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Multiple browsers "Not Responding" after scrolling well into my feed.


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If this isn't a can of worms, I don't know what is, but here goes nothing...

For the past week or so, a strange problem has arisen with SoundCloud. As I scroll further and further into my stream at https://soundcloud.com/stream, the delay when switching from track to track continually increases so as to eventually render the browser frozen, requiring a shut-down via task manager.

To restate, scrolling back a small amount of time in my stream will produce no delay or nearly an imperceptible delay. Scrolling back a moderate amount of time (say, five hours) will produce delays of a few seconds between tracks. Scrolling back a large amount of time (12-16 hours+) will produce delays so long that the browser becomes unresponsive and eventually requires task manager shutdown.

I'm defining delay as: the entire browser becomes unresponsive for this time period. You cannot switch tabs. Clicking on anything in the current tab produces no results. If you have another separate instance of the browser running, on a completely different site, that second (and any other) instance of the browser becomes unresponsive.

The delay is only in relation to moving from one track to the next. Once the track is loaded, with or without a delay, it plays fine and I am able to skip anywhere in the track instantly.

The delay persists whether I directly click the play button for the next track I want to hear, or click somewhere on the waveform. It seems to be limited to https://soundcloud.com/stream; the delay does not occur if I open a new tab for each song I want to hear. That is a fair work-around, but incredibly inconvenient when sorting through a lot of music.

Prior to about a week ago, I could skip to any track on my screen, pretty much instantly. It didn't matter if I was two hours back in my stream, or two days - the switch was instant.

So, my first instinct was to eliminate an issue with Firefox. Well, therein lies that can of worms. This behavior persists across all of the browsers I am using. I have tested this problem on fresh installations of the following software with no addons / extensions / adblockers:

- Firefox 54.0.1 64-bit ("safe mode")
- Chrome 60.0.3112.78 (Official Build) (64-bit) ("incognito mode")
- Microsoft Edge 38.14393.0.0

In all of them, the results are exactly the same as I stated at the beginning of this post.

I should state that outside of SoundCloud, I am experiencing no other problems, even on sites where I can scroll back through content and skip between items (YouTube, MixCloud, etc.)

My computer info:

Windows 10 Pro, version 1607, Build 14393.693

I'm open to testing and more troubleshooting, where should I go from here?

Thanks,
Matt (Rhythmicity)
https://soundcloud.com/rhythmicity
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Best answer by Rhythmicity 12 September 2017, 17:44

@Rhythmicity we have deployed the other fix now, so if you refresh you should get it.
Indeed I did! Looks like you guys have fixed this one. I cannot get the browser to fail in any manner as I described before. Performance seems smooth, exactly as it was about six weeks ago.

Well, it's been an interesting six weeks. Thanks to all involved, both the users that came in to add support, and the devs who actually implemented the fix. Unfortunately, I must stand by what I said about SC's customer service practices. This entire thing would have taken two weeks instead of six, had there not been communication issues from the get-go.

But anyway, it's water under the bridge. Thanks again all. I consider this issue resolved, if the mods want to mark the thread as such. 🆒

All the best,
Matt Franco
Rhythmicity
https://soundcloud.com/rhythmicity
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In trying to work through my stream of the past day, I came up with an interesting observation. The "delay" affects any SoundCloud URL -- not just the stream.

I tested this by visiting URLs of various artists that I follow, scrolling down their tracks for a bit, and then poking around. The same delay problem occurs as in my original description.

For example, right now I am experiencing the problem on https://soundcloud.com/honey-glazed-records, while trying to listen to tracks they uploaded one year ago.
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Hi Rhythmicity,

Hmm, sorry to hear this has been an issue for you. We're not getting a lot of reports about this being an issue that's currently affecting a larger group of users. Just a thought - a) have you tried to turn off your router for a few minutes, then turn it on again, give it another few minutes to restart, then try again? Also, if your device is a laptop - any chance you could test this on a different network?

Let the community know how it went.

Cheers
Mathis
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Mathis,

Thanks for your reply. While I appreciate that from a tech point of view, you want to eliminate the easiest possible culprit first, this is not a connectivity issue. If it were, the browser wouldn't become unresponsive; rather, the Play icon would just switch to streaming ("...") and remain that way. I'd also have regular playback problems at any random point in my stream, not just when switching tracks (and at that, only when switching tracks after scrolling back through a large amount of content.)

But, I've also worked support for many, many years, so I don't want to be "that guy" that disagrees with the tech off the bat. So, I have cycled my router, rebooted my machine, and connected to my in-laws network next door. The problem persists in the same manner as described above.

