all that, I still doubt the lack of Shockwave Player on your system is a reason for your streaming radio issues. I mentioned it only as a slim possibility in the interest of being thorough checking out all the possibilities. There are relatively few sites that depend on Shockwave Player for content delivery and you most likely won't miss it if you choose not to install it. (10-15 years ago it was much more widely used than it has been in recent years. Wikipedia's Adobe Shockwave article provides an adequate (IMO) overview.)



  • I just spent an hour or more listening to music, and I had exactly one hiccup - and that was when loading a rather long document in WordPerfect. I'm also noticing less moanin' & groanin' in general. So I have to assume that 1.0.162.2 has resolved at least some of the issues; either that or I was having a bad run of transient issues.

    I'll report back if I can identify more problems. I'm not going to mark this "solved", but I'm at least going to mark it "hopeful".



  • @eggdog:

    I'm not going to mark this "solved", but I'm at least going to mark it "hopeful".

    Sounds good!


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to Vivaldi Forum was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.