Question

Slow controller startup


Userlevel 7
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My Sonos system suffers from the Controller being slow to start, I mostly use Android on tablets, usually three different ones, and all have the same symptom.

When waking the Sonos app from sleep or starting it if not running, it takes 20 to 30 seconds to populate the screen and before any action can be performed.

Here (diag below) I rebooted my Samsung S6 Lite and started the Sonos app. I’d left it to show the System / Rooms page where the problem is most obvious. It populates the screen with a random room, then adds the others over the next 22 seconds. They appear in what looks to be a random order and with the Room tiles initially overlapping in the display. During the population process the “active” Room bar appears on-screen but the Play button is not functional. At first appearance it isn’t even active, tapping it has no effect. If tapped a bit later it switches to show it has been tapped but still isn’t functional. Waiting a bit more it will change to Play or Pause and the selected Room will follow the command.

I see similar results from my Samsung A2 and Galaxy Tab S3.

No issues playing local or remote music. Network Matrix looks good.

43 MB video

Diag number: 2112127438

 


17 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

 

Sorry for running a bit behind on this but I managed to twist a knee and have been hobbling about for the last couple days.

Corry, I’ll make sure to play some music on each system before sending another diagnostic so you get better data. Looking at your notes:

The Media Room setup has the Arc under the TV with no other WiFi devices nearby. The Sub is sitting on the floor, about 3 feet behind the Arc. The two Play 1 surrounds are a bit odd as I have them sitting stacked one on top of the other, rotated 90 degrees, on a bookshelf about 7 feet high and 17 feet from the Arc. There are no WiFi devices within about 10 feet. I made a bit more room there and un-stacked them but they are sitting side by side, about 3 inches apart, that may help the RF issues.

The Dining Room Play 3s are backed up to a wall that has the Bathroom Beam on the other side, it is almost directly behind the left Play 3. None are easily movable as they are on top of furniture or a cabinet.

The CR_2 One SL is sitting next to a tablet, neither can be easily relocated but I have run an Ethernet to the One SL.

The CR Beam is about four feet from my Unifi AP, I’ve moved the AP to about eight feet away. That will put it about half-way between the Bathroom Beam and the CR Beam.

The Kitchen One SL sits pretty much alone, only other device nearby is my Keurig smart coffee maker, about 8 feet away. It is about 15 feet from the CR Beam and 18 from the Media Room Arc. It sits on an outlet shelf so moving it isn’t possible. It is on a GFI outlet if that could be a source of interference?

The End Table Play 5, I’ll move the tablet near it further away for my next diagnostic.

I have my Ubiquity WiFi on channels 6 and 48. The Sonos Channel 11 RF scan looks good, low use and interference. There is a local dufus on Ch 5 that is pumping a lot of data, 58% utilization which is why I’m on 11 for the Sonos. All the 5 GHz range looks good.

 

 

 

 

ratty, I’ve enabled the Sonos Notifications and it does improve the background to active time from 20 seconds to around 5 seconds on Android. As you say it clutters things up which is why I had it off but it looks like living with the clutter is better than the delay. I’ll have to fiddle a bit more with the widget to see how it impacts things. I have the widget loaded on two of my tablets and it initially looks like it is helping too.

Ken, I think the Android is putting the Sonos App (with notifications off) to sleep if it isn’t on-screen. I’m not sure if there are settings to tweak this or not. I’ll have to go looking to see, then I’ll have to look at the battery usage as I tend to use a lot of battery on my main tablet as I can’t easily keep it plugged in as I do the others.

Mr T, craigski, the powering down to try and segment the issue sounds like a good idea, I’ll have to save that for when my knee is back closer to working.

craigski, I have going through the music services and My Sonos on the to-do list. I may just remove the ones I don’t use rather than fooling with them.

