Virtual DJ Studio

Virtual DJ Studio Discussion => Helpful Hints, Tips & Tricks => Topic started by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 05:59:53 AM

Title: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 05:59:53 AM
After the indexing issues we've had with the external drive, I'm going to re-index my dad's songs after I move them to his internal hard drive, and see if that solves the problem. Will this cause any issues with the existing singers list? Such as the location of the songs being in a different location? Or, will VDJ automatically update those locations in the .dat file?
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 10:08:51 AM
If you move the location of the dat file it won't automatically find it, but the dat file is usually in the vdj folder unless you saved additional lists else where. You can always open those from the new location. They're not lost. For example I always save a copy of mine in my dropbox folder just to have a backup. This allows me to open it from my backup laptop.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 02:14:39 PM
Yeah, I found that out. It wasn't a big deal to remove and re-add the singers' songs.

Another problem I'm having is the music database seems to "lose" songs. Yesterday, I mentioned to Justin that some of the songs didn't get indexed, and he thought it might be a problem with intermittent connectivity to the external drive. So, to test that theory, I loaded all of dad's 13k + karaoke songs onto his laptop, and did a full-index. After doing that, it seemed like we were out of the woods until dad calls me and says that he had searched for Adele, and added a song to a singer's list, but then when he went back later, the search was unable to find ANY Adele songs. That's one problem.

Another problem is I showed him how to click on "Add" in the Queue and search for a song if it's not coming up in the Music Database, and while I was showing him how to do that, the process made the song that was playing stop for a split second, then continue playing. Then, once we found the song, VDJ hung for a split second before the song appeared in the queue.

Got any ideas? Dad is now nervous, and is saying he doesn't think VDJ is stable enough to risk using it for a show tomorrow night.

I am a code slinger myself. I know how hard it is to reproduce an obscure problem a user might be having. So, I'm doing my best to explain to dad that Justin will figure this out, and fix it.

I suggested to him if he's worried, then just use WinAmp tomorrow night like he's done for the past 3 years, and we'll get these little things resolved. Having him NOT use it until we can resolve these issues will keep him from getting so frustrated with VDJ that he won't consider using it again.

And, frankly, because I am a painfully honest person, I'm hoping it's not his low-end laptop that's causing these issues. I don't have another one he can borrow to see if it does better. It's not my intent to blame VDJ without considering his computer may be the issue. However, low-end laptop or not, I honestly don't think that would cause the database to lose or miss songs.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 02:47:57 PM
I want to add that dad has been "unzipping" his songs all these years because WinAmp can't play zips. That said, in his collection, there are zipped files (because he never deleted them) and unzipped files.

Just providing as much info as I can so we can figure out what's going on.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Justin on September 19, 2013, 02:56:04 PM
I'm really struggling to understand what is going on here, as I have *never* had VDJ "lose" songs from the internal database. As for it glitching occasionally, I still think you need to look at what else might be running on that laptop in the background. Is the CPU usage high? Is the cooling fan kicking on frequently (or always running)?

I also do wonder if there is a hard disk issue. If you're losing songs that came up before and don't come up upon repeating the search, VDJ may have detected that the disk was disconnected as it automatically eliminates results that aren't currently available (this is an option you can disable).

As I had mentioned before, try to make sure your external HDD is connected to a USB 2.0 port, not through a hub. And if it is one of those that is powered by the USB port (eg, no external power supply), unfortunately those aren't as reliable in my experience. Driving the disc motor from a 1-amp 5-volt USB plug is just not that reliable...

Those are the only things I can think of. I haven't had any other support requests about this issue, so I have to think it's related to your dad's laptop - whether it's a hardware problem or some rogue software running behind the scenes...

One last question - is he running an Anti-Virus? Sadly, many AV products do nothing more than interfere with what you're trying to do, and they get in the way of file access, Internet access, etc. And sometimes they really suck up the CPU resources. Without naming any names, the two most popular are particularly bad, in my opinion...

