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  #1  
Old 07-07-2011, 09:19 PM
Finleyville Finleyville is offline
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Default Multiple genres?

Anyway...

The J3 sounds like my perfect player except for two things which are stopping me from buying it immediately:

Only 64GB (32+32)

No .m3u playlist support

I may be able to overlook the low capacity if there is either an UCI that will allow .m3u playlists or the device can recognize and correctly database a song with multiple genres attached. That way the first genre listed is the true one with any additional genres listed on a track could be playlist names.


Any other ideas?
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:26 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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(1) The J3 does support M3U playlists. However the M3U playlist file can only reference music files that are on the same storage as the M3U file itself.

In other words, you can have an M3U playlist file residing on internal storage of the J3, which references music files also located on internal storage of the J3. Any reference to music files located on external storage of the J3 will be ignored for an M3U playlist file living on internal storage.

And the reverse is also true, where you can have an M3U playlist file residing on external storage of the J3 which can only reference music files also located on external storage. Any music file references to internal storage will be ignored.

(2) Also, there is a limit of 400 music files referenced inside an M3U playlist file.

(3) If you can tolerate the inconvenience of building PLA playlists (using only Windows Explorer) with the J3 set to MTP mode instead of MSC mode (as it would be when using M3U playlists), they are fully understood by the J3 and also support referencing music files on both internal and external storage in the same single PLA playlist file.

Note that PLA playlists supporting music files on both internal and external storage (with the J3 in MTP mode) are not supported by Windows programs other than Windows Explorer. All 3rd-party programs either (a) don't understand PLA playlists, or (b) require Windows drive letters to operate but which are not assigned when using MTP mode, or (c) only support internal storage of the J3 while in MTP mode for PLA playlists.

That's why I call it "the inconvenience of building PLA playlists", since you're restricted to Windows Explorer for virtually all copy/sync and PLA functions, and you must remain in MTP mode forever.

(4) There is only one "genre" field in tags. This isn't a limitation of the J3, it's just the design of tags. So you're right, the use of a "genre-playlist" value is a good one, since it covers both internal and external storage and doesn't even require an actual M3U playlist file to be implemented, and also has no limit on the number of items in that "genre-playlist". You simply need to be satisfied with a single music file living in only one "genre-playlist", and not more than one. Otherwise, it really would seem to be the next-best compromise solution.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:50 PM
Finleyville Finleyville is offline
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DSperber,

Thank you for your well thought out reply.

I was unaware of the m3u limitations of its physical location pertaining to referenced tracks. That is good to know and sad it has to work that way.

I did read and understand the whole MSC vs. MTP issue. Since I use MediaMonkey to manage my library I figured I had to be in MSC mode to copy/sync/mirror tracks to my future device. That, of course, would erase any Windows playlists that I created in the past.

I almost exclusively listen to my whole collection by genre. In fact, I have my whole music collection in only one folder. For some reason I thought that a track could be assigned multiple genres and, therefore, could be assigned a "playlist" after its true genre.

Oh well. I have to figure out if that playlist feature is important enough to me to splurge on the J3 or go the *shudder* ipod 5.5/Rockbox route.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:39 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finleyville View Post
I did read and understand the whole MSC vs. MTP issue. Since I use MediaMonkey to manage my library I figured I had to be in MSC mode to copy/sync/mirror tracks to my future device. That, of course, would erase any Windows playlists that I created in the past.
I don't use MediaMonkey, but others have claimed that it DOES support PLA playlists (as well as M3U playlists) and also MTP connection mode. That would make it one of the very few Windows programs capable of working without Windows drive letters assigned for the removable device (or in the case of the J3, without TWO Windows drive letters assinged).

However experiments by others has revealed that the PLA functionality of MediaMonkey does NOT support referencing music files in those PLA playlists which are located on both internal and external storage. It only appears to support internal storage of the J3. So there's no advantage to using MediaMonkey in MTP mode anyway, since you still will not get PLA playlists supporting both internal and external storage music files.

So we're back to what I'd stated earlier, that only using Windows Explorer will you actually and genuinely be able to build/maintain PLA playlists (which require MTP connection mode) that do truly reference music files on both internal and external storage in the same PLA playlist.

And you're right, if you build/maintain PLA playlists using Windows Explorer while in MTP mode, if you then decide to come back to MSC mode you will have just clobbered all of your PLA playlists and rendered them useless and not repairable. You'll have to go back to MTP mode and delete them all and rebuild from scratch, if you really want to get them back. Obviously, not very desirable... again, why I said "if you're willing to remain in MTP mode forever...".


Quote:
I almost exclusively listen to my whole collection by genre. In fact, I have my whole music collection in only one folder. For some reason I thought that a track could be assigned multiple genres and, therefore, could be assigned a "playlist" after its true genre.
Sorry. Not the case.

Now you might investigate using the Sense UCI, which has "on the fly" add-to-playlist functionality. I myself haven't tried it (but many others have, of course), and it's not actually M3U playlist functionality (i.e. it is not maintained from the PC, but rather from the J3 itself). And it, too, has its own quirks and rules, and how you might lose them all if you "start over", etc.


Quote:
Oh well. I have to figure out if that playlist feature is important enough to me to splurge on the J3 or go the *shudder* ipod 5.5/Rockbox route.
I haven't tried it myself, but is the "year" field in tags restricted to strictly numeric?

In other words, if you don't depend on browsing by [Years], then it becomes a second available "years-playlist" type of tag field. You could thus retain your existing genre values, and use the "years" field to designate playlist names... assuming you can put something there that's not a true numeric year.

I may experiment with that myself. I do know that with firmware version 2.25, Cowon has limited the distinct number of [Years] values it can track in its tags database to 40 distinct year values. So if you browse by [Years] you will only see music files with the "oldest" 40 values in the "year" tag field. I don't think this should present any problems for your possible use of the "year" tag field for a "year-playlist".

But again, since there's only one "year" tag field, you can only have a track in one of these "year-playlist" playlists, separate from your "genre".
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