Wdtv live lags between playing files

As of a few days ago my WDTV live has started lagging between playing files. this lag is almost 1-1.5 minutes long sometimes longer. it is very aggrivating. once a file is selected the screen will sometimes go to the blue wheel, and then others just be frozen black.

There have also been “dead periods” between the remote and the WDTV Live. Nothing seems to be wrong with my external hard drive, although i wouldnt eliminate the possibility entirely (im not very tech savvy when it comes to things like this)

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.