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Hanging of current playing video, while next one loading in sequencer. Stability of Isadora for Win



  • Dear Developers,

    I work with Isadora more then 4 month. It is a great software, which helps us to assist our shows and events. We envolve using of Isadora. 
    On every show comes a lot of visitors. We hold important social events, and any handing of software is not allowed. 

    It is very sad, that Isadora for windows works not well. Functionality - is great, but stability .... On today show I had two times of Isadora hanging. Most of these hanging happens when i load new video in player. I found, that such hanging more likely when I use videos with different codecs. In fact, I can't use any codecs except MOV PhotoJpeg(actualy I could, but very risky). Only PhotoJpeg could give us acceptable stability.

    I suppose that Isadora works as solid thread process. Hanging of any part of Isadora cause hanging of everything. For example, my project developed as sequencer: While one video plays on one of three screens, next video could be selected for next playing. When i click a button, current video on screens faded to next video.
    Most recent hanging happened when i trying to load next video in sequencer. And it leads to stops everything, including current playing videos. And since in most of our theartal scenes involves real actors, this can lead to very awkward situation: during a scene everything stops.

    So, main question is what your plans to make Isadora more stable? Do you plan to divide inner processes of Isadora in separate process threads? 
    In addition, what you are recommends me to except hanging main videos, while next video is loading?

    And third quastion is: do you plan to improve stability of non-QuickTimes formats, such as MPEG2(MPG), AVI and etc.? I can't explain to our menagement stuff, why same video works fine in Microsoft MediaClassic Player, and don't plays at all in Isadora.

    Meanwhile, a lot of thanks to your team for QT improovement since 2.2 version of Isadora. It actually plays great! I hope that you could made such improovements for Windows-based video formats also!

    A lot of thanks for your constantly improovements of Isadora. 
    We work with cooperations of other cultural centers. And they also interested to work with Isadora, but now it is not possible because of stability



  • Dear @Mikhail,

    To answer your question in general, yes, we want to make Isadora as stable as possible on both platforms. Given that we now need to remove Isadora's reliance on QuickTime (and thus the ability to play .mov files), for sure we will need to ensure that all formats that Windows plays natively play will play in Isadora as well.
    The main way to help us improve Isadora is to send us bug reports for the specific issues you are having. For instance, I really wasn't aware that some movie formats aren't playing in Windows. For WMV and AVI files, we use the native Windows systems to play the movies. So I'm surprised to here this, but I must also admit that we haven't tried every format imaginable.
    So, please file bug reports here http://troikatronix.com/support/isadora/ 
    One member of our team, @DusX, uses Windows only. He will be the one to take these tickets and will work with you to get the specific information we need to solve the problems. I can tell you, he is absolutely excellent and finding and reproducing bugs. If you send your bugs reports, we will respond as quickly as we can to solve your issues.
    As for the hanging problem, do you mean a total freeze (i.e,. Isadora becomes unusable) or a temporary glitch as the movies load?
    While you are working with us, I can definitely say that – for the moment – the best format to use when using .mov files is HAP. It is extremely efficient, and if you're seeing glitches when loading movies, HAP will minimize or remove those glitches.
    @DusX, perhaps you can offer further advice here?
    So please send the bug reports and we will work with you.
    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Hi Mikhail,

    as a mac user with some win experience and 3 years of isadora learning, i wanted to share that most of my performance problems were home made.
    As isadora is a programming language it is very very easy to build non efficient patches.
    concerning your questions:
    1\. for our installation kapsel, we used an old win laptop as a play out machine - we had some issues programming on a mac: the mac movie players are different from the windows ones but apart from that, most problems we had were related to the configuration of the pc, // energy settings / gpu switching /etc
    2\. even if an application like isadora is not multithreaded it uses multiple cores due the fact that decoding libraries are multithreaded // apple prores // apple AV foundation // windows DirectShow. Multithreading the core application can even be a problem as you have to sync all the processes. Specially in a AV Programming Envirement like Isadora.
    3\. Software as Microsoft Mediaplayer or VLC have an other purpose, they shall just throw out what ever you give them :)
    Isadora instead gives you possibilities of manipulations.
    Hardware is big fact: do you have ssd's as your primary and secondary drives installed. What is the speed of your hardware (busses, cores ec.)
    all this plays into the game which codec, resolution bandwidth you choose and what are are the limits in terms of how many videos you can play in parallel
    To get the best feedback from others out of your experiences,
    it is necessary to provide as much details of your programming, media, system in the most compact way, so the forum and developers can share there thoughts and ideas
    Personally i think that the work as a projection designer involves the all of that-
    Knowledge of hard- and software boundaries and the experience which gives you ways to walk through the potential risks. 
    Educating clients why you have to use a special codec, consistency of sizes, limitations of bandwidth etc …
    If you look at other software packages or media servers you will often find the same problems.
     
    Isadora is pushed a lot by mark and the pro users in the last 2 years giving us new features and possibilities, 
    but we had to learn that some old habits became obsolete. 
    And it is a very affordable and potential application, but it needs your time and dedication to master it.
    ---
    as an side idea: 
    it would be nice to have a table for example in the hardware section,
    where people can post there benchmark
    how many videos can i play smoothly, …
    that could be a guideline for others in search for hardware …

  • Tech Staff

    For native video playback on Windows you really want to stick to the officially supported file types and codecs for Direct Show.

    see: [https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd407173(v=vs.85).aspx](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd407173(v=vs.85).aspx)
    Note, that file types/containers like MP4 are not on the list. While the mpeg-4 codec is. These are not the same thing, and this can be a point of confusion.
    Currently, I have tested a number of AVI containers, but I recommend if possible the most current/modern container: WMV
    It utilizes the cpu cores very well and provides great HD compression (commonly h.264)
    Currently, some filetypes will force Quicktime playback. This is something we will need to address as we move forward with the handling of QuickTime.
    @mikhail , I will watch for your support tickets, and do my best to work with you to find the best formats for your purposes


  • Thanks for replies.

