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  #1  
Old 02-23-2012, 03:17 AM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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Default The weirdest problem...Playlists Not Appearing Properly after Formatting a J3

A little background:

I'm using Mediamonkey to Auto-sync in MTP mode (gasp! I said the "S" word.... ).
I'm using Mediamonkey to build playlists, then dragging them over to Playlist Creator and making my .m3u playlists with that. It works great (or has been for the past day or two) and takes very, very little effort to do (which is what I need).
I have 4 main playlists: Country, Easy Listening, Hard Rock and Hip Hop

Everything was working great until yesterday. I forget what was going on (I think in randomly ran into this problem) but then I re-formatted the J3 using Windows (7) and re-added my music and I still have this crazy problem:

I will have all 4 playlists (made by Playlist Creator) on the J3, and ONLY on the Hard Rock playlist, will all of the tracks come up as "J3" (see video, link below). This is obviously still the list of my songs, except now they're all called "J3". If I click on one, it will start to play that song, except I don't know what it is until I play it. Once the song is played, my language changes to Chinese or Japanese (sorry, I don't know which one) and it stays like that until I manually press the reset button on the back.

However, if I reset the device, and go straight to Country, Easy Listening or Hip Hop, the device works fine. It's only the Hard Rock playlist that's giving me problems.

Thank you in advance

*I refuse to use Windows Explorer or any other method to transfer my songs/playlists, so if that's your reply, I politely reject it *

Here is a link to the video that shows my problem:


Last edited by skip252; 02-23-2012 at 03:43 AM. Reason: Title edited, please use descriptive titles in the future
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2012, 09:15 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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What is the nationality of your J3? What firmware version are you running?

You say you use MediaMonkey/MTP, but then you say your playlists are created with Playlist Creator. Which is it, or both?

I did not believe that the J3 supported M3U playlists in MTP mode. I thought it only supported PLA playlists. I may be wrong here.

And this seems to be in conflict with your opposition to using Windows Explorer, which I believed was the only program that could really deal with PLA playlists (including references to music files on both internal and external storage). I didn't think MediaMonkey could create PLA playlists, and whatever type of playlists MediaMonkey does support in MTP mode definitely do NOT include references to music files on external storage.

From the quick boot time of your J3 in the video it looks like you don't have an external SDHC card inserted. Is that correct? This is good, because MediaMonkey can't support playlists for the J3 (M3U, or PLA which I don't think it creates) that involve music files on both internal and external storage.

I am going to guess that it is MTP mode which is certainly at the heart of the problem. Running Windows programs that are designed to be used with "drive letters" (i.e. how the J3 looks when connected in MSC mode) is problematic when the J3 is connected in MTP mode (where there are NO drive letters).

Furthermore, I believe I've experimented with MTP mode, and whether or not M3U playlists (created while in MSC mode) are usable, and they seemed to be initially. But once I did further maintenance to the J3 while in MTP mode those older previously working M3U playlists no longer worked. This confirmed my hunch that M3U playlists are for MSC mode, and PLA playlists are for MTP mode, and you shouldn't try to have both or expect previously working M3U playlists continue to work while in MTP mode once you do further maintenance while in MTP mode.

Is there a particular reason why you need/want to run your J3 in MTP mode?
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2012, 01:57 PM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
What is the nationality of your J3? What firmware version are you running?

You say you use MediaMonkey/MTP, but then you say your playlists are created with Playlist Creator. Which is it, or both?

I did not believe that the J3 supported M3U playlists in MTP mode. I thought it only supported PLA playlists. I may be wrong here.

And this seems to be in conflict with your opposition to using Windows Explorer, which I believed was the only program that could really deal with PLA playlists (including references to music files on both internal and external storage). I didn't think MediaMonkey could create PLA playlists, and whatever type of playlists MediaMonkey does support in MTP mode definitely do NOT include references to music files on external storage.

From the quick boot time of your J3 in the video it looks like you don't have an external SDHC card inserted. Is that correct? This is good, because MediaMonkey can't support playlists for the J3 (M3U, or PLA which I don't think it creates) that involve music files on both internal and external storage.

