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Downloading large file over WiFi (via 'Dowload link') shows no progress (% completed) and often fails in Firefox for Android leaving no traces in the Firefox Downloads list

  • 15 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • 44 views
  • Last reply by Seburo

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Hi! Have been using Firefox for Android for years. Cannot solve the following issue: trying to download a large file over (slow?) WiFi displays no signs of a download in progress (except for WiFi activity indicator in the top panel) and nothing happens (no files in the download folder, no records in the Firefox downloads list). If I retry it sometimes works. If I start another browser (Samsung Internet) the download works fine. The device is Samsung Note 8 with the latest updates installed (Android 9). The problem does not reproduce over mobile data connection (4G internet mostly, faster than the WiFi connection I use). Firefox is 92.1.1 but I have seen the issue with all previous versions in the last couple of years.

Sample scenario to reproduce: 1. open https://echo.msk.ru/programs/observation/2909078-echo/ 2. tap and hold the download tab above the video 3. a popup windows appears with the https://cdn.echo.msk.ru/snd/2021-09-25-observation-1210-3532210.mp3 title, select "Download link" (is there any other way in Firefox to download the link?) 4. the popup window disappears and nothing seems to be going on... If I go to "3 dots" menu > Downloads the file is not listed there. 5. Sometimes the download does succeed. In this case I see a notification from the Download manager in the top panel which reads 2021-09-25-observation-1210-3532210(3).mp3 was downloaded where the '(3)' suggests the previous 2 attempts to download the file did try to create the file on the device! The file is about 63 MB.

Thanks, Dmitry

Modified by dd_fire

All Replies (15)

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Could there be a timeout in the Firefox code which terminates the download?

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Hi

Are you doing with a fast and strong WiFi connection?

I have just downloaded and played the larger file with ease.

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@Seburo: The WiFi hotspot I use when I see the issue is backed by an ADSL connection about 6 MB/s wide. Not sure how much may be lost due to WiFi errors (interference) at the moment when I see the problem. Speedtest on the Android device reports 5.3-5.5 Mbps down and 0.6 up (3 times in a row the same results).

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I also saw the problem when the Android device was connected to a WiFi hotspot on another device which was connected to the Internet via 4G.

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More detail: 1. The '(3)' file name suffix suggests the previous 3 attempts failed that is I could download the file on the fourth try. 2. I downloaded the file in Russia. Doing the same from other countries could be different.

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Hi

That is not a really fast speed - are you able to download smaller files from other sites with any problems?

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Seburo said

That is not a really fast speed - are you able to download smaller files from other sites with any problems?

Seburo, thanks for your help. Firefox is my default browser and I download files with no issues, mostly via the 'Save image' option. I also have just downloaded a 23 MB mp3 file from the site specified in the scenario via the 'Download link' option. I see two issues here:

1. Firefox is (or should be) designed to download any file via any connection regardless of its bandwidth. I think developers should look at this and I plan to post to bugzilla.mozilla.org

2. While a file is downloaded Firefox is the user agent in the complex interaction of the site, the equipment which transmits the data the from the site to the user device and the software on the user device. I think Firefox should put the file to the Downloads list at the moment the user taps the download menu option. I see no records of the failed downloads in the list if I download the file via the 'Download link' option. If this design issue is fixed the user could see the status of the failed download, eg 'site terminated the connection' or 'timeout'. I noted I download from Russia because each ISP here hosts state-owned security equipment which could interfere with large files though the Samsung Internet browser which ships with the Android device downloads these large mp3 files just fine and reports the download process details to the user (like a good ftp client!).

NB: As I did some testing I noted above I noticed the following two files in the Download folder: - 2021-09-25-observation-1210-3532210.mp3 (size 36.08 MB) - 2021-09-25-observation-1210-3532210(1).mp3 (53.45 MB) These should be 63 MB. I did not see the file in the same app (My Files, which is like Explorer in Windows and ships with the Android device). Looks like the files were created on 2021-09-25 but the app did not show them at the time (maybe some Android fdisk fixes such files in the background and they appear later?)

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Are you able to open those files that you have downloaded?

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Seburo said

Are you able to open those files that you have downloaded?

I can play the truncated file 2021-09-25-observation-1210-3532210.mp3 (size 36.08 MB instead of 63) but when I skip to a point near the end of the file the player (Samsung Music app) terminates. Looks like the file size in mp3 structures is 63 and the player does not expect that the actual file is smaller.

Not sure why you pay so much attention to opening downloaded files. I did make several attempts to download a large mp3 file recently and after a successful one always played the file to the end with no issues.

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Seburo said

That is not a really fast speed

The bandwidth on the user side in my case is 6 Mbps max not counting possible WiFi interference from other devices nearby. The speed on the side of the site which provides the file depends on the current site load and probably many other things including the region the user is in.

Today I downloaded a 68 MB file from the site with no issues on the first attempt. However after I initiated the download I saw no progress bar or % completed for about a minute after which there was a notification the download had completed. It is not good UI design.

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Hi

The download notification is handled by Android itself, not by Firefox for Android.

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Seburo said

The download notification is handled by Android itself, not by Firefox for Android.

Samsung Internet browser for Android interacts with Android so that the download notification in the top panel appears with no delay after a download is initiated by the user. And it reports the % complete, number of MBs downloaded in real time (in the pulldown panel with notifications). The user is even able to pause, resume and cancel the download there. If paused the download icon in the top panel changes to down arrow with a pause.

Sadly, with Firefox for Android I see the notification when the download completes and see nothing if it fails.

Modified by dd_fire

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Thank you for your feedback. This is something that our developers are looking into and you can follow progress and add comments at https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/issues/10703

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Seburo said

https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/issues/10703

Sadly, the resolution there seems to be: Amejia481 added the S4 label on 1 Feb And S4 is minor significance.

I read the document but see no specification of what the intended behavior is when a download fails (as in my case). I guess I should see the download error code in the Downloads list. 10703 does not cover that. Is there a separate document which describes requirements for the Download feature?

10703 is about informing the user of the download status while in my case the most critical aspect is with large files which are not downloaded completely.

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Hi

You can see the download status if you swipe down from the top of a screen while a download is happening. The same notification area will notify you of a failed download.

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