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  #1  
Old 12-05-2006, 07:28 PM
nyeoman nyeoman is offline
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Default "unknown" tags - a possible solution

Hi,

I have a solution to the "unknown" tag issue, which is working for me.

I recently got an M240, having had a Creative Zen Nano. There are 2 annoying things about the Nano. Firstly, the displayed tag is Title only. Secondly, with my big fat fingers, though it is easy to jog the "jog wheel" towards my hand, I find it practically impossible to jog away from my hand without depressing the button.

So I ended up with the M240, and encountered the problems with track order and "unknown" tags like everyone else. BTW, on these MP3 players I use exclusively WMA files. Like everyone else, the tags seemed fine, and when adding extra files, the files that had "unknown" tags changed, i.e. there seemed nothing fundamentally wrong with the tags.

Now I do a bit of programming in Delphi for myself, not polished and distributable you understand, and already had written a sync utility for the Zen Nano that on copying the files retagged the "Title" field to "Title-Artist" or "Artist-Title" depending on which was appropriate.

Similarly, it was possible to do a similar thing for the M240, where the "Title" was changed to "Track No.-Title". This was fine for playing albums in order, but on the ocassions where I did actually want to find a track, it made finding the track impossible.

Anyway, I originally fiddled around with Windows Media Player for syncing in MTP mode, and found that when sorting tracks in album view, the display became a bit confused, with 2 entries per file. To cut a long story short, this behaviour I found resulted from the ASF tag "WM/AlbumArtist". For a solo artist album, it's OK for this tag to be the same as "Author", but in compilation albums, it seems to cause some confusion. So I adapted an existing program to bulk blank out the "WM/AlbumArtist" tag.

Now, whenever I copy directly in MSC mode or via WMP and MTP mode, (cross fingers) I don't get any "unknowns" appearing on the player. You can check in WMP library the AlbumArtist field by right-clicking a file, and Advanced Tag Editor..Artist Info. By clicking multiple files, you can actually remove the AlbumArtist tags in bulk. Check to make sure that the files do actually have an Artist field.

As a bonus, copying tracks in AutoDetect-MTP mode in Windows Media Player also preserves track order, without having to prefix the titles by the track number.

If this fix doesn't work for you, let me know, and I'll reinvestigate whether my AlbumArtist tag stripper is doing something else to the tags which is stopping the M240 from producing "unknowns"

I haven't fallen in love with my M240 as I did with the Zen Nano, but it does have a larger capacity, better buttons, and is therefore more useful. Given the way the market is going, solid state insertable battery devices (my 2 prerequisites) are heading towards the bottom end of the market, so sadly a truely decent model may never come out I fear. My wish list for an ultimate player would be:

1. Solid State. (Nano & M240)
2. Insertable battery. (Nano & M240)
3. Easy to use navigation buttons. (M240 only)
4. Small. (Nano only)
5. Display title and artist tags. (M240 only)
6. Play in alphanumeric file or track number order. (Zen only without using WMP)
7. When finishing one selected album/folder, automatically goes to the next. (Nano only)
8. Reasonable display. (neither is perfect)
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2006, 07:42 AM
cazabam cazabam is offline
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I've been experimenting with my M240 (firmware 3.2.8E) and have found something very revealing: it seems to be a problem with hundreds. If I put 100 tracks or less on the player, I don't get any 'Unknown/Unknown' tracks, and for each hundred barrier I break I get 1 more (1 'Unknown' for between 101 and 200 tracks, etc). Can anyone else confirm this?

Fortunately for me, I rip my tracks at 320Kb VBR, which means I get between 90 and 120 tracks for my 1GB. It's still 10 or so albums, so it's fine for me, and 100 tracks means a temporary solution to the Unknown tags issue.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2006, 11:34 AM
dgun dgun is offline
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I have well over 100 tracks on my m240, 340 to be exact, and I have no "unknown" tag problem. I recall having problems when I put all the tracks in the same directory, so I now put each album in a different directory (folder). Try that.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2006, 05:09 PM
dasx86 dasx86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazabam View Post
I've been experimenting with my M240 (firmware 3.2.8E) and have found something very revealing: it seems to be a problem with hundreds. If I put 100 tracks or less on the player, I don't get any 'Unknown/Unknown' tracks, and for each hundred barrier I break I get 1 more (1 'Unknown' for between 101 and 200 tracks, etc). Can anyone else confirm this?

