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Old 02-12-2011, 08:06 AM
dibblejon dibblejon is offline
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Default A few questions

Hi

I am a new J3 user and have run into a few problems that I would really appreciate some help with. Apologies if these topics have been covered before.

1. The clock does not keep time it loses hours.I have firmware 2.23. Any ideas how to fix this?

2. I have started to use MP3Tag to clean up my tags so the J3 recognises. On the device if I browse to MUSIC\ARTISTS not all the artists names etc display correctly. But if I browse to COWON\FOLDERS\J3\ARTISTS they all display correctly? Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

3. Is there a quick way to rename all my album art cover.jpg so that the J3 displays? I have over 200 albums.

4. Finally, If I plug into my amplifier using a 3.5mm to phone lead (good quality lead). The sound output is very quiet? Anyone know a way to improve this?

Many thanks for any help in advance.

p.s. The sound quality is awesome and I am very pleased that I did not go down the ipod route again!
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2011, 08:26 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by dibblejon View Post
1. The clock does not keep time it loses hours.I have firmware 2.23. Any ideas how to fix this?
Try going into the FM Radio app. That has been reported to kick-start the clock back to life.

The problem you're probably having is that when the J3 is powered off the clock actually starts up again, remarkably.

But when you power the J3 on the clock freezes... for as long as it's powered on.

Somehow, the software bug that causes this is seemingly overcome by simply going into the radio app. Normal clock operation should return.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:33 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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4. Finally, If I plug into my amplifier using a 3.5mm to phone lead (good quality lead). The sound output is very quiet? Anyone know a way to improve this?
Absent any more specific details about the "amp" you're trying to use, all I can say is that you obviously have TWO volume controls available to you: (1) the volume control on the J3, and (2) the volume control on your amp. Certainly adjusting one or both of these volume controls should produce quite acceptable loudness. When you say "very quiet", what is the volume setting for each of your two available volume controls?

Standard home equipment preamps expect input levels which should be reasonably compatible with the headphone output level of the J3. What is the "amp" you're plugging into... is it a standalone amp, or a preamp, or a boombox, or what?

My own experience is that I've had perfect success connecting the headphone output of the J3 into AUX line-input of my car's audio system, as well as into the L/R-stereo input of at least four different home stereo systems and boom boxes, with no problem adjusting the two available volume controls to find a happy balance and acceptable loudness.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:36 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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3. Is there a quick way to rename all my album art cover.jpg so that the J3 displays? I have over 200 albums.
Not that I'm aware of.

You'll just have to manually rename each one.

I assume you have placed each of these album art images within the corresponding \Album folder to which it belongs. So you should also have 200+ album folders, right?

So is your collection organized like \Music\Artist\Album on the J3? Same structure for music files copied to both internal storage and external storage (if any)?
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:44 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by dibblejon View Post
2. I have started to use MP3Tag to clean up my tags so the J3 recognises. On the device if I browse to MUSIC\ARTISTS not all the artists names etc display correctly. But if I browse to COWON\FOLDERS\J3\ARTISTS they all display correctly? Any ideas what I am doing wrong?
Sorry, but your explanation doesn't make sense. Neither of the two structures you describe makes sense to me.

Is your J3 configures to have its USB connection to the PC as MSC mode (the default), or have you changed it to MTP mode?

In other words, there is no such organization as \Music\Artists, nor is there an organization such as \Cowon\Folders\J3\Artists, which I can comprehend. How did you build this structure? Does it match the organization of your music collection on your PC? I'm sorry, but I simply do not understand what you're describing here.

Do you only have internal storage on your J3? No external SD card? Or do you also have an external card?

When you describe "browsing" are you talking about using Windows Explorer? MP3Tag's own navigation using File -> Change directory...? The J3 itself, using either Music icon or Browser icon?


If you use Windows Explorer to browse the J3 while it's connected via USB, what is the folder structure starting from the root of internal storage? A sample screenshot posted here would suffice, or just a typed version.

But you really need to be clearer as to what folder structure you actually have on your J3 (specifically under \Music, which is where I assume you placed all of your music files), as shown by Windows Explorer.

