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  #1  
Old 03-12-2011, 06:14 PM
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Default Transferred FLAC files are not showing up

Hi all, first post

I have the Cowon J3 32 GB since Wednesday and I love it. I'm using the trusted "drag & drop" method (I hate software) and don't use tagging as I have my music collection organized by folder. This worked very very well with my old rockboxed iRiver ihp-120 and I was hoping for the same results with the J3. I started off by putting a bunch of mp3's on it and they work flawlessly. I then transferred some flacs and they are nowhere to be seen. The flacs have taken up hard drive space, I can see the folder, the artwork, most everything except the flac files themselves. So I'm hoping its just a setting or something. I think I read about flacs having an issue if they are tagged with id3 so I'll look into that.

Using firmware version 2.23 and will try to update to 2.24 in an hour or so but from my understanding there is no bug fixes for flac in 2.24 so the 2.23 I have installed shouldn't be an issue.

Any ideas? Thanks


Kit

Last edited by Kitlope; 03-12-2011 at 06:41 PM. Reason: edited to add more info
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2011, 06:24 PM
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Transferred a flac that I ripped with EAC that I made sure didn't have any ID3 tags (as some of my earlier rips did have ID3 tags included).

Still got the same problem - no flacs showing up. Can't pick a song because there's none to pick from. I just updated the firmware to 2.24 so maybe that will help and I'll keep trying.

Anyone with any other ideas?

edit: Updated the firmware to 2.24. Made sure I had the flac album in the default Music area, not in a "flac subfolder" (just in case subfolders were the issue). These are standard 16/44 flacs. Still no luck. Hmmmm


Kit

Last edited by Kitlope; 03-12-2011 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:23 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Welcome to ABI!


Several things...

(1) FLAC doesn't support ID3 tags. It supports Ogg Vorbis Comments, aka "FLAC tags".

That's what the J3 is looking for in FLAC files, namely FLAC tags.

If you use a program like MP3Tag to do your tagging, then you will necessarily be storing FLAC tags. It's just the way MP3Tag works when dealing with FLAC files... namely, FLAC tags are stored.

If you just thought or assumed you were dealing with ID3 tags in FLAC files, but you were using MP3Tag, then you were NOT dealing with ID3 tags. MP3Tag knows what to do, and it was working with FLAC tags for FLAC files. Or, if you could say how you thought you had stored an ID3 tag into a FLAC file, I'm curious to know what you used to make that happen?

It is MP3 files that use ID3 tags. ID3 tags are not used for FLAC files. Again, MP3Tag understands this completely so when you use this program to manipulate tags in MP3 files, you will be dealing with ID3 tags. When you use MP3Tag to manipulate tags in FLAC files, you will be dealing with FLAC tags. They're similar, but different, and using MP3Tag makes the information stored in those two different tag formats easy for you to deal with in a common universal interface. The difference in the tags is handled by MP3Tag, not by you.

(2) If you DON'T have any tags in your music files, then you will NOT "see them" when you browse using the tag-database method of browsing, which really means starting from the Music icon on the main menu screen.

Files on the J3 are ALWAYS visible when you start from the Browser icon on the main menu screen. This is really like Windows Explorer navigation (through your folder/file structure on the J3) and you'll start by choosing either [J3] or [J3 Ext] as the two "drives" of the J3, i.e. internal storage or external storage of the J3.

Then you just continue to navigate downward from there, through the folder/file structure. You'll see the complete external file name... including the extension (e.g. .MP3 and .FLAC).

ALL of your files WILL be visible using this Browser method, because it's purely an external file name browsing process.

(3) However the "tag database" which is built by the J3 every time you power it on (cold, from an OFF state) by examining the meta-data tags which may be present in your music files... well if you have no tags then you can't build a database.

And it is this "tag database" which supports the Music-based browsing down through [Artists], [Genres], [Albums], [Years], and [Songs]. If you have nothing in your tag database because your music files have no tags, then you will NOT see anything if you try, say, Music -> [Artists].

(4) If you use EAC and LAME and perhaps another FLAC-encoder to rip/encode music from (a) CD to MP3, or CD to FLAC, or (c) CD to WAV to FLAC, or (d) CD to WAV with EAC/Audiograbber, and then WAV to FLAC using something like FLAC Frontend, you still need to ensure that your tags are built correctly... either automatically during the rip/encode/tag process if the process supports automatic tagging for FLAC files, or subsequently and manually using a program like MP3Tag.

