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Thread: HLS packetizer responses for invalid streams

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    18

    Default HLS packetizer responses for invalid streams

    It seems that rather than 404ing or some otherwise appropriate response to requesting the .m3u8 for a stream name that doesn't exist, the HLS packetizer returns empty or invalid playlists.

    For example, requesting "http://example.com/myapp/invalid/playlist.m3u8" where "invalid" is not a currently streaming stream name, it still returns a "chunklist.m3u8" with some default bandwidth specified. Requesting this chunklist will then return no .ts files.

    Also, when using a name group, it returns an empty playlist for invalid stream names (e.g. "http://example.com/myapp/ngrp:invalid_all/playlist.m3u8"), containing only
    #EXTM3U
    #EXT-X-VERSION:3

    This same thing also happens for an actual legitimate stream name for some amount of time right when streaming has begun. This is problematic because a player would get this empty playlist and then never play anything because it has no chunklists to open. If the playlist outright 404'd during this period, the player is better able to handle it.

    Is there any way to make the behavior more sane? I would expect typically a 404 response when requesting the playlist for an invalid stream name.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    21,962

    Default

    What version of Wowza are you using? I think this has changed in a recent patch.

    Richard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    18

    Default

    This seems to be consistent among 3.5.2, 3.6.2, and 3.6.3 instances I've tried. I am not running that 3.6.3 patch 1 you linked to, but will give it a shot on a test server when I get a chance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default

    Actually, sorry, for a live stream this is expected. For vod you will get 404 when the file does not exist.

    Richard

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default

    OK. Is there a rationale behind this behavior or is it simply the result of the way Wowza's internals work? It seems to me to be unintuitive and could be a source of bugs. Invalid URLs should result in error codes, in my opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsterling View Post
    OK. Is there a rationale behind this behavior or is it simply the result of the way Wowza's internals work? It seems to me to be unintuitive and could be a source of bugs. Invalid URLs should result in error codes, in my opinion.
    Agree with John here, we're currently having the same issue with Flowplayer where it will sit with a blank screen "playing" a stream that doesn't actually exist (valid URL, Manifest.f4m returns valid XML, but the .stream file does not exist so no stream elements). Since there is no error being thrown, we cannot fallback to a nicer error slate to show the user, our player just looks broken. OSMF doesn't seem to have the same issue, but we cannot change our player at this stage of development.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    1

    Default

    This is something affecting seriously to our setup. Failover is usually triggered by either non response from server or 40x/50x error code. An empty playlist prevents the failover to happen.

    Can we expect a solution?

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