Audio Skips every few minutes [Low Power]

Just installed OSMC on a RPi2 hooked up to an official RPi display to replace my ageing Squeezebox Classic. It all works very well with one annoying flaw, every now and again the audio will freeze/skip for a fraction of a second. Even worse its not a consistent problem so very difficult to diagnose. My Kodi install on the PC doesn’t do this so I’m assuming its OSMC/PI related? I don’t want to have to constantly reboot the device to solve issues like this if possible, my plan was to leave it powered on pretty much 24/7.

Has anyone else had this issue, perhaps with a fix?

Are you using analogue or hdmi audio?
Can you test with a hdmi (or composite) display to confirm if the issue is LCD specific?

Thanks for the response popcornmix (love the visuals btw!) Sorry should also have mentioned that I’m using the IQAudio Pi-DAC+ (analogue RCA), this is selectable as an output device in the settings in OSMC.

Since my original post I have been investigating and noticed a couple of things, one related and one less so:

  1. I disabled the 3D Spectrum screensaver and It seems to have certainly helped the issue, The skipping is all but gone (but not completely). I notice that when it skips the little multi-coloured ‘activity’ icon is present in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. The device randomly disconnects itself from the WiFi connection but this doesn’t happen often at all.

I should also have probably mentioned that I am either streaming music from my NAS (nfs?) or streaming straight from the internet using an installed add-on. When the skipping happens it doesn’t seem to matter whether the source is the NAS or the 'Net.

Check your power supply! The multicolored “activity icon” in the top right is a low power warning and could be the cause of the skipping as well as the wifi disconnecting.

This fits with the disabling of the visualisation as the gpu needs less power without it.
Probably powering the wifi adaptor, external dac and other peripherals brings your powersupply to the limit.

ah, didn’t realise that was a low power indicator. I have the official Pi 2A power supply and I understood this would be sufficient to power all three items, the only peripheral is the USB WiFi dongle, again the official Pi one.

Looking at the usual websites there doesn’t seem to be any supplies that offer more than 2A power. Unless I can find a micro USB supply with a higher power rating I suppose my only option is to plug a second supply into the display?

Do not use 2 powersupplies on the same Pi unless they are not connected to each other in any way.
Their slight differences might make them destroy each other.
It could be that your powersupply is just faulty. Happens from time to time.
Try to use a different one like a phone or tabletcharger and see if the icon is still present.

You can also try to unplug the dac, wifi or display and see if it makes a difference as that is powered by the supply too, I guess.
A separate supply for the display might be a good idea though if it is not connectey to the pi powerlines.

Lowering the backlight brightness of the display might also help if it is powered from the same psu.

The display control board and pi are not connected for power ie via GPIO, the pi takes it power via a USB patch cable from the display control board. I could use a separate supply for the pi and display (but would obviously rather not). As far as I am aware there is not yet a way to control the brightness of the backlight on the official display??

Thanks for the tips, I will keep investigating.

I think I have seen 3A plugs on amazon.
There are also universal powerbricks with up to 100W@5V used for led strings that can work. But that would not save a lot of space over two 2A plugs.

I think ill try a different supply first, I found a thread that suggests the official screen only draws around 470mA and id be surprised if the Pi, dongle and DAC were eating the rest of the1500mA between them?

Ive read of the Pi having a ‘polyfuse’ rated at 2A, just concerned about dragging too much power through the pi!

Ok so I’ve plugged in my old Chromebook Charger (5.25v/3A) and the power icon is no longer appearing. However, I’m still getting random freezing of the audio stream. I’m also seeing random disconnects from the WiFi as well i.e. disconnecting and not automatically reconnecting. I’m using the official RPi WiFi dongle so I’m assuming its not that that’s causing the problem. The unit is not close enough to my router to make using Ethernet a practical option in the long term but I suppose I need to try it to see if its the WiFi signal that’s causing the skipping unless there is another way to tell if its the WiFi connection that’s causing the skipping?

Have you enabled max_usb_current in MyOSMC pi config settings?

Tried to but the little check box doesn’t stay ‘checked’. If I ‘OK’ the change, come out of the PiConfig dialogue and then go back in, it has reverted back to being unchecked… Is that normal?

Can I just add the line to the file manually? Is it just max_usb_current=1?

Yes, you can :relaxed:

Ok so tried all of the above: More power, usb_max_current enabled. I’ve reset the router a couple of times and still no luck, audio skipping and WiFi completely dropping out and won’t reconnect without a reboot and sometimes it completely fails to login to the SSID despite me entering what is blatantly the correct password.

I would have thought me using the ‘official’ WiFi dongle would have given me a fighting chance??!

Given that I’m not actually trying to do anything particularly clever with the pi and OSMC I’m a obviously a bit frustrated given that this is going to be my main method of playing music in the house.

I would welcome any further advice or ideas?


OSMC is really designed as a “media” player, more so than a music player…

What is the source of the music giving you issues? Is there some reason why you have failed to provide debug enabled Kodi logs that demonstrate the issue?? Kodi is designed to tell us what the problem is if we listen to it…

To get a better understanding of the problem you are experiencing we need more information from you. Please see How to submit a useful support request - General - OSMC for advice on how to help us.

Isn’t a music file also media? I’ll learn how to retrieve debug info from Kodi and get back to you.

Yes, but the GUI is an integral part of Kodi, hence the heavy lean toward video as the expected “media”. Development of Kodi never intended headless operation. With respect to music, there are quite a few media/music players that do a much better job cataloging and presenting music in a useful way. Kodi has never really excelled at managing and interacting with music libraries when compared to other solutions that are available for this purpose.

The link I provided above provides very clear instruction.

Can you copy a music file from the NAS to the Pi (e.g. sdcard or usb stick). Does that play without dropouts?
That will confirm if the issue is network related or local to the Pi/peripherals.

@ActionA Kodi is the only solution I have found that offers my subscription/ streaming service as an add on app and I use that as my source probably 80% of the time so I’m reluctant to move to something else unless it offers the same app/service. Thanks for the ongoing education on Kodi though :blush:

Are there any other solutions that will install to a RPi as the default OS like OSMC?

@popcornmix i’ll try that, it actually seems to have settled down for the moment since I changed some settings on the 2.4Ghz radio on my router (the WiFi dongle doesn’t see the 5Ghz network)