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Old 08-20-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Has my J3 died of depression?

I tried using "Browser" for the first time to play an album and chose John Cale's Music For A New Society for the experiment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_for_a_New_Society

The songs sound as though they were written, examined and then dismantled, Cale removing any linear structure, any obvious melody, any choruses or verses leaving a series of stark sketches giving the listener nothing to hold on to. Desolate, horrifying and by no means easy-listening it has few peers, it is an album of tormented lullabies representing a life in ruins.


Anyway, before it managed open the folder - let alone to play a single track - my (about a month old) J3 went catatonic. The screen is jammed brightly on, but there's no sound and it won't respond to screen touches or button presses.

The songs are mostly about regret and misplaced faith... Tortuous is a good word for it. What I was most interested in was the terror of the moment...but it wasn't made to make people jump out of windows"

Any suggestions?

(And, seriously, Music For A New Society is one of the greatest albums ever made - but only listen to it if you're feeling strong.)
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2011, 08:37 PM
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Also - is this sort of problem common with the J3? Because while I love the non-distorting EQ and am impressed by BEE, I'd rather have something that just damn works.

(And why didn't the idiots who designed this thing give it a reboot facility? Everything electronic should be able to reboot!)
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2011, 08:43 PM
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Did you try the reset? Also you could have a corrupted file on it that caused the issue. After reset if you still have problems, try format and re-firmware, check your tags and reload tunes.

Edit: BTW use the official SD Formatter App for it, never the standard Windows format: http://www.sdcard.org/consumers/formatter_3/
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Also - is this sort of problem common with the J3? Because while I love the non-distorting EQ and am impressed by BEE, I'd rather have something that just damn works.

(And why didn't the idiots who designed this thing give it a reboot facility? Everything electronic should be able to reboot!)
No this sort of thing is not common and yes there is a reset ... If you look on page 10 of the manual, you note the "reset" button beneath the hole marked "mic." Use a small pin or paper clip and push it inside the "reset" hole. Your J3 will turn off and starts up again. Now just wait while the firmware reload and your reset is complete.

Edit: BTW welcome to abi
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:52 PM
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^ What he said also is the only song that does that?
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
No this sort of thing is not common and yes there is a reset ... If you look on page 10 of the manual, you note the "reset" button beneath the hole marked "mic." Use a small pin or paper clip and push it inside the "reset" hole. Your J3 will turn off and starts up again. Now just wait while the firmware reload and your reset is complete.

Edit: BTW welcome to abi
Aaarghhh! And also thank you!

The horrible thing is - I did look for exactly that because it's what I was used to with my Palms. But I saw a hole, got excited and thought a-hah - and then saw "mic". I didn't notice the second hole because I was too busy being disappointed...

Hmm - this is all getting rather Freudian isn't it?

Anyway - it worked!

(Note to Cowon: instead of tiny gray letters on a white background, why not consider LARGE orange or black letters? It's the back of the machine, so aesthetics aren't an issue!)

Anyway: if this gets one person to try Music For A New Society, then my embarrassment was worth it.
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
Anyway - it worked!
So then what happened?

Did you re-try playing that same music file again? Did it lock up again, or did it play this time?
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
So then what happened?

Did you re-try playing that same music file again? Did it lock up again, or did it play this time?
It locked. And again, on trying to open the folder - NOT a file. I'll get more details - file format and whether this will play on my player or computer tomorrow.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:28 PM
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It locked. And again, on trying to open the folder - NOT a file. I'll get more details - file format and whether this will play on my player or computer tomorrow.
Questions for you tomorrow...

Is your J3 in MSC mode or MTP mode? If MSC, do you always use "safely remove hardware" before disconnecting the USB cable?

Is this a brand new added folder with music files inside of it that you've just copied from PC to J3? So is opening the folder the first time you've tried to do it since copying it over to the J3?

What type of music files are they (i.e. MP3, FLAC, APE, AAC technically unsupported, or what)?

Did you make these music files yourself, or did you buy them?

Do they have imbedded art in the tags? Or cover.jpg? This isn't a progressive JPG, is it?

Can you still browse into other folders and play music in those folders without a problem, so that only this folder is the issue?

Do the songs within this folder show up in the browse list using internal tag field values from the tags database built by the J3 at boot time? In other words, if you don't browse by Library -> [Folders], but instead browse by say Library -> [Artists] or Library -> [Years] or Library -> [Genres] or even Library -> [Songs], can you see the names of the songs in this problem folder or not?

What firmware are you running? Are you using stock Cowon main, browser, and music UI's, or have you installed 3rd-party UCI's?


Just kind of thinking out loud, to get a better feel for when and how this problem first developed, and whether aside from this particular folder and its contents your J3 is otherwise working fine.
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2011, 03:50 PM
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Is your J3 in MSC mode or MTP mode? If MSC, do you always use "safely remove hardware" before disconnecting the USB cable?


MSC; yes - and it hadn't recently been removed anyway. However I copied the album on to the J3 a couple of weeks ago, couldn't see it (no tags I suppose) and this was my first attempt to browse it.

Is this a brand new added folder with music files inside of it that you've just copied from PC to J3? So is opening the folder the first time you've tried to do it since copying it over to the J3?

A friend of a friend sent it to me a while ago (I'd been moaning that I wouldn't have given up my vinyl if I'd known New Society was out of print as a CD.)

What type of music files are they (i.e. MP3, FLAC, APE, AAC technically unsupported, or what)?

This is where things start to get weird: the folder is empty. (I'm using linux and looked at it using ls -ad - so I'd have seen even hiddent files.) And yes, I tested it again - and it still crashes the J3.


Can you still browse into other folders and play music in those folders without a problem, so that only this folder is the issue?


Yes, the others are fine.


Do the songs within this folder show up in the browse list using internal tag field values from the tags database built by the J3 at boot time? In other words, if you don't browse by Library -> [Folders], but instead browse by say Library -> [Artists] or Library -> [Years] or Library -> [Genres] or even Library -> [Songs], can you see the names of the songs in this problem folder or not?

Unsurprisingly, no tags - that's why I was trying the browser approach.

What firmware are you running? Are you using stock Cowon main, browser, and music UI's, or have you installed 3rd-party UCI's?


Version 2.23, totally stock.

And now for the really weird thing: when I look at the folder now through the Cowon browser, around 10 New Society folders show - they go off the bottom of the screen. But still just one in the linux command line....

Theory: maybe I did a bad remove when copying this to the J3? It's not like me, but everyone makes mistakes.
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  #11  
Old 08-21-2011, 07:26 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Assuming your PC music collection is essentially your backup/duplicate of what subset you copied over to the J3, if it's not terribly inconvenient how about just starting over?

I'm not saying this is going to correct the problem with that folder and its seemingly un-tagged contents, but at least we can eliminate any "corruption" that might have occurred because of something you've previously done by re-formatting the J3 using the Panasonic SD Formatter utility.

Anyway, back to the problem folder. You used a Windows PC to look at the J3 and copy music to it right, not Linux?

Also, there is obviously something quite wrong with the music files your friend gave you, since all of your own other music album folders and files are working perfectly. Your friend's music files have no tags (or at least the J3 was unable to analyze the files and detect the associated tags for the presumed file format, or maybe it couldn't even recognize what they are or the format they represent).

Presumably, you have a copy of that folder on your PC. Look at it with Windows Explorer and tell us what the music file extension(s) are. Can you play these files on your PC using either Windows Media Player or some other MP3/FLAC player program?

You need to provide some more detail insight into the files contained in that folder you got from your friend. Obviously, the J3 is very unhappy with them so let's stick to trying to analyze them back on your PC.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Assuming your PC music collection is essentially your backup/duplicate of what subset you copied over to the J3, if it's not terribly inconvenient how about just starting over?
Sure. I've only kept the Folder Of Death in case you wanted me to do more tests and you've been so helpful.

Quote:
I'm not saying this is going to correct the problem with that folder and its seemingly un-tagged contents, but at least we can eliminate any "corruption" that might have occurred because of something you've previously done by re-formatting the J3 using the Panasonic SD Formatter utility.
The next time I have a Windows machine around, sure.

Quote:
Anyway, back to the problem folder. You used a Windows PC to look at the J3 and copy music to it right, not Linux?
No. I'm using Ubuntu 10.10 LTR.

