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  #21  
Old 08-17-2010, 02:24 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduckquack View Post
cant wait for the next firmware then!
I hope they figure out how to not only allow M3U playlists to be correctly analyzed/cached while still having the external card inserted, but also that they figure out how to support M3U playlists that reference files actually located ON THE EXTERNAL CARD and not just on the internal storage!!

Ideally, those M3U playlist files themselves should be able to be stored on either internal or external storage (e.g. in a \Playlists folder on both internal and external storage, but I could live with just internal storage if I had to), but with the track references inside of them also allowing pointing to file locations on either internal or external storage.

Now without some kind of technique for describing to the J3 the "drive" on which the referenced files reside (e.g. something like the Windows drive letter that gets put at the front of the fully-qualified path for those files when "absolute" track reference is set for the playlist creator program), I don't think this is possible.

But if they would simply tell us what they've come up, and what that obligates us to do in order to conform to their method's requirements (which might require us to build M3U playlists a certain particular way), I know we could all live with those rules... given the obvious benefits.

Key objective: M3U playlists should ideally support referenced files on either internal or external storage, and even more ideally and generally should support files located on both "drives" within a single M3U playlist.
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  #22  
Old 08-17-2010, 09:30 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduckquack View Post
cant wait for the next firmware then!
In replying to Cowon regarding the latest 2.22 firmware, which DID fix the Matrix Browser album art problem, I also re-stated the still outstanding issues with M3U playlists... in that the external card must be temporarily removed before that crucial first re-boot after creating a new M3U playlist, in order to get that new M3U playlist properly analyzed/cached so as to be usable (after which the external card can be reinserted).

Well I heard back from Cowon today on this still outstanding M3U playlist problem:

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

Thank you for using COWON J3.

Our research team is working on the problem of .m3u playlist with SDcard inserted. It will be fixed in next firmware.

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

Regards,
COWON

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

On another playlist-related matter, through the amazing observation of a member of the iaudiophile.net forum, the "secret magic trick" for making both "internal storage" and "external storage" appear when the J3 is in MTP mode has now been discovered:

You must have the J3 currently powered on when you connect it to the PC when in MTP mode, in order for both "internal storage" and "external storage" to be visible to Windows Explorer.

If instead your J3 is currently powered off when you connect it to the PC when in MTP mode, only "internal storage" will be visible to Windows Explorer.

Ok... now that that discovery is known and behind us (and I've reported that "firmware bug solution/workaround" to Cowon, hopefully to be fixed quickly), I've gotten back into the MTP/PLA world to try and seem if PLA playlists will support files on both internal and external storage. Since M3U playlists certainly don't currently support files on the external card (not the least of which reason is that you have to have the card removed at the current time, in order for new M3U playlists to even be analyzed properly at that next re-boot), it would be nice if PLA playlists did support files on both internal and external storage.

Anyway, although I haven't yet done a great deal of experimenting one thing I have already discovered is that my previously analyzed/cached M3U playlist (built while in MSC mode, and analyzed/cached at the next re-boot with the external card temporarily removed) STILL WORKS EVEN WITH THE J3 NOW IN MTP MODE!!!

I assume this is because that M3U playlist was properly analyzed/cached at that crucial first re-boot after creating it, and is now accessed by the J3's [Playlists] functionality from that cache object... having nothing to do with the MSC vs. MTP mode of the J3.

So, now that I understand M3U playlist functionality better, I'm anxious to explore PLA playlist functionality more. Since it's obvious now that "working" M3U playlists can still be used in MTP mode, and since I've previously proven that "working" PLA playlists will still work even when the J3 is in MSC mode (although they will be destroyed and become useless if the J3 is then connected to the PC while in MSC mode, so I don't know why you'd ever do that if you utilize PLA playlists), and if PLA playlists can indeed access files on the external card and thus be more useful playlists than M3U playlists (at least unless/until Cowon fixes this limitation), it might really be the best approach to leave the J3 in MTP mode.

MTP mode still supports copying files from PC to J3, to both internal and external storage targets. And MTP mode still supports building perfectly usable PLA playlists (albeit only with Windows Explorer and not via other standard Windows programs). So once again, maybe MTP is the better mode to live in.


