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App Not Pulling Video Directly from Google Drive Sync Location

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#1 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 12:05 PM

My Emby app (version 3.0.64) is consistently not pulling the video file from the Google Drive sync location, after the file has been sync'd to Google Drive via the Sync function (I've verified that the file exists on Google Drive and is playable through separate means). I'm running server version 4.2.0.40 stable but have seen this problem on earlier versions (v4.x.x.x) as well.

 

On my Emby server (Ubuntu x64), I see the following happening when I view network traffic through the 'iftop' command. The Emby server shows an incoming stream of data from a Google domain (presumably the Google Drive server). I also see an out going stream of data from the Emby server to my phone's IP address. I can view the video -- with a lot of stops and starts -- as the stats screen says it's doing a 'direct' play; however the outgoing bandwidth from my home internet connection is only 1.5Mbps and not able to handle a direct play of the DVD program I was trying to view away from home. When I close the Emby Android app, the incoming stream of data from Google IP address disappears on the server.

 

I would assume, if I understand the sync and playback functionality correctly, that I should see no traffic (incoming or outgoing) on the Emby server system since the Emby phone app should pull the video file directly from the Google Drive location. (I did specifically choose the Google Drive version of the video program I was watching in the Emby Android app.)  FYI, I am the only user on the system.

 

I've attached the log file -- most of what I'm describing occurred around 11:42 or 11:43.

 

Let me know if you need any additional information. Thanks in advance for any help!

Attached Files


Edited by VirgilFox, 30 July 2019 - 09:06 AM.


#2 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:07 AM

Can someone at least confirm my assumption: "I would assume, if I understand the sync and playback functionality correctly, that I should see no traffic (incoming or outgoing) on the Emby server system since the Emby phone app should pull the video file directly from the Google Drive location. (I did specifically choose the Google Drive version of the video program I was watching in the Emby Android app.)  FYI, I am the only user on the system."

 

Thanks.



#3 darkassassin07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 04:18 PM

This has been mentioned in the past, but I can't find a specific reference atm:

Due to security policies on the various app stores, emby is unable to directly play from any source except your emby server itself. Google play and others monitor the urls the apps are connecting too. If the app is allowed to connect to sources known to host illegal content, it's the emby team that gets in trouble for allowing it.


Because of this, all content no matter the source will first be buffered to the server, then distributed to your client from there. That way google play only ever sees your app connecting to your private server and, especially if your using https, can't see the actual content sent back and forth.

Edited by darkassassin07, 30 July 2019 - 04:21 PM.


#4 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 11:27 AM


Because of this, all content no matter the source will first be buffered to the server, then distributed to your client from there. That way google play only ever sees your app connecting to your private server and, especially if your using https, can't see the actual content sent back and forth.

 

The quote below from the "Google Drive" Emby wiki page seems to contradict what you've described:

 

"Once synced, Emby apps will automatically use the additional media sources when possible. For example, suppose you have a high bitrate movie that requires transcoding to Roku. By syncing to the cloud and selecting a conversion profile that is compatible with Roku, the Roku app can then direct play the synced version rather than transcoding the original."

 

What is meant by "direct play" from the wiki quote? I read that to mean that the client (Roku app, Android app, etc...) would stream/pull the data from the file that had been synced to Google Drive.



#5 darkassassin07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 04:30 PM

'direct play' refers the fact the the media doesn't have to be transcoded between codecs or re-packed into another container (avi, mp4, mkv, etc) on the fly. Instead, the file can just be directly read from the source and sent to the client.

The data still has to be passed through the emby server though.


I could be mistaken, but I believe this is how it works.

@Luke can you confirm this?

Edited by darkassassin07, 31 July 2019 - 05:51 PM.


#6 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 09:35 PM

Thanks darkassassin07 for your responses!

How would you interpret this quote from the the "Sync Introduction" on the Emby wiki:

"As an example, an administrator can setup Dropbox or Google Drive as a sync destination, then setup specific media to be synced to the "cloud". This is quite useful when the administrator's Emby Server is ran from a location with limited upload bit rate. In this way the administrator can SYNC popular or new movies/shows to the cloud. Then when a remote user plays back this media the Emby server instructs the Emby client to play back the media from the cloud location instead of using the server's upload bandwidth. In this scenario the media is prepared and uploaded ONE TIME to the cloud where it can then be played back from numerous times without requiring the server to use bandwidth delivering the file again and again."

This seems to indicate that the video file is not buffered through the Emby server. BTW, this paragraph illustrates my problem: "limited upload bit rate". Streaming / pulling the previously synced file directly from the cloud to the Emby Android app helps me get around my limited upload bit rate when I am not home.

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#7 darkassassin07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 10:07 PM

Yeah, that definitely sounds like the client should be pulling directly from the cloud source instead of passing it through the server....

I haven't used the cloud services myself. The info I've provided has just been what I've gathered here on the forums as an end user like you.
I was hoping one of the emby team would have some input.

#8 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 02:46 PM

@Luke (or anyone else on the Emby team), can you confirm that using the Android app (away from my home network) to play a file synced to Google Drive should pull the file directly from Google Drive without buffering it through the Emby server (at home, in my case)? That's not what I'm seeing (see the log file in post #1).



#9 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 02:57 PM

If you use the web app, does it go directly at the remote copy?



#10 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:14 PM

@ebr Yes, the web app plays the file directly from Google Drive, without buffering it through my Emby server. I verified that the Emby server had no network activity going on with the Google Drive account. 



#11 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:22 PM

Okay, yeah then I'm pretty sure this is one of those situations where we are just in a really tight spot.

 

The issue is that, with an app delivered by one of the major stores (Google, Apple, Amazon) those platforms have the ability to monitor every url that the app requests.  That means that they can monitor for apps that stream from "suspicious" locations and shut them down.  So, when one of the store apps sees that you are playing a remote url (something that is not a part of your server's network) then we run this through the server because there is no way for us to guarantee that that url is not going to be seen by the platform provider as "suspicious" and flag our app as a pirating platform.



#12 VirgilFox OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:28 PM

OK, thanks for the explanation! Not what was hoping to hear, but something I'll have to live with. I can use the web client to direct stream for now.







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