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post #1171 of 1669 Old 04-16-2008, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcus View Post

My version of http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post13548718 I suppose

Are you offering it to others? Seems like Bettra2 needs it. The more choices the better.
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post #1172 of 1669 Old 04-19-2008, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcus View Post

@ Miikun: Thanks, will try this.

Next on the wishlist: a script that takes a HD, creates one ISO image at the time automatically from the top, burns it to the next DVD in the changer, verifies the burn, switches to next, deletes old ISO, and starts over. For those of us who want to backup a small TB of data but don't have an extra disc in that magnitude to store 200 ISO images.

(... eh ... well a 500 GB is so cheap that I probably could buy one extra just for 100 images.)

Strange that you mentioned this, my original thought was to set up an automatic file burning feature, but 200 DVD-Rs are just so expensive compared to an extra HDD, it doesn't seem worthwhile. Nero from the commandline does have a switch to do a post-burn verify, it will generate a error code on return if it hits an error. I used to have the burning script re-burn upon failure to the next blank, but sometimes it's due to a malformed ISO or a problem with the machine (needs a reboot due to a memleak etc.) so I stopped doing that to prevent wasting blanks. I don't think creating ISOs of a HDD really works that well, a better approach would be

C:\\burn (temp space)
d:\\ <- Your drive to backup

Script: Backup disk
Byte counter = 0
Slot counter = -1
Call function Scan folder (D:\\)

Function Scan Folder ($path)
(Use FSO if you're doing this in wscript)
For each file in Folder, sum the sizes to $sum
if $sum + $byte counter > 4.5gb, Call function Burn.
Copy all files to c:\\burn\\$path
$Byte counter += $sum
For each folder in $path, call Scan Folder ($path\\folder)

Function Burn
Loop
Commandshell mediachanger load $Slot Counter += 1
return = Commandshell Nerocmd.exe Burn -verify c:\\burn
Until return=0
Commandshell dir /s c:\\burn > c:\\$slotcounter.txt (in case you're looking for a certain file)
Delete all files in c:\\burn (probably quickest to do a rmdir /s /q c:\\burn then md c:\\burn)
Byte Counter = 0

Use any scripting language you want, it should work. Set your 4.5gb threshold a bit conservatively, since optical media uses large blocks I think, so files probably always use some multiple of the blocksize (dunno, 2k like ISO9660? It's UDF though, no idea). You'll probably have lots of small files that will bulk up. Ongoing, you'll want to do something like selecting only files where date_last_modified > date on my last backup. Pretty straightforward, but again, I'm not sure it's worth the blanks. Maybe once we find a way to cram a blu-ray writer in the chassis, and the blanks drop in price.
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post #1173 of 1669 Old 04-21-2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miikun View Post

Strange that you mentioned this, my original thought was to set up an automatic file burning feature, but 200 DVD-Rs are just so expensive compared to an extra HDD, it doesn't seem worthwhile.

DVDs are less expensive than a HDD, so it is the hassle not the cost I think. For backup purposes DVDs have the benefits of being read-only, and also being a different medium than my primary storage.

Of course, it is easier to copy another TB drive (of a different brand), put it in a sealed box and drive it off-site to my mother's out in the farmlands.
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post #1174 of 1669 Old 04-30-2008, 10:02 AM
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Has anyone found a way to adjust one of these changers? Mine is having trouble loading disks -- it goes through all the motions, but never manages to get the disk into the drive. Having opened it up, I can see that it's misaligned, and trying to insert the disk about 1mm off from the slot.

I've tried to get warranty service on this, and started a case while I was still under warranty, but Sony has never responded to my requests and I'm not certain I have time to fight them. Better, if possible, to learn how to adjust the transport.

