Rat
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Fri May 09, 2014 9:32 am

I have no doubt that the Leaf player will play a single file from beginning to end, so if you concatenate several files into one, in correct order, it will play that one file in correct chapter order. The question is, will it go from the first "CD" file to the 2nd one and then the 3rd one, etc. in correct order? It's not clear to me from your post that you have done that. There must be something different about audiobook files. Maybe they have "hidden" titles or some metadata the Leaf player reads that messes up the ordering.

Another solution is to get an iPod or mp3 player and use the Aux jack in the Leaf, but I don't want to have to buy another device for this purpose and there is the hassle of plugging and unplugging it every time or security risk of leaving it plugged in and visible. The USB stick is much more convenient.

Maybe the thread title should be changed. I CAN play songs in order. I just can't play audiobook tracks in order from the USB drive.
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Fri May 09, 2014 9:58 am

Randy wrote:On my 2011, the Clarion NAV unit does not respect track ID tags on mp3 files that are on a usb stick. If I want a collection of songs that came from a CD to play in the order that they are on the CD, I put all the tracks in one folder on the stick and then renumber the track names to 01.mp3, 02.mp3, 03.mp3, etc. All the tracks will then play in track numerical order....
This is my experience as well. Tracks in a single folder will play in name/number order (assuming that shuffle and repeat play are turned off, of course) once I select that folder to play. I use tracks ripped to wma and the track numbers placed by the ripping process determine order. The folders, however, play in alphabetical order based on the folder name, unless I select a particular one.

I've found that ripping audio books from CDs is something of an art form, since it is so dependent on folder and file names/numbers. Allowing internet information to fill in those names just leads to frustration.
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Bob
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Fri May 09, 2014 12:23 pm

Rats,

Sorry about the confusion in my last post.

This was easy to do but isn't easy to explain. I started with 9 CDs and ~12 chapters per CD so roughly 100 files. Now I have 9 large tracks on USB rather than 100 small tracks. The 9 large tracks are now playing in sequence, with CD #1 playing first, then CD #2, etc. So I strongly suspect the problem is related to the large number of tracks.

When I converted from CD to mp3, I used mono with very low bit rate for smallest file size. The bit rate is between 30K and 36K BPS. But otherwise, mp3 files are just files in a file system. I can't think of a reason why a music player like the Clarion Nav would treat one mp3 directory entry differently if the content of the file is different.

This weekend, I'll experiment with a small number of music files and then a large number of music files.

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Re: Can't play songs in order

Fri May 23, 2014 4:13 pm

I think that I've figured this out now. Can someone please confirm this with their Leaf/Clarion?

I wrote a USB with many music files in random order. The Clarion head played them in alphabetic order, based on the first characters of the file name.

I added some more songs to the USB and then put it back into the Leaf. The Clarion sorted them correctly. It is NOT playing in the order recorded.

Then I took those same songs and renamed them by adding random numbers in front of the names. So instead of "My Baby.mp3", the name was "01 My Baby.mp3". Sure enough, it sorted the songs by the new number that I gave each song, not the alphabetic name of the song.

Then I took those same songs and renamed them again, this time by adding the words "USB Drive" in front of the name, so "01 My Baby.mp3" became "USB Drive 01 My Baby.mp3". This time, the Clarion played the USB in random order!!!!!

So it appears that the manual is wrong. It doesn't play based on order recorded. It plays based on a sort of the first few characters of the file name, but not the whole name.

From a geek's perspective, that makes sense. It isn't worth their effort to sort based on the whole file name. Most users wouldn't care (just Rat and me). Also, sorting on the whole file name would take a little bit more memory in their tiny computer and a little bit more time when reading the USB. So they just sort on the first few characters. Note: Computer programmers never have enough memory. ;-)

And it explains why my audio book game me trouble, because the tracks on the book were files named "title 1-01", "title 1-02", etc. where title is the book title.

I assume that Clarion updates their software for each model year and each trim line (S, SV, SL) has a different software, too. So this may not apply to all Leaf/Clarion radios.

Again, if anyone could confirm this with their Leaf/Clarion, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Bob

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Re: Can't play songs in order

Fri May 23, 2014 6:19 pm

Excellent research, Bob. That may have been my problem. I naturally assumed that the entire name would be used and named them accordingly, ssection01, section02, etc. Maybe if I renamed them AA, AB, through ZZ it would have worked. As I mentioned, though, now the library software won't allow the files to be copied onto a USB drive, so it all becomes moot.
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Sat May 24, 2014 10:58 am

Bob wrote:So it appears that the manual is wrong. It doesn't play based on order recorded. It plays based on a sort of the first few characters of the file name, but not the whole name.

From a geek's perspective, that makes sense. It isn't worth their effort to sort based on the whole file name. Most users wouldn't care (just Rat and me). Also, sorting on the whole file name would take a little bit more memory in their tiny computer and a little bit more time when reading the USB. So they just sort on the first few characters. Note: Computer programmers never have enough memory.
I suspect that they are sorting on the short (8.3) filename, rather than on the long filename. On FAT32 and NTFS, every long filename is smashed into an equivalent short filename. On Windows you can open a cmd window and run dir /x to see the short names.

And if this indeed the case, then (as a software developer who's worked with embedded systems in the past) I suspect that this is just a bug, and some developer used the wrong filesystem mount option and accidentally got shortnames rather than longnames. I can't imagine any system being built in the last ten years that would purposely sort just the first few characters of a filename to save memory. Even my 5 year old, 2GB $25 MP3 player does better than that, and it's got a tinier computer with less memory than what must be driving the system in the Leaf.
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Rat
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Mon May 26, 2014 5:08 pm

Nissan, are you reading this? Fix it !!! It is certainly the case that the few bytes saved by using short names is insignificant.
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Wed May 28, 2014 4:32 pm

I just got off the phone with Nissan Leaf support about this subject. First, let me say that the support person really tried to get an answer and was extremely polite.

He said that he traded email with someone who knew of the situation and that person said that the Clarion does play the tracks in order, but the order is not based on what we see as the file name, it's based on something else created by the computer. The support person didn't explain short 8.3 file names and may not have understood the concept, but I think that's what he was trying to say.

I asked the support person if the manual for future Leafs could be reworded to correct this, and he assured me that the manual is correct and that I just didn't interpret it correctly. I tried to explain that the manual says that tracks are played in the order that they are written to the USB (2013 SV/SL Nav manual page 143 - "The playback order is the order in which the files were written by the writing software, so the files might not play in the desired order.") He repeated that I didn't understand. Sigh.

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Re: Can't play songs in order

Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:08 pm

I just proved that renaming the files doesn't help. I ripped an audiobook then wrote a program that renamed the files 601, 602, etc. for disk 6 track 1, etc. Then I played them in Windows Media Player, with shuffle off. If these were songs, they would play in order, but even Microsoft doesn't recognize the file names for ordering. As the previous post said, the files are ordered by something the computer does itself. I notice also that the player displays the track being played as "6-01" rather than 601. This is some sort of meta data and is the second half of the original file name. So the whole short name thing is incorrect. I don't know what it is with audiobook files, but they just aren't the same as music files.

I did find a solution, but it's not very convenient. I ripped the audiobook CDs into wma files then used an audio editor to concatenate the files in the correct order. This worked.
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Re: Can't play songs in order

Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:50 pm

Are you guys sure it's not sorting by title (not filename)?
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