Anyway, more later.
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  #23  
Old 08-17-2010, 11:03 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Early round of discoveries:

(1) PLA playlist files can be created on external storage. However they do not "persist" there across a J3 re-boot.

It appears that PLA playlist files can only "survive" across a J3 re-boot when placed on the internal drive.

I created two PLA playlists, one on internal storage referencing music files on internal storage, and one on external storage referencing files on external storage. Windows Explorer was used to create the playlists (selecting one or more tracks in a folder, RMB on the selection, choose "Create playlist...", type in a playlist name including the .pla extension instead of the default "New playlist.pla", and push OK).

They both got created without problem, and lived throughout that Windows MTP connection. Initially, they therefore contained only track references from within the same folder into which they got saved.

However when I disconnected the J3 and re-booted, only the internal storage PLA file showed up in [Playlists].

Even more surprising, the PLA file previously saved on external storage had actually been DELETED!!! I assume this purge was done by the J3 at boot time during its [check albums] process looking for playlists to analyze/cache, and not by Windows itself.


(2) The newly discovered (and not-purged) PLA playlist on internal storage showed up in [Playlists] along with my previously analyzed/cached M3U playlist (from when I was in MSC mode).

Both M3U and PLA playlists work perfectly when used to play. All track names in both playlists display perfectly.


(3) With some very large cojones, I reconnected the J3 (still in MTP mode) and opened Windows Explorer, navigating to the folder and PLA playlist. I then RMB->Properties and selected the References tab, to reveal the existing tracks referenced by that playlist. This open References tab also serves as the target landing area for drag/drop using Windows Explorer, to add additional tracks to this playlist.

I then opened a second Windows Explorer session... this time pointing to a music folder on external storage!

I then selected a track on this album living in a folder on external storage, and dragged it over to the References tab for my open PLA playlist properties dialog, dropping it there. And as expected, this new track reference was added to the list of existing tracks in the PLA playlist. Then I closed the Properties dialog.

Note that although all that appears in the References list is just the pure file name and not the .MP3 extension nor the fully-qualified path, it is obvious to me that all of this additional information (needed to identify the true folder in which the track exists... since tracks from multiple folders can be dropped onto a given PLA playlist) must truly be present.

I then disconnected the J3 and re-booted.

Even more obvious to me now is the fact that the "internal storage" or "external storage" token must also be present inside the genuine PLA playlist data itself (although it still shows as 0 bytes) ... because THE TRACKS ON BOTH INTERNAL STORAGE AND EXTERNAL STORAGE NOW APPEAR WHEN THE PLAYLIST IS TAPPED, AND IN FACT ALL OF THOSE TRACKS ACTUALLY PLAY PERFECTLY... EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ON BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STORAGE!!!

Amazing!


(4) So...

(a) PLA playlists appear to be supported only on internal storage of the J3. If discovered on external storage by the J3 at boot time they will be deleted from their external storage folder locations. Purged. Gone.

(b) PLA playlists on the internal drive can only be created and maintained using Windows Explorer (at least that's what it looks like for now). No standard user-friendly MP3 players or utilities seem to support creating these very odd 0-length PLA playlists. Only Windows Explorer seems to know what they really are.

(c) PLA playlists can reference tracks ON BOTH INTERNAL STORAGE AS WELL AS EXTERNAL STORAGE, EVEN INTERMIXED IN THE SAME PLAYLIST.

(d) PLA playlists do NOT seem to be usable by Windows Media Player (at least not on one of my Win7 systems). Seems hard to believe, but I will do some more experimenting. For sure, PLA playlists are not supported by Winamp. And yet... PLA playlists ARE supported by the J3!!! Surely there must be some Windows player for which PLA actually works.

(e) While in MTP mode (and probably in MSC mode as well, as long as the J3 is not re-connected to the PC while in MSC mode which will destroy the PLA playlists) the J3 seems to support both previously analyzed/cached M3U playlists as well as PLA playlists.

(6) Unlike with the current J3 firmware's quirks relative to requiring the external card to be temporarily removed before the first re-boot following creating of an M3U playlist (and which obviously also prevents M3U playlists from supporting files located on the external card in any way, shape or form), PLA playlists seem to be properly analyzed at each J3 re-boot and as previously stated can actually contain references to tracks located on the external card mixed in with tracks located on the internal storage.

