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Author Topic: NEW: ZoneSync 2  (Read 14294 times)

JohnT

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NEW: ZoneSync 2
« on: April 13, 2018, 11:29:40 am »

Summary
This new feature allows simultaneous playback of Linked Zones.  At this time, it works best with zones that run JRiver Media Center.

Details
Media Center 24 introduces more precise syncing of audio playback over multiple Media Center zones.  If all zones within a zone link group have this version or newer, they will start playback at the same time. 

Requirements to achieve best results
1. On Windows, use WASAPI audio in exclusive mode, with a buffer size between 25 and 100 milliseconds.
2. Set playback options for each zone to match the image below.
3. Avoid Bluetooth or wifi audio zones or complicated output chains.
4. Play songs at the same sample rate with the same channel setup (stereo).
5. Turn off conversion in Media Network / Add or configure DLNA servers... / Audio / Mode: "Original"
6. No DSP filters.
7. Important: Make sure the DLNA "SetNext" command is not disabled on your remote zones.  On your main zone computer, right-click on the remote zone and make sure the menu choice "DLNA Controller Options / Disable SetNext support..." is NOT checked.  See image below.

There will be a short pause (a couple seconds) for every Play, Pause, Seek, Next, Previous etc. command.  We expect to be able to shorten this pause in the future.

The zone that starts playback is "main" zone and time server for the remote zones.

Manually tweaking the sync
The sync system is a work in progress and you may experience out of sync audio on some zones.   However you should be able to perform a one-time manual sync adjustment to fix it.  On the main zone computer, right-click on a linked zone and select "Adjust link timing..." and then adjust the slider until the audio is synced.  Note that you have to restart playback each time an adjustment is made for it to take effect.



Audio settings




Make sure "Disable SetNext ..." option for remote Media Center zone does NOT have a check-mark by it.

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Goatshade

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 12:28:08 am »

Does this currently work with Linux zones, particularly with Windows as the server and Linux as the client?

As a test, I linked the Player zone on my Windows machine to the one on my Linux machine and initiated play-back on the former. Play-back began successfully on the Windows machine and queued on the Linux machine (I have it set to jump to Theatre View Playing Now on audio play-back); unfortunately, play-back on the latter never started. It hung at the beginning point of the track instead.

Admittedly, my Windows machine is running on wi-fi right now. I plan to buy a couple of MoCA adapters to rectify this later, but...yeah. Full disclosure. This very guide recommends avoiding wi-fi. Is that merely to say that it will work best with wired machines or that it won't work over wi-fi period?

Also, will this work through the cloud exempli gratia I link my zone with a copy of MC running on a computer in Kansas (I'm in Colorado)?
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JimH

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 03:51:15 pm »

It should work on Linux, but the build matters.  Changes have been made in recent Windows builds, so the latest build of MC for Linux would be needed.
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Llannis

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 09:39:02 am »

I played a bit with two bluetooth speakers (I am sorry but its my only option here...). I can see that when no object or person intervenes in between the line of connection both speakers play synced.

I can't figure out how to volume up/down both speakers simultaneously. Could you please help me with that? Can I set one at 85% and the other at 100% and then volume up/down based on those settings?

Also, it seems that sometimes when the next track starts they are out of sync.  At those instances, when I stop and restart playback, everything gets back to normal. I will play around a bit more to see if I can get more specific on this.

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verden

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 09:56:30 am »

I have 2 PCs, 2 Macs, and 3 Raspberry Pis.  I followed these instructions and can get the windows zones to link and the Mac zones to link.  I can't get any  Pi zones to link up with each other.  I also can't get a PC zone to link with a Mac zone. Running 24.0.015 everywhere. 

Any recommendations to try?
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JimH

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 11:36:31 am »

The Pi may not have that capability yet.  Is it an Id or just Linux?  What version of MC?
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Llannis

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 12:24:29 pm »

Hi again,

so I played more with Zone Sync. Of course its functionality has improved a lot since the previous version. I still can't figure out the following,


Volume problem situations:
I go back and forward to Internal/Application/System Volume to understand which I should use at each one of my linked zones. Sometimes when I switch from one zone to another the speaker auto-mutes. When I go to the previous/next, the speaker starts again (it isn't though a specific Volume mode - it seems rather random).

