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Pioneer Newbie
Location: Ireland
Registered: 14 November 2010
Posts: 5
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Ive had my player for nearly a year now, for the first 6 months the machine was brilliant, i was using a wd 500gb hard drive powered of the player. then the machine randomly started freezing whilst using the hard drive, i then started using mp3 cds as i needed the machine, it was ok for a month or so then randomly it started freezing as well, i sent it back to the supplier who inturn have sent it back to pioneer, apparently pioneer are unaware of any problem like this.. im on the latest firmware and my hard drive is formatted to fat32, i tried a different harddrive (seagate 1tb powered) but had the same problem, im not up to speed with the technical talk so any information on this would be great guys, the machine is faultless when working!!
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Faversham
Registered: 22 March 2011
Posts: 8
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Hi DeeJaydeedee,

I fel that you are not alone and I can assure you that Pioneer are aware as I personally contacted them in the UK to make a formal complaint about their product as I semed to be getting nowhere fast.
My unit startd to freeze after 6-8 months whilst using an Ipod in the rear USB, beraing in mind that this was flawless for the first 6 months.

I sent the unit of to be looked at and have been told that there is no fault. The tech guys suggest that the Ipod is not compatable but why then market it to be compatable with USB storage devices?
Pioneer have suggested that I buy a Seagate 250G portable drive whch I have done.
The problem that a I now faced with is getting my established playlists onto this drive.
I am not a computer sort of guy but nobody seems to know how to do it at tis stage.
If I cannot get the hard drive with the playlists then the unit has just become one very expensive twin CD player.
I am sill trying to consult with Pioneer to resolve the issues as I feel the unit is ideal for my needs if I can only et it to work. They have now failed to return my calls!!!
Hopefully someone out there will have the know how and help us out step by step, posted in hope of a saviour!! regards Frostie.
Pioneer Product Specialist
Picture of Pulse
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 24 October 2006
Posts: 33876
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@DJ Frostie > Please don't multi-post. You don't need to repost the same issue over and over.

@deejaydeedee > Is the unit bus-powered or wall-powered? Is it possible the drives are going to sleep/stand-by mode? Which USB port are you using? Do you have anything else plugged in at the same time?


Pioneer National Trainer // Product Specialist
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Ireland
Registered: 14 November 2010
Posts: 5
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@ frostie, I also returned my unit to be told the same thing, it was faultless, I contacted pioneer uk and was told that I shouldn't use anything bigger than a 64gb pen drive, that all mp3 files should be no less than 320kbs in quality, the machine doesn't like incorrect id3 tags, and that this is the same with mp3 CDs,

@ pulse, I was using 2 different hard drives, unit powered 500gb wd, and a mains powered 1tb seagate freeagent, both drives froze in both USB connections, the unit also froze during mp3 cd playback, even without anything connected to the usb's. Pioneer had the machine whilst the warranty ran out so I'm not even sure where I stand now, nobody seems to have a reasonable answer..
Pioneer Newbie
Location: UK
Registered: 22 March 2011
Posts: 6
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@DJ Frostie > As the MEP reads .m3u files all you have to do is copy these files over to the HDD in the SAME directory structure.

For those NOT in the know about these things......

M3U is a computer file format that stores multimedia playlists. It was originally implemented in Winamp, although it is now supported by many applications.

An M3U file is a plain text file that specifies the locations of one or more media files that the media player should play.

So as you can see it a MUST you keep the same directory structure. Also as they are text files you could just copy your music over, open up the text file on your computer and you have the list of songs to enable you to make a NEW playlist. Simples Smiler
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Dublin
Registered: 08 March 2011
Posts: 9
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@deejaydeedee
@Frostie

Working in Dublin using the MEP7000 in its full form and i haven't had a problem yet with the hard drive I'm using. - a 500gb iomega which is mains powered. i have found that mains powered works better with the unit, and the drive is faster - 7200rpm to a usb powered 5400rpm.

i wouldn't recommend a usb powered one - simple reason is that they are not reliable, not for the environment we use them in and the constant transporting of them etc etc....

The price of hard drives have come down so it is worth while investing in drives and reformatting them in FAT32 around 2 or 3 times. There are plenty of apps out there that allow you to format the drive correctly for the MEP7000. Not sure if i'm allowed to post up the names and sites of the apps...Pulse may clarify this for me.

Unless you have a mountain of music of all styles, a 500gb is ideal. i don't think the unit is designed to take anything bigger - unless you are using wav files, the extra space is necessary. The machine can be sluggish for 2 hard drives are plugged into the same port - I'm currently just playing about connecting 2 hard drives and a external powered USB hub. I'll let you know how i get on.

Learn your hard drive - kinda have an idea where everything is - oldies, chart, dance etc. i found that having sub-folders rather than have everything lumped into only a small amount of folders makes everything easier to find, and the MEP7000 more responsive.