    The main things why I've chose Isadora for our Cultural Center is flexibility of using for standart using(shows) and unusual purpose(such as simple advertising modules), and of course, constantly growing and improovement of the software. 
    So thank you for your intention to do this.

    To mark :

    For WMV and AVI files, we use the native Windows systems to play the movies. So I'm surprised to here this, but I must also admit that we haven't tried every format imaginable. So, please file bug reports here [http://troikatronix.com/support/isadora/ ](http://troikatronix.com/support/isadora/%C2%A0);

    What the best way to submit bugs related with videos? Do I need to send you source file(or link to cloud with source)? As I understand, you need source file, to know what problem is.
    At the time, two days ago event organizer gives me WMV-file, which i could'nt open with Isadora.
    Another Question: As you said QuickTime don't plan to maintain MOV format for WIN. What happen with videos with embeded Alpha? As I know, MOV - is one video container, which allows to store embeded Alpha, or am I wrong?

    If you send your bugs reports, we will respond as quickly as we can to solve your issues.

    Do you mean bug report form, community or both forms of comunication? What form of communication is preffer?

    As for the hanging problem, do you mean a total freeze (i.e,. Isadora becomes unusable) or a temporary glitch as the movies load?

    I means temporary freezes(about 1-3secs), while we had a dance show(you could imagine, what happened: actors, me and visitors were confused). After freezing it goes on operate normaly.

    I can definitely say that – for the moment – the best format to use when using .mov files is HAP.

    As i remember you recomend me to use PhotoJpeg as best codec? Did you change your recomendation? I will try to test HAP.

    To [m_theater](http://troikatronix.com/troikatronixforum/profile/5959/m_theater) :
    1\. .... most problems we had were related to the configuration of the pc, // energy settings / gpu switching /etc

    Sure, I've checked everything. Im have enough expirience to understand problem of PC. Im trying to except such PC problems.

    2\. ... it uses multiple cores due the fact that decoding libraries are multithreaded... 

    Multithreading the core application can even be a problem as you have to sync all the processes.

    Multithreading is only way to except such hanging as I've described. I don't know why Isadora still works as single-theaded process(aspecially if it positioned as software for Life Show). Nothing new to invent: only multythreading is the way to provide stabilyty of main process. Video format does not matter in this case. 

    3\. Software as Microsoft Mediaplayer or VLC have an other purpose, they shall just throw out what ever you give them :)

    Ok, I don't compare Isadora with these software, but at the present one fact is actual: Isadora have problem with most native video format on windows. (We have a many shows with videos, and most often, I have to convert everything to MOV PhotoJPEG, before using)


    To get the best feedback from others out of your experiences,it is necessary to provide as much details of your programming, media, system in the most compact way, so the forum and developers can share there thoughts and ideas

    Sure, you're absolutely right! But one thing, I wonder: Why there is no Sample Projects disscussion on forum, where other users can place their projects and modules to disscuss. It is very difficuilt to find any working project here(only separated modules and samples)

    all this plays into the game which codec, resolution bandwidth you choose and what are are the limits in terms of how many videos you can play in parallel

    At the time, I've played 9 different HD videos on my PC at same time on different 3 projectors.

    I don't think the trouble, that I mentionned related with Hardware.
    Personally i think that the work as a projection designer involves the all of that-Knowledge of hard- and software boundaries and the experience which gives you ways to walk through the potential risks. 

    Yes, your right here also. But agree, trying to exept all these risk by myself - is not correct. Aspecially if all things i've mentionned(multithreading for ex.) - is true and only reliable way to except this problem.

    Isadora is pushed a lot by mark and the pro users in the last 2 years giving us new features and possibilities,but we had to learn that some old habits became obsolete. 
    And it is a very affordable and potential application, but it needs your time and dedication to master it.

    I very hope that mark find a way to renew development approach, and Isadora takes more power and progress in future. I believe that.



  • At the time Yesterday i couldn't open MPEG2 file(video: mpeg2, audio: mpeg2)!!! I don't remember, that Isadora could open MPG files at all.


  • Tech Staff

    @Mikhail

    Please submit specific issues (try to limit each ticket to a single problem) via the support form (Link found in my signature).
    If there is media required, I will arrange with you to provide some type of download.
    You may want to install the K-Lite codec packs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-Lite_Codec_Pack
    download link: https://ninite.com/klitecodecs/
    This will add a number of useful codecs to your windows playback.


  • Thanks, DusX

    I'm already use KLITECODECS. 
    In few days I will send a bug tickets for each issues I had. 
    Thanks.


  • Here is typical illustration of my issue: https://youtu.be/Sm7iHR49fZc this happened today just right after I've tried to select next video for playing. I'm lucky, that's there is no audio in this media(for example minus audio track), althought, initially, event manager suppose to bring me video with embedded audio. I tell him that they have to make separate audio and video to prevent possible issues. And once again: most of hanging appears while I load new video to player(there are two players: for actually playing media and for next video) Please give us multithreading for Isadora!!!! Please, please, please! :))) It allows you to control such hanging and process it (for example message "something wrong happened" and kill this thread) without hanging of whole application. Theoretically(I suppose, I don't know is it possible in your development software), you could extract each instance of player to separate thread. It give us more stable application! Best regards to all of you, Mikhail.



  • And please note, that there is no CPU usage while this hanging. I trying to recreate this issue more detaily to find source of this problem. I've found that it most likely, when we use media with different codes.


  • Tech Staff

    @Mikhail

    Please submit any new details to our support ticket.

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