I am going to guess that it is MTP mode which is certainly at the heart of the problem. Running Windows programs that are designed to be used with "drive letters" (i.e. how the J3 looks when connected in MSC mode) is problematic when the J3 is connected in MTP mode (where there are NO drive letters).

Furthermore, I believe I've experimented with MTP mode, and whether or not M3U playlists (created while in MSC mode) are usable, and they seemed to be initially. But once I did further maintenance to the J3 while in MTP mode those older previously working M3U playlists no longer worked. This confirmed my hunch that M3U playlists are for MSC mode, and PLA playlists are for MTP mode, and you shouldn't try to have both or expect previously working M3U playlists continue to work while in MTP mode once you do further maintenance while in MTP mode.

Is there a particular reason why you need/want to run your J3 in MTP mode?
First I just wanted to say that I appreciate your reply

I use MediaMonkey to Auto-Sync everything to my J3, then because MediaMonkey doesn't write Extended m3u Playlists to my J3 "properly", I'm forced to drag/drop the playlist into Playlist Creator (literally just "ctrl + A" and drop it into Playlist Creator). The file path references are correct, it's just that's all that's written in the playlist when MediaMonkey creates them, there's not that extra line below the file path indicating what it should be called or what not.

Well, I'm not sure about the .pla playlists. As you may know, there's actually an option to create a .pla playlist in Playlist Creator, I might give that a try and see what happens.

Correct, I do not have an external SD card in the J3. I NEED playlists and I haven't found an easy way to do playlists with the external drive letter. Also, the part of my music library that I actually listen to is only ~14gb. This, actually, is a PRIME example of why I need to sync with MediaMonkey. My whole music library is ~39gb, and I obviously can't fit that on my J3, so I create a "smart playlist" with tracks that are only rated 5 stars, and I'll only sync that smart playlist. If I want to take a song off, just rate it 0 stars, then sync again (hopefully I explained that well enough).

There is absolutely no reason I need to run the J3 in MTP mode. I'll do whatever mode works as long as I get my syncing capabilities with MediaMonkey, and I can EASILY create a playlist.

Sorry if I sound "short", I've had the J3 for about a year now and I've been fighting it this whole time to try and get it to sync like an ipod (oops, I said the "i" word ).
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2012, 02:00 PM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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Just reporting back that the J3 doesn't recognize .pla playlists. Gonna try syncing in MSC mode and see if that does anything.
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2012, 02:34 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Rich View Post
I use MediaMonkey to Auto-Sync everything to my J3, then because MediaMonkey doesn't write Extended m3u Playlists to my J3 "properly", I'm forced to drag/drop the playlist into Playlist Creator (literally just "ctrl + A" and drop it into Playlist Creator). The file path references are correct, it's just that's all that's written in the playlist when MediaMonkey creates them, there's not that extra line below the file path indicating what it should be called or what not.
If you "love" MediaMonkey, here's the solution for you.

The problem is that version 3 of MediaMonkey DID put out the 2-line "extended information" form of M3U playlist files, which worked with all downstream software and PMP's like the J3. But the genius authors of that software decided to go to the 1-line "simple information" format in their latest and greatest version 4 of the program. And there was LOTS AND LOTS of hollering from users about this.

The solution is in that post I referenced above, where I myself discovered a user-written plugin to version 4 that restored the 2-line #EXTINF form of M3U playlist to playlists created by version 4 of MediaMonkey.

If you're using version 4 MediaMonkey and it really does give you what you wanted, but only had this structural syntax 1-line vs. 2-line issue, then that post of mine and the reference plugin IS your solution.


Quote:
Well, I'm not sure about the .pla playlists. As you may know, there's actually an option to create a .pla playlist in Playlist Creator, I might give that a try and see what happens.
Actually, I did not know that Playlist Creator could handle PLA playlists. That would be very interesting indeed.

I would recommend that you experiment with it, exploring music files actually stored on the J3 while in MTP mode (i.e. "internal storage" and "external storage", rather than Windows drive letters), to see if Playlist Creator can actually see the J3 when in MTP mode.

Then, see if Playlist Creator can truly build PLA playlists... and can include references to music on both internal and external storage. I don't think I've ever experimented with it that way, but if it really works then that would be great. Windows Explorer was the only program I'd found that could (a) deal with the J3 in MTP mode, (b) examine both internal and external storage, (c) create/maintain PLA playlists, and (d) handle PLA playlists which referred to music on both internal and external storage of the J3.

You see, the J3's M3U playlist support does NOT allow an M3U playlist file to refer to music files on both internal and external storage. But the J3's PLA playlist support DOES!!!

And since Playlist Creator is FAR MORE USER-FRIENDLY than Windows Explorer, if Playlist Creator could actually (a) deal with the J3 in MTP mode and access both internal and external storage, and (b) create PLA playlists in the proper structure that the J3 could understand which also refer to music files on internal and external storage in the same single PLA playlist... well that would be a brand new revelation, and very very useful.


Quote:
Correct, I do not have an external SD card in the J3.
Right. Of course you don't. I actually knew that. I was just kind of thinking out loud in that paragraph above.

So eliminate that part of the experimentation and testing.

On the other hand, I myself could experiment. I have an external card, and I could install Playlist Creator, and I could certainly change my J3 to MTP for the testing.

I'll think about it.


Quote:
I NEED playlists and I haven't found an easy way to do playlists with the external drive letter.
I don't follow what you're saying.

M3U playlist files are nothing more than text files (which you can edit using Notepad) that are structured a certain way. The following acceptable formats will be understood by the J3:

(1) Produced directly by Winamp: [works on the J3]

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:255,Eagles, The - Desperado
\Music\Eagles, The\Hell Freezes Over\Desperado.mp3
#EXTINF:432,Eagles, The - Hotel California
\Music\Eagles, The\Hell Freezes Over\Hotel California.mp3

(2) Produced directly by Playlist Creator: [works on the J3]

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:255,Hell Freezes Over - 15 - Desperado
..\Music\Eagles, The\Hell Freezes Over\Desperado.mp3
#EXTINF:432,Hell Freezes Over - 6 - Hotel California
..\Music\Eagles, The\Hell Freezes Over\Hotel California.mp3

Note that the first example does not include an absolute Windows drive letter in the fully-qualified path to the music file on the J3. This "relative notation" works because the saved M3U playlist file itself is created by Winamp on the same Windows drive letter as where the music files themselves also live. That's just how Winamp creates M3U playlists.

If the playlist file had been saved to a different Windows drive letter location, then Winamp would have added the absolute required "D:" in front of those "relative notation" paths.

The J3 can handle EITHER of these two Winamp-produced formats, either "relative" or "absolute". If the Windows drive letter is present at the front of the path, it is simply ignored by the J3.


Quote:
There is absolutely no reason I need to run the J3 in MTP mode. I'll do whatever mode works as long as I get my syncing capabilities with MediaMonkey, and I can EASILY create a playlist.

Sorry if I sound "short", I've had the J3 for about a year now and I've been fighting it this whole time to try and get it to sync like an ipod (oops, I said the "i" word ).
Well, you've now asked the right questions, in the right place.

If MediaMonkey is your "dream playlist creator", except for the 2-line M3U syntax problem, then I think your problem is now solved. That plugin (from my referenced post) IS your answer to this. You will consider it a miracle.

And the J3 should be reset to MSC mode, not MTP mode. That's where M3U playlist files are properly supported by the J3, in MSC mode.

Just don't forget that as with all MSC-configured removable devices that get a Windows drive letter assigned when you plug them into a USB port, you must first "safely remove hardware" before disconnecting it from the PC. Right click on the "safely remove hardware" icon in the System Tray and select "eject".
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2012, 02:44 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Rich View Post
Just reporting back that the J3 doesn't recognize .pla playlists.
Well, I can confirm that the J3 DOES recognize and support PLA playlists built by Windows Explorer while the J3 is in MTP mode.

Furthermore, those PLA playlists built by Windows Explorer CAN reference music files on BOTH internal and external storage of the J3, and the J3 WILL correctly play the referenced music files.

It all works perfectly... if the J3 is in MTP mode when you use Windows Explorer to build the PLA playlist files directly on the J3 referring to music files directly on the J3.

