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Old 07-30-2010, 01:37 PM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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Default Playlist Solution

Quote:
I tried following many advice like using Playlist Creator, Mediamonkey(use same roots) and many others but failed. The .m3u shows up on my J3 but 'No File'

Right now I'm clueless on what to do. Sadly, I'm thinking to use back my old Creative Zen since playlist is very important to me.

Any step by step by step tutorials etc?
EDIT: I found out a way. Thanks DSperber for discovery on MTP. Please post more if anyone have any more idea.

I figured out 2 workaround for playlist on J3:-

Use 'Genre'/'Years' as playlist

Quote:
Basically edit your Genre or Year on the mp3 file to playlist you wanted. Edit your file using MM or Winamp and set it the files Genre or Year to "Playlist 1' etc. The setback is you have to get used to clicking Genre or Year on J3 menu. The good news is you able to use MSC and sync it flawlessly

Organize file with playlist folder as its main in MTP mode


With this method you could use 'Playlist' button on main menu with some setback.

The point of this is make it easier for you to make playlist without tirelessly selecting your file back again when .pla disappear. Its like Dsperber method but I changed it to make it faster in the long run.

(You could actually do the same using MTP. Select muitiple mp3 folder or mp3 and right click. Click 'Create playlist'. This method is only to make your job easier if you have 500 artist and always using MSC for file management)

Quote:
1. Using Mediamonkey , select the sync drop-down button and click 'Configure Device'. Under 'Device Configuration' and use the following path:-

\Music\<see below>\<Artist>\<Album>\<Title>

Edit the bold to Genre, Year,Composer,Conductor, Grouping, Track Number,Album Artist or anything you want

2. Based on what you pick above, edit it to the name of playlist you wanted.

Example:- If you decide to replace the bold to <Album Artist> then your XXXX.mp3 tag; 'Album Artist' should be change to 'Playlist 1', 'Playlist 2', 'Playlist 3' etc. You should do it to all your files by categorize it depending on how you want your playlist.

3. After categorize all your mp3,sync it.

4. Now switch to MTP mode (switch on J3 under Setting)

5. In MTP mode plug in back to PC, and access your J3. Under 'Music', the folder will appear as what you set above. Right click on the folder and click 'Create playlist'.
Note: Remember that switching back to MSC will make the playlist disappear. But dont worry, just follow back step 5 and making back your playlist will only that a few click as you already organized under specific folder.

Last edited by ibrahimovic; 08-01-2010 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Found solution
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2010, 01:42 PM
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:21 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrahimovic View Post
Any step by step by step tutorials etc?
(1) Place your J3 into MTP mode: Setings -> System -> USB mode -> MTP

(2) plug the USB cable into your J3 and PC. It should connect as a "portable device", not with unique drive letters corresponding to the internal and external storage.

Instead, if you look at the device with Explorer you'll see two subordinate items (revealed by clicking on the "+" next to the device, as if there were "folders". These two folder-like items are named "internal storage" and "external storage", but are in fact just like the two drives shown when the J3 is in MSC mode. Clicking on their "+" will explode into all of the folders you'd expect to see there.

Note that an MTP-mode connection will NOT produce the normal "safely remove hardware" icon in the System Tray, which you would normally click on first before removing USB devices you've plugged in. This icon WILL appear (and must be used) when the J3 is connected in MSC mode, but will NOT appear (and therefore cannot be used) when the J3 is connected in MTP mode.

In MTP mode, you can simply plug in the J3 and then pull the plug out... with no considerations.

(3) To create a playlist on the J3, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the tracks you'd like to include. Select one or more of them (holding CTRL down if needed), to pick the tracks you want to place into the playlist.

Then right-click on the selected tracks to produce a popup menu, and then select the "create playlist" item. You will be offered an opportunity to then save that playlist under any name you want.

(4) The playlist thus created is actually a Windows file/object that has a PLA file extension, and appears to have a zero byte length. Fear not. It's real. If you right-click on it and select Properties, and then select the "References" tab on the dialog, you'll see the names of all of the tracks in your playlist.