-- Dan
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post #1175 of 1669 Old 05-02-2008, 08:55 PM
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I'm wondering if one of you can help me. I just installed my xl1b3 and am having problems keeping Vista Premium connected to it. It will start to scan my titles and then hang at different times during scan (sometimes 1 disc, sometimes 15 discs) I go in the event log and it says that sbp2port.sys has timed out. If I uninstall the drivers in device manager, I can get it to show up again. Also, it does show up like a regular DVD drive in MCE and explorer after it loses conenction, just no media changer. I already have all of the vista updates and even tried some hotfixes (niveus seems to have a similiar issue) with no avail. I'm using a rosewill RC-502 PCI firewire card. Thanks for the help
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post #1176 of 1669 Old 05-03-2008, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpc131 View Post

I'm wondering if one of you can help me. I just installed my xl1b3 and am having problems keeping Vista Premium connected to it. It will start to scan my titles and then hang at different times during scan (sometimes 1 disc, sometimes 15 discs) I go in the event log and it says that sbp2port.sys has timed out. If I uninstall the drivers in device manager, I can get it to show up again. Also, it does show up like a regular DVD drive in MCE and explorer after it loses conenction, just no media changer. I already have all of the vista updates and even tried some hotfixes (niveus seems to have a similiar issue) with no avail. I'm using a rosewill RC-502 PCI firewire card. Thanks for the help

I'm curious what software you are using - native Vista, or also mc/GUI or other?

Anyway, these beasts are notorious for being timing sensitive. You can read the blog of previous MS engineers who wrote the drivers and they talk about how hard it was. And I'm having a "*^*" of a time updating mediachanger.exe for Powerfile due to those issues.

If you haven't already, try these:

(1) If you have any unknown devices or disabled devices in device manager, delete them. Power down all changers and the PC. Then power on the changer(s) and reboot. You might have to do it more than once! This sometimes clears things up, giving you a few hours/days of trouble-free use. But as soon as the application software goofs up a command or timing, it will happen again.

(2) There is a post somewhere in this thread about deleting upper and lower filters. Try that - it may also enhance the stability.

The internal design of these changers is amazingly simple. However, the control logic for all that electro-mechanical operation does not seem to be able to compensate for timing variations that can occur due to physics. Briiliant concept - they just didn't perfect it.
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post #1177 of 1669 Old 05-04-2008, 04:05 PM
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Media Dogg,

Thanks for the tips. I kept doing what you have posted and finally got all of my media scanned. After it finished scanning, its been working really well (keeps fingers crossed) Thanks alot for the help
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post #1178 of 1669 Old 05-24-2008, 02:27 PM
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Edit 18th September 2008: Bugfixed the September version

Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post
Are you offering it to others? Seems like Bettra2 needs it. The more choices the better.
Yeah ... now I think I can.



This is an AutoIT script I have written to automatize dBpoweramp using Alex Wetmore's MediaChanger.exe (nowadays distributed by MediaDogg). It can call an external DVD ripper too -- you might of course use AutoIT's DirCopy function or the OS' built-in copy (I think).
- No, I am not very proud of it.
- No, I am no good at coding.
- No, I do not intend to offer massive support. Read the source code.
  • NOTE: It overwrites media files (to turn it off, change the source code)
  • NOTE: Use at your own risk or not at all (consider this a piece of software you don't have any license to use, except that no-one will charge you for doing so).
  • Did I say "read the source code"?

===

Q: Why dBoink?

  • "oink" because I call myself Porcus. Not a name because it deserves one, but because a generic file name like "ripper" could be confusing.

Q: Argh ... the question was 'why use it?' Doesn't dBpoweramp offer a working Batch Ripper?
  • Yep. But last time I tried Batch Ripper beta (months ago, I know) it could not copy bonus tracks in the track 1 pregap aka "hidden track one audio" (HTOA) aka "track 0", nor data tracks. Furthermore, I found it slow to read the logs, especially when a CD was rejected and the numbering not in sync with the changer's slot numbering.
  • The dBoink script does copy HTOA (the Matshita drive in the XL1B* is capable).
  • As for data tracks, they are copied; if you use my folder/file naming scheme, they end up inside the album folder with a quite natural name (00 Data track appended to the title). With your folder/file naming scheme: just test and see, and maybe change the source code.
  • It recognizes DVDs, so if you have a DVD ripper with command line -- or no region issues etc., in which case you can use a simple directory copy -- then CDs with bonus DVDs may be loaded into the Sony and have them ripped in order. You have to provide the application yourself though.
  • Furthermore, it takes a sceenshot when done with a CD, and saves it to .gif and saves some .txt files for post-batch review. These may leave some false positives though.

