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Author Topic: Help me to understand .mp3 naming issue on a DVD player reading from a USB stick  (Read 7068 times)
cranioscopical
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« on: June 10, 2010, 03:30:38 PM »

Here's my issue.

The background:
I want to play a reasonably large number of .mp3 files in one location.
The audio system in this location had no .mp3 capability.
The way I chose to remedy this was to buy an inexpensive Samsung DVD player and add this to the sound system. I chose this player largely because:
  • it has a remote control
  • it can read from a USB stick.
To try this out I dumped a few .mp3's onto a stick and all was well. Things played from the USB stick, and in the sequence that I expected.

Next I put 67 .mp3's onto a blank stick, using 8.3 file names in the format of:
01 xxxxx.mp3
02 xxxxx.mp3
..
67 xxxxx.mp3
where xxxxx represents 5 letters which could be anything.

I chose to lead the names with numbers as I wanted the items to play in the specific order of 01 to 67.
(There's nothing magic about the 67, that just happened to be the number of files on hand.)

On my computer, the directory of the disk reads exactly as I'd expect, viz. it starts with "01 xxxxx.mp3" and runs to "67 xxxxx.mp3". The items play in that order.

I put this stick into the DVD player and get items 1 to 67 on the DVD display panel (since it is connected only to an audio system, there is no display of titles, just item numbers).

The problem
When I play this stick:
item "1" on the DVD is actually file "47 xxxxx.mp3"
item "2" on the DVD is actually file "48 xxxxx.mp3"
..
item "21" on the DVD is actually file "67 xxxxx.mp3"
item "22" on the DVD is actually file "01 xxxxx.mp3"
..
item "67" on the DVD is actually file "46 xxxxx.mp3"

In other words, the file names are shifted 46 places from what I'd expect.

Can anybody tell me why, and if so, how to avoid this?
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Chris
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 03:59:21 PM »

It sounds like it might be playing them in the order the files exist on the stick, rather than the filename order. I would try erasing the stick and copying a few files in the same sequence as want them played.  See what happens.  Likely the USB support is primative.  Also if you have a light small TV you might hook up to get the "menu output" and see if there's a variance.

I suspect it will play the audio files in whatever sequence they exist in the file system igoring the names altogether.

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Curt
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 06:24:22 PM »

are you sure the MP3 files (number-wise) are untagged?
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 06:27:01 PM »

Quote from: MilesAhead
I suspect it will play the audio files in whatever sequence they exist in the file system igoring the names altogether.
Thanks for the thought.
I'm going to have experiment a little as you suggest.
I'd better look at the file dates, too.

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Chris
cranioscopical
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 06:28:18 PM »

are you sure the MP3 files (number-wise) are untagged?
I thought I was, Curt. Something else to check  thumbs up

EDIT: It wasn't the tags, Curt. I went back and double checked on that.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 09:00:13 PM by cranioscopical » Logged

Chris
skwire
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 06:30:23 PM »

Chris, my FileBucket app might be able to help you get them on your USB stick in the order you want:

http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=20387.0
http://skwire.dcmembers.c.../software/file-bucket.php
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Innuendo
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 08:43:49 PM »

If your Samsung player is like my Philips player then anything that you play off of a USB stick is displayed on the DVD player in order by file date rather than by file name.

Alter the file dates into an ascending order of your desired play order and it should work.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2010, 08:47:42 PM »

Chris, my FileBucket app might be able to help you get them on your USB stick in the order you want:
Thanks skwire, I've downloaded a copy.
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Chris
cranioscopical
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010, 08:58:10 PM »

Alter the file dates into an ascending order of your desired play order and it should work.
Thanks for the idea, much appreciated. I had been wondering about that.

The fly in the ointment is that all of the files had different dates, not in order.
They were first assembled into one folder and then renamed.
They then went, in order of file name, onto the blank USB stick.
They played in order, by file name, except for the offset (46) mentioned above.

Were it a date order thing, I'd have expected a much more random result, not one after another in exact name order with each one in sequence displaced by exactly 46.

