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Solved Sound stutters when streaming video or audio online.


cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#1
So here's my problem

When I watch YouTube videos I get random stutters where the sound skips. The image doesn't seem to freeze though, just the sound

I also get issues with the sound streaming music online, where it pauses for a second and stutters even though it's not buffering.

When this happens, NT Kernel & System shoots up in task manager and uses more CPU than the browser. This by the way happens in every browser, IE, Chrome or Firefox.

It doesn't happen when playing music in iTunes or watching videos from my hard drive.

That being said I'm not posting about a buffering type stutter, I am aware of that and this is not it. This is like basically suddenly the computer has a big spike in memory or cpu usage and the video/sound clip stutters for a sec. But it happens often enough to be very annoying. In a 15 min YouTube clip it happened 10 times.

I have reinstalled my IDT High Definition Codec and my Intel HD Graphics 4000 driver, but still the problem persists.

Any thoughts of what I can do?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
Posts
1,093
#2
Try this test: Start a Youtube video and immediately hit the pause button. Watch the movement of the red progress bar until it fully loads the video. This obviously eliminates any buffering issues if the problem is still there when you try to play the video this way. You might also want to do a speed test on you internet connection. Here are my results:

285623092.png

Now, I know you are convinced that it is absolutely not a buffering issue and you have done nice testing to that end; however, I would still try the tests as described above. Good luck.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#3
Thanks for replying!

Well, YouTube no longer fully loads the video, for me anyway. It loads a few minutes ahead but not the whole thing.
Also when buffering, YouTube simply pauses and then it starts again later, this is an audio stutter like when the reception is bad or the device has a hiccup of some sort, the sound is chopped up and repeated for a second or two.

My speed is 11 MBps download and 1.46 Mbps upload.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#6
I was using Chrome.
I don't mean to be annoying but I have both a desktop and a laptop running Win 8 on the same network.
The desktop has no issues, while the laptop does.
The laptop also has these issues on all networks, I was on wifi at Coffee Bean and it still had the issue.
Also the spike in Kernel activity in Task Manager just at the time when the sound stutters can't be coincidental.
I've read up and it seems one of the drivers in my laptop is doing this but I can't figure out how to find out which one.

Also, as I stated before, the issue is also present streaming music such as SoundCloud or Pandora.

It's not a speed issue for sure, but it might actually be an internet driver? Is there a driver specifically for streaming media?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
Posts
1,093
#7
I was using Chrome.
I don't mean to be annoying but I have both a desktop and a laptop running Win 8 on the same network.
The desktop has no issues, while the laptop does.
The laptop also has these issues on all networks, I was on wifi at Coffee Bean and it still had the issue.
Also the spike in Kernel activity in Task Manager just at the time when the sound stutters can't be coincidental.
I've read up and it seems one of the drivers in my laptop is doing this but I can't figure out how to find out which one.

Also, as I stated before, the issue is also present streaming music such as SoundCloud or Pandora.

It's not a speed issue for sure, but it might actually be an internet driver? Is there a driver specifically for streaming media?
Hi cman22,

You could try clearing the cache in Chrome as well. However, I feel at this point that you are not open to any new suggestions. Specifically, I asked you for a link, I provided a fix for Firefox because you said it happens on all 3 browsers, so I'm almost afraid to try and suggest anything new at this point because you are drawing your own conclusions as to what will fix it and what will not. Anyway, I will tell you that I think you are on the wrong track. There is no such thing as an internet driver; per se and there is no specific driver for streaming media (that I am aware of). So, I wish you the best of luck in getting your issue resolved; however, I have come to the conclusion that my suggestions cannot help you. Good luck.

Cheers!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Posts
1,093
#9
I'm sorry but I just don't want to waste your time. It's every single YouTube video I play, every Netflix thing that I play, every song on Pandora, etc. So a link is useless. Here's the most recent one:
Abraham Hicks~ You can be happy under any and all conditions - YouTube

I'll try the cache suggestion and see how I can do it for all three browsers since I use them all at different times.
Unfortunately, you are convinced that it is not a buffering issue and I am totally convinced that it is (until proven otherwise). Moreover, you didn't really provide all of the particulars until your last post when you said it works on my desktop but not my laptop and the wi-fi was added in at tha point as well. So, here's something you can try. Take your laptop and plug it into your router using an ethernet cable, clear Firefox cache (you said you have all 3 browsers; yes?), retest.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#10
Ok I just did it exactly like the post said, cleared cache, cleared cookies, put cache at 350. The YouTube video still doesn't load all the way, only a little bit ahead.
I plugged the laptop via ethernet cable and it didn't change anything. :(
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
Posts
1,093
#11
OK; good! Now we're on the right track anyway! Here are some more question:

How much RAM do you have installed on your laptop?
How much free RAM is available in the Task manager view?

I'm starting to believe those spikes you are seeing are being caused by the exhaustion of free RAM and the laptop is starting to page to your hard drive. That could certainly be an issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Posts
1,093
#12
One step ahead. Taking a dinner break:

Go into task manager and disable all startup programs. Reboot and retest.

Screenshot (31).png

If fixed, start re-enabling programs (one at a time) until problem returns.

If no help re-enable startup programs.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#13
OK; good! Now we're on the right track anyway! Here are some more question:

How much RAM do you have installed on your laptop?
How much free RAM is available in the Task manager view?

I'm starting to believe those spikes you are seeing are being caused by the exhaustion of free RAM and the laptop is starting to page to your hard drive. That could certainly be an issue.
8GB RAM installed
3.4GB being used (43%)

I'll go do the startup suggestion now.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#14
Ok I'm so glad you didn't give up on me! So after disabling all startup processes, the problem is gone. Now for the painstaking process of turning them back on one by one :)
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 8
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1,093
#15
Hooray! Hip-hip hooray! Good for you. Please come back and let us know the final outcome. Glad I could help.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

cman22

New Member
Posts
11
#16
So far Skydrive was definitely a culprit.
Will see if there are others.
Skydrive is so full of bugs btw. I wanted to use it with Win 8 but it's awful.
Uninstalling it for sure.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Roninconn

New Member
Posts
1
#18
I know this thread has been quiet for a while, but I figure I'd add on, since it was helpful in solving my issue.

I had the audio stuttering issue described, and seem to have plenty of bandwidth, memory, CPU, etc. My ISP had recently been bought out and so I was ready to swear that it was a network issue (to the point that I called them; upside is that they increased my capacity just to shut me up), but it was the Citrix URL redirctor service.

So, I heartily endorse the advice given here: eliminate startup services to find the culprit. Thanks all!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1

stlolth

New Member
Posts
1
#19
MY SOLUTION:

I can confirm that changing the Default Format option alleviated the issue in my case but has not solved it completely. I'm using Windows 8.1, Realtek onboard sound and drivers. It appears that setting the highest available format quality results in least frequent stuttering, however in my case, at the below cited selected format, the stuttering is still present at times.

Go: Control Panel > Sound > Playback > Speakers (or your preferred sound output device) > Properties > Advanced > Here change Default Format to: 24 bit 192000 Hz (Studio Quality) > Click Apply

New information: Choosing a lower quality Default Format - 16 bit 48000 Hz (DVD Quality) has solved the issue completely. If you are an audiophile or get a compulsive nagging sense of unease when you feel things aren't perfect, this solution might not be for you. I however am enjoying it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop