Delayed Start of Music Playback
#1
Windows 10 Pro, KODI 18.4.

I have a problem with the start of play for music tracks. It's less than one second, but enough to chop off the beginning of a song. I've had this problem since Eden and am now on my 4th build of KODI on different computers. (I know, why have I waited so long.) It was an annoyance to me but now my sister wants me to fix hers. I haven't found a similar problem with a search, which is surprising given all the builds I've done.

I've tried changing just about every setting I can find related to music playback, but perhaps it's right there in front of me and I'm to stupid to recognize it. Any ideas?
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#2
(2019-12-14, 07:45)hurricane51 Wrote: I've had this problem since Eden ... (I know, why have I waited so long.)
Interesting. Because no one else seems to have complained on this problem as far as I know.

Perhaps there is a problem somewhere else in your chain of components, because half a second (approximately) would be noticed by most of us.
Are you sure that your own music files are not the source of the problem? (Just asking..)
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#3
(2019-12-14, 08:00)Klojum Wrote:
(2019-12-14, 07:45)hurricane51 Wrote: I've had this problem since Eden ... (I know, why have I waited so long.)
Interesting. Because no one else seems to have complained on this problem as far as I know.

Perhaps there is a problem somewhere else in your chain of components, because half a second (approximately) would be noticed by most of us.
Are you sure that your own music files are not the source of the problem? (Just asking..) 
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#4
Not a problem with files. They all play fine in other media players. If I skip back to the beginning of the file after it's been playing for 20 seconds or so, it starts normally, but the next time it gets to a song, automatically or manually, there's that delay. Funny that I'm the only one to report this. It must be a combination of settings that  cause this. If I find the fix I'll report back.
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#5
(2019-12-14, 08:00)Klojum Wrote: Interesting. Because no one else seems to have complained on this problem as far as I know.

Nope, there was one such report here and I can confirm this happens for me as well. The effect is barely noticeable in most tracks and not at all if there is a few samples of silence or a fade-in at the beginning. It is less than a second and very hard to show since it would not show up in any logs.

Edit: That said, I tried to find a song where this is very pronounced and I now can't find any. I am on Nightly 18.5 from 2019-12-13 and maybe it has been fixed in the meantime. Will try find the original poster of the earlier report to confirm with him.
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#6
I was thinking of this report 330109 (thread) but that seems to have been fixed in the meantime. At this point OP needs to supply much more detailed info to be able to reproduce.
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#7
(2019-12-14, 20:52)HeresJohnny Wrote:
(2019-12-14, 08:00)Klojum Wrote: Interesting. Because no one else seems to have complained on this problem as far as I know.

Nope, there was one such report here and I can confirm this happens for me as well. The effect is barely noticeable in most tracks and not at all if there is a few samples of silence or a fade-in at the beginning. It is less than a second and very hard to show since it would not show up in any logs.

Edit: That said, I tried to find a song where this is very pronounced and I now can't find any. I am on Nightly 18.5 from 2019-12-13 and maybe it has been fixed in the meantime. Will try find the original poster of the earlier report to confirm with him. 

I have a collection where the songs have no delay at the start, so I've been testing those. The main problem is I don't know if, after the initial play on the song, it is somehow cached in memory so it will play fine the next time (assuming that KODI or the system hasn't been reset).

I seem to have found a connection between the Audio driver setup. I use WASAPI and go through a receiver. I also use the same driver to allow passthrough. If I change the driver to DIRECTSOUND and disable passthrough it seems to correct the problem, admittedly on a very small sample. I'll leave it this way for a longer period of time and see if that helps. What kind of source drive are you using?
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#8
OK, I've done some testing and here's what I found out, at least in my case.

Hardware is a big contributor to the problem, as is the bitrate of the music file. My main KODI system is an Intel NUC with an i5-7260U CPU (2.20/3.40 GHz) running Windows 10. My media files are on standard Seagate Barracuda 8TB drives loaded into a 4-disc USB 3.0 chassis -- not a NAS setup, just a bunch of disks (JBOD). I have MP3s, 16-Bit FLACs, amd 24-Bit FLACs. In this configuration I have the biggest delay, maybe 1/2 second, which is enough to cut off the beginning notes on songs that start quickly. The 24-bit FLACs (at bitrates as high as 3000+ kbps) are the worst. MP3s, on the other hand, see almost no delay. (NOTE: The drive with my music files is the newest drive in the system.)

Just removing the hard drive from the multi-disc chassis and loading into a docking station is a big improvement, but not enough to eliminate the delay entirely on 16-bit and 24-bit FLAC files. However, I loaded a few files on the NUCs SSD system drive, and that did the trick.

I decided to see what would happen on my main system, an i7-8700K 6-CPU system (3.70/4.70 GHz) with a Barracuda Pro (7200 rpm) 8TB drive on the SATA bus. No problems with any media (no surprise).

Other than finding a faster multi-disc chassis and possibly faster drives, I don't see an easy solution to playing the higher bitrate files. Perhaps if there was a way to buffer the beginning of songs before they start, but I have no idea if that is even possible, let alone how to do it.

There's one bit of good news. I changed the delay in the Skip Delay settings in the Player module of Settings to zero, and that had a small yet noticeable improvement, although I don't know why.
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#9
It was most likely from the begining that the issue was something local to your system, thanks for reporting back to confirm that.