I'll play around with this some more.
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Chris
nudone
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2010, 06:33:34 AM »

hmm, sorry, can't offer a solution - but i'm experiencing an almost identical problem with a "video" player.

this also reads from usb devices and appears to have it's own method of organising the files. i wondered if it was by date or file size. (i may have concluded it was file size, can't remember now.)

i suspect this "ordering" will be the same as on your device. i'll have a play around with it too - if it becomes obvious i'll let you know.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2010, 08:16:04 AM »

hmm, sorry, can't offer a solution - but i'm experiencing an almost identical problem with a "video" player.

this also reads from usb devices and appears to have it's own method of organising the files. i wondered if it was by date or file size. (i may have concluded it was file size, can't remember now.)

It can't be file size in my case as mine played everything in name sequence (with wildly differing file sizes) with the hiccup that the 'track' sequence was 46 places different from the file name sequence.

I tried both with .mp3 tags nulled and with .mp3 tags set to the same sequence as the file names. Same issue.
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Chris
cranioscopical
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2010, 08:40:36 AM »


Here's where I'm at.

I set the .mp3 track values to match the file-name values but I did this on the stick itself.
That didn't change anything.

I pulled all of the files off the stick and into a folder on my hard drive.
Deleted the stick.
Wrote all of the files back to the stick.

That worked:
name "01 xxxxx.mp3" is track 1
name "67 xxxxx.mp3" is track 67.

To me, that argues for file date as I touched every file to change its track number.

Previously, when I've done this, I:
  • ignored .mp3 tag track numbers
  • ignored file dates
  • built what I wanted in a folder on my HD
  • renamed the files, using names preceded by numbers in ascending numerical order
  • wrote the lot onto the stick.
That gave a perfect match between file names and tracks on the stick.
As far as I can see, that's exactly what I did this time (on the first try). The only real difference being that this time there were more files (originally, I'd used about 20 files as a test, not 67.)

Thanks for everyone's input.
I'll play around some more.
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Chris
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2010, 09:19:15 AM »

It's possible that the playback order is the order they were copied onto the thumb drive.  You could easily test this with File Bucket.  Simply add that folder and then use the up/down buttons in File Bucket to change the order, copy to drive and test.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 09:35:58 AM »

I suspect skwire is correct, I've seen this type of thing happen where removing the files and recopying them in the desired order was the only solution. Very frustrating.
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nudone
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2010, 10:36:34 AM »

i doubt it helps but, on the video player i was having trouble with, it appears to have been the 8.3 file name issue, i.e. as soon as i changed the file name to 8 characters the list was correct.

i couldn't see a pattern to the incorrect listing (with long filenames). it wasn't by file size/created/modified/etc. just seemed random.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2010, 01:59:05 PM »

Quote from: skwire
It's possible that the playback order is the order they were copied onto the thumb drive.
I hear you, and thanks, but the original transfer was from an interim folder on my HD. 
All of the files were first copied to there.
Then renamed -- each name beginning with a two-digit number 01...67.
Then copied to the stick with TeraCopy, in the correct order.
I am going to be using your software though, and thanks!


Quote from: Nudone
i doubt it helps but, on the video player i was having trouble with, it appears to have been the 8.3 file name issue
Yes, good thought.
The 'user manual' for the player stipulated 8.3 names, hence my renaming as "01 xxxxx.mp3" through "67 xxxxx.mp3".
That didn't help though.

FWIW, I just:
  • dumped a bunch of random .mp3's into a folder on my HD
  • renamed them only by adding a two-digit prefix to each
      (i.e. some had very long names and others shorter but none as short as 8.3)
  • totally ignored what was in the ID tags — all kinds of stuff, some out-of-sequence track numbers, some nulls, no attempt at logic
  • copied the lot onto a USB stick
That played perfectly, and in the expected order, long file names notwithstanding.  tellme huh ohmy

I'm beginning to think that the hiccup reported earlier was just a random event. A stray bit of data that befuddled player logic somehow.
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Chris
nudone
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2010, 06:14:24 PM »

interesting. i'll have to give it one more try with this player. my working files names have their (2 digit) counter at the end of the 8 character file name. having the counter beyond the 8 characters (in a longer filename) caused the random listing.

perhaps putting the counter at the beginning of a long name will also work the same way you have discovered...
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 06:47:40 PM »

Please let me know what happens if you do give that a try.
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Chris
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2010, 07:54:32 AM »

Please let me know what happens if you do give that a try.
of course.

unfortunately, i can't do it until monday.
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nudone
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2010, 05:03:35 AM »

it appears that using a counter at the beginning of the name does allow for long files names (longer than 8 characters) to be used.

e.g.

