mp3 stutter in windows 7

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mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:27 am

i've recently installed windows 7 professional (RTM) on my laptop. it's been very good so far, except for this slight stuttering in my mp3 playback. it happens occasionally, but i can generally hear it a few times per song.

the laptop is a HP Pavilion dv6565ca, using Realtek ALC268. currently using realtek's HD audio driver 2.31. would installing an older driver solve this problem? thanks in advance.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:34 am

Can you try a different media player and/or media format? If it still exhibits the same behavior, you can probably bet the drivers are to blame. I don't know if rolling them back would be of any help. Win7 isn't officially released yet so I'd expect some driver maturation issues too. Though with the poor release that Vista was, and how closely related the two are, you'd think they'd have all their vendors on the up and up with regards to this stuff by now. If anything, I'd try newer drivers if possible.

Can you try popping in a cheapo sound card and giving that a shot if the drivers are already at the newest release?
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:40 am

well, popping a sound card into a laptop is gonna be very difficult :D

2.31 is the latest driver from Realtek (released today, in fact). i tested with winamp and WMP, and both exibit the stuttering. i'll try an older driver i guess. and yes, even the default driver installed by windows 7 on install had the stuttering.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:53 am

moriz wrote:well, popping a sound card into a laptop is gonna be very difficult :D

2.31 is the latest driver from Realtek (released today, in fact). i tested with winamp and WMP, and both exibit the stuttering. i'll try an older driver i guess. and yes, even the default driver installed by windows 7 on install had the stuttering.



Sorry, lunch-time stupor induced by 12 general tso's glazed wings..... hmm, so the media player doesn't seem to matter. Do you do any encoding or post processing yourself? Can you throw a file onto another machine and test it? If it still does it, i'd bet your integrated sound is to blame. Driver updates forthcoming may fix it, it's odd that it's only in music - you don't get it in movies, or games or anything?
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:02 pm

i have a bunch of gundam seed episodes, and none of them stutter. same with the few games i have installed. the mp3s came from my desktop, which played them just fine.

just tried driver 2.02. sill stutters. :(
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:30 pm

Is it possible this is a power-saving issue -- perhaps enough of the MP3 gets buffered in memory that the disk goes to sleep, and then there's a brief stutter when it has to spin up again to get the next chunk (this wouldn't happen with video because of the higher bandwidth). You could try a different power setting, or tweak your current one.

Of course it could be something else stealing cycles or bandwidth or something. You could try running something like process explorer and then look for suspicious spikes that correlate with the stutters.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:03 pm

doesn't seem to be related to disk performance, since i changed the power setting to high performance, and it still stutters. i also looked at task manager while playing an mp3. there doesn't seem to be anything that correlates to the stuttering.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:53 pm

Is the laptop overclocked in any way? Have you upgraded it's ram or done anything else that might screw with the bus speed?
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:02 pm

no, everything is stock. this laptop has a locked BIOS anyway, so i won't be able to overclock it even if i wanted to.

i've even forced winamp to use ffdshow's libmad decoder instead of its own. no change in the stuttering, though now i can mess around with upsampling and such.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:05 pm

Happens to me occasionally, as well. Usually happens when, say, installing applications and such, so I guess it's just the system not coping. Basically everything I play is over the network, either from a file server or the Internet, maybe that has something to do with it...

I don't care what people say about the supposed performance increase over Vista, my experience is to the contrary. It's rather sluggish in comparison.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:12 pm

FubbHead wrote:Happens to me occasionally, as well. Usually happens when, say, installing applications and such, so I guess it's just the system not coping. Basically everything I play is over the network, either from a file server or the Internet, maybe that has something to do with it...

Stuttering when installing apps and such sounds _very_ much like a DMA issue or a buggy disk/network driver. Plus, if all the stuff you play is not local, then pretty much all bets are off, bandwidth can get to you.

FWIW, I've railed and railed against Vista and am enjoying W7 quite a lot, especially regarding its smoothness (I stuck with XP on my own box until now). It's Vista, except it's not slow/stupid, or confusing (for 90% of stuff anyway).
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:12 pm

i didn't notice any performance difference on this laptop. it came with vista, and i installed XP on it a while back, and now it has windows 7. there doesn't seem to be any performance difference with any of those operating systems.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:16 pm

Can you attempt to remove the sound drivers completely, reboot, install latest drivers, reboot again?
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:21 pm

that's the first thing that i've done; unfortunately the result is the same. in fact, i've tried three driver versions, and the the stutter remains. perhaps it is not completely driver related.

btw, there's an "unknown device" listed in device managers. for the life of me, i can't think of anything that's missing. i don't know if this unkown device has anything to do with it. device manager has been rather cryptic as to what that device actually is. the only thing it can tell me is that it is on: "Intel(R) ICH8M Interface Controller - 2815". its hardware ID is: "ACPI\HPQ0006".
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:27 pm

moriz wrote:that's the first thing that i've done; unfortunately the result is the same. in fact, i've tried three driver versions, and the the stutter remains. perhaps it is not completely driver related.

btw, there's an "unknown device" listed in device managers. for the life of me, i can't think of anything that's missing. i don't know if this unkown device has anything to do with it. device manager has been rather cryptic as to what that device actually is. the only thing it can tell me is that it is on: "Intel(R) ICH8M Interface Controller - 2815". its hardware ID is: "ACPI\HPQ0006".

