Songbird's Memory Leak

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I was hoping that Songbird's memory performance would significantly improve for version 0.7.0. I was sadly disappointed. On my Vista SP1 (x64) machine with 5GB of RAM, Songbird started at slightly under 100MB of RAM (which is too much). This wasn't the worst part. Opening a task manager, I could actually watch the memory usage increase before my eyes. Every 15-30 seconds, the memory usage went up a meg or two, until an hour later, when it was at 260MB. The memory use increases whether or not Songbird is being used to play music or not. When is this going to be addressed?!?!?

What makes this so painful is that I REALLY want to like Songbird. Its GUI's ease of use rivals that of iTunes, and the feature set rivals that of Winamp. Once the memory use is at a reasonable level, I will make it my main player in a heartbeat.
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Posted 7 years ago

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AlucardNoir

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Jozer99: your not giving feedback, your asking the developer to cut half the program out just so it runes a little bit faster
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AlucardNoir: Read first post in thread.

Moderator: Can we close this thread somehow? Topic is getting farther and farther away from original topic, and less and less civil.
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ncjasen

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Ubuntu 8.4
Songbird .7

Songbird has been up for about 6 hours and been playing on and off. The memory usage is at 275mb right now. I notice if I open any websites within songbird this increases a good amount.

For example I just opened 2 tabs and then closed them and the memory went up to 280mb and then fell back down to 278mb.
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ncjasen

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So 3 hours later and a steady playing of music has brought up the memory usage to 300.6 mb

I wonder how high it can go?
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Peter Janssen

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First of all I like to say I really enjoy Songbird. I have been hooked since I installed it. And I must say I do use the browser even with firefox on the side. I also installed google chrome to see what it is like. I like some features but not the browser itself. But as stated in the comic it is more like an impuls to all the open source project out there. So (as a none developer) I wondered if the media player and the browser couldn't be put into separate processes. Not splitting the programs but a way to gain a better memory usage when you use only one of the parts.
This is just an idea and I don't know if it is feasible.

I am sure this problem is thoroughly addressed and improvement is on the way.

Keep up the good work

Carnelain
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I would have to agree with Carnelain, it is an amazing feature that Google Chrome is doing by splitting processes, it would definitely help the memory footprint by splitting the browser and the player.
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To my experience, Songbird's team is one of the most responsive and user focused teams in opensource... I don't think absolutely that they are "unfamiliar with the idea of feedback" and the answers in this thread could account for that, IMHO.
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I love the player, i and especially love the browser integration, getting to the hype machine within my player, or last.fm is amazing. However it is a resource hog, for me it is even worse than itunes (songbird is about 125mb and itunes is about 90mb), I use foobar2000 and when that is minimized to tray it uses 10-15mb (30mb if it has been open for several days) which is the kind of performance I like. I understand that songbird will never be that good due to hte extra features it offers, and that a browser is system intensive for many reasons, but it seems to me that the browser in songbird does not need to be full featured, I really just want to look at music related websites, so perhaps the songbird team could think about making hype machine plugins etc. for music sites that interface with the website in some way ( I'm not a programmer, so do not know whether this is a massive ask). It just seems crazy to me to have the enormous resource hog of a browser when most of the time I just want the music playing in the background.

Like I say, I love the idea of combining all of the web based music services, and the firefox style add ons, but to me the memory use is just too big to be used instead of foobar 2000. I also think the UI is great, the cleanest and most logical that I have used. If you can cut down on the memory use I will jump ship from itunes/foobar2000 in a second.
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I'm using Songbird on Vista SP1 and I got merely 1GB ram. Now I've been reading this topic while listening to music in the background. Since I started reading at the top the memory usage has gone up with 35MB. My music library isn't that big so it uses only 115MB at the moment.

I think even if Songbird would use 120~150MB I think the features and clean interface it offers greatly outweigh the memory usage.

The real problem is it just keeps increasing. (it's using 118MB now) I remember one time it used 210MB, after being opened for 2 hours, having played just 5 songs.

The only solution I can come up with is just logging of, then starting Songbird again to clear the memory. Maybe it's possible to have Songbird "purge" its memory once in a while to get it back to its start value?

(it's using 127MB now, still okay but for how long?)
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I just switched back again from Vista SP1 to XP SP3. Now I have more memory available, and strangly enough, Songbird seems to take less memory. It took only 55MB!
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I'm starting to get the idea Songbird isn't optimized for Vista. I'm running it in the background on XP now, playing a 102-song playlist. Its memory usage started out as low as 19MB. It still does start climbing again however, but not as much and seems to slow down around 70MB, increasing only slightly after minutes.
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ashughes

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You are right. It is not "optimized" for any OS. Songbird is cross platform and works about the same on all platforms.

Everything you are reporting has been reported many times on get satisfaction already, has been witnessed by ourselves on our performance machines. Hence, it is a known issue which we are working towards resolving. Unfortunately, performance cannot be fixed in one release. We are committed to performance improvements in each and every release. This has all been stated before, however. In fact, I have mentioned it a couple times in this thread alone.
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Vivek

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Hmmm,
Even am experiencing the same issue in Hardy. But one noticeable thing was that the memory leak was more (400mb) when I used the deb package from getdeb. The normal download was just ok (150 mb after an hour).
Any guess why??
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Slate8

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Not sure about the deb vs current version on getsongbird.com but the latest nighties are much better on memory. The media scan is still pretty vicious, but after that, for general playback etc, I was getting about 150Mb average; less than FireFox! Yay!
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HarmonicStyle

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It's not a memory leak. A memory leak constitutes that the program uses more and more memory over time indefinitely or until the physical memory and virtual memory is so maxed that the computer crashes. You guys act like your ram size is a hard limit, when you go over the physical ram limit windows (or in the case of Linux it uses the swap partition with a preset limit) allocates more paged virtual memory.

