Strange and alarming error.

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heyyou
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Strange and alarming error.

Post by heyyou » Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:51 am

For some reason, sometimes my songs get spliced together! For example, I was listening to an ODB album, and in one song at about the 56 second mark Daft Punk played for about 2 seconds before switching back to the original song. I went back and the 2 seconds of Daft Punk were still in the song. I played it in another player and the Daft Punk was still spliced in! I only use Play as my primary player, and many of these songs were freshly added to my library and worked without the splice prior to this. I'm confused as to how this happened and would like to know if there is anything I can do to avoid this! It seems to irreparably change the MP3.

heyyou
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by heyyou » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:13 am

I should also note this strange glitch happened on a few other tracks, as well.

RonaldPR
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by RonaldPR » Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:22 am

I have not noticed the kind of splicing you describe but... indeed, something is definitively wrong with Play, at least with the latest instable version(s) that I use, at present r948.

Because of your posting here, I checked modification dates on my music files, all FLAC files. Files that I played recently have modification dates around the time they were played with Play. Those modification dates are months, in some cases years, after the files were created or intentionally modified by adding or editing tags. I did not use any other application with these files recently, only played them with Play.

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sbooth
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by sbooth » Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:40 pm

RonaldPR wrote:I have not noticed the kind of splicing you describe but... indeed, something is definitively wrong with Play, at least with the latest instable version(s) that I use, at present r948.

Because of your posting here, I checked modification dates on my music files, all FLAC files. Files that I played recently have modification dates around the time they were played with Play. Those modification dates are months, in some cases years, after the files were created or intentionally modified by adding or editing tags. I did not use any other application with these files recently, only played them with Play.
I don't think anything is wrong with Play- the way that Play works is once a value in a track is updated, the metadata is written out to the file. So, for example, once a track finishes playing and its play count and last played date are updated, Play saves the new metadata to its database and to the file as well. Since different formats support different subsets of the metadata stored by Play internally, for many of the updates (maybe 99% of the time) nothing new or different is being written to the file. Play could possibly be smarter about things, and only update the files when metadata that is actually stored in the file is updated.

If this isn't what users expect, then I could add a preference that would only save the metadata to a file if the preference was enabled or that 'Save metadata' was explicitly selected.

As far as the audio splicing goes, Play never touches the audio portions of files. For the MP3 format Play uses MAD to decode and taglib for reading/writing tags. I am not aware of any taglib issues that lead to file corruption. Is there any way that you can reproduce the problem reliably?

RonaldPR
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by RonaldPR » Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:49 pm

sbooth wrote:I don't think anything is wrong with Play- the way that Play works is once a value in a track is updated, the metadata is written out to the file. So, for example, once a track finishes playing and its play count and last played date are updated, Play saves the new metadata to its database and to the file as well.
This does not seem right to me. An audio file should not be modified by a player without explicit authorization by the user saving changes. In fact, playing an audio file should modify it at all, just like an image file should not be modified by a viewer or a text document should not be modified by a reader without the user's confirmation.

Why are these particular metadata written to the file? These are data needed by Play only and the information should be written to Play's library only. I do not expect or want data written to any file on my computer by just playing, viewing or reading its content and I am quite certain that that is true for most users.

I did not realize Play does this. I will stop using Play until this is solved.

heyyou
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by heyyou » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:11 am

While I cannot find the direct cause of the Splice, I cannot see how it could be anything other than Play, considering it is the only program I have used to interact with the files in any way since they entered my computer. The two songs spliced have no interaction with one another other than through Play. They are located in different folders, different areas of the computer, and the only thing they share in common is that they are both a part of my Play library and I have played both files in Play (I believe on the same playlist, though I don't want to confirm this until I'm sure!). The other song I know this happened with happened to Splice with itself. A later part of the song plays for the first few seconds, and then the song continues as normal. So I have two splices, one with completely different artists, one within the same song.

As a disclaimer, I love the program. The fact that I use it as my main audio player should tell you this. Thank you so much for creating it! I merely want to be able to use the program in confidence without fear of my songs becoming destroyed by such a strange glitch. Also, as you seem to have asked if we'd like a check box asking if you should save metadata, yes, I believe this would be a great feature. Thanks for asking! Hopefully my primary problem can be resolved fully.

heyyou
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by heyyou » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:22 am

UPDATE: May have found the problem?

I'm thinking that maybe when Play updates a file's metadata, it occasionally changes the file enough that my torrenting program will re-download the 'missing' portion. When it did this, perhaps it accidentally downloaded a chunk of another torrent by mistake? Therefore, the only fault of Play's would be the changing of the metadata? I'm thinking this may be the problem, in which case the solution would simply be to add the checkbox you mentioned before.

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sbooth
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by sbooth » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:12 am

RonaldPR wrote:This does not seem right to me. An audio file should not be modified by a player without explicit authorization by the user saving changes. In fact, playing an audio file should modify it at all, just like an image file should not be modified by a viewer or a text document should not be modified by a reader without the user's confirmation.

Why are these particular metadata written to the file? These are data needed by Play only and the information should be written to Play's library only. I do not expect or want data written to any file on my computer by just playing, viewing or reading its content and I am quite certain that that is true for most users.
These metadata are not written to the file; Play did, however, touch the files whenever any metadata changed.

I've given some thought to your points above and I think you are correct. I'm about to commit changes that will cause metadata to be written to files only in four cases:
  • The user selects 'Edit Metadata' and clicks OK
  • The user looks up a track on MusicBrainz and clicks OK
  • The user calculates replay gain
  • The user calculates PUIDs

heyyou
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by heyyou » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:16 am

That sounds like a great idea. Thank you for addressing our concerns so fully. As I said before, great program and thanks for all your hard work on it.

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sbooth
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by sbooth » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:39 am

r964 is posted which incorporates the changes described above.

heyyou
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Re: Strange and alarming error.

Post by heyyou » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:59 pm

Thank you for the expeditious results!

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