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Author Topic: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song  (Read 6953 times)

rknox

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UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« on: September 23, 2014, 12:43:34 pm »

This problem is one that I had when I tried to use MC a few years ago.   I have a library of music files, the majority of which are now ALAC, on a WHS server running WMCv2 (older version of Windows Media Connect that is UPnP compliant).  I use this server to access music from a variety of devices and controllers and it has worked flawlessly for many years.   

On MC20, once I enable "Use Media Network to share this library and enable DLNA", and exit/restart, my UPnP library shows up automatically as an entry under the "Playing from" tab in the left column.   I click on my library (HPServer1:1:Windows Media Connect) and load with the LOAD button.  All my music appears under "Audio" and plays just fine.  The issue is that I have 5 instances of each song.   I have attached a screen shot to show this:  for each song in my server library, 5 url paths are imported, all identical except for the very last portion of the file name.   

I have tried every setting in MC20 - choosing UPnP Server format, changing advanced settings etc, but nothing corrects this problem.   I would like to use MC20 as my computer client, streaming music from my Server, but this redundancy makes it unusable.   When I broached this topic previously on Interact I was told that this is not the intended way of using MC.  However, it seems now that MC is very much designed to recognize servers on one's network (DLNA but also it seems older UPnP) ...

Any assistance in resolving this would be much appreciated.

rknox   
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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 12:04:19 pm »

This problem is one that I had when I tried to use MC a few years ago.   I have a library of music files, the majority of which are now ALAC, on a WHS server running WMCv2 (older version of Windows Media Connect that is UPnP compliant).  I use this server to access music from a variety of devices and controllers and it has worked flawlessly for many years.   

On MC20, once I enable "Use Media Network to share this library and enable DLNA", and exit/restart, my UPnP library shows up automatically as an entry under the "Playing from" tab in the left column.   I click on my library (HPServer1:1:Windows Media Connect) and load with the LOAD button.  All my music appears under "Audio" and plays just fine.  The issue is that I have 5 instances of each song.   I have attached a screen shot to show this:  for each song in my server library, 5 url paths are imported, all identical except for the very last portion of the file name.   

I have tried every setting in MC20 - choosing UPnP Server format, changing advanced settings etc, but nothing corrects this problem.   I would like to use MC20 as my computer client, streaming music from my Server, but this redundancy makes it unusable.   When I broached this topic previously on Interact I was told that this is not the intended way of using MC.  However, it seems now that MC is very much designed to recognize servers on one's network (DLNA but also it seems older UPnP) ...

Any assistance in resolving this would be much appreciated.

rknox   

Reposting.  From the JRiver Wiki, my HPSERVER1 is a DMS and I simply want MC to be a player (DMP).  When I mouse over my server entry under "playing from" it reads:  "Click to load or configure this library.  '<server>' is a DLNA library from a device on the network."   I realize that the settings I referenced above configure servers created within MC and therefore probably do not apply to my external server.  Yet, the problem remains.  Anyone?
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AndrewFG

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 12:57:23 pm »

I have tried every setting in MC20 - choosing UPnP Server format, changing advanced settings etc, but nothing corrects this problem. I would like to use MC20 as my computer client, streaming music from my Server, but this redundancy makes it unusable.

When MC loads a library it executes a series of UPnP ContentDirectory:Search commands on your library server, and it includes each individual url that the library server returns in its responses. In other words, it is not an MC issue but rather an issue with your library server. Most probable reasons why a library server would return multiple urls for the same track are probably due to tagging inconsistencies: if for example the track is tagged as belonging to more than one album, or genre, or album artist, then the server is probably supplying MC with a url for each combination.


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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 04:33:49 pm »

Quote
When MC loads a library it executes a series of UPnP ContentDirectory:Search commands on your library server, and it includes each individual url that the library server returns in its responses. In other words, it is not an MC issue but rather an issue with your library server. Most probable reasons why a library server would return multiple urls for the same track are probably due to tagging inconsistencies: if for example the track is tagged as belonging to more than one album, or genre, or album artist, then the server is probably supplying MC with a url for each combination.

