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Native Playback - sudden failure, though library can refresh


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I'd love some help please with a frustrating playback issue that suddenly emerged on my Nvidia Shield running Emby for Kodi (native/direct paths). Native/direct sync works.


Kodi very briefly shows "Working..." when I press play, then goes back to the menu, all within half a second. My quick and highly uneducated look at the log file showed some errors around demuxing, but I don't know if that's significant.


Recent changes to server

I imagine it's relevant to point out I've recently upgraded my OS X version on my server machine, and also tinkered with its static IP address (but I ended up returning the address to what it was before the issue) - see below for more details. I'm sorry, I realsie it would be very helpful to be clear when the behaviour started in relation to both of those changes, but I cannot be sure which of those was responsible.


Native vs Dynamic

The playback error only seems to happen in my preferred native/direct path configuration, so that's a pretty good hint that it's a path/network issue I guess (I'm no IT expert). If I go through the emby for kodi app and select folders with (dynamic) written next to them they work ok, but I'd love to get the snappier native playback working again.


Issue on:

The playback issue is only encountered on my Nvidia Shield P2897 box, which I use Emby for Kodi (4.0.5) add-on on Kodi 18.4 (native/direct paths setup). 


Unaffected - these stream fine

When I run Emby on my Android phone (galaxy s10e) I can access and stream videos on the server fine via Emby and VLC on the phone, but I guess they use the dynamic playback mode as well.



My Emby Server ( is running on a late 2014 iMac, which I recently updated to OS X Catalina (10.15.1). I'm sorry I cannot be specific with times, but the Kodi issues started around this time, and I saw a post about clicking on and off the sharing on the mac to get things running again, and I've done that. As mentioned above, I also changed the IP address of the server for a brief period, as my phone was taking the same IP address, but I then moved my mac back to it's original IP when I worked out how to set a static IP for my phone to stop them clashing. The server's IP is now back to the same value it was when it worked, which is the same as that in the "Shared Network Folder" in the library, and I've done Emby for Kodi database resets and resyncs to be sure the Shield has the right IP paths, but to no avail.


The log is available here - I'd value the interpretations of a skilled user

(scroll to 2019-11-18 at 19:16 to 19:17).

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Thanks @@sualfred, I have now upgraded Embuary Helper to ensure the log file is cleaner.

Here's an updated log file

(scroll to 2019-11-19 15:52:41.902 T:9436 to see an example of the messages around playback attempts)


I'd be grateful for anyone's help on this playback issue.

Warm wishes, Peter.

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Kodi seems to be complaining it can’t open the file. “Software caused connection to abort” then it shows the smb path.


Can you ensure the ip address does not conflict or maybe you have two devices with the same ip? This is not an issue with Emby for Kodi, but really in your environment, something is causing Kodi to fail to load file via smb/ip.


You can work around that issue using addon playback (reset your local database) otherwise maybe if you enable Kodi debug, it will give a bigger clue.

Edited by Angelblue05
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Thanks @@Angelblue05 for your time and advice. It's appreciated.


I had a look, and I'm afraid the IP addresses are all different, so IP conflict seems not to be the issue.


I then got back to first principles a bit by seeing if a new upload of a folder of files to the library would change things (actually the "new" upload was just a pre-existing folder with videos and metadata, but I have assumed that doesn't matter (happy to be corrected)).


Upon adding the "new" folder to the server I was greeted by one of OS X Catalina's new permissions nags (see the screenshot below). I had hoped that my playback issues would clear up after I authorised access, but unfortunately it didn't. Playback fails in both the "new" and old folders on the server, and I have reconfirmed that the smb address the Nvidia player with Emby for Kodi is seeking is indeed the IP address of my mac/server.


Thanks for the advice on the workaround, and I'll go that way if I have to, though I very much prefer the snappier direct method if it's possible. It seems Catalina isn't causing other people concerns, so I understand it is likely to be something peculiar to my setup. I'll reflect and think and work my way through another test or two if I can think of one, and hopefully someone will have some insights too.


Here's a log with Kodi debug enabled, I hope that could be helpful.


Warm wishes, Peter.



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2019-11-20 16:30:06.566 T:12652   ERROR: Read - Error( -1, 103, Software caused connection abort )
2019-11-20 16:30:06.566 T:12652   ERROR: Open - error probing input format, smb://xxx.xxx.xx.xx/growth/Thinking Fast and Slow/Season 1/Brain Tricks - This Is How Your Brain Works.mp4

Is there a newer Kodi build? The only thing I can find on google is it's probably something with samba and the only way to fix it is to enable smbv1 which is unsecured. Sorry I'm not much help, I'd try to post on the official Kodi forums because as I said it's unrelated to Emby for Kodi. If you do find the solution, please do share.

