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Author Topic: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm  (Read 7803 times)

fleahead

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Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« on: January 21, 2015, 11:03:59 AM »
We have been doing Bluetooth linking for Remote Control, without a problem, until a few weeks ago, when it just stopped working. The problem apparently has nothing to do with SLM, as we can not see each others iPads even in the iPad bluetooth settings. We even reset the iPad network settings, to no avail.

So our only option now, is to try wifi linking. I had an extra Netgear WNDR3400, so I set it up as a simple access point, with no security, or any extra options. I used my iPad (Master) and my iPhone (Slave) to test. Both are on SLM V4.1, and iOS 8.1.2

Here are my results:

1)  Logged both devices onto the router. I saw both devices in the router connection list.

2)  Loaded SLM on both devices
       I noticed on both, the Database Sync icon indicated it was trying to sync, but obviously since there is no
       internet connection, it just keeps flashing, forever. I don't think this is a problem, just an observation.
       Something to keep in mind is, that since the router has no connectivity, keep in mind that any editing on
       the master will not be synced to other units until an internet connection is established.

3)  On the Master Device Linking screen, I made sure Remote Control was set to Broadcast Events and
     Broadcast Screen was off.

4)  On the Slave, I tapped Follow Remote Control Events From. The little time wheel in the center of the
     screen started spinning around. Nothing else happened for just about 60 secs, when the Master iPad
     device, as well as it's IP, appeared on the Select a Device screen. The timer continued to spin.

5)  On the Slave I selected the Master by tapping on it. Timer continued spinning, and nothing else changed.
     Anywhere from 2.5 to 5 minutes go by and I finally get get the message that it is Waiting For the Master
     to Respond, and at the same time the Master  shows that the Request has been made.

6)  On the Master, I accept the request and the link is established, the remote control seems to work normally. I
     have yet to test it on a job.

During the periods of time when the timer is spinning around, I actually thought it was locked up and tried tapping cancel
but, when it's in this mode you can't do anything. The only way to abort, is the close the app and start over.

I noticed that if quit SLM on both units, then reopen the app, the links are not automatically re-established
like they were on bluetooth, but I don't know if Arlo intended that or not.

I tried this same test, except I made sure both devices were logged onto my home internet connected router. The only
difference was that it only took about 25 secs to see the Master device, and as little as a minute to send the link request.

I'm wondering if any other bands out there are experiencing the same thing? I hope that Apple can figure out what they have screwed up in Bluetooth, so we can get back to normal. For me, at least, the wifi link is pretty scary.
Jim in Ohio

arlo

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 02:39:37 PM »
Quote
2)  Loaded SLM on both devices
       I noticed on both, the Database Sync icon indicated it was trying to sync, but obviously since there is no
       internet connection, it just keeps flashing, forever. I don't think this is a problem, just an observation.
       Something to keep in mind is, that since the router has no connectivity, keep in mind that any editing on
       the master will not be synced to other units until an internet connection is established.

Database syncing will silently time out after 5 minutes, and the app will generally not try to auto-sync while you're viewing a show.

Quote
4)  On the Slave, I tapped Follow Remote Control Events From. The little time wheel in the center of the
     screen started spinning around. Nothing else happened for just about 60 secs, when the Master iPad
     device, as well as it's IP, appeared on the Select a Device screen. The timer continued to spin.

Finding devices via wi-fi is slower, but 60 seconds is a lot ... it typically takes 15 seconds when I test it. It does depend on what IP addresses your devices were assigned by the router ... what are they? In any case, the app will cache the IP addresses once it finds them, so if you need to connect a second time it should happen almost instantly.

Quote
5)  On the Slave I selected the Master by tapping on it. Timer continued spinning, and nothing else changed.
     Anywhere from 2.5 to 5 minutes go by and I finally get get the message that it is Waiting For the Master
     to Respond, and at the same time the Master  shows that the Request has been made.