Normally, the simplest approach is to have all of your artist folders under \Music, i.e. \Music\Artist. And then under each artist folder you have one or more album folders, i.e. \Music\Artist\Album. And within each of these album folders you'd have one cover.jpg for album art for that folder.

Is this what you've done? Or something else?
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:33 AM
dibblejon dibblejon is offline
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Thank you for taking the time to try and help me.

4. Amp is Technics and I plug into the AUX input. My Ipod when connected plays at a good volume without having to turn the amp or device up much. When I plug in the J3 it has to be turned up to over half way and set to 35, even then it is not loud.

2. I shall try and be clearer. On the J3 if I select the Music Icon and then select Artists the Artist folders names do not appear correctly. If I select the Music Icon then Folders then J3 and then Artists they all display correctly. The music is stored in the Music Folder on the Device Music\Artist\Album. I am now aware of changing to MTP mode. How good is Winamp for sync? I think maybe I will delete and start again.

3. Will rename artwork in each Album folder, thanks.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:45 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by dibblejon View Post
4. Amp is Technics and I plug into the AUX input. My Ipod when connected plays at a good volume without having to turn the amp or device up much. When I plug in the J3 it has to be turned up to over half way and set to 35, even then it is not loud.
Well, 35 is not all that loud, even when listening directly through headphones. Obviously this depends entirely on the music files you're listening to, but cranking it up to 37-38, or dropping it down to 33-34... well that's perfectly reasonable, depending on what you're listening to and the equipment you're listening through.

Actually, it's often recommended to turn the J3 up pretty loud (say 38) when feeding a secondary amp system (as opposed to just listening through headphones). When two volume controls are available, you get better output quality through the eventual speaker system by having a high-level primary "source" input (using the first volume control turned up pretty high) to the secondary amp. The second amp's volume control would necessarily be turned down (or up) to produce the listening level you want.

But as long as there is no distortion or overload produced by turning the J3's volume control up (and there probably won't be, since the J3 has an excellent audio system) I say turn it up higher than 35, if you are not satisfied.

Of course the "flat" output produced by the default "NORMAL" in the BBE EQ settings is actually fairly understated. Though you can experiment with other EQ settings (even just the preset "BBE+", alternating with "normal" so you can hear the difference) which will probably make the J3's output louder at a given volume setting, it is normally NOT recommended to put out anything other than "flat line-level" from the source when two amplifiers are involved. It should be the second amp where any tone controls get imputed.

But for listening through headphones directly from the J3, EQ settings are definitely part of the real benefits of the J3's audio engineering. If you'd like to see what I feel is a superb custom EQ setting sounds like, read this post and give it a try.


Quote:
2. I shall try and be clearer. On the J3 if I select the Music Icon and then select Artists the Artist folders names do not appear correctly. If I select the Music Icon then Folders then J3 and then Artists they all display correctly. The music is stored in the Music Folder on the Device Music\Artist\Album.
Ok. Now I understand.

If you use the Music -> [Artists] you are actually browsing the "tag database" for the artist tag field values derived from all of the tags of all music files found on either internal or external storage. At boot time the J3 examines the music files (of MP3, APE and FLAC type) on both internal and external storage, and re-creates this "tag database" (along with analyzing album art, playlists, etc.).

So if you're seeing incorrect (to you) or incomplete information in Music -> [Artists], that's because your tags are incorrect or incomplete. If you correct everything and clean it all up with MP3Tag, browsing using the Music -> [Artists] method should now be correct.

In contrast, Browsing using either (a) Music -> [Folders] or (b) Browser -> J3 or J3 Ext, which is really the same as Music -> [Folders], well that shows you everything on the J3 with its external file names (including extension). This is not a display of tag field data as the Music -> [Artists] browse is. It is a Windows Explorer type of pure folder/file navigation, so you see everything by its complete external name.


Quote:
I am now aware of changing to MTP mode.
So I assume you're NOT going to use MTP, but will remain in MSC? That's what I recommend.


