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  #1  
Old 11-01-2010, 06:59 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Default Cowon J3 Firmware v2.23

Website: http://www.cowonglobal.com/zeroboard...?id=C08&no=422
Direct download: http://www.cowonglobal.com/download/...ON_J3_2.23.zip

Quote:
Music mode
- Support ID3 tags of APE files.
- Support album art which is in extension header of WMA file.
- Support ID3 tags that have asynchronous flag of ID3.

System
- Fixed the error that m3u files were not recognized correctly when SD card was inserted.
- Fixed the error that external speaker volume was changed when < Pan > setting was adjusted.
- Fixed the error that inserted SD card was not recognized after removing SD card which was
not supported.
- Fixed the error that SD card was not recognized in MTP mode when device was connected to
PC with SD card inserted.
Korean versions 1.23/3.23/4.23 can be found here: http://board.cowon.com/zeroboard/zbo...7&bmenu=iAUDIO
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2010, 08:45 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Some progress has been made on the list of M3U playlist problems with 2.23. A playlist can now be created (and stored in \Playlists of internal storage of the J3) while the external card is inserted. And the external card can now remain inserted when that crucial next first re-boot is performed to analyze/cache the M3U playlist just built without causing a failure. Previously, the external card had to be temporarily removed before that crucial first re-boot, otherwise the analysis of the new M3U playlist would not be performed correctly.

Well now, sure enough, even with the external card remaining inserted the new M3U playlist is now analyzed properly and shows up in [Playlists] correctly (i.e. without the .M3U extension displayed), and if you tap that playlist sure enough all of the referenced tracks appear properly and can be played.


However...

Cowon still has not implemented a genuine generalized solution to the issue of allowing an M3U playlist to reference files on both internal and external storage. If a playlist DOES reference files on both internal and external storage, the ones on external storage are simply ignored.

The following test M3U file (built by Winamp, directly referencing files on the J3 and saving the playlist into \Playlists on the J3's internal storage) referenced one file on internal storage and one file on external storage. The M3U playlist file itself was stored in \Playlists on internal storage. Hence the "relative" reference for the music file on internal storage, implying "same drive as where the playlist was obtained". However the second file with its "absolute" drive letter syntax was ignored, apparently. When you tap on the playlist under [Playlists] to show the referenced files, only the internal storage file appears. The second file [which was on external storage] is not displayed.

Instead of treating ANY absolute drive letter (no matter what it is) as meaning "external card storage of the J3" (as that drive letter is going to be unpredictable, based on every different user's different PC environment and different assigned Windows drive letters) they simply have apparently completely ignored any reference with "absolute" syntax. Doesn't look like they put in any work at all on this part of the problem.

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:325,Ambrosia - Biggest Part Of Me
\Music\Ambrosia\One Eighty\Biggest Part Of Me.mp3
#EXTINF:301,Manhattan Transfer, The - Mystery
P:\MusicSD\Manhattan Transfer, The\Bodies And Souls\Mystery.mp3


(I will open a ticket with Cowon on this)
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2010, 10:44 AM
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GumbyX84 GumbyX84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Some progress has been made on the list of M3U playlist problems with 2.23. A playlist can now be created (and stored in \Playlists of internal storage of the J3) while the external card is inserted. And the external card can now remain inserted when that crucial next first re-boot is performed to analyze/cache the M3U playlist just built without causing a failure. Previously, the external card had to be temporarily removed before that crucial first re-boot, otherwise the analysis of the new M3U playlist would not be performed correctly.

Well now, sure enough, even with the external card remaining inserted the new M3U playlist is now analyzed properly and shows up in [Playlists] correctly (i.e. without the .M3U extension displayed), and if you tap that playlist sure enough all of the referenced tracks appear properly and can be played.


However...

Cowon still has not implemented a genuine generalized solution to the issue of allowing an M3U playlist to reference files on both internal and external storage. If a playlist DOES reference files on both internal and external storage, the ones on external storage are simply ignored.

The following test M3U file (built by Winamp, directly referencing files on the J3 and saving the playlist into \Playlists on the J3's internal storage) referenced one file on internal storage and one file on external storage. The M3U playlist file itself was stored in \Playlists on internal storage. Hence the "relative" reference for the music file on internal storage, implying "same drive as where the playlist was obtained". However the second file with its "absolute" drive letter syntax was ignored, apparently. When you tap on the playlist under [Playlists] to show the referenced files, only the internal storage file appears. The second file [which was on external storage] is not displayed.