Thanks Andrew for your reply.  However, I am seeing 5 copies of the url for each and every song file in the library - consistently 5.   That would make multiple tagging problems seem unlikely.  Furthermore, mc is the only rendering/player device where this happens.   For what its worth, I tried setting up a wmp 12 dlna server and mc works fine as a player (single url reference to each song.) for that.

I know that wmc (windows media connect) is an older uPnp implementation.  Again though, if I use wmp 12 (or various other devices) as a client/player for my wmc based library server, everything works as it should.   So it would seem that mc does not support wmc for whatever reason - even though most other players/clients/renderers seem to treat it just like another uPnp server.  I wonder:   Has anyone at JRiver tried to use wmc as a server?
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AndrewFG

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 12:52:51 am »

 So it would seem that mc does not support wmc for whatever reason - even though most other players/clients/renderers seem to treat it just like another uPnp server.  I wonder:   Has anyone at JRiver tried to use wmc as a server?

The correct observation is "it would seem that WMC does not (properly) support MC" ..

To find out more, you would need to give us a WireShark capture of your CDS:Search transaction.


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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2014, 03:52:50 pm »

Quote
[The correct observation is "it would seem that WMC does not (properly) support MC"quote]

Andrew, well in any case it seems the two don't play well, and wmc v2.0 is a uPnP server, isn't it?   I reinstalled a version of Asset uPnP and it works with MC, and meets my other requirements as well so I am OK in this area.

This has led to my next issue, again one which I have raised before with JRiver but didn't really get a clear answer.   It goes like this:
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AndrewFG

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2014, 03:59:52 pm »

^

Seems to be an incomplete post. Please try again...
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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 04:15:35 pm »

Reposting in full ...
Quote
[The correct observation is "it would seem that WMC does not (properly) support MC"
Quote

Andrew, well in any case it seems the two don't play well, and wmc v2.0 is a uPnP server, isn't it?   I reinstalled a version of Asset uPnP and it works with MC, and meets my other requirements as well so I am OK in this area.

This has led to my next issue, again one which I have raised before with JRiver but didn't really get a clear answer.   It goes like this:
      - Using Asset uPnP now as an external Server, I can play music files in MC (MC as player)
      - Using the main default library (with music files on my local machine), I can select a Roku Soundbridge as a zone/renderer/remote player - this also works OK
      - However, when I select Asset uPnP as the Server, and the Soundbridge as the zone/renderer (implying MC as controller), I cannot get music to play.
While I can see many uses for MC (async local playback etc), for it to have general value to me, I want to be able to use my external server (asset uPnP now), where all my music is, and direct that music to my choice of renderer.   It would seem that MC has all the individual pieces (server, renderer, controller) and should be capable of this task - is this true or not?   It certainly seems from the dlna TV examples that it is plausible that the Server would be external.   

I am further confused because when I have success using local files and sending to the Soundbridge, it doesn't seem to matter what advanced settings are used for the dlna (MC) legacy uPnP server that is associated with the Soundbridge - which makes me wonder whether tweaking these settings will make any difference in the external Server/Soundbridge/MC as controller scenario. 

Please advise.

Thanks,
   Ralph   
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JimH

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 04:25:46 pm »

To quote a post, put quote and /quote before and after, enclosed in square brackets.  Reply before or after.
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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 04:40:23 pm »

Quote
To quote a post, put quote and /quote before and after, enclosed in square brackets.  Reply before or after.

Thanks, messed up that last one.
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AndrewFG

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 12:50:36 am »

Andrew, well in any case it seems the two don't play well, and wmc v2.0 is a uPnP server, isn't it?   I reinstalled a version of Asset uPnP and it works with MC, and meets my other requirements as well so I am OK in this area.

This has led to my next issue, again one which I have raised before with JRiver but didn't really get a clear answer.   It goes like this:
      - Using Asset uPnP now as an external Server, I can play music files in MC (MC as player)
      - Using the main default library (with music files on my local machine), I can select a Roku Soundbridge as a zone/renderer/remote player - this also works OK
      - However, when I select Asset uPnP as the Server, and the Soundbridge as the zone/renderer (implying MC as controller), I cannot get music to play.
While I can see many uses for MC (async local playback etc), for it to have general value to me, I want to be able to use my external server (asset uPnP now), where all my music is, and direct that music to my choice of renderer.   It would seem that MC has all the individual pieces (server, renderer, controller) and should be capable of this task - is this true or not?   It certainly seems from the dlna TV examples that it is plausible that the Server would be external.   