Quote:
How good is Winamp for sync?
From what I've read its sync function is fine, though it seems to be restricted to the presence or absence of files on the J3. In other words, it reportedly does not detect date/time changes as other evidence requiring a re-copy from updated source on PC to destination on the J3. You'd have to delete the old obsolete file on the J3 in order to trigger Winamp to re-copy the new updated source file in a "sync" operation.

I can't confirm this, because honestly I don't use Winamp for sync. I use it 100% as my player (and would use it as my playlist editor for the J3, if I used playlists on the J3 which I don't). It certainly is an excellent and intuitive playlist editor in general, and for the PC in particular. If all your music on the J3 is on internal storage then you CAN use M3U playlists on the J3 with no problems, and Winamp would then truly be a perfect utility for your J3 playlists.

For myself, I use a program named Beyond Compare as my "sync" tool. I've used this program for many years as a general purpose folder/file compare utility, and it's manual or automatic "sync" functions are superb. I use it to maintain my J3 as well, both originally to populate my internal and external storage on the J3, and then subsequently to keep the J3 in sync whenever I make changes on my PC music collection.

Beyond Compare is sensitive to ANY differences in the two sides of the compare... not just missing file names, but also differences in date/time or file size. So if you say update the tag data on a file that would be sufficient to trigger a re-copy if you did a "sync" (something that Winamp reportedly does not do, though I can't confirm that firsthand since I don't use Winamp for sync).


Quote:
I think maybe I will delete and start again.
Good idea. Believe me, we ALL have made many false starts when first getting the J3, until we finally settle on the "production environment".
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2011, 07:19 AM
dibblejon dibblejon is offline
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Default Thank You and one last question!

Thank you for all your help

Turning the device up now (to 35-37) means I get excellent volume when connected to my Amp.

In cleaning up tracks further I now seem to be getting less unknown, unrecognised tracks and artists.

Beyond compare is excellent, thanks for the recommendation!

I have run into one new issue though...... Sorry!

I cannot get the J3 to list the tracks in the correct order, even though I have gone through and made sure there is a track number for each track and then re-synced with Beyond Compare.

The J3 just lists the tracks in each album folder in alphabetical order? I have attached an export from MP3Tag - this also seems to list in A-Z?

Any ideas of the best way to tackle this?
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:03 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Make sure the file names start with the track number. Like: "01 - blah.mp3, 02 - blah.mp3, ... 11 - blah.mp3". Also make sure there's leading zeroes for single-digit tracks - in both, the file name and the track number ID3 tag. Also, do not use track number tags like "1/10, 2/10, ...".
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:13 AM
musichound musichound is offline
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Dibblejon, if your music is properly tagged, you would not need to worry about track numbers, etc., and music can be access via the music function. I use MP3 tag for my meta tags, and that's the best utility I've came across for that. You will need to change the track numbers, however, when accessing your music through the browser, or folder structure.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:27 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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It's common sense to have track numbers in the file names as well, preferably prefixed, before anything else. That way it will be in order on every player, no matter how it handles file browsing and/or database indexing. It's not only future- but also past-proof.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:47 AM
musichound musichound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
It's common sense to have track numbers in the file names as well, preferably prefixed, before anything else. That way it will be in order on every player, no matter how it handles file browsing and/or database indexing. It's not only future- but also past-proof.
Yes, I'm very anal about that myself. Even though my music is properly tagged I also use the proper track number sequence. It's a bit of extra work but saves headaches in the long run.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:37 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dibblejon View Post
I cannot get the J3 to list the tracks in the correct order, even though I have gone through and made sure there is a track number for each track and then re-synced with Beyond Compare.

The J3 just lists the tracks in each album folder in alphabetical order? I have attached an export from MP3Tag - this also seems to list in A-Z?

Any ideas of the best way to tackle this?
There's no question that the "export" from MP3Tag will be in alphabetical order by the trackname. That's apparently because that's how they wrote the function. Obviously they felt that was the proper way to present the data for maximum usability, given what use it was intended for.

However...

On my own J3 music collection, when I browse using Music -> [Artists] and then select a SPECIFIC SINGLE ALBUM from that artist, the list of tracks for the selected album is presented to me IN TRACK NUMBER SEQUENCE!