I cannot confirm any other setup, neither MediaMonkey while the J3 is in MTP mode, nor Playlist Creator while the J3 is in MTP mode. I only know with 100% certainty that using Windows Explorer and the J3 in MTP mode builds PLA playlists on the J3 that DO work as intended.


Quote:
Gonna try syncing in MSC mode and see if that does anything.
You mean MediaMonkey syncing, while in MSC mode instead of MTP mode?

I suspect you will have success.

And as long as you only have internal storage for your music files, if you install that MediaMonkey plugin I referred to above and configure things as I described in that other post, you WILL be home free with your playlists... I'm certain.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:44 PM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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Holy cow DSperber, I owe you a beer sir! That worked wonderfully! Thank you so much! Everything syncs beautifully! I'm still having problems with my Hard Rock playlist, but I'm just going to re-create it and pick out a couple songs.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2012, 02:57 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by B_Rich View Post
Holy cow DSperber, I owe you a beer sir! That worked wonderfully! Thank you so much! Everything syncs beautifully! I'm still having problems with my Hard Rock playlist, but I'm just going to re-create it and pick out a couple songs.
Excellent!! Glad it worked and addressed your needs.

It's really the author of that plugin you should be thanking.

And of course the blame for your earlier headaches should go to the authors of MediaMonkey who decided to revert to the 1-line M3U syntax in their "upgraded" version 4 of the product, without even so much as offering a user-settings option to choose 1-line or 2-line output format.

Good luck. Glad to help.

I'm here all week, if you have more questions!
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:21 AM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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So I did some more research on this, and here I am sitting at 2 in the morning, wondering why in the heck this Hard Rock playlist still isn't working. Turns out the J3 doesn't accept playlists with more than 400 songs on it.... Guess how many I had on the Hard Rock playlist? 410.....

Not only that, but I created a big playlist of Hard Rock + Hip Hop combined (I love the variance) but now I realize that that big playlist is 600+ songs. Guess I'm just gonna give everything a "Year" and sort things that way.....






However I am blessed that I got the playlists to sync smoothly.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2012, 07:57 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by B_Rich View Post
Turns out the J3 doesn't accept playlists with more than 400 songs on it.... Guess how many I had on the Hard Rock playlist? 410.....
Just a thought...

(1) M3U playlists have a limitation of 400 songs.

(2) M3U playlists can only refer to music files on either internal storage or external storage but not both in the same single M3U playlist file.

If you're willing to make some compromises, you can overcome both of these limitations. If (a) you're willing to give up the "genre" tag field, and instead allocate that value to what I call a "genre playlist", and (b) if you're ok with having a song in only one "genre playlist" at a time, then you can use the genre field as a playlist name and overcome both of these limitations.

In other words, the J3 builds its tags database with five primary sort keys: album, song title, artist, genre, and year. Also, (a) there is no limit to the number of entries in the database for any given value of these five sort keys, and (b) the tags database is built at boot time by the J3 from every music file located on both internal and external storage.

And finally, there's no law that says the "genre" value has to be real. It can be anything.

So if you just put a value of say "Playlist1", "Playlist2", etc., where you know what those individual "genre playlists" represent to you, you now can build any "genre playlist" to have an INFINITE number of entries (well, up to the maximum number of music files on the J3 which is 8000 on both internal and external storage for a total of 16,000) referencing music files that can be anywhere on the J3, either on internal or external storage.

The compromises are that (a) you've given up the true genre value in the tags for music files contained in such a "genre playlist", and (b) since there's only one genre tag field, a single music file can only be in one "genre playlist". But if you're ok with that, you've just figured out how to have a playlist that can have an infinite number of entries.

I use this approach for all of my FLAC (which are my favorite favorites, with my other music files being MP3) files, where I've stored "FLAC" in the genre tag field of all of my 1100 FLAC files. That enables me to just select Library -> [Genres] -> [FLAC], put the J3 on "shuffle", and I now have nothing but 1100 FLAC tracks playing randomly. This is like having a radio station that plays nothing but my "favorite favorites" in CD quality, where I have no idea what the next song played on that radio station will be.

Think about it. Your alternative is to live with the inherent J3 limitations for M3U playlists. The choice is yours.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:30 PM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Just a thought...

