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Overlay player Error

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 11:00
by djgait
Hi Bernd,

I have the following issue:

The overlay player, wich I use for news playout, sometimes just stops and sits there like it is paused.
This is causing the scheduler not to resume the program.

I found out that the player has crashed, because when quitting Proppfrexx, It won't properly shut down.
When exiting propprexx, the procedure hangs with the message "stopping input-mixers". I can only force shutdown with killing the process in task manager.

During hang time. the output to the stream is stuttering (connect, drop, connect, drop etc.).
I thought i had found the cause with a track (traffic info) being downloaded during news playout. If i had set the overlay to "soft"with early start the track may wtill be downloaded even when the player starts the track. Maybe this causes the crash. But today the player hanged at the Top of The hour jingle wich is the last track in de overlay.

So i can't seem to pinpoint out where the problem lies. I don't get an error message. The onair watcher doesn't detect any errors.

Maybe you can help.

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 21:40
by radio42
Can you please send me some or all related audio tracks as well as the exact definition (incl. the playlist or script) you are using to play the overlay as well as the overlay entry settings.
So that I can try to reproduce the issue here.

How do you 'download' a track while it is played out?

Also, which version are you using (v3.0.11.23)?
If you are using a version prior to v3.0.11.22, please try to update to the latest version and see, if the issue remains.
In version prior to v3.0.11.22 there was a bug in the m4a/aac decoder, which might have caused a deadlock - but that issue was fixed with v3.0.11.22.
So if you are already using to v3.0.11.22 or above and if those tracks are not .m4a or .aac files I guess it must be a different issue.

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 00:32
by djgait
Hello Bernd,

I will send yout the files by wetransfer, so expect an email from them.

I use the RTV downloader to download the news and traffic files. I can automatically add some jingles to the file to make the file as we want it.

I have unchecked all allow early start marks in the overlays, but just now it hanged with an overlay.
The files from this overlay as well as the overlay scripts and the calendars i will send.

Log files doesn't show any errors since the last update (19 to 22)

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 13:09
by radio42
Looking at your file (you send me), I notice, that more overlays defined use a standard script (like 'Nieuws Workday.pfs').
However, you didn't provide me with such scripts as an example.
Bit you send me a playlist file called 'Nieuws Evening power.pfp' - but that playlist doesn't seem to be used in the overlay scheduler.

So can you please explain with what overlay entries it is crashing on your side?

In addition I just tested your provided playlists and music tracks and they all play fine here without any issues within the overlay player.

However, you should definitly avoid to download a track in parallel which is contained within the overlay while the overay is currently being played.

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 16:52
by djgait
Hi Bernd,

I tried several approaches to get the overlay player not to crash.
In one occasion the script launched a playlist (the one I have sent), on the other occasion the tracks are loaded by the script itself.

I really think the player hangs when a track is being written while the player wants to play it (or plays it).
In these seasons the traffic info is much longer than usual. I looked at the scheduler logs and saw that the news in morning and evening traffic hangs the most.

But the problem is that the player hangs and there is no way i can resume a program. If the player just quits on hang or skips the track when an error is detected it would definitaly preserve station continuality.

I will check de downloaders and make sure the tracks are downloaded before the overlay player wants to play the track.

Other question:

When I let the overlay player show 60 seconds in advance, are the tracks preloaded then?

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 18:20
by radio42
Yes, the tracks are preloaded at the time the Overlay-Player is shown (meaning in advance of the effective playout time).
At this time also the 'resolved' tracks are evaluated and the playback streams are created for audio playback.
Changing the physical audio files afterwards is not really possible and might result in unpredictable effects, as the audio engine already has created the playback streams and will access the physical audio file during effective playout. Changing the physical audio file at that time might 'confuse' the whole audio engine.
I am affraid there is not much I can do about this - as the audio engine couldn't recognize those changes once it has prepared the playback streams.
Anyhow, I'll see what I can do about this effect!

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 07 Dec 2012 11:34
by djgait
Hi Bernd,

A little update:

I have changed the download times for the overlay player. The tracks are now downloaded before the overlay is shown.
Weird thing is that I still had a overlay crash after that.
Looking into the RTV downloader I checked the target locations to wich the finished file is renamed and copied. I removed some obsolete locations and forced the track to be converted into a 128kbit/s mp3 file (was VBR).

Since then I did not have any problems with the overlay player.

This morning i tried to trigger a failure, triggering a download of the traffic file (wich was way longer than the previous downloaded track). The overlay player played this track well in full length!! BUT, the TOTH track afterwards was cut downto the exact point the overlay player expected the playlist to end. The program resumed normal.

So I think the downloader was generating a corrupt file.

To summarise:

The overlay player can play tracks wich are downloaded even when the player has been preloaded 60 second in advance.
The overlay player crashed when tracks are being written when the overlay player is playing them (of course) or are corrupted.
The overlay player plays the overlay for the calculated time when the overlay script was loaded. If tracks were altered the overlay player just cuts off at the expected end time.

I don't know what the player does when the expected end time is longer than the tracks it is playing ( e.g. the traffic track is shorter than the one before). Maybe this could cause a crash. I'll try to trigger that and let you know.

For now the problem seems to be tackled..

Thanks for your effords Bernd!

P.S. The suppresfilter works perfect!

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 07 Dec 2012 13:23
by radio42
Great to hear, that is almost solved!

The issue with the length of a file is basically related to the download.
When the Overlay-Player is shown and the script is executed or the playlist is loaded - it will read the audio files and its TAGs.
However, if a new and different file is provided its meta data tags might be 'old' - thus the Cue-Points, the track duration etc. might be incorrect.
I'll see, if I can optimize things there to 'force' re(reading) of any tag data if needed.

Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 16:44
by Andreas Duswald
Hello - I unfurtunaly have to report the same issue - some days all is running perfectly but shurly up to 3 times per week this problem occurs here to. Overlays comming up and hanging in

sometimes it is shown "Loading" sometimes "closing"

Also the pf is never shotting down correctly i allways have to kill it if i want to close it.

Bernd is it not possible to put something in which checks, if the overlay is hanging and restarts the overlay shedule ?.... This Problem is only solved by killing the PF with the task manager


Re: Overlay player Error

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 18:53
by radio42
Any errors logged in your case?
Are you also downloading file to be played by the overlay?
What you might try is to disable any addon formats which you are not using.
In one case a customer reported, the disabling the MPC addon helped, as a corrupt MP3 File was incorrectly detected. To disable addons:
Go to the general settings and click on the 'Add-Ons...' button.