I know that in my case, I use Audiograbber and not EAC to create my MP3 files, because I've used it forever and like its interface and its results. I also prefer the completness of the resulting ID3 tags it automatically creates.

But Audiograbber does not encode to FLAC. So if I want to produce a FLAC file (in addition to or instead of the MP3 file) I have to go through a manual process, not the automatic one which does all three things automatically for building MP3 files when using Audigrabber. Instead, (a) I will use Audiograbber to just rip from CD to WAV. Then (b) I use FLAC Frontend to encode from WAV to FLAC and delete the intermediate WAV file that is no longer needed. Then (c) I use MP3Tag to store the FLAC tag data in that FLAC file.

The resulting FLAC files (now fully tagged with FLAC tags by MP3Tag) when copied to the J3 WILL be detected properly at boot time, and their tag data properly analyzed to add to the tag database. This allows these FLAC files to show up as expected with Music -> [Artists], etc., which is the tag database browsing method.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2011, 10:37 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
Using firmware version 2.23 and will try to update to 2.24 in an hour or so but from my understanding there is no bug fixes for flac in 2.24 so the 2.23 I have installed shouldn't be an issue.
Unfortunately, there is a bug with the 2.24 firmware specifically relating to album art for newly added music files... NOT being detected correctly at boot time.

That means you will NOT see your album art displayed in landscape-mode Matrix Browser mode (if that's important to you).

Regardless of whether or not you use (a) imbedded album art in ID3/FLAC/APE tags inside of individual music files, or (b) external "cover.jpg" art as one single album art JPG in one single album folder for all music files stored in the same folder which do not have their own imbedded album art in their tags, the small 95x95 miniature album art JPGs used by Matrix Browser are built by a boot time process.

Because of a bug in 2.24 firmware, this boot time analysis looking for new album art and building the 95x95 JPG files (stored in \System\MusicDB of internal storage on the J3) does NOT occur. Hence you will NOT see any album covers in landscape-mode Matrix Browser.

If you go back to the 2.23 firmware, all will be well again. Note that 2.24 adds support for Lyrics, if you want that... so there's at least a temporary compromise you will have to live with until Cowon fixes the 95x95 JPG problem in 2.24 with a new 2.25 firmware release.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:17 AM
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Hi, thanks for the awesome reply. I tried your mp3tag program and to say the truth I'm having some issues trying to retag my flacs. Perhaps you could take the time to explain this to me as simply as possible.


Quote:
Or, if you could say how you thought you had stored an ID3 tag into a FLAC file, I'm curious to know what you used to make that happen?

EAC. By default it adds ID3 tags to flac files. Its a known "bug" (even though its not really a bug) and needs to be deselected upon install or later on in the options but most people don't. More information about this can be found around the net.


Quote:
Unfortunately, there is a bug with the 2.24 firmware specifically relating to album art for newly added music files... NOT being detected correctly at boot time.

I'm not much into the album art so this won't affect me nor lyrics. Thanks though for the heads up.


Yeah - so all I need is a simple tutorial on how to change tags and make flacs work on the J3. This is turning into a nightmare as i was hoping that the J3 would be as flexible as the iRiver. It read by folder and whether the track had proper tagging or not I never once in 3 years had an issue with a 16/44 flac not playing. So a little help in using mp3tag would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


Kit

Last edited by Kitlope; 03-13-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:51 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
so all I need is a simple tutorial on how to change tags and make flacs work on the J3.
Very simple really. See below.


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This is turning into a nightmare as i was hoping that the J3 would be as flexible as the iRiver. It read by folder and whether the track had proper tagging or not I never once in 3 years had an issue with a 16/44 flac not playing.
As I stated previously, if you browse your music files starting from the Browser icon (or through the Music icon and then choose [Folders] which is functionally identical to starting with Browser) then you are essentially performing nothing more than a Windows Explorer navigation of your "two J3 drives" (i.e. internal storage and external storage, if present).

You start at the top, you navigate down through the music folder structure you've created on your J3 (typically stored under the \Music root folder), and you will simply be moving through EVERYTHING on your J3. 100% of the files will be listed and visible (full file name plus extension), and any of them can be tapped to start playing.