(1) M3U playlists have a limitation of 400 songs.

(2) M3U playlists can only refer to music files on either internal storage or external storage but not both in the same single M3U playlist file.

If you're willing to make some compromises, you can overcome both of these limitations. If (a) you're willing to give up the "genre" tag field, and instead allocate that value to what I call a "genre playlist", and (b) if you're ok with having a song in only one "genre playlist" at a time, then you can use the genre field as a playlist name and overcome both of these limitations.

In other words, the J3 builds its tags database with five primary sort keys: album, song title, artist, genre, and year. Also, (a) there is no limit to the number of entries in the database for any given value of these five sort keys, and (b) the tags database is built at boot time by the J3 from every music file located on both internal and external storage.

And finally, there's no law that says the "genre" value has to be real. It can be anything.

So if you just put a value of say "Playlist1", "Playlist2", etc., where you know what those individual "genre playlists" represent to you, you now can build any "genre playlist" to have an INFINITE number of entries (well, up to the maximum number of music files on the J3 which is 8000 on both internal and external storage for a total of 16,000) referencing music files that can be anywhere on the J3, either on internal or external storage.

The compromises are that (a) you've given up the true genre value in the tags for music files contained in such a "genre playlist", and (b) since there's only one genre tag field, a single music file can only be in one "genre playlist". But if you're ok with that, you've just figured out how to have a playlist that can have an infinite number of entries.

I use this approach for all of my FLAC (which are my favorite favorites, with my other music files being MP3) files, where I've stored "FLAC" in the genre tag field of all of my 1100 FLAC files. That enables me to just select Library -> [Genres] -> [FLAC], put the J3 on "shuffle", and I now have nothing but 1100 FLAC tracks playing randomly. This is like having a radio station that plays nothing but my "favorite favorites" in CD quality, where I have no idea what the next song played on that radio station will be.

Think about it. Your alternative is to live with the inherent J3 limitations for M3U playlists. The choice is yours.
I tried to do that exact thing except with the "Year" tag. Didn't work. I actually don't care about the genre tag, as only 20% of my library is correctly tagged by the genre anyway. I'm gonna go ahead and tag them that way. I appreciate all of your help DSperber, your replies are really more than what I ask for

Quote:
The choice is yours.
^hearing this makes me feel like you've just given me the details of a huge quest, and I now have to decide if I want to take on the challenge of this quest, or back off lol
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:32 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by B_Rich View Post
I tried to do that exact thing except with the "Year" tag. Didn't work.
I have heard of others using the "year" tag field in this way, rather than giving up the "genre" tag field.

But I believe they had "success".

In what way did your attempt fail? What does "didn't work" mean? What were your failing result symptoms?


Quote:
I actually don't care about the genre tag, as only 20% of my library is correctly tagged by the genre anyway.
Fairly common. Or, there's genre inconsistency, or slight variations, etc., because after all most of this data for tagging is automatically retrieved from FreeDB or similar sources which are after all fed from other people submitting their own data to FreeDB for new CD releases.


Quote:
I'm gonna go ahead and tag them that way.
You mean try my genre-playlist idea? I know it absolutely WILL work, as it does with me and my 1100 tracks (on both internal and external storage of the J3) all set to have "FLAC" as their "genre".

It is exactly as if I am using an 1100-entry "playlist" consisting of music files from both internal and external storage on my J3.

I've never actually tried to use the "year" tag field myself. I actually DO have valid years in all 6700 of my music files, and wouldn't want to give up that data. But "genre"? I honestly don't ever browse that way... except in this case, to play all of my FLAC files on "random".
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:19 AM
B_Rich B_Rich is offline
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When I changed the year to 9999, only about 6 or 7 songs showed up on the list. I'm not sure why, so I just changed the Genre to Playlist1 like you recommended and all is well
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:46 PM
BusterK BusterK is offline
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I am also having a problem with the playlists disappearing. I created them in MTP and they are .pla. I opened the folder on the computer to see what lists I created. When I unplugged, they disappeared off the cowon but if I plug back into the computer, I see them again. I tried reloading them in both MTP and MSC mode and looking at them in both modes. They seem to exist but don't show up. I now have J3 version 2.28. Do I need to redo them?
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:24 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Once you create a PLA playlist while in MTP mode, you should never ever leave MTP mode and revert to MSC mode and connect the J3 to the PC. You need to use Windows Explorer to examine your J3 while still in MTP mode, where the device shows up as "Cowon J3" and "internal storage" and "external storage". No Windows drive letters.