I don't know why you're seeing a minutes-long delay there. This always happens in a few seconds when I test it.

Quote
During the periods of time when the timer is spinning around, I actually thought it was locked up and tried tapping cancel but, when it's in this mode you can't do anything. The only way to abort, is the close the app and start over.

In iOS 8, the app will do these network operations on a background thread, so the interface (including the Cancel button) remains responsive, but it's not perfect. Sometimes it takes a few taps when I test it.

Quote
I noticed that if quit SLM on both units, then reopen the app, the links are not automatically re-established
like they were on bluetooth, but I don't know if Arlo intended that or not.

If you leave and return to the app normally, the connection should be reestablished automatically, but if you force-quit the app, the connection will be broken. This is the same behavior as the Bluetooth option.

Quote
I tried this same test, except I made sure both devices were logged onto my home internet connected router. The only difference was that it only took about 25 secs to see the Master device, and as little as a minute to send the link request.

That's still pretty slow, but suggests that the router you use can make a difference. It would be good to hear from other users about that so I can make some hardware recommendations.

Quote
I'm wondering if any other bands out there are experiencing the same thing? I hope that Apple can figure out what they have screwed up in Bluetooth, so we can get back to normal. For me, at least, the wifi link is pretty scary.

The problem with Bluetooth is that Apple has started phasing out the Bluetooth framework I used in favor of a new one. Since the Bluetooth option was never really satisfactory anyway -- lots of complains about dropped connections and slow transmission speeds -- I decided to offer a wi-fi option rather than rewrite the Bluetooth code for the new framework. The other benefit of wi-fi is that it is cross-platform compatible, so you can link between iOS and Android devices. I expect this to be better in the long run, but since it's quite new it will probably take a few updates to get it to its full potential.

fleahead

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 03:09:25 AM »
Thanks for the hints, Arlo. I'll try some changes on my test devices.

I will say at last night's job, using the Netgear 3400 router, we never could establish a sync no matter how long we waited, and for some reason my iPad would freeze up while waiting on his invitation. (He did finally see my device after a lengthy wait, but when he sent the request, I never did see it, and during that period is when mine would freeze). We were trying this while in the set list view, I'll try it while not in the show.

My IP was 192.168.1.2 and his was 192.168.1.3. I didn't try making those static, but I can give that a try, also. The IP assigned by the router makes a difference?

I'm hoping to hear from others who have had success with this, with information on how they have the router set up, and the steps used for success. In the meantime, we are both going to backup, and duo full resets on both iPad in the hope we can restore the Bluetooth functionality. This had been working fine for us, even after we were both on iOS 8, but stopped just a week ago.
Jim in Ohio

wrpooley

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 07:32:56 AM »
While I don't have all those symptoms I have only made one successful remote control connection over WIFI.  Even then it was painful to establish and I don't really know what made it ultimately successful.  Generally speaking none of the devices discover each other.  In other words it hangs terminally on the 'looking for device' screen.  Hardware is a pair of iPad 2's and Actiontec router (Verizon FIOS) or an iPhone 6 set up as a hotspot which will be the preferred setup at a venue. 

If this is supposed to work is there a particular procedure that ensures a discovery/connection?

Might there be a way to create a manual connection between devices in SLM where the user configures IP/Subnet etc?  I find this to be a more reliable process when controlling digital consoles with various iPad remote apps.

Thanks for any help on this.  I should say your app is brilliant but this is really the killer feature for me!

arlo

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 09:39:28 AM »
Quote
I will say at last night's job, using the Netgear 3400 router, we never could establish a sync no matter how long we waited, and for some reason my iPad would freeze up while waiting on his invitation. (He did finally see my device after a lengthy wait, but when he sent the request, I never did see it, and during that period is when mine would freeze). We were trying this while in the set list view, I'll try it while not in the show.

When you say "freeze" do you mean the activity indicator stopped spinning? Or what symptoms did you see?