In this Browser <-> Music->[Folders] mode, the list of files shown in any folder will be in alphabetical order based strictly on the external file name. This presentation has ZERO/NADA/ZILCH/ZERO to do with tags inside of files. It is a purely physical alphabetically arranged list of files within folders, exactly like Windows Explorer.

See a file name that's a music file? Tap it, and the J3 will start playing.

Depending on your other playback settings when that track is finished the J3 will either stop, continue on to start playing the next file in sequential alphabetical order in the same folder or the first alphabetical file in the next alphabetical folder. Or, you can limit playback to only one folder at a time and specify REPEAT, so that the J3 will cycle through all tracks in that one folder indefinitely, either sequentially or randomly.

Or, you could also set things up to have the J3 just proceed randomly or sequentially through your entire music collection. So it could also pick a random next file in some random folder and start playing it, if that's what you've specified you want.

Again... this is all from Browser mode (or Music -> [Folders], which is the same thing).


Only when you want to find and play music through the tag database (i.e. Music -> [Artists], [Albums], [Genres], [Years] or [Songs]) is it obviously critical that you actually do have tags in your files.

If you have no tags then the J3 obviously can't build a database of tags at boot time, so you won't be able to browse that clearly empty database through the Music method. Personally, I think that's a real loss, but you may feel otherwise.

Anyway, having no tags only prevents you from using the [very useful, if you ask me] Music method of searching for what to play. It does NOT prevent you from using the Browser method of simply navigating down and through every folder/file on your J3 using the equivalent of Windows Explore.

But if you do browse through tags (i.e. starting from Music), then the list of files shown in any folder that you move through is not in alphabetical order by external file name. Instead, it is in TRACK NUMBER sequence from the presumed present tag field track number value. I don't know what the J3 decides to do if track number values are present, but if they are present they will govern the present list order. The idea here is to allow you to play your music in that album folder just as if it were a real CD or vinyl, with the track sequence played exactly as the physical order of the tracks on the source. This is another good justification for having valid tags with all information properly inserted... ID3 tags for MP3 files and FLAC tags for FLAC files (all handled by MP3Tag).


Quote:
So a little help in using mp3tag would be much appreciated.
All it really takes is a bit of getting started advice, and then it will be intuitive how you use it.

Launch the program. On the icon/button toolbar push the "change directory" icon, which is the 4th item over (it's a folder with a green check mark). This is really the usual File -> Open function that allows you to navigate to some folder on your J3 (or maybe on your PC's music collection if that's where you're doing your master maintenance). Push this "change directory" button and then navigate to a folder containing music files you want to work on, and then push the "select folder" button at the bottom-right of the directory selection dialog.

Bingo... all the music files in that folder will now be read and listed in the large file pane that occupies 80% of the MP3Tag window.

Each tag (if present) will be shown, with the columns arranged as you would like. There's a default column arrangement but you can change the column arrangement, just as you can re-size each column. Just right-click on any column heading and you'll get the "customize columns..." popup menu. Select it and the rest should be obvious.

On the icon/button toolbar (just below the menu bar with File, edit, etc.) there is a first section of buttons which will be grayed-out initially. They will become "active" as you do things and their functions become meaningful.

First group of buttons is for SAVE (when you've actually changed at least one thing, and you want to "apply" that change permanently. If you've selected more than one set of files and you're doing a "mass change", then this SAVE function is a "mass apply" to all of the files you've touched.

The use of the other buttons should be obvious, and if you hover the mouse over each one the flyout help should assist you to understand what it means.


In the file list pane, it's really a matrix/spreadsheet of each tag field for each file. You can literally just overtype that information into any field and navigate through the whole list (all rows and columns) with the expected arrow keys, or ENTER key, etc.

On the left, there are "master" tag fields which will be mass-applied to those fields for all of the files listed and selected when you push the SAVE button.

You can also rename files (i.e. the external file name), delete files, etc. This should all be obvious once you've got some folder up for you to experiment with and learn-by-doing.

When you're done maintaining any or all of the files you've touched you push the SAVE button to "apply" your changes to the disk files. The tags are now updated in the true music files on disk (or on the J3, if you've been working directly there).


