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Author Topic: Device Linking woes  (Read 10871 times)

robbaron

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Device Linking woes
« on: July 03, 2014, 03:25:12 PM »
Does anyone else have troubles keeping Device Linking functioning? My group is attempting to use 4 iPads and an iPhone with the remote control section of Device Linking. We've had issues with maintaining the connections. I'm not sure if it's a network settings problem in our band router, or if we aren't understanding the ins and outs of the feature. We can normally get one device broadcasting and the other 4 following if we've all rebooted our devices and start fresh. Eventually screen locking or app switching seems to cause the process to act glitchy or cease to function. Reconnecting after any of those issues has been a huge problem. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? Any resolutions, ideas, ... anything?
We're all on the current version of iOS. We have an iPad Air, 2 iPad 3's, an iPad 2, 2 iPhone 4S's, and an iPhone 5s to work with.
A couple of the iPads need to be able to go back and forth between SLM (actually Band Helper) and a remote control app for our digital mixing desk. We also have personal monitoring control apps available on all the devices. We're still deciding on our DMX setup. We really need to be able to 4 finger swipe between apps without the Remote Control Broadcast device or the following devices dropping out.  :'(

arlo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 03:44:37 PM »
Device linking as it is set up now uses an iOS framework that can only run in the foreground, so your connections will be broken when you change to a different app or lock the screen (actually I don't know about locking the screen, but device linking isn't as useful with the screen locked).

As of Set List Maker 3.4, the app should remember your connections and reconnect automatically when you return to the app -- is that happening?

And as of Set List Maker 4.0, a device linking button appears in the utility toolbar at the top right of the screen, which gives quick access to the linking settings and shows the number and name of linked devices -- so that should help with troubleshooting, at least.

robbaron

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 12:20:55 PM »
The number of connections seem to be accurate for the number of screens linked and active (not locked or in another app), but I don't recall them ever following correctly once back in app.
My iPhone 5S won't act as the device to be followed at all, but my old 4S that's now an "iPod Touch" will.  I love the new device linking icon in the utility bar and was in hopes that it would help us get it figured out. Still am actually :D
Is it possible that devices with cellular might be conflicting? I own an iPad air that has WiFi and cellular as well as the phones mentioned above. I've logged them on with my account info to do testing. Should all devices being under the same username affect it adversely?
Just to make sure, is the remote control device linking handled via Bluetooth or WiFi?
We occasionally had issues in the previous releases where once following was initiated... if the broadcasting device's screen was used to "catch up" on lyrics, the following devices would respond differently. This threw a few of us off naturally.
I'm trying to be as detailed as possible, but even after all the efforts we've made, I can't find enough rhyme or reason to our issues to describe them intelligibly and consistently.

robbaron

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 01:12:56 PM »
Ok.. New test session started
iPhone 5S broadcasting remote events/iPad Air and iPhone 4S following all under same account:
iPad Air and iPhone 4S both sent requests and were accepted by the 5S. Devices connected and the number on utility bar icon correct.
iPad Air following successfully, but no response on iPhone 4S.
Tested iPad Air switching apps, reconnecting, and resuming follow. Success
Tested iPhone 4s even though it was not following correctly with switching apps, reconnecting, and hopefully starting to follow. Other devices noted the change on the utility bar icon when the 4S left the screen and when it returned, but still not following correctly.

Hit the power button on 4S and then brought it back to in app state. Connections reflected correctly on other devices. Still not following correctly.
Hit the power button on the iPad Air and then brought it back to in app state. Connections reflected correctly, iPad air did not resume follow, then took itself back to home screen. Devices reflected the "crash" drop of the iPad Air. Opened the app again after crash, no devices showing the iPad Air as back. Device linking screen no longer has "Stop following" message. Tapped Follow: BOTH the 5S & 4S are listed as available. Tapped to connect to the 5S again. Devices connected updated, but request did not show on 5S. Following did not resume on iPad until I navigated it to the same set list screen.

Tapped to stop following on iPad Air. Other devices did not reflect the drop of the iPad Air. iPad Air now shows "Follow Remote..." but still shows other 2 devices as connected beneath the selection. Re-Followed on iPad Air as I did when it "crashed" in last step and it resumed follow without prompting broadcasting device again. I see that as a plus. This time, follow resumed without having to navigate back, but it left a ghost image of the device linking pop up. I tapped the utility bar icon and it cleared the ghost image and kept following.

Tapped to stop following on 4S. Attempted to resume follow to see if that would trick the 4S into following. Other devices still showing 4S as connected, but "Looking for Other iPad, iPhone, ..." screen never lists an available device, just apples working icon spinning.. waited 5 minutes.. still spinning.


