[pulseaudio-discuss] Network audio stuttering?

Russell Treleaven rtreleaven at bunnykick.ca
Thu Dec 27 14:24:26 UTC 2018

Is there an open bug for this?

On Wed, Dec 26, 2018, 6:41 PM Alexander E. Patrakov <patrakov at gmail.com>

> David Davidović <david at davidovic.io>:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm running a system-wide PulseAudio instance on a headless box
> connected to my speaker system. The sink is broadcast via Zeroconf and I
> use it to play music and movies via WiFi from my laptop. The headless box
> is connected to the WiFi router via a wired connection.
> >
> > Unfortunately, every couple of minutes or so, the sound stutters for a
> short time, then returns to normal.
> >
> > Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to debug the source of these
> issues? My best bet is WiFi latency. I tried increasing the buffer size
> (via default-fragments and default-fragment-size-msec) on both the client
> and server machine but I haven't seen any considerable improvement. The
> actual network packets seem to always be around 1.5K in size, which would
> be around 4ms of uncompressed sound with 32-bit stereo samples at 44.1kHz,
> and that's without any overhead. If my calculation is true, this would
> explain the stuttering, as the network latency towards the machine is at a
> baseline of ~2ms but can spike sometimes due to nature of WiFi.
> >
> Packets are sent in advance, and WiFi cannot allow for bigger packets
> anyway.
> > I'd be happy if there was a way to e.g. tell the native-protocol-tcp
> module to buffer more of the audio and play it, as I don't mind the
> increased latency; I just want to get rid of the stuttering and all
> applications I use manage PulseAudio latency compensation quite well.
> You can't. It's the media player application who requests buffering
> and specifies the latency. However, if pavucontrol is running, the
> latency is capped to something like 20 ms, due to the misguided design
> decision that monitor sinks should monitor what is written right now
> (not what is playing right now).
> What would help is a "pactl list sinks" on both ends while music is
> playing and pavucontrol is not running.
> > Has anyone else had this issue and resolved it?
> Yes, by closing pavucontrol.
> --
> Alexander E. Patrakov
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