android
Go Back   abi>>forums > MP3 Players By Brand > Cowon iAudio > Cowon J3

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-09-2010, 11:00 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 698
Default Ok, I give up: how do I access the microSDHC card???

While I await the arrival of the 32GB card I've ordered, I discovered that I really only needed about 13GB additional storage to hold the remainder of my MP3 collection, over and above what I'd already loaded on to the J3's primary storage.

So as I drove past Fry's today I decided to stop and buy a 16GB card... just in case the 32GB card doesn't show up in time for my vacation getaway starting Tuesday. Price was modest.

After finding zero documentation anywhere telling me anything about how to use the external card storage, I decided to allocate a second \Music folder (as exists in the primary storage) and just copy the rest of my MP3 folders into it.

For some reason, the micro->SD adapter that came with the 16GB card doesn't seem compatible with the built-in SD card reader in my computer, so I once again used the portable USB reader/writer I'd purchased, which includes a micro socket. Anyway, the copy from my D:\MP3 source to the Q:\Music target went just fine.

Now what do I do?


(1) I presumed that the card would insert securely into the external storage socket behind the cover, on the bottom edge of the player (right next to the USB socket). However the card did NOT go all the way in, and remain in (so that I could then close the cover and have it snap shut and remain closed).

Instead, it kind of reached a "springy" bottom when I pushed it in as far as I could. Had it remained in that far then I would have been able to close the cover tight. But it didn't remain in that far.

In fact, it kind of popped back out a bit (from that springy bottom, projecting just a bit outside of the plane of the bottom edge of the player. And even if I tried to close the cover and snap it shut, it would not snap shut. Apparently the inserted card was somehow preventing the cover from closing all the way down and having its "tongue" catch on whatever projection is supposed to catch it, to facilitate the latched closing of the cover.

==> Is the card supposed to remain inserted in the player? Or is it only used temporarily? Or what?

If it's supposed to remain inserted then how do you close the cover? Mine doesn't close securely with the card inserted, and the card does not seem to insert 100% and remain in solid 100%. It seems to be being pushed out slightly but something springy at the bottom of its travel inside the socket.

What am I doing wrong?

Now if the card is not properly seated, that might explain the next mysterious symptoms. But if it's actually supposed to sit that way, kind of partially out of the socket, well that's odd. There's only one way the card can be inserted (printed side "up") and I confirmed that by trying to insert it upside-down and it would not go. So I'm certain I'm trying to do the right thing... but it does not go all the way and "snap" as I would expect.


(2) Leaving the cover slightly ajar, but with the card inserted as far as it would go and then pushed back a bit, I turned on the J3. I fully expected that the contents of the \Music folder on the external card would automatically be concatenated with the contents of the \Music folder on the primary storage, making the combined sum total of all folders from both \Music directories scanned at boot time and then available for searching and playing.

Is this right? If not, then how am I supposed to populate the external card? How do I get music folders placed on the card to be summed with the music folders on primary storage so that the total combined contents of music from both locations is available for search and play?

Doesn't the external storage contents just get added to the primary storage contents (invisible to me, the user) and it's all now searchable and playable? That's why I named the folder on the card \Music, but I may just have been guessing (since there's no documentation). Should I have called it something other than \Music??

I'm going to assume that's true, and that I ultimately should have a total of 64GB max of combined capacity... and that I can put music folders on both storage devices.

Well... it didn't work.


(3) Assuming that it was correctly inserted, ZERO of the 108 folders (under \Music on the card) appeared in any of the lists shown on the J3. None of the artists represented by those 108 folders, and none of the folder names themselves appear under [Folders] -> J3 -> Music.

It's like the card either was not seen, or I should have named the primary folder something other than \Music. On the off-chance it should have been something different I renamed it \Music2 and tried this all again. But no luck. Still seems invisible.


(4) Is the external storage card supposed to get a second drive letter to Windows (when you connect the player using the USB cable)? It didn't.

Can you read/write to the external card while it's inserted, separate from read/write to primary storage? I would think that somehow two drive letters or primary folder names would be needed to support that. So why don't I see two drive letters?


==> please help.

If the card is not properly inserted, then most of my mysterious problems above can be tossed... since the card is obviously not yet visible to anything or anyone.

So, how do I get the card to stay "clicked in" so that I can close the cover door and have it snap shut (which I assume I'm supposed to be able to do, but can't... because the card keeps springing out slightly or blocking the latch for the cover door)? And of course, if the card actually does get "snapped in" and locked, where is the "eject" button to release the lock and get it to pop back out so I can remove it?