I can appreciate that you may not have had many reports of this - perhaps it is not a common problem, perhaps I am among the first to report it, or perhaps I use my account in a fairly unique way (I follow nearly the limit of 2,000 and sort through my feed daily). Maybe there just aren't that many people going back through 24 hours of activity generated by 2,000 users. I'll also add that this problem doesn't happen on the mobile app - I tried and could not generate it. So all of those people wouldn't be reporting the error either.

Anyway, I did some more investigating and I believe I have found the culprit. I'd appreciate if you could pass this on to whomever takes a look at this sort of thing.

In an incognito window of Chrome, I opened up the console and set the error monitoring to verbose. I found a track that generated the error, cleared the console and proceeded to click. There is indeed an error causing this delay, please check the following screen cap:

http://imgur.com/a/o2A4I

As you can see from my Listening History, the delay/error that I describe happened when I tried to switch to the Bazane track from the Pilot track. You can see the errors listed on the right; whether the 403 is related to the mousedown timeouts, I have no idea. That's why I need your help =)

Where to next?

Matt
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Here's another cap to illustrate how frustrating this becomes if I try to use SoundCloud in a normal manner. Check out the ridiculous numbers on all the timeouts on the right. Also note that my latency on the streams are ~250ms, which is and always has been normal for my connection, and is perfectly acceptable. It's the 60,000ms delays on the javascript that I can't handle ;)

Yeah, I do have on all my adblockers, script blockers and stream managers in this shot, but with all fairness I believe I have eliminated them as causes of this problem.

http://imgur.com/a/WirR5
I'm having the same problem, started around a week or so. The first track starts immediately, then each time I start a new one it takes longer and longer. This makes using soundcloud pretty much impossible.

It's a little different for me though. It is not about how long I have scrolled in my stream, it's about how many tracks I have started. Each track I start takes longer and longer, regardless of scrolling. Either way, this makes soundcloud completely unusable. Also, the entire browser doesn't freeze for me, only the soundcloud tab which I'm using. I've tried it with Opera and Explorer and it behaves exactly the same way.
I'm also experiencing this since about a week ago. I've always listened to my feed in a chronological order so i usually start listening after i've scrolled a few days back. I've also experienced the problem Fifmut's describing with it getting worse with each track i listen to. It starts with just a few seconds delay and becomes unbearable after about 10-15 songs. I'm also working around it right now by opening each track in a new tab.
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@Fifmut and @Arne K, thanks for joining in the discussion!

@Fifmut, I see now that different browsers behave differently during the delay/freeze. Using Firefox, the entire browser seems to freeze (all tabs, all instances). However, on Chrome and Edge (and thanks to you, we know Opera and IE as well), only the current tab freezes while any other browser windows and tabs remain usable.

I'd like to also add the following. @Fifmut, you seem to be mostly correct about this being more an issue of how many songs have been started (within the same browser tab), rather than one of scrolling through a particular amount of data. I go through my feed in the same manner as @Arne K - scrolling back to the 24 hour point before I start listening, moving forward up to the current time. Today I did the opposite, going through my feed from most recent posts, back to the 24 hour mark, monitoring errors the whole time.

My findings (Screenshot for reference: https://imgur.com/2jjEbub)

- I was able to generate the error after skipping through only nineteen songs, starting at the beginning of my stream. This put me at 50 minutes "back" in postings.
- The 'setTimeout' delays all seem normal, appx. 200ms. Performance is completely normal.
- The perceptible delay started on track nineteen, coinciding with a 213ms 'mousedown' delay.
- (Not shown in screencap) I was able to continue clicking 29 more tracks; the 'mousedown' delay increased each time.
- By track 48 the 'mousedown' delay was 18,000ms, and it began causing Chrome to ask me if I wanted to force-close tabs that weren't responding. For me, the 48th track was at the two-hour point in my stream.

I tried something different, reloading the browser and then scrolling forward six hours in my stream before clicking any songs. Lo and behold, I was able to click 22 songs before the mousedown delay, and then an additional fifteen before the delay got above 10,000ms. Very, very close to my original results.

I would edit the title if I could, 'cause I no longer think this has anything to do with how far back you've scrolled in a stream. This has to do with number of tracks played (in a single tab), and that's about it.

