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Windows Media Services streaming audio - poor performance

Posted on 2004-04-05
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I am using (trying to use, that is) Windows Server 2003's Windows Media Services component to stream 120kbps audio over my LAN.  I got my publishing point set up and functional (unicast mode) but the performance I experience is absolutely horrible.  The song will start out mostly ok for a couple of seconds, then will slow down drastically and begin to skip a lot, even with only one client.  My server is a dual 400mhz PII box with 448mB RAM, about three or four times as much computer as Microsoft recomends for streaming 1000 unicasts.  The cpu is running <10% and the hard drive (SCSI) is not in constant use (i.e. I think the bottleneck lies elsewhere).  I use another Server 2003 box to route my 100mbps LAN, but I am fairly sure this box is not involved in the slowdown because I am able to listen to streaming Internet radio on the same client I am trying to recieve my own stream with.
Why isn't my audio playing smoothly and at the right tempo?
Have I done something wrong, or is my hardware insuficient?
I'm not by any stretch of the imagination an expert in this particular area, but I can easily provide all sorts of other information and perform suggested diagnostics.
Thank you in advance!
Question by:Suertreus
LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 10763467
120 Kbps for an audio seems too much !

How is the performance if you have server and client on the same box ?

Expert Comment

ID: 10766619
128kbps should not even be close to an issue over lan.  Can you play the .mp3 directly via explorer ?  

Author Comment

ID: 10774369
It doesn't seem excessive to me, but regardless, a 100mbps lan should be able to handle it easily.  I can play the .mp3 using windows media player on the client, but I can neither test the stream nor test playback of the file on the server machine because it has no sound card and WMP won't even attempt to play it.  I shall work on a way to try and play it, however.  Thanks for the input!
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 10774593
yes 100Mbps LAN should handle it without a problem but this is one unicast that we are struggling with ... imagine 1000 unicast clients ... your network will be overwhelmed

Routing within a LAN is not an issue as physical media provides as good as direct connection and card picks up the frames directly from the wire

So the most likely problem is WMP streaming

take a look at fast streaming section in this doc
Windows Media 9 Series Deployment Guide
The 702 Kb doc

Author Comment

ID: 10927412
Thanks for thinking about it, but none of these suggestions has solved my problem.  I found an acceptable solution myself by switching to another program, VideoLAN, which works better, although it experiences some of the same problems very occasionally.

Accepted Solution

modulo earned 0 total points
ID: 11162493
Closed, 175 points refunded.

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