Be careful with the record player, you’ll make the needle jump!
Before I begin, let me make one thing clear: VLC has been my media player of choice for what feels like an eternity in computing terms. It is great!
Unfortunately, something has happened and as a result over the last few months I’ve noticed that VLC on my phone is skipping over some songs. I can see it briefly load them- the title/artist appears briefly before it jumps to the next song. It was irksome but relatively ignorable at first, but now it feels as though as many songs are being skipped as are playing properly.
It’s a tricky one to describe succinctly so I’ll let my bug report do the talking.
One sentence summary: most audio files on my phone play correctly; over time, an increasing number of them will not play or start at non-zero times
I have been using VLC and its android version for years with few if any issues. However, over time on my current phone (details included below) has started having trouble with some of the files in my music directory.
- Some files will not play at all- I can see VLC changing to them in its main interface or on the lock screen; on a playlist it very quickly starts the next item.
- Some audio files seem to start playing a few seconds in or a second before the end- ie for some I hear it starting after the ‘start’ of a track or a burst of audio from the end of another before the next item in a playlist starts (as above).
In case it is of relevance:
- I create playlists by using ‘Browse’, multi-selecting directories in my ‘music’ directory, then the “▶+” button to append to current playlist.
- I typically copy audio files to my phone via
gio mount <device>; gio copy <src> <dest>
- Most audio files are MP3, some are FLAC and a tiny number are OGG/webm
Unfortunately there is little apparent consistency in which files this affects. It crosses albums, artists and file types. Within files of the same album (for example) some play normally, others do not. However, an album I added within the last month or two has all files correctly playable. I would caution against drawing a firm conclusion based on such a small sample; though it perhaps suggests some ‘corruption’ / process which occurs over time (permissions related?).
I have tried to get logs pertaining to this behaviour but the logging interface does not work when I try (see video+image).
There also used to be an option to grant VLC some extra file permission in (advanced?) settings which I used / did grant in the past but I no longer see this option.
All valid audio files should play from start to finish
Some audio files are ‘skipped’ altogether, a smaller number start at inappropriate times (some seconds in, immediately before end)
Steps to reproduce
I don’t know if this can be replicated on other phones / Android devices.
Screenshot / video
Example 1: Skipping over tracks in album in in playlist
Description: here you can see that when I play the first item in the Oasis album, it quickly skips through the tracks playing nothing until it reaches ‘Hey Now’, where it plays a fraction of audio from the end of the track (I think)
Example 2: One unplayable item between two playable items
Description: Another example- the RASPUTIN file is consistently unplayable. Incidentally, this video also shows another issue, where audio files with no video for some reason cause a ‘black screen’ as if it is trying to render the video which is not present- this causes VLC to halt playback if the screen is locked at the time!android_vlc
Example 3: Unplayable example in single track context
Description: This shows that the issue is present even if a single track is played in a non-playlist context. I have tested the file in question in Linux with my phone mounted over USB, and VLC (Linux) plays the file correctly!
Example 4: ‘Disappearing’ logs
Description: Logs seems to work (they used to cause VLC to lock up when i tried in the past). However, on playing an audio track to elicit this bug the logs disappear:
Revision 7e6165d14 | VLC 012337e36 (2022-01-05)
Android 11 (“Red Velvet Cake”)