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song titles, two into one don't go

I could have sworn I had previously written this up and came back to look for any comment or possible solution. Can't find it but I apologise if this is now duplicated.


We have two identical PC's both running PlayIt Live and both are trying to 'start streams' but only one can be connected at a time of course.


We do it this way to try and prevent loss of output when a machine hangs for some reason. Windows updates, Anti-Virus updates, Number 52 bus passing - whatever the cause. Sadly, under Windows 10, the PC's seem to go to sleep without warning. The players stop playing and the screen just freezes. 


So, both PC's run the same schedule and one should be ready to jump in when the other goes off like that. It works, most of the time.


BUT, PlayIt does not always go for the clock scheduled in that hour and the programme we have playing out on one machine is not shadowed. Instead PlayIt seems to go for the default playout pattern to fill the hour. Not a major issue apart from...


Scenario:
Node1 PC is playing out live to the stream with Program A.
Node 2 has just been rebooted after a crash.
Listening to the stream I can see the string 'Program A' in Winamp, but then  Node 2 comes back online. It cannot connect to the running stream as Node 1 is already connected. I don't hear any breakthrough in the audio but I do see the title change to display 'Jingle 20A' then 'Song - Title' of whatever Node 2 is playing, even though it's not connected. 


This may be something to ask for in suggestions but to me it's a bug at present.


The suggestion is to hold back updating the 'playing now' information until a stream has been physically connected for perhaps 10 seconds ?  


This can only happen if 2 PC's are running PlayIt at the same time and trying to connect to the same streaming server. But that's exactly what we do here...


Re-submitted as a suggestion as this is not a bug as such. A problem perhaps, but it's not really a PlayIt bug, the server is allowing the data to be passed over. 

Sorry Mark but I can't see BUTT being any different, and it's something else to add to the possibilities of things going wrong.  


The song title data is managing to break through when it shouldn't, it would do the same regardless of what was was sending that to the server.


I've already removed the default network driver and installed the correct Intel one for the device, even though it's part of the motherboard.  I've also disabled anything not being used, Win10 seems to include a hell of a lot that's just not wanted, like Skype, Webcam, even Xbox. All taken out of the mix.


The PC's concerned are Lenovo M81's that were originally Windows 7 (still have the sticker on) but have been professional refurbished at a Micro$oft approved site where everything was tested and Windows 10 put on. The company is one I've used for years and they do these things in bulk, hundreds of one model at a time. I now find that even Intel don't approve of this, hence their adverts to tell you to buy a new PC with Windows 10 already on rather than upgrade. 


The M$ package supplied is genuine, a new sticker is added to the PC. But it uses default drivers, not the ones Lenovo installed when the PC was new. To all intents the machines are just fine, they work in 99% of cases. 


I've got an almost identical one I bought from the same place about 3 years ago, but has Windows 7. That has been running a 24/7 automation service for the last year at least. I've now installed PlayIt on that box, cloned the database and audio over and set it going. It's been running for over 2 weeks without any problem.  Another old machine, also bought from same supplier, has also been running without issue.


In the meantime, the two Windows 10 machines have been disconnected from the Internet and regularly crash out, trying to do Windows Updates. 


I now have a complete set of drivers, from Lenovo, to install on the dodgy PC's, when I put them back to Windows 7. I have genuine stickers still on the boxes so don't expect any problems. 


But, of course, that's little to do with the problem I raised here, just explaining why they crash...

You could try a different streaming application (for example B.U.T.T.) and see how that works.


As for your Windows 10 problems, I've seen something similar twice. My best bet is a network card driver issue (I would turn off everything you don't need) but I had a bad lockup problem with a Western Digital drive that entirely stopped when I changed it for a Seagate.That seemed to be a chipset/drive incompatibility.

I got fed up of Windows 10 crashing over and over. Two identical PC's running in tandem so one should take over when the other goes down. But, whatever the bug is it locks up the entire network when one goes and that stops everything dead. I can't have that on a regular basis. Not saying PlayIt is the problem, it's a known issue in Win10 it seems. By locks up I mean the entire network here is frozen, no traffic between any PC's or hubs, not just the one that froze. 

