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post #361 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 01:32 PM
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My XL1B2 arrives tomorrow from Tiger Direct, and I really appreciate all the work you guys have put in. I don't feel like using MCE! Two questions: has anyone used DL DVDs and has it had any issues with them? And has anyone tried to play a non-standard format off a disk like a .ts file written to a data disk?

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #362 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post

Good feedback for AutoRip. I'm sure the GUI will benefit from helpful users as yourself who are willing to try stuff out and then report. Unless there is a bug found in mediachanger.exe or something really cool somebody wants me to add, I will leave it alone for awhile to reduce the number of variables while AutoRip makes progress on his end. Of course, I'll stil be messing around at home, and I may share some stuff with him privately. I just won't publish anything for awhile to reduce confusion. Thanks for the feedback. Edit: By the way, you can always type in the command line version using mediachanger directly if you want to get a feeling for whether the problem is in that program or in the GUI. That would also be useful feedback as we move forward. Thanks again.

Thank you guys for making it!!

We made a huge progress in just a few days and now I have discrete access to my DVD library thru 1394. I am no longer limited by the set-top boxes restrictions and can play my movies at desired resolution.

I "may" redo my CDtoDVD project, ripping my 300+ CDs to WAV and then converting them into AC3.

Anyway, great job and thanks to all.

One more thing for AutoRip: IMHO "Mount" and "Unmount" button bitmaps should be reversed. Right now it counterintuitive.

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #363 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madpoet View Post

My XL1B2 arrives tomorrow from Tiger Direct, and I really appreciate all the work you guys have put in. I don't feel like using MCE! Two questions: has anyone used DL DVDs and has it had any issues with them? And has anyone tried to play a non-standard format off a disk like a .ts file written to a data disk?

It is my honor to give feedback to such a stellar member! I have used many DL DVDs, retail and ones I created and burned. I have had no problems loading any type of data, including .ts files. As I mentioned in a prior post, the drive in the changer appears to windows as an ordinary CD/DVD-RW. The box is just an electro=mechanical robot that feeds the drive - that's all it is! There's mostly space inside the box. I even share the drive, and I have played DVDs and accessed files from other computers and xbox360 on my home network, even a wi-fi connected laptop. The only thing I haven't done is actually use the changer drive as a burner, but I fully expect that to work as advertised.

Just in case you were wondering, the warning on the outside of the box has to do with dual-sided discs, not dual layer. This changer has no capability to "flip" the disc around. But maybe you knew that already ...

I hope this information was helpful.
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post #364 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post

It is my honor to give feedback to such a stellar member! I have used many DL DVDs, retail and ones I created and burned. I have had no problems loading any type of data, including .ts files. As I mentioned in a prior post, the drive in the changer appears to windows as an ordinary CD/DVD-RW. The box is just an electro=mechanical robot that feeds the drive - that's all it is! There's mostly space inside the box. I even share the drive, and I have played DVDs and accessed files from other computers and xbox360 on my home network, even a wi-fi connected laptop. The only thing I haven't done is actually use the changer drive as a burner, but I fully expect that to work as advertised.

Just in case you were wondering, the warning on the outside of the box has to do with dual-sided discs, not dual layer. This changer has no capability to "flip" the disc around. But maybe you knew that already ...

I hope this information was helpful.

Hey MediaDogg,

You seem to have more experience with this thing than anyone else.

What are you thoughts of replacing the drive with Xbox HD DVD add-on?

Wouldn't it be nice to have HD DVD 200 changer controlled by 1394?

"You might call me a dreamer, but I am not the only one"

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post #365 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madpoet View Post

My XL1B2 arrives tomorrow from Tiger Direct, and I really appreciate all the work you guys have put in. I don't feel like using MCE! Two questions: has anyone used DL DVDs and has it had any issues with them? And has anyone tried to play a non-standard format off a disk like a .ts file written to a data disk?

Hey madpoet, here we meet again.

I've tried both dual-layer and regular data DVDs with media (not ts though) and had no problems.

My second changer arrives this week

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #366 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galileo2000 View Post

Hey MediaDogg,

You seem to have more experience with this thing than anyone else.

What are you thoughts of replacing the drive with Xbox HD DVD add-on?

Wouldn't it be nice to have HD DVD 200 changer controlled by 1394?

