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  #1  
Old 03-10-2011, 05:55 PM
shawxe shawxe is offline
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Default Major J3 File Tagging Problems

Hey everyone! This is my first post here. I've lurked on this forum a bit as part of my decision making process before purchasing a new mp3-player--I eventually went with the Cowon J3. I'm very happy with the sound quality, but I'm experiencing some major problems with getting my files properly tagged and ultimately that's a complete deal breaker for me.

When I listen to music, I almost always listen to entire albums, the tracks being in the order they were meant to be listened to. Before my J3, I had a 16gb Sony Walkman A series, I do believe. When I got it and over the time I used it, I went through the painstaking process of getting all of my music tagged properly, and organized into folders in a MUSIC->Artist->Album->Song structure. When I got my J3, I copied this entire hierarchy of music on to my computer, and the proceeded to copy it again onto my J3. This is when the problems started.

Here are the problems I seem to be having:
-On some albums, the track number tag info simply will not be heeded, and the songs are instead put into alphabetical order (something I would never want) for the album they're in, or in some cases, are put into a random order that is neither alphabetical nor what the tags designate.
-The previous problem is not entirely new to me--it's something I've experienced in the past on my Sony Walkman as well. The way I would resolve it at that time is by putting the track number before the name of the song in the name tag of the file (that is, 01 Track One, 02 Track Two. . . 10 Track Ten, etc.) Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be working in all cases on my J3. With many albums, even though the tracks are being organized into alphabetical order by name, I'm ending up with this:

02 Track Two
03 Track Three
04 Track Four
05 Track Five
06 Track Six
01 Track One

I truly do not understand why track names beginning with "01" insist upon settling in at the bottom of the list rather than in their logical position at the top. Is this some kind of known glitch?
-Worst of all, with some albums, certain track's "artist" and "album" tags are not even being read, and they're being dumped into an "unknown" category. I've no idea how to rectify this.

Now, I haven't fooled around with trying to solve every problem, but I've tried solving some, and I'm coming up against dead ends. I've used mp3 tagger to completely clear out the tag information for one album of files, for example, and manually re-entered it all--the track-number tags still are being completely ignored and if I put the track number at the beginning of the track name tag, it still gets listed the incorrect way. Furthermore, my computer as well as my previous mp3 player have no problems at all reading the tag info on any of these files, so I'm forced to assume the problem must be with the J3.

Now, there is some variety in file type through-out my collection. For example, one of the albums that I'm having trouble with "Funeral" by "Arcade Fire" is in aac format because it was initially ripped years ago using iTunes. I may try converting the files to mp3's and see if the problem persists, unfortunately I'm assuming it will because I already have other mp3 files that aren't having their tags read properly.

Does anyone have any idea what could possibly be going wrong here, or if there is any way to fix it? At the very least I'd like to be able to have my track number preceded name tags appear in the correct order, not with the first track on the end of the list. I guess it's folder view for now.
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2011, 07:28 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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The rules of how things get displayed depend on how you do your browse.

(1) Browse by [Folders] and every folder's contents is always presented in alphabetical file name sequence (like Windows Explorer). If your files are externally named with track number at the front, then you're forcing track-number sequence which is really "alphabetical".

(2) Browse by [Artists], select a specific artist and then select a single album by that artist, or browse by [Albums] and select a single album, and the folder's contents will always be presented in track number sequence based on the meta-data track number field in the tags.

There is one caveat here... in that if you have a mix of say MP3 and FLAC files in the same folder, then all of the MP3 files will be grouped first and presented in track number sequence. Then the FLAC files will be grouped second, and also presented in their own track number sequence.

(3) Browse by [Artists], select a specific artist, and then select [All Tracks] for that artist and the combined sum total of all tracks in all albums by that artist are presented in alphabetical file name sequence. Again, if you have track numbers at the front of your file names you will really be forcing track number sequence as "alphabetical".


Of course this tag-based browsing assumes you've not made any mistakes in the track number fields, and that you've used one of the acceptable formats:
(a) n
(b) n/m
where n or m can be 1 or 2 digits, and you can have leading zero or be zero-suppressed.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:34 AM
shawxe shawxe is offline
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Hey DSperber! Thanks for your response! :-) I realize that's how browsing on the J3 is supposed to work, unfortunately that's not what I'm getting. There aren't any errors in my file tags, yet the J3 doesn't seem to be reading the tags properly from certain files--even after completely clearing out all of the meta-tag fields and manually re-entering the information. I'm curious as to whether anyone else has experience a similar problem or if there are some known file types that tag based browsing are not fully supported for (like AAC or MP3 files generated in a specific way) and if there is any known way to rectify this problem.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2011, 06:41 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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AAC? Are there tags in AAC files?? Does the J3 even play AAC files (I don't have any, so I don't know for sure)?

But the documentation doesn't show it as supported:



Add APE tags to the list of supported tag formats, as that was implemented in a recent firmware upgrade.