There are many sophisticated functions available, including searching/filtering running down through sub-folders, so that the list of files presented is from more than just one folder and consists of specifically those files which have whatever search/filer criteria you've specified. This is part of the "filter" item at the bottom of the window, which is initiated starting from the "right triangle arrow" button at the right side of that Filter line, to pre-populate the start of the filter you want to build.

So by navigating to a high-level folder (say an artist folder where you have multiple album folders underneath it), and using a filter that is built by using that button on the right (and maybe selecting a second-level of built-in sub-categories, like INFORMATION FIELDS...), you can produce a list of whatever you want.

For example, to find ALL files which have the extension of FLAC, you would have a filter that shows: %-extension% IS flac

Read the HELP to learn more.

Hope that is enough to get you started.


NOTE: you may say you're not interested in album art, but you may want to re-think that. Do some experimenting and download some high-quality 500x500 album art from Amazon, for some of your album folders. Store that art in the album folder, named as "cover.jpg". When the J3 now plays any music file in that folder it will present that cover.jpg art in the Player, which occupies 70% of your screen. So it looks gorgeous, if the cover.jpg art itself is gorgeous. So look for high-quality 500x500 images, see how they present on the screen, and I'm sure you'll decide this is really how you DO want to move forward... with album art for each of your albums. Storing them as cover.jpg in each album's folder is by far the most convenient and simplest way to get the job done.

Last edited by DSperber; 03-13-2011 at 10:57 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2011, 11:05 AM
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You start at the top, you navigate down through the music folder structure you've created on your J3 (typically stored under the \Music root folder), and you will simply be moving through EVERYTHING on your J3. 100% of the files will be listed and visible (full file name plus extension), and any of them can be tapped to start playing.
So what your saying is when I use the folder way of finding/playing my music I should have no issues with flacs being displayed, tagged or not. Well then I have a problem because using this method I see no flacs. I see the album folder, I see the artwork, I see any text files if there is any but I don't see the flac. This is how I want to view/play my music - I don't want to use tagging and never use it but I was getting the impression that I needed tags even when in folder mode. So something is really strange here.

I'll keep poking around and see what I can come up with. Thanks D for taking the time to explain all this.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:39 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
So what your saying is when I use the folder way of finding/playing my music I should have no issues with flacs being displayed, tagged or not. Well then I have a problem because using this method I see no flacs. I see the album folder, I see the artwork, I see any text files if there is any but I don't see the flac.
Something's wrong with your FLAC files. You're sure they're present? They show up when you browse the J3 from Windows Explorer on your PC?

Browser shows everything. Period. I would think that even if they have no extension they'd show up... as files.

If they're not visible they may be corrupt. Don't know.


Quote:
This is how I want to view/play my music - I don't want to use tagging and never use it but I was getting the impression that I needed tags even when in folder mode. So something is really strange here.
You don't need tags if you're not going to search/browse or play by tag fields.

Browser is 100% acceptable, if that's what you want to do.

For a file not to appear in the list presented by Browser, it's got to be broken in some way and the J3 must somehow not even think it's relevant for display.

Don't know. Never heard of this before. Maybe EAC broke the files when it tried to store ID3 tags in it. Have you tried re-building a FLAC from scratch, no tag of any kind from EAC, and then use MP3Tag to build the FLAC tag?

Or, better yet, just NO tag on the newly built FLAC file... and copy it to the J3 that way? Does it still not appear?

Again, this has never been reported before.

Can you see MP3 files? Can you get a FLAC file from someone/somewhere else that you know works?

I don't use EAC to build my FLAC files. I use Audiograbber to rip from CD to WAV (although I could also use EAC to do that same thing). Then I use a program named "FLAC Frontend" to do the encoding from the intermediate WAV file and produce the FLAC output file. Then I use MP3Tag to store the FLAC tag data into the tags that I insert into the FLAC file. And these are absolutely 100% perfectly usable for the J3, both in Music and Browser.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:07 PM
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Yeah this is bizarre indeed. Mp3's work fine. No issues whatsoever. I have a couple thousand put on the player and everything works and is intact. As for the flacs I tried putting on different rips from different sources (we don't need to get into that) and all of them are not showing up. Some have tagging. Some do not. Some with proper tagging and some with wrong tagging. But like you say they should be showing up regardless. And I've never had this issue before with foobar on the pc, the iRiver DAP or any other software/hardware with these same flacs. Its almost like the player doesn't support flac but we know it does.