"You might call me a dreamer, but I am not the only one"

Well I just ran out of gas! While I have peeked inside, I did so only after reading some posts a few pages back in this thread. There is a member that has actually experimented with your idea. If I can find it, I will edit this post with the pointer. Oh, well - we all have our limits! (actually my changer #3 has no immediate use - I got it as a spare and perhaps to experiment with someday!)

Found it - post#226 by kejava: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9905347
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post #367 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galileo2000 View Post

Hey madpoet, here we meet again.

I've tried both dual-layer and regular data DVDs with media (not ts though) and had no problems.

My second changer arrives this week

Heh, we do seem to be in the same neighborhood at the same time... a lot

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #368 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madpoet View Post

Heh, we do seem to be in the same neighborhood at the same time... a lot

And now this: my Terminator 2 DVD is dual- sided and unit has no problems playing the movie ( I was lucky enough to put it with the right side right .

So apparently Sony meant that you can't use flip feature in this thing

And my audio problem magically resolved itself. Everything I play from the changer goes to Diamond DDlive and therefore is DD.

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post #369 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kejava View Post

I don't agree. Add or replace are not the same deal.

Adding a drive requires you have an entire drive + changer mechanism, i.e. another XL1B2. It also requires a firmware change to activate the slave drive. That's a big deal.

Replacing a drive, the original question, has the potential to be trivial. It only involves replacing the drive in XL1B2 (almost a single PCB) with guts of from another drive. You don't even have to go that far to test the concept. Just take off the big plate under the changer and plug-in the alternative drive. Power it up and see it if it's detected by your OS. You may need an extra IDE and drive-power cable. It's very possible you won't need a firmware upgrade. I would test it out but my changers are being used for ripping right now.

Go here for more info on the firmware updater. Have at it, cowboy Tell us how it goes for you. I would really like to see someone get that firewire-IDE controller to see a slave drive

Hey Kevin,

Did you replace the "original" drive with something else at least once?

Because if you did, it means that it should work with any drive.

So potentially we could have have 200 HD DVD changer AND 200 BD changer/writer with two changers having their drives replaced correspondingly to HD DVD and BD.

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post #370 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post

Good feedback for AutoRip. I'm sure the GUI will benefit from helpful users as yourself who are willing to try stuff out and then report. Unless there is a bug found in mediachanger.exe or something really cool somebody wants me to add, I will leave it alone for awhile to reduce the number of variables while AutoRip makes progress on his end. Of course, I'll stil be messing around at home, and I may share some stuff with him privately. I just won't publish anything for awhile to reduce confusion. Thanks for the feedback. Edit: By the way, you can always type in the command line version using mediachanger directly if you want to get a feeling for whether the problem is in that program or in the GUI. That would also be useful feedback as we move forward. Thanks again.

If you or anyone else knows the problem I made (it looks like I did not quite understand the need to unmount before you mount) feel free to PM me, I'll give you my email and you can email me updated code if you it is a simple fix that you would like to make. I'll post it here and it will be the official next version. I decided in future releases that I won't include the mediachanger.exe file, but will just ask the user to place in it the script directory /temp. This should alleviate any problems I had with packing an older version. I probably won't get to any coding until this weekend, since I have a tough week at work. Too bad I don't have a VGP (yet) I may have access to one this weekend though
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post #371 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoRip View Post

If you or anyone else knows the problem I made (it looks like I did not quite understand the need to unmount before you mount) feel free to PM me, I'll give you my email and you can email me updated code if you it is a simple fix that you would like to make. I'll post it here and it will be the official next version. I decided in future releases that I won't include the mediachanger.exe file, but will just ask the user to place in it the script directory /temp. This should alleviate any problems I had with packing an older version. I probably won't get to any coding until this weekend, since I have a tough week at work. Too bad I don't have a VGP (yet) I may have access to one this weekend though

I really feel like you have to open a PayPal Donate account so you can get (at least) a changer to test.

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #372 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 10:19 PM
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Trying a few new things, let's see how they work. I tried to get it so if you click on the "FULL SLOTS" button it will populate the combo box under Slot # with your full slots. From there you can just click which slot you want and then press the mount button. On this version you need to include mediachanger yourself in the /temp directory.

Can someone post the output of the Fullslots command? I need to know if the slot #'s are seperated by white space, commas, | symbols or what?

It seems a lot of my problems may be due to lack of knowledge of mediachanger itself. Is there a readme I didn't see or something that gives more in depth descriptions of how to use it?