Q: Any good reason why NOT use dBoink?
  • Sure. This is a dirty buggy application, it might not work as you want it, it opens and manipulates windows on a computer you might want to use for something else, it is unsupported, now do you need more reasons to use dBpoweramp's BatchRipper instead?
  • You might have to re-write a bit depending on folder/file naming. In particular, I have not made any attempts to get it working with other folder/file naming patterns than the one listed below, and e.g. various artists patterns which do not obey "one folder per CD" will malfunction on data tracks and .gif-log naming.
  • And did I mention "own risk"?


===

* How to use it?
  • Application tailored to the paid Reference version of dBpoweramp (also works with the current -- as of September 6th -- R13.1 Beta). The Reference is worth the cost, and I have not bothered to check how this script works with the free version (_one_ pause wrong and everything could fail here).
  • To use the script, copy the txt file and the exe to the same directory (AutoIT3 source code is included in the zip file, but is not needed for running, but you should have a look at it). Open the txt and edit the paths etc. Configure dBpoweramp (see below), leave it open, double-click the .exe and off you go.
  • After the batch, the last CD is left in the drive (just so you can check where it ended, in case abnormal). Review the .gif and/or log files for errors. It does bug sometimes, omitting CDs. By all means, use complete logs in dBpoweramp.
  • The "_tmp" folder can be removed after ripping. I have not bothered to do so automatically, it might be that you want to have a look -- it contains data tracks.


===

* Hints for dBpoweramp configuration for use with this script
  • I use one folder for each CD, so that they go into the root folder in the order they are ripped (then I sort by time). This is essential to get data tracks and logging correct -- it picks the most-recently changed folder.
  • The application *will* overwrite files, so I use the [cddb_id] tag in the folder name to make semi-sure that the Unknown Artist entries don't overwrite each other, and to locate CDs spread over multiple folders (in my setup, it does happen when a HTOA is present, due to the PerfectMeta bug). You might also use the [unique] tag, or tag with AccurateRipDiscID.
  • Also, since the .gif files provide a pretty quick visual log for browsing while ejecting to verify that the application has picked metadata for the right disc, you might want to display a few other fields than the default. Myself I show
    Title -- Length -- Rip Status -- CRC -- Estimated size -- a near-collapsed Comments -- Composer -- Track Technical -- ISRC -- Filename,
    at least so much of the latter that the CDDB_ID part of the folder name is visible (for Unknown Artist).
  • The Track Technical will show whether the disc is recorded with Pre-Emphasis (which dBpoweramp does *not* support! and does not log, hence this is the only way to detect it I think) or as HDCD (which you can encode on-the-fly with the HDCD DSP, and you *should* do it as it is nowhere logged).
  • Do not pop-up logs after ripping. Application will not close them. (Well, this could have been improved, as a test for when ripping is completed.)
  • Turn off FreeDB, due to the need for user interaction. If you want to use FreeDB, either (1) use a tagging program afterwards (I use Mp3Tag) or (2) cycle through the CDs and set metadata first, and use the dBpoweramp cache as metadata source -- warning: in that case, 200 CDs is too much and will flush the cache.
  • My -- quite esoteric -- naming scheme is [IFVALUE]album artist,[album artist],[artist][] [[year]] ~ [album][IFMULTI] [Disc [disc]][] ~ [cddb_id]\\[IFVALUE]album artist,[album artist],[artist][] [[year]] ~ [album][IFMULTI] [Disc [disc]][] ~ [track] ~ [title] for non-compilations. I use "~" for field separation, because they are less likely than hyphens to be part of the metadata itself. (To *n*x users who find the tilde sacred: I am too pragmatic).
  • Compilations and classical music is best ripped separately, with separate naming schemes. Do not trust the IFCOMP in the naming scheme, as it relies on the metadata providers being able to flag compilations correctly. They aren't.

