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Abnormal CPU Usage
Wabiloo #1
Member since Jul 2004 · 2 posts
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Hi,

After noticing tremendous problems with my Winamp (5.03c), with CPU usage very high (99%) average, I decided to tackle the problem and find the culprit.
I uninstalled Winamp and all plugins and reinstalled them one by one. And I'm afraid to say that BrowseAmp is the one causing these problems. (well, my fault, true, I should have thought about what happenned, but well, I didn't)

Diagnostics of the problems (in all experiments, music is not played, Winamp is not minimized, and no browser is calling BrowseAmp's webserver):

1) Winamp installed with default configuration and no non-standard plugin installed
Observation:
At Winamp Startup, peak in CPU Usage for 2 sec, after which
Winamp process CPU Usage: 3% avg; Total CPU Usage: 6% avg

2) Installed BrowseAmp with defaults, restarted Winamp. BrowseAmp's webserver is started (default after installation)
Observation:
At Winamp startup, peak in CPU Usage for 5 sec, after which
Winamp process CPU Usage: 3% avg; Total CPU Usage: 6 %avg

3) Changed BrowseAmp configuration in all sorts of way (apart from Music Folder), restart Winamp
Observation:
As for 2)

4) Changed BrowseAmp Music Folder to a directory in which there are not many files:
Observation:
At Winamp startup, peak in CPU Usage for 15 sec, after which
- Winamp process CPU Usage: 4% avg; Total CPU Usage: 7% avg

5) Changed BrowseAmp Music Folder to my MP3 directory (with about 15,000 MP3 files within complexe directory structure)
Obervation:
At Winamp startup, shoot up to 100% CPU Usage and stays at it for hours, of which
- Winamp process CPU Usage: 45%; I/O Read Bytes: +200,000 per sec
- System (Image name "System", user name "SYSTEM") CPU Usage: 50%; I/O Read Bytes: stable
Once at that level, nothing (apart from closing Winamp) will bring the CPU back to normal, and I tried:
- stopping the server
- stopping the server and restaring it
- stopping the server, changing the Music Folder and restarting it

From this I gather that BrowseAmp is (for some reason) trying to build a database of all tracks available. And indeed, in the "file caching, I see the number of files going up slowly"
Why that?  What's the point? 
I guess it's in order to enable the search for files.

Is there a way to make BrowseAmp cache things manually once for all (like the Media Library is doing), or to make use of what's in the Media Library?

More importantly, is there any way to disable it, while still being able to browse (without searching) the Music Folder? I put the value "refresh every" to 0 and restarted Winamp, but it didn't do anything.
This post was edited on 2004-07-10, 14:51 by Unknown user.
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Henry (Administrator) #2
Member since Jan 2003 · 865 posts · Location: Munich Germany
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Great job! It's completely correct.

But never mind the high CPU usage. The caching process uses an 'idle' thread. That means whenever any other application needs CPU time the caching thread assigns it to that process. So you should not see any performance issues at all except your CPU will heat up while caching is active...

Setting refresh to '0' doesn't help 'cause BrowseAmp forces a caching process on startup. The refresh=0 prevents recaching during runtime. To disable caching at all edit the browseamp.ini located in your %WINAMPDIR%\plugins\browseamp directory and add the following entry to the [Setup] section.
useCache=0
When caching is disabled you will still be able to browse your music folders but searching the folders will not work (no database => no results). But I think you'll use the media library for search instead.

The caching process comes from times when the medial library didn't exist (Winamp<2.8x). And to allow users to browse their music collection I created the file browser with a search function. The caching reduces the seach time from several minutes or hours on your machine to only a few seconds.

I hope you can sleep better with that information...  ;)
This post was edited on 2004-07-11, 07:38 by Unknown user.
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