I would like to think they're broken in some way but they are not (at least I would find the answer to this issue).

The funny thing is I can play the flac using foobar when the J3 hooked up to the pc. So the flac is in the J3. Everything looks good this way. But when I safely disconnect & restart the player I see the music folder (in this case Sheryle Crow - Greatest Hits 2003 FLAC), it takes up HD space but I can't choose a song because there isn't any showing within it.


I know its gotta be something silly that this isn't working. I'm transferring files using MTC mode. Mp3 files have all transferred & work correctly. Upgraded to the most recent firmware.

I'm really scratching my head over this. But again, thanks a lot for your help as its helping me understand this a lot more. Perhaps someone else can chime in if they have seen this issue.

It's also not the end of the world - I can convert my flacs to mp3 VBR 0. Thank god the Lame decoder is actually quite good these days.


Kit
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:49 PM
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Well I found out the problem. Like I said its quite silly.

Changing the extension from .flac to .fla makes it work now. Everything shows up.

Was it always like this? Or is this a bug in the last couple of firmware releases? Hopefully they fix it in an upcoming release.

DSperber, i want to thank you for spending a lot of your Sunday morning trying to help me resolve this. I really appreciate it.

Hopefully others will find this thread useful too.

Kit
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:07 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
Well I found out the problem. Like I said its quite silly.

Changing the extension from .flac to .fla makes it work now. Everything shows up.

Was it always like this? Or is this a bug in the last couple of firmware releases? Hopefully they fix it in an upcoming release.
Nope... this isn't the entire answer to your mystery. It also shouldn't have been necessary, so something about renaming the file actually is what made the files appear, but it's not the use of .fla instead of .flac which really is the answer.

All of my FLAC files have a .flac extension, not .fla. No files have .fla as their extension.

And yet they ALL show up completely when browsing through Browser -> [Folders]. That is how you're browsing, right? Browser -> [Folders] -> [J3] and then on down through [Music] and below.

My folder organization is \Music\Artist\Album. And when I come through Browser -> [Folders] -> [Music] and into an artist (say [Adele]) I then see the albums by that artist (say [19] and [21]).

If I tap an album (say [19]) I then see the complete list of files in that album's folders, in alphabetical order by external file name, with the extension presented as well (either .mp3 or .flac). I also see cover.jpg in the alphabetical list.

Works perfectly.

Changing the extension from .flac to .fla should not have been necessary. It's certainly not necessary for me, and as I mentioned earlier this is the first time your problem description has been described on this forum, to the best of my recollection.


Just on a flyer, how about formatting your new J3 down to zero using the SD Formatter utility. Then copy the three 2.23 firmware (not 2.24) BIN files onto the root of internal storage on the J3.

Then safely disconnect, unplug the J3 and re-boot. This should install the 2.23 firmware and also recreate the starter default folder/file structure on the J3.

After that, you can create your own music collection organization you want, and mine is \Music\Artist\Album. If that's not what you're currently using, maybe you should just try it to see what happens.

Then reconnect the J3 to the PC.

Now copy just one folder containing one FLAC file over to the J3, under \Music. I don't know what program you use to copy files from PC to J3, but if you are in MSC mode (not MTC as you stated above, which was probably just a typo and you meant the default MSC and not the alternative MTP) you can use any Windows program. Since MSC mode assigns a drive letter (or two) to the J3 (for internal and optionally external storage), all Windows programs which depend on drive letters will work perfectly when copying files or syncing the J3.

I use a program named Beyond Compare for lots of everyday functions, and syncing the J3 music files is one of them. But you can use Windows Explorer, MediaMonkey (many people use this, but I don't), etc.

Anyway, let's just have you "start over" and focus on seeing what happens with one experimental folder containing just a few sample test files.

I'd say use .FLAC as the extension. You don't need to use .FLA.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:14 PM
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I'm transferring files using MTC mode.
Obviously, a typo. There is no such mode.

There is either MSC (the default, which uses Windows-assigned drive letters and requires "safely disconnect" before pulling the USB cable) or MTP (which does not use Windows drive letters but rather sees the J3 as the "Cowon J3" device with "internal storage" and "external storage".