I am further confused because when I have success using local files and sending to the Soundbridge, it doesn't seem to matter what advanced settings are used for the dlna (MC) legacy uPnP server that is associated with the Soundbridge - which makes me wonder whether tweaking these settings will make any difference in the external Server/Soundbridge/MC as controller scenario.

Why do you want to use Asset and WMC and MC in combination? It seems totally masochistic. If you want a clean solution that works well together then use MC for everything.
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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 10:14:41 am »

Quote
Why do you want to use Asset and WMC and MC in combination? It seems totally masochistic. If you want a clean solution that works well together then use MC for everything.  

Well, I don't need to use Asset AND WMC.   My music sits on a Server where it can be used by other applications easily - which supports access methods the rest of my family are used to and comfortable with.  I'm confused by your inference that employing a dlna model is masochistic ...  I suppose I could import all my music into a MC library, but this seems to be overkill when MC recognizes a dlna music server on my network.  And would this resolve my problem?  Can you offer any ideas why what I'm trying to do doesn't work, or at least clarify what MC can and can't do?  Your Wiki describes scenarios that appear to support a full dlna configuration:  with external TV content servers, MC in the middle, and Sony etc TVs as the renderer.   Isn't this essentially what I am trying to implement with audio?  

Thanks,
   Ralph
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AndrewFG

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 10:31:53 am »

You can run MC as the UPnP server on your server machine, and also run MC as a UPnP renderer on another machine, and indeed run MC as a UPnP control point on yet another machine. Or you can do basically all of the above (using UPnP) in any combination on one or more machines. Furthermore you can use the MC applications on iThingy or on Android phones & tablets as additional control points. That way you get a fully integrated environment that works together more or less out of the box.

Of course you can also combine different UPnP servers with different UPnP control points and with different UPnP renderers and different tablet apps. But in that case you will probably have to spend more time on this forum, and probably also more time on the respective fourms of those other applications in order to get things to work. Its your choice..

By the way, it seems that you have dropped using WMC, so I take it that you don't want anybody to waste any more time trying to help you with solving that particular problem. Or ??

Your Wiki describes scenarios

By the way, I don't work for JRiver, so it is not "my Wiki" ...


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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2014, 01:53:39 pm »

Quote
You can run MC as the UPnP server on your server machine, and also run MC as a UPnP renderer on another machine, and indeed run MC as a UPnP control point on yet another machine. Or you can do basically all of the above (using UPnP) in any combination on one or more machines. Furthermore you can use the MC applications on iThingy or on Android phones & tablets as additional control points. That way you get a fully integrated environment that works together more or less out of the box. 

Andrew, this is great to know.  However, not sure I am ready for wholesale changes to things that are already working.  Furthermore, it seems that what I am trying to resolve is a subset of the picture you paint.  I need to start somewhere.

Quote
Of course you can also combine different UPnP servers with different UPnP control points and with different UPnP renderers and different tablet apps. But in that case you will probably have to spend more time on this forum, and probably also more time on the respective fourms of those other applications in order to get things to work. Its your choice..

Well that is what I am doing.  I am looking for some insights which might help.  Do you have any ideas as to why I can't play to a Soundbridge renderer using the Asset Server Stream?

Thanks,
    Ralph

Quote
By the way, it seems that you have dropped using WMC, so I take it that you don't want anybody to waste any more time trying to help you with solving that particular problem. Or ?? 

Yes, per previous post, I tried Asset uPnP because I happened to have a license to it.   
Quote
"rknox":  Andrew, well in any case it seems the two don't play well, and wmc v2.0 is a uPnP server, isn't it?   I reinstalled a version of Asset uPnP and it works with MC, and meets my other requirements as well so I am OK in this area 

Quote
By the way, I don't work for JRiver, so it is not "my Wiki" ...