EDIT - Just noticed that the OP posted this last year and Frostie has bumped it up, another thing to ad with those using usb powered HDD is that it is going to slow down the machine, as you constantly add more music to it over time.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: DJ Graham,
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Ireland
Registered: 14 November 2010
Posts: 5
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Hi Graham, I have all my music in sub folders as you say ( chart, dance oldies etc). Pioneer advised me to purchase a pre formatted fat32 drive, my 500g was this, I can't get it out of my head that there is a problem with the machine when so many people are experiencing the same difficulties with alot of variables ( different makes and sizes of hard drives, and also with my instance mp3 CDs as well) and also it seems to be around the 6/8 month mark when things start to mess up. If the machine freezes with mp3 CDs and it's due to a dodgy file, why does it do it with every cd that is burnt regardless of the content, yet the CDs play fine on any other pioneer device (cdj1000mk3)
Another guy I Dj with also has this unit, using the same hard drives and same types and sources of music and has had no problems.
Appreciating all the responses guys!!
Guest DJ
Location: Hartford
Registered: 05 July 2009
Posts: 35
posted   Hide PostReport This Post  
cmon now- its time for you to help go more to bat for us... whats with the freezeups and feature requests???

If we cant get more attention, were gonna give the brides dad this forum to contact when they want a refund!

That oughta get some attention at the factory.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Pulse,
Pioneer Product Specialist
Picture of Pulse
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 24 October 2006
Posts: 33876
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quote:
were gonna give the brides dad this forum to contact when they want a refund!


Are you blaming your tools for your inability to be prepared as a DJ?

We've been told by Japan that they're working on an update, but not when we'll see it. Maybe they're testing it, I don't know.


Pioneer National Trainer // Product Specialist
Guest DJ
Location: Hartford
Registered: 05 July 2009
Posts: 35
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are you saying that rather than being able to rely on pioneer as they promise,

that instead we should focus on the quality of the competing equipment they said should replace with theirs?

I cannot believe that reply, when we are talking about an embarrasing, inexcusable problem.

this sounds like yet another non-solution "cant be fixed/"ive asked" excuse that i see a lot of frustration about on this forum.

Im saying that rather than covering for them or excusing it away, you should be really ticked off, and get us action and RESULTS.
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Ireland
Registered: 14 November 2010
Posts: 5
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Alright guys I think we should all be sensible about this, pulse- to be fair it's hard to prepare for your player unexpectantly freezing, swing- I share your frustration but I think we shouldnt take it out on the guys trying to help, falling out with them won't help us.
I think the overall problem/frustration is pioneer just not admitting there is a problem, that way we would where we stand..
Guest DJ
Location: Hartford
Registered: 05 July 2009
Posts: 35
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DD- Im just wondering of we can escalate this to a higher-tier rep. I think Pulses hands may be largely tied. He does do a lot- but i also see times when I feel more could and should be done. Scandalous "double-posting" MIGHT just be a sign that you arent delivering the answers we need. And rather than reprimanding people for doing it, it sometimes should become a "this aint right - I gotta get these guys some help"...even if it means standing up to "the factory" for the principle of it. Ask for...show us..video clips of the problem, email them to the engineers, have customers with issues meet with factory engineers in NY/LA, etc...but get ANSWERS and FIXES...dont just keep saying "we dont know", "ive asked" "i dont build them", "mine doesnt do it"...look DEEPER - be forensic. Is it thermal, is it operational, is it repeatable. Get videos and post to YouTube so we can SEE the issues..stop the tail chasing and frustration! Random freezes simply can NOT happen. If i wanted that, there are any number of supposedly "lesser" companies i could get that "feature" with. Bottom line, the measure of a company and its reps is results when issues come up. And the higher liability the problem, the more results and their expeditious resolution count.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swing,
Pioneer Product Specialist
Picture of Pulse
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 24 October 2006
Posts: 33876
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Jon, do you think I just sit here and answer forum posts or type just for the fun of making characters appear onscreen?

I'm testing hardware and software almost every day, for my own curiosity, to push the limits of design and to replicate the issues forum members are complaining about. I report back EVERYTHING I CAN to the Pioneer engineers and design teams.

I've been to Japan and sat in on meetings and discussions for upcoming products as well as the long lists of things that need to be improved on current products. Pioneer is well aware of all the complaints and problems and believe me when I say they're working hard to fix them.

Just because YOU don't get a fix on YOUR schedule doesn't mean nothing's happening.


Pioneer National Trainer // Product Specialist
Guest DJ
Location: Hartford
Registered: 05 July 2009
Posts: 35
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Not at all C. Im just concerned at the number of times i see issues, in particular , re: the freezing.