Additionally as I mentioned before can I set one at 85% and the other at 100% and then volume up/down both (simultaneously) based on those settings?

Out of Sync situations :
I played a bit more with the Zone Sync. It seems that, when in playlist, the second (most of the times) or the third song always starts out of sync. If I press stop and then play, everything is synced. If I press to go to the next song, it gets more out of sync. Also, when I press to go to a point towards the end of the playing bar, it also gets out of sync.
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verden

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 04:46:39 pm »

It should work on Linux, but the build matters.  Changes have been made in recent Windows builds, so the latest build of MC for Linux would be needed.

The Linux Builds are 24.0.15, the same as windows and mac builds. If Linux support isn't there yet,I don't think it explains windows not linking with mac.
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ST

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Re: NEW: Zone Sync 2
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 06:52:18 pm »

JohnT, have you tested the MC24 timing with direct sound mode? Only some of my DACs  can do WASAPI. I use direct sound for all except one DAC with ASIo.
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JimH

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 06:59:19 pm »

It may not work with DirectSound.  WASAPI is recommended.
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ST

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 10:47:03 pm »

It may not work with DirectSound.  WASAPI is recommended.

Is this limitation applies to MC24 onwards?
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Llannis

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 03:51:27 am »

It may not work with DirectSound.  WASAPI is recommended.

True. With DirectSound I had in-song out of sync situations. They all disappeared as soon as I used WASAPI. Now it gets out of sync only between songs, as I explained in my previous post.
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ST

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 05:22:35 am »

It may not work with DirectSound.  WASAPI is recommended.

Okay. I managed to get it working with direct sound. The only problem is unlike the previous version in MC24 you cannot do real-time adjustment. But I like the overall stability of the zone syncing.  Thank you JimH.
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Goatshade

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2018, 07:28:28 pm »

What about Linuxóspecifically, Zone Sync between a Windows machine using WASAPI and a Linux machine using ALSA?
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JimH

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2018, 08:07:18 pm »

Should be possible.
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ST

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2018, 03:59:29 am »

Although it is possible to sync all the zones, it is not as reliable as the previous versions for the following reasons:-

1) wasapi only works for limited number of zones. This is the same as previous version. I have had experimented up to 54 zones and MC23 was still able to stay in sync. This including 52 zones with third party convolution engine SIR2. The only limit appears to be the i7 7700 processor which was touching the max. I was using direct sound for all except for the main zone which was Mytekís ASIO.

2) The inability of real time adjust link timing is regressive. It is hard to sync manually as all the speakers are in the same room and need to be adjusted for distance delay.

3) MC23 is already capable of starting all zones simultaneously except at the beginning of the first track. In MC24, it takes about few seconds but they all start in sync. This is a plus for MC24.

4) MC24 no longer self sync when it goes out of sync.  In MC23, if I were to make forced stop and change tracks, sometimes it will go out of sync but usually after a few seconds MC23 will pause and resync itself. This doesnít happen in MC24.

4) somehow, I believe MC24 is making its in adjustment even if I have perfectly synced all the zones. I think it is deliberated compensate the delay in the convolution engine making the system goes out of sync with convolution. 

5) please reconsider the changes in MC24 regarding zone syncing, MC23 is in my opinion the best for zones although it requires initial manual adjustment. Or at least , have an option to have synch as per MC23. JRiver was the only non pro player that could do this complex job but MC24 changed all that.  I am now stuck with MC23.
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dtblair

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2018, 12:39:04 pm »

ZoneSync only works w/ PCM audio.  DSF and SACD iso files only play noise. 
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ST

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2018, 06:42:41 am »


Is it possible to have Zone sync to synchronize in the same way as MC23. I have tried to get the same reliability as in MC23 but MC24 seemed to drift despite starting at the same time. Is it possible to provide an option whether to sync the zones to DLNA or not?  I am now using the MC23.
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astromo

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 11:45:26 pm »

As reported here:
MC24 Zone Switch Using Zone Group
I'm getting a bust with a Zone Link/Sync to an IdPi and with the build development between early May and now, there's been no obvious change that I can see or comment.

Making note of things here just in case the original thread is slipping under the radar with all the other stuff going on in the MC world. Cheers..  ;)

ADDENDUM:
I'm also seeing that the Zone Sync Link is not being retained when I shut down MC. I just had to shutdown my No. 1 rig and when I rebooted, the Link that I'd set up between two functioning zones associated with the PC (S/PDIF Optical and USB) had broken.