Quote
My IP was 192.168.1.2 and his was 192.168.1.3. I didn't try making those static, but I can give that a try, also. The IP assigned by the router makes a difference?

Yes, the app will start at *.*.*.1 and go up from there. So it should have hit 2 and 3 right away, almost instantly. However, there is a time limit in waiting for a device to respond and once a device times out, the app won't try that device again until you cancel and open the search window again. So one thing you could try is to search for the devices, but if they haven't appeared within 10 seconds, cancel and try again. If they sometimes appear quickly and sometimes not at all, then we'll know the problem is that the timeout is too short.

Quote
This had been working fine for us, even after we were both on iOS 8, but stopped just a week ago.

If the Bluetooth method worked for you under iOS 8 but stopped working in the app version 4.1, then apparently something changed in the Bluetooth method of the app, but my intention was to leave it the same. Unfortunately it didn't work reliably for me in iOS 8 before app version 4.1, so I can't test to see if it is working reliably now. To retest the Bluetooth method, I would need some devices running iOS 7, and I don't have any. Maybe someone else who is still using iOS 7 on multiple devices can tell us if the Bluetooth method still works for them in app version 4.1?

arlo

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 09:44:21 AM »
Quote
While I don't have all those symptoms I have only made one successful remote control connection over WIFI.  Even then it was painful to establish and I don't really know what made it ultimately successful.  Generally speaking none of the devices discover each other.  In other words it hangs terminally on the 'looking for device' screen.  Hardware is a pair of iPad 2's and Actiontec router (Verizon FIOS) or an iPhone 6 set up as a hotspot which will be the preferred setup at a venue. 

As suggested above, if you can find out the local IP address of your target devices, you can see if they are in the low end of the address range and that will give you a sense of how quickly they should be discovered. Then you could cancel and retry if you think they've already been passed over.

If the discovery timeout is the problem, I could easily adjust that, or add an adjustment setting to optimize it for different routers and devices. The speed of the target device is also a factor; slower devices might not respond to the request before the request times out.

Quote
Might there be a way to create a manual connection between devices in SLM where the user configures IP/Subnet etc?  I find this to be a more reliable process when controlling digital consoles with various iPad remote apps.

Yes, manually entering a device IP address would create very quick connections, but I'm afraid that would be too difficult for a lot of people to manage.

fleahead

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 12:08:43 PM »
Looking better, Arlo. Like I said before, we were trying to establish the link whilest both of us were in the Show mode. I just tried linking with my iPhone to my iPad, outside of the Show screen, and it linked up in about 15 sec, just like you said. I don't recall seeing a tutorial on using wifi for linking (I never read instructions, which is how I get into a lot of messes), but that needs to emphasized to anyone trying to use this feature. You MUST not be in Show mode. How about you wrpooley? Were you in the Show? I never could get a good link that way. I'm going over to my partners tonight and give it a try. This will be with a different router, so I'll let you know tomorrow.

You are correct Arlo. Our Bluetooth did not stop working when we both loaded iOS 8, but only when we installed SLM V4.1.1 is when it stopped, but I don't understand how SLM could effect the iPads from linking outside of the app. Our iPads don't see each other in the Bluetooth settings, even without the SLM app loaded. But we definitely were running fine without a glitch from whenever iOS 8 came out all the way up to last week.
Jim in Ohio

arlo

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 12:35:05 PM »
Quote
Looking better, Arlo. Like I said before, we were trying to establish the link whilest both of us were in the Show mode. I just tried linking with my iPhone to my iPad, outside of the Show screen, and it linked up in about 15 sec, just like you said. I don't recall seeing a tutorial on using wifi for linking (I never read instructions, which is how I get into a lot of messes), but that needs to emphasized to anyone trying to use this feature. You MUST not be in Show mode.