Maybe you can summarize this "freezing" issue and its the various causes youve discovered, its remedies, and whatever else might be being addressed in a sticky of some kind to help those who have had this problem - or are fearful of it. I did just chat with fusiondj in CT and his freezing was a bad mp3 file. But i wonder if ERICvisam KenStone, DD and the others are all solved?

JON
Resident DJ
Location: New Jersey
Registered: 28 April 2008
Posts: 170
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Hi just to clarify I haven't had a problem with an MEP-7000. I've owned four of them currently own two and none have ever had a problem.

The only problem I've ever had that I can remember is recently some MP3s on my hard drive were only coming up with the filename in the search results. In other words when I did a search for a title or artist usually the ID3 tag info will be displayed in the results. For some recently added files the actual file name was coming up but after loading it to a deck it did display the proper ID3 tag info.

I always add new files monthly then run the library creator on a macBook using the update library mode. I just ran it in create library mode on that harddrive but haven't tested to see if that fixed the problem yet. Will try it tonight. All in all it's not a big deal since almost all of my files are named bpm_artist_title.mp3

For the record I've been using the same western digital 500 MB P/N WD500H1U-00 ever since the MEP-7000 hit the market. I only use it for requests at gigs and play mostly from MP3-CDs, MP3-DVDs, and lately from a Kingston DataTraveler 16GB (worked out great at the wedding I did last weekend)

One thing is I almost always have only one USB port in use on the MEP at a time. I've been meaning to test having both ports in use simultaneously but it just hasn't happened yet.

The other thing is I'm very meticulous with the MP3 files. Until recently most all of my files I ripped myself from CD. Files I buy from Amazon that come in VBR I re-encode using Audacity to CBR and delete the art work in the process. Same with files from itunes. I did recently switch a monthly music subscription from audio CDs to an MP3 DVD and these are some of the files that were coming up in search with only the file name. Having the one MP3 DVD is convenient and faster than having to rip all the CDs but if it's going to cause problems I'll have to go back to regular audio CDs.

I'm really happy with the MEP at gigs, super convenient, no laptop required, searches are lightning fast on my harddrive, and the sound is great. I did try a CDJ-900 when it came out but it's just not built for searching larger collections like a mobile wedding dj would need.
Guest DJ
Location: Hartford
Registered: 05 July 2009
Posts: 35
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Excellent update Ken. I know that in addition to DD, EricVisa was having some very frustrating random freezes which concerned me. And Eric was such an MEP advocate for so long, that it really spooked me when I think he finally shelved his MEP units when he couldnt resolve the problem.
I wonder if anyone knows if he solved his issues?
As i say- a complete "sticky" might be in order, once and for all listing in one place all the freeze issues- along with what, if anything, solved them.
That would be a good thing to compile for such a confidence-shaking problem.
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Foster City, CA
Registered: 02 November 2009
Posts: 18
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@Ken, that was a very good recap of your approach. Always good to hear the strategy others have taken.

@Jon/swing, I've posted a number of times regarding our company's success (and challenges) with the MEP-7000 over the past two years, and I do believe there are "best practices" that will eliminate the problems you have experienced.

We are a multi-op that plays mostly weddings, but also corporate events, schools, and private parties. We were having similar problems with the MEP in the beginning: occasional freezes, error codes, and slow loading of files. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do was have to replay a couple's first dance due to the unit choking in the middle of a song. And the problems were inconsistent; I might have an audio file choke one day, then be fine the next. Or take a long time to load one day, then be quick the next time.

So, we took our units out of service (or just used them to play audio CDs) for a while. I spent a lot of time reading every word on these forums, trying to get a read on the nature of the problems people were having, and if there was a solution. We wanted to make the MEP work because it's SUCH a good idea as a piece of equipment. Pioneer designed the functionality just about perfectly for a mobile application, and frankly, we were sick of the time and expense of burning thousands of CDs for our setups.

We started experimenting with hard drives and formatting, thinking that the MEP was particular about FAT, FAT32, or HFS+. But we also played around with USB bus powered and externally powered drives, too. We could get different drives and configs to seemingly work without freezing, but we still experienced slowness and erratic behavior on occasion, too. The challenge (and others have experienced this) was that problems were not always repeatable. We tried multiple formatting programs, including the often recommended HP tool. Some scenarios worked better than others, but there was only one solution that never failed: USB flash drives.

In the end, we found that we NEVER experienced a problem with USB sticks. Never. Not once. They were the single most reliable medium. Sure, expensive and not as capacious as hard drives, but oh-so-reliable. We format them all to FAT32 (even though we are all Macintosh) because the MEP's built in library creator does better with FAT and FAT32 than HFS+ when updating the library.

But the story didn't end there. We don't like to play compressed files AND we