Streaming music problem September 18, 2006 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Music: Feature or Bug? When I try streaming a song from the front page, as soon as I scroll past it or flip to a different browser tab, it stops playing. If I load the song's individual page and stream it from there, it contines to play until I close it (even as I type this MeTa post in another tab, for example).
posted by jacquilynne to Bugs at 10:41 AM (18 comments total)

It's up to your browser and plugin that determines that. In firefox/mac I can play them fine while working in other tabs.

It's nothing I'm doing on my end.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2006

Bug, browser side, for some combinations of Firefox/PC. I use IE to run such things in the background when I need to.

Armchair guess is there is some subtlety in the actual Flash app, in how idling/focus is handled, since I've seen this reproduced in some Flash apps and not in others. So it may not be a browser bug so much as a flash coder bug, or even just the nasty conflict of some relatively undocumented gotcha.
posted by cortex at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2006

yeah, I notice that firefox does that, too, jacquilynne.
posted by crunchland at 12:02 PM on September 18, 2006

As cortex speculates, this may well be a "feature".
On some "me too" video site (which I can't now find anywhere - gimme a clue) the playback pauses if you switch to another window and restarts when you return.

That's pretty handy for video, because you can't watch things if you're reading the news somewhere else. It's not so great for audio.

Where did the source come from, Matt? Is there anything you can set as an option list?
posted by NinjaTadpole at 12:13 PM on September 18, 2006

This used to happen when I watched YouTube. Updating my firefox solved it for me.
posted by kdar at 1:34 PM on September 18, 2006

Safari doesn't give much processor time to Flash apps running in the background - or much bandwidth. Try playing the songs in a different window, or a different browser.
posted by armoured-ant at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2006

It happens to me as well, in firefox/pc. A friend suggested opening a different window, open the songs there and minimizing it, so that it would run in the background. It worked a few times, then it stopped working.

Ive no clue what causes it, but if someone figures it out, id love to hear about it, it would be cool to be able to listen to MuFi while reading stuff in other tabs.
posted by micayetoca at 3:26 PM on September 18, 2006

I sort of thought this behavior was related to all the browsers making sure they don't infringe the Eolas patent, since it appeared in Opera at the same time as the irritating "Click to activate this control" behavior did. For me, at least.
posted by evariste at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2006

Its definately weirdly inconsistent: I'd been having problems with it a few weeks ago with Firefox & WinXP but thence have had it resolve. I think there was a patch between visits maybe.

When it was flaky I found that if any instance of the player was visible then the playing app would continue to roll through even if it were itself obscured/minimized, which I found kind of strange...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:10 PM on September 18, 2006

I can do you one better, Ogre. I was able to keep music playing if I switched tabs to a page featuring an unrelated flash app that had The Mystery Property.
posted by cortex at 5:43 PM on September 18, 2006

This sometimes happens to me, sometimes not. I noticed that the music stops as soon as the page or tab I have in focus doesn't have any sort of flash visible. I noticed that when the music didn't stop on a page with some flash advertisement. interesting.
posted by Stunt at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2006

Hey, I read great! Seems you had the same thing happen, cortex. Hmmmm. eeeeeteresting.
posted by Stunt at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2006

It worked a few times, then it stopped working.


Its definately weirdly inconsistent


I've tried to figure the logic and always come up empty. Guess I could try reinstalling Firefox and Flash and see if that helps. But the problem has definitely affected the amount of time I spend at Mefi Music (as in, cut that time down dramatically).
posted by mediareport at 8:45 PM on September 18, 2006

I experienced some variant of this yesterday. It was impossible for me to listen to a tune, while in the full-view page of its discussion thread. Seemingly, whenever I scrolled down past the player widget, the music would stop. Damn frustrating. I wanted to listen to the music while reading the thread. Meanwhile, you can stream as many songs as you want from the front page - simultaneously!

No greasemonkey here or any other suspect plugins.
posted by scarabic at 12:24 AM on September 19, 2006

Hey, mediareport, don't let it get to you that bad. There's incredibly good music being posted there, and you shouldn't miss any of that.

I know this is something you already know, but I'll take any opportunity I get to congratulate the MuFites. I can't believe the jewels I've come across there.
posted by micayetoca at 5:50 AM on September 19, 2006

There's incredibly good music being posted there, and you shouldn't miss any of that.

Yeah, I know; I watched it get born. I'm just saying that I multitask at the computer (shocking!), and it's almost impossible for me to do that and check out new tracks because of the tab problem, so I end up not taking as much time to check out new tracks, which means I don't make any more playlists, even though, oddly enough, I can use a playlist in whatever tab I want with no problem.
posted by mediareport at 6:29 AM on September 19, 2006

Scarabic -- that's consistent with what I get. Firefox patched itself to this AM and I'm back to the damned thing now only working when visible.

Also, for mediareport, etc. as long as you have a teensey piece of the player showing then you're all good. If you've got a Big Enough monitor you should be able to make your windows just nearly full screen and leave a dribble of the player hanging off the side of the thing.

It is really good music, though*. Probably the best thing to come out of MeFi since Ask...

*which is why we care
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:21 PM on September 20, 2006

Someone has started a thread on the project's webpage discussing this or a similar-enough issue.

Oho! In playing with things, I've discovered this: the issue may revolve around having multiple instances of the player on one page. I didn't have a problem on the player's project page when I tabbed off it so tried running the player from the individual "comments" pages (e.g.) and it worked fine then in the background. Also, I realized that this is how I was listening to stuff when it was working previously in the background, so whatever on my upgrade comment above.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:49 PM on September 20, 2006

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