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Is it a 2019er Shield? Because there was a SMB issue, which has been resolved with a newer firmware update. I'm just not sure if it's developer ROM or final. If dev ROM -> You can sign up at nividia for it by providing your serial number.

Edited by sualfred
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Thanks guys!  I’m grateful for the assistance of the primary developers - it makes me feel good about your work, which I’ve enjoyed for some time now.

Long story short - I think the issue was caused by Catalina, which dropped support for the vulnerable SMB 1.0 protocol. Unfortunately the suggested workarounds for the ensuing SMB disconnections are in their initial stages, and they didn’t work for me, so I plan to rest a bit as I’m a bit tired of my fumbling in the dark, and it makes sense to see if better solutions flow from others (or Apple).  In the meantime I’ll take your advice and post to the Kodi forum, and I’ll include a list of the fumbling I’ve done over the weekend in case it’s helpful or at least amusing for someone else…(a lot of this fumbling was done before I realised that the SMB protocol change in Catalina might be the culprit)…

(firstly, @saulfred - I’m using a 2017 P2897 Shield, with the latest Android TV update on it (8.0.1). I should add I use an ethernet cable, not wifi between the Shield and my iMac Emby server. I see from the Kodi forum posts the connection type might be relevant).

Here’s the things I tried, all with posters insisting they helped their issues, but evidently their issues weren’t my issues…

* Kodi update to 8.5
@@Angelblue05 - thank you for the heads up about the Kodi version. I have been on Kodi 8.4, which is the latest version the playstore has, so I sideloaded 8.5… Unfortunately it didn’t change anything, and then (this is my silly fault) I thought I should uninstall and ensure I use what’s on the playstore, and I lost my Kodi set-up and I suspect my backups…oh man. Lesson: move backups out of the default location….

* Increasing the Shield’s buffer log to maximum didn’t work…

* …so I turned off IPv6 (it was on) because of this post…
…no difference…
(I avoided resetting the modem, as I *think* my ISP needs to do that for me, and I just didn’t want to meddle…I will ring them if I have to, but I’ll try other things first…)

* So then I checked the Scanning setting as per this post…
..but “Scanning always available” was already off

* …so I tried setting a static IP on the Shield, but that broke the internet connection and I just couldn’t reinstate it, so I went back to DHCP
…and the playback still didn’t work….

* …then I tried turning off packet signing for SMB2 and 3
didn’t work either…

* Catalina - this post helped me understand the Catalina upgrade is causing issues for people…
(I am still not 100% sure I have a connection issue per se though, as I can get Emby for Kodi on my Shield to load in library files from my Mac Emby server, I just can’t open them on Kodi on my Shield)

* …and then saw a post by roenthomas suggesting Shield users just should use Android File Sharing to get SMB working…

* …but Android File Sharing wouldn’t work for me…it just hung…and this thread explained that Plex was somehow needed for the Shield’s OS to connect, so I re-enabled my disabled Plex applications, and AFS worked…but playback *still* instantly dropped out! (for what it’s worth, if you want to get AFS working on your Shield, see below for links on what to do and what NOT to do)
* To get AFS working DO THIS: re-enable plex - https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/shield-tv/9/309008/network-login-screen-on-shield-just-spins/2243251/?topicPage=3&commentPage=2
* To get AFS working DO NOT DO THIS: restore Shield to factory - https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/shield-tv/9/309008/network-login-screen-on-shield-just-spins/2239662/?topicPage=3&commentPage=2 (I imagine a factory reset does work, but I suspect that’s only because it re-enables Plex applications if you’ve disabled them)

* a search showed the Shield still doesn’t support SMB3…so perhaps I’m stuck until they do???

* …then this article got me thinking about the SMB protocol settings within Kodi
…so I set the minimum SMB protocol within Kodi to 3.0…
…but my video playback still instantly bombs out…

* …and this article says something about setting up afp (see second last post), but I don’t know how to connect Emby for Kodi to it and I was getting pretty tired of all this by this point…

…so then I got a beer and decided it was too nice a day for all of this. I’ll post on a Kodi forum and rest for a week or so and see what comes up.

Thanks again @@Angelblue05 and @saulfred

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