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Nexus, lockups and file formats

Following on from some posts made by BriChi, I've done some testing with unanalyzed files on a FAT-32 USB stick. Master tempo was on, the pitch was not set to zero, and I've been messing around with loops and hot cues.

There were three files on the USB stick. One was a 320kbps CBR MP3 file encoded using the LAME encoder. One was a 256kbps AAC file purchased from the iTunes store. The 3rd was an AIFF file ripped from CD using iTunes.

I've been able to make the player crash when using the MP3 crash pretty quickly (with 5-10 minutes or so) when playing around. I've not (yet) been able to crash the player with the AAC or AIFF file by doing much the same thing. So, here's my big question:

Has ANYONE experienced any crashes or lock-ups when using a file type OTHER THAN MP3?

I'll re-post my original question from one of the other (closed) threads below - let's see if we can shed a bit more light on where things are going wrong, what can be done to avoid the problems in the short term, and what exactly needs fixing.

Can we please keep the rants elsewhere for now - I'm looking for answers, ideas, confirmation/debunking of theories etc, not another locked thread.

MouseAT

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Here's one of my posts that's reproduced from a thread that was closed shortly after I posted it:

I've been watching a few of these threads, and I have to say that BriChi seems to be doing some excellent work in trying to track down the source of these problems. Let me just start by saying that I (and apparently the rest of the community) appreciate the effort that BriChi has put in to tracking down the source of these problems, even if Pioneer's development division doesn't.

If you don't mind, I'd just like to get a bit of clarification on a few points, both for the benefit of those of us who own the CDJ 2000 Nexus and for the benefit of Pioneers developers who have the job of trying to fix these things.

  • People are saying that AIFF files are unaffected. Can anyone confirm that this is the case? If that true even if master tempo is turned on? Is it true if using hot cues?
  • Do people have problems with AAC files?
  • Is it just MP3 files that are affected?
  • With the MP3 files, are they constant or variable bit rate? Which encoder was used to create the files?

The more information we have, the better, as it may allow those of us with the player to work around the problems and/or help Pioneer narrow down the problems a bit further. I know we shouldn't have to put up with this on ANY players, much less ones that cost as much as these ones do, but if we can boil it down to some really specific details that would probably help.

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thank you! I will answer the 4 questions for ya the best I can in the testing I have done:

  • People are saying that AIFF files are unaffected. Can anyone confirm that this is the case? If that true even if master tempo is turned on? Is it true if using hot cues?
  •    ** With AIFF files, I have not gotten the decks to freeze, Only mp3**
  • Do people have problems with AAC files?
  •     sorry, havent tried AAC
  • Is it just MP3 files that are affected?
  •      Yes, for me anyway
  • With the MP3 files, are they constant or variable bit rate? Which encoder was used to create the files?
  •      All my files are CBR, encoded via iTunes, MediaRage or default encoder PromoOnly uses from their download pool
BriChi 0 voti
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OK, that's really helpful. Thanks again for all your contributions here. I couldn't get AIFF to freeze either, so maybe we ARE looking at a problem with MP3 files. It's also helpful to know that it's not specific to one MP3 encoder - you're having issues with files that were encoded with iTunes, which doesn't use the LAME encoder.

Here's a quick question for BriChi if you're still reading this - if you've still got the players to hand and haven't boxed them all up for return, would you be able to take a track in another format eg. AIFF, generate an AAC version and give that a try. As I said, I couldn't get the player to crash as easily with AAC, but that might just be fluke, and I know you're pretty good at making the players crash on demand.

That could help narrow down any problems to the MP3 file format, and would be a big relief for me, as I tend to use AAC and AIFF exclusively these days.

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absolutely, they are boxed up for return but my local Guitar Center is closed because of the hurricane so I can test a little more until I get in touch with my rep from there 

BriChi 0 voti
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Wow, now THAT's dedication. I really appreciate the time you're taking to do all this. On behalf of all of us, THANK YOU! I hope the weather improves for you soon - that storm looks nasty.