I don't even run AV software, but I'm very careful. But if I were to recommend a product, I'd go with AVG. A google search will lead you to the (sometimes hard to find) link for the 100% free version... just a suggestion. You would first want to uninstall any preinstalled AV software that might have come with the computer, or provided by your ISP, etc...
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Justin on September 19, 2013, 03:01:34 PM
Quote
I want to add that dad has been "unzipping" his songs all these years because WinAmp can't play zips.

I haven't used WinAmp personally since 1998, when I decided to write my own program :)  But I had no idea it couldn't handle ZIP files... the format is pretty open, patents have expired decades ago, and the code to implement ZIP support is really simple. Not to try and drive anybody away from VDJ, but I'm sure you could find a "plugin" for WinAmp to handle ZIP files natively... but I'd rather we figure out what's going wrong, and your dad just use Virtual DJ Studio instead...

I also forgot to mention, as for the singer's list (or saved singers and their songs), if the file path changes - even just the drive letter - then those pointers will no longer point to the correct location of the file. I have an article I wrote specifically to address this issue with external disk drives: http://www.vdj.net/support/external-hard-disk-letter.php
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 03:14:10 PM
I expected changing the paths to do that. So, there was no surprises there. I took care of it, and dad was none the wiser. I was just asking if VDJ updated the paths if the path was changed and re-indexed. No big deal if it doesn't.

I REALLY want dad to use VDJ. And, when I eventually start doign this my self, I will be using VDJ, because even with a glitch here and there, I don't get worked up like he does. I just fix it. He just stands there and freaks out if something unexpected happens. I wonder sometimes how we can be cut from the same cloth, because I'm way calmer than he is.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 03:51:34 PM
It "lost" the Adele songs after I moved everything to the internal hard drive. So, at this point the external drive doesn't factor in to this.

Full disclosure: I did not witness this myself. All I saw after he called me over (he moved next door from Illinois a few months ago) was an Adele song in a singers list, with the internal drive path, and the search would not pull up any Adele songs. So, he clearly added that song somehow. And, frankly, he's not sharp enough to have been able to figure out how to add the song manually. He said the Adele songs came up in the search, then later wouldn't.

I'm just wondering if there's some way to delete a song from the database with a keystroke, or something. Dad is not exactly a spring chicken, so his fine motor skills can be erratic at times. There's no telling what he might have clicked, or did, to make these things happen.

I have the software on my desktop computer now, as well as his song database, so I can try to reproduce the problems he's had. My computer is pretty high-end, so if it's a performance issue, I'll know real soon.

My system specs:

AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core Processor 3.10GHz
8 GB RAM
1 TB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 w/ 2 GB RAM
Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

Dad's laptop specs:

HP (Compaq) Presario CQ56 Notebook PC
AMD V140 Processor 2.30GHz
8 GB RAM
250 GB HDD
Windows Home Premium 64-bit (Service Pack 1)

--------

I generally install Microsoft Security Essentials on all systems I deal with directly. It's been the least intrusive of all of them I've tried in the 20+ plus years I've been building and maintaining computers for a living.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 04:11:08 PM
Yeah, I'm not sure about the indexing.  I have not seen that...I do know the search feature is very specific so if you somehow type an extra comma, dash or even a space where it doesn't belong it will not display the correct result.

As far as the pauses, I know personally I had that happened to me last Saturday when I was using a backup laptop with a backup sound card.  It turned out the USB sound card though similar and made by sound blaster is not 100% compatible with the installed driver.  They were both Sound Blaster XFI, but one of them has THX and the other one doesn't...other than that they physically resemble each other.  This caused the pauses you mentioned.  When I went back to the originally installed device, everything worked correctly  I used it at the same location last night and everything worked flawlessly. 