Quote:
Also, there is obviously something quite wrong with the music files your friend gave you, since all of your own other music album folders and files are working perfectly. Your friend's music files have no tags (or at least the J3 was unable to analyze the files and detect the associated tags for the presumed file format, or maybe it couldn't even recognize what they are or the format they represent).
Ahem - no, this isn't the problem! There are no files in the folder as copied to the J3! ls -ad would see absolutely anything if it was there. The folder is empty.

Quote:
Presumably, you have a copy of that folder on your PC. Look at it with Windows Explorer and tell us what the music file extension(s) are. Can you play these files on your PC using either Windows Media Player or some other MP3/FLAC player program?

You need to provide some more detail insight into the files contained in that folder you got from your friend. Obviously, the J3 is very unhappy with them so let's stick to trying to analyze them back on your PC.
There are no files: the J3 crashed on being asked to open an empty folder. And remember: the J3 is now seeing +10 copies of the folder. No sanely written file system would look at the files inside a folder to provide the view from outside. Something has clearly gone wrong with the inode equivalent - i.e. the metadata - describing the folder.

So what we are seeing here is that some (presumably rare) circumstance the J3 can crash on being asked to open an empty folder. My guess is that something happened to abort the copying process - eg I made a mistake, my cat attacked the cable - before the files were copied and before the file transfer from my Linux machine had finished creating valid folder metadata. The next step, unless there is anything else you want me to do, will be to zap the folder and replace it with a new copy.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:24 AM
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I would agree that you delete the folder in question off the J3. Not sure which tag editor you use (I use mp3tag) but you should look at the folder and files via tag editor on your machine as corrupted tags could have caused the issue. I believe EasyTag and eyeD3 run on linux platform but I’ve never used either, hopefully another can make a good recommendation if you don't already have one you use.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
The next time I have a Windows machine around, sure.

I'm using Ubuntu 10.10 LTR.
Ok, I guess I'd mis-processed the information regarding the setup. I didn't recall how your earlier folders and files (which don't cause a problem and ARE playable on the J3) had been copied over to the J3.

Were those earlier folder/files copied with Ubuntu also? Or with Windows?

And... no matter what you use (including Mac), with the J3 in MSC mode you MUST use the functional equivalent of "safely remove hardware" before you disconnect the USB cable. That guarantees that any unwritten data still in the computer's buffers will be flushed out to the J3, so that the disconnection is now "safe".

If you don't do this, results are certainly unpredictable... although you may escape unharmed if you're lucky. It is certainly WRONG not to "safely remove hardware", however that is accomplished for that particular OS environment.


Quote:
Ahem - no, this isn't the problem! There are no files in the folder as copied to the J3! ls -ad would see absolutely anything if it was there. The folder is empty.
Again, my apology. I thought this was a new folder that had music files in it with no tags. Obviously my brain needs more sleep, and I need to read more carefully.

So this is a completely empty folder (on your computer too, that you copied over to the J3 using Ubuntu). NO music files in it at all.

Did I miss something? Why was an empty folder copied to the J3? Why wouldn't you have also put music files into that album folder?


Quote:
There are no files: the J3 crashed on being asked to open an empty folder. And remember: the J3 is now seeing +10 copies of the folder. No sanely written file system would look at the files inside a folder to provide the view from outside. Something has clearly gone wrong with the inode equivalent - i.e. the metadata - describing the folder.
I should probably empty out one of my folders and see if any problem occurs, but I suspect I would not see your symptom. My whole J3 structure was built using a Windows PC, with J3 initially formatted to zero-FAT32 by the Panasonic SD formatter utility.


Quote:
So what we are seeing here is that some (presumably rare) circumstance the J3 can crash on being asked to open an empty folder. My guess is that something happened to abort the copying process - eg I made a mistake, my cat attacked the cable - before the files were copied and before the file transfer from my Linux machine had finished creating valid folder metadata.
I agree.

Which is why I suggested "starting over" and using the Panasonic SD formatter to just clean out all the detritus and install a brand new FAT32 file system.

I don't have any experience with Ubuntu, and only use Windows to maintain my PC. I guess I'd recommend that option if you have that option. Otherwise, perhaps some Linux users reading along might contribute or suggest something to help you avoid problems.