I think it has more to do with the size of you're library than anything because mine is steady @ ~100-125mb and I'm playing tracks from the web interface of my remote ftp server in the browser. My library also has ~2600 songs loaded currently.

BTW, people are acting like 10000+ songs is not a lot? That's about 700 albums (like bittorrent much?). It doesn't matter what application you're using, having a database constantly tracking that many items is going to create a little lag and eat a lot of memory to process. Memory management isn't magic, there are real limits to this stuff.

And for those of you using foobar, that's great and all, but foobar can't do what I'm doing with Songbird right now (nuff said...).
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Official Response
Hi guys,

just thought I'd check in. I think you'll find that memory usage is much improved in 1.0. There's will always be room for improvement, but we've made huge strides during the last couple of months and I think everyone who chimed in here will be able to appreciate the difference.

Also, HarmonicStyle, while there are still some rough edges, we're (gradually) working towards supporting 100,000 tracks in a Songbird library. At this point, I'd certainly feel very comfortable running Songbird 1.0 with 10,000 tracks or even substantially more. For those who try, the major slowness I'm aware of right now occurs when you try to delete thousands of tracks at once. I suspect you could probably create some Smart Playlists which would be pretty darn slow with that many tracks too.
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Slate8

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Yup - 1.0 rc1 is great for me! only using 160Mb as I type. Yay. Well done Songbird team!
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My library is around 24k songs, and Songbird is currently running at 250mb, while firefox with 5 tabs open is running at 135mb. I'm noticing that things are better than they were in previous versions, but it's still a bit of a problem.

Is there anything I can do to help decrease the program's memory use while waiting for a new version? (for example, disabling certain things such as a browser)
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First of all, yes. There is definitely a huge memory leak. After a few hours the memory footprint has more than doubled.

The additional factor is that the *starting* footprint. It starts at 200M, with 100 songs and two shoutcast streams in my favorites. After only a few hours of playing a single shoutcast feed, its now over 500M. That's a pretty severe leak, and a pretty severe bug in the startup memory usage.

For those of you saying "oh, well compare it to iTunes". No problem. Equivalent library in itunes, it starts as 50M. Songbird already loses by a factor of 4.

As to the question of what I define "reasonable" - I'd take equal to iTunes. I'd think less would be quite possible considering iTunes "does" more in general and could be considered more bloated (though in an arguably good way).
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Just for the record, songbird is now using more memory than my windows 2003 VM. With 100 songs in playlist and two shoutcast streams. That's f***ing amazing.

This isn't fixed! It still leaks ~1M of memory every minute if not more. Pretending its fixed doesn't make the problem go away. Why is this marked fixed??
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i im suffering from this as well. i think that the songbird team should ditch the web browser and work on making a great media player, adding the browser once the media player is excellent.
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I would most certainly agree, if they REALLY need a browser inside songbird, why not take some of Mozillas basic website engines and make it take up a smaller footprint. That way you don't have to have a huge memory allocation to it. Better yet, work on making the media player efficient that way the browser doesn't get overwhelmed.
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Even if what I'm saying is not "possible" or whatever you want to call it, why not throw in a switch in the code to turn off the web browsing?
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Just deleted old version, then had to clean up directory after it, installed V0.7. Even worse! Takes minutes to load (on a 3 gig twin core pentium with 3G memory), starts at 270G and creeps up about 1meg per minute even with nothing playing. Remembered old settings for add ons and library even though I used the uninstall before and cleaned the songbird directory.
I asked it to search for something in the library and it hung at 50% for ever.
0/10, giving up, staying with iTunes even though I hate it.
Hopefully someone else will build something IPOD compatable one day, this isn't it. Start with a working kernel before hanging "nice to have" stuff all over it.
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My 50,000 library uses on average 350 MB of memory and takes a minute to load the first time.

HOWEVER

Songbird is still my main player cos I love it! Searching the 50,000 songs is near instantaneous, and the UI is perfect.

Is there a build of Songbird with the browser removed? That would reduce memory yeah?
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Ali Rayl

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Hey guys,

You've gotta check out 1.0. Seriously. Our developers have spent a ton of time doing some really great work to reduce Songbird's memory footprint. 1.0 is a slimmed-down, stronger bird. We have a release candidate out now, if you're interested in a sneak peek, or you can just wait for the final release to announce itself through Songbird's auto-update feature.

There are a couple of things to try if you're still dissatisfied with Songbird's memory footprint after getting 1.0:

1. Quit the app and restart it after you've imported media.
2. Try disabling add-ons to see if they're causing any additional memory bloat. If you find an add-on that's being piggy, you can contact the add-on author through the add-ons site.
3. Let us know where you're finding memory usage problems! We'll keep working on it.
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Surely the problem is two-fold.

Memory usage is one problem but the other more important problem is CPU utilisation. I like the Songbird app and the combination of browser and player the problem for me is that CPU utilisation is so high that using Songbird when running other apps (especially at work) causes other apps to run slowly or prevents them from working all together.
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icebearhugo

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To make this type of comment without any system information is not useful. Computers are way to variable in Hardware and System setups