 

GUI-042.zip 349.0703125k . file
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post #373 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 10:44 PM
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Is there anyway to get this working with a mac? I am really hating this crappy pc interface. It hardly ever properly recognizes the changer and whenever i rip cd' it doesnt get the metadata. I have had multiple units jam and have spent the last week taking things apart, that has been a little fun though. Also, could someone pm me the link from tiger direct, i can not find them on tiger direct. i already have a few, but would like to get more since i have a huge dvd collection
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post #374 of 1655 Old 03-19-2007, 10:46 PM
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I altered the Delphi based program heavily and changed around the scan so it achieves the best of both worlds design. It scans the crucial lower addresses, but once the first storage slot is hit it scans by a configurable increment which is defaulted to 100. The result is a much faster scan without sacrificing the device independence I wanted it to have. I also switched around the metadata display to make it clearer what happened in each case. I find the hit rate for DVDs is not nearly as high as for CDs. I think this is just dependent on what you are searching for. The big name US releases have very high hit rates while non region one items have a very low hit rate. If anyone knows of a better source based on DVDID values I am willing to try another source... I have uploaded a revised version of the executable on sendspace at:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/uaioam

This version works better, but the settling times for media changes are slightly longer as well. I also opened up more items on the confguration dialog. Some of these may help people who wanted to use the program with DVD media (as AutoRip asked about). That part of the program is quite experimental so it is going to require some trial and error to figure out the proper combination of settings to use. The program can pipe data directly into FFMPEG if something like AnyDVD is in use obviating the need to rip completely as long as the correct options are checked on the configuration dialog...
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post #375 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post

Well junking the unit is pretty extreme. Even if $270 is the price for two 500GB drives, unless I missed something, wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just buy a new changer for max. $200? You could use the old one for parts or sell it for parts on ebay, or if under warranty, send it back and then you would have two - minimum 1.6 TB of storage for an additional $200 plus RMA postage, vs. 1TB for $270. But, it's your call!! (I know what I would do, though ).

As far as streaming, hard drives do give you an advantage, unless there is a way to maintain a directory with changer control. You can share the changer drive like any other drive under windows. That's why several of us are working on various changer utilities and GUIs and such.

As they say, "You pays your money and you takes your choice."

those are good points; you may have talked me off the cliff!

Quietly rooting for the glorious comeback of the MCE2005 UI in the new Vista Media Center.
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post #376 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 05:49 AM
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I can't seem to get things running correctly in Vista Home premium. I have two units, one with CD's and one with DVD's. The CD changer has the lowest serial number and is connected to the PC and the Dvd changer is connected to that.

In media center, the DVD's show up but the CD's do not. I tried loading the software that came with the changer . The "manage disc's" feature showed up but locked up on me. I removed the software and am ata standstill. Any advice as to how to get this going? How do you install the software in compatibilty mode? Does that solve the problem? I didn't have any issues in MCE2005 but Vista is being a bit troublesome.

Fran
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post #377 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbrad66 View Post


That incident aside, I've been able to load, play and batch rip CDs & load and play DVDs in both OSes. You are able to manage your discs, CDs included in Vista MCE - it is just the location of the manage discs feature that seems odd. In Vista, you need to go to the TV & DVDs function, where you will find "Manage Discs" within the DVD Library (above the library, not below it).
Overall: thumbs up

Hmmmmmm.....Didn't notice manage discs anywhere without loading the Sony Software in Vista. I'll need to check that when I get home!
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post #378 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 06:54 AM
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Doesn't work like you would expect (or at least how I would expect it). I haven't spent a whole lot of time with it (I just started to load media last night)...But So far I've seen the following. My DVD's will list all of your DVD's regardless of the Changer, the manage discs will ONLY list stuff in the 1st changer. According to the sony software only the 1st changer can have stuff OTHER then video DVD's as the sony software is crap and likely was designed that way on purpose.
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post #379 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 07:00 AM
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It really is a bummer about the first changer only being able to be the one with CD's......I have that full of Cd's, any new ones I don't know what I will do. Probably need to rip them to a lossless format. Any Ideas of how much disc space a single CD takes up in a lossless format? Speaking of lossless formats, which format would I choose?
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post #380 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 08:33 AM
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Remember the limitation on contents dealing with the 2nd daisy chained changer is a sony MCE issue. I expect when 3rd party products come out that will depend on that product, much like some of the tools available here don't care what's in which changer. I'll try adding some music, data, blank DVD's to my second changer tonight or tomorrow and see what the sony software does. I don't keep CD's in the changer, only DVD's and blank DVD's (for easy burning of data DVD's). I rip all my CD's to high bit rate VBR mp3's (yeah yeah it's not lossless, but I generally don't have the ear for it) and keep that on a NAS.
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post #381 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoRip View Post

Trying a few new things, let's see how they work. I tried to get it so if you click on the "FULL SLOTS" button it will populate the combo box under Slot # with your full slots. From there you can just click which slot you want and then press the mount button. On this version you need to include mediachanger yourself in the /temp directory.