So the external card SHOULD be (and obviously MUST be) left in the J3 when it's re-booted, specifically if you have PLA playlists that reference tracks on the external card.
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  #24  
Old 08-17-2010, 11:48 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Next REALLY REALLY GOOD DISCOVERY...

Even though the initial creation of the PLA playlist file will automatically occur in the very same album folder as hold the initial tracks you selected and then RMB->Create playlist... and then saved the new playlist with a name, it turns out that the PLA playlist file can then be MOVED into the \Playlists folder!

In other words, it really can be located anywhere on the J3's internal storage, with the same \Playlists folder as works for M3U playlists being the obvious choice. The fact that Windows Explorer automatically creates "New playlist.pla" in the same folder as the currently selected tracks, well that's really just like RMB->New->Folder, where you end up getting "New Folder" (or whatever proper folder name you type in at that instant) created in the current folder. You can later rename or move it to anything you want, but initially that's where it goes and that's what it's named (if you don't take the trouble to name it correctly right then at creation time).

So at least RMB->Create Playlist... really works the same way. It's created in the current folder, with a default name of "New Playlist.pla", but you can at least give it the right name at that moment. And if you really want it to be at some other location (e.g. in \Playlists) well you just have to MOVE it there manually... after it first gets created where it first gets created.

But what's important is that once moved to \Playlists (which is clearly the more generalized and appropriate location for all playlists, M3U or PLA), you can continue to use it or update it as you please.

And since a PLA playlist can refer to tracks on both internal and external storage, and doesn't require temporary removal of the external card before the next re-boot following PLA playlist maintenance, it sure does seem like PLA playlists for the J3 are the way to go... although not having a Windows media player for it nor Winamp support for it is a major drawback!

But if PLA playlists work so well for the J3, I can't see why an M3U playlist would be needed.

Of course MSC (and true Windows drive letters) is a much more general and user-friendly connection method for the J3. So if Cowon can overcome the current problem with limiting the M3U playlist files to internal storage only, then I'll no doubt reverse my feelings.


More after some more playing.
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  #25  
Old 08-18-2010, 12:32 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
... Since it's obvious now that "working" M3U playlists can still be used in MTP mode, and since I've previously proven that "working" PLA playlists will still work even when the J3 is in MSC mode (although they will be destroyed and become useless if the J3 is then connected to the PC while in MSC mode, so I don't know why you'd ever do that if you utilize PLA playlists),...
Ok... time to put THAT rumor to rest!!!

I have now seemingly confirmed that the PLA working playlist I am playing with (and which supports tracks on both internal and external storage of the J3), and which is stored in the same \Playlists folder as my other working M3U playlist (which names tracks only on internal storage), in fact is NOT DESTROYED IF THE J3 IS RECONNECTED TO THE PC IN MSC MODE!!!!

This appears now to be a vicious, unfounded rumor... which is NOT TRUE. At least that's how it seems to work with 2.22 firmware.

The working PLA playlist seems to remain perfectly intact across MSC/MTP transitions in Settings->System and also across connections, removals, and reconnections of the J3 to the PC.

I don't know how/why my experiments on this a while back were so unsuccessful, pointing to the loss of PLA file integrity, but it doesn't seem to happen now.

Now what is certainly true is that when the J3 is connected in MSC mode the M3U file program-association icon (for the M3U files stored on the internal storage drive letter of the J3) shows as Winamp and the PLA file program-association icon shows just a generic icon.

And if you RMB->Properties on the PLA file while in MSC mode the program-association icon is a generic blank, with RMB-Properties not even showing the References tab.

In contrast, when the J3 is connected in MTP mode, both the M3U and PLA playlist files on the J3 show the same program-association icon (which is the Windows ->Properties dialog icon). If you RMB->Properties or RMB->Open on either , you get the same thing... namely the Windows Properties dialog which includes the References tab.

However selecting the References tab for the M3U playlist shows nothing. Selecting the References tab for the PLA playlist shows the correct track names.


But I'm not going to be distracted by these minor "cosmetic" issues.

What's most important is that I was apparently WRONG when I previously thought that PLA playlists were "destroyed" if you went back to MSC mode and reconnected to the PC.