Fortunately for me, I rip my tracks at 320Kb VBR, which means I get between 90 and 120 tracks for my 1GB. It's still 10 or so albums, so it's fine for me, and 100 tracks means a temporary solution to the Unknown tags issue.
I can confirm this behavior.

Under 100 tracks = No Unknowns
Between 100-199 = 1 Unknown
Over 200 = 2 Unknowns

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgun View Post
I have well over 100 tracks on my m240, 340 to be exact, and I have no "unknown" tag problem. I recall having problems when I put all the tracks in the same directory, so I now put each album in a different directory (folder). Try that.
My MP3s are all in separate folders, categorized by album. Perhaps you are using a firmware earlier than 2.2.5a? I only started getting this problem after I upgraded to it....

Speaking of which, is there any way to downgrade the firmware? This problem is annoying.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2006, 05:56 PM
travishayes89 travishayes89 is offline
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I've had that problem happen to me. It is annoying, but I don't know how to degrade the FW back to a older version.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2007, 07:34 PM
phormion phormion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasx86 View Post
I can confirm this behavior.

Under 100 tracks = No Unknowns
Between 100-199 = 1 Unknown
Over 200 = 2 Unknowns
Hi,

I have firmware version 2.2.3E, and I've also noticed the 'Unknown Artist - Unknown Album' problem, thing is, I have 294 songs (all of them mp3s) and only 1 Unknown. So at least for me it's not tied to the number of songs as it is for you guys.

The song that is affected seems to change as you add/remove songs, it's quite a weird software bug.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2007, 02:48 PM
phormion phormion is offline
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After flashing the american FW (2.1.0A) and uploading some 268 songs, I noticed there were no 'Unknown Artist' entries with 'Unknown Album'. There were some who only had 'Unknown Album', but that was probably because of the relevant ID3 tag missing. I haven't tried playing with it more, but I'll report if I notice anything.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2007, 09:38 AM
luis83 luis83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phormion View Post
After flashing the american FW (2.1.0A) and uploading some 268 songs, I noticed there were no 'Unknown Artist' entries with 'Unknown Album'. There were some who only had 'Unknown Album', but that was probably because of the relevant ID3 tag missing. I haven't tried playing with it more, but I'll report if I notice anything.
hi!
how can you downgrade your firmware
my FW is 4.0.45A

thanks in advance
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2007, 05:30 PM
dgun dgun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasx86 View Post
My MP3s are all in separate folders, categorized by album. Perhaps you are using a firmware earlier than 2.2.5a? I only started getting this problem after I upgraded to it....
I was looking in the menus when I didn't find any unknowns. Now I think I see what everyone is talking about. If I actually play the songs, there are four "Unknown"s out of 349 songs in the artist (top) part of the display. Other songs from the same album have the artist displayed correctly. It looks like the file name is used for the title when this happens.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2007, 12:48 AM
jdavis88 jdavis88 is offline
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Seeing this as well. They really should track it down and issue a fixed firmware.


Quote:
Originally Posted by phormion View Post
Hi,

I have firmware version 2.2.3E, and I've also noticed the 'Unknown Artist - Unknown Album' problem, thing is, I have 294 songs (all of them mp3s) and only 1 Unknown. So at least for me it's not tied to the number of songs as it is for you guys.

The song that is affected seems to change as you add/remove songs, it's quite a weird software bug.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2007, 12:22 PM
phormion phormion is offline
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I didn't downgrade the FW, I just flashed an american FW instead of the old European one. See this thread.

However, you already have an American FW. You also have a newer hardware revision (4), so you can't use version 2.1.0A as I did. You might want to complain to Sandisk about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luis83 View Post
hi!
how can you downgrade your firmware
my FW is 4.0.45A
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2007, 09:29 AM
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hplovinokie hplovinokie is offline
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I have sort of the same problem. When I upload new music with WMP, my player (an m230) just dumps it all in the unknown artist, unknown album slot even though the songs are from different artists and different albums.

I don't know that I have had the problem of over 100 = 1 wrong track etc...

My problem just started recently. I've had the player for about a year and it probably started within that last couple of months.
Anyone heard of this? Any solutions?
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2008, 04:09 PM
RoadRanger RoadRanger is offline
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I found that my version 1.3.0A firmware M230 player doesn't like the order of tags some converters generate for WMA files. I've coded a utility that will attempt to "fix" all of your WMA files for this issue. In particular, the tags generated by using WMP11 to sync MP3 files to my player caused about 2/3 of the converted files to come up as artist "Unknown" in the player! PM or email me if you want to try this utility.
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