And my track number fields in my tags are of the "n/m" form (e.g. 5/12). These are PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE. You do NOT have to specify your track numbers as just the "n" (e.g. 5). EITHER FORM IS ACCEPTABLE and will work fine.

The important thing is that when you select a single album the J3 will present the tracks in track number sequence... at least it does for me. I do NOT have the track number digits built as the first few characters of the external file name, so obviously the J3 is really reading the tag track number field (which is in n/m form) and it works perfectly. Tracks are shown and play exactly in the physical track number sequence as they are on the CD itself.

Now, if instead of selecting a single album from that artist I instead use the [All Tracks] method ([All Tracks] is at the top of the album list for that artist), well now the J3 WILL alphabetize ALL of the tracks from ALL of the albums for that artist, and the complete total list will be presented in alphabetical sequence.


So:

(1) Whether you have one or more albums for an artist, if you select [All Tracks] as your way of initiating the playing of music for that artist you will get the sum total consolidation of all tracks in the one or more albums for that artist presented by the J3 in alphabetical sequence.

(2) On the other hand, if you select a specific album name item from the album list (even if there's only one album for that artist) under the artist, the J3 will now present the track list for that specific album in track number sequence. So if you want to play an album in the exact same track sequence as was on the CD, tap the album name and not [All Tracks].

(3) The track number field in a tag can EITHER be in (a) "n" form or (b) "n/m" form. It doesn't matter. It is the method you use to get into playing a specific album that determines whether the displayed track list is alphabetical or track number sequence.

(4) I don't know what the J3 will do if you have a mixture of tracks in an album folder, some of which DO have track numbers in their tags and some of which DO NOT have track numbers in their tags. Theoretically, selecting an album name should have presented the tracks in track number sequence... but if some don't have a track number, I don't know what will happen (since ALL of my files do have track numbers in their tags). But for sure, it will NOT be exactly what we'd expect... since only if all files do have track numbers can the track number sequence algorithm actually work as it should.


Glad you like Beyond Compare. Personally, I couldn't live without it.

Note that it (a) can compare folder contents (i.e. files), (b) can display in "show me only the differences" or "show me everything, even equals, but color code things so that I can see the differences highlighted", (c) can also compare files by their line-by-line content, such as text files, with again only the differences shown or everything shown with differences highlighted with color coding.

It can also do binary compares (e.g. of object code), highlighting the bytes that are different.

In file compares, it can copy the differences from one side to the other, to make the file contents identical. I use this everytime a software product named G-Force brings out a new version, and their INI file reverts to default. I have a backup copy of my customized version of that INI file, and I use Beyond Compare to re-customize those lines I've modified into the newly released version of the INI file. Thus this "merges" my customization with whatever else might be new in that INI file with the new software version (as well as highlighting when some customization I might have had is no longer in the new INI file).

It's a fantastic tool.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:55 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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One more note...

If you do put the physical track number at the front of the external file name for your music files, and you have more than one album for an artist, and you tap [All Tracks] to play all tracks from all albums for that artist, since the J3 will present an alphabetical list of track names from all albums you will see a strange sequence:

01 - AAA track name (lowest alphabetical sequence of 1st tracks)
01 - BBB track name (second lowest alphabetical sequence of 1st tracks)
02 - AAA track name (lowest alphabetical sequence of 2nd tracks)
02 - BBB track name (second lowest alphabetical sequence of 2nd tracks)

etc. Personally, I can't see how this can be at all useful or desirable, if I'm wanting to play all tracks by an artist.

On the other hand, if you do NOT put external track numbers at the start of your external file names, then "alphabetical sequence" (e.g. from [All Tracks]) will truly and genuinely be alphabetical sequence of all tracks from all albums by that artist.


My own system: I do NOT put track numbers anywhere in the external file names of my collection. I only put n/m track numbers in tags.

I also manually move "The" to the end of artist name and track name (following a comma), both in the tag fields and also in the external file names. This also carries forward into folder names, for both artist and album.

This actually all happens automatically when I create my music files using Audiograbber, since I pre-edit any information retrieved automatically by Audiograbber from FreeDB before actually beginning the rip/encode/tag process.
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