Then, assuming I learn how to insert the card, how am I actually supposed to populate music on the card so that the sum of both card storage and primary storage appears in my music lists, for search and play?

Will I see TWO separate devices under Windows when connected with USB, which would then allow me to read/write to either primary or external storage? Or will the separateness of external storage when the card's inserted be invisible to Windows?

And if I need to read/write to the card only externally (if it can't be read/written via Windows while inserted into the player) then how should I place music folders on that card to "sum" those folders with primary storage folders? Does it get \Music or \Music2 or something else entirely?

Many thanks for any helpful advice.
Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]

  #2  
Old 07-10-2010, 01:24 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 698
Default

Ping...

Anybody actually has an external card in use in their J3?

If so, can you please tell me how you put the data on their card, i.e. what directory name and folder structure you used to store music on the card which will be combined with music in primary storage for search and playback?

When you insert that card into the J3 (presumably printed side up) does it go all the way down and then "lock in place"? And can the door cover then swing closed and snap shut securely in place?

Is there some indication onscreen that the external storage card is in use? There's a little icon showing speakers vs. headphones, is there another little icon showing external card inserted and recognized?

Will the music contents of the card automatically be picked up at boot time, no matter what the folder names are on that external storage?

If you select [Folders] does the external storage show as a second "root folder" row (maybe below "J3" for the primary storage) so that you can select any folder on the secondary storage card separately from the primary storage drive when drilling through folders?

Or are the folders on secondary storage magically merged with the folders in primary storage (and combined into one alphabetical sequence)?

Are primary and secondary storage (if the card is inserted in the player) recognizable as unique drive letters or in some other way by Windows Explorer when connected via USB cable? Can data be written specifically to primary or secondary storage when copying data from PC to player via USB?


Surely there must be many J3 users with external storage cards that can easily answer these questions.

Many thanks in advance. I suspect my problems will disappear if I can learn how to get the card to insert into the socket properly, and then "lock in place" so that the cover door can close properly. What would happen next onscreen when the J3 boots should then be obvious, and I'm sure the contents of the external storage will somehow be absorbed and available without any action on my part. And... how do I then eject the card???

So why doesn't my card snap down and "lock"?
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old 07-10-2010, 01:37 AM
paraffiinbrain paraffiinbrain is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
Default

You just need to push it in a bit further with your fingernail, against the spring. It needs to go under the level of the surround. Then when you let it go it should pop back flush with the surround. To remove push further in again and it'll pop out.

Just dump the data on the card anyway you want. Will show up as two drives on the PC
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old 07-10-2010, 01:37 AM
Resiak Resiak is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: London
Posts: 106
Default

It seems you have bought a duff card, unless you are inserting it the wrong way up, which I doubt. I have bought two with no problems. You can stick it directly into your PC using the card adapter and copy files to its root. Do not create a folder on the card. The other way to do it is to stick it in the J3 and connect it to the PC. You can then copy files directly to the card which shows itself separately from the inbuilt storage.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old 07-10-2010, 02:46 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 698
Default

Again, many thanks to both of you for grabbing me and shaking me around, forcing me to see the error of my ways.

As I suspected, the card is obviously supposed to lock in place, but it has to be pushed ALL THE WAY DOWN. My fingernails are not long enough to push it in deep enough, but this time I took a toothpick and pushed it down all the way. And sure enough, it now finally seated and locked, and sprung back just slightly... but no further out than the top surface of the slit/opening into which it fits. and now sure enough, the door cover can swing closed and latch securely. So everything is now in its place and locked securely.

And, as I was hoping would happen, sure enough all of my other questions were instantly answered now that the external storage was seen by the J3. At boot time, there's a line "check external memory" to indicate that it sees the card. There's no icon that I can find during normal operation (I use "Smart Widget", because it looks gorgeous and gives me just what I want on one screen... with two more panels if I want to expand further), but at least the extra message at boot time confirms that it sees the card.

This is a PNY 16GB Class 2 card, and my H2Testw results show 100% perfect operation. Remarkably, it also wrote at 6.40MB/s instead of what I would have expected from a Class 2 card. I'm not complaining, but I am certainly and pleasantly surprised. I saw the same speed when writing actual MP3 data to it... about 3 times faster than my 2MB/s results (when using the fake counterfeit SanDisk card previously).

Sure enough, plugging the J3 in via USB produces TWO device recognitions from Windows, for the primary storage and secondary external storage being assigned individual drive letters. So they are both separately addressable for purposes of copying data.