While in this "References" tab of the Properties dialog, there are buttons you can use to delete items from the list, as well as to move items up and down in the list. I believe you can also use Explorer to drop additional tracks onto this open dialog, to add additional tracks to this playlist... but I have not yet confirmed that this works as I believe it should.

(5) I would expect that this PLA playlist file can actually be moved into the PLAYLISTS folder on the J3's primary storage (or into a matching PLAYLISTS folder you can create on the external storage), or you can just leave it wherever you save it.

At boot time the J3 will find all of your PLA playlist files no matter where they are, no matter what sub-folder they may be buried in. And they will all appear in the [Playlists] item on either Music or Browser interfaces of the J3 (and the PLA extension will NOT appear... you'll only see the playlist name itself, just like you'd want).

(6) It's not known yet whether PLA playlists can include tracks from multiple different folders, but it's only common sense that this would be how it works. So even though the fully qualified path name of the track does not appear in the "References" tab list, I'm sure it's really there under the covers. Else you'd be limited to creating a PLA playlist from tracks in only one folder, and that seems crazy.

However I have not yet experimented with this kind of "multi-album multi-folder" PLA playlist, stored sensibly in the PLAYLISTS folder on the J3.

I also don't know yet if you can create and use a PLA playlist from tracks on both internal and external storage, although again...that functionality would seem to be perfectly common sense, for a genaralized "playlist".

(7) You cannot use Winamp or other PC-based organizers or players to build conventional M3U or PLS playlists and have them work on the J3. Or perhaps, there is some way to do this and have it work... which I haven't discovered.

Your only available tool seems to be Windows Explorer as described above, with the J3 first connected using MTP mode.

(8) Once the playlists have been built/maintained, you can playback those PLA playlists either leaving the J3 in MTP mode, or you can revert it back to MSC mode (for example to use standard Windows file manager tools like Free Commander and Beyond Compare to copy files to the J3 from the PC hard drive).

It does appear that Windows file manager programs (e.g. Free Commander) do NOT recognize the "internal storage" and "external storage" of the J3 when it's connected in MTP mode, and thus cannot be used when the J3 is connected in MTP mode. Only Windows Explorer seems to be usable for a portable device connected in MTP mode.

So go back to MSC mode (Settings -> System -> USB mode -> MSC) to use your standard Windows file manager programs for file maintenance. The PLA files are not lost when switching back to MSC mode, and in fact can be moved to other locations by these Windows file manager programs, just like all other files. Again, don't be misled or put off by the 0 byte length.

So MTP mode is the secret requirement, and only Windows Explorer which puts out the "create playlist" item on the RMB popup menu when selecting one or more tracks when the J3 is connected in MTP mode is the seemingly one and only available tool for creating and maintaining PLA playlists directly on the J3 via Windows.


That should do it.

Last edited by DSperber; 07-31-2010 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:36 AM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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Thanks Dsperber! Despite my hatred to MTP, it seem this is the only way J3 could work. Using S9 Mediamonkey technique does not seem to work. Another thing is if we sort music by Artist/Album folder in J3, we could drag all the folder and still make folder.

I hope we could use MSC/.m3u playlist in the future though.


P.S: Despite some believe, .pla playlist won't be automatically removed if you switch from MTP to MSC. Thanks for the help Dsperber.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrahimovic View Post
Thanks Dsperber! Despite my hatred to MTP, it seem this is the only way J3 could work. Using S9 Mediamonkey technique does not seem to work. Another thing is if we sort music by Artist/Album folder in J3, we could drag all the folder and still make folder.

I hope we could use MSC/.m3u playlist in the future though.