 

dBoink-2008--09--18.zip 321.4150390625k . file
Attached Files
File Type: zip dBoink-2008--09--18.zip (321.4 KB, 7 views)
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post #1179 of 1669 Old 06-02-2008, 09:30 AM
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More misalignment problems.

I'm having the same problem and the only solution I can find is an old post that explains a very complicated alignment procedure that a poster tried right after and said it failed. Several requests for pictures of the procedure were never answered. Is that really the only way to fix this problem? Does it in fact work?

The misalignemnt is seriously screwing with my ability to use the great help that Media Dogg and Shizzle and the rest of you folks on this great thread have so generously provided. Any help much appreciated.

thanks,
Kevin
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post #1180 of 1669 Old 06-03-2008, 09:15 AM
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Hollingshead,

I have one unit that has had alignment problems and I can confirm that the outlined process works. Having said that I should also say that the process is imprecise, and I did have to try several times to get it right. I beleive this problem results from a design flaw, but fortunately it does not seem to happen to a large percentage of the devices. I own five and only one of them has had this problem (ever). Unfortunately the aligment problem reccurs on that one.

The recurrence is probably my fault though, I only performed the alignment process, I really did not want to do the hardware modification it recommended (using a dremel to make a slot to lock the cogwheel in place). As a result the alignment of that system drifts from time to time. It looks to me like the stepper motor shaft is not fluted and the cogwheel is simply pressure fitted and tends to slip on some units due to manufacturing variations. In my unit the alignment seems to drift when there is a jam during the loading process. The firmware 'jogs' the tray as a part of its attempt to recover from load failures. Unfortunately if the disc is already partially in the drive or the export slot that jogging exerts force with the media acting as a brake... The result is that the pressure fitted cogwheel 'slips' and alignment wanders.
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post #1181 of 1669 Old 06-03-2008, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzle View Post

... the alignment of that system drifts from time to time. It looks to me like the stepper motor shaft is not fluted and the cogwheel is simply pressure fitted and tends to slip on some units due to manufacturing variations. In my unit the alignment seems to drift when there is a jam during the loading process. The firmware 'jogs' the tray as a part of its attempt to recover from load failures. Unfortunately if the disc is already partially in the drive or the export slot that jogging exerts force with the media acting as a brake... The result is that the pressure fitted cogwheel 'slips' and alignment wanders.

Hot dog. Man that was one of the most precisely worded, information packed and helpful posts I have seen in a long time. Bravo!
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post #1182 of 1669 Old 06-03-2008, 10:47 AM
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Wow Shizzle, I concur with MediaDogg. That is one helpful post. Two key points:
1. The process works, and
2. I'll probably need to do it again.

That's all I need.

Thanks much,
Kevin
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post #1183 of 1669 Old 06-16-2008, 10:28 PM
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I know there is a way to load DVD's by pressing the button twice.

Has anyone figured out a way to get the device to go through all the discs and challenge its beliefs on what is in each slot?

The alignment issue my device becomes much more noticeable when it is full; if it only has around 100 or so discs, it is easy to push disks into the right slot.

As alignment only seems to creep up on loading or unloading, I was hoping to just manually fill the device with discs.

Of course if I do that, the device will think all the slots are still blank. Unless someone has found a tricky way to rethink things?
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post #1184 of 1669 Old 06-16-2008, 10:54 PM
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Does anyone have any recommendations for batch ripping DVD's to DIVX files? I am guessing MediaDoggs ScanBatch script would come in handy, but would love a recommendation on what tool to use with it (or if there is another tool altogether?).
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post #1185 of 1669 Old 06-16-2008, 11:12 PM
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I tried to install the Vista CD for this device (posted as an ISO on this forum) and got a PX Installer Error.

