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-   -   Help with WMA ID3 Synch Sony Walkman NW-A857 (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68515)

Caterpillar 03-15-2012 08:37 PM

Help with WMA ID3 Synch Sony Walkman NW-A857
I have a Japanese model NW-857. I don't speak or read Japanese (first problem but I am learning fast). Its a good player but I have been having problems syncing WMA files from my PC using WMP (yes, I know, dont use WMP). System is Windows 7 64bit.
The first problem was that album artwork would not sync. I overcame this by downloading Mediamonkey and manually updating all the ID3 tags from the internet. I then reloaded all the albums (there are quite a few of them) onto my player from WMP. Artwork problem (largely) solved!
Next issue is proving trickier. The Album Artist / Artist tag does not display for most of the albums loaded onto the player. In its place are two Japanese characters which I would hazard a guess stand for "artist unknown": same for most tracks.
OK, so back to Mediamonkey. I removed the albums from the player again and tried syncing from Mediamonkey. Hey presto! Album artist tags mysteriously worked...(can anyone explain why?) but there is a catch: the tracks synced from Mediamonkey will not play on the player. An error message flags up on the screen (in Japanese - not sure what it says but might be a DRM error) and the player attemtps to restart the track to no avail until I put it out of its misery.
Can anyone offer a solution please? I am perilously close to actually sitting down and enjoying some excellent quality, noise cancelled playback. Surely this is a first for us MP3 player users!

skip252 03-15-2012 09:43 PM

Did you rip the WMA files using WMP? If you did and didn't UNcheck the option to copy protect the files WMP has DRMed them. The default in WMP is to copy protect WMA files and there's no obvious warning.

A simple test to see if the files are copy protected is to try playing them with a program that doesn't deal with copy protected files. XMPlay will do. Download from the linked page and unzip. Drop one of the files that won't play into it after you run the .exe. The included xmp-wma.dll allows standard wma files to play as long as they aren't copy protected.

The other possibility I see is that the WMA files aren't a encoded so the Sony can use them. If you selected a format like WMA Lossless they can't be played on a Sony.

The warning about not using WMP isn't just a knee jerk reaction. It truly does suck on multiple levels including breaking tags from other programs, down sizing album art behind your back and writing information into your tags and then hiding it from you.

I would love to be wrong about the DRM issue. Even if they are protected it would seem that MM should be able to transfer the needed licenses so they should play. I just have so little experience with that I really don't know.

Caterpillar 03-26-2012 07:08 PM

Thanks Skip. Good post! OK we are getting closer then...the files are ripped from CD and all seem to have copy protection switched off. BUT they are all in WMA lossless format. WMP seems to be able to handle this and I presume must convert them to a more compressed format when syncing with the device. Mediamonkey doesn't seem to be doing this....do you know if it can be configured to do this perhaps? Still not sure why WMP is messing up the ID tags...

skip252 03-27-2012 11:57 AM

As you've found WMA lossless isn't supported by your player. MediaMonkey can do a on the fly conversion from WMA lossless to a format your Sony during sync but that requires the paid version, The free version lets you convert the WMA lossless files to a format the player will handle previous to syncing the files. You then sync the converted files. That leaves you with a second set of files you need to keep if you use sync to load the player.

Converting again if you want to include those files in any future syncs would create a file with a different creation date. That different creation date would cause the newly created file to be seen as a different tune even though the name is the same. Since the software sees a different file it will transfer the newly converted file instead of using the previously transferred file. You would have multiple copies of the same file transferred.:eek: Ain't MTP file syncing grand?:rolleyes:

MusicBee, a free software (Donations accepted!) can do what you want. For that reason and several others I recommend MusicBee now where I once recommended MediaMonkey.

What software you use is up to you but I've found what I pointed out about WMP to be accurate. Many of the problems it has with properly handling music files and sync aren't apparent until down the road when it can be fairly difficult to get things back in good order. I knew one poor soul that didn't know WMP tagging system shrinks all files named folder.jpg to around 9-12 kb when it updates.

That was after they spent weeks finding high quality album art images so it would display nicely on a larger screen. It's hard to describe how hacked off they were when they discovered they needed to do it all again in order not to have horribly pixelated images on anything but the small screen of their DAP.

I keep up to date with WMP because I have a stuck in the mud family member that needs their library straightened out, then resynced a couple of times a year at least. I know people that were absolute beginners that have great libraries and sync easily with both MediaMonkey and MusicBee. Once I helped them get up to speed they easily learned how to maintain their libraries. Most often they've needed very little assistance once they picked on the basics.

Good software is like that. It doesn't hide it's inner workings and warns you in a no nonsense way if you're about to do something that may have a negative result.

I'd think about investigating a better media library software. The time saved in the long run with the difficulties you don't encounter should make becoming familiar with a new software well worth your time.

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