For reasons explained in the link to the Id board, I'm looking to set up the system so that it can be easily used by a person with limited technical knowledge of how my hardware / software is configured and needs to be used. ZoneSync offers (as per the "brochure") a good way of facilitating that end.
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MC31, Win10 x64, HD-Plex H5 Gen2 Case, HD-Plex 400W Hi-Fi DC-ATX / AC-DC PSU, Gigabyte Z370 ULTRA Gaming 2.0 MoBo, Intel Core i7 8700 CPU, 4x8GB GSkill DDR4 RAM, Schiit Modi Multibit DAC, Freya Pre, Nelson Pass Aleph J DIY Clone, Ascension Timberwolf 8893BSRTL Speakers, BJC 5T00UP cables, DVB-T Tuner HDHR5-4DT

leof

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Sync problem with seek operations
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2018, 11:03:14 am »

It seems that the sync-functionality has a subtle bug when playback position is moved forwards or backwards using the playback slider. In detail a big synchronization problem occurs (I have observed a mismatch of up to a minute) when the playback position is moved back by the user just shortly before the end of the current track is reached. Two things are happening then:
1.   Despite of the fact that the user intended to go back in the track that is currently playing MC24 moves on and starts the playback of the next track in the list.
2.   The playback of the next track is not synchronal any more however as usually has a mismatch of a few seconds but it can be as bad as a minute.
The occurence of the mismatch is very deterministic although the amount of delay is different. I have used the settings recommended in this thread. The behavior can be observed in both cases where the two zones are setup on two different computers with separate audio device or the two zones are setup on the same computer where each zone controls itís own audio device.

Does anyone have an idea concerning better settings?
Is there a chance to get a bugfix for this problem if it cannot be solved by a proper configuration?

Thank you in advance!
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Mr.WaCko

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2018, 01:18:03 pm »

What is the best way to go if I would like to sync up my windows PC running MC24 and my A/V Receiver that is getting a DSD stream over the network (wired) via DLNA from the same windows MC 24 server.

thanks for explaining
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ST

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2018, 09:19:51 pm »

What is the best way to go if I would like to sync up my windows PC running MC24 and my A/V Receiver that is getting a DSD stream over the network (wired) via DLNA from the same windows MC 24 server.

thanks for explaining

Most  AV cant play DSD files.
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Mr.WaCko

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2018, 05:16:50 pm »

Most  AV cant play DSD files.

Mine can so hence my question
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ST

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2018, 05:55:00 pm »

Mine can so hence my question

Thanks. The world moved so fast. :)
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bigbwb

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2019, 04:30:29 pm »

I tried using the above settings however the two zones do not sync up?  Iíve got a Schiit DAC as my main player/zone and my second zone is DLNA to a Yamaha AV receiver.  Music plays fine but the DLNA device (Yamaha) is a second or so behind.  I adjusted the link timing and it didnít seem to have an impact.  The Schiit is set for wasapi however I have no option to chose it for the Yamaha.  All other buffer settings and etc are set as listed above.

Suggestions?
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bigbwb

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2019, 09:09:25 pm »

Anyone?  I had hoped there was a solution for this.
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RoderickGI

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2019, 09:28:51 pm »

I think if you are using a local DAC and a remote DLNA device, you are using ZoneSync 1. ZoneSync 2 only works between two DLNA devices, as best I understand. This is confirmed by the fact that you have access to adjusting link timing. ZoneSync 2 automatically adjusts timing using DLNA functionality, I believe, while ZoneSync 1 uses the manual adjustment, which always drifts for me.

Have a read of this post to perhaps understand the difference: https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,119139.msg823890.html#msg823890

Perhaps someone else can shed some more light on the subject.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

bigbwb

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2019, 09:37:03 pm »

I think if you are using a local DAC and a remote DLNA device, you are using ZoneSync 1. ZoneSync 2 only works between two DLNA devices, as best I understand. This is confirmed by the fact that you have access to adjusting link timing. ZoneSync 2 automatically adjusts timing using DLNA functionality, I believe, while ZoneSync 1 uses the manual adjustment, which always drifts for me.

Have a read of this post to perhaps understand the difference: https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,119139.msg823890.html#msg823890

Perhaps someone else can shed some more light on the subject.