If you do return to MSC mode (and get Windows drive letters assigned) and examine your J3 with Windows or 3rd-party programs, you have just clobbered your PLA playlists and they have been irreparably corrupted and worthless as PLA playlists. They cannot be repaired but rather must be deleted and recreated again, but of course you must be back in MTP mode to do all of this.

There's just something about the J3 and MSC mode and connecting to Windows that is "inhospitable" to PLA playlists. Ergo, once you decide to use PLA playlists you must remain in MTP mode forever.


Now remember, even if you use MediaMonkey to theoretically produce PLA playlists while in MTP mode by "sync", etc., those PLA playlists produced by MM in MTP mode will only refer to music files on internal storage of the J3.

In my experimenting on this subject, I'm virtually certain that the only program known to man which can build/maintain PLA playlists on the J3 that do support music files on both internal and external storage in the same PLA playlist is Windows Explorer.

So while MM can seemingly run with the J3 in MTP mode to "sync" music files onto the J3, and produce PLA playlists, I really do believe its support is for J3 internal storage only.


Am I wrong? Anybody have contradictory results?

Can MediaMonkey support music files on both internal and external storage of the J3, including producing PLA playlists to match? I don't think so.


In other words, why be in MTP mode if you have external storage on your J3? MSC is far more convenient to Windows and 3rd-party programs, though M3U playlists also have their own restrictions on the J3 when using MSC mode.

It's a compromise, one way or the other.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:51 PM
BusterK BusterK is offline
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Thank you. I believe that is exactly what happened. Is there any reason I would need to be in MSC mode ever? Can I make changes to tracks or add tracks in MTP mode hooked up to the computer?

In MTP mode, can I copy the playlists to a folder on the computer just in case? Would they work if I ever needed to copy them back?

I don't understand the difference between the two modes.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:26 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusterK View Post
Thank you. I believe that is exactly what happened. Is there any reason I would need to be in MSC mode ever?
Just depends on whether you can live with Windows Explorer as your only "tool", since that's the only program known which is 100% functional in MTP mode for both internal and external storage of the J3.

It appears MediaMonkey can only support internal storage of the J3 in MTP mode, but I'm still waiting for someone (yourself??) to confirm or deny. If you do have external storage and use MM, can you experiment a little and see if you have access to external storage, and what the nature of PLA playlists from MM in MTP mode is?


Quote:
Can I make changes to tracks or add tracks in MTP mode hooked up to the computer?
Certainly, as long as you use Windows Explorer.

Remember, MTP mode does NOT get Windows drive letters assigned for internal and external storage. That is the KEY DIFFERENCE between MTP and MSC mode.

Instead, it simply is "internal storage" and "external storage" under "Cowon J3" in Explorer. Virtually no other programs than Windows Explorer (except for perhaps MediaMonkey) can understand this... i.e. no drive letters. That's why you're restricted to using Windows Explorer (and MM, possibly limited to internal storage only).


Quote:
In MTP mode, can I copy the playlists to a folder on the computer just in case?
No, I don't believe so. The nature of PLA playlists is that they are constructed on the device (J3) referencing music files on the device (J3) by Windows Explorer.

I do not believe they can be copied from J3 to PC, and then copied back from PC to J3, and still be usable... even though they're really just binary files. But to be honest I can't recall trying that myself way back when I was researching MTP/PLA.


Quote:
Would they work if I ever needed to copy them back?
I'm skeptical, but you can certainly try this whole process yourself and report your results here.

Remember that a PLA playlist file is a binary file built by Windows Explorer, containing what might be considered "links". I suspect it may want to "relocate those links" if you use Windows Explorer to "copy" the PLA playlist files over to a PC hard drive location. I have a hunch this may "corrupt" the binary data in the PLA playlist to make it now worthless. But you can certainly try this yourself... can't lose anything except that PLA playlist file.