Can someone post the output of the Fullslots command? I need to know if the slot #'s are seperated by white space, commas, | symbols or what?

It seems a lot of my problems may be due to lack of knowledge of mediachanger itself. Is there a readme I didn't see or something that gives more in depth descriptions of how to use it?

Sent you email on 0.42 feedback.

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #382 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzle View Post

I altered the Delphi based program heavily and changed around the scan so it achieves the best of both worlds design. It scans the crucial lower addresses, but once the first storage slot is hit it scans by a configurable increment which is defaulted to 100. The result is a much faster scan without sacrificing the device independence I wanted it to have. I also switched around the metadata display to make it clearer what happened in each case. I find the hit rate for DVDs is not nearly as high as for CDs. I think this is just dependent on what you are searching for. The big name US releases have very high hit rates while non region one items have a very low hit rate. If anyone knows of a better source based on DVDID values I am willing to try another source... I have uploaded a revised version of the executable on sendspace at:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/uaioam

This version works better, but the settling times for media changes are slightly longer as well. I also opened up more items on the confguration dialog. Some of these may help people who wanted to use the program with DVD media (as AutoRip asked about). That part of the program is quite experimental so it is going to require some trial and error to figure out the proper combination of settings to use. The program can pipe data directly into FFMPEG if something like AnyDVD is in use obviating the need to rip completely as long as the correct options are checked on the configuration dialog...

First impressions:
- UI looks better;
- scan command is very fast.

- mediavolumes are not retrieved. I have quite a few genuine DVDs in there such as Matrix, T2 etc. and their IDs are not displayed correctly.

Will test more today.

In other news: I bought 3rd and 4th changer..

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #383 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoRip
Trying a few new things, let's see how they work. I tried to get it so if you click on the "FULL SLOTS" button it will populate the combo box under Slot # with your full slots. From there you can just click which slot you want and then press the mount button. On this version you need to include mediachanger yourself in the /temp directory.

Can someone post the output of the Fullslots command? I need to know if the slot #'s are seperated by white space, commas, | symbols or what?

It seems a lot of my problems may be due to lack of knowledge of mediachanger itself. Is there a readme I didn't see or something that gives more in depth descriptions of how to use it?
So many great posts - I didn't see whether this was answered, but attached it a set of outputs from mediachanger.exe for each of my three changers for each command. You could debug by creating a mediachanger.bat file that does a "type xxx.txt" and also return a "success" return code, and I think the results would be nearly identical to real life.

Good luck!

 

Debug.zip 3.7548828125k . file
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post #384 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 10:25 AM
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Green with envy over the multi changers... Thinking about it myself...

I also experienced DVD lookup problems, it really is kind of spotty. When I traced through it looked like it was an issue with getting responses from the server side. The request sent is always the same, but the site does not always send a sensible response.

Being an MS site they may have it throttled or it may be heavily loaded. I am going to try to build a retry for the metadata request into the code. I managed to manually replicate the problem using the mount button several times... Works sometimes and not other, but is completely unpredictable. I am going to look into how the My Movies DVD database works, maybe that will work better. This is definitely not a media or hardware issue though, just a 'webbism' with the site.

galileo2000: The volume information referred to is the actual Disc label. Most movie makers set it to something, but not always. If you were looking at the scan for VolumeTags that pulls in what is in the Changers NV memory for the slot. I have found that is generally blank unless the Sony software already scanned all of the media. So far I have been unable to 'set' that information. Other than those two things and the DVDID that come from the hardware/media everything else comes from the media site, so when the lookup fails there is nothing to show.
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post #385 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzle View Post

Green with envy over the multi changers... Thinking about it myself...

I also experienced DVD lookup problems, it really is kind of spotty. When I traced through it looked like it was an issue with getting responses from the server side. The request sent is always the same, but the site does not always send a sensible response.