Quote:
Mp3 files have all transferred & work correctly. Upgraded to the most recent firmware.
Well, let's not overlook the possibility that something in "the most recent firmware" (2.24) is responsible for you problem. There are already two significant known defects in 2.24, so who knows if your FLAC vs. FLA issue is not yet a third previously unreported but maybe present and significant defect? You could just be the first one discovering this new bug.

I still would like you to back off, to 2.23, in a freshly formatted J3. Many people have done this, and are not going to 2.24 if they are not using Lyrics (which I believe is the one significant enhancement in 2.24 that might justify upgrading, given the other known defects).


Quote:
It's also not the end of the world - I can convert my flacs to mp3 VBR 0. Thank god the Lame decoder is actually quite good these days.
No... going to MP3 is not acceptable, when FLAC is what you want.

I am more suspicious of 2.24. Let's see what 2.23 does with FLAC (it should work perfectly, as it does for me).
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:25 PM
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^Not acceptable? It's the more sensible choice. . . .
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:36 PM
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^Not acceptable? It's the more sensible choice. . . .
Correct. Not acceptable.

If it's a bug in 2.24 then the "acceptable" solution is to go back to 2.23, where the bug does not exist.

But if I were forced to NOT use FLAC files, or to rename all of them to FLA in order to work around an obvious bug somewhere, I'd be very annoyed.

At least a "solution" using FLA instead of FLAC as the extension appears to allow the continued use of FLAC files, which is what should be an absolute requirement. Converting a lossless format to a lossy format (no matter how good LAME optimal quality VBR is with MP3) should not be forced on you.

My feeling is that going to MP3 is genuinely unacceptable.

Renaming to FLA is annoying, but at least acceptable.

Backing off the 2.23 (if it works and solves the problem) is the obvious CORRECT solution, with the newly discovered third defect in 2.24 reported to Cowon for them to add to the fix list for 2.25.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:54 PM
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And yet they ALL show up completely when browsing through Browser -> [Folders]. That is how you're browsing, right?
Yep. I don't look at any other way to find my music except this method.


Quote:
not MTC as you stated above, which was probably just a typo and you meant the default MSC and not the alternative MTP
Yeo, a typo. My bad.


Quote:
Well, let's not overlook the possibility that something in "the most recent firmware" (2.24) is responsible for you problem.
Before I updated to 2.24 I used the default installed 2.23 and still had the issue so I'm guessing its not a firmware bug.


Quote:
All of my FLAC files have a .flac extension, not .fla. No files have .fla as their extension.

Yeah, its weird huh? Actually, what gave me the idea of doing this was a post over at the Cowon forums where somebody said they were having the same issue as me with the same unit. Someone suggested they change it to .fla and for the guy having problems it worked. Here's the thread . Granted, he was using older firmware from back in July ...



Quote:
I still would like you to back off, to 2.23, in a freshly formatted J3.
A good idea and something I'll probably do in the future, especially once I pick up a external microSD card. A pain in the arse to have to rename every flac file so reformatting is something I'll do. But hey - at least for now it works. When the time comes I'll take your suggestion to use the proper program to reformat and I'll use Beyond Compare to see if that helps with sync as I just simply dragged & dropped using Windows Explorer.


Satellite 6 said:

Quote:
Not acceptable? It's the more sensible choice. . . .

I didn't buy a $320.00 Cdn DAP that supports flac to listen to strictly mp3's. Remember, its an algorithm and is far from perfect. Please save the flac vs. mp3 for another thread.


Thanks again DSperber!


Kit
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2011, 01:17 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
Before I updated to 2.24 I used the default installed 2.23 and still had the issue so I'm guessing its not a firmware bug.
Hmmm...

Well, that's disappointing.


Quote:
Actually, what gave me the idea of doing this was a post over at the Cowon forums where somebody said they were having the same issue as me with the same unit. Someone suggested they change it to .fla and for the guy having problems it worked. Here's the thread . Granted, he was using older firmware from back in July ...
2.03 was the very original factory firmware. I know it was with mine, which was purchased just before last summer. The immediate upgrade to 2.10 which was already available was pretty much mandatory.

I can't recall how it dealt with FLAC files, because I only had MP3 files at the time.