Believe me VDJ is even more stable now than it's ever been.  I've been using it for years now and before certain songs would crash it.  I kept send Justin the song that were crashing it and figure out the problem with his CDG decoder and fixed it.  Since then I haven't had a crash.  It is very stable...the issues you're having now could be caused by driver issues and yes depending how low end the laptop is...by the way I have a Quad Core i7 Asus with windows 8 (64bit) with 8 GB memory and 750GB drive and it runs perfectly...The backup laptop I was having issues was a dual core Acer (Amd 2.2Ghz) with Windows 7 (64bit) with 4 GB memory  -I don't understand why it says only 3.74 useable, but it work well...by the way this a laptop I originally bough for my wife at Walmart for about $250 and she never used it...well, she turned it on twice since Xmas.  I did replace the DVD drive with a secondary hard disk, but other than that it works...as it turns out I like it more now because it's got larger screen and it's good for my eyes!





Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 04:15:14 PM
If anyone is interested I use VIPRE for antivirus and it works pretty well without issues.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 04:17:09 PM
Oh, I wanted to mention dad's (and mine) Windows Experience Index scores.

Dad's: 4.1
Mine: 5.9
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 04:25:51 PM
I don't have my i7 laptop but my low end laptop's Windows Experience Index score is just like your dad's 4.1 and works well as I mentioned. But your dad's single core maybe a bit on the low end.  Take look at that score more closely as it normally takes the lowest subscore and while one will matter more to VDJ other scores may not.  here are my subscores for this laptop:

Processor: 5.3
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 4.1
Gaming Graphics: 5.2
Primary HD: 5.8

-Fabio

Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 04:32:28 PM
I need some input on what dad's using to connect his laptop top the mixer board. I asked him who told him that's what he needed, and he said, "Oh, I don't know. I don't remember. How else would you do it? I've been using that for years."

I responded that most people would use an external USB audio adapter.

He says, "I've never heard of such a thing. What the hell is that?"

What he's using is a USB device that plugs into his computer, then he uses RCA cables from that and adapts those to .25" into his mixer.

Behringer U-Control
Model#: UCA202
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 04:52:43 PM
Quote
Behringer U-Control
Model#: UCA202

This device is for recording not for playback...though it does have "monitor" port where you can plug in headphones to listen what's being recorded.  I have one of these I picked up by mistake a few years ago, but once I figured out what it was I gave it to my son who uses to record from his guitar.  This is an INPUT device to the laptop and what he needs for karaoke is an OUTPUT.  This is what I use:

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Soundblaster-Surround-System-SB1095/dp/B0044DEDCA

It's got RCA outputs and I have an RCA to 1/4" cables I use to plug into my mixer.




Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 04:55:42 PM
BTW, this also has digital output but most mixers don't have digital input so the RCA to 1/4" works best.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 05:09:16 PM
Incredible. This is going to be fun. He's going to push back real hard when I tell him he's using an input device to output.

Could this be causing the latency problem?

I'm just confused at why he'd make a mistake like this. I mean, the guy has been in numerous bands over the years, been DJ'ing for 13 years. And, has been using a laptop for Dj'ing for 3 years.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Justin on September 19, 2013, 05:43:21 PM
I think everybody is getting ahead of themselves here... let me try to clear up a couple of things:

- The USB device your dad is using is, in fact, an external audio device, also known as a "USB Sound Card". Even if it were designed for recording as its primary function, if it can output audio, it *should* be just fine for this. As long as the drivers are up to date and Behringer still supports the device... which can be a very big "if"...

- Most (damned near all) mixer boards don't have a direct digital interface. I actually do have one, but it's a Fostex Hard Disk recorder that happens to have an SP/DIF optical input. For the most part, you'll be using an analog 1/4", XLR, or RCA input from your computer. I know they also do make mixer boards with direct USB interfaces, so it acts as a sound card, but they are quite expensive, not well supported, and in my opinion unnecessary... plus they usually have "scratch tables" which is an entirely different DJ style than what I support...

Bottom line is this: I personally use a Sound Blaster USB MP3+ device. It does have optical, but it also has RCA jacks (2-in, 2-out) and even though I bought this thing in 2002, it works great.