So, the two Win10 PC's we bought are now switched off and disconnected. Instead I've brought back into use a couple of old Win7 machines and happy to report that they've both run non-stop for over a week. I fully expected that.


To get back to the issue I brought up here then...


Two PC's are both running PlayIt with the same schedule and everything. Only one can connect at any one time to the Centova service we use for our stream using the Internet Broadcast plugin. The other is cycling through trying to connect, but no audio breaks through - which is the expected behaviour.


The problem I am seeing is that the song title info from the second PC IS getting through and confusing things. PC1 is connected, playing song1-title1 PC2 fires up the next track and the 'Current Title' displays song2-title2, not what is actually playing out to listeners from PC1 that is connected. 


A lot of the time it is not an issue as the same 'show' will be going out at the same time on both PC's. But, at the end of the hour some shows stop short and I have a station ID and a random track (from a track group) in the clock - which is usually a totally different track on the two PC's so PC1 (connected) will be playing song(a)-title(a) but PC2 has sent song(b)-title(b) to the server. I don't know why, it must be a momentary thing, but it's not right.



Not using Shoutcast, PlayIt has an add-in Internet Broadcast module, which is what we use on both machines at the same time. That connects to a Centova system for actual streaming.  The title/artiste info from the box that isn't connected is somehow breaking through to be displayed on the live stream, but the audio is fine.

I've had one of the PC's down today and when it came back it went to the default playout pattern, which was sending different information to the other PC, which was playing out a three hour radio show. Instead of showing 'presenter - programme' the display on Winamp, which I was listening on, was showing track after track instead - from the PC that wasn't connected to the stream... 

This sort of behaviour can be observed on a Friday afternoon from 1500-1600 when both PC's are running a clock and both will pick different tracks, at the same time. That means the active stream will be playing tracks in that hour but the second PC will be sending the title/artiste of the track it is playing, causing confusion to listeners. That stream is http://hyades.shoutca.st:8247 

As and when a computer stops, it stops dead, freezes. The screen displays whatever was playing at the time, the PlayIt screen is there, with the time frozen too. I've tried using a silence detector in the background, but if the PC is frozen then that cannot run.

I've tried all sorts to stop Windows updates, metered was one of the very first things. M$ still forced updates after a few days. Windows Defender is also manual, along with turning off loads of background apps. (Settings/Apps/Apps & Features, then go through EVERY option and disable Background apps) 


The internal sound card was thought to be a problem so I installed a small USB soundcard instead, and set PlayIt to use that. The Network Interface Card was also found to be using a default M$ driver, so was updated to use the proper Intel drivers. 


Bit by bit I've disabled and updated everything I can. When Windows stops it freezes, NOT a BSOD or reboot. It is a known issue (Google: windows freezes randomly) but I've yet to find a solution. So, to get round this we have the two PC's running in tandem. If one freezes the other takes over. 


That's why it's important to address the issue of song titles somehow breaking through and being displayed. I can't blame the Centova system as it's only doing what it is being given. It has a stream connected and the second PC is trying to connect streams over and over. It cannot connect unless the stream goes down from a crashed computer. 


PlayIt has run happily for 8 days without an issue and then it's this darned freezing problem. I suspect Windows Updates for trying to connect and force the PC to react. M$ have confirmed that they can still over-ride the metered setting for 'essential' updates. When it freezes the only option is a hard reboot. 


But, that's not the issue here - I'm just looking for a way to stop the song title info being over-written and think it just needs a delay adding to the PlayIt software as I described.

Perhaps not the fix for the problem, but I believe Shoutcast will play a file in the event that the stream stops.


Also for a playout machine it would be possible to set the network connection as "metered" thus preventing uncontrolled Windows updates, the windows "built in" anti-virus can also be set to manual.


Particularly with all updates and anti-virus set to the most "manual" they can be (and with stable sound card drivers), from my experience, a PlayIt Live system can run indefinitely on "auto".

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