Google Drive Ban While Streaming

It’s been ages since I had issues with bans on Google Drive, and those issues were never about streaming: they were always about first-time library indexes that would ban my drive.

Last night, really for the first time, I was banned mid-watch during a movie. I have to admit, it is also the largest movie I’ve ever attempted to stream, a new 4k HDR of LoTR, clocking in around 114GB. The streaming was fine, as my Internet is fast and my local mesh network (Plume) is next-level, so they’re not the culprit. Streaming was smooth without a hitch and starting the file was immediate. However, after about 50 minutes the stream was cut off and some error message about not loading content was presented to me. Upon logging into GDrive and attempting to download the file, which is the only sure-fire way to know if you’ve been banned, I was presented with the “Download quota exceeded for this file, so you can’t download it at this time” message.

I sent two diagnostic codes:

  • VGF6X
  • And again after attempting to stream it since the ban last night (still in effect): A6ZK1

This has me somewhat concerned about my existing setup, which has been working very well for a couple years now. With the growing size of files, I’m hoping this is something that can be figured out.

Specs:

  • ATV 4K
  • Latest tvOS (14.2 I think)

@james let me know if there’s anything extra I can provide.

I don’t use Google drive but I think I’ve seen where others have been able to get a detailed report on their site as to exactly how many times and how much a file was DL’d. Is this something you could check on their site and see what they’re determining your download quota for this file is?

I was reading an article the other day that said the Google Drive limits were a moving target depending on network load and file sizes. It also said that with the current world situation the load on their servers has probably been taxed due to people staying at home for work and entertainment. Not saying this is your issue but with the times we’re living it sure seems plausible to me.

It’d just be nice to see a published document from G Drive on what they look at, how they count, and what the actual limits are.

Yeah, their documented limits are all guess-work. I have access to what you’re talking about, but it does not state anything, unfortunately. The usual reason for this is that GDrive is known to consider just opening a file a complete download, so when you’re reading through a file, it essentially opens and closes it, resulting in what looks like hundreds or thousands of downloads for a single file in succession. This is actually how it is presented in the audit log.

Edit:

Just reviewed it and sure enough it states the file got downloaded every five seconds until ban. Literally thousands of entries.

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A classic example of the “Because I said so…” explanation from Google. I appreciate you looking into that.

I guess another reason could be they didn’t intend G Drive to be a streaming server but strictly a file server. Streaming could take the entire length of time of the video tying up that part of the server for that time where as being a file server you can dump out the file as fast as the network allows which I’m guessing is quite a bit faster than streaming.

Thanks again and I hope some magic combination can be found to eliminate this problem.

Just curious, I can’t remember all the responses in the numerous threads on this, have you tried changing the streaming cache to Legacy? I think that worked for some due to it spreading out the multiple hits on GDrive over a longer period instead of constant hits all at once until done.

Thanks again! :+1:

I came across that legacy suggestion. Will try it tonight, if the ban lifts.

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:crossed_fingers: I’ll keep an eye out for your results. Good luck!