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Slow Startup, crashing on adding files, losing files

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:06 pm
by dsgoen
I'm using Decibel v1.2.3 (23) on a 2010 Mac Mini with 4GB RAM. I've loaded about 1/4th of my tracks (4,423 tracks). I would have uploaded more, but Decibel keeps crashing on me when I try to load large amounts at once. Also, if I add files successfully, and then load more files and get a crash, then all of the files are missing when Decibel reopens. In other words, say I have 123 files loaded. I add a few directories. Now I have 855 tracks loaded. Now I try to add more tracks. Decibel crashes. I reopen Decibel. It only has the original 123 files. So, I have to close Decibel between each successful addition of files or the database reverts back to what it was when the program was last closed.

As I mentioned, I currently have 4,423 tracks loaded, with a total playing time of 337:46:33. When I open Decibel, it takes approximately 10 minutes before the tracks display, the little "I'm Busy" icon in the lower left quits spinning, and I can use the program. I can only assume that this will take even longer if I manage to get all of my tracks loaded.

I unchecked the load track the "Load files in memory" option. This has no effect on the time it takes to initially load the program. According to Activity Monitor, Decibel is taking about 517.2 MB of real memory, although there's another 200 MB or so of memory that disappears from the Free space when I start up Decibel.

Are any of these problems typical? Does the 1.2.4 beta address any of them? Is there anything at all I can do to fine-tune this program?


Re: Slow Startup, crashing on adding files, losing files

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:18 pm
by sbooth
Crashes aside, Decibel is functioning as designed. The current version is not a music library manager like iTunes or Play, so there is no database with all of your music information saved to disk. What this means is that each time Decibel is opened, every individual track is scanned and re-added to the playlist. In the future I will add support for large music libraries, where the music information is scanned once and saved to a database, but the current version is not designed to handle large (> 1,000 perhaps) tracks at one time.

I think there is a bug in the library that Decibel uses to parse M4A files. I have not been able to track down a specific file that causes a crash, but most crashes I've seen recently occur during M4A tag parsing. Did your crashes occur while adding M4A files? If so, and if you have a file that triggers a crash I would love to see it so I can fix the crashing issues.

Re: Slow Startup, crashing on adding files, losing files

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:10 am
by dsgoen
I allowed the automatic crash reporting data to report to sbooth. A day later, I received an email telling me what the problem was! This is the way support should work, but I have never experienced it before! I feel exclamation-mark-crazy just thinking about it!

For the record, I had some errant MP3 files hiding where they didn't belong, and Decibel crashed while trying to read their tags. Crashing is not the best way of dealing with errors, but I didn't want to add them in the first place, so I guess it's a draw.

Great service! I'm going to add a Firewire 800 attached drive to my Mac Mini instead of relying on my poor excuses of NAS drives, which I'm finding are greatly speed challenged due to their processor. That should help load time. I just have to decide if I want to load Decibel every time I use it rather than rely on another solution that already has support for large libraries. Yesterday, I would have said no to Decibel just on my inherent laziness of having an all-in-one solution. Due to your excellent service, however, I must rethink that position.