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Thread: Error downloading videos - Another example

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Default Re: Error downloading videos - Another example

    There is another '30 Sep' video there today, so I was able to test it straight away. Guess what?

    The download failed in exactly the same way! Even with all memory resident scanning turned off. So I guess it isn't that. Actually thinking about it, it couldn't have been anyway - if that were the cause, it is unlikely to the point of utter incredulity that around 10 of your downloads would have been affected and none of about 30 or 40 others. The odds of such a skewed combination occurring randomly are such that it would take most of the universe lifetime before such a combination would be observed.

    The 2 or your downloads that have succeeded first time without error are much more likely to correspond to when others were already downloading and the servers were active, as I supposed, compared to around 10 that failed first time.

    So, I am afraid, it is very specific to your web servers or their configuration. Not a problem though, I just let the download abort, try it again and it is fine. Then subsequent downloads overlapped with it are fine.

    The only other thing I can think of is that there is probably another factor, such as that my ISP has some timeout that is exceeded when your servers have to be woken up but not when they are already awake, as others don't seem to be suffering this issue.
    Regards, Wet Trousers (WT)
    (I was over 18 in the pics used to make my avatar - in fact, the trousers were nearer 18 than I was!)

  2. #12
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    Jun 2005
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    Default Re: Error downloading videos - Another example

    It's looking less and less like an application level issue, and more like a lower level one.

    The timeout idea is an interesting one. However, I'm not altogether sure whether there'd be a big latency between a request for a recent served file and any other file. There may be a small difference due to memory cacheing at the server, but latency varies on the web for some many possible reasons that I wouldn't think your ISP's timeout would be low enough to catch the difference in this case. Unless of course the connection is in fact taking VERY much longer. I will mention your latest experience to the hosting company, in case we're seeing excessive latency since introducing these bigger files, due to insufficient RAM or something.

    First, please confirm that I've udnerstood your recent observations - when a file has (or is surmised to have been) very recently requested by you or a (likely) other user, the problem occurs with less probability?

    SM
    Last edited by skymouse; Tue, 6 Oct 09 at 12:58 AM.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Error downloading videos - Another example

    PS, if I've understood that last bit correctly, we could quite easily test that out if you have some spare time at some point to talk on the phone. You could try downloading an assortment of files either with or without me first downloading it myself a second or two earlier. If we see a difference, we've nailed it, and it's high latency caused by a performance issue on the server.
    Last edited by skymouse; Tue, 6 Oct 09 at 1:04 AM. Reason: I can't type "understood" properly

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Error downloading videos - Another example

    In reply to your last but one message - you have understood perfectly. The 'lower' probability of error seems to be close to zero. The probability of error downloading a file for the first time is about 80%, irrespective of time of day, browser and whether my security software is running.

    However, it does not seem related to WHICH file I download. If I first download one, all the rest are then OK! So it probably isn't due to individual file caching. Like I say, it's like something waking up, or a channel being opened or somesuch.

    Happy to phone and see if we can pinpoint, and glad from your PM that the ISP is now taking it more seriously. I will probably next be downloading at the weekend, so will text you (if I remember) before I start. Whether or not you are available, I will log times to +- 5 seconds for log checking (assuming Americans can convert BST to EST ). It would be very interesting to see if there is still an issue if you are downloading a file at the time and the server is active...

    PS There isn't any latency noticeable to a human being (and I have a connection running at 6-7 Mbps typically), so any timeout being exceeded is at most a few hundreds of milliseconds which, as you say, makes that unlikely in a TCP/IP environment (or everything would fail quite often!). But I reckon there must be an extra factor somewhere.

    It's also funny that I get a few hundred kb of the file - valid, so it plays for 2 seconds - before it aborts, so something must start serving the right thing before giving up. All in all, quite a mystery...
    Regards, Wet Trousers (WT)
    (I was over 18 in the pics used to make my avatar - in fact, the trousers were nearer 18 than I was!)

  5. #15
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    Default Still error downloading videos - Workaround

    After investigating this for two months, the hosting company has got nowhere and is now asking for the data again! It is unlikely that this will be solved.

    If anyone else experiences movie downloads failing just after they start, the simple work-around is to start the download again, which will then work.

    Factors that appear relevant to this happening are:
    • It only happens to movie downloads, not zip files of photos nor separate test files (the page header informaiton is different).
    • Not having done a download for a day - most failures occur on the first download in 24 hours.
    • Having protection turned on in Internet Explorer and Firefox (and maybe other browsers) that checks the website back with a central server.
    • Possibly the function of the local router, perhaps whether it inspects the contents of traffic.
    Regards, Wet Trousers (WT)
    (I was over 18 in the pics used to make my avatar - in fact, the trousers were nearer 18 than I was!)

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