My apologies, I took "MC Beta Team" to mean you worked for JRiver.   I take it you are just Beta testing ...   So, are there JRiver folks who respond to inquiries in this forum, or is it user community only?

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gvanbrunt

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2014, 02:23:48 pm »

Hi Ralph,

Andrew is an end user of JRiver products and he KNOWS his stuff when it comes to DLNA etc. He probably has a better idea than most people who have written software for it - and Andrew has written DLNA software. The reason I say that is because a vast majority of DLNA implementations are wrong or just plain flaky. The spec is iffy in certain places as well so in general there are a lot problems with interoperability between products. There are many, many broken devices\software out there when it comes to DLNA. Don't assume because there is some UPnP or DLNA label on something that it will work without issue.

As for MC, it has one of the best DLNA implementations on the market. In fact you can actually tweak certain things so that it works better across various other products. You can't do that with most other software. That is why Andrew is suggesting using it for the server portion.

If you want to make things work better for yourself, his advice is a good place to start. He can probably help you sort out the DLNA hell that you going through. And the best place to start is by using a DLNA server that is reliable and and can be adjusted to work with various devices...
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BryanC

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2014, 02:25:17 pm »

Quote
My apologies, I took "MC Beta Team" to mean you worked for JRiver.   I take it you are just Beta testing ...   So, are there JRiver folks who respond to inquiries in this forum, or is it user community only?

You replied to the CEO of JRiver just a few posts above.
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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2014, 01:19:12 am »

Hi Ralph,

Andrew is an end user of JRiver products and he KNOWS his stuff when it comes to DLNA etc. He probably has a better idea than most people who have written software for it - and Andrew has written DLNA software. The reason I say that is because a vast majority of DLNA implementations are wrong or just plain flaky. The spec is iffy in certain places as well so in general there are a lot problems with interoperability between products. There are many, many broken devices\software out there when it comes to DLNA. Don't assume because there is some UPnP or DLNA label on something that it will work without issue.

As for MC, it has one of the best DLNA implementations on the market. In fact you can actually tweak certain things so that it works better across various other products. You can't do that with most other software. That is why Andrew is suggesting using it for the server portion.

If you want to make things work better for yourself, his advice is a good place to start. He can probably help you sort out the DLNA hell that you going through. And the best place to start is by using a DLNA server that is reliable and and can be adjusted to work with various devices...

Thanks GvanBrunt.  I saw Andrew's link to the WhiteBear media server, so I'm certainly not questioning anyone's technical ability.   That said, not sure I am getting the answers I am looking for - I am going to post a separate reply.

-Ralph
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rknox

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Re: UPnP (dlna) Server Problem - Multiple file/paths for each song
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2014, 01:20:28 am »

You replied to the CEO of JRiver just a few posts above.

Yup, put 2 and 2 together there. 
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rknox

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More discovery, more testing, still disappointed
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2014, 02:46:23 am »

So, as Andrew pointed out the merits of MC as standalone Server, player, controller etc, I thought I would take him to task and try the "all MC" solution.   I was pleasantly surprised to discover that MC installs on WHS v.1 - not sure if that is recent but allowed me to try MC as a Server very quickly.   It would be really cool if MC could be installed as Server software (no session, add-in,  or at least no need to keep it open once you have a dlna server defined) but certainly not a show stopper.   

With dlna turned on, legacy uPnp server enabled etc, I went back to my client install and loaded the MC (legacy uPnp) server.  Now, as advertised, I am able to choose a Soundbridge client and "play to" without any issues.   As a simple controller configured with an MC Server, things seem to work quite smoothly.   So, what's the first thing you want to do once you have control of a client?  Synchronize play to another client!!  I linked my two Soundbridges together and presto, err, - out of sync, not really even listenable, music in two different rooms.   Sorry, but let's face it, the main reason to have a control point is so that you can achieve multi-room playback. 