Being an MS site they may have it throttled or it may be heavily loaded. I am going to try to build a retry for the metadata request into the code. I managed to manually replicate the problem using the mount button several times... Works sometimes and not other, but is completely unpredictable. I am going to look into how the My Movies DVD database works, maybe that will work better. This is definitely not a media or hardware issue though, just a 'webbism' with the site.

galileo2000: The volume information referred to is the actual Disc label. Most movie makers set it to something, but not always. If you were looking at the scan for VolumeTags that pulls in what is in the Changers NV memory for the slot. I have found that is generally blank unless the Sony software already scanned all of the media. So far I have been unable to 'set' that information. Other than those two things and the DVDID that come from the hardware/media everything else comes from the media site, so when the lookup fails there is nothing to show.

Oh I was wondering about that. Ok so now I give up expecting to get anything for VolumeTags - I was wondering if the changer had NV memory. What would satisfy me at the command-line level is just the same label that the disk subsystem sees. I just need some sort of hook to tie the directory listing to for the data that is on a particlular DVD.

Another subject: I just loaded a CD whose metadata I knew was available into my changer 2 (third in the chain). On Windows XP, WMP 11 correctly picked up all the metadata from the internet and played the CD no problem. So it looks like the issue that people are having with CDs on other than the first changer are definitely software related. If WMP can do it, why can't MCE or the SONY software? Did I understand the issue correctly or did I get it backwards? Anyway, I will run any test you want.
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post #386 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post

So many great posts - I didn't see whether this was answered, but attached it a set of outputs from mediachanger.exe for each of my three changers for each command. You could debug by creating a mediachanger.bat file that does a "type xxx.txt" and also return a "success" return code, and I think the results would be nearly identical to real life.

Good luck!

@MediaDogg and AutoRip: just tried fullslots and emptyslots commands in DOS window and both work fine.

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #387 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 01:44 PM
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MediaDogg: The issue with CDs in units other than the first is actually a software control put in by Sony on thier own MCE add-in. Even though they got stung for their DRM based on a rootkit on media, they are definitely NOT any more user friendly in the area of DRM. This is a good candidate for the 'Defective By Design' program because it is not a technical issue in the least, but rather a designed in limitation in the software.

I don't have multiple units, but I suspect as long as you are not using Sony's deliberately hobbled MCE software you will not have any problems with accessing CDs in any unit. Basically it means their mass rip function is locked down. Since Sony has a big media division I guess they were afraid if they made a tool to mass rip CDs in large volumes they would be cutting too deeply into their own profits.... or maybe I should say Profit$

I think this is a great device at a nice price, but the software is glitchy and this limitation is certainly not endearing it to anyone...

As far as the disc volume name goes, that is only available if you scan the media because it is found on the CD/DVD media itself. I was hoping to figure out how to set the volume tags so that the information could be stored for 'quicker' access once the media was scanned the first time. So far that is the one SCSI call I have not been able to get to function. If I ever get that working the process would be that you scan the media once and the process updates the NVRAM tags so that the next time you would get the information back with the Volume tag scan (which is much faster than scanning the media). So far I have not been able to get the update to work and that plan has eluded me. This means that for the moment the media scan is the only option that gets useful information. Currently the grid shows the DVD disc label under the artist column if the metadata lookup succeeds and puts it into the title column if the lookup fails so it is visible only after loading each and every piece of media. NOTE: the software will do this during 'Scan-Run' so if you run a rip process you can follow it up by exporting the titles as an excel file without scanning the media separately...
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post #388 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 01:50 PM
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So am i understanding this correctly, the only thing you can use for CD's in Vista is the manage discs option un DVD's. There is no UI for coverart for CD's??? Can I batch rip my CD's? If so, how?

Thanks

Fran
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post #389 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RuneVitki View Post

I rip all my CD's to high bit rate VBR mp3's (yeah yeah it's not lossless, but I generally don't have the ear for it) and keep that on a NAS.


Whay does NAS stand for?
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post #390 of 1655 Old 03-20-2007, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoRip View Post

So I've been working on this for a while. I used Alex's code and sort of hacked it as best I could. I am NOT a CS I only have had 2 courses in C++ ever. Thing is I don't have a VGP yet. So, here is the code, and everything else you need to run it (I used AutoITScript 3.0). Please someone take it over with more talent than me and make this an awesome open source extension to RipIt4Me. I included Alex's MediaChanger.exe, but if you don't trust me go ahead and download it from him and just place it in the same directory.

I am logge din but can not download the zip file. Can anyone relink it or host it or PM it to me?

Thanks!
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