Quote:
The next step, unless there is anything else you want me to do, will be to zap the folder and replace it with a new copy.
If the file system has somehow gotten corrupted, I don't know if just deleting the folder and replacing it with a new copy will do sufficient goodness to eliminate whatever's responsible.

Again, my justification for going back to the beginning... and re-copy all of your music over again. And this time how about putting one music file into that problem folder, instead of copying it over empty? Just sayin'...
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:49 AM
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... I suggested "starting over" and using the Panasonic SD formatter to just clean out all the detritus and install a brand new FAT32 file system. ...
Better than using the Panasonic SD formatter use the SD Associations official SD Formatter I gave the link in post 3, AFAIK both formatters run on windows environment only but the SD Associations is better and more current. I guess you could try running it in Wine on your Linux machine.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 08-22-2011 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Better than using the Panasonic SD formatter use the SD Associations official SD Formatter I gave the link in post 3, AFAIK both formatters run on windows environment only but the SD Associations is better and more current. I guess you could try running it in Wine on your Linux machine.
Sorry... my mistake. You're absolutely correct in your terminolgoy, and in your link and reference.

And in fact, I provided exactly the same URL link in my post #11, namely the utility from the SD Association. That is what I, too, pointed to. I don't know why I call it the Panasonic SD Formatter... probably because it shows up on the same page as the second item if you do a search for the Panasonic name, which I think is how I was told about it a while back. The Panasonic hit shows first, and the SD Association hit shows second... with the 3.0 text. And that second one is the link I take, and that's the link I put in my own post.

Sorry for the confusion caused... my mistake. You're right, it's the SD Association's 3.0 utility which we're both touting.

And we're both providing the exact same link to it.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Ok, I guess I'd mis-processed the information regarding the setup. I didn't recall how your earlier folders and files (which don't cause a problem and ARE playable on the J3) had been copied over to the J3.

Were those earlier folder/files copied with Ubuntu also? Or with Windows?

And... no matter what you use (including Mac), with the J3 in MSC mode you MUST use the functional equivalent of "safely remove hardware" before you disconnect the USB cable. That guarantees that any unwritten data still in the computer's buffers will be flushed out to the J3, so that the disconnection is now "safe".
I always use Ubuntu (otherwise I'd have specified what other OSes I use and when - in case you haven't guessed from my mention of "inodes" I'm a programmer, so when OSes come up I'll get pretty detailed.)

And I always, as I said, do a safe remove afaik. But no one is perfect, so a moment of forgetfulness could be an explanation why one folder is so freaking weird.

Quote:
Did I miss something? Why was an empty folder copied to the J3? Why wouldn't you have also put music files into that album folder?
That's the puzzle I'm "solving" by positing that the J3 was interrupted while copying the file. If this was so, the metadata that makes for a valid folder description may be incomplete too.

I'll empty a folder - or better, copy an empty one over - and see if causes a crash but my bet is there won't be a problem. The messed up metadata hypothesis makes much more sense and explains the large number of ghost folders.

Last edited by meanwhile; 08-22-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:16 PM
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Ok - as I suspected, it was a mutant folder with whacko meta-data. Here's the naughty folder:

File: `Music for a New Society/'
Size: 0 Blocks: 0 IO Block: 16384 directory
Device: 810h/2064d Inode: 5775 Links: 0
Access: (0700/drwx------) Uid: ( 1000/ jc) Gid: ( 1000/ jc)
Access: 2011-07-17 00:00:00.000000000 +0100
Modify: 2011-07-17 15:06:14.000000000 +0100
Change: 2011-07-17 15:06:15.000000000 +0100

And here is a good one - also empty:

File: `foo'
Size: 16384 Blocks: 32 IO Block: 16384 directory
Device: 810h/2064d Inode: 5915 Links: 2
Access: (0700/drwx------) Uid: ( 1000/ jc) Gid: ( 1000/ jc)
Access: 2011-08-22 21:07:02.000000000 +0100
Modify: 2011-08-22 21:07:02.000000000 +0100
Change: 2011-08-22 21:07:02.000000000 +0100

(I used the low-level stats in linux command, for anyone who cares.)

As for why it is like this, I can't say. Maybe an interrupted copy, maybe a bad original. I can't look at the original because it got replaced by another copy I was sent. It's easy to imagine why a browser would crash if got an "impossible" zero value.
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