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After reanalysing my library it seems to have been behaving better but majority of my file formats are AIFF or WAV lossless, since the full reanalysis I haven't had any of my decks lock up.  The crashing that I seem to get reasonably consistent with Rekordbox only happens when exiting and has only started happening since I upgraded it to 2.0.1 to coincide with the installation of the new CDJ-2000NXS decks.  Has anyone noticed any stability improvements with the 1.04 firmware?

el-ricardo 0 voti
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no problem Andrew! Glad to help the guys who are still keeping the decks even though they are bug ridden

 

el-ricardo, 99% of the lock up issues are MP3 related with MT on, so you should be good to go using WAV and AIFF

BriChi 0 voti
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@el-ricardo: Are you using Rekordbox as a music library, and linking the CDJs directly to a laptop for playback, or are you using a USB drive or SD card connected directly to one of the players? If it's the former, I'm not in the best position to help right now, as I've not been loading tracks directly from Rekordbox - all my music is currently on a hard disk connected directly to the players via. USB.

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  • People are saying that AIFF files are unaffected. Can anyone confirm that this is the case? If that true even if master tempo is turned on? Is it true if using hot cues?
    I haven't had any problems with AIFF files yet, I'm using hot cues and memory points. I rarely use MT but I do have Quantize enabled.
     
  • Do people have problems with AAC files?
    Yes, I've experienced Emergency Loops with AAC but it's very rare.
     
  • Is it just MP3 files that are affected?
    No, I've experienced Emergency Loops with MP3, WAV and AAC, but MP3 is worst.
     
  • With the MP3 files, are they constant or variable bit rate? Which encoder was used to create the files?
    320kbps CBR (LAME 3.98)
oakstream 0 voti
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@oakstream: Thanks for that, really good to know. So it looks like there can still be issues with AAC files, but nowhere near as frequently as with MP3 - that's interesting. Maybe it's not just the MP3 decoder then. Something in the interface between the lossy format decoder and the rest of the CDJ functionality perhaps, or the same/similar bugs in both the MP3 and AAC decoders. I wonder why MP3 files are so much more likely to trigger the problem if that's the case. Weird.

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My Testing:

People are saying that AIFF files are unaffected. Can anyone confirm that this is the case? If that true even if master tempo is turned on? Is it true if using hot cues?

-No problems with AIFF.

-Master Tempo is always off. Never use it.

-No stops , or lockups when using hotcues

Do people have problems with AAC files?

-No problems with AAC

 Is it just MP3 files that are affected?

-No problems with MP3

 

With the MP3 files, are they constant or variable bit rate? Which encoder was used to create the files?

-Mostly constant, some are variable

Rekordbox:

-No crashes when linked directly to Rekordbox 2.01

-No crashes when using USB or SDHC 10

-Only slow loading with SD card

Master Tempo Test: MT "On", linked to rekordbox 2.01

-Tested MT with a MP3 and rapid firing cues

-managed to lockup the player

-Took rapid firing of all three hotcues to do it.

-Tested it twice, two different MP3s same lockup

-Same test with MT "OFF" - No lockups with the MP3s!

-AIFF - Same test, no lockup

-ACC - Same test, no lockup

Fresh 0 voti
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Thanks BriChi, yeah guessed I was lucky after some reading, fingers crossed it stays that way for me.

@Andrew, yeah unfortunately I'm using the Pro Link feature via the network ports, it's been reliable and consistent for me for the past couple of years until the version update and deck change, two major changes it was bound to be problematic but I'm lucky also by the looks things, I'm sure they'll find it, it's just a matter of time, especially with the work some forum members are putting in, I'm also very grateful and appreciative of that.

el-ricardo 0 voti
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@Fresh: Thanks again. That sounds more or less in line with what BriChi and others have been saying. MP3 + Master Tempo = Bad things happen.

@el-ricardo: I need to have a play with Rekordbox Link at some point. I've just not got around to it yet. I've got the CDJs hard wired to my home network ready to go, and tried loading one or two tracks on Saturday night (which worked OK). I've only been using Link to share a USB drive between the players, but maybe one evening I'll try playing a full set directly from Rekordbox.

Meanwhile, I've loaded up a pen drive with a few hundred AAC files (unanalysed, copied directly to the drive, not exported with Rekordbox). I've set a player to continuous play, master tempo on, pitched up about 5%. I'm going to leave it running overnight and see what happens. I'll report back later with the results.

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andrew, the issue with that test is if you let them run overnight, hot starts wont auto load when it goes track to track so its not a fair test, yet another bug in the player by the way

BriChi 0 voti
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That's true. Then again, I don't have hot cues stored in any of my tracks yet, and I thought the issues were cropping up anyway on MP3s if master tempo was on.

