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Old 12-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #1
janicew
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Kindle Fire Video Skipping/Task Killer

Hello! New here, but been lurking for a while. Trying to come out and participate a bit more.

I got my Kindle Fire at release and overall have been pleased. I haven't done much video with it, but used both the Netflix and Amazon Streaming services this weekend and was extremely disappointed with the play back in both. Both had momentary freezes or skips. I think I've figured out that the issue goes away when I kill a bunch of apps running in the background, but the whole "task killer" necessity issue is a matter of debate. Unfortunately it seems necessary to me.

I know that bandwidth/buffering was not the issue. In the Amazon Streamed video I could clearly see that the video was fully loaded (buffered) for streaming with but the uneven playback continued. Netflix was the same way and still had the exact same uneven playback. My home download speed is upgraded to 10mb, so I'm confident it's not bandwidth but tried it at work today with the same results...until....

I decided to see if the apps in the background were an issue, so I killed everything other than the few base things necessary. Basically, it had a couple of email programs running (I hate consolidated InBoxes), ESPN score center, AK Notepad, Accuweather, Amazon MP3 (not sure why it was running), CalenGoo, and maybe a couple of others I've forgotten. When I tried again, the video playback was perfect.

Thoughts? Do you think it might be a specific app causing the problem? Just too many things that stay running? Is performance better on the Fire with a task killer? (I know the two sides of that argument on Android.) Anyone else experience something similar? It seems that both of my main streaming apps (Amazon and Netflix) were affected in the exact same way, which I find really bizarre.

Hoping some of the incredibly smart people around here have some ideas/thoughts to share! Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
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I've often wondered about that sort of thing. I keep hearing that Android doesn't need task killers, and that it's actually counter productive to kill tasks yourself, but killing off tasks really did seem to help on my old phone. I haven't tried it on the KF yet.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Just curious --did you have all of those apps open on purpose or did they fail to shut down when you exited? I tend to back out of apps using the back arrow instead of hitting the home button, just like I do on my phone. Some apps don't close properly otherwise. Just a thought.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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One of the apps you are running is hogging. Video takes alot of resources to run. This is good way to have the battery drain quickly though. I've never had chopping streaming, Music or Video. In this case a restart would fix the issue.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carld View Post
I've often wondered about that sort of thing. I keep hearing that Android doesn't need task killers, and that it's actually counter productive to kill tasks yourself, but killing off tasks really did seem to help on my old phone. I haven't tried it on the KF yet.
Restarting is best if the device become sluggish and Android is not without its bugs. On my Phone I restart when it starts getting unresponsive. Fixes the problem right up.

It's okay to kill a program as long as you know what you are doing. It can help on battery depending what the app is, some are made to run in the background like your Email\RSS or Calendar. Apps you don't leave running are like Music\Video and games.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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Just curious --did you have all of those apps open on purpose or did they fail to shut down when you exited? I tend to back out of apps using the back arrow instead of hitting the home button, just like I do on my phone. Some apps don't close properly otherwise. Just a thought.
I'd say a mix. EMail was running in the background was normal to continue to check, but others probably didn't shut down when I exited, because I do tend to just hit the home button.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
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One of the apps you are running is hogging. Video takes alot of resources to run. This is good way to have the battery drain quickly though. I've never had chopping streaming, Music or Video. In this case a restart would fix the issue.
Yeah, I agree that something was "hogging". I probably should have tried a one at a time kill to see if I hit something magic. I just don't want to have to restart in order to watch a video. But I use Advanced Task Killer on my phone without issue, and have it installed on my Kindle as well, although I wasn't actively using it. I guess I'll have to see. I'm not afraid of killing tasks directly since I'm usually pretty familiar with what each one is.

Android is a little sloppy about exiting apps and having a lot running in the background IMO.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #8
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A task killer is not essential, however you can gracefully end processes that may be using up your Fire's memory. Whenever you exit out an App or touch the Home icon while in an App, the App goes into a suspend or hibernate state and is retained in memory. Also, many installed Apps like to conveniently start processes when your tablet starts (without you knowing it) eating up even more memory.

First, download a FREE App called Quick System Info Pro from the Amazon App Store. If you look under the Processes Tab of Quick System Info Pro you will likely see some Apps there that you launched and didn't launch stored in memory. If you are familiar with the App, touch it and select End Task. Only end processes you recognize. When you have ended all processes you recognize, select Quick System Info Pro from the processes list and end it.

Second, just like many PC programs, many installed Android Apps like to start themselves when your tablet starts. To limit the amount of Apps that "launch" processes at startup and conserve even more of your Fire's valuable resources, I recommend you download an App called Startup Cleaner 2.0 (Download Startup Cleaner here: http://androiddev.orkitra.com/downlo...tartup2_v2.1.0 OR here http://www.1mobile.com/startup-cleaner-2.0-97574.html). This App allows you to control which Apps you want to allow to "launch" at startup and which ones you don't. This helps conserve system resources as well as improve startup time.

Last edited by obsessed2; 12-05-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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Thanks Obsessed2. I'll check both of those apps out. I'm especially interested in the Startup Cleaner 2.0. I restarted my Kindle (for other reasons) this afternoon, and when I checked Advanced Task Killer I had well over a dozen programs starting, some I've never used. (Pulse for instance.)
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:24 PM   #10
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Great post Obsessed2. Thanks for the links. I will check them out now!!
The two links are both for Startup Cleaner 2.0 (one primary and an alternate) . Quick System Info Pro is free from Amazon. I corrected this in the previous post. Sorry for the confusion on my part.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #11
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Hmmmm...not having much luck with Startup Cleaner. I set a bunch of stuff to startup prevented, but after rebooting my Fire, they are there running until I kill them with task killer.

I'm going to give the program a try on my Android phone though as well.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:04 PM   #12
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It seemed to work as expected on my phone, but had odd behavior and didn't stop the apps from loading on the Fire. Have you had luck with it on the KF, obsessed2?
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:48 AM   #13
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It seemed to work as expected on my phone, but had odd behavior and didn't stop the apps from loading on the Fire. Have you had luck with it on the KF, obsessed2?

That's odd, the Fire OS is starting up the Apps even when Startup Cleaner gives the notification indication that it has stopped the startup Apps. I installed it but really didn't check it on the Fire until I read your post because like your phone, the App works flawlessly on my other Android tablets. In fact, I have two other tablets I use the App on. I wonder what might be interfering with it on the Fire. I will try and contact the developer and see if he can offer any suggestions.

Last edited by obsessed2; 12-06-2011 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:53 AM   #14
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That's odd, the Fire OS is starting up the Apps even when Startup Cleaner gives the notification indication that it has stopped the startup Apps. I installed it but really didn't check it on the Fire until I read your post because like your phone, the App works flawlessly on my other Android tablets. In fact, I have two other tablets I use the App on. I wonder what might be interfering with it on the Fire. I will try and contact the developer and see if he can offer any suggestions.
Well, at least I know its not just me. And I'm pretty pleased with the results on my phone, so still a win! Thanks for contacting the developer.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #15
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Well, at least I know its not just me. And I'm pretty pleased with the results on my phone, so still a win! Thanks for contacting the developer.

It's strange that it doesn't work on the Kindle Fire. However, Amazon does have an App for $2.99 called Startup Manager which the website shows is compatible with the Kindle Fire. What's interesting is there are several reviews which says the App won't stop Sprint Apps. Maybe Amazon has done something similar with the Fire where a Startup Manager won't be able to stop Amazon chosen Apps from starting.

http://www.amazon.com/DownloadAndroi...6&sr=1-1-spell

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