Thanks all,
Matt
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OK, guys, taking this out one step further. I've provided all of the information to the folks over at codingforums.com and have humbly requested that they give me any insight they might have.

http://www.codingforums.com/javascript-programming/386684-violation-mousedown-handler.html#post1536554

As I mentioned in my post over there, all of my instincts are telling me this is a problem on SoundCloud's side. I spent a fair amount of time trying to research the mousedown handler timeout, and couldn't find any instances of end users like myself having to troubleshoot it. What I did find is a plethora of information on how to properly code this handler to be elegant and efficient. Hey, SC, I can give you some links if you want!

I kid, I kid. I know stuff goes wrong and that's fine 🆒 I'm just passionate about SC and want it to work properly for myself, and everyone else out there.

Thanks,
Matt
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The specific code that is referenced in the mousedown timeout errors is:

https://a-v2.sndcdn.com/assets/vendor-01d1e6d-ee4596e-3.js, line 24
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OK SC, it's been two weeks (give or take a few hours) since I brought this problem to your attention. So far, I've had no help here in the community, no help via Twitter, no help from email support - other than the response by Mathis above stating that they haven't had many reports of this issue.

Which was then followed by posts from two random people that are, in fact, having the issue. You guys know better than I do that for every post on a forum about a problem, there are a thousand people out there having the problem that don't know where to go with it.

This is not a question of whether or not there is an issue. I've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an issue.

I know I'm just on a free account and all, but is right now really the best time for you guys to be alienating people that just might subscribe the next time their favorite track comes by on GO+? Or who might decide to take their hobby to the next level and buy a paid account? These people aren't going to pay if they cannot scroll back ten hours in their Stream and have reliable performance.

Last time I came across a SoundCloud issue that was hindering me was 2015. At that time, I was instrumental in working with the folks over at Mozilla to get an error fixed in their Firefox code, because the problem was on their end. For those efforts, you guys sent me an SC t-shirt, shouted me out on your support Twitter, and named me "contributor of the week" or some such.

That original support thread is no longer available on soundcloudcommunity, but here is the thread on Mozilla's support: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1089368. I'm not asking for another pat on the back; I'm merely trying to illustrate that I am serious about helping you guys out.

So, what happened? Why can I not even get a dialog going on this with you?
This is definitely a widespread problem and definitely an issue on soundcloud's end. It's impossible to listen to my feed now because of the delay between hitting play and when the song actually starts playing.
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This is definitely a widespread problem and definitely an issue on soundcloud's end. It's impossible to listen to my feed now because of the delay between hitting play and when the song actually starts playing.

Thanks for chiming in on this thread. The problem continues, and these are the only responses I have gotten so far:

"Try rebooting your router and trying on a different network." - OK, did that, no effect.
"We already see a lot of discussion going on in the community post [this thread] on the topic." - Yeah, it's nearly all mine.
"We will be with you shortly regarding this problem." - Well, two weeks later, they are still not.

The only help I can offer you, my friend, is to open songs in your feed in another tab. By having each song in a different tab, the mousedown timeout is avoided. Incredibly inconvenient, I know. =(

Soundcloud's lack of any input at all on this matter is disappointing. I've provided so much information and detail, that if they would take five minutes to look at the data, I'm sure they could at least come up with a statement on the problem.

I'm not saying they could solve it in five minutes, but I am saying they could acceptably either:

- Dismiss the error as not being their problem (if they can provide proof of such since the error happens in any browser.)
- Say that they are going to work on the error and completely fix it on their end.
- Say that I could be trying other fixes to correct the problem.

But no response is really bad customer service.

Thanks,
Matt
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Just to keep all of the available info in one thread:

https://twitter.com/rhythmicity1/status/895975776671092737 (8/11/17)

https://twitter.com/SCsupport/status/895994947794419713 (8/11/17)
In response to this tweet: No, unfortunately there is not. What we do have is about 8 or 9 posts from me providing information about the error and my troubleshooting steps, three people that said they are having the error, and one "moderator response" that offered fixes which unfortunately didn't fix anything.

https://twitter.com/rhythmicity1/status/896067473367195649 (8/11/17)
https://twitter.com/rhythmicity1/status/896067695908605952 (8/11/17)
https://twitter.com/rhythmicity1/status/896068632458821633 (8/11/17)
https://twitter.com/rhythmicity1/status/896072380912517121 (8/11/17)
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I've finally managed to get their attention, cross your fingers for a quick fix (but don't hold your breath!) =)

https://twitter.com/SCsupport/status/897027391142461440

Matt
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Please note that these community support threads, based on the info provided, are most likely the same error I am experiencing:

https://soundcloudcommunity.com/soundcloud-on-your-computer-230066/browser-freezes-for-10-seconds-when-pressing-a-play-button-7363826

https://soundcloudcommunity.com/soundcloud-on-your-computer-230066/time-between-pressing-play-and-audio-is-ridiculous-listening-to-my-stream-is-taking-far-too-long-7363749
This is probably the same error I'm having. For a week now, every time I press play on anything, all it does is buffer endlessly. It never plays.

