Slow and unresponsive Controllers, is there anything I can do?

  • 18 December 2018
  • 6 replies
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My system is nowdays playing music ok but I still feel the Controllers are generally unresponsive and slow in many ways. This is especially prominent when I play local music files (flac).

- Slow or extremely slow loading of artwork, sometimes artwork will never load for some tracks. But then next time it will load so no actual problem with the file.
- On iOS if the Controller has been inactive for a while it will usually not respond first 5-10 seconds, also in this case artwork will reload, slowly.
- If I pick up a iPad/iPhone with Controller running it will practically never show what I'm playing. It will show the wrong text, the wrong position and the wrong artwork. I will have to wait a ridiculous amount of time until it's correct. The problem exists on Laptop too but not so much as on iOS.
- Very often on iOS the Controller will restart automatically when unit has been unused for a while. And after that restart it will take yet some time for correct artwork and controls to show. Very strange and annoying behaviour.

Observations:
In general streaming services are a bit more responsive in the Controller. But compared to other apps it's still quite slow.
If I play a local file some other way, like an app on my Laptop the artwork and responsiveness is absolutely perfect so there's nothing wrong with my general file system; wireless AP Extreme router with USB-harddrive.

Is there anything I can do about these problems? Seems to me there's not but maybe I'm wrong. Hope so.
System is 2 Play:1, Three ZP90. A mix of iPhone, iPad and Desktop Controller. I tried both Sonos Net and Wifi mode and see no difference in preformance.

Also I can stream Apple TV with zero problems all the time so there's nothing wrong in general with my wifi.

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6 replies

It sounds like you have network issues, probably wireless related. Submit a diagnostic so Sonos Support can take a look.

This type of problem can be particularly obvious with local music, because the artwork has to be fetched via the AssociatedZP. The AssociatedZP is the player from which the controller obtains system information, and isn't necessarily the player which currently has controller focus. If the AssociatedZP is on a weak wireless connection then traffic from the music library out to it, then back to the controller, can be slow.

You can look in Settings/About My Sonos System to see which IP is currently AssociatedZP. It'll change from time to time.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
It sounds like you have network issues, probably wireless related. Submit a diagnostic so Sonos Support can take a look.

This type of problem can be particularly obvious with local music, because the artwork has to be fetched via the AssociatedZP. The AssociatedZP is the player from which the controller obtains system information, and isn't necessarily the player which currently has controller focus. If the AssociatedZP is on a weak wireless connection then traffic from the music library out to it, then back to the controller, can be slow.

You can look in Settings/About My Sonos System to see which IP is currently AssociatedZP. It'll change from time to time.


Thanks, yes that's the standard first way to try to improve things.
However my system has been turned inside out a couple of times now and it's generally playing ok without interruptions, so I'm pretty sure the setup is as good as it can get.

But let me rephrase the question and ask you, if we leave the artwork question, how quickly is your Controller responding if it has been inactive for a longer period? Do you experience app-restarts from time to time? Is your timeline, queue items immediately up to date when you reactivate say a tablet/iPad running the Controller?

If not, what kind of Controllers do you use?
But let me rephrase the question and ask you, if we leave the artwork question, how quickly is your Controller responding if it has been inactive for a longer period?There's typically a brief delay of a few seconds. The operating system needs to reawaken the controller process from the background, and it presumably needs to ARP again to resolve the player IPs to MAC addresses, then refresh its status from the system.

Do you experience app-restarts from time to time?Spontaneously? No.

Is your timeline, queue items immediately up to date when you reactivate say a tablet/iPad running the Controller?Not necessarily, since things could have changed in the meantime. As noted above the controller will need to poll the system and update itself.

If not, what kind of Controllers do you use?Android, iOS, Windows. I always know exactly how the control device is connected to the network, and often what the AssociatedZP is if the traffic path via that device has the potential to impact performance.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
But let me rephrase the question and ask you, if we leave the artwork question, how quickly is your Controller responding if it has been inactive for a longer period?There's typically a brief delay of a few seconds. The operating system needs to reawaken the controller process from the background, and it presumably needs to ARP again to resolve the player IPs to MAC addresses, then refresh its status from the system.

Do you experience app-restarts from time to time?Spontaneously? No.

Is your timeline, queue items immediately up to date when you reactivate say a tablet/iPad running the Controller?Not necessarily, since things could have changed in the meantime. As noted above the controller will need to poll the system and update itself.


Thanks, this narrows it down a little bit. Quite a bit of delays seems to be inherent to the technology (compared to things like streaming directly from an iOS) so that's a question of precerence. I find "a few seconds" being too much. But that's my problem.

The app restarts seems to be for particular combinations of iOS and Controller. I haven't seen it on my iPhone 7 (iOS 12.1), I have it in particular on an iPad Mini2 (iOS 12.1) and quite often on an older iPad 3 (iOS 10 something) all with latest possible Controller. Is this a know problem? I might add the restarts arn't completely spontaneous, the happen when the iPad/iPhone is waken or the app is brought back in front. But you don't experience this either?

Android, iOS, Windows. I always know exactly how the control device is connected to the network, and often what the AssociatedZP is if the traffic path via that device has the potential to impact performance.
What do you mean by this? I connect all iOS-devices to the network via WiFi, the same of course as the Sonos system. Is there any other way to do it than that for iOS? (I know Androids can connect directly to Sonosnet if it is in that mode). Which means do improve performance in response time do you mean I could use?
Android, iOS, Windows. I always know exactly how the control device is connected to the network, and often what the AssociatedZP is if the traffic path via that device has the potential to impact performance.
What do you mean by this?

Well, firstly I run my systems in SonosNet mode, and I know the topology and how good the signal is to each node. And controllers sometimes are configured to connect to an access point close to hand, for example iOS and iPort devices in a distant room use an AP hung off a local Sonos node, which in turn uses SonosNet to backhaul to the wired network.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
Android, iOS, Windows. I always know exactly how the control device is connected to the network, and often what the AssociatedZP is if the traffic path via that device has the potential to impact performance.
What do you mean by this?

Well, firstly I run my systems in SonosNet mode, and I know the topology and how good the signal is to each node. And controllers sometimes are configured to connect to an access point close to hand, for example iOS and iPort devices in a distant room use an AP hung off a local Sonos node, which in turn uses SonosNet to backhaul to the wired network.


I don't get it. Units are moved constantly and I stream differently all the time. I can't see how I could manage this in a practical manner. I also run in Sonos Mode still. How do you do this from a practical point of view?

By the way, did you have any units which restarts when activated, either by waking the unit or brining to front?