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Just as the title says, if you don't open/refresh your friends list in a while and do it while spectating someone, it causes buffering during spectating where it gets stuck for about 10~15 seconds.
Sometimes you can get back in sync with the player playing by pressing the 2x button, however that's not possible if the person is playing doubletime so this is somewhat annoying.

Not sure if intended behaviour though.
So that's why I can't see them play the first 10-15 seconds of their gameplay.

Kind of hard to replicate.
Well, I have a rather big friend list, I could try replicating it with you theowest.

I think there might be a telltale sign by this, because while typing your name in the search box to see if you were online, it went into buffering mode for a few seconds.
This is expected behaviour. It shouldn't happen too often.
The friend's list also stops all IRC activity (as in delays the messages) while the friend's list is updating. Is this part of the intended behavior?
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