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Endless buffering on Raspberry Pi 3

Hello, I have recently installed Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+. The server runs well and is able to play content with no buffering until 2 items have been played. Once a third item is played, after about 3-5 minutes of playback the video will begin buffering and will not stop (I've left it alone for hours to buffer and it never finished). If the video is exited and selected again, it will resume but will only play for about a minute before it begins buffering once again. The same thing happens if the video is exited and another is selected instead. The only thing that resolves the issue is a full reboot of the Pi; however the issue will return once 2 items have been played. I am streaming via ethernet on my local area network (although the problem also exists with remote streaming) to my Macbook Pro 2015 running Plex Media Player, everything is Direct Play with no transcoding, so that shouldn't be part of the issue. I don't think it's a problem with my router either, as I was previously running a Plex Media Server on a Windows 10 desktop on the same network and experienced no issues whatsoever. I've checked the Plex logs and there doesn't seem to be anything fishy, does anybody know why this might be happening? I can provide logs & other information upon request. For reference, I am running Raspbian Lite (CLI only) with kernel version 4.14.30-v7+. Thank you!

Answers

  • uglymagoouglymagoo Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, TunerTester Posts: 1,083 Plex Ninja

    Please first update your Raspbian (with apt). Linux 4.14.30 has known stability issues and there is a new kernel available.

    Official instructions for Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 / Banana Pi / ODROID / many more : armhf and arm64 Debian Repository
    My PMS hardware: RPi 2, NVIDIA Shield TV, Intel Xeon

  • grumblegoosegrumblegoose Members Posts: 5

    @uglymagoo said:
    Please first update your Raspbian (with apt). Linux 4.14.30 has known stability issues and there is a new kernel available.

    This fixed the problem last night, but I just tried to watch something today and it's back again, this time after watching one item.

  • uglymagoouglymagoo Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, TunerTester Posts: 1,083 Plex Ninja

    Pleas tell us more: where is your media and how is it mounted on your Pi? How did you install Plex? What version of Plex Server and Plex player are you using? Is a restart of the plexmediaserver via systemctl not sufficient to fix your issue? What power supply do you use? Anything special ...

    And server logs would be great: journalctl -u plexmediaserver, sudo dmesg and Plex server logs:

    https://support.plex.tv/articles/200250417-plex-media-server-log-files/

    Official instructions for Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 / Banana Pi / ODROID / many more : armhf and arm64 Debian Repository
    My PMS hardware: RPi 2, NVIDIA Shield TV, Intel Xeon

  • grumblegoosegrumblegoose Members Posts: 5

    My media is stored on a 750GB Samsung HDD in a USB enclosure, mounted via ntfs-3g. I installed Plex using the instructions for Raspberry Pi 2/3 on this forum; the only other thing installed on my Pi is ntfs-3g. A restart of plexmediaserver via systemctl will allow the content to play for a few minutes before the buffering returns. I use an Adafruit power supply that came with my Pi when I bought it.

    Plex Media Server Version: 1.13.0.5023
    Plex Media Player Version: 3.47.1

    journalctl -u plexmediaserver: https://pastebin.com/raw/KmdJ2WSJ

    sudo dmesg: https://pastebin.com/raw/DK9cq8Gr

    Plex Media Server.log: https://pastebin.com/raw/Rtp6C08p

    com.plexapp.system.log: https://pastebin.com/raw/8muQeVd4

    Please let me know if you need any further information.

  • uglymagoouglymagoo Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, TunerTester Posts: 1,083 Plex Ninja

    Please post all Plex Media Server.log s or the complete archive. The Plex Media Server.log that you have provided contains only the messages after your last manual restart. There is nothing helpful there.

    Official instructions for Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 / Banana Pi / ODROID / many more : armhf and arm64 Debian Repository
    My PMS hardware: RPi 2, NVIDIA Shield TV, Intel Xeon

  • grumblegoosegrumblegoose Members Posts: 5

    Sorry about that. Here are all the Plex Media Server.logs. I wasn't able to upload them to pastebin as they are too large.

  • uglymagoouglymagoo Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, TunerTester Posts: 1,083 Plex Ninja

    The only interesting thing I have seen in your logs is an occasional "database locked" error. Did you move your Plex Library / Application Support Directory from /var/lib/plexmediaserver to another location (e.g. your external drive)?