Doh! That's your disk controller, dude. Go straight to Intel's site, look for "Intel INF update utility", download the latest version for W7, install, and I think, that should do it.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:40 pm

Smells like a winner.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:52 pm

unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be it. i've installed the latest intel matrix storage manager, and that unknown device is still there. however, mp3 playback seems to be better, though i won't know until i play more songs.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:59 pm

morphine wrote:
FubbHead wrote:Happens to me occasionally, as well. Usually happens when, say, installing applications and such, so I guess it's just the system not coping. Basically everything I play is over the network, either from a file server or the Internet, maybe that has something to do with it...

Stuttering when installing apps and such sounds _very_ much like a DMA issue or a buggy disk/network driver. Plus, if all the stuff you play is not local, then pretty much all bets are off, bandwidth can get to you.

Perhaps, it is Microsoft's own drivers after all. Or, it's just the not-so-snappy, not-so-smooth system. :-)

But it's only very occasionally, so I can live with it. And my laptop does the same, running Vista. Both are 2GHz+ dual core systems with 3GB RAM or more, so you'd think they would cope, but when you put abstraction layer upon abstraction layer upon abstraction layer, like they have by now, I guess this what you end up with. :-)

morphine wrote:FWIW, I've railed and railed against Vista and am enjoying W7 quite a lot, especially regarding its smoothness (I stuck with XP on my own box until now). It's Vista, except it's not slow/stupid, or confusing (for 90% of stuff anyway).

Uhm. I guess it's for another thread really, but I'm still curious what exactly in Vista you found confusing or stupid, but not in Windows 7. Because it seems to me most of Vista made it over to Windows 7 unaltered. Actually, to me, Windows 7 comes across as even more obfuscated and illogical, and with less choice to fix it.

And I don't know about the supposedly increased "smoothness". Or maybe it's what I'm interpreting as sluggish, ie. a lot of UI effects and feedback feels like it's lagging behind.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:03 pm

Did you tell that unknown device to attempt to find drivers or update itself after you installed the INF?
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:08 pm

moriz wrote:btw, there's an "unknown device" listed in device managers. for the life of me, i can't think of anything that's missing. i don't know if this unkown device has anything to do with it. device manager has been rather cryptic as to what that device actually is. the only thing it can tell me is that it is on: "Intel(R) ICH8M Interface Controller - 2815". its hardware ID is: "ACPI\HPQ0006".

Is it an HP machine? Searching for "ACPI\HPQ0006", I found this?

Anyway, I have a really hard time buying that the system would have any problem reading such a minuscule stream as an mp3 from the disk, even without the Intel driver.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:08 pm

i did, and it still cannot find it.

btw, mp3 playback still stutters. however, it seems to stutter a lot less, especially since i'm running on battery power, where as before i was running with the laptop plugged in.
Last edited by moriz on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:12 pm

moriz wrote:i did, and it still cannot find it.

Here you go, straight from Intel.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:20 pm

that's not what i mean. i mean, the unknown hardware is still there, even after using intel INF.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:32 pm

Well in that case, did you try the fix described in the HP forum thread that FubbHead linked to above?
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:11 pm

it seems to be the HP quicklaunch buttons; in which case, i'd rather it stay disabled indefinitely.

anyways, thanks everybody for the help. i THINK i have it figured out. if not, i guess i'll just keep posting here until we finally nail the bullseye while throwing darts in the dark :D
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:44 pm

I also have a stuttering problem on Windows 7 x64 RTM. Using Winamp, the sound will stutter several times per minute. At first I started playing with buffer settings in Winamp but then tried other media players and I began to think that this was a problem with general system stuttering. I think it may just be more noticeable in when listening to music but I think it happens in video. I began to think this way because I was playing Age of Empires III and noticed a stutter sometimes when scrolling the screen. Not sure if that is how it behaved before on Vista. By the way, I also have an HP Laptop dv9725.

My Device Manager shows no unknown devices. I wondered if it might be the video driver that was causing a problem so updated to the latest driver but that made no difference. I installed Realtek R2.32 HD Audio driver - no difference. I might try the chipset driver mentioned earlier. Will keep you posted.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:18 pm

steelcity_ballin wrote:Can you attempt to remove the sound drivers completely, reboot <snip>


...and just try built-in Win7 drivers.

Also, have you tried other media players? I've used iTunes and WMP12 on Win7 RTM without any problems.

edit: nevermind about the drivers, unless it happens to work. I'm using 2.32 with an ALC889a and no stuttering in Winamp (installed just to see if I could replicate with a different Crab device), and CPU usage is between 0 and 2% depending on its mood, with a VBR (320kbit max) MP3.
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:42 am

Actually I installed the Realtek 2.32 drivers as a means of troubleshooting the problem, so it was pre-existing with the default drivers.
This is becoming a very frustrating problem for me. I have tried killing unnecessary processes in case it was something else eating up CPU time but even running Winamp at "above normal" priority has no effect. I can't imagine that it is CPU related because it can still stutter when I am not even doing anything, but I will say that it happens a lot more when I am actually using the computer, e.g. browsing the web.

I am running out of ideas...
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:57 am

Have you made sure the laptop bios is updated to the latest version? My m15x had a similar problem that was solved by a bios update (granted that broke the CPU fan control, but meh...)
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Re: mp3 stutter in windows 7

Postposted on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:54 pm

Yeah, BIOS is latest version. I always update that.

Might try formatting and putting Win7 32-bit on there and see how it goes before installing anything else.
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