The Amazon Station issue on My Sonos seems to be an on-going problem. I list out the list of stations I have there and try to play each one every time I get aggravated enough about the number of non-working ones. The ones that don’t work get marked and deleted from My Sonos, followed by going off to Amazon and adding them back on. No good idea why they quit working but I suspect Amazon is slightly changing the name of the Station leaving the My Sonos link orphaned.

I checked the AP and saw both 2.4 and 5 GHZ radios were set to high, swapped them to Auto and I’ll see how that goes. The CloudKey shows no issues with any of the tablets or other device’s connections.

controlav, I appreciate the offer of looking at my logs, I’ll have to ask for a rain-check on that as the Windows box is a bit buried and needs crawling under my workstation to hook up. I should have spent the money for more ports on my KVM setup and avoided this aggravation.

 

So bottom line so far, Notifications enabled help when waking from the background.

I’ll pay attention to see if the changes I made (moving/wiring) have any impact.

Thanks to everyone again!

 

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

 

I just got a USB to Ethernet connector so I’ll also be able to try using the tablet direct-wired instead of over the home WiFi. Maybe I’m still seeing Sonos / Ubiquity AP glitches and that will bypass them.

 

 

Not sure how your Unifi is setup, but maybe worth checking the 2.4 radio levels, if on default/auto maybe defaulting to high and the AP(s) will be SHOUTING, when they may not need to depending on your setup. Lots on ui.com, this may help:

https://community.ui.com/questions/what-does-transmit-power-means-and-what-is-the-best/cddd0320-92bf-4936-9e3d-8c4e7d44a6cb

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @Stanley_4 

1/ The satellites in Media Room were on 2.4GHz when the snapshot was taken, as they were idle.

This is a good point. Looking again, I can see the Arc hasn’t played anything for a while and the Play:1 is indeed on 2.4GHz power-saving mode, so given that the packet error rate is current, the interference is likely in the 2.4GHz range, which explains why you are not complaining that the rear speaker is cutting out (it would shift to 5GHz when playing).

Either way, there’s likely a AP or client device closer to the LR speaker than to the others.

 

Your Media Room (LR) Play:1 has the highest packet error rate that I can see, averaging at about 40%. The Sub and Surrounds there are having slightly more trouble communicating with the Beam than the other rooms connecting to it via SonosNet, and the LR surround is having significantly more trouble than the other members of the room, so I think the issue is most likely caused by 5GHz interference near the LR Play:1.

If reducing interference does not help, I’d go for a reboot of the ethernet-wired Beams.

 

I’m curious why the Network Matrix does not show this? ie no red and lots of green on the Matrix?

1/ The satellites in Media Room were on 2.4GHz when the snapshot was taken, as they were idle.

2/ The Beam doesn’t report ambient RF data in the matrix.

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

 

Your Media Room (LR) Play:1 has the highest packet error rate that I can see, averaging at about 40%. The Sub and Surrounds there are having slightly more trouble communicating with the Beam than the other rooms connecting to it via SonosNet, and the LR surround is having significantly more trouble than the other members of the room, so I think the issue is most likely caused by 5GHz interference near the LR Play:1.

If reducing interference does not help, I’d go for a reboot of the ethernet-wired Beams.

 

I’m curious why the Network Matrix does not show this? ie no red and lots of green on the Matrix?

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @Stanley_4 

Thanks for your post!

The first thing I noticed was your diagnostic crashing my Chrome instance. It loaded fine the next time I tried, so, uh, whatever. 😉

Your Media Room (LR) Play:1 has the highest packet error rate that I can see, averaging at about 40%. The Sub and Surrounds there are having slightly more trouble communicating with the Arc than the other rooms connecting to it via SonosNet, and the LR surround is having significantly more trouble than the other members of the room, so I think the issue is most likely caused by 5GHz interference near the LR Play:1.

If reducing interference does not help, I’d go for a reboot of the ethernet-wired devices.