    Official instructions for Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 / Banana Pi / ODROID / many more : armhf and arm64 Debian Repository
    My PMS hardware: RPi 2, NVIDIA Shield TV, Intel Xeon

  • grumblegoosegrumblegoose Members Posts: 5

    I haven't moved that directory, it's still in /var/lib/plexmediaserver. However, I think I've learned something about this issue that may be helpful. It seems that the buffering occurs after a certain amount of data rather than a number of items (which was probably just coincidental). Last night I attempted to watch a movie and it stalled and began buffering about halfway through, which was at around 1h of playback time.

    Is there anything else that could be causing the "database locked" error?

    Some other information:
    -my media drive is an old reformatted laptop drive in a Kingston USB enclosure, not sure if that would cause an issue with the Pi. It is not externally powered.
    -I only use SSH from my Macbook to interface with the Pi if that makes any difference.
    -the issue was totally resolved after I used apt to switch to another commit branch (I was somehow stuck on a 4.14.30 branch) and rebooted; after this, media played flawlessly for hours until the next day when I woke my Macbook up from sleep and my SSH connection had been terminated by a broken pipe. After this, the issue returned.

    Thanks again for the help.

  • vf-xvf-x Members Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited June 2

    I'm experiencing the same problems as grumblegoose, and I'm at my wit's end trying to figure out why this is occurring.

    I just purchased a Pi 3 B+, and installed all of the latest software including Raspbian 4.14.34-v7+ (full version). PMS 1.13.0.5023 was installed as a package from dev2day.de. I was running PMS fine on a Raspbian 3 B without this problem.

    I normally use the Plex client on my Samsung Smart TV (Plex for Samsung 3.3.4) on Tizen 2.4.0, which is where we initially noticed the buffering; however, I experience the same buffering problem when I point my browser to PMS on my Macbook Pro. The buffering occurs even when all clients are running with DirectPlay and DirectStream enabled.

    My Pi 3 B+ is wired into my router, where as my Samsung TV and Macbook Pro are both wireless.

    I've attached journalctl and dmesg outputs, as well as the last two Plex Media Server log files in the zip.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  • eckartheckarth Members, Plex Pass Posts: 502 Plex Pass
    edited June 3

    I had a look at your log files. (I should say there are people with sharper eyes than mine.)

    I want to focus on one particular device and file. I see you are using chrome as web browser to watch "When Harry Met Sally" at Jun 02, 2018 07:44. That file is located at "/media/pi/bigboy/plex/movies/". The format is mkv and the name of the file suggests there are subtitles involved. Right?

    What the follows in the log suggests to me that the stream is transcoded.
    "PUT /video/:/transcode/session/hsvykz8azu732khfpg1w22sc/8dc65ae9-0478-4035-88de-67a105a9c968/progress?progress=48.1&size=-22&remaining=19996"

    But I can not spot why?

    Can you please post the xml info on that movie file.

    Moreover, is "bigboy" a mounted HDD or a volume mounted from a server.

    Can you please open a terminal window to your Pi, while watching that movie in the browser, and get the output of ps axe | grep Plex.

    And please switch off Verbose logging, that gives to much noise.

    I do not think that it is transcoding when you are using your TV set. May be you are probing the bandwidth limit of your total setup.

    -=-=-=

    And maybe @uglymagoo will transfer this into a new thread.

  • uglymagoouglymagoo Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, TunerTester Posts: 1,083 Plex Ninja
    edited June 3

    One of the issues in the Raspberry Pi kernel that could cause such problems with an RPi 3 B+ is still not fixed. Only the RPi 3 B+ is affected. I am afraid I cannot recommend the RPi 3 B+ at all at the moment :| The kernel is still buggy as hell.

    https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/2482

    Official instructions for Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 / Banana Pi / ODROID / many more : armhf and arm64 Debian Repository
    My PMS hardware: RPi 2, NVIDIA Shield TV, Intel Xeon

  • vf-xvf-x Members Posts: 5 ✭✭

    I agree this is not a problem with PMS software. Running on Pi 3 B+, all videos regardless of format will buffer. There is something up at a lower level. I can run videos on a Pi 3 B with the same versions of PMS and operating system, and it works fine.

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