View Full Version : Latency....

01-04-2003, 04:23 PM
This is a cool product, and I can understand the technique involved, but the latency of the response on the client is really unbearable to me.

I admire the programming, but I get MUCH better response running things like RDC for Windows XP, or Citrix Client for OS X on a far site DSL WAN connection my Mac than I get from netTunes on my private LAN at home.

Perhaps there is something that can be done to improve this.

I have an 8000 song iTunes collection with over 400 artists, and man does netTUNES choke when I try to scroll anything.

I was considering using this as a front end for a Mac based Jukebox, but I think I will probably look at the Slim Devices http://www.slimdevices.com/ SLIMP3 product instead. They have an OS X Client that reads iTunes DB that runs their little box, and an IR remote as well. Pretty interesting!

Best wishes!

Happy New Year!

01-04-2003, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the comments, Visitor.

Indeed, netTunes isn't as fast as Remote Desktop Connection or Citrix (same general technique) -- but, for the most part, I find that it's fast enough for this type of application. (Note, though, that Apple's Remote Desktop application does a terrible job in this same situation when used in color mode -- it'll hang the server fairly often, misses updates, and generally stinks.)

I'm currently connected wirelessly to a netTunes server, on a fairly saturated low-speed internal link (bridged over phonenet), and performance is pretty reasonable at the window size I'm using (which has about 22 lines of songs or so). It's not realtime, certainly, but it's more than reasonable.

You might want to see if reducing the image quality (in the preferences) gives better performance for you -- dropping it a few notches will significantly reduce the amount of data sent over the wire, with a corresponding improvement in refreshing speed.

That said, the encoding technique I use is something I've been examining, and will likely change at some point in the future. It's currently sending minimal information, but not necessarily encoding the information as optimally as possible. But, for the moment, see if the quality setting might work for you.

Regarding the SliMP3 -- it's an excellent product. In fact, I contributed to its OSX version with a nice preference pane and installer that will appear in v3.1 (you can find them in the CVS archive now, if you're so inclined). Sean, Dean and the reset of the Slim Devices crew are dedicated guys, and if you've got the $250 to spend, I think you'll be very happy with the product.

Hope that helps -- and let me know if the quality slider works for you.

11-24-2003, 06:56 PM
I'm having some trouble with latency as well. I have a distributed audio system in my home, powered by a Yamaha RX-777 receiver. I connected an iBook to it and configured it as the NetTunes Server. All my music is on a Powermac that is elsewhere in the house. The iBook shares the music on the Powermac via iTunes. All this is done through the Airport Wireless network (802.11b). Then we use three laptops around the house with NetTunes clients to control the iBook. However, if more than one laptop has the netTunes client active, the responsiveness drops off dramatically, almost to the point of being unusable. It seems the only way to access the NetTunes server acceptably is to have only one client open. Does anyone know if this can be improved? Would an Airport Extreme setup fix this?

11-24-2003, 08:16 PM
Well, you're splitting a fairly small pipe between an awful lot of devices.

There are two limiting factors here: the speed of the server (the iBook) and its ability to service three clients, and the network bandwidth required to do that and stream the music around.

I think it's more likely that the iBook is having trouble keeping up with the CPU requirements of netTunes and iTunes and the wireless networking than it is a network bandwidth issue. But it's relatively easy to see: start up CPU Monitor (or Activity Monitor in Panther), and check to see if you're saturating the CPU.

You might be able to improve performance by tuning the display quality -- you'll find that in the netTunes client preferences.

I can say that I have an 800MHz iMac running as the server here, running bridged using two AirPort Extreme base stations (though, previously, I was doing this with PhoneNet). I've connected three clients to it without a huge problem, but the more clients, the more it's going to slow... there's only so much that can be doing with the CPU requirements for copying that much screen data being what they are...