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Live Audio Listener Support This forum will act as a place for individuals who listen to feeds to provide comments or concerns about specific feeds. All feed providers should monitor this forum for feedback on their feeds.

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Old 01-10-2014, 4:58 PM
bwhite's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Balto/Carroll, MD
Posts: 1,455
Default Lengthy Delay

My apologies if this has been answered prior, I'm new on this thread.
I listen to Carroll Co MD fire feed via several desktop PCs and my iPhone along with, when possible, a scanner. The audio out of the desktops seems to lag several minutes behind the original transmission. The iPhone app pretty much 30 seconds on the nose. Are they all like this? Am I doing something wrong that I can change to decrease or eliminate the lag? Thanx for any wisdom you can offer.
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Old 01-10-2014, 5:40 PM
n5ims's Avatar
  Amateur Radio Operator
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,799

Yes, these delays are common and generally expected. At times there can be a very long delay that is often corrected by shutting down the app and restarting it a few mins later. Think of it this way.

The path for your scanner is basically from their mouth to your ears, with only a minimal delay for processing if the signal is digital (conversions take a bit of time). The path for the apps is quite a bit more complex. It's more like this:
* The signal goes from their mouths to the feed provider's scanner. Delays here are like your scanner.
* Their scanner then sends it to their computer, where it's digitized, processed, and prepared for public consumption. Several seconds of delay is common here.
* The feed computer then sends it on to the servers where further processing takes place to convert the feed from a one-to-one broadcast to a one-to-many broadcast. This server is specific to the feed providers, not the end users. Several more seconds of delay is common here.
* The server then passes it on to one or more additional servers to handle the user's needs. Several more seconds of delay is common here.
* Along the way, there may be delays based on the amount and type of internet traffic. This can add additional delays on the link between the provider and as well as between and the end user(s). Also, as more users are listening to the feeds (this is overall, not just your specific feed), there may be additional processing delays due to busy servers.

Please note that the system is designed to minimize the delays, but they'll still be there. That's just the way it is. My term of "several seconds" is a generic one and doesn't indicate a fixed number. It may be half a second, it may be more, it may even be much more. This has more to do with the amount of work the various computers/servers that are processing the feed are handling at the time. This amount of work includes not only your feed, but whatever else may be happening on that machine at the time (virus scan, handling other feeds, handling other user's requests, formatting a presentation for the feed provider's boss so he can justify a trip to Hawaii for the whole department - like that'll happen!).
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Old 01-10-2014, 9:46 PM
bwhite's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Balto/Carroll, MD
Posts: 1,455

Thanx for the info. Being in IT, I'm pretty much aware of the flow of the traffic. Even for it to go the route you illustrated, I just can't fathom the packets buzzing around for > 30 seconds from mouth to iPhone or PC. Interesting.
When it first started happening as I listened at work I'd get the text for a
call and I knew dispatch had been quiet. 4-5 minutes later, out comes
the call as seen in the text. It has become "the norm" but a weird norm.
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