Whether this is because of cache, or maybe the J3 always needs to be connected to the PC WHILE IT IS ALREADY POWERED ON... NO MATTER WHETHER IN MSC OR MTP MODE and then only good things happen, don't know for sure yet.

But for now, it DOES appear that previously analyzed/cached M3U and PLA playlists ARE PRESERVED ACROSS MSC/MTP TRANSITIONS, AND ARE PRESERVED ACROSS MSC/MTP RECONNECTIONS TO THE PC.

But again... this may really be happening now because I've established my new normal behavior, which is to connect the J3 to my PC (regardless of whether it's in MSC or MTP mode) when it is already powered on... not when it is powered off. Maybe this is the "magic ingredient"... the pixie dust. Or maybe Cowon has fixed something since 2.10. Don't know yet.

Anyway, for whatever reason PLA playlst files do NOT any longer appear to get destroyed by any of this. I know others have written about this problem as well, but I'm not seeing it right now.

Now I haven't yet built a new M3U playlist while in MSC mode and the J3 re-booted, to see if the TWO M3U and ONE PLA playlists are now all still preserved properly and still usable, either in MSC or MTP mode... but I plan to try just that. Let's see if I can destroy my PLA playlist file.

But if I can't destroy it when in MSC mode, then this means a MIX of using both (a) M3U playlists (for convenience, since MSC mode and standard Windows players and utilities support M3U and MSC) for playlists consisting only of tracks residing on internal storage, and which appear to be usable with the J3 in both MTP and MSC mode, and (b) PLA playlists (built and usable while in MTP mode, but also still usable while in MSC mode) when you need to reference tracks that are on the J3's external storage... might be a way to get everything we want, with the most possible convenience and minimizing MTP-related inconvenience while at the same time accessing files on the complete maximum 64GB of the J3.


Certainly looks for now like the J3 supports and preserves (in cache?) both M3U and PLA playlists in both MTP and MSC modes. It appears that running the J3 in MSC mode does NOT destroy PLA playlist files, as was previously hypothesized.

I'm now going to continue work on my other Win7 machine, which has Windows Media Center installed. It's really hard to believe that PLA playlists are not supported by Windows Media Player, though that's clearly the case on this Win7 machine which does not use Windows Media Center.

More later.

Last edited by DSperber; 08-18-2010 at 02:15 AM.
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  #26  
Old 08-18-2010, 12:36 AM
dduckquack dduckquack is offline
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how do you make a PLA playlist using explorer? im using windows 7 and when i right click it i dont see anythig
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  #27  
Old 08-18-2010, 01:29 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduckquack View Post
how do you make a PLA playlist using explorer? im using windows 7 and when i right click it i dont see anything
Assuming the J3 is connected in MTP mode (which you did when the J3 was already powered on)...

(1) Get into Windows Explorer and navigate to the J3. Then click on the "+" next to it to expand, showing both "internal storage" and "external storage".



(2) Now navigate to the folder whose track(s) you want to use to initially create the PLA playlist, and select it/them. While they are selected, RMB on that selection to produce the popup menu. At the top of that menu will be the "Create playlist" item.



(3) When you select "Create playlist" from the menu, Windows will initate the creation of a PLA file in this folder, with the name "New Playlist.pla" by default (same as creating a new folder via RMB initiates the creation of a folder with "New folder" as its default name) and with the cursor positioned to allow you to overtype/rename it to be whatever you want.

Don't forget that since it is the entire "New Playlist.pla" that is highlighted, and thus is going to be replaced as soon as you start typing, be careful to remember to add the .pla extension at the end of what you type. Or, you can de-select, reposition the cursor to the front, type what you want, erase what you don't want, etc., etc. You get my drift.



(4) That's it. Just press the ENTER key to save that PLA playlist file (which will show 0 bytes, as it should) with whatever name you want.

If you screw up and ENTER before you rename it, you can just RMB on it and select RENAME from the popup menu, just like any other file you'd like to rename.

(5) To update the playlist (i.e. to add or delete tracks, from internal or external storage, or to rearrange the order of the tracks in that playlist) RMB on the PLA file and select Properties. Then select the References tab.