When I look at sound cards or external audio devices, I look at a few things. For one, you definitely want RCA or (better yet) 1/4" jacks. You want gold plating - it really does make a difference. And you want a device that is *supported* by the company that put it out. Any company that says "well we made that 10 years ago, so go buy a newer one" is not the kind of company I would do business with. They should stand behind their older "legacy" products, and make sure they will still work in the next version of Windows, on the newer PC platforms, etc. Otherwise you're just wasting your money...

I don't know much about Behrigner's USB audio devices (though I do have an 8 channel mixer and a couple of compressor/limiters from them), so I can't comment on the quality of their drivers. Just know that if they don't provide support for older products, they will most likely phaze out any new products you buy from them (this goes for any company). Just something to think about.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 05:44:17 PM
Quote
Could this be causing the latency problem?

Yup, this could be causing it.  Frankly I don't know how he's able to connect the RCA to the mixer and still have sound coming OUT.  It's been a long time since I got this device and played with it but the RCA is supposed to be an INPUT not an OUTPUT....but I'm not 100% sure as it could be a way to monitor the sound.  I'm take a look when I get home tonight...I believe my son still has it.

-Fabio
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 05:47:48 PM

There you go, so it does have some playback functionality...I guess I never played with it long enough.

-Fabio
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Justin on September 19, 2013, 05:54:05 PM
Fabio: one thing I have found, that is a trend these days, is that a device that is primarily designed for output can often be used bi-directionally. I think that's a word...

Even your built-in laptop audio can often be used in three different ways:

- Headphone jack (where the output actually drives your headphones)
- Line-out (like the above but with higher impedance)
- Line Input

That last one is interesting, and not all laptops do this, but essentially the chip can sense what kind of thing you just connected to the computer, and adjust the levels and even the *direction* accordingly. I've done this on my HP, using what looks like a headphone jack as a line-in... you might have to set it up in Windows, or in the driver's settings, but yes, what appears to be an output can (in theory) be used as an input instead, and vice-versa.

I'm not familiar with the device you guys are talking about, but my guess is that it can be configured in either direction, probably to save space by adding additional jacks...
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 06:09:53 PM
The Behringer device he's using for the Karaoke laptop (the one I listed) is new. He bought it a few weeks ago, and all the drivers are up to date.

So, what's the verdict on it. Should he ditch it, or is it OK?
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 07:02:44 PM
Well..I still think it was mostly made for INPUT rather than output...personally I'd rather use something that is made for a specific task rather than trying to force it to do another.I ditched it for a simpler solution which the Sound Blaster (SB1095) is...aside from the driver issues I recently had I'd still prefer it.  In fact, just for convenience sake since I had the issue this past week.  I actually purchased an identical SB1095 for the second laptop (will probably arrive tomorrow or Monday) even though I could have used the SB1090 and just change the driver. I don't want to get to a gig just to find out I brought the wrong device  for the driver installed on my current system (specially since the look exactly the same). Unfortunately the SB1090 is already spoken for by a friend of mine otherwise I'd send it to you just because I don't want to have it around and somehow mix it up with my other two.
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 19, 2013, 08:22:35 PM
Fabio: I'm with you. If I ever set up to do this stuff, I'll make better choices than my dad has. Turns out, he got the suggestion to use this device from another DJ friend of his. He told me "every DJ I know uses this device". I challenged him to that, so he called one of his friends, and sure enough, they use an actual external sound card. Some $299 thing. I forget what the guy said it was. And, he uses Mac, so his opinion doesn't count anyway. Hahaha...
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 19, 2013, 09:18:56 PM

yeah, this SB1095 is really good...and also the SB1090...I just don't want both due to the driver issue. I have been complemented on my sound and I know I owe it both to VDJ (due to the AGC settings) and this SB card...and you can find it for less $60.

Quote
And, he uses Mac, so his opinion doesn't count anyway. Hahaha...