1. Is there a definitive answer on whether this software is helpful or harmful?

2. If it is helpful, any ideas on fixing the error?
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post #1186 of 1669 Old 06-18-2008, 06:57 AM
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Adam78,

I believe the firmware of the device uses the load and unload functions as its clue to flag the slot as full in the NVRAM, so I suspect manually loading will not work very easily. It may be possible, but I never really tried to see if I could do that...

As far as unloading goes, I have 'yanked' media from mine without the lid on and it definitely confuses the device. What I have done in the past is pulled out all of the media and then used a script to tell the device to unload all slots one at a time. The robot will go through the motions and update the state, which is slow, but since the media is gone it does not take as long to poll the slots and you can start it and leave the area to do something else, so it worked out to be much more convenient and slightly quicker than using the regular unload features. It also definitely avoids the possiblity of aligment problems that can happen during bulk unload (I have one flaky unit that has that problem from time to time).

You may even be able to manually load the media and then try loading the slots, but that probably would not be a whole lot faster than using the import slot. I beleive my Delphi will attempt a load operation on a slot even if the changer identifies it as empty, so you may be able to combine that with manual loading. I really never thought to try that. The biggest problem you would have doing that is that the changer tray does not locate the media addresses sequentially, it seems to skip 8-10 slots between one slot address and the next, so figuring out which slots to have the software load would be difficult... Unless of course you load the entire tray that way, then you might be able to just scan all of them to get the state consistent. This would avoid the use of the import slot, but the scan could still hit the same alignment problems so it may not be any better.

(I don't use Vista, so I have no idea about your other question)
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post #1187 of 1669 Old 06-18-2008, 10:24 AM
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Adam78,

Shizzle has described very clearly what's going on with the shaft and cogwheel. I recall way back in some thread about somebody using crazy glue. At that time I was not able to visualize what he meant, but after Shizzle's post, it has occured to me that what he was probably doing was trying to fix that cogwheel to the shaft so that it didn't slip. Have you thought about trying something like that?
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post #1188 of 1669 Old 06-18-2008, 10:32 AM
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@Shizzle,

Hey, what do you think about this idea?

Since I'm guessing that more and more people will start hitting this design flaw as their units age, maybe we could start experimenting with a software "compensate" mode.

The software would always try to keep the transport aligned by swinging opposite after each move. So, for example, if I move slot 10 to the drive, after it is mounted, the software would insert a "move transport" back to slot 10. This might tend to equalize the slippage +slip and -slip = approx. 0.

Could this help?
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post #1189 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 06:47 AM
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@MDog
It could help with the 'routine' slippage, but in my case the slippage seems to mostly happen with jams and is not uniform or predictable. I also noticed that when my changer is out of alignment the actual distance offset of the alignment is not uniform across addresses. What I mean is that the early slots would be close to being in alignment while higher numbers would be farther and farther out of alignment. That was one of the reasons I hesitated to make any physical modifications to my unit, I was not sure there wasn't also another problem (like a failing stepper motor or it's driver chip which could cause this). I wanted to add re-homing to my application and tried to several times, but I could never figure out a SPTI call that would tell the device to actually reinitialize itself (ie. perform the same recalibration spin it does when powered on). I suspect that would help more than simply rotating the tray because that uses an actual optical sensor to determine the tray position and identify the stepper position.

Some time ago you mentioned communicating with a Powerfile developer, if you still have contact with that person I would be interested in asking about generating an IOCTL call for a recalibration (if there is one), and also for IOCTL information to update the volume tags... I tried most of what I found in the T10 material and even tried tracing PowerRipper, but nothing I tried seems to work for those two things even though everything else about the changer follows T10 standards pretty closely.