(6) Now open a second Windows Explorer window, navigate to whatever next folder on the J3 you want to grab your additional tracks from for this addition to the playlist under construction, select the one or more tracks you want to add to the playlist, and then drag/drop (you can use the left mouse button) that selection onto the big white target "drop" area (with the current track names shown) of the References tab you've opened from Properties on the PLA playlist.

When you release the mouse button, the additional track(s) will be added to the playlist names shown.

You can use the up/down buttons at the bottom of the References dialog to rearrange tracks, and the "X" button to delete tracks.

Repeat this process as much as you want, referencing any number of tracks in any number of different folders. Should work fine. Push the OK button at the bottom when you're finally done with the PLA playlist update, or push the CANCEL button to abort the whole thing.

I think there may be a max size of the PLA playlist but I don't know what it is. I might have seen somewhere that it's about 340, but to be honest I don't know for sure. Certainly in the world of reasonably sized playlists I wouldn't worry too much about this one.

(7) When you're all done (or even while you're still in the construction process for this PLA playlist), you can MOVE it to \Playlists on the internal storage of the J3, where it can then live forever.

In other words while it certainly is "born" in some specific album folder only because Windows Explorer "create playlist" is used to birth it, you can subsequently put it anywhere you want and the J3 will find it and analyze it and use it correctly. Obviously \Playlists on the internal storage of the J3 is the clear best choice for where it should live permanently.

But again... the PLA playlist can actually refer to tracks on both internal and external storage of the J3. This is obviously the single most gigantic advantage of using PLA playlists over M3U playlists on the J3 (at least as currently implemented on the J3 firmware) which can only refer to tracks on internal storage of the J3. Sure, M3U playlists on Windows can access files from anywhere (as long as they have the "absolute" Windows drive letter in their track references), but on the J3 those M3U playlists are restricted (currently at least) to internal strorage files only.


Note: if you happen to mistakenly connect the J3 to your PC while in MTP mode, but before the J3 has been powered on, you will only see "internal storage" with Windows Explorer. Furthermore, if you actually look at (via RMB->Properties->References) one of your PLA playlists that you know refers to tracks that are located on external storage, all of those tracks located on external storage will NOT be shown in the References tab. But you haven't done any damage to the PLA playlist file itself... it's just that Windows can't find them because "external storage" is not visible.

Just disconnect the J3, re-boot the J3 to power it on, reconnect the J3 to the PC, open Windows Explorer and you'll now once again see both "internal storage" and "external storage", and if you again navigate to the PLA playlist, RMB->Properties and look at its References tab again, now sure enough all the tracks have returned to the playlist, both from internal storage and also from external storage.


Hope that helps.

Last edited by DSperber; 08-18-2010 at 02:00 AM.
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  #28  
Old 08-18-2010, 01:44 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Well, for the absolute life of me I cannot find a "player" program (on Win7) that actually PLAYS a PLA playlist file!

Windows Media Player (even on my Win7 machine with Windows Media Center active) does not recognize it, although it has its own WPL playlist format which it can create. But not PLA.

So I simply cannot understand what Microsoft's purpose was, or what they had in their mind, when they invented all of this PLA creation technology... if there are no player programs that can actually make use of it!

Even more amazing is why Cowon would support it on the J3, when no Windows player program that I can find supports it.


Am I missing something?

Does somebody know of a Windows player that can make use of a PLA playlist?

Bueller? Bueller?


Or... could PLA actually be an invention of Microsoft's specifically with the "portable media player" in mind, having nothing at all to do with Windows-based player programs?

This might actually be reasonable, as research reveals that other manufacturer's players also support PLA playlists. Also the PLA file oddly shows up as 0 bytes, certainly a non-standard notation.

Also, PLA playlist support seems to have been implemented on the J3 with full support for accessing music files on both internal and external drives (using some "token" I would venture a guess, since Windows drive letter is obviously not present) even though only the pure file name appears in the Properties->References list. This is suprisingly clean, elegant, and user-friendly... but again a very non-standard Windows construct.

So PLA seems to have everything that M3U does not (or cannot) support as well... with the exception of (a) being able to be played on Windows!, and (b) being able to be built by Windows programs other than Windows Explorer itself.

Very very strange.

Last edited by DSperber; 08-18-2010 at 01:52 AM.
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  #29  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:03 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Ok... stop the presses!