I like MC.  I will probably finally buy it, but given all the commitment to dlna and zones, I am disappointed that a viable synchronizing mechanism has not emerged.  I have to bring up Cidero again.  I know JRiver knows Cidero because when I google it, I get forum discussions on the topic from JimH.   I don't know much about who wrote Cidero (uPnP control point), but this little Java based program still works (almost, not quite) perfectly for the use case that I have been searching for: easy to use multi room control.   Cidero is really long in the tooth - no development on it in 5+ years, but it very nicely allows for multi-uPnp device synchronization.  It isn't perfect - it uses a kludgy method to simulate "broadcast" of streams -- BUT - it works well enough that I can still consistently use it.  I would think that the basic concepts in Cidero could be replicated in MC ....  .   Back to MC, even linking a Soundbridge and Player (PC) doesn't work well.  Now you have the ability to adjust the delay, but I could not consistently adjust the playback to converge on a synchronized experience.

For me, and I know there are many different views and interests out there, it comes down to 3 use cases:

1.  I am sitting in my living room and I want to access my music collection and play it through my modest stereo.  For this, the Soundbridge (or your favorite client hardware) is still the preferred solution because it works reliably with just about any Server software out there.  Yeah, I can now do this with AirPlay (I know, saw the posts elsewhere in this forum), but always nice to have a play method that stays in the room and doesn't require a smart phone etc.   One thing I don't want in this use case is a PC, so remote access/streaming is a must.   The fact that I can "play to" my living room from my MC client in another room is nice, but not really convenient.

2.  I am at my PC and I want to experiment with hi-res audio, browse and explore with a good media player, or just listen to music while working.   For this, I think MC is the best product ever.  It is for this reason I will buy the product.  Why haven't I until now?   Mainly because I haven't had the audio gear on my desktop to really appreciate "computer audio".  But I will get there.

3.  Multiroom Audio.   It seems this is the holy grail of computer audio.  Let's face it, you either lead wires from your main receiver all over the house (very 20th century), or you get some type of networked audio going.   Full disclosure, for multiroom, I gave up on uPnp, even my Soundbridges, when I realized what AirPlay can do (again, I know there is no shortage of discussion on Apple vs dlna).   In my living room I have an airport express with digital output.  In the home theater (well actually its the family room) I have a choice of AppleTV or my HTPC with a 3rd party Airplay emulator, and on my PCs I have other similar emulators.   Presto, perfectly in sync whole house, multiroom audio, with control point from my wife's iPhone or my ipad or whatever.    I can still use the Cidero software if I want to link up my Soundbridges and kinda get there as well, but as I said, I gave up - too awkward.   I was hoping (I keep hoping) that a dlna solution will emerge for this use case, but it would seem after 5+ years, it isn't happening.

In summary, Andrew, using all the MC pieces doesn't solve the problem.   If JRiver figures out audio syncing, well, then they have a formidable value proposition.  Until that time, my solution is a dual one:  Airplay for the multiroom tasks (and a few other conveniences) and use my uPnP/dlna server model for everything else. 

P.S.   One other use case - HTPC/Media Center.   I am still hobbling along with Windows Media Center.  I see that (JRiver) MC is getting better all the time with support of cable tuners etc.  This will probably prove to be my 2nd big use for MC - so I can finally retire windows media center. 

Cheers,
  Ralph
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gvanbrunt

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Re: More discovery, more testing, still disappointed
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2014, 09:49:42 am »

 It would be really cool if MC could be installed as Server software (no session, add-in,  or at least no need to keep it open once you have a dlna server defined) but certainly not a show stopper. 

You can sort of do this. Most people think of a service when it comes to "server" software. You can't run it as a service, but there is a something called Media Server: http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Media_Server. It does require a session since it isn't a service, but that isn't too hard to do automatically either. You can configure windows to automatically log on as a certain user on boot. Google can help you with that.

Andrew can probably answer better, but as far as I know DLNA does not support sync very well. Anything that has been developed is a a hack and you can't count on it working correctly. MC however does support syncing zones. You would need JRiver on each client, but I've used it and they did sync. Here is some more info here:

http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=84006.0

In my personal opinion DLNA sucks. It mostly doesn't work correctly any time I've tried to do anything other than simple operations with it. I'm not speaking of DNLA with MC either. I've tried between many "certified" DLNA devices. I use it when I have to, but I use MC's direct features for anything else. DLNA held (holds) much promise but hasn't really delivered.

