Audible (.aa) files stopping randomly (again)


Userlevel 2
The problem described went away for the last 3 months and has now returned with a vengeance.  Have just submitted diagnostic 4414566.  Thanks in advance.

John

When listening to an Audible (.aa) file, I periodically experience random stops, with the annoying side-effect that the play position returns to the start.  I have only ever experienced this with the .aa files.  It has occurred with multiple Sonos devices.

The .aa files reside on an "always on" Mac Mini running the latest Apple system and iTunes software.

It is purely random - play can go uninterrupted for hours, or the stopping can occur after just a few minutes.  I can handle the stopping, but it is the resetting of the position to 0:00:00 each time that is driving me nuts.

Any thoughts?

John

3 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +3
Hi John, 

in order for us to have a closer look and identify the issue, could you please submit a system diagnostics within 20 minutes of seeing this issue and respond to this post with the confirmation number? 

Also, please specify what room the stop occurred in. 

Regards,

Daniel H.
Ah - it's a relief to see someone else with exactly the same problem I have.  This issue is enough to drive you bananas.

I first reported this under reference 130313-001176.  In exactly the same way that John is describing above, my audio books would randomly cut out.  (Although I hadn't made the link between that and the fact they are .aa files.)  That ticket was closed as 'solved', but it never was.  What actually happened was that I decided the issue was with the NAS I had bought, and I sent that back, but I have exactly the same problem when playing from my laptop (which is Windows 7).  Just now I tried with a Macbook Air (ie. I downloaded the audible audio file to that machine and played it through a SONOS speaker using the app on that machine), thinking the issue must be with my laptop - within 30 minutes of listening, the audiobook just cut out for no obvious reason.
So I think that cuts out a hardware issue.  As for strength of Wifi, I'm not actually using wifi - my laptop is wired into the router, as is the SONOS speaker (via a powerline plug).

Again - as John mentions - the main problem here is that you lose your position in the story.  If you have your phone to hand and get into the Sonos app really quickly you can sometimes spy your position before it resets to the start, so you know where to go back to, but it's a massive pain.

I submitted a diagnostic in my earlier ticket - I got a reference 2360968 for it.
Would be a huge relief if someone could fix this.

John - is there an alternative?  Can you convert .aa files into normal mp3 files in a legal way, do you know?
Cheers,
Ed.
Userlevel 2
Ed - appreciate your frustration.  I can't advise you what to do with .aa files, however a simple Google search will yield some choices.

Sonos - I have done the following "experiment...

I have connected an Airport Extreme directly to a Zone Player.  I then play the .aa files directly from iTunes using Airplay (not via the Sonos application).  This works perfectly, although I completely lose the flexibility of the Sonos app.  What I have noticed is that if I make a Group, the new members of the Group will periodically "fade out" (for no more than a fraction of a second), but the ZP connected directly to the Airport Extreme continues to play faultlessly.  That is the wired connection is keeping contact with iTunes at all times.  So, I conclude the fault is not on the iTunes side.

This suggests to me that, in the normal mode of operation where the iTunes library is linked into the Sonos app, there is something about the playing of the .aa file (DRM? insufficient buffering?) that causes the file to reset to the starting point when a fade out occurs.  I have only ever experienced this with the Audible .aa files; never with .mp3, .flac, or streaming audio.

Cheers,

John

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