I did hammer on hot cues on a single AAC file for around 15 minutes earlier and didn't have any issues, but as I said maybe that was just a fluke. That's the reason I've asked other people to help verify. It's only a small proportion of my music collection that's in AAC format anyway - most of it is AIFF these days. Given what you were saying earlier about MP3s and what oakstream was saying about occasionally having issues with AAC files going into emergency loop, I figured letting it run might at least shed some light on the issue. I can always hammer on it a bit more tomorrow if I need to.

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BTW, one of the reasons for the whole automated test is that I'm winding down for the evening - I'm in the UK, it's getting on for 9:40pm and I'm getting tired. Stuff that involves me standing up and pushing buttons can wait until I've had some sleep :)

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I hear ya man, I have had many late nights hammering away at buttons

BriChi 0 voti
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Thanks for the details all, the engineers are getting the info here to address these concerns.

Pulse 0 voti
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Here's a quick question for BriChi if you're still reading this - if you've still got the players to hand and haven't boxed them all up for return, would you be able to take a track in another format eg. AIFF, generate an AAC version and give that a try. As I said, I couldn't get the player to crash as easily with AAC, but that might just be fluke, and I know you're pretty good at making the players crash on demand.

ok, just unboxed the players and remounted them to do more testing being I cant return them till GuitarCenter re-opens by me due to power outages

I converted a file to AAC and could not get the deck to freeze even with MT on, Seems to really be narrowed down to MP3 files

BriChi 0 voti
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OK, update - I've had the player on continuous automatic play for around the last 10 hours, working its way through a load of AAC files, master tempo on, pitch at around +5%. It was still playing this morning. So far, so good.

I'll be out for most of the day today, but I've just set the player away doing the same thing with MP3 files whilst I'm out. I'll probably be monitoring this thread during the day, and I'll report back when I get home in around 8 hours or so.

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by the way, I imported the AAC files to test and they show up as VBR, not CBR in RB, still another bug not fixed in RB

BriChi 0 voti
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Andrew, I have done that test a lot too just letting files run over night and they were fine for me, the issue on my end unfortunately is always in a live environment using cues and hot starts a lot which like you know is not being triggered at all when doing that test. 

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As you said, leaving the player running playing a bunch of MP3s wasn't enough to crash it. That's still been helpful though - we now know that simply playing back a bunch of 320kbps CBR MP3 files isn't enough to crash the player.

They've been playing around 8 hours without issue. I came home, set 3 hot cues on a track and got to work hammering on them. 10 minutes later, freeze. I pause and un-pause - high pitched "squee" noise from the player, error message about collapsed storage, can't load any other tracks because the player thinks it's playing a track, I have lock mode enabled and I can't pause the horrible noise it's making. My only option was to eject the USB drive to shut it up.

That's still been a worthwhile experience though. Between us, we seem to have been able to confirm that **when you're loading files from a USB device (ie. not linked to Rekordbox over Ethernet or WiFi), the freezing only seems to affect MP3 files, and only when there are cue points being set. **I'm sure there are other issues once Rekordbox gets involved as a music source, but those are probably separate issues.

I'll keep an eye out for any other issues I spot, but hopefully that might help shed some more light on the problem. Thanks to everyone for your help and feedback with this.

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Is there a way to disable the emergency loop feature?

On some tracks (multiple) the emergency loop kicks in at the middle of a playing track! Nowhere near the end! What!?

Also, not sure if it's been mentioned, no doubt it has, but when I'm searching with the jog and needle search simultaneously, the CDJs freeze...

Shªun_N 0 voti
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Great feedback Andrew!

 

S-TYPE, as of now, you cannot disable the emergency loop, it is a mess though, mine kicks in to at random times

BriChi 0 voti
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I know none of us use CDs now as we're all using flash drives and sd cards... but do the problems still happen using a cd?

T-Top 0 voti
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Please excuse my English
1 question guys

I'm buying the NXS this friday because I have a very importan gig on Saturday, So if I use the NXS with only SD cards and cds and use MT will I encounter the same problems? Thanks in advance

Dj Cherokee 0 voti
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I've not tested with CDs. I might dig one out today and have a play with them, see if I can get the player to lock up. Given what we know, I'm guessing that CDs will be OK, but I could be wrong.

@Djcherokee Espinoza: It's not about whether you're using SD cards or USB devices, it's about file types. If you are playing MP3 files from your SD card, you can expect crashes. If you are using WAV, AIFF or AAC files them the players seem to be a lot more stable.

If you must play a gig with these new CDJs, stay away from MP3 files, and store any music files on a USB device or SD card.

I hope that helps.

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