Thank you, that makes sense if so.  Bummer though.  Hopefully a future revision will allow my scenario to sync up properly.
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jmone

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2019, 12:05:40 am »

From what I understand, ZoneSync2 only works to auto sync between MC Instances.  While there is a SyncPlay() function as part of the latest UPnP specification, unfortunately not a single mfr has implemented it in their DLNA devices.  The Link Timing adjustment should work for the Yami but even if you get it perfectly synced, it will drift out of sync and the next time you play it will be wrong.  It's all a PITA to get Whole House Sync Audio going.  Your options are:
1) Use MC on all your devices so you can use ZoneSync2
2) Use a 3rd party apps like TuneBlade / Airfoil / BubbleUPnP Server / HiFy that can take the ouput of MC then send a stream to mulitple devices and keep them all in sync.  Unfortunately, each of these products support a different set of devices and protocols.  Have a search in the forum as there are a few threads on how to set these up.
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bigbwb

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2019, 01:07:24 pm »

From what I understand, ZoneSync2 only works to auto sync between MC Instances.  While there is a SyncPlay() function as part of the latest UPnP specification, unfortunately not a single mfr has implemented it in their DLNA devices.  The Link Timing adjustment should work for the Yami but even if you get it perfectly synced, it will drift out of sync and the next time you play it will be wrong.  It's all a PITA to get Whole House Sync Audio going.  Your options are:
1) Use MC on all your devices so you can use ZoneSync2
2) Use a 3rd party apps like TuneBlade / Airfoil / BubbleUPnP Server / HiFy that can take the ouput of MC then send a stream to mulitple devices and keep them all in sync.  Unfortunately, each of these products support a different set of devices and protocols.  Have a search in the forum as there are a few threads on how to set these up.

Thanks for clarification.  I will look into the3rd party apps you mentioned!  Tuneblade is out, its only for airplay devices etc..  Airfoil might be feasible though! 
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bigbwb

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2019, 06:09:34 pm »

From what I understand, ZoneSync2 only works to auto sync between MC Instances.  While there is a SyncPlay() function as part of the latest UPnP specification, unfortunately not a single mfr has implemented it in their DLNA devices.  The Link Timing adjustment should work for the Yami but even if you get it perfectly synced, it will drift out of sync and the next time you play it will be wrong.  It's all a PITA to get Whole House Sync Audio going.  Your options are:
1) Use MC on all your devices so you can use ZoneSync2
2) Use a 3rd party apps like TuneBlade / Airfoil / BubbleUPnP Server / HiFy that can take the ouput of MC then send a stream to mulitple devices and keep them all in sync.  Unfortunately, each of these products support a different set of devices and protocols.  Have a search in the forum as there are a few threads on how to set these up.

I posted a query about using airfoil.  What concerns me about it is that it wonít work with Wasapi audio which is how my Schiit DAC works.   I donít want to sacrifice audio quality at all.  Have you heard good or bad using these 3rd party apps?
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blgentry

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2019, 02:09:52 pm »

I can't tell if I'm using ZoneSync 2 or not.  I'm trying to do Zone Link (which uses Zone Sync?) from MC25 on Mac to MC25 on Pi Linux.  Should that work? 

Are there requirements I should know about?  I ask because the directions are Windows specific saying that I have to use WASAPI.

Roderick mentions that the "adjust link timing" should NOT be present if I'm using ZoneSync 2.  Is that true?  I've never seen it documented anywhere else.

Brian.
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blgentry

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2019, 01:00:11 pm »

So.... any ideas at all?  Sorry if my last post seemed overly critical.  I'm just trying to make this work.

Thanks,

Brian.
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JohnT

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2019, 04:07:15 pm »

Sorry for the delay on this.  I just did some testing and it is indeed not working well with an Id Pi we have here.  I tested with a Windows computer linking to a Mac and that was right on, but linking Windows to Pi or Mac to Pi was just not syncing.  More research is needed to track down the cause.  Possibly our max sync delay time is too small for the Pi hardware to handle.  It would be nice if that's the case because it would be simple to fix.
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blgentry

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Re: NEW: ZoneSync 2
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2019, 08:02:05 am »

Well that's actually good news as far as I'm concerned.  Let me know if there's anything I can do to facilitate testing.

Thanks,

Brian.
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