Podcast download mechanism isn't robust enough and often fails
Submitted by Sébastien Bacher
That bug has been opened on https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/rhythmbox/+bug/78524
"Binary package hint: rhythmbox
I have subscribed to a few radio podcasts in RB. I have broadband so it's fast, and it used to work just fine, however, in the past couple of months, the quality of my internet connection (blame crappy ISP here!) has decreased significantly (takes ages to connect to a server, transfer speed is highly unstable, and sometimes plain stops, then resumes when it feels like it, a second later, or a minute... depends on the mood and server !). This revealed a serious weakness/problem in RB: 99% of the time, RB fails to download the podcasts ! Most of the time it just says "Waiting", and sometimes it downloads 5% of the file then sits there forever and won't move an inch even if I let it run for 3 days. Thing is, if I try to download these podcasts in a terminal, using the "wget" command, it works just fine, and in the worse case, it takes 3 minutes to grab an episode and that's it. That's why I think the problem lies within RB... I suspect that the problem might be that RB times out way too easily, and most importantly, when it does time out, it gives up for good, and won't insist. So the solution is probably to do as wget likely does (from what I can see) : increase the time out greatly when connecting initially to the server. Say a 2 minute time out, not less. Then once it starts downloading the file, and in the event that transfer speed drops to zero : DO NOT time out, and just patiently wait for transfer to resume. ...
Do you have an example of podcast where you got the problem already?
I have a variety of podcasts and they all have this problem. Again, the problem isn't wit the podcast server, but my ISP/internet connexion. In the middle of the night, the podcasts download just fine, but in the evening, that is the "rush hours" ;-), it gets more challenging ! ;-)
Here are some feeds anyway (France Inter, Europe1, The BBC, LUG radio): http://radiofrance-podcast.net/podcast/rss_10212.xml http://www.europe1.fr/podcast/connaissance.jsp http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/downloadtrial/worldservice/digitalplanet/rss.xml http://www.lugradio.org/episodes.ogg.rss ... Ok, as expected, the problem showed up this evening: one podcast had started downloading, but was stuck at 14%. I tried with wget in a terminal, and oh miracle, it worked. For sure it was slow, but it worked ! So RB definitely is not as "bullet proof" as wget ! UNFORTUNATELY..... even with the debug option, it printed nothing at all in the terminal while sitting at 14%. So I think RB just finds it "normal" to act this way, and doesn't feel the need to comment about it ! ;-/" "