There is also this to consider, but you’ll notice they all say “minor”:

SonosNet is on channel 11, but I cannot see which channels are in use nearby as the system hasn’t done a WiFi scan recently - it might be worth using a WiFi scanning app to check what’s being transmitted near you (if you have neighbours) and move away from overlapping channels being used.

I see no signs of multicast flooding, which is something else that can slow down the connection, so that’s good. 👍🏻

I hope this helps.

 

Edit: I called the Arc a Beam. Corrected.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Using WiFi isn’t a good option for me, my setup doesn’t work well with Sonos. I originally picked up a Boost but since have retired it and wired several Sonos directly.

Opening from a cold boot, starting from a tablet that has been up a while and bringing back from the background all take about the same time. I do have the notifications off and no widget running, both in search of maximum battery life. I can change that on the secondary tablets that are normally left on charge.

I’ve powered down everything and restarted multiple times in the past seeing no improvements.

I do have a Windows box around somewhere. It isn’t used except for getting updates for my Honda’s GPS maps so it will likely be a project to get it up to date enough to runn the current Sonos Controller. I put that on my to-do list.

Not a big system, Wired I have two Beams, and an Arc, SonosNet a Beam, two One SLs, and a Five. Two surround/sub rooms on the wired Arc and one Beam. Four Android tablet controllers. An iPad and Ipod that are used just for TruePlay, otherwise powered off.

That End Table Play Five is a real puzzle, it sits 10 feet from my wired Arc and 15 feet (different directions) from two wired Beams. There is nothing electrical near it except for my main tablet. The Kitchen One SL is further from all three and I have put the tablet and charger next to it but it still shows no interference. I have tried unplugging the Five to see if it made a difference and it didn’t make any noticeable change.

I have a bunch of music services loaded, left over from when I was doing Beta testing, never use anything but Amazon and my Library these days so I’ll look into disabling them. I run my Library on a dedicated Pi computer with an SSD drive so response time there shouldn’t be an issue.

The My Sonos, Stations is nearly full of Amazon links, three Playlists, two Other. I’ll have to go through them to see if any of the Amazon links have changed, that is always frustrating and seems to happen in waves. Worth testing.

I just got a USB to Ethernet connector so I’ll also be able to try using the tablet direct-wired instead of over the home WiFi. Maybe I’m still seeing Sonos / Ubiquity AP glitches and that will bypass them.

craigski - Oh how I wish I could have my CR-100s back, they were a joy to use compared to the tablet App.

 

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, I’ll try to work through them after the weekend and post back anything I find.

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

iOS/iPadOS does discovery a good bit quicker. Android can be sluggish.

One option is to put a Sonos widget somewhere on a home screen. This keeps the service alive, even if the app is dismissed from the Overview/Recent list. An alternative is to enable Sonos notifications, but this clutters the status/notification areas. 

I have the opposite thing happen. The rooms take about 8 seconds to load on my iPad 7 but on my Android phone they come up almost straight away. Odd isn’t it.

By default notifications are enabled on Android, so unless you deliberately disabled that setting the process would remain alive even if the app was dismissed from the recent apps list. 

The size of the system could well be a factor too. I have a couple of dozen devices. 

Maybe that explains it then. I have a fair few rooms/devices too lol. 15 devices in 10 rooms. It’s not an issue but since getting the iPad recently, I did notice it was slower to load the ‘rooms’ screen when opening the app.

iOS/iPadOS does discovery a good bit quicker. Android can be sluggish.

One option is to put a Sonos widget somewhere on a home screen. This keeps the service alive, even if the app is dismissed from the Overview/Recent list. An alternative is to enable Sonos notifications, but this clutters the status/notification areas. 

I have the opposite thing happen. The rooms take about 8 seconds to load on my iPad 7 but on my Android phone they come up almost straight away. Odd isn’t it.

By default notifications are enabled on Android, so unless you deliberately disabled that setting the process would remain alive even if the app was dismissed from the recent apps list. 

