One of our clients on the mail based CD ripping service MP3 by Mail owns a portable music player made by Pioneer. He thinks its great and he's opted to use it to play his digital music in FLAC file format. Great. And he's used our service to create his digital music library. Great.
He loved the first batch of files we did for him. Great.
He sent in another batch to be ripped, great. We sent his files back. He rang, it isn't working. Not great.
The problem was that although all his first set of tracks showed up in the menu, not all of the second set was there. There appeared to be a random grabbing of some tracks while others were ignored. Very puzzling. After a little head scratching I made a suggestion of how he could address this using his computer. Major problems here, he doesn't have a computer, just the Pioneer player with its slot for SD cards. Which makes diagnostics and correction rather more tricky than I'd like it to be.
Now I'm happy to hold my hand up and say it's down to us to fix this, and we will, but in the absence of a PC at the client end, and him being 300 miles away, we're a little in the dark. Looking at the online Pioneer manual it might be that when you load music onto the SD card there's a process you need to go through to build the music database. This makes sense to me but the client says that all he's done is insert the card and away it goes, nothing more needed, so he's not inclined to start fiddling around with menu options.
My thinking is that the device has been defeated by the way we added the new files to the "old" SD card. All the first tracks were in one folder, the later CDs in another. I know from experience with car music storage systems this kind of thing can defeat a basic device. The Pioneer runs Android but how clever the music management software is I can't tell, and I don't have a spare XPD to play with. So what we've done is put all the new music onto a new SD card and that's going off to the client today. The music is entirely unstructured so I'm hoping that however smart or dumb the music player is, it can figure out a flat file structure.
Looking at the Pioneer manual online it seems there is a file sync program you can run on a PC but this isn't going to help our PC-less client. I'm pretty confident this will fix the issue, if not we do have a Plan B - just hope it doesn't come to that.