Are you using MP3Tag or something else to get your tags cleaned up?
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2011, 06:58 AM
musichound musichound is offline
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My question is how are you playing these songs, via the browser or via tagged music (Artist, album, etc.)? If music is not properly tagged it will be played very differently via the music categories.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2011, 08:18 AM
Branais Branais is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
AAC? Are there tags in AAC files?? Does the J3 even play AAC files (I don't have any, so I don't know for sure)?
Yep, there are tags in AAC files, though (as with everything Apple!) they're a different (proprietary) format. But foobar2000 can read and write them.

A few sites have confirmed the J3 can read and play AAC/M4A files. It supports their tagging, but not embedded album art. (For that, shawxe, you're best to use a cover.jpg file in the folder.)

Shawxe, I had similar odd file sorting issues on my old PMP, an iRiver B30, and then on its replacement model the S10, which is why I switched to the Cowon. But even on the J3, with version 2.24 of the firmware, the problem reared its ugly head on some albums. Going back to 2.23 seemed to make it go away again.

But I found I had to be rigorous with the contents of the "Track Number" and "Total Tracks" fields. I can't explain why, because it certainly didn't happen with every album, but if those fields were empty, or I had more than 9 tracks and had only used single-digit numbers for the first nine tracks, or (since I listen to a lot of audio books and radio dramatisations) I had marked the six tracks of Chapter 01 as tracks "01" to "06", and then the six tracks of Chapter 02 the same way - even though the titles of the mp3 files themselves were in fact unique and contained sequential numbering - then I had sorting issues. As I say, only on some albums, which is kinda weird. But if I tagged Chapter 01's files as tracks 01 to 06, then Chapter 02's as 07 to 12, and so on, the problem went away.

As DSperber has detailed, going through the "Folder" listing uses the actual filenames to sort; "Album" sorts the listing by the Track Number tag. Maybe that helps sort out what's going on?

(I personally use foobar2000 for tagging, but mp3tag works well also.)

Oh, and one last thought: even though Cowon's website claims the J3 supports ID3 tags version 2.4, it doesn't always (in my experience). Forcing them to save in the 2.3 format seems more reliable.
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2011, 09:51 PM
shawxe shawxe is offline
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Thanks for all the help guys! I just wanted to let you know, the problem seemed to be largely lack of AAC support and I've been able to remedy a lot by converting my AAC files to MP3. I'm still having trouble with the alphabetical order in meta-tag mode going B-Z, A so to speak, but oh well, I'll get it figure out. The glorious sounds from this player through my stereo justify all faults.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2011, 06:30 AM
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Angelopsaro Angelopsaro is offline
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I think i have the solution for you for the aac files. Try it and let me know. I faced the same problem with wma and i had similar problem with album order with my old player. Go to itunes and mark all songs from the album. right click (or something) and select to convert the tag. Select the oldest version. I think its 1.1 or 1.2.
Now the songs must show in the correct order.
This way you wont lose quality by converting the aac-to mp3.
I am not sure if it works cause i havent got the time to try it.
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2011, 02:42 PM
Xul Xul is offline
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If you use fractional track tagging (1/12, 2/12...), then the J3 will mess up your album art. That is embedded art not separate jpegs. The J3 is only happy with integers (whole numbers). You can use leading zeros if you like, it makes no difference. This is a bug (feature) in the J3 which persists to this day. It's designed to keep your hair short, as you will pull it out in clumps trying to get everything to work correctly.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:55 PM
arromdee arromdee is offline
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I have a similar problem to the order problem--my songs are tagged but when it uses the tags for folders it goes 02, 03, 04... with 01 at the end.

Only in my case all I did was upgrade the firmware. I didn't touch the files at all. It is still sorting them wrong. Also, they are plain MP3s that I ripped from CDs and tagged myself, so there are no track number or other funny fields. Also, the problem doesn't happen for "All Tracks" folders, which sorts them correctly

It is blatantly obvious that this is a firmware bug. I confirmed this by going back to firmware 2.23 instead of 2.25, and once I did, the very *same* folders were now all sorted correctly, without me doing anything to the MP3s themselves. I suppose all I can do is report the bug (I don't know how to do that) or wait for firmware 2.26.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:35 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arromdee View Post
I suppose all I can do is report the bug (I don't know how to do that).
You should open a ticket on the Cowon (Global) web site and describe the problem. Once they know about it they will no doubt research it and fix it.

You click on Support, register, then use the "Q&A" link, and then click on the "List of Questions" link to see your previous threads to/from them.

You click on "WRITE" to submit a new ticket. It's a very rudimentary non-thread-like interface, and you can "edit" what you've previously submitted, but you can't reply to their reply to you. But it does at least allow sending them information and problem reports especially for software issues.

You can also "MODIFY" something you've previously posted, but again there is no back-and-forth "threading" to carry on a conversation with them on a specific ticket. That would of course be very helpful, but it's not possible given their site design.
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