Runaway ffmpeg process usage after MyCloud5 upgrade

I am wondering if anyone else is having a similar issue, where after upgrading their PR4100 to My Cloud 5 they’re observing a seemingly runaway ffmpeg process (as seen below)? I do not have any apps installed (I even uninstalled Twonky DLNA server in case there was some transcoding being done) and all the indexing is completed as well.

@arm3n “ffmpeg” is used to extract thumbnails for media content when Cloud Access is enabled on the device and on the share itself. The version of Twonky for My Cloud OS 5 doesn’t install “ffmpeg” by default but can be installed manually.

Thank you for the prompt response, @SBrown! Is there an option to disable the thumbnail creation or at least see the status of that work? This process has been running for over 24 hours now after my MyCloud upgrade, and the drives are being actively read/written to this whole time (making a lot more noise than usual).

Indexing occurs when the content is available for remote access in the mobile and web app. Indexing is disabled completely on the entire device when Cloud Access is turned off. You can also disable indexing per share as needed. The following articles will help:

Thank you again @SBrown - I shall see how long this indexing will take (too bad I rebooted not realizing it would have to restart the entire process - oops!) for my ~15TB of content.

At least in my case, thumbnail creation by ffmpeg continues after the indexing is actually over :frowning:

@ggirelli Ditto - indexing took approximately an hour yesterday, but the ffmpeg has been chugging along for 24h now…

@SBrown I just ssh’ed in to get a closer look at what ffmpeg is up to and would appreciate a bit more detail about what the system is doing:

/usr/bin/ffmpeg -hwaccel vaapi -vaapi_device /dev/dri/renderD128 -i /mnt/HD/HD_a2/24TB/Movies/Rosie (2018)/Rosie.mkv -vf format=nv12,hwupload,scale_vaapi=w=1280:h=544,fps=30.00 -vcodec h264_vaapi -f ssegment

This feels like going beyond just generating thumbnails (especially considering how long this process takes per each media file) and actually analyzing and uploading transcoded versions of my media?

Is there an option to just allow Cloud Access to browse shared files and CRUD file abilities (Create/Read/Update/Delete) within the mobile app in lieu of going through whatever transcoding is happening on my system?


@arm3n This looks like you many have Plex installed and doing some trans-coding. Can you confirm?

As I mentioned earlier, I have no apps installed (I have a dedicated Plex server).

Let me consult with our engineering teams. My Cloud PR series support hardware transcoding of content. Will have more detailed information for you shortly.

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In meantime, I renamed /usr/bin/ffmpeg on the system and killed the process with no deleterious effects. My system is now very quiet and all my Cloud/Mobile functionality still works.

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@arm3n I confirm that ‘ffmpeg’ is included on My Cloud PR2100/PR4100 which support the pre-transcoding of video content for mobile and web app playback. This happens outside of the OS 5 Update Indexing process. If the content is not transcoded, the mobile and web app will be unable to play the content. IE: media not supported message.

@SBrown Got it, thank you for confirming. I usually just use Open In VLC option, so personally really no need for this transcoding work. Is there an official way of disabling that as opposed to my workaround?


@arm3n… having VERY limited experience with this type of interface (I mainly rely on the web GUI), can you explain the steps that you took to “rename” /usr/bin/ffmpeg and stop the processing? Apologies in advance for my lack of understanding the process.

@cbsc139 No worries:

  1. first be sure you are able to SSH in (Settings->Network)

  2. Use an SSH client (freeware like PuTTY) using the sshd username and the password you’ve set above.

  3. type mv /usr/bin/ffmpeg /usr/bin/ffmpegbak

  4. type pkill ffmpeg

  5. Verify the there is no ffmpeg process running any longer when you type top and push p to sort by CPU utilization (should look similar to below)

That’s it!

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Caveat for all - should go without saying, but if you plan on installing any apps that depend on transcoding, you might have to either rename back or figure out a way to configure app to look for new ffmpeg location/name. Some apps might already bundle their own compilation of ffmpeg though, so you would be in the clear (thx @scb99)

Obviously the best solution would be for WD to get back to us with a way to toggle the MyCloud transcoding as we see fit.

Emby has its own ffmpeg not in usr bin
I assume plex the same

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Plex uses its own modified version of ffmpeg. When transcoding the Plex Process will spike.

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WOW. . . .transcoding media without initiating the process? Definitely something that needs an “off” or “pause” button.

Good to know. . .

Thank you very much for sussing that out.

(Does not affect me, as I have an EX2; I long ago decided to transcode myself (for plex and for tablet use) using a faster machine that I could dedicate to the task.