Instead of treating ANY absolute drive letter (no matter what it is) as meaning "external card storage of the J3" (as that drive letter is going to be unpredictable, based on every different user's different PC environment and different assigned Windows drive letters) they simply have apparently completely ignored any reference with "absolute" syntax. Doesn't look like they put in any work at all on this part of the problem.

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:325,Ambrosia - Biggest Part Of Me
\Music\Ambrosia\One Eighty\Biggest Part Of Me.mp3
#EXTINF:301,Manhattan Transfer, The - Mystery
P:\MusicSD\Manhattan Transfer, The\Bodies And Souls\Mystery.mp3


(I will open a ticket with Cowon on this)
So the playlist problem persist for playlists created under MSC/UMS. What happens if the playlist is stored on the external card itself with the drive letter pointing to the internal memory? (Would test myself, but haven't purchased my J3 yet)

Also, does this issue happen when the player is in MTP mode?
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2010, 01:33 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GumbyX84 View Post
So the playlist problem persist for playlists created under MSC/UMS. What happens if the playlist is stored on the external card itself with the drive letter pointing to the internal memory? (Would test myself, but haven't purchased my J3 yet)
I've never tried playlists on the external card, because others have reported a major problem with this... like thousands of duplicate file names appearing, etc. Obviously this should NOT happen, but it does.

No, there's nothing wrong with conceptually putting playlists strictly on the internal storage (under \Playlists, which seems like the common sense target location). And in theory, these playlists should support referencing music files on both internal and external storage. Period.

The problem simply is that Cowon never addressed the issue of playlists and multi-drive references. On a Windows PC there is no problem, because there is the concept of drive letters to point to absolute locations. And on Windows. there is "relative syntax" (to imply the same drive as where the M3U playlist was retrieved from) and "absolute syntax" (to provide a specific Windows drive letter location). However there is no such thing on the J3, unless Cowon invents something equivalent.

Until the J3 there was only one "drive" for Cowon to deal with, so they never had to address this issue with multi-drive playlists until now.

I'm sure they will eventually resolve it with a genuine technology solution, that they will hopefully document so that we will know exactly how to build internal/external M3U playlists that work. If they would accept the standard Winamp multi-drive M3U playlist, that would seem smart.


Quote:
Also, does this issue happen when the player is in MTP mode?
MTP mode is completely different than MSC mode. There are no actual "drive letters" assigned by Windows when the J3 is plugged into the PC. Instead, you see "internal storage" and "external storage" in Windows Explorer.

Furthermore, MTP mode is associated with PLA playlists, not M3U playlists. Now as it turns out, PLA playlists on the J3 DO support referencing files on both internal and external storage! So obviously, reverting to MTP mode and building PLA playlists conceptually "solves the problem".

However... PLA playlists are only supported by Windows Explorer. File transfers (for music files) to the J3 are only supported by Windows Explorer. Since there are no actual "drive letters" assigned, no Windows program that depends on drive letters even sees the J3. Only Windows Explorer understands MTP mode (at least to the best of my experiments and experience). And using Windows Explorer for file maintenance and PLA playlist construction is NOT convenient, I assure you.

Furthermore, PLA playlists are corrupted and become worthless if you change the J3 back to MSC mode and reconnect to Windows in MSC mode. I don't know why this happens, but it does (perhaps a problem with the J3 firmware, most likely), and if so then you have to delete all your PLA playlists and start over. So if you remain in MTP mode forever (and thus lose access to all Windows drive-oriented utilities) you're safe. Otherwise, it's a real pain.


Cowon simply needs to address the entire M3U playlist problem and solve it. If they support playing music files on internal and external storage, and if they support M3U playlists, then they need to support M3U playlists referencing music files on internal and external storage.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2010, 04:10 PM
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GumbyX84 GumbyX84 is offline
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I understand the differences between MSC/UMS and MTP. I also understand that MTP normally only works in Windows environments. I was just wondering if PLA playlists had the same problem. They do not.

I agree Cowon needs to fix this problem, especially because they advertise MSC mode as a feature of their players. Hopefully they will get on it soon.

Side note: There are MTP libraries and apps for OS X and *nix systems; they just don't work as well as the native support in Windows.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2010, 06:41 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GumbyX84 View Post
I agree Cowon needs to fix this problem, especially because they advertise MSC mode as a feature of their players. Hopefully they will get on it soon.
In the interim, my choices for Rube Goldberg workarounds to get playlists (or their equivalent) implemented which DOES support music files on both internal and external storage are limited to either (a) MTP mode and PLA playlists, or (b) my previously described "genre" field used as a "playlist name"... both methods successfully supporting music files on both internal and external storage.