I don't know if anyone thought of asking, but often when companies fold like Powerfile did, it is sometimes possible to buy their remaining service parts or in some cases even designs and production rights. I really think changer is a great device and that Sony ran away from it before it could catch on. Maybe if several of us got together we could find a way to do that... If your Powerfile developer has any actual contact with the remnants of the company he may be able to make the contact to try that as well. (Assuming anyone else was interested that is). If nothing they could be a source to buy some parts to keep our own units running as they age...

@Adam78
As I recall the mod was described as using a dremel to build a slot on the top of both the shaft and wheel and laying a short pin in it that was secured with crazy glue. I did not want to do that because it allows no room for error, if the positioning is not perfect you are making the problems permanent... I did try just using crazy glue alone, but that really won't work because it just becomes a film at the top of the stepper shaft and does not bond the plastic gear to the metal shaft.

Hey guys, I have a truly strange story for you... My changer jammed two weeks ago after operating flawlessly for some time. I assumed it has shifted alignment again, but that was not the issue. I run this changer in a utility area that sits near a crawl space, and I had been running it with the cover off due to past alignment problems. When I went to check on it I found that my new problem was different... A 3 foot+ black racer snake had coiled up inside the changer and taken up residence !! I guess he was looking for a warm spot... The moral (if there is one) is never run the changer coverless in these areas, but I'll bet none of you bumped into that jamming problem before...
(I nearly had kittens when he tried to snap at my LED work light)
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post #1190 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 07:20 AM
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@shizzle,

Ok, got it. The only two commands I am aware of for medium changers is reinitialize element and initailize transport (or something like that). I couldn't get either one of them to work.

If you make the changer characteristics IO call, I believe you will see that the changers do not implement the reset feature. It was a while ago, but you might want to double check. The command is a pain in the butt to implement, because you have to decode a bit stream with a bunch of flags. If I can find that code snippet, I'll post it.

On another topic, I have found out about the WMI interface of XP and Vista. You can get just about any information about any and all system devices and services, basically using a SQL call. I will post a couple of simple code snippets for AutoIt and C# that get things like drive letter, serial number, drive label, etc. It is very easy to get a lot of information about CDROM devices and associate the drive letter with the changer drive.

Edit: As far as parts, I only found parts for the Sony at PartStore.com. You can almost rebuild a Sony for about $400. I tried to replace a C200 firewire board with the Sony board, and the C200 booted up as a Sony - one drive worked, but the changer driver got confused. So I took it back out. The transport board is $110, so maybe someday I will get that one. That will basically convert the Powerfile C200 into a Sony box, including the limitation to 1 drive and only two firewire ports.

So far, I have not found any transport parts - just the PCB boards, power supply and drive assembly.
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post #1191 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 07:56 AM
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Yes, I couldn't get the standard calls to work either. Even so, PowerRipper manages to set the tags, so there must be some slightly 'special' way to do it. I had looked at WMI at one point, but it varies from one version of windows to another and some parts of it are services that can be turned off so I chose to hit the drivers instead because I wanted to avoid problems. It does look like a good interface for some things though, it is probably easier than registry acces for the drive mapping process.
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post #1192 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzle View Post

Maybe if several of us got together we could find a way to do that... If your Powerfile developer has any actual contact with the remnants of the company he may be able to make the contact to try that as well. (Assuming anyone else was interested that is). If nothing they could be a source to buy some parts to keep our own units running as they age...

I like the idea of getting people together for the purpose of completely replacing the two controller boards: drive and changer. Use commercial-off-the-shelf parts. Simple, open, well documented hardware will make it easy for any kind of developer to contribute. I have a few ideas of how to do this but it would certainly require work of several people.

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Originally Posted by MediaDogg View Post

I tried to replace a C200 firewire board with the Sony board, and the C200 booted up as a Sony - one drive worked, but the changer driver got confused. So I took it back out. The transport board is $110, so maybe someday I will get that one. That will basically convert the Powerfile C200 into a Sony box, including the limitation to 1 drive and only two firewire ports.

