Download playback issue

Re: Download playback issue

Postby RatingBandit » Wed May 07, 2014 9:03 am

I'm having the same issue and have alread reported it to the BBC, not that I've received an acknowledgement.....
I can also confirm that it is related to the quantity of downloaded problems you have. I had approx 70GB of downloded progrmammes when I let the iplayer downloads 'upgrade' and is when the issue of tempoary freezing started. In a vain attempt to fix it I uninstalled iplayer and then let it reinstall. To my horror the uninistall removed all downloaded material with no prompting on whether it should be retained. I immediately set about re downloading everything I could.
To my surprise the first few downloads played with no problem. However as I built up a new bank of downloaded programmes (apprx 20GB) the freezing issue resurfaced.

My only fix is to revert back to the old iplayer Desktop, as I never deleted (or suspended) any series records i still have a number of programmes downloading to that. Playback there is fine. I still have to observe the 1 week rule and delete the log and license file and let it acquire new licenses but beyond that it is still running fine and with no freezing.

Lets hope the BBC roll back their 'upgrade' or rush out a fix soon.
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby dilbertron » Wed May 07, 2014 1:01 pm

I've been having the same problem and have managed to find the previous version of the iplayer here. http://bbc-iplayer-downloads.software.informer.com/download/ Version 1.4.1

I copied my iplayer programmes to a folder on the desktop before I removed the new version. After I had installed the old version I put them back in the folder.

I reported the problem to the BBC days ago and haven't even received email confirmation. :cry:
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby Kimmyee » Thu May 08, 2014 1:05 pm

Yes having the same momentary buffering/skipping/ freezing issue during playback as described.

According to the release notes the update was supposed to improve quality of playback!

In addition over the past few days i'm getting total playback freezes, usually I have to shut everything down and start again.
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby shirehorse » Thu May 08, 2014 2:04 pm

Looks like they set the log level set to DEBUG!!!!! Try deleting the log i.e. (\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\BBCiPlayerDownloads\Local Store\app.log) then setting your log level to INFO. If you find the folder with BBC iPlayer Downloads.exe in it then there's a data/config.json file there, change the DEBUG to INFO. It's helped me for now.
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby RichardHancock » Thu May 08, 2014 8:09 pm

shirehorse's suggested fix looks very promising: 24 minutes ago, I started playing a 58min download -- and it's still playing smoothly! :o

My app.log now contains only the initial "INFO" logging, e.g.
Code: Select all
[08/05/2014 20:39:46.882] [INFO]  Starting the network monitor.
[08/05/2014 20:39:46.882] [INFO]  Opening the command line interface
[08/05/2014 20:39:47.042] [INFO]  A network connection to the BBC is available.
[08/05/2014 20:39:47.097] [INFO]  Checking local version 1.7.3 to see if upgrade is required

I'm scratching my head a bit as to why the reduction in logging level (i.e. from "DEBUG" to "INFO") makes such a difference, given that there wasn't a massive amount of logging generated during the stalls (e.g. I was seeing 42 pairs of 2 lines of "DEBUG" logging during each stall). I'd guess the app is looking at the logging level and is doing some additional CPU-intensive processing if the level is set to DEBUG?

Anyway, big thanks to shirehorse for riding to the rescue! :D
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby trevorw » Fri May 09, 2014 3:47 am

Could someone please explain, for the tecnically challenged out here, how to access this log. I followed the links and got as far as Local Store, and then there is an app option, which is simply a large text file, which opens in Notepad. I am not sure where to go from here to change the settings from Debug to Info.
Thanks for any help.
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby RichardHancock » Fri May 09, 2014 10:53 am

@trevorw, who wrote:
Could someone please explain, for the tecnically challenged out here, how to access this log.


Here's what I did on Windows 7:

  • 1. I exited BBC iPlayer Downloads (by right-clicking on the icon in the taskbar and clicking "Exit").
  • 2. I ran a command prompt ("cmd.exe").
  • 3. From my home directory ("C:\Users\Richard"), I changed directory ("cd" command) to "AppData\Roaming\BBCiPlayerDownloads\Local Store".
  • 4. I deleted ("del" command) app.log
  • 5. I closed the command prompt (by closing the window).
  • 6. I ran a new command prompt ("cmd.exe")
  • 7. From my home directory ("C:\Users\Richard"), I changed directory ("cd" command) to "AppData\Local\BBC\BBC iPlayer Downloads\data".
  • 8. I backed-up the current config.json file by copying it ("copy" command) to original-config.json
  • 9. I edited config.json using notepad, replacing the single instance of "DEBUG" with "INFO".
  • 10. (Having saved my changes to config.json) I closed the command prompt.
  • 10. Finally, I re-started BBC iPlayer Downloads.

Hope that's clear enough. (You can probably achieve the same using Windows Explorer -- the folder browser, not Internet Explorer --, but I'm used to using the command prompt. "Directory" in my examples is the old name for "folder".)
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby RichardHancock » Fri May 09, 2014 10:59 am

BTW, I don't think it's strictly necessary to delete app.log.

What's essential is to change the "logLevel" in config.json ("C:\Users\Richard\AppData\Local\BBC\BBC iPlayer Downloads\data\config.json" on my Windows 7 laptop) from "DEBUG" to "INFO", and to do this while BBC iPlayer Downloads is not running (so that, when it is next run, it re-reads the contents of the config.json file.)

Apologies if I'm stealing shirehorse's thunder.
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby RichardHancock » Fri May 09, 2014 11:06 am

Another quick BTW: you typically won't see the "AppData" folder (aka directory) in Windows Explorer, since it's a hidden folder. But, when using the command prompt ("cmd.exe"), you can change to the directory (e.g. "cd AppData"), even though it's hidden. I believe there's an option to show hidden folders in Windows Explorer, though I don't typically use it. (Windows Explorer is meant to give users a "sanitised" view of the "true" folder/directory structure, while the command prompt gives you access to the "true" structure.)
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Re: Download playback issue

Postby fugue » Fri May 09, 2014 1:15 pm

I replaced the 'DEBUG' with 'INFO' and so far I am not having any issues with playback. Thanks for the fix guys - now I can actually watch my expiring episodes stress-free
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