I really don't want to use MTP because the Windows programs and 3rd-party utilities that I use to maintain my music only understand "drive letters" on the J3 (i.e. MSC mode). They are not MTP-compatible, and having to give them up and revert to using Windows Explorer for everything would be a real pain. So this possible "solution" is really out.

On the other hand, the "genre/playlist" trick actually is very very easy and simple to implement. There is, of course, the one significant downside that since there's only one "genre" field in a tag that there's only one "playlist" you can put any given music file into. But if you can live within that restriction (at least until Cowon fixes the real M3U multi-drive problem) then this will work perfectly.

I'm working on a project to pick my maybe 500 "most favorite" tracks (from my 6500 track collection) and re-convert them to FLAC (from the original CDs), replacing the current MP3. These will reside on both internal and external storage of the J3.

At that same time I will set the "genre" in the FLAC tags for all of them to show "FLAC" instead of the true genre. This will at least allow me to play my absolute favorite 500 tracks of music (either randomly or sequentially by title), from wherever those files are located... internal or external storage, in best-possible FLAC form, simply by selecting "FLAC" from the Music->[Genre] list.

This is really a temporary version of a single large playlist that (a) covers both internal and external storage, (b) supports "infinitely" more than 250 files as Favorites is limited to, and (3) does not require use of an actual M3U or PLA playlist to accomplish.

In theory, if it were really important I could assign any other "playlist name" to the "genre" value of any other subset collection of files (remembering that only one such "genre/playlist" assignment can be done for a single music file), and effectively produce that file collection as a second "pseudo-playlist", getting the same benefits as above with my "FLAC" playlist.

Nevertheless, I still look forward to Cowon really solving this problem at some point in the future.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2010, 11:36 AM
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wrathchild wrathchild is offline
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So in other words, all this wait for basically no real improvements. I'm beginning to lose faith in Cowon.
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:45 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by wrathchild View Post
So in other words, all this wait for basically no real improvements.
Well, they did implement the previously missing support for APE tags.

And they did fix MTP mode behavior so that you will see both "internal storage" and "external storage" in Windows Explorer no matter whether you plug the J3 into the PC with the J3 powered on or off. Previously, plugging the J3 in while it was powered off would fail to present "external storage" in Windows Explorer.

And they did make it possible for new/maintained M3U playlist files to be properly analyzed at the crucial next re-boot without requiring that the currently inserted external card (if any) first be temporarily removed before that re-boot, after which it can then be reinserted, as was previously the case. Now you can just leave the external card inserted all the time, and the new/maintained M3U playlist files will be properly analyzed at next re-boot.

Other than the known outstanding and often reported "clock problem" (clock stops when J3 is powered on, clock starts up again when J3 is powered off; normal clock behavior often reported kick-started back to life simply by going into the "radio" function just once!), I don't know of any other basic J3 problems reported on this forum by users (and reported to Cowon) still outstanding and remaining un-fixed. They've addressed and fixed every bug reported so far (remember the Matrix Browser album art problem in 2.21 that they quickly fixed with 2.22).


However... you're right, they have NOT yet fixed the one remaining and truly more significant M3U playlist functionality problem of not yet supporting referencing music files stored on the external card.

I agree with you that the current limitation of ignoring any M3U references to files on external storage and restricting references only to files on internal storage is a seriously bad defect in design.

I still have faith. Cowon's fixed all reported problems so far. They are aware of this one as well (at the very least from the ticket I opened with them right after 2.23 was released, that this particular serious issue still remained unaddressed) and I'm sure they'll solve it.

Last edited by DSperber; 11-04-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
I still have faith. Cowon's fixed all reported problems so far. They are aware of this one as well (at the very least from the ticket I opened with them right after 2.23 was released, that this particular serious issue still remained unaddressed) and I'm sure they'll solve it.
From what you list here, it seems that there was quite some work on this new firmware. If playlists are working in the other operating mode, it would be quite ungrateful to say that they let the consumers down.
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:45 PM
Olley Olley is offline
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Thanks for the info and link, DFKT.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2010, 03:45 AM
jahyegor jahyegor is offline
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Default need a little piece of advice

Hi. I'm thinking about upgrading my cowon j3 to the firmware 2.23. I've already downloaded it, but one remark in j3's manual stopped me from doing it. It says "* COWON J3 firmware can only be updated if the power adaptor is connected." (page 13 of included manual). Could anyone please confirm it? Previously I had an iPod Photo, and restoring it to factory settings required connecting it to a charger. USB connection didn't help. Is this the case with Cowon J3? Unlike that iPod it doesn't have an adaptor included. Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2010, 03:59 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Just copy the three BIN files from the unzipped firmware file to the root of the J3's internal storage. Then "safely remove hardware", disconnect the J3 from the PC, and then power-on the J3.