I've got to reverse my reversal.

Turns out that PLA playlists are actually "vulnerable" to destruction when transitioning from MTP to MSC mode. I removed my external storage card so that I could experiment back in MSC mode, building another M3U playlist file. I wanted to see if the PLA playlist could "survive" this process, plus the first re-boot after creating the PLA playlist (which triggers the analysis/cache of the new M3U playlist).

Well... the short and sweet answer is NO! The PLA playlist did NOT survive intact!

Yes, it's still there. And it still shows 0 bytes. But it has obviously somehow incurred some damage/corruption (unknown whether it was done by Windows or by the J3) and no longer has that "References" tab in its properties. Furthmore, it does not show up with Windows Explorer in the list of playlist files within the \Playlists folder when in MTP mode, even though the 0-byte file is physically still there.

Now I honestly don't know whether this sudden loss of the PLA playlist occurred because I removed the external card and thus allowed the J3's boot-time analysis of M3U playlists to go forward, or whether it happened when I created the M3U playlist (with the external card removed), or what/when it happened.

But the net result is that the PLA playlist file is "destroyed", though physically it is still there living in the \Playlists folder with the ".pla" extension.

Furthermore, looking inside [Playlists] of the J3 the playlist name also DOES NOT SHOW. This confirms that its inner content no longer conforms to the mysterious "0-byte" structure (which is obviously really lots of data for all the playlist references, and not zero data at all) expected by both (a) Windows Explorer, and (b) the J3's rules for detecting and analyzing PLA playlists.


===>> It now appears true that in the absence of some forthcoming fix [next firmware release, I've been told by Cowon] from Cowon for the outstanding M3U problems (which require that (a) the external card be removed in order for newly created M3U playlists to be correctly analyzed at the next re-boot, and (b) no files on the external card can be referenced in an M3U playlist which itself must be stored on the J3 internal storage only), you're going to probably have to stick with what works best for you.

(1) M3U and MSC seems dependable and reliable but only supports playlists referencing files on J3 internal storage. It is fully supported by Windows, Windows players, and Windows playlist creator programs... even when the referenced music files are on the J3 and when the M3U playlists are stored on the J3.

(2) PLA and MTP is dependable and reliable and supports playlists referencing files on both internal storage as well as external storage of the J3.

However PLA is seemingly NOT supported by anything on the planet other than (a) Windows Explorer, and (b) many brands of personal music players, including the J3!! You can only use Windows Explorer to create/maintain PLA playlists, and you can only use the J3 to play music utilizing those PLA playlists. No other Windows programs (including Windows Media Player!) seem to know anything about PLA playlist files.

More significantly perhaps, many Windows-based programs cannot handle anything but true Windows drive letters, and thus cannot even "see" the internal storage and external storage of the J3 when it is connected via MTP. So copying files to the J3 while in MTP mode is certainly possible, but again only using Windows Explorer.


Choosing MTP/PLA given its significant limitations seems like it should be selected only if playlists involving both internal and external storage files are a requirement. In this case PLA playlists will work, and it is strongly urged that you remain in MTP mode forever (so as not to lose your PLA playlists). Simply do not attempt to use M3U playlists.

Otherwise, it does seem that MSC/M3U with its associated conveniences... even though limited currently to internal storage files only (though perhaps Cowon will fix that)... is a sensible alternative. And simply do not use PLA playlists.


Up to you.

I'm going to have to think about this some more, to decide what I myself will do. I think if Cowon had a solution for the internal/external problem on M3U my decision would be made instantly.
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  #30  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:04 AM
dduckquack dduckquack is offline
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tried connecting with my laptop with MTP, was doing good until the freaking laptop hangs!!!

i almost had a heart attack, or should i say myocardial infarction since im a doctor. OMG, i bricked my J3, i mean, im sure i bricked it, no more life what so ever. plugged it back at windows, windows says it doesnt recognize the device. tried tcctool, no luck, wont even let the tcctool driver be installed in my J3. then i saw a needle, so i said, what the heck, i'll give it a go. i pressed the reset button. no luck. then i pressed the power button while pressing the reset button and BOOM! my J3 is back!
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  #31  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:14 AM
Jonatello Jonatello is offline
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DSperber, you are one awesome ambassador! Keep up the fantastic work!