P.S: Despite some believe, .pla playlist won't be automatically removed if you switch from MTP to MSC. Thanks for the help Dsperber.
I think this is really the "breakthrough" understanding. It's pretty common knowledge that one can make playlists in MTP mode, but the question has always been how to make usable playlists in MSC mode. There also was an assumption by many--including myself--that in switching from MTP mode to MSC mode that the existing playlists created in MTP mode would disappear. If they don't disappear when switching modes, then it may prove quite useful to make playlists in MSC mode and then switch back to MTP mode.

Dsperber deserves credit for helping bring this piece of info to us all.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:38 AM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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Wait sorry .pla do disappear....

if only there is a .pla to .m3u convertor
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:55 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Well... looks like this may not all be working as perfectly as originally described (at least on WinXP... since Win7 may have addressed these issues).

Looks like I'm going to have to take back my claim of "working perfectly" for playlists.

New findings.


(1) Unfortunately I still cannot get the "external drive" to reappear under the Cowon J3 item in Explorer, when connected in MTP mode. It happened that very first time I got into MTP mode yesterday, but ever since then all I see is "internal drive". I don't know if this is a WinXP problem or a J3 firmware issue, as I'm still running v2.10.

This is bad news (until/unless I can get "external storage" to reappear), since it means you can't build playlists using tracks on the external card. Not good of course.

(2) It appears that the correct way to ADD additional tracks to a PLA playlist is to first RMB on the PLA file in Explorer, then select Properties, and then select the "References" tab, to get the dialog in the proper state for drag/drop onto that area.

Then open a second Explorer window and navigate to the folder containing the track(s) you want to add to the existing playlist. Select one or more tracks (as when you created the PLA playlist in the first place) and then drag/drop onto the open "References" tab. The drag/drop tracks will now appear added to the bottom of the track list in the dialog.

Click OK to close/save the updated PLA playlist.

(3) It DOES appear true that you can select tracks from multiple folders and drag/drop them into a single playlist. Even though the host folder names do not show up on the "References" tab (it only shows the track's file name itself) in fact the album folder information is obviously there under the covers.

So the resulting PLA playlist will reflect any number of tracks selected from any number of folders. This is good, of course.

(4) It appears that you should NOT move the created PLA playlist from the folder in which you first created it. I tried moving it to the PLAYLISTS folder on the J3's internal storage, and it seemed to move fine (disappearing from the folder in which I had originally created it).

However after I rebooted the J3 I now saw TWO playlists, both identical!!! And when I investigated I saw that apparently the J3(?) or Windows(?) had actually recreated that PLA playlist back in the original folder it was created in! So now it truly was in TWO places!

Can't figure this one out, but obviously this is going to be very annoying to deal with. You can start off building a playlist from tracks in one folder, and the PLA playlist will get created in that same folder (since that's where it's placed when you select "create playlist" from the RMB menu). But if you then want to add tracks from another folder to that same playlist, you're going to have to keep the PLA file location in the original folder (and not move it to PLAYLISTS which would have made the most sense), and then remember that this now growing playlist for multiple folders is in that very original folder.

Going to be confusing, and annoying. Not good.

I can't imagine what the PLAYLISTS folder could then be used for, if not for PLA playlist files. Perhaps this is a J3 firmware bug (at least in my 2.10) and is an unintentional occurrence. Or, maybe some playlist format other than PLA is actually supported... if only we could figure out how to do it.

(5) It appears that when initially reverting from MTP mode to MSC mode after creating or maintaining a PLA playlist, that playlist is still "usable" via [Playlists].

However if the J3 is then connected via USB to the PC in MSC mode, the PLA playlist gets "corrupted" and becomes "unusable".

It actually still exists in the folder in which it was created and strangely, another playlist named "New playlist.pla" is also created, but BOTH of these folders now seem no longer to be recognized by Windows as true playlists. In other words, if you RMB on the file and select Properties, you will no longer have the "References" tab to show the imbedded tracks defined for that playlist.

So it does appear that you cannot go from MTP back to MSC for normal file maintenance and connect to the PC via USB in MSC mode and expect to retain your PLA playlist files as "usable" when you're done. They're now ruined and are no longer usable, and thus must be recreated (by getting back into MTP mode, etc.).