I'm glad you're seeing an improvement, but I wouldn't generalize that recommendation to other people yet -- the linking should work the same anywhere in the app. However, if you are doing something processor-intensive like auto-scrolling in the show view, that might explain the difference you're seeing.

The device linking tutorial is here: http://www.arlomedia.com/apps/setlistmaker/tutorials/linking_devices.html

Quote
You are correct Arlo. Our Bluetooth did not stop working when we both loaded iOS 8, but only when we installed SLM V4.1.1 is when it stopped, but I don't understand how SLM could effect the iPads from linking outside of the app.

Set List Maker's device linking is separate from anything you would see in the Settings app or in other apps. So if you were using some other Bluetooth functionality outside the app that no longer works, that's probably an iOS 8 problem, but if you are trying to set up Set List Maker's linking from outside the app, that never was possible.

wrpooley

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 02:31:34 PM »
The success rate does not seem to matter whether I've chosen a show or not (is that what everyone means by show mode?).  I tried to connect an iPhone 6 and iPad2 at work with an Apple router and have had better luck with the iPhone being detected (IP is 10.0.1.27).  However the iPad is not detected and therefore will not follow.  Screen simply hangs on 'searching for device'. 

Most of the time I can cancel but if I wait too long it goes into this loop of 'waiting for response' (having never presented a device from which it was waiting to hear!) and the only way out is to force quit the app. 

I confirmed the iPad IP was 10.0.1.88(!) so I tried to set it up manually with a lower address.  iPhone will still follow the iPad but again iPad never discover's the iPhone.  How long should it take to scan through perhaps first 10 IP addresses?  I've tried 'searching' many times for about 10-15 seconds before canceling and trying again but still no luck.

I understand the desire to present a simple solution for most folks but if there was a toggle switch (much like the Bluetooth or WIFI option you've created) that would allow the user to enter IP, etc manually perhaps that would go further towards getting this feature to work for some of us than tweaking timeouts, etc.  There are some pretty significant technical hoops to jump through to get the most out of the automation tracks or MIDI control so it would seem having to input IP and subnets for a specific device wouldn't be that difficult.  Maybe I'm a network geek though!

Should the device really matter that much?  I know the iPad2 is a few years old and perhaps not the fastest processor but it seems to handle the rest of the features of this app (and others) fairly well.

arlo

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 03:35:17 PM »
Quote
The success rate does not seem to matter whether I've chosen a show or not (is that what everyone means by show mode?).

I say "show view" and that means what you are viewing after you select a show from the Shows list.

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Most of the time I can cancel but if I wait too long it goes into this loop of 'waiting for response' (having never presented a device from which it was waiting to hear!) and the only way out is to force quit the app. 

Can you describe that in more detail?

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iPhone will still follow the iPad but again iPad never discover's the iPhone.

I thought you said the opposite in your first paragraph?

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How long should it take to scan through perhaps first 10 IP addresses?  I've tried 'searching' many times for about 10-15 seconds before canceling and trying again but still no luck.

It should take 1 second or less per address, so the first 10 address should take 10 seconds or less.

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Should the device really matter that much?  I know the iPad2 is a few years old and perhaps not the fastest processor but it seems to handle the rest of the features of this app (and others) fairly well.

That was more of an issue with Android devices, but IIRC it was an issue with the iPad 1 as well.

fleahead

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2015, 09:00:17 AM »
So last night, I found an old Belkin N router I had in a junk drawer, and took it over to my partners. We tried the Netgear 3400 router again, but had no luck linking, even outside of the Show function. I fired up the old Belkin, and did no special provisioning, except I bypassed all security. We both logged onto the wireless network, attempted the link, and it came right up. We tried doing it once while in the Show screen, but it was slow and acted just like I described previously.

Thus far, I would say that wifi linking is feasible, but it has a lot to do with the router, and it doesn't work well from the Show screen. (At least for establishing the link. After the link is up, then pick your show, and all is well after that).

