Halfway Failure

MarvinD's picture

We have rocked along for quite awhile now without a problem. Yet, as all things made by man, we had a webcast failure halfway through the service. Again I am in the position of trying to diagnose the problem using only the fuzziest of indicators. The indicators consist of an Approximate Timeline and a User Input.

Approximate Timeline:
  • 09:20 - Windows had a major update complete with reboot.
  • 11:15 - The media server failed midway through the service.
  • 11:50 - The Windows Media Encoder created full length video on C:\ as movie-1.wmv
  • 11:51 - Filezilla had no file to upload and browser database screen was not existent. Note: This particular scenario has happened before with this operator, so its significance is questionable especially after the shock of a webcast failure.
  • 12:30 - Filezilla failed to manually upload the movie.
  • 12:40 - The movie was manually put on a flash drive as 2009-11-15-11-50.wmv
  • 12:35 - Part of the Windows Media Encoder was running behind the scenes, requiring a forced termination in order to shut down the computer.
  • 15:00 - The movie was successfully archived to the server from the home computer.
User Input:
  • The user had an intermittent problem of no sound and/or no picture throughout the service, then lost both sound and picture midway through the service. He brought the player back to life twice using the 'reboot viewer' link. Then the player failed completely.
From the above, two scenarios seem probable:
  1. The Windows update fragmentation produced enough of a delay to degrade the video stream.
  2. The church's connection to the Internet had temporarily degraded for some unknown reason.
Short Response to this failure:
  1. Verify the upload speed using Speakeasy.
  2. Defragment the hard disk.
  3. Run a test on the system, monitoring the CPU usage.
  4. Find printed instruction and help file deficiencies by supervising the operator in a test run.
  5. Break batch file into 3 parts... Start, Save, and Kill all movies on C:\
    This is going to take some thought that may better be spent on the Long Term Response.
Long Term Response to this failure:
  1. Step up from Windows to Linux.
  2. Stream to the media server with VLC.
  3. Create local file to be uploaded with VLC.
  4. Use UDP (User Datagram Protocol) to stream up to the media server.
  5. Run the whole thing with a bash script.