In previous testing sessions when attempting to switch the broadcasting device to see if it would help: Even if I stopped following on all and turned off broadcasting on the originally broadcasting device, all devices seemed to not disconnect completely. To successfully set up a new broadcasting device, I had to close the app on all devices, reboot all devices, and then wait a few minutes before setting up the new broadcast. Even after closing app and rebooting devices, if I did not wait a few minutes, I would either not see available devices or not receive requests on devices that did find the broadcaster.

I hope that you were able to follow that. I've read the instructions on linking numerous times and feel I have a very good grasp of how to operate it. I'm just not able to get it operating consistently and dependably. Our group tried the broadcast screen option, but with different size screens and resolutions & tempo's not being synced.. we decided Remote Control was the way to go. When it IS working, whoever kicks off the song uses the metronome flash and the rest of the group ignores it. It's just very frustrating when something in the following chain ceases to function and we have to close all apps, reboot all devices, do a couple songs without the app, then re-initiate the whole thing.


Pongo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 01:21:38 PM »
Wow! Talk about taking the fun out of playing `live', huh?

Have you considered equipping each member with the same device, if for no other reason than to let you get back to playing music?!?!

Perhaps your complex request is more than even an app as powerful as SLM can handle.

Good luck!

arlo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 06:02:10 PM »
This stuff should be working as advertised. I'll go through your detailed post above and see what I can offer, but I need to catch up on some other issues related to the version 4 release first. But this is on my list and I will come back to it.

To answer one quick question, device linking uses Bluetooth, not wifi, and I don't think the cellular function of a device would interfere. But I have heard of cases where the Bluetooth reception seems to be really poor, apparently due to some kind of interference in the room.

robbaron

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 02:11:35 AM »
Thanks for checking into it. I know you have your hands full at the moment. In the meantime, I'll experiment with some possible Bluetooth interference possibilities.

pfran1

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2014, 09:27:21 AM »
FYI - I'm having similar problems, but to a much smaller and simpler scale.  We're only trying to link two iPad2 devices (and use a bluetooth pedal), and hitting a brick wall.

- for any remote control or screen-sharing between the two iPads, the connection time is painful.  It just searches and searches for devices or, once it does find the device it waits for the acknowledgement forever.  Most of the time the connections fails or we give up after 5-10 mins - altho occasionally it connects and we give a cheer.  out of maybe twenty-plus attempts - it connected twice.  And screen sharing was painfully slow (20-30 seconds behind), altho the remote control seemed pretty quick once it actually connected.  But then it froze up anyway and we shut it off.  Disconnects wouldn't work, so we had to restart the SLM app.

- The BT-105 pedal connects perfect to either iPad flawlessly and works great with SLM, but it appears as tho we can't do screen-share or remote control when it's on. And vice-versa.  The only time we succeeded in linking the two iPads was when the pedal was off and we chose "forget this device".  But again, it was painful for them to connect or stay connected.

- We did this in several areas of the house, with no better luck (in case of interference from the TV or something).

- I also tried between my iPhone 3GS and the iPad2, with the same results.

Is there a need to chose a connection 'pairing code' between the iPads or anything?  ie in the iPad iOS set-up?   Does it default to say, '0000'?   The pedal uses that as the default, and we're wondering why the pedal would create a conflict with the iPad2's linking.  We see the blue-tooth icon lighting up and trying to talk between the iPads when we try to link, but then nothing happens (usually). 

Thanks,
Paul

-

arlo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 10:05:21 AM »
Quote
- for any remote control or screen-sharing between the two iPads, the connection time is painful.  It just searches and searches for devices or, once it does find the device it waits for the acknowledgement forever.  Most of the time the connections fails or we give up after 5-10 mins - altho occasionally it connects and we give a cheer.

I have noticed that the first connection attempt seems to be prone to hanging forever, so if I don't get a connection in about 10 seconds, I just cancel and try again and subsequent attempts usually work quickly.

Quote
- The BT-105 pedal connects perfect to either iPad flawlessly and works great with SLM, but it appears as tho we can't do screen-share or remote control when it's on. And vice-versa.  The only time we succeeded in linking the two iPads was when the pedal was off and we chose "forget this device".

I don't know why that would be a problem, but I'll test it and see what results I get.

Quote
Is there a need to chose a connection 'pairing code' between the iPads or anything?  ie in the iPad iOS set-up?   Does it default to say, '0000'?