High quality sound is important to me, has been for decades (on this forum "audiophile" has a negative connotation used for those with some idiot ideas about digital processing that they agressively rant about, so I'm not going to call myself that!). Frankly I have never heard any benefit from higher and higher bitrates, for my ears at least the CDDA standard hit a sweet spot for what is percievable. There are differences in recordings and mastering for sure, I can hear the difference made by audio equipment including CD transports and digital interconnect cables etc. (as near to snake oil as I go).  So do check first that the pursuit of high bitrate music audio sources is something that you care about and can hear, and then if it is you need to get yourself a system setup fast enough to handle it.

I'm not telling you what you can hear, only you know that, just suggesting you check.
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#10
(2020-01-15, 11:02)DaveBlake Wrote: It was most likely from the begining that the issue was something local to your system, thanks for reporting back to confirm that.

High quality sound is important to me, has been for decades (on this forum "audiophile" has a negative connotation used for those with some idiot ideas about digital processing that they agressively rant about, so I'm not going to call myself that!). Frankly I have never heard any benefit from higher and higher bitrates, for my ears at least the CDDA standard hit a sweet spot for what is percievable. There are differences in recordings and mastering for sure, I can hear the difference made by audio equipment including CD transports and digital interconnect cables etc. (as near to snake oil as I go).  So do check first that the pursuit of high bitrate music audio sources is something that you care about and can hear, and then if it is you need to get yourself a system setup fast enough to handle it.

I'm not telling you what you can hear, only you know that, just suggesting you check.
Thanks for the reply. However, this problems only occurs with KODI. None of my other players (VLC, MPC, SMplayer, etc) exhibit this problem. Besides, 3 Mbps is nothing compared to video, where bitrates can go 10 times that high. There's something in the KODI software at play here as well. This problem has existed over several versions and on different hardware. My previous PC had this problem, and my new one (Oct 2019) exhibits the same problem. I'm not done with my testing, but it's not something I spend a lot of time on. If I find out anything more, I'll post it here.

As far as high-bitrate audio, I agree with your viewpoint on audible differences. However, the issue is that musically the 24-bit versions are usually remastered (and sometimes remixed) versions of their 16-bit cousins. Whether that is an improvement is up to the listener, but they usually sound different.
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#11
(2020-01-15, 15:07)hurricane51 Wrote: There's something in the KODI software at play here as well. This problem has existed over several versions and on different hardware. My previous PC had this problem, and my new one (Oct 2019) exhibits the same problem. I'm not done with my testing, but it's not something I spend a lot of time on. If I find out anything more, I'll post it here.
Yes, it post here.

One thought - how do you initiate playback?
We have recently unearthed a race condidtion that was under certain condidtions causing an audible gap at the start of track playback for the user that reported it. It was Hell to reproduce, so seemed unique to him, which of course is the situation you are in. See 349909 (thread) for interest. It is fixed in the current nightlies of both v18 and v19, maybe try that. Yet you say you have had it since Eden and across several systems which kind of points against it being the same issue (or even a similar one).

So are you using the JSON API e.g. Chorus 2 or Kore, to control Kodi? Is it every track if you queue an album or just the first? Is it from library or file view? All these entail different processing routes through Kodi and so could provide some kind of differentail diagnosis.

I need something more if I am to get a handle on this.
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#12
(2020-01-15, 18:11)DaveBlake Wrote:
(2020-01-15, 15:07)hurricane51 Wrote: There's something in the KODI software at play here as well. This problem has existed over several versions and on different hardware. My previous PC had this problem, and my new one (Oct 2019) exhibits the same problem. I'm not done with my testing, but it's not something I spend a lot of time on. If I find out anything more, I'll post it here.
Yes, it post here.

One thought - how do you initiate playback?
We have recently unearthed a race condidtion that was under certain condidtions causing an audible gap at the start of track playback for the user that reported it. It was Hell to reproduce, so seemed unique to him, which of course is the situation you are in. See 349909 (thread) for interest. It is fixed in the current nightlies of both v18 and v19, maybe try that. Yet you say you have had it since Eden and across several systems which kind of points against it being the same issue (or even a similar one).

So are you using the JSON API e.g. Chorus 2 or Kore, to control Kodi? Is it every track if you queue an album or just the first? Is it from library or file view? All these entail different processing routes through Kodi and so could provide some kind of differentail diagnosis.

I need something more if I am to get a handle on this. 
I just use the basic interface. All tracks. From the library or file view. Hard drive or USB stick. If I play a track for at least 5 seconds, then skip back to the beginning, it starts that track correctly. But only for that track.
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#13
Ummm, there will inevitably be some (slight) delay as sata is bridged to usb.  The docking station thing is interesting though.  I'll dig mine out and shove a disk into it with some high bitrate FLAC's on it and see if I can reproduce.  I have several albums that should play back with absolutely no gaps in the audio.

Perhaps I should add that currently these files are streamed over LAN to Kodi and yet I'm not experiencing any playback issues.  Lets see if the docking station (sata/pata to usb2) reveals anything useful.
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#14
hurricane51:  just out of curiosity, do you have anything your advancedsettings.xml file?
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#15
(2020-01-16, 19:33)helta Wrote: hurricane51:  just out of curiosity, do you have anything your advancedsettings.xml file?

I don't have an advancedsettings.xml file anywhere.
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