01 xxxx xxxx.avi
02 xxxx xxxx.avi
03 xxxx xxxx.avi
...
...
13 xxxx xxxx.avi

all fine and in the correct order.

i suspect that the logic of these devices is that they look for a counter within the first 8 characters of a name - as the counter beyond the 8 character limit doesn't list correctly. it just seems odd that they do this whilst also being able to display long file names.
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 05:16:18 AM »

Can anybody tell me why, and if so, how to avoid this?

Reason: Your player is not sorting the FAT filename index.

Fix: There're several programs sorting the FAT index. The one I'm using is DriveSort. It writes directly in the file-system, replacing this index, so it's very fast.

http://www.anerty.net/software/file/DriveSort.php

Quote
This program enables you to reorganise the content of the directory tables on a FAT drive, in order to help portable multimedia players to play their music tracks in the right order.
It works directly on the opened disk filesystem, so use it at your own risks. It's a good idea to make a backup of sensitive data before working on a disk.

Although it was made for the I-Bead player, it should work well with other portable multimedia players having a FAT12, FAT16, or FAT32 formatted disk, such as the Lynx, Muro, your mobile phone flash card, ...

Works well on my MP3 stick.

Hint: if the program crashes trying to access your USB stick, let Windows search and repair drive errors. It happened to me once, and there were some minor file-system issues (lost clusters).
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 05:27:38 AM by wr975 » Logged
superboyac
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2010, 08:47:42 AM »

Man, I really hate how most of those dvd/cd/boombox players implement any kind of mp3 support.  I've gone to great lengths to not rely on any of that standalone stuff.  Everything that deals with media in my house is a computer.  The TV is connected to the computer.  Any music that I listen to will be playing on a computer.  Sure, it means I need to buy wireless air-mice, it takes some setting up.  Is it overkill?  Maybe.

The only place I use media that is not computerized yet is in my car.  In my car I use my mp3 player.  I thought about building a custom pc for the car as well, but that was too hard for me.

Just like I talk about in the apple threads, the furstrating part of those standalone devices is always the interface.  Sure, they add mp3 support on a boombox, but it's a pain to use.  How do you skip tracks easily?  how do you make a playlist?  How do I have to put the files on my cd/dvd/usb stick?  With a computer, it's just drag and drop.  You can play it with whatever software you want.  Any problem can be fixed.  But it is more work initially.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2010, 12:35:12 PM »

it appears that using a counter at the beginning of the name does allow for long files names (longer than 8 characters) to be used.

i suspect that the logic of these devices is that they look for a counter within the first 8 characters of a name - as the counter beyond the 8 character limit doesn't list correctly. it just seems odd that they do this whilst also being able to display long file names.
Thanks for trying that!  thumbs up
That's what happened in my case, on previous and subsequent occasions.

Of course, that still leaves me wondering about my original case where:
"22 xxxxx.mp3" to "67 xxxxx.mp3" played in sequence as tracks 1 to 46
followed by
"01 xxxxx.mp3" to "21 xxxxx.mp3" in sequence as tracks 47 to 67

I live most of my life in a state of confusion, so there's really no reason why this should be different.
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Chris
cranioscopical
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2010, 12:37:38 PM »

Reason: Your player is not sorting the FAT filename index.

Fix: There're several programs sorting the FAT index. The one I'm using is DriveSort. It writes directly in the file-system, replacing this index, so it's very fast.
Thanks for the input but can you tell me how not sorting the FAT index results in the odd sequencing referred to in my post immediately before this one?
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Chris
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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2010, 12:51:45 PM »

I live most of my life in a state of confusion, so there's really no reason why this should be different.
excellent. heheh. everything is just fine then.
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