I hope Soundcloud actually fixes this.
Hey I'm not insane. I have no input on this issue other than it's annoying the hell out of me. You efforts are appreciated!
I have been having the same issue. Your work and effort to get this issued fixed is extremely appreciated. It's sad to see that this issue hasn't been fixed yet.
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Hey,

@Angeliquus, @Natedogg5693, @End Of Reality: thanks for posting in here and keeping up awareness of the issue.

So far, I've heard nothing since August 14th. But, I feel like I need to give them a fair amount of time before I start being that squeaky wheel again, so I will wait until the 28th (2 weeks elapsed), and then try to get some kind of an update. I have to assume they're being straightforward about having their techs look at the issue, so hopefully some kind of fix is coming soon.

The more people we can get to post in here and confirm the error, the more likely we are to get a fix sooner rather than later. Ask your family, ask your friends, check your fanbases. If people are having the problem, ask 'em to post here!

Here's a bitly for this thread so it's easier to share: http://bit.ly/2g3XpHc

Thanks all!
Matt
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Hey gang,

I'm afraid I don't have good news for you. Before I start, I said 20 days ago that I felt my initial title was misleading. And now after two brush-offs from support based on what I feel is just a skimming of the title and original post...

I am officially asking a moderator (@Mathis?)to change the title of this thread to:

"Multiple browsers not responding after playing a reasonable number of tracks on SoundCloud."


Asking anyone on SC's end to read beyond the title and first few lines of the original post seems to be too much to ask, and is extremely frustrating for those having issues.

So, pretty please, title change?

And now for the fun stuff...
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Please excuse any frustration that bleeds through; I'm really disappointed with SC right now.

Their official response is as follows. I'm only linking their first tweet because last time I tried to link four or five tweets, my post got blocked by spam filters (fair enough). Here it is:

https://twitter.com/SCsupport/status/900305077566615552

And here is the text of all their tweets:

Hey, after investigation, it doesn't seem like there's any issue on our end. Simply put it looks like you're getting a lot of data in your Stream and your browser simply becomes unresponsive as it needs to load and process so much. We can only suggest you unfollow undesired account to unclutter your Stream or that you don't scroll back too far if you don't want your browser to have trouble processing all the data. Thanks for understanding! /J
Mmmkay. Let me boil down your points.

I'm getting a lot of data in my stream. - Well, yes, I get whatever data is associated with following between 1,900 and 2,000 people. You have set an upper limit of 2,000 in order to "reduce stability issues related to following a large number of accounts." (By your own words at https://help.soundcloud.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003447087-Maximum-number-of-accounts-you-can-follow) So, you've told me I can follow 2,000, because that prevents stability issues, but now you are saying my stability issues are due to the fact that I follow 2,000. Logic fail.

Browser becomes unresponsive because it needs to load and process so much. - No, I have proven (and others have chimed in) that the mousedown timeout happens regardless of whether you are a single hour back in your stream, 24 hours back, on an artist's page, looking at your own reposts, etc., etc. I proved it happened to me after listening to 19 tracks starting at the beginning of my stream. How are 19 tracks "too much data"? How is scrolling back to see what an artist posted a year ago "too much data"? Logic fail again, guys.

I should unfollow undesired accounts to unclutter my Stream - As the British say, you guys are having a laugh. What exactly do you think I do with my account? The 2,000 I follow right now are active artists, promoters, labels and DJs that have produced music I like within the last year. I unfollow people daily that are inactive or haven't made anything to my taste in 12 months or more. I follow new artists daily that I like. My stream is nothing but tailor-made to pack the most punch. The fact that you would suggest I have garbage in there that needs to be cleaned out is vaguely insulting.

I shouldn't scroll back that far, so my browser won't have problems processing all that data. - Again, this is quite a silly statement. First, it's on you to set limits for stability (remember https://help.soundcloud.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003447087-Maximum-number-of-accounts-you-can-follow), both in number of following, and amount of time you can stream back. I am well within those limits. Second, I've proven via screenshots that this happens regardless of where you are scrolling, so stability limits don't matter anyway. Third, I've outright stated that if I have (for example)75 tracks to listen to, and I open each track in a new tab (thereby spiking the amount of memory and CPU power I need drastically), the tracks play fine. If I keep everything in one tab, I get the mousedown timeout.