Hah-hah, I did a similar thing a few months back but just the opposite. I bought a PowerFile for the sole purpose of putting its fw-ide bridge into the Sony changer. If you recall, previously I had combined the guts of two Sony changers so that it could support two drives. yadda, yadda, yadda ... as you just stated, the Sony fw-ide bridge is configured to only support one drive. I tried a variety of different flash programs to get it support two drives but got nowhere. Even tried swapping it with the fw-ide bridge from the PowerFile. Didn't work. It seems that the two boards have some way of identifying each other. As you were saying, the firewire board and transport board need to go with each other as a pair. That said, I guess one could replace Sony boards with the Powerfile boards and it should support two drives.

The ultimate solution: replace the fw-ide bridge with a new bridge that supports both firewire and USB; replace the transport (changer) board with a simple development board that you can talk to via a simple serial port. I know, a serial port sounds archaic but you don't need a high speed bus for simple changer commands. The Kubik 240 disk media changer did it this way with a SCSI bus and a serial port. It was soooo easy for development. The serial port wouldn't have to be rs232 either. It could be the multi-drop rs422/485 so one could support several changers. I'm sure there are a number of ways to do this, just tossing ideas about
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post #1193 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 02:07 PM
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I see the mention of parts purchasing in that last post.
Where did you guys buy the parts ?

I would llove to get some spares since these products are discontinued. I was wanting to get a spare stepper motor and gear so I could go to town on modding my cranky changer without worrying about actually 'killing it'. If I had a spare board and some time I would also love to hack at the controller firmware and see if I could make it handle those few missing functions I was looking for (renit and tag updates)...

I know there is a flash updating tool out there to flash these things to v107, but has anyone ever tried to disassemble that to see if it contains the full firmware code for this device ? --- hacking that could be a useful exercise.

Edit: Just saw your note about Partstore.com could not find the board there, but I did find a belt, motor, and eject mechanism... Do you happen to have the part number for the controller ?
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post #1194 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 04:44 PM
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@shizzle
Go here and do a model search for "xl1b". Both the XL1B2 and XL1B3 links provide the same firewire board. However, the XL1B3 offers another one that could be the Assy Controller PCB. I can't be sure. They call it "MS70 PCB CAP DC-IN PLUG" (PN: 289709701).

As for that flash update, I believe you're talking about flash on the DVD drive, right? It's been a while but I know I upgraded mine about a year ago. I think it went from v104 to v107. AFAIK, it's not necessary. My main interest is updating that fw-ide bridge. I followed some of the links here but none of them will work with this bridge for some reason.
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post #1195 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 07:16 PM
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I realize that this thread is for the Sony XL1Bx CD/DVD changers. However I have a PowerFile R200 (on which I believe the sony is based). What I need is some software to operate the unit. When I connect it to my XP Pro system it is recognised in that I now have a new CD drive and a new DVD drive shown in Explorer. But I have no way to load a disc from the carosel to one of the drives. I have purchase the dbPoweramp software hoping to use it for batch ripping using this device. Obviously the dbPoweramp software is useless until I figure out how to load a disc.

I have no idea where to go from here as there just does not seem to be any software available for these devices (except for the not so cheap PowerExplorer by Mammoth software). Can anyone here help with some software suggestions and/or instructions on how to get this thing working.

Thanks,
Steve

Steve
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post #1196 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sredmyer View Post

Can anyone here help with some software suggestions and/or instructions on how to get this thing working

I just got a PowerFile recently, but it's a C200. I believe the app, Mediachanger GUI, on MediaDogg's site is supposed to work with the PowerFiles too. Check it out here. I'm using mine with Linux right now but I do plan to try it with a WinXP install soon, and I'll most like use the Mediachanger GUI. Please post your results here if you try it and works / doesn't work, I'd like to know
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post #1197 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 08:08 PM
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For anyone interested in messing with the fw-ide bridge pcb in the changer, I just found some interesting details about it today. Here's a pic of it running outside of the changer. Just had to apply ground to pin #1 (red wire) or #2. Then apply 5 volts to pin #3 or #4. I got this card for cheap (~$15) off eBay so I could play with reflashing the firmware without having to worry about killing the changer's existing pcb. I also don't need to have a full changer at my desk. Still need to get a smaller power supply
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post #1198 of 1669 Old 06-19-2008, 08:37 PM
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Weehooo!! Lots of action around here!

