Plex + rclone + acd + iOS/tvOS

I’m having another weird issue. All my videos (mkv, mp4) play perfectly fine when going through Plex Home Theater, Plex Media Player, and Plex Web; they direct play, direct stream, and transcode completely fine (startup time 1-10 seconds, no buffering). When I try to watch the same videos on my iPhone or Apple TV 4, the videos don’t start 90% of the time, and if they do, they take over a couple minutes to start and then bug out after playing for around 5-10 seconds.

I looked at the Plex Media Server logs and it says “failed to stream media client probably disconnected.” This issue only happens for files on ACD. Local files that have not been pushed to ACD yet play absolutely fine, regardless of Plex client.

Current rclone mount settings:

    rclone mount \
        --read-only \
        --allow-other \
        --acd-templink-threshold 0 \
        --stats 10s \
        --buffer-size 1G \

Plex Media Server.log snippet:

Feb 27, 2017 10:28:47.792 [0x7f58613fe700] DEBUG - Failed to stream media, client probably disconnected: 32 - Broken pipe
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:47.792 [0x7f58613fe700] DEBUG - Completed: [IP:53247] 200 GET /library/parts/51962/1488168678/file.mp4 (20 live) TLS 10366ms 131072 bytes
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:56.969 [0x7f58613fe700] ERROR - handle_stream_read error 2 End of file
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:56.977 [0x7f58613fe700] DEBUG - Auth: We found auth token (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx), enabling token-based authentication.
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:56.977 [0x7f58613fe700] DEBUG - Auth: authenticated user 1 as USERNAME
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:56.977 [0x7f58613fe700] DEBUG - Auth: Came in with a super-token, authorization succeeded.
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:56.977 [0x7f5849bff700] DEBUG - Request: [ (Loopback)] GET /player/proxy/poll?deviceClass=pc&protocolVersion=1&protocolCapabilities=timeline%2Cplayback%2Cnavigation%2Cmirror%2Cplayqueues&timeout=1 (18 live) GZIP Signed-in Token (USERNAME)
Feb 27, 2017 10:28:56.978 [0x7f5849bff700] DEBUG - Beginning read from two-way stream.

Just tried playing an ACD file on my old Roku 2 XS in storage. It’s able to play the files. So I’m not sure who’s the culprit, Plex Apple clients or rclone.

I was definitely having the same issue with rclone mounting. It happens less frequently (but still maybe 25-30% of the time) using ACD-cli. I ended up giving up and purchasing an NVIDIA Shield instead, got too frustrating.

Just like your issue, it never happens with local files, they all stream perfectly. Only files that are mounted and fetched on-demand through ACD.

A little more investigating-- used a simpler rclone mount command and now it’s playing on my iPhone with a normal start time (~20 seconds). It doesn’t work as well on the Apple TV, taking about 2 minutes to start the video, BUT it’s not buffering. According to PlexPy, both clients are direct streaming.

rclone mount \
    --read-only \
    --allow-non-empty \
    --allow-other \
    --quiet \

edit: jk seems like a fluke. mkv’s are playing okay on iPhone after a minute start time. mp4 (converted mkv via sickbeard_mp4_automator for no transcoding) aren’t playing nice.

edit: the simpler rclone mount still works fine on Plex Web

Hmm interesting note on the Shield. Do you have the Pro or normal version?

Just the regular version, I only really use Plex, Netflix, Spotify, etc. Not a big mobile gamer.

I think part of the issue with the Apple TV is that it uses the built-in Apple media player, not a custom built player like on Android or most other streaming boxes (I do not have an iPhone, but I would assume it is the same internal player).

My personal hunch makes me believe this has something to do with how rclone only requires 4K of data before passing it to FUSE (and Plex), and with this tiny amount of data at start, it causes the iOS media player to panic.

1 Like

Thanks, your theory would make sense and would help me feel better about my config. Been running around like a chicken without its head trying to figure out if it was my Linux config, Plex config, rclone config, ACD config, etc. I’m in the process of testing Windows + StableBit vs Ubuntu + rclone. My Windows server has been a champ minus crashing every few days. My Ubuntu server has the stability the other one lacks but comes with all these weird player/client quirks.

There is a feature request to tell rclone when to pass the first pieces of data to FUSE. This will probably help.

Here's the link, please tell ncw you want it sooner rather than later :slight_smile:

I have same problem, on AppleTV and iPhone the start times are 60-180 seconds, if at all. On Desktop via Chrome App, nVidia Shield, and Raspberry Pi OpenPHT it’s sub 10 seconds.

1 Like