Lol, for whatever is worth, Macs in fact have superior sound and mostly you don't need an an external sound card.  I'm a PC guy myself even though I own an iMac as well...I still enjoy the "open wilderness" that a PC gives you to the "enclosed garden"  that Apple gives you.  Same is true between Android and iPhones.  ;)


-Fabio
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Justin on September 19, 2013, 09:43:02 PM
Quote
Lol, for whatever is worth, Macs in fact have superior sound and mostly you don't need an an external sound card.

I bought a MacBook Pro back in 2009, and I absolutely loved it. But for the price, I would still lean toward the PC market. After the $2500 MacBook crapped out on me, I picked up this HP I'm typing on right now for $200 on eBay... much faster, more RAM, and honestly it's just easier to get things done.

Don't get me wrong, I do still miss that Mac for things like web development, graphics, or video editing - but I really do get a lot more done (including running my business) on the PC. And you really can't go wrong with an HP business model...

As for sound cards - any decent external audio card should give you pretty decent sound. When you want to ensure it is going to sound professional, I would look for gold-plated connections, and avoid just using a 1/8" "Y" adapter, preferring RCA or 1/4" jacks. But again I cannot stress enough how important it is to have updated drivers, and that the manufacturer still actually supports the device...

Back to the Mac thing - it really is a different world, with the "enclosed garden" Fabio described. But they also provide the development tools and a lot of other things you don't get on the PC. And their internal audio is pretty good (as is their video, if you buy the proprietary "DisplayPort" adapter for your particular situation). The selection of available software however isn't that great. As a developer myself, I know that the main reason - even though their hardware is probably better - is that there is a much greater market on the PC/Windows platform... so if you want to make money selling software, you probably aren't going to target the Mac...
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 20, 2013, 01:16:41 AM
Joe:

I've attached pictures of my device including pages from the manual...it should be self explanatory after you see the pics.

By the way, at the time I discovered it could be used to record out of the mixer I thought about using to record mp3s I could sell to singers who wanted a copy of their rendition...but then quickly thought I'd probably get sued by either the karaoke company or the recording industry for the music and quickly gave up on it and knowing what I know now about lawsuits going on in the karaoke industry I think i was right in NOT doing it.


[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: JoeNobody on September 20, 2013, 05:18:36 AM
*sigh* This is what dad is now insisting he needs. I'm pretty sure, after reading the description, that it's basically the same thing he already has, and NOT an external sound card.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/American-Audio-Audio-Genie-II-USB-Phono-Interface-500861-i1427371.gc?source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CNb5z4z62bkCFcJj7AodBhUAFw&kwid=productads-plaid^32411604641-sku^500861@ADL4GC-adType^PLA-device^c-adid^13625729441
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: vcationguy on September 20, 2013, 07:39:28 AM
I just use this and run it through a mixer then to a Bose L1 compact.  It's easy and does a nice job.  Less than $25 at Walmart.

http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/sound-cards-accessories/amigo-ii/32

Ron
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Fabio on September 20, 2013, 12:44:05 PM
Joe:

Quote
It makes it easy to record audio from your CD player, mixer, effect player, cassette deck, radio, or record player with your computer's built-in audio recorder or your favorite audio-production software.

Reading the above from the description, sadly, I think you're right. Point him towards the SB1090 or the SB1095 or Ron's Turtlebeach device.

-Fabio
Title: Re: How does re-indexing affect the singers list?
Post by: Justin on September 20, 2013, 01:01:26 PM
Quote
By the way, at the time I discovered it could be used to record out of the mixer I thought about using to record mp3s I could sell to singers who wanted a copy of their rendition...

I had the exact same idea, and even considered offering a feature in VDJ to handle that - and then I thought about how litigation-happy those companies are and shelved the idea. I thought it would be neat to sell a CD or mp3 download to the customer...

Another reason it's not the best idea - would you want to hear what you sounded like the next day, after a night of drinking and "performing"? I don't know about you, but I know that most of my customers are embarrassed when somebody uploads a video to Youtube and they see it the next day... it might even discourage people from singing once they know it's being recorded..,.