I still would approach this as a problem that needs to be resolved, one way or another. Experimentation is going to be needed. But I can assure you that FLAC files absolutely should show up in Browser even if they have .FLAC as their extension.

I also would spend the few hours needed to format the J3 to zero, reinstall the 2.23 firmware, boot the J3 to get the default folder/files recreated with none of the other factory-provided garbage (like sample files, pictures, etc.), and then copy just one artist/album folder structure over under \Music, with say one MP3 file and one FLAC file... both of which have "guaranteed correct format" tags built by MP3Tag. Then experiment a bit with both Browser and Music methods, and compare the results.

Worst case, you can contact Cowon (America) support, maybe even requesting an RMA replacement if it simply cannot be resolved on your current unit. Seems hard to believe this could have anything to do with hardware, but who knows?

And/or you can open a ticket on the Cowon (Global) web site, although that's more for a different kind of problem reporting and support. You click on Support, register, then use the "Q&A" link, and then click on the "List of Questions" link to see your previous threads to/from them. It's a very rudimentary interface, but it does allow sending them information and problem reports especially for software issues.


I'd still like to know more about what happens if you properly install FLAC tags into some FLAC files using MP3Tag. And then actually DO use the Music method for browsing by tag (even if only for this experiment), to see if those FLAC files with tags have actually been discovered by the J3 at boot time and the tag database updated so that you can actually browse through Music -> [Artists] for example? Do the song names (from the tag data, not the external file name) show up in the album lists when browsing this way?

If they're seen for tag database construction, and the tag "song" field value is shown, you'd certainly expect that external file name to appear using the Browser method of folder/file navigation. If they are seen at boot time and the tags analyzed, but they still don't appear on the Browser list, well that's a very interesting new clue in the mystery.


Also, if you have some web site or FTP site you can post one of these mysteriously failing FLAC files at, I can download it myself and examine it. I can also put it on my own J3 (where I have no such problem with FLAC files) and see what happens.

I currently have about 1000+ album folders under about 530+ artist folders on my 32GB+32GB J3, with about 6600+ music files. Most of the music files are MP3 but almost 200 (and increasing daily) are "favorites" which I've re-built as FLAC. I'm actually making another pass through my CDs, creating FLAC versions of "the best of the best" which I then place on the J3 replacing the original MP3 version.

And it works perfectly. I can use Browser and see those 200 .FLAC files by their full external file names, and I can use Music and see the list of song names as well as other tag field data, both from the MP3 files as well as the FLAC files.

This is not unusual or exceptional. It's the way the J3 works. Period.

So the problem is either with your particular J3, or something odd with your FLAC files. The mystery needs to be solved.
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  #17  
Old 03-15-2011, 03:36 PM
pencom pencom is offline
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Default J3 and FLAC files not showing up

I recently purchased a J3 and had EXACTLY the same problem with FLAC files not showing up.

The same FLAC files did show on another J3 so there was nothing wrong with the format.

I then found soneone else that had had the same problem, they renamed the *.FLAC to *.FLA and it worked fro them.
I tried the same thing and sure enough I could also see my FLA (FLA) musice along with albu art etc. They all played as you would ecpect :-)

No here is the weird part of it....
I later copied some FLAC files WITOUT renaming them and noticed that they DID show up enven with the .FLAC ext.!
I then renamed ALL the .FLA file to .FLAC and now my J3 can see ALL the FLAC files that it previously could not!.
This is really weird, but it now works 100% with.FLAC files.

Chris
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2011, 05:09 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by pencom View Post
I recently purchased a J3 and had EXACTLY the same problem with FLAC files not showing up.

I then found soneone else that had had the same problem, they renamed the *.FLAC to *.FLA and it worked fro them.

I tried the same thing and sure enough I could also see my FLA (FLA) musice along with albu art etc. They all played as you would ecpect :-)

No here is the weird part of it....
I later copied some FLAC files WITOUT renaming them and noticed that they DID show up enven with the .FLAC ext.!

I then renamed ALL the .FLA file to .FLAC and now my J3 can see ALL the FLAC files that it previously could not!.
This is really weird, but it now works 100% with.FLAC files.
Fascinating!

What firmware?