I know that doesn't help you, but my advice is to drop dlna/upnp for anything to do with sync. I'd rather eat broken glass... :) At that point perhaps someone here can offer some advice on how to proceed with MC and Airplay type devices? I know how to do most things in the Android and windows worlds, but I don't use any airplay products.
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AndrewFG

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Re: More discovery, more testing, still disappointed
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2014, 10:13:55 am »

In summary, Andrew, using all the MC pieces doesn't solve the problem. If JRiver figures out audio syncing, well, then they have a formidable value proposition.  Until that time, my solution is a dual one:  Airplay for the multiroom tasks (and a few other conveniences) and use my uPnP/dlna server model for everything else.

Thanks for the feedback.

To be fair the synching issue is not really something you can blame on MC. It is a known weakness in the v1 release of the UPnP Digital Media Renderer specifications. The writers of those specifications acknowledged the weakness by adding a PlaySynchronized method in v2 of the specifications in addition to the regular Play method in v1 of the specifications. However to be frank I have never yet seen either a Digital Media Renderer that implements PlaySynchronized nor a Control Point that can issue that command. But I suppose that one day it will come.

I don't really know Cidero (I tested it once a long time ago) but I am interested in what you say about it simulating a broadcast methodology. Can you explain in a bit more detail how it works?

The only way that I can imagine such a simulated broadcast process working would be for the UPnP Http server to throttle its served output to two renderers so that it feeds the faster of the two renderers with interpolated data until the slower renderer has caught up. But that would most likely sound like cr*p..

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rknox

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Re: More discovery, more testing, still disappointed
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2014, 04:55:06 pm »

You can sort of do this. Most people think of a service when it comes to "server" software. You can't run it as a service, but there is a something called Media Server: http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Media_Server. It does require a session since it isn't a service, but that isn't too hard to do automatically either. You can configure windows to automatically log on as a certain user on boot. Google can help you with that.


Thanks for pointing this out.  I have seen a similar approach with some other media players.  Having a session open isn't a big deal as, over time, I have had to maintain a session for other things I want to have as a service.  Will give it a try.

Ralph

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rknox

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Re: More discovery, more testing, still disappointed
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2014, 05:15:29 pm »

Thanks for the feedback.

To be fair the synching issue is not really something you can blame on MC. It is a known weakness in the v1 release of the UPnP Digital Media Renderer specifications. The writers of those specifications acknowledged the weakness by adding a PlaySynchronized method in v2 of the specifications in addition to the regular Play method in v1 of the specifications. However to be frank I have never yet seen either a Digital Media Renderer that implements PlaySynchronized nor a Control Point that can issue that command. But I suppose that one day it will come.

I don't really know Cidero (I tested it once a long time ago) but I am interested in what you say about it simulating a broadcast methodology. Can you explain in a bit more detail how it works?

The only way that I can imagine such a simulated broadcast process working would be for the UPnP Http server to throttle its served output to two renderers so that it feeds the faster of the two renderers with interpolated data until the slower renderer has caught up. But that would most likely sound like cr*p..



Yeah, I understand it goes beyond MC.  I guess my point was that one (not the only) reason I was drawn to MC was their recognition conceptually of zones and devices and the importance of being able to "move music around".  And I also understand that MC offers other PC to PC syncing which I believe offers a superior experience - this just isn't my primary need.  So it just disappoints that having created such a great concept, if falls short in the one area that there really is a need for.   And while as you point out it is a failing of the uPnP/dlna specification, my experience using Cidero led me to think that something a little better (or at least a real product like MC with something like Cidero) was just around the corner.

My Cidero experience is really quite good.  Sometimes the responsiveness of the control itself is not that great.  So what I used to do (before AirPlay) was set a playlist in motion (synced) and then just let it be.
I will dig around for the author's description (I think I saved his web pages somewhere a few years back) of how he implemented it.  Something about using a proxy server to control the distribution of packets so that the devices get the start message at the same time.   Of course, my use has been with 2 identical Soundbridge's and the author warned that trying to sync dissimilar devices would be less reliable.

I do think there is a real opportunity for someone to get syncing right.

Ralph
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