Sure enough, when browsing through [Folders] there are now TWO rows: [J3] and [J3 Ext], so browsing this way can be limited to folders on primary or secondary storage separately.

And, sure enough, all the folders present on the external card are "scanned and absorbed" (let's call it "assimilated") into the same ID3 data master index for purpose of searching and playing by ID3 data items. So for example, searching through artists simply shows ALL artists from ALL files... be they located on primary or secondary storage. This is perfect, and as I would have hoped.

Even Matrix Browser continues with this "assimilation" design, with the two storage media simply being just that... but invisibly joined into one large database even for presenting album covers 2x5.

As instructed, I did NOT create a primary folder on the external storage root. I simply copied my remaining 106 artist folders over to the root of the card. And that seems to be the right thing to do, based on the results I see. It certainly doesn't hurt anything.


Well... I think I'm now a "black belt".

The only open issue is that I still can't seem to successfully use either the SanDisk adapter (which came with my fake counterfeit 32GB->2GB "SanDisk" card) or the PNY adapter (which came with my real 16GB PNY card).

Again, unless I'm just not inserting the card into the slot on the adapter properly I don't know what's wrong. The red light on my card reader goes on and doesn't go off, when I insert the adapter (with card "inserted into it) into the standard SD slot. But when I insert a real SD card, sure enough the red light goes out and the SD card is accessible.

So it seems like there's nothing wrong with the card reader. But it also seems impossible that two different adapters could both be defective. It's got to be that I'm not inserting the micro card properly into the adapter's slot, and I persist in doing this wrong with both cards and both adapters, hence my continued failure to get this to work properly.

Anyway, the portable 12-in-1 USB reader/writer I bought seems to work just fine, and it has a micro slot right on it so that there's no need for an adapter. I'll just use it going forward, unless I can figure out what I'm doing wrong with inserting the micro card into the adapter.

Incidentally, I even tried inserting the adapter into the standard SD slot 12-in-1 reader/writer, and it didn't work there either. So it's got to be me, somehow not inserting the card correctly. Now unlike with the J3, where there is a "detent" position where you can tell the card has now been grabbed and locked by the socket, I don't feel anything like that with the adapter. The card just slides in. So maybe that's a clue to someone, as to what I'm doing wrong.

Oh well. I have no problem with using the portable reader/writer for the micro card. And of course, being inserted permanently into the J3 I can always just use the USB connection to the J3 to write to the card.


So, for the moment I'm using this 16GB card and not the 32GB card I ordered, and I've now got my entire MP3 collection on the J3. I've still got about 50 more CDs to transcribe selected tracks from to MP3, but I actually don't think I will exceed the limits of the J3's primary storage plus this 16GB card.

I'm still surprised at the 6.4MB/s write speed for this PNY Class 2 card, but I'm not complaining.

Case just about fully closed. One very very happy new J3 user (it looks and sounds GORGEOUS!).

Now if only Cowon will do just a little tweaking to the UI, I'll be very very quiet from now on.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old 07-10-2010, 03:44 AM
Resiak Resiak is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: London
Posts: 106
Wink

Really pleased you have things sorted out. I suppose it depends on your pc. I use a netbook and have two slots, one calling itself SD expansion and the other one takes in different kinds of cards. I have used an adapter on both but strangely the second option doesn't seem to work. It shows the hardware is there but won't show itself in explorer. Very odd. And yes, there is no satisfying click when you insert the adapter. Just push it in as far as it will go.
Listening to Vaughan Williams's The lark ascending on the J3 via standard hifi with a bluetooth receiver attached and it sounds ever so nice. Great little player.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old 07-10-2010, 04:15 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Resiak View Post
Listening to Vaughan Williams's The lark ascending on the J3 via standard hifi with a bluetooth receiver attached and it sounds ever so nice. Great little player.
I've got the usual assorted cables and adapter cables to connect to home stereo systems from the headphone output of the J3, but haven't listened yet via real speakers. I had hoped for a player that had line-out jacks, but I guess that just isn't part of the design for portable media players where SMALL is the word.

Anyway, I'm hoping that plugging the J3 into a front AUX-audio input on my receiver will produce sound that will really satisfy. Certainly listening through my large headphones is unexpectedly terrific, so I'm looking forward to the next experiment.

And then I will bring it to my car, which has an AUX audio input in the glove box to support connecting portable media players from their headphone outputs. Again, along with "carrying my entire collection around in my pocket" this second item was one of my real motivations for this project, to play anything from my collection on my terrific car sound system.

