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BUG: MP3 Music Stuttering On Tivo Bolt and Mini VOX

Hi! I have 2 Tivo Bolts and a new Generation Tivo Mini Vox. The bug is that MP3 music playback stutters. The stutters start after about 15 minutes of playback. Before that, Playback is fine. After that I get several roughly 1 second stutters per song. The longer playback continues, the worse the stutter gets. The music is all MP3 320Kbs encoded by DBpoweramp. Plex Media Server is being hosted on a Windows 10 machine. Q9400 CPU, 4 GB, SSD internal hard drive on a Sata connection. Network connection is Gigabyte wired. Nothing but PMS is running on the server. All Power saving options and indexing are disabled in Windows. I have tried the current and last 4 versions of PMS, all have this bug.

"Allow Direct Play" and "Allow Direct Stream" were unchecked in the Tivo App video settings so I could try and get decent playback of video files. Apparently, that doesn't just affect video, it also affects music playback. When I put a check mark in both of those boxes, playback of mp3 files was fixed. I guess PMS was trying to transcode the MP3 files and couldn't do a good job at it? Is there some setting in PMS that might be a problem?

The logs are attached. The two options discussed above were unchecked. The last 4 songs or so each had a stutter, the last song played--just before downloading these logs from the PMS--had 4 or 5 bad stutters.


Best Answer


  • KirnakKirnak Posts: 13Members ✭✭

    Hello, hello, hello... Echo, echo echo... ;)

  • KenSalKenSal Posts: 2Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited November 2017

    Hi, I'm having the same problem with my TiVo Bolt. I'm using .flac files (lossless audio format) and it seems to take a while for it to start happening. Once it does, it seems to me that it happens more and more often until I have to exit the app and start over again. If I didn't know better I'd suspect it's a buffering issue of some sort. I just started logging to my server so maybe I can post an issue next time it happens (which is every time I use the app). I'm using files created with EAC software converted directly to .flac.
    Update: Just loaded log file. Anyone?
    Select the Apps from the tivo central->select Plex->select music folder desired (any file causes this)->select play-> wait about 15 minutes and it skips/pauses for a moment, then slowly starts to occur more often. This log captures the first occurrence of the problem. If this is not enough i'd be happy to run the log for a longer period of time.

  • KirnakKirnak Posts: 13Members ✭✭

    That sounds exactly like my issue... There doesn't seem to be any help for this, so apparently the Plex music transcoder doesn't function too well? The only fix I could come up was to convert all my music to MP3--I tried Flac as well initially-- and check "Allow Direct Play" and "Allow Direct Stream" in both the app on the Bolt and on the Plex media server. When you do that, the music isn't transcoded by plex but streamed "as is". Of course, that creates problems with video playback, so you pretty much have to choose between music and video. BTW, you can bulk convert all of your Flac files with DBpoweramp.

  • KirnakKirnak Posts: 13Members ✭✭

    Thanks for helping JcThorne!! I had tried unchecking direct play as a lot of threads I found suggested that to fix video problems. I still can't get SD video to play properly through Plex on Tivo, so checking Direct Play fixes the music problem at least. BTW, I can't get widescreen SD video to play full screen. It's not the tivo "Zoom" function, I've tried all settings and read every thread I could google on it. (I know it has to be set before starting Plex...) Every widescreen SD video regardless of source plays letterboxed in a 4:3 window. Ripped DVDs, Home video, internet video, it doesn't matter. The video has been encoded originally by Video Redo or Video Studio Pro, Transcoded and plays perfectly with PyTivo. Even uploading the video to Tivo, playing it to make sure it's good, then downloading it to PC for Plex to serve doesn't work. I'd give up and just use PyTivo for video, but of course that may be gone forever with the new Tivo UI.

  • jcthornejcthorne Posts: 209Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    What are the resolution and display aspect ratios for the files you are playing. Plex does not handle anamorphic video well at all. Most widescreen SD video is anamorphic as that's the way its stored on DVD. They would need to be recoded to a 1:1 display aspect ratio file. Usually 720x480p.

  • KirnakKirnak Posts: 13Members ✭✭

    The vast majority of my SD content is encoded 720x480p with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Now that I look closer, Plex seems to be displaying the video in a 3:2 window, which of course is the square ratio of 720x480. Is that the deal? I'd have to re-encode everything to something like 853:480 to get it to play without a letterbox? I know that can't be right...

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