This is VERY bad news.


Bottom line (as of now): this is all very clumsy, and unfriendly.

Windows Explorer can be used to copy files from PC hard drive to the J3 in MTP mode, but it would be more convenient for the user if Windows file manager programs (like Free Commander and Beyond Compare) could instead be used. Unfortunately they can't. They can only be used for the J3 in MSC mode.

So if you're willing to live in MTP mode and never go back to MSC mode, you can build, maintain and use PLA playlists and not lose them. However they can seemingly only live "cleanly" in the original folder in which they got created, even if they contain track references from other folders (which is supported).

I still cannot get "external storage" to reappear for me using Explorer when in MTP mode, and this is a real problem since obviously generalized playlists should support both "internal storage" and "external storage". I'm not sure yet if this is just a WinXP problem and will not be present in Win7, or whether it's a J3 2.10 problem, or what. I'll be able to know more next week when I get back to my Win7 world.

As has been stated, it sure would be nice if true M3U/PLS playlist files (with imbedded fully qualified path names) were supported... even if they also had to be created using file locations on the J3 internal/external storage rather than being able to be directly copied from the corresponding playlists built on the PC's hard drives (using those locations).


Somewhat of a setback, I'd say.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:43 AM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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Thanks for the finding. Well at least you did discover a way to edit playlist though MTP
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:43 PM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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Wait I discover something. Read the first post.
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:56 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrahimovic View Post
Wait I discover something. Read the first post.
I didn't understand what you were describing in your second MSC-based method, but your first MSC-based method seems "almost acceptable"... assuming you're willing to utilize either ID3 fields of Genre or Year (neither of which are actually ever displayed anywhere by the J3, but do get used as index values to facilitate browsing).

Of course if Cowon ever improves their ID3 tag display to present these currently non-displayed fields, you'd have to accept the consequences of having usurped the original values in these ID3 tag fields.


Personally, as much as I wish there were a really acceptable and workable MSC-based solution, it doesn't appear that one exists given the current Cowon J3 software.

I think reverting the player to MTP mode (and assuming "external storage" will appear once I get back to a Win7 machine) is simply the only configuration currently available in which genuine and proper playlist support (via PLA and Windows Explorer) as well as file maintenance can all peacefully coexist, even if I'm then forced to only use Windows Explorer to copy files to the J3.

I really do want playlists (since 250 Favorites is clumsy and limited), and if MTP is the only way I can get that today... well I'll just have to accept it and its downsides, for the more important to me upsides.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:20 AM
Resiak Resiak is offline
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It seems to me there is a firmware problem with the J3 as far as playlists are concerned. I used winamp to create playlists many times for the J3 and except for a couple of times, (and I don't know why it worked!), the playlist shows no file. Doing the exact procedure for the S9 created playlists every time. It seems we just have to wait for Cowon to realize the problem and update its firmware.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:29 AM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
I didn't understand what you were describing in your second MSC-based method, but your first MSC-based method seems "almost acceptable"... assuming you're willing to utilize either ID3 fields of Genre or Year (neither of which are actually ever displayed anywhere by the J3, but do get used as index values to facilitate browsing).

Of course if Cowon ever improves their ID3 tag display to present these currently non-displayed fields, you'd have to accept the consequences of having usurped the original values in these ID3 tag fields.


Personally, as much as I wish there were a really acceptable and workable MSC-based solution, it doesn't appear that one exists given the current Cowon J3 software.

I think reverting the player to MTP mode (and assuming "external storage" will appear once I get back to a Win7 machine) is simply the only configuration currently available in which genuine and proper playlist support (via PLA and Windows Explorer) as well as file maintenance can all peacefully coexist, even if I'm then forced to only use Windows Explorer to copy files to the J3.