No, there's no pairing code. Device linking uses the iOS GameKit framework for peer-to-peer connections and that does its own validation somehow.

arlo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 01:38:55 PM »
- The BT-105 pedal connects perfect to either iPad flawlessly and works great with SLM, but it appears as tho we can't do screen-share or remote control when it's on. And vice-versa.  The only time we succeeded in linking the two iPads was when the pedal was off and we chose "forget this device".  But again, it was painful for them to connect or stay connected.

FYI, I just tested a Blueboard sending Next Song and Previous Song actions to an iPad and then the iPad sending song selection actions to an iPhone with no problems. Pressing a button on the Blueboard changed songs on the iPad and then the iPad transmitted the song selection to the iPhone.

arlo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 01:36:17 AM »
Ok.. New test session started
iPhone 5S broadcasting remote events/iPad Air and iPhone 4S following all under same account:

A couple questions here:

1) What iOS version is running on your iPhone 4s?

2) If you test with just two linked devices, do these same issues appear?

bassman

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2014, 06:16:25 PM »
My band is having the same problems with the Bluetooth device linking.  Sometimes it just searches for devices and when you cancel and it just auto connects.  I have even had one device linked to the same device 3 times.  It also seems very finicky and prone to stopping.  The only way to fix it is to close SLM on all devices and then restart them all fresh & try again.  Not fun on gig night.

We all have identical iPad 4's with iOS 7 and the latest version of SLM.  The problem persists regardless of what venue we are in.

What we are trying to achieve is to have any one of 3 band members be able select the next song and have that song be selected automatically on the other 2 devices.  This way whoever leads off the next song can select it when they are ready.  Unfortunately as soon as someone is following, their device is grayed out and they cannot be followed by someone else.  We have had this three way loop working before but it was only a fluke caused by canceling during the device search and having it auto connect an old link.

I am ready to give up on device linking with bluetooth and am hoping I can get this to work with MIDI song select.  Just need to figure out how to send WIFI MIDI between iDevices as using MIDI interfaces & cables would suck.  Not sure if this is even possible with Set List Maker though.

arlo

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2014, 07:37:42 PM »
What we are trying to achieve is to have any one of 3 band members be able select the next song and have that song be selected automatically on the other 2 devices.  This way whoever leads off the next song can select it when they are ready.  Unfortunately as soon as someone is following, their device is grayed out and they cannot be followed by someone else.

You should actually be able to send remote control events and follow remote control events from the same device. I haven't tested that in a while, but that's how it was designed to work.

As for the various connection problems you described, it's true that this auto-authenticating Bluetooth framework is not the most reliable thing. In a future version I hope to either rework it with a more low-level Bluetooth framework or replace it with something like ad-hoc wi-fi.

I don't think it's possible to send MIDI directly between iOS devices via wi-fi, but I could be wrong about that.

Christoph

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2014, 05:37:16 AM »
I am ready to give up on device linking with bluetooth and am hoping I can get this to work with MIDI song select.  Just need to figure out how to send WIFI MIDI between iDevices as using MIDI interfaces & cables would suck.  Not sure if this is even possible with Set List Maker though.
I have done this already, but do not expect it to be more reliable than Bluetooth.

WiFi MIDI is already implemented in iOS (CoreMIDI) and Set List Maker proposes its virtual MIDI port to CoreMIDI. The only missing thing in an iOS-only context is a way to establish the CoreMIDI connection over WiFi. With a Mac you can do this from the MacOS MIDI settings, but in iOS you need a 3rd party app for this. I use MIDI Bridge. With this app you can establish the CoreMIDI link over WiFi and it has a bunch of additional features, e.g. filters and integration of hardware interfaces into the setup.

My experience is that this setup is too complicated just for the sync of song selections (instead of Bluetooth device linking) and it also looses it's connection from time to time. It is a viable alternative if you use othe MIDI stuff, e.g. controlling music/video apps on other iPads etc. We eventually have reverted to rugged hardware MIDI interfaces (Alesis iO Dock, iConnectivity iConnectMIDI) and a cable because it seems to be the most reliable way.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 05:38:50 AM by Christoph »

bassman

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Re: Device Linking woes
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2014, 03:25:56 PM »
arlo: Send & follow used to work before version 4.  I do not know how reliably as we just figured the whole remote thing out about a week before we got auto updated to the new version.  Please test it out when you have time as this is a very valuable option to us and I would love to see it fixed in a new release.  Let me know if you need more detailed info.

Christoph: Thanks for the reply.  I was a little worried the WIFI option would not work well either.  I was just about to spring for MIDI bridge to test so I am glad you answered when you did.  Does song selection work very well using MIDI interfaces & cables?  Do you just send and receive MIDI song numbers?  Can anyone in the group send them and the others follow or do you need to have only one device sending?  Would like to know this works before spending cash on 3 interfaces & cables.