Ok,

@ sredmyer - yes, mc/GUI056x attempts to support C200 / R200. Seems to work better on XP Professional / MCE. Not so well on Vista, so far. Keep iun mind that the firewire / SCSI boards in the Powerfiles are not as robust as the Sony. They get confused easily. Forget about seamless hot-plug and power on/off cycles. Nothing but a power off/shutdown/power on/reboot will get you back. Well not entirely true - sometimes you can uninstall the sick device and scan for hardware changes. Right now, I have one Sony, one C200 and one R200 hooked up to SEPARATE firewire ports on a laptop running XP Pro, and I can control all drives and changers - sort of. Still a few bugs in mc/GUI.

@kejava - sounds like a fun project, but I think the transport logic and timing would be difficult. I would not want to spend my time on that. We had Powerfile, Microsoft and Sony all collaborating to make those beasts function at least at the level that we have them now. I think I would prefer to try and adapt to what is there. I mean at some point, I actullay want to get around to using the darn things - not just writing code!!!

Now that my C200 is kind of usable, I can return my loaner R200 and then use the C200 as a test rig to explore Blu-Ray. I have two ideas at this point: (1) Use a MAC-style slot loading drive attached in front of the eject slot. The C200 pushes the disc way out there - I think far enough for a slot-loading drive to grab it, The rest is all a matter of code and synchronization. The eject solenoid presents lots of mechanical or electrical options for devising a sensor to prevent collisions. (2) remove one or both of the C200 drive guts, leaving the disc insertion/retraction electronics and hardware in place. The slot-loding drive would have to be mounted (tight fit I think) directly in line with the insertion arm track. With this arrangement, I'll bet that you could plug them right into the IDE pins on the 1394 board and use the changer as normal. (If a SATA drive, there would have to be a SATA-IDE adapter - they are small and work well).

Now if that works, next game would be to fit a mini-PC contoller and A/V controller inside the cabinet. I estimate this to cost $1500 with one BD drive, or $2500 with two - at today's prices for slot-loading BD drive. Or, I will just wait until Sony lowers the price of the HES (now $3500).

re flash update: Yes there was an old firewire / firmware update on the SONY web site for the 1B1 for MCE 2005 (XP Pro base). Not sure if it is still there. That package included a firmware update for the changer along with DOS-based update utility. There are also firmware update fpr the MATSHITA drives.

re parts:

Power Supply: A-1158-461-A
1394 PCB: A-1158-460-A ($68)
Controller PCB: A-1158-459-A ($112)
Drive assembly: A-1158-462-A ($278)

Part numbers are from Sony Disassembly & Assembly Manual - found using Google - about $18

3.6v lithium battery needs replacing every 5 years or so. I found one for $6 at ElectronicsNMore.com. Brought my C200 back to life.
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post #1199 of 1669 Old 06-20-2008, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
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Adam78,

I believe the firmware of the device uses the load and unload functions as its clue to flag the slot as full in the NVRAM, so I suspect manually loading will not work very easily. It may be possible, but I never really tried to see if I could do that...

Shizzle, you seem to have a pretty good handle on working with embedded systems. Do you have any ideas for me on somone wanted to get started? I have a software development background and some electronics. Do you know what tools I would need to start experimenting? Dump the firmware on the device? Force different gate states, etc?

Quote:
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(I don't use Vista, so I have no idea about your other question)

To answer my own question, the PX Engine is part of Sonic's burning engine. Bleh, don't really care about that. There are plenty of other burning solutions. So the Sony software is pretty much useless I think.
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post #1200 of 1669 Old 06-20-2008, 09:25 AM
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Just as I asked Shizzle, I noticed on Slashdot today someone posted a similar question.

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/ar.../06/20/1327207
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