Question about M3U/MSC method. What software/method do you personally use to create working M3U lists, and do they successfully reference multiple folders?

I've been under the impression that the J3 is (or used to be?) very picky and particular about m3u lists.
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  #32  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:47 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonatello View Post
Question about M3U/MSC method. What software/method do you personally use to create working M3U lists,
I use Winamp... both to play music, as well as to create playlists.



I also use G-Force Platinum as my "visualization plug-in", because I simply love it (and have for many years of using it).




Quote:
and do they successfully reference multiple folders?
Sure.

Winamp can play files from anywhere (i.e. from more than one folder, and from more than one drive letter), and has its own Playlist Editor window (see above screenshot).

When you "save playlist" it's smart enough to understand exactly where the files came from (i.e. what folder and drive letter), where the playlist is being created into (i.e. what folder and drive letter), and produces an exactly appropriate #EXTM3U playlist whose contents permit the use of that playlist exactly as intended... to access multiple files from multiple folders across multiple drives (if that's what you have specified).

For example, for demonstration I just built a playlist picking up two tracks from D:\MP3\Adele\19\... and one track from F:\Myfiles\..., and storing the resulting playlist into D:\Myfiles\playlist.m3u.

It looks like this:

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:210,Adele - Chasing Pavements
\MP3\Adele\19\Chasing Pavements.mp3
#EXTINF:212,Adele - Make You Feel My Love
\MP3\Adele\19\Make You Feel My Love.mp3
#EXTINF:325,Ambrosia - Biggest Part Of Me
F:\MyFiles\Biggest Part Of Me.mp3

and this will work perfectly when that "playlist.m3U" is opened and played by Winamp (and any other Windows player).


Quote:
I've been under the impression that the J3 is (or used to be?) very picky and particular about m3u lists.
Read this post (and that whole thread, really), for the recipe on how to get M3U playlists to work without a problem.

Last edited by DSperber; 08-18-2010 at 08:55 AM.
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  #33  
Old 08-20-2010, 07:28 AM
dduckquack dduckquack is offline
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just wondering, if you are at the point when you could add/remove files into the PLA playlist, could you drag a M3U playlist in there and still get the PLA to work
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  #34  
Old 08-20-2010, 07:55 AM
Jonatello Jonatello is offline
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DSperber, wow thanks!

For some reason it works a lot better for me now, maybe its the firmware upgrade (i even noticed 2.21 was recognizing more m3u files than 2.10 seemed to)?

Also, I was previously running an ancient version of winamp, so i DLed the newest winamp, that might have made a big difference as well.

One minor thing I noticed though, was ... i made 2 test playlists (about 5 or so songs each)...different songs on each playlist. one of the playlists is missing a song. i look at it in notepad and the song (with path) is there, and the mp3 is on my J3 (obviously), but this playlist seems to leave out this one particular mp3.

overall though, wow, what a huge leap forward!
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  #35  
Old 08-20-2010, 07:56 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduckquack View Post
just wondering, if you are at the point when you could add/remove files into the PLA playlist, could you drag a M3U playlist in there and still get the PLA to work
Very doubtful, though I haven't actually tried it.

This is an object drag/drop, that "adds" the selected MP3 file(s) fully-qualified path/filename (including apparently the Windows-known drive letter, that apparently gets converted into some kind of a "token" representing internal vs. external storage that's usable by the J3 even when it is not connected to the PC) to the PLA playlist.

Obviously lots of very sophisticated logic is going on here (at drop time), and the net result is some kind of hidden data inside the PLA file, which still shows 0 length!! We know it's not really 0 bytes long, and yet it seems to be used perfectly by the disconnected J3.

I'm sure the logic that goes on at drop time is looking at the "properties" of the individual selected files, in order to convert that to whatever is needed inside the PLA file for each of those individual selected files... which now appear individually in the References track list.

I cannot believe there would be any logic developed by Microsoft to support M3U files as the source here, if for no other reason than that they can have at least 4 known syntax formats... none of which is really considered "standard Windows".

In contrast, the "Properties" of an individual music file IS "standard Windows", and the drop logic into the PLA References could therefore be written coherently by Microsoft as they really control both sides of the equation.


But to be honest, I haven't tried it.
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