I'd like to suggest you try the experiment I had recommended above: use SD Formatter to erase the J3 to zero. Then put the 2.23 firmware BIN files in the root of internal storage, safely remove hardware, disconnect USB cable, re-boot the J3 to install 2.23 firmware and recreate all of the default starter folders/files.

Then reconnect the J3 to the PC, and re-copy a folder containing a FLAC file with the full .FLAC extension. Ideally it should also have a FLAC tag in it.

Then again, safely remove hardware, disconnect USB cable, re-boot the J3 to analyze the one folder/file and create the tag database from that FLAC tag.

Then try both (a) Browser and (b) Music methods of searching. You only have one music file (i.e. that .FLAC file), but you should obviously see it whether you use Browser (and see the full external file name plus .FLAC extension) or Music (and browse the tag database, say Music -> [Artists] to see that artist, tap to see the album, tap to see the internal tag field song name and no extension, and tap to play).


If it works after doing a total SD Format and "starting from zero", and you have not ever done that before with your brand new factory-provided initial state of the J3, and that is also what KITLOPE ran into with his brand new J3, then we probably would be justified in concluding that there is something wrong with the factory-provided software on the J3.

I know that I myself HAVE done that SD Format and "started from zero" several times, because of various other issues and mistakes and learning experiences. But I didn't realize it might actually be why .FLAC works for me.

If this does work for you (and KITLOPE), you should open a ticket on the Cowon (Global) web site. You click on Support, register, then use the "Q&A" link, and then click on the "List of Questions" link to see your previous threads to/from them. It's a very rudimentary interface, but it does allow sending them information and problem reports especially for software issues.

This particular quirk has never been reported until this thread, to the best of my knowledge. But if your workaround actually works (as it seems to have done for you), and my approach also works (which can't be bad anyway, as SD Formatter is the proper way to initialize a J3 anyway), then we must conclude there is clearly something broken in the factory-installed software for 4-character extensions coming from the Cowon factory.

Somehow, it clears itself up if you rename .FLAC to .FLA, and then you can go back to .FLAC without a problem!

This reminds me of the "FM Radio" solution when your clock goes kerflooey and begins to stop working when the J3 is powered on, and starts working again when the J3 is powered off. Amazingly, if you just go into the FM Radio app and then back out the whole clock problem goes away! It just fixed itself!!! Clock now works perfectly again.

Amazing.
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  #19  
Old 06-28-2011, 06:02 PM
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Kitlope Kitlope is offline
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Ok a bit of an update since its been a few months.

I have since bought a 32 GB external card for it and this morning reformatted both cards using DSperbers formatting links (Great little program BTW). I put on a flac album and it doesn't show up in either internal or external card. Changing it to .fla and everything works, in either card.


Pencom said:

Quote:
No here is the weird part of it....
I later copied some FLAC files WITOUT renaming them and noticed that they DID show up enven with the .FLAC ext.!
I then renamed ALL the .FLA file to .FLAC and now my J3 can see ALL the FLAC files that it previously could not!.
This is really weird, but it now works 100% with.FLAC files.

Chris

I was hoping my player would "learn" to play flac just like this guy but it hasn't happened. Also, just a FYI, .fla file extension USED to be a .flac file extension in the early days but Adobe flash has since taken over the .fla extension. I believe this is where the problem is within the firmware - although its weird as hell flacs work for some & not for others.


DSperber, would you happen to have a link to where I could send a troubleshooting ticket to Cowon? I would sure like this issue fixed in the next patch or so - I can't imagine having to change the name of every file whenever I want to throw on some flacs.

Perhaps someone has some new ideas to figure this out!

Thanks all.

Kit

edit - see the support ticket link in the above post but still cannot find where to actually put in the ticket.

Last edited by Kitlope; 06-28-2011 at 06:08 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:06 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
DSperber, would you happen to have a link to where I could send a troubleshooting ticket to Cowon?

edit - see the support ticket link in the above post but still cannot find where to actually put in the ticket.
You should open a ticket on the Cowon (Global) web site and describe the problem.

You click on Support, register, then use the "Q&A" link, and then click on the "List of Questions" link to see your previous threads to/from them.

You click on "WRITE" to submit a new ticket.

You can also "MODIFY" something you've previously posted, but again there is no back-and-forth "threading" to carry on a conversation with them on a specific ticket.
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