The size of the system could well be a factor too. I have a couple of dozen devices. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

iOS/iPadOS does discovery a good bit quicker. Android can be sluggish.

One option is to put a Sonos widget somewhere on a home screen. This keeps the service alive, even if the app is dismissed from the Overview/Recent list. An alternative is to enable Sonos notifications, but this clutters the status/notification areas. 

I have the opposite thing happen. The rooms take about 8 seconds to load on my iPad 7 but on my Android phone they come up almost straight away. Odd isn’t it.

iOS/iPadOS does discovery a good bit quicker. Android can be sluggish.

One option is to put a Sonos widget somewhere on a home screen. This keeps the service alive, even if the app is dismissed from the Overview/Recent list. An alternative is to enable Sonos notifications, but this clutters the status/notification areas. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

It just takes one slow Sonos device to slow down the entire startup process.

Do you have a PC Stanley? If so, try my app: run it, assuming it is also slow then use “Help via email” and I can look at the logs to see if there is a slow device somewhere.

In the few cases I have personally seen over the years, rebooting the errant device always fixes it.

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

I don’t think WiFi speed/standard or processing power is issue. I recall ZP100 & CR100 would load quicker than your video. It ‘feels’ like something is not responding and timing out, causing the delay. Maybe turn half the devices off, and try again, then turn another half off, ie reduce devices to see if its a particular device? Or some kind of ‘stale’ setting (local NAS music service? Obsolete music service, etc) in the config referring to something that doesn’t exist/offline?

 

Userlevel 6

I generally have 6 rooms, with 3 having a wired device. Using either a 2020 iPad Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max it takes 5-6secs for the app to fully load the system from a closed status. If app opened from background then all functionality is immediately available.

If I add some older Play:1s to my system and place them in the spare room, furthest from any wired device, they then cause the app to take longer before it is in a ready state. Talking an additional few secs, but still no where near 20-30secs. 

I think one bad speaker location/connection can cause issues with the app connecting initially.

Similarly, whilst checking my own network matrix, that can fully load within 2secs, however, occasionally I am hit with some interference and the network matrix will take longer to load as it takes longer to establish the connection status for all speakers.

@Stanley_4 - your matrix does look good, with only End Table showing medium interference. That could be causing some of the problem for you. I would maybe experiment with your system by powering down a few devices, then reloading the app to see how long it takes to open. Then power on additional devices and test app again etc. 

The one notable thing I’m doing differently here, is that I have chosen to run all my devices on a WiFi connection, rather than SonosNet. (So no wired devices at all), albeit the WiFi is just the WiFi-5 (802.11ac) older standard.

Perhaps give that a try with your own setup and see if that might make a difference?

I do have approx. 20 different music services installed in the Sonos App and have also run out of available ‘slots’ on the ‘My Sonos’ tab too, so I’m perhaps quite an ‘extreme’ case. I reckon a smaller/newer system might even perhaps startup faster than the setup seen here.

So my thoughts are, now that many Sonos products can now connect over the 5Ghz WiFi band, it might be the case that the 2.4Ghz only SonosNet connection is perhaps causing the delay in device discovery and switching over to faster WiFi might ‘perhaps’ speed things up, a little, for you. (Once the switchover to wireless mode has had time to settle). 

Sorry that the .gif animation isn’t brilliant @Stanley_4, but just to also add, if I go onto minimise the controller app/move it to the background after the initial opening of it, then reopening the controller is of course much faster and it’s ready to go in just a couple of seconds.

So It only takes 8 seconds when opening it from an initial ‘fully closed’ state - after that I usually open it all day long in a couple of seconds from its minimised state (assuming I don’t choose to slide it off screen, that is). Is that not the same for the Android controller App🤔?

The controller device here is an iOS iPad Pro controller device opening 15 rooms - I’ve attached a GIF for you to see. It takes about 8 seconds and can operate the App straight away when rooms are displayed.

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