I really do want playlists (since 250 Favorites is clumsy and limited), and if MTP is the only way I can get that today... well I'll just have to accept it and its downsides, for the more important to me upsides.
Well sorry because apparently I'm no good at explaning stuff. The second method is just like your method which is go to MTP and create playlist by right-click. But this is tedious as your have to select one by one.

So a fast solution is categorize each one of them by folder so rather than picking <Artist> name one by one, you just right click the folder and make a playlist.

Example:-

In J3 Music folder ,you will see this folder:-

Playlist 1
Playlist 2
Playlist 3
.....

This is because you already organize it before hand using Mediamonkey using its tag (composer,album artist...), to arrange it to different folder.

Hence, you don't need to waste time picking song everytime you use MSC since .pla will disappear.

P.S: Sorry about the bad explaining, I really got confused to tell the method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Resiak View Post
It seems to me there is a firmware problem with the J3 as far as playlists are concerned. I used winamp to create playlists many times for the J3 and except for a couple of times, (and I don't know why it worked!), the playlist shows no file. Doing the exact procedure for the S9 created playlists every time. It seems we just have to wait for Cowon to realize the problem and update its firmware.
Well it would be nice if you tell me how to create your playlist. My Winamp only list all my music duration as 0:00 and refused to play any file so Im screwed.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:25 AM
Resiak Resiak is offline
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I use winamp 5.56 which is freeware. When you launch the prog, on the left there should be a list; one of which is playlist. Right click on that and then "New playlist". Give it a name in the box which opens up. Then highlight the playlist just created and then click on "add" which is on the bottom line. The tracks to be added should be from the MP3 player which should be connected as MSC not MTP, so it basically acts as a separate drive. Pick the tracks you want in the playlist. Once the list is what you want, click on "Sel" and then select all. This highlights all the tracks. Then go to FILE on the top row and save the playlist somewhere on the hard disk of the PC, having given it a name. You should check the playlist file by opening it with notepad. It should look like this:
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:200,AL STEWART - AL STEWART bedsitter images
D:\Music\AL STEWART bedsitter images.mp3
#EXTINF:279,AFTERNOONS IN STEREO - AFTERNOONS IN STEREO luna
D:\Music\AFTERNOONS IN STEREO luna.mp3
#EXTINF:182,AL GREEN - AL GREEN call me (come back home)
D:\Music\AL GREEN call me (come back home).mp3

If it looks okay, copy the file across to the player.
I have used winamp before and sometimes the layout is different. If the layout is not as I described, just play around till you find the options I have listed.
Because I have managed to create 2 working playlists on the J3 doing the above but failed many more times, I feel there may be something simple I am missing. What it is, beats me. I have written to Cowon about playlists. Perhaps they will reply. If they do, I will post their reply here.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:10 AM
CJ666 CJ666 is offline
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It works fine for me on my cowon i9 using JetAudio, Is there someone who has tried this on the j3 or s9? for the i9 it works perfectly...
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:12 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrahimovic View Post
The second method is just like your method which is go to MTP and create playlist by right-click. But this is tedious as your have to select one by one.
You don't have to select tracks one at a time. All you have to do, when in a folder from which you would like to select more than one track, is to hold the CTRL key down when you click on a track. These keeps all tracks selected so far selected along with the new one(s) you select.

Just keep the CTRL key held down with your left hand, and then use your right hand and the mouse to click on any and all tracks you want to select from that folder.

Then, with all these multiple tracks highlighted, right click (on any of them... i.e. the entire group of selected tracks), select "create playlist" from the resulting popup menu, and this will cause a "New playlist.pla" item to be created in the current folder, already in "rename mode"... i.e. ready for you to type its real playlist name. Just don't forget to also type the .pla extension after you type the playlist name.

But I do appreciate what you're saying, that if/when you actually do lose these PLA playlists (because you connected to Windows in MSC mode) you have go back and start all over again, recreating those playlists from scratch. And of course if the playlists include tracks from multiple folders (as inevitably they will), it's even more time consuming to reproduce them (since you have to "add" the tracks from those other locations to your existing playlist, after first "creating" the initial playlist.