I'm bringing my 'A' game here because this is something I am passionate about. SC, can you please have some respect for me as a user and bring yours as well? You're bringing your 'D' game and then expecting me to be satisfied with your "efforts".

Help me out community! They're simply going to let this drop if we stop grumbling about it.

I'll bring more proof, give me a little while.

Matt
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Here is what I have, in preparation for them to come back and say, "Yeah, sorry but this is because your computer is not powerful enough to handle a fully loaded SC account."

Suprisingly enough, I'm ready to concede this point. However, the question then becomes, what does SoundCloud feel is an acceptable level of service given their 2,000 follows limit and unlimited ability to stream "back in time."

My findings today are consistent with all of my previous experiments. I created a new account and started following people, first 100, then 200, 300, and 400. I got hit with the "Please stop following accounts or else!", so I stopped for today. I will pick it up tomorrow and take it all the way to 2,000 follows.

What have I found? Very, very interesting.

http://imgur.com/ZbaUEI5 - Squeaky clean.
http://imgur.com/bGKNdCF - Following 100 people, I was able to scroll four months back before hanging.
http://imgur.com/S29tbmd - Following 200 people, I could scroll back two months before the mousedown timeout.
http://imgur.com/MkBoalw - Following 300 people, only 19 days were accessible to me before the browser hung.
http://imgur.com/WWyh3Q5 - Following 400 people, the limit is a mere 11 days before mousedown handler timeouts.

Here's some fun stuff. I plotted this out just for the fun of it:

http://imgur.com/aEKErja, or directly at https://plot.ly/~MattFranco/1

If this behavior keeps up, by the time I hit 800 followers, the accessible data will be down to less than 18 hours' worth. We shall see if the decrease continues at the same ratio.

Even at 400 follows, 11 days of error-free data seems quite skimpy. If that is going to cause a gaming PC (maybe three years old, but a gaming PC nonetheless) to hang, then perhaps either the limits should be lowered, or the data should be delivered in a more efficient manner. 400 follows is only 20% of your "limit".

Good luck all,
Matt
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I realize I am unnaturally inflating this thread with all these separate posts, but my options to edit previous posts are limited and as for deleting old posts... we cannot do that. So, my apologies.

Anyway, this information was collected by me today and I find it very relevant to the discussion. As always, I can back this up with screenshots, if anyone wants me to. All measurements taken off of Task Manager and of course include all processes:

Idle Browser open to my 'Rhythmicity' stream (following 1990+):
CPU Usage: 0.1%, 700MB of RAM used

1 day worth of "Stream" with each song in separate tabs (~115 tabs open at once):
NO ERRORS
CPU Usage: 3% consistent during playback and "browsing", 3.1 GB of RAM used

1 day worth of "Stream" in a single tab, scrolled back to the 24 hour point:
MOUSEDOWN TIMEOUTS HANG BROWSER
CPU Usage: 1% during playback, 35%+ during "freeze", 1.1 GB of RAM used

You can make of this what you will, but I see lower CPU and RAM usage when everything is kept in one tab, aside from the strange "spikes" when the timeout occurs. CPU and RAM usage are tripled when every song is opened in its own tab, yet there are no errors using SoundCloud in this way.

I'm also going to add that several times during these tests, when I went further back than I normally would just to see quickly where the stream would fail, I got the error in the little orange box in the upper right-hand corner that says, "Playback paused because you initiated play on a different device." I've seen this complaint in other threads, and I suspect those people are actually just experiencing the mousedown timeout.

Matt
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Here are more findings on the "test" account, at both 600 and 700 followers. I will be unable to test 800+ for 48 hours, but rest assured, I will pursue this to 2,000 follows.

Following 500 people, I could get 10 days back before an issue: http://imgur.com/gHtdi86
Following 600 people, hang occurs at 8 days back in stream: http://imgur.com/unG5UwN
Following 700 people, I was only able to go back four days before the delays/hangs: http://imgur.com/b4EyzWG

Here's the new chart. These are already far beyond the limits of acceptability, as far as I am concerned. This problem has only been happening for ~35 days, so actually, why should we have to accept any of this?

http://imgur.com/awjbJOG

Matt
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Here are reports I am collecting on others that are experiencing this error. The first one was an unsolicited message from someone reaching out to me for help, and the other two are responses I sent out to artists I have supported in the past that follow over 1,000 other people. As you can see, people believe this is their internet connection and/or they cannot complain about it because they're not sure where to complain, or what to complain about!

SoundCloud has been silent, but I do not consider this matter closed at all.

http://imgur.com/a/mNhdV

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