Spotify, AirPlay, App and UPnP Discovery issues...

If you have issues with autodiscovery of devices on your setup then perhaps this may help identify the cause of the problem and help you to resolve it.

 

With network based products there are several autodiscovery protocols in use - for users of Naim Streaming Products the common ones that are used are "Bonjour", (used by Apple Wireless AirPlay Configuration, Spotify Connect and the Naim app) "UPnP" (used by the streamers for locating UPnP servers) and "Ping" (used by our Music Servers for checking that devices hosting music shares and stores are still online).

 

When any of these autodiscovery services fail (for whatever reason) then you will find that 'things don't work' and it is quite obviously easy to throw a comment up on the forums or drop us an email saying 'Your kit doesn't work" - however we have many thousands of systems in use and can often see trends or common issues that perhaps don't seem so obvious when your own system doesn't work.

 

The main issues that we see are from poorly implemented networks ... networks that are using multiple wireless access points or WiFi 'boosters' / extenders or Ethernet over Mains devices. We understand that wireless networking is a 'no-brainer' option and that using a set of plug in Ethernet Over Mains devices is much easier than running an Ethernet Cable but it is important to understand that the more layers of devices that you put into your network the more opportunity there is for things to go awry and the more difficult diagnosis of issues can become.

 

If you find that you are having Autodiscovery issues (whether constant or intermittent) then I would strongly recommend investing a couple of pounds on the Apple Appstore and installing the program "Net Analyser" on your iOS device.(The Pro version is what you need, not the free version.) 

 

If you then run Net Analyser on iOS device on your WiFi network then you will see a list of all the devices that can be seen from your WiFi Network *AND* which protocols they are broadcasting / responding to. This also allows you to see whether there are any issues with devices on the WiFi network 'seeing' devices on the wired network. 

 

For Spotify / AirPlay / App autodiscovery to work then both the tablet / phone and the streamer must both show the "Bonjour" icon on a Net Analyser scan, if one or the other isn't then Bonjour autodiscovery is likely to fail.

 

Attached is a scan taken from my test network here at the office ... you will see that the iPhone, Qutes and the mu-so are all broadcasting the 'Bonjour' service (signified by the purple "B" icon) and all are discoverable by both Spotify Connect and by the Naim App. If any of these devices *DO NOT* show that icon then they won't be visible to Spotify Connect or the Naim App.

 

 

All

 

Similarly, devices responding to and broadcasting UPnP discovery protocols are shown with the blue "U" UPnP icon.

 

If you find that devices are frequently dropping their discovery services and you are using an ISP supplied router then I would strongly suggest looking into either replacing or supplementing your ISP supplied router with a decent consumer grade router - we usually use Linksys or NetGear and have had no issues so far with the units that we have had. The Apple AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme are also good solid routers too.

 

We have certainly noticed that many of the ISP supplied routers either have very poor Bonjour support or have 'flaky' Bonjour support and will drop Bonjour autodiscovery seemingly at random.

 

It is perfectly possible to keep your existing ISP supplied router and - by careful setup - run a 'decent' cable router inside of the ISP supplied router, turning off your WiFi on your ISP router and effectively using that as a simple gateway to the internet. The advantage of this is that then your ISP can still support the router that they supplied if you have any internet issues and you take all the load of running your internal network away from the ISPs router so it has a much easier life.

 

Thanks

 

Phil

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