Granted, MP3 is not quite the original CD, but having 6000 tracks in your pocket instead of shelves full of 1000 CDs and deciding which six to bring to the car that day certainly makes a case for itself.

I've been on a "re-convert my entire CD collection to MP3 for the second time, using LAME instead of Fraunhofer this time" project for about 18 months now. Yes, it's gone a bit slower than I would have hoped it would. I proved conclusively to myself that the audio quality of my original MP3 files using 1998-era Fraunhofer command-line Professional MP3 Encoder and 192kbps CBR encoding (which program only ran in a DOS window on Win98, not WinXP or Win7, and was unbelievably slow) was far inferior to the audio quality results from LAME 3.98 "final" (then version .2, and now version .4) with its highest-quality VBR settings. File sizes were of course somewhat larger, but the sound quality was OH SO MUCH MORE GORGEOUS and really nearly as good as the original CD. Plus, LAME runs on all the modern OS's, and runs super-super-fast.

Also, this second conversion-to-MP3 project has gone much slower because this time I'm gathering high-quality 500x500 album art for all my CDs, hunting down "original album" and "original year" information for tracks on "compilation" and "greatest hits" albums, etc., so that my CD Database is really really accurate. And I have to go back and edit the ID3 tag data for these tracks from compilations, where I've insisted I place the proper original release year for the track although I retain the compilation album title in the ID3 for tracks from that compilation album, rather than changing it to the original album name. Then after I create the selected MP3 tracks from that album I go back to the CD Database and point to the MP3 tracks (in the track entries of the CD Database), so that I can play those tracks from the CD Database if I want. Of course I can also play the tracks through my organizer programs (which utilize Winamp as the player), or directly and randomly through Winamp itself.

Bottom line: there's an good reason why this pass through 1000 albums (in my "spare time") has taken as long as it has, to produce the 6200+ tracks I've made so far. I'm ensuring I have all accurate and complete data in both my CD Database and each ID3 tag, plus album art. Still have another 50 "compilation" (e.g. Oldies) CDs to fight through, and these are the slowest and the worst.

But when I'm done, and now with the J3 to listen to it with... well it will all have been worth it.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old 07-10-2010, 10:30 PM
NeedBalanceCtrl's Avatar
NeedBalanceCtrl NeedBalanceCtrl is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Resiak View Post
You can stick it directly into your PC using the card adapter and copy files to its root. Do not create a folder on the card. The other way to do it is to stick it in the J3 and connect it to the PC. You can then copy files directly to the card which shows itself separately from the inbuilt storage.
It doesn't really matter. You can create folders or not, it won't matter. The J3, upon start up, checks every file--most likely the file name extension--to see what kind of file it is and categorizes the file appropriately. So it's good and bad. It's good in that you can have any kind of folder structure to organize your files, but it's bad in that you can't quasi-hide files by hiding it, for example, 10 layers deep in some sub folder. The files will still show up in the top level of the music or video section on the J3.
__________________
Black Cowon J3 16GB (Firmware 2.21) + 16GB SanDisk microSDHC
Panasonic RP-HJE900

F/K/A Need Balance Control
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 07-10-2010, 11:26 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need Balance Control View Post
It doesn't really matter. You can create folders or not, it won't matter. The J3, upon start up, checks every file--most likely the file name extension--to see what kind of file it is and categorizes the file appropriately. So it's good and bad. It's good in that you can have any kind of folder structure to organize your files, but it's bad in that you can't quasi-hide files by hiding it, for example, 10 layers deep in some sub folder. The files will still show up in the top level of the music or video section on the J3.
I had come to the same conclusion after performing some experiments with videos, to use the remaining free space on the 16GB card.

Sure enough, the AVI files I copied directly to the root of that drive showed up in Explorer along with the 108 other artist folders which I'd previously copied to the root of the drive. And sure enough, those AVI files were discovered (and thumbnailed to appear on the Video browser list).

Then I created a \Video folder on that drive and moved the AVI files into it. And again, sure enough the videos were discovered properly.

The only real difference is the expected one, namely that coming in through [Folders] or Browser, when drilling into [J3 Ext] you'll first see the top-level folders along with the individual files, or not.

So just to keep things consistent with how they look when coming in through [Folders] -> [J3] for primary storage, I think I'll create both \Music and \Video on the external card, exactly as is the structure in primary storage. I have no problem then selecting either \Music or \Video when arriving at that level, on either storage device.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:29 AM.