Quote:
I don't understand the difference between the two modes.
(1) MSC gets Windows drive letters assigned when the J3 gets plugged in.

(a) When you're done maintaining the J3 (with any program you care to use) you must first "safely remove hardware", and then pull the USB cable from the PC.

(b) 100% of Windows and 3rd-party programs will work correctly, since they all are 100% expecting Windows drive letters.

(c) Playlists must be in 2-line #EXTINF M3U form in order for the J3 to make use of them properly. There are many many programs which can build M3U playlist files with this syntax. There is a J3 limitation where a single M3U playlist can only refer to music files on either internal or external storage but not both in the same single M3U playlist file.


(2) With MTP, no Windows drive letters are assigned for internal and external storage.

(a) When you are done maintaining the J3 (using only Windows Explorer or possibly MediaMonkey as well) you can just pull the USB cable from the PC. There is no "safely remove hardware" action required.

(b) Virtually no 3rd-party programs understand access to the J3 while in MTP mode because no drive letters are assigned. Only Windows Explorer or possibly MM can be used. I am of the opinion that MM's capabilities while the J3 is in MTP mode are limited to internal storage of the J3, but I don't know for sure.

(c) Playlists must be in PLA form, which only Windows Explorer can properly create. But single PLA playlists produced by Windows Explorer CAN refer to music files on both internal and external storage in the same single PLA playlist file.
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  #18  
Old 03-09-2012, 09:38 AM
BusterK BusterK is offline
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I am now exclusively in MTP mode. I tried the experiment. I created a playlist using windows explorer. I unplugged and checked that it worked. I plugged back in and copied it onto the desktop. I then deleted the original off the Cowon and copied the playlist from the desktop back to the Cowon. No, it doesn't work. Maybe because the links are broken. I was hoping I could do it to create a back up in case playlists disappear during upgrades or whatever.
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  #19  
Old 03-09-2012, 05:45 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusterK View Post
I am now exclusively in MTP mode.
As long as you remain in MTP mode and don't go back to MSC and connect to your PC while in MSC mode, any of the PLA playlists you create will remain perfectly usable.

Actually, I believe that even just going to MSC mode and back to MTP mode will still not destroy your PLA playlists. It's the connection to the PC while in MSC mode which is what does the fatal corruption of those PLA playlists.

Anyway, there's obviously no reason to ever leave MTP mode if you're satisfied with what you now have, and can live within its restrictions (i.e. of using Windows Explorer as your only real capability for sync/copy and playlist creation).

But the one true absolute benefit from MTP mode is that Windows Explorer can create PLA playlists (that the J3 can understand and use) which refer to music files ON BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STORAGE. This is something that cannot be done using M3U playlists and MSC mode. So this is a true positive, from MTP mode.


Quote:
I tried the experiment. I created a playlist using windows explorer. I unplugged and checked that it worked. I plugged back in and copied it onto the desktop. I then deleted the original off the Cowon and copied the playlist from the desktop back to the Cowon. No, it doesn't work. Maybe because the links are broken.
Not a surprise to me, given the internal binary structure of those PLA playlist files and whatever it is that they represent in terms of how they found or describe the connection to the music files references... and what drive/folder/filename they are identified by.

I'm sure this is all very special structure known to Windows Explorer and also by the J3, but simly copying the file from some other "backup" location doesn't do whatever Windows Explorer did when the PLA file was first built.

In other words, unlike the text-mode M3U playlist which can be copied and moved without much concern, the binary-mode PLA playlist comes with its own special limitations.


Anyway, I'm glad you have now decided what works best for you and your planned J3 use.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2012, 06:55 PM
BusterK BusterK is offline
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No, actually there is a problem. After I created playlists, I made some changes to some albums on the computer using MP3tag. I deleted the albums off the Cowon and reloaded them while in MTP mode. The album covers didn't follow the album. That was true for entire albums as well as just a couple of tracks that I made changes to. The individual track didn't have the cover even though the rest of the album did.

I am not sure where the image lives. When I open the folder I don't see anything like a jpeg.
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