It will install the new firmware as part of this power-on boot process, and when finished will complete the rest of the normal startup process. When it's done you'll be running the new firmware.

No other connections are required.

Just be sure that your battery is adequately charged (or fully charged, if you're paranoid) to start with, which it probably already is.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2010, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahyegor View Post
Hi. I'm thinking about upgrading my cowon j3 to the firmware 2.23. I've already downloaded it, but one remark in j3's manual stopped me from doing it. It says "* COWON J3 firmware can only be updated if the power adaptor is connected." (page 13 of included manual). Could anyone please confirm it? Previously I had an iPod Photo, and restoring it to factory settings required connecting it to a charger. USB connection didn't help. Is this the case with Cowon J3? Unlike that iPod it doesn't have an adaptor included. Thanks.
they just want to be sure that you don't do a FW upgrade while the battery charge has only 1 or 2% left. if the player shuts down unexpectedly due to insufficient power it might or rather will brick the device and could potentially damage it.
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2010, 08:05 AM
Resiak Resiak is offline
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And to add further to Cowon's inablity to fix problems...while they claim that a sudden increase in volume on changing the panning ( changing the balance from one speaker to another) has been fixed, I can tell you they haven't. Same problem persists. Also with playlists, I still find that any tracks I choose from my external card to add to a playlist remains unseen. At least it works from the player itself.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2010, 10:50 AM
Jonatello Jonatello is offline
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is it worth upgrading this time if you don't have an external/SD card?
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2010, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonatello View Post
is it worth upgrading this time if you don't have an external/SD card?
it's pretty much always worth it to upgrade to a newer firmware (except if they introduce unwanted bugs and quirks ).

multiple bugs regarding sd card treatment are being fixed and nothing bad has happened to me/ i haven't experienced any bugs, yet.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2010, 12:35 AM
shinybeast shinybeast is offline
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Red face Fiddling about...

Hi folks,

Wasn't sure where to post, apologies if inappropriate. 3 Quick items:

1. Still struggling/ fiddling with the interface: is it possible, at least in theory, to select and shuffle through all music files on both the internal and external? (I know where the ALL button is, just can't seem to make it work on anything but one album at a time.. )

2. For those who might be wondering... I have installed and loaded up a 32G mini disc (SanDisc), seems to work perfectly (so far, knock on wood, etc., etc.). Fast transfer, pasting files from Windows with disc inserted in J3.

3. Carrying in my front shirt pocket I'm noticing a continuous, faint *ping* or actually more like liquidy, water-droplet sound, plunk, plunk, plunk... very faint, almost like call waiting or something. Any thoughts, ideas? Also very sensitive to jumping tracks (again when in shirt pocket). Maybe need to re-read manual (for the nth time)....

Your thoughts, comments, exorbitantly appreciated.....
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2010, 03:26 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinybeast View Post
3. Carrying in my front shirt pocket I'm noticing a continuous, faint *ping* or actually more like liquidy, water-droplet sound, plunk, plunk, plunk... very faint, almost like call waiting or something. Any thoughts, ideas?
Well, you've got that name of that sound right: "water drop".

It's the default "touch sound" beep that occurs, say when you touch the screen to select something. It's customizable and selectable in Settings for the J3, but by default it's a "water drop".

So, if it's in your shirt pocket without a case (say, the Cowon leather case with cover closed) I would speculate something in your shirt pocket it touching the screen as if it were your finger, and the beep you hear is just the positive acknowledgment that this is exactly what is happening.

If you're playing music and you hear this sound, and you also complain of "skipping", I would think that something is kind of intermittently touching the screen near the "progress gauge" at the bottom of the player (portrait mode), causing both the skip and the sound as well.

I would think that if the screen goes into power-save mode that touching it will do nothing. If it's in your pocket anyway, why not just push the power button before you pocket it, to make the screen go dark (and dead to touch). You can still push the tactile buttons to control it if you want, or you can bring the screen back (once the player's out of your pocket) if you want to select other music or something.


Anyway, if the touch screen is exposed inside your pocket, and if the screen is still lit up and active, then any touch (from something in your pocket) will produce the "water drop" sound just as if it were your finger doing the touching.
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2010, 08:06 AM
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selectortone selectortone is offline
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To shuffle all your music you need to be in [Songs] mode. Select [Songs], start any song playing, set the boundary to ALL and the J3 will shuffle across all the music on internal and external memory.

If you are in [Albums] mode then the J3 will shuffle that album only.

Simples when you know how. Yeah, it took me a while to figure it out too :-)

Last edited by selectortone; 12-06-2010 at 08:12 AM.
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