As promised earlier today, I have created a new CD using my Mac, this time following the restrictions required by the ISO9660 standard and took it to my local dealer to test. I placed picture files at the root level, placed them inside of folders as well as nested folders within other folders that have files in them. I made sure all folder and file names were no more than 8 characters in length, I use no special characters and used the .JPG extension on all files. I used Toast as the application to burn the CD and selected the ISO9660 level 1 option, the cross-platform standard required.
Well, as the saying goes, I have good news and I have bad news.
First the good: I was able to see all of the folders and files in the 3800's information screen when it came up. I was able to navigate into the folders to the various files and the slide show started and the pictures came up as expected. It was slow, but they do come up.
So, the statement in both the 3800 and 2900 Operating Instructions Manual that says "JPEG files written with a Macintosh computer cannot be played" is incorrect, it does work...sort of anyway.
The bad news: Most, if not all, digital pictures captured by cameras these days will have file names that do not conform to the required 8.3 DOS format from the old days. And this is not a Mac issue, it is the same thing for Windows machines. Personally, I use fairly long file names for my pictures, how else to keep 100 pictures of the grandkids last visit in some sort of order. So rule one, change all of you long file names to no more than 8 characters, a real pain. Next, there has to be a 3 character extension on the file name, either .JPG or .JPE (not sure if the caps are necessary, will have to experiment on the next CD). Macs do not require these extensions, however they can be used, all you have to do is add them in. If you do it up front, no big deal, if you have thousands of existing files, it is. Next, when folders are nested inside of other folders, the navigation via the remote control becomes clumsy, the whole method of displaying and navigating the information screen needs to be reworked to make this feature more user friendly. The more I played with the navigation, the more frustrated I became, surely someone could design a better way to make this work.
Bottom line: Even though playing JPEG still pictures on these DVD players is a minor feature compared to video or audio quality, it is a nice feature to have and sets these unit apart from others. If a player has a feature, in my opinion, it should work as best it can and as implemented right now, it is not that great. It works, even with Mac burned CDs, but not all that well. What is needed is whomever developed this feature needs to go back and rethink how it is implemented, completely rewrite the code and make it user friendly for everyone, Mac users as well as Windows uses. Long file names is a must so the user can simply drag his/her files onto the CD and burn it without have to create all new file names.
It is my somewhat educated guess that both the 3800 and the 2900 will work exactly the same as the documentation is written exactly the same, but we can always hold out hope that the 2900 has improved the code some. Denon Jeff said he would take a look at this on a 2900 when he has an opportunity and let us know.
Sorry for being so long winded, hope it was of value to some.
I completely forgot to mention one other issue I came across, all of the picture files are shown twice in the information screen, one with a camera icon on it and one without. The one with the icon works the other is skipped over. This may be the cause of some of the delay as well. As for what causes two file entries, I think it has to do with the Resource Fork that Mac use, the 3800 is see it as a separate file. More experimentation will be needed to try and eliminate the resource fork if possible