Obviously, this PLA/MTP scenario is hardly user-friendly. What is clearly needed is a legitimate M3U/MSC or PLS/MSC scenario, but alas it seems this will only happen after the apparent current J3 firmware problems dealing with MSC-based playlists are resolved by Cowon.

Clearly, there needs to be some way to express "internal storage" or "external storage" in the fully qualified path name of the tracks named by an M3U/PLS playlist, instead of the Windows-based drive letter created by any Windows playlist editor/organizer program. Until that specific piece of "magic" is facilitated by Cowon in the J3 in order to provide full MSC-based playlist support, it does look like the current MTP/PLA approach (with its limitations and consequences) is our only working option.


Quote:
So a fast solution is categorize each one of them by folder so rather than picking <Artist> name one by one, you just right click the folder and make a playlist.
I understand.

But these are kind of kluge workarounds, that have their own downsides. For example, I really DO want to be able to legitimately browse by genre or year, and don't want something artificially present in those ID3 tag fields just so simulate a playlist.

Also, I really do want tracks in only one [Album] folder, corresponding to the true album. I don't really want tracks duplicated into multiple folders, again to enable a simulated playlist since now they show up twice and I have issues dealing with usable album art for that track in the second folder location, even though COVER.JPG for that album worked in the primary album folder location. I'd have to either imbed the art inside the track's ID3 tag, or rename it from COVER.JPG.


Haven't decided what my "final solution" will be yet, since I have to get back to my Win7 world to hopefully see that both "internal storage" as well as "external storage" will appear when using MTP mode.

Also, I will upgrade to the latest 2.21 firmware (which hopefully will not impact my COVER.JPG album art presentations).

Fingers crossed that if playlists are supported on the S9, that Cowon will ultimately fix the playlist problems on the J3 (maybe implementing "virtual drive letters" newly defined in Settings -> System for its internal/external storage, to automatically substitute for the Windows-installed drive letters in M3U/PLS playlists... so that Windows-created M3U/PLS playlists can be created and managed on the PC's hard drive somewhere and then copied across to the J3 while in MSC mode and live in the PLAYLISTS folder, just as easily as files and folders and COVER.JPG can be copied across to the J3 today).
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:51 AM
ibrahimovic ibrahimovic is offline
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I encouter problem. Why do when I re-tag the genre (yo Playlist 1), the old genre still retain in the "Genre' menu in J3? Now I got 20+ genre even though I edited them. Got any idea to remove them? I used Tag&Rename btw.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:36 AM
Resiak Resiak is offline
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Default Playlists...a reply from Cowon

At last a sensible reply from Cowon and it makes sense! Here it is:

"Thank you for using COWON J3.

I have tested many different ways to find the error that you reported. We have found that if SD card is inserted in COWON J3, m3u playlist displays as "no file". The issue is reported to our research team and they will refer to it as much as possible. "

So perhaps they can and will solve the problem with a firmware upgrade.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:41 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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My bug report on this (and confirmation of their confirmation that removing the external card before that first re-boot following creating new/updated playlists in the \Playlists folder in order to trigger the proper analysis/caching of the M3U playlists, after which the external card can again be reinserted without losing the M3U playlists going forward... though you must repeat this remove/re-boot/reinsert process in the future if you do additional playlist create/update) to Cowonglobal.com produced the following response today:

---------------------------------------------------

Thank you for using COWON J3.

We do appreciate report that you submitted. It has been reported to our research team and they aware of this issue and it will be fixed in next firmware.

Thanks again for using the customer support at cowonglobal.com.

Regards,
COWON

--------------------------------------------------
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:09 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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LOL! Congrats DSperber! More power to the people :-)

BTW, i have watched/read with amazement all the effort you [and everyone else] have put into this.

Kudos to you all :-D
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  #20  
Old 08-17-2010, 01:59 AM
dduckquack dduckquack is offline
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cant wait for the next firmware then!
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