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Improved network discovery


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As I’ve been using Roon for almost two years, I no longer regularly use Kazoo/KazooServer/Asset etc., but I do run up the betas to try out each time a new one is released. The latest beta of the Linn app has this as one of its changes:-

“New network discovery system to improve the speed and reliability of system discovery.”
 

That might be a solution for anyone suffering the dreaded “waiting for rooms” dialogue, and does show that the folk at Linn consider work in that area was needed. The new system requires that any DSs on the network be at Davaar 81 or higher.

Mick

Edited by MickC
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Linn Kazoo 4.13.82 is also due to be available on TestFlight, promising improvements in network discovery amongst other things.  Notification came via email, but the new app is not yet available via TestFlight.  It should not be too long though.
 

Edited by Ian H
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Anything Linn can do in this area is most welcome. Luckily my home network is pretty stable and I rarely have problems, but I know many folk do. 

For what it is worth, my strategy has been to buy network components from established companies that supply hardware to business rather than boutique audiophile stuff. I also avoid home plugs (Ethernet over Mains) and only use wireless for devices like an iPad or iPhone. I had my network Fluke tested to make sure everything was up to specification and running as it should.

Nonetheless, I had an ISP provided Broadband TV box and this caused problems with Kazoo, Kinsky and some non-Linn apps. The offending item was a Huawei DN360T and so I have added “avoid HuWei anything” to my strategy. With this device on my network my Linn, Samsung TV and Sony BR all became less than reliable. Some diagnostics showed the Huawei held its old IP address even when its DHCP lease had expired: it often requested new IP parameters while retaining ones it had aquired previously. I don’t know who programmed the Huawei firmware, but errors like this give me no confidence whatever in any product they make. The moral is it is not Linn fault, but if Linn can circumvent such problems then that is splendid news. 

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4 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

The moral is it is not Linn fault, but if Linn can circumvent such problems then that is splendid news. 

I’ve always thought Linn’s discovery could be more robust than it is. I’d have ‘waiting for room’ on both iPhone and iPad, but could immediately move to the Lumin app on both devices and all would be fine. Move back to Kazoo or the Linn app and they’d be back to ‘waiting for room’. I’ve never had connectivity issues in 22 months of using Roon on the same networks and devices.

I’ve always done my best to follow Linn’s best practices for networking, but always had intermittent discovery issues. If I was new to Linn and had just spent £30k on the new KDSM I’d be quite angry if I had connectivity problems - maybe that was a driver for the teams to improve things. Whatever the reason, I’m pleased they’re looking into it now.

Mick

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10 hours ago, cspgqqt said:

The keyword here the IGMP query service, I would avoid all routers that do not support this functionality.

Can you explain that in terms that a consumer might understand?  

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I'm not 100% sure how the Linn app works, but if follows the usually standards then it could be like this.

When you power up a Linn streamer it sends out a message on your network saying "Hello I'm a Linn streamer are there any control points interested?". It is important your network switch (or router if you are connected directly to it) does not block this message. The Linn app can hear the message and add it to its list of discovered streamers (Rooms). This is a passive method. 

Alternatively the Linn app could send out a message of its own "Are there any streamers out there?" or "Are there any Linn streamers out there?". The streamer would respond to tell the Linn app is was there and happy to receive commands. 

This is done using Simple Service Discovery Protocol - sends multicast packets using HTTP formatted messages (a bit like a web server). With no intelligence applied the Linn app would query everything it could - e.g. ask your printer if it was a streamer, the printer would ignore this. A Multicast is a Broadcast restricted to subscribers. More intelligent network kit can hold lists of subscribers (the Linn streamer saying "Hello I'm a Linn streamer" has enrolled itself as a subscriber. So it would be target for a query from the Linn app. The printer on the other hand would not subscribe and so would not be a target (the network would not deliver messages from the Linn app to it). Restricting messages can be useful in some circumstances as it reduces network traffic (stops redundant messages). However on home networks, bandwidth is rarely an issue. 

The Simple Service Discovery Protocol is not the most reliable and I have seen notes saying if at first you don't succeed they again. So he Linn app should send out repeated queries before saying no rooms. In particular, I believe there can be confusion if the Linn streamer is in standby.  

I would be very interested to hear from @cspgqqt why the router needs to support Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) for a control point (Linn app) to see a Linn streamer. I realise IGMP is the way to manage subscriptions, but should we need to worry about this on a home network. I would definitely not want a Linn app not on my home network to control my Linn streamer. This is certainly not my area of expertise, although I worked with computer networks for many years, so it'd be great to understand more.

The Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is a network layer protocol that allows several devices to share one IP address so they can all receive the same data. Networked devices use IGMP to join and leave multicasting groups, and each multicasting group shares an IP address. For Linn streamers I believe this is 239.255.255.250 and they on UDP port 1900 for messages from the Linn app. 

Hopefully by pooling our knowledge we can ascertain why some folk have problems and how these can be overcome. I fully understand @MickC and @Nopiano and agree as consumers we shouldn't need to worry about this stuff. If I bought a £30k Linn NGKDSM then I'd expect it to just work. It was much easier with records and CDs. 

@MickC, in saying it wasn't Linn's fault, I should have said it wasn't Linn's fault I chose to stick a dodgy device on my network. Didn't mean to absolve them in all cases. As you say, if the Lumin app finds your Linn kit then so should the Linn app. I don't know how Roon works, but I think it uses its own methods so none of the above applies - I'm just glad it works for those who want to use it. 

Edited by Nestor Turton
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14 hours ago, MickC said:

I’ve always thought Linn’s discovery could be more robust than it is. I’d have ‘waiting for room’ on both iPhone and iPad, but could immediately move to the Lumin app on both devices and all would be fine. Move back to Kazoo or the Linn app and they’d be back to ‘waiting for room’. I’ve never had connectivity issues in 22 months of using Roon on the same networks and devices.