I still would rather have my bluetooth back. I don't like packing around a router. Hasn't anyone figured out how to let two Apple devices communicate directly between each other, like an Ad Hoc connection? I read something about iOS 8 having a file sharing feature, but I've never looked into it. It seems kinda stupid to have to use a router, when both devices can transmit and receive wifi.
Jim in Ohio

arlo

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2015, 10:41:58 AM »
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We tried doing it once while in the Show screen, but it was slow and acted just like I described previously.
Thus far, I would say that wifi linking is feasible, but it has a lot to do with the router, and it doesn't work well from the Show screen.

I would suggest again that this has less to do with being in a show and more to do with what specific functionality you are using in that show. I think a recommendation like "don't establish a link while viewing a show" is too broad to be applicable to most situations.

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Hasn't anyone figured out how to let two Apple devices communicate directly between each other, like an Ad Hoc connection? I read something about iOS 8 having a file sharing feature, but I've never looked into it. It seems kinda stupid to have to use a router, when both devices can transmit and receive wifi.

The iOS doesn't support it unless you buy a tethering option from your wireless carrier. It seems like an artificial limitation, but I'm guessing it's a request of the carriers, because the same limitation exists on Android.

fleahead

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2015, 02:54:39 PM »
When we attempt the linking after the SHOW is selected, there are no functions happening. Just displaying the Set List. Now, when I select a song on the list, then lots of things happen. Recording starts, midi is transmitted, automation track starts, lyrics display and scroll. We never attempted to link after a song was selected. This doesn't appear to be an issue, for us. As long as we do the link prior to selecting the show, it seems to work fine. I'll know after tonights gig.
Jim in Ohio

fleahead

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2015, 04:49:07 AM »
 >:(Disaster!
We linked up fine last night. Started the first set, then half way into the 2nd tune, the music stopped, and my iPad (the one sending the remote control commands) crashed back to desktop. We continued the set without trying to relink. During the break, we decided to give it another try. This time it crashed again at the end of the 7th tune of the next set. We didn't try linking again. I sent a trouble shooting report to Arlo, in the hopes he may see something in the setup. I'll try some testing today to see if I can duplicate the issue.

Update Sunday 6:30pm
So I messed around with it today. I used my job iPad and my iPhone and linked up on my home wifi network, and played the entire first set (14 tunes). I set the link up just like last night, for Remote Control. The only thing set to sent in Remote Control is the song selection. I had no crashes.

I then did the same thing using the router we used last night, and established the same link parameters. I experienced one crash, and it was on none of the same songs that crashed last night. So far, the only thing in common is the router. I did notice one thing after the crash tonight. After I reloaded the app, I still had the link and it still worked. I also tried just powering off the router to see what would happen. Actually, nothing happened. I still showed that the link was there in the devices, but since there was no actual link, the slave didn't follow any commands, but I didn't crash, either.

I guess I'll have to try another router as I can't trust the Belkin on a job. Hopefully, Arlo will come up with something.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 04:03:22 PM by fleahead »
Jim in Ohio

fleahead

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Re: Device Linking Over WiFi... Uhmmm
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2015, 04:29:50 AM »
I have obtained a different router, a Netgear 4500 (not exactly a low-end router), and assigned my test devices a static IP address. For two days of periodic testing, using Remote Control, I have not had any of the "crashes" described previously. I have yet to try it, using my partners iPad.

I tried again, using the Broadcast Screen mode, but I still lose the lyrics text display, periodically, in the document viewer. Apparently, the issue has nothing to do with the router, since this is the 4th router I've tried. For those of you following this thread, I found that when I attempted to link using the Broadcast Screen mode, my master iPad, (transmitting the screen), loses the lyrics text after a few seconds of starting the song. The receiving unit, however, keeps displaying as normal. It happens on every song, everytime. I have sent Arlo a trouble report, and he is working on it.
Jim in Ohio