I’ve always done my best to follow Linn’s best practices for networking, but always had intermittent discovery issues. If I was new to Linn and had just spent £30k on the new KDSM I’d be quite angry if I had connectivity problems - maybe that was a driver for the teams to improve things. Whatever the reason, I’m pleased they’re looking into it now.

Mick

I'm pretty confident that the reason that many control points work when the Linn ones don't is that they are connecting via upnp, whereas the Linn ones are using their OpenHome protocol (as does BubbleDS, which is usually even slower than Kazoo for me). At present I use MConnect to get things going, then drop back to Kazoo or BubbleDS later.

The problem with upnp (as I understand it) is that the control point is sending tracks one at a time, whereas the OpenHome extensions (it is built on dlna/upnp) allow a 1,00 track playlist top be loaded to the DS. Thus much more reliable once a connection is established.

I think there is much evidence to show the problems are around multicast, but I don't have enough knowledge (of multicast or OpenHome) to have the faintest idea of the details.

I found Roon dropped out very regularly (one hour max) and then wouldn't connect for ages and there was zero support from Roon (not even an answer from their staff), so I kicked that into the dust. Relying on other users to help paying customers when you charge what they do is unconscionable in my view.

Consequently, if Linn have improved network discovery (must be a support nightmare for them at present - especially with increasingly high net worth customers), I will be very happy!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Solanum said:

I'm pretty confident that the reason that many control points work when the Linn ones don't is that they are connecting via upnp, whereas the Linn ones are using their OpenHome protocol (as does BubbleDS, which is usually even slower than Kazoo for me).

I can’t comment on BubbleDS as I only have iThings as control points (I’ve heard many good things about BubbleDS though), but I do know that the Lumin app uses OpenHome too, although who’s to say Linn’s and Lumin’s implementations are identical? 😁

Mick

Edited by MickC
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7 hours ago, Nestor Turton said:

I would be very interested to hear from @cspgqqt why the router needs to support Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) for a control point (Linn app) to see a Linn streamer. I realise IGMP is the way to manage subscriptions, but should we need to worry about this on a home network. I would definitely not want a Linn app not on my home network to control my Linn streamer. This is certainly not my area of expertise, although I worked with computer networks for many years, so it'd be great to understand more.

The Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is a network layer protocol that allows several devices to share one IP address so they can all receive the same data. Networked devices use IGMP to join and leave multicasting groups, and each multicasting group shares an IP address. For Linn streamers I believe this is 239.255.255.250 and they on UDP port 1900 for messages from the Linn app. 

IGMP manages the membership of hosts and routing devices in multicast groups, and I believe that the Linn streamers using multicast to join a multicast group (given by a class D IP and port(s)).

What I have found is that I always had problem with the Netgear Orbi and no problem with the Google Wifi in finding my Klimax DSM and it turns out the Netgear does not support IGMP.

Edited by cspgqqt
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What’s the benefit in using Multicast? The help button on my KDS advises to switch to Unicast is the network does not support Multicast. Being none the wiser, I switched to Unicast (indeed, it’s the default setting) and can still sync with other DS units on the network. I’m sure I’ve read that Multicast is necessary if you have more than six DS on a network. I may be completely wrong, of course.

’troll

Edited by Moomintroll
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unicast is a form of multicast, except that it is point-to-point. Maybe the Klimax DSM uses unicast for discovery, which may involve IGMP. I am not a Linn sw dev, so I am not sure how/what they implement and as busy as I am at the moment,  I am not inclined to look into the details of Linn design/implementation as long as it works for me when I use a router that support IGMP protocol.

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So the moral is if you have a problem of finding your Linn streamer(s) from your iPad, iPhone, laptop (or indeed any mobile/wireless devices), do not use any router that does not support IGMP protocol, unless Linn fixes it in their latest Kazoo, IMHO.

Btw, I also experience intermittent issue with Roon finding or losing connection to my Klimax DSM on a Netgear Orbi mesh wifi, even my Klimax is ethernet-hardwired but sharing the same LAN.

Edited by cspgqqt
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cspgqqt said:

So the moral is if you have a problem of finding your Linn streamer(s) from your iPad, iPhone, laptop (or indeed any mobile/wireless devices), do not use any router that does not support IGMP protocol, unless Linn fixes it in their latest Kazoo, IMHO.

Btw, I also experience intermittent issue with Roon finding or losing connection to my Klimax DSM on a Netgear Orbi mesh wifi, even my Klimax is ethernet-hardwired but sharing the same LAN.

I’ve used a variety of ISP provided routers over the years - mostly from BT as they’ve been my ISP since the ‘nineties, but occasionally ones from Netgear - and as far as I can discover the BT ones do support IGMP over wired connections, but not over wireless ones. I’ve only ever had my DSs connected physically. The only things that use wifi here, when I’m playing music, are the control points. I don’t know if that’s an issue or not, as any server I’ve used has always had a wired connection to the network and thus the DS too.

Mick

Edited by MickC
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5 hours ago, cspgqqt said:

IGMP manages the membership of hosts and routing devices in multicast groups, and I believe that the Linn streamers using multicast to join a multicast group (given by a class D IP and port(s)).

What I have found is that I always had problem with the Netgear Orbi and no problem with the Google Wifi in finding my Klimax DSM and it turns out the Netgear does not support IGMP.

Netgear Orbi messes with multicast when in 'mesh' or 'daisy-chain' mode, its a lot better if it is turned off. There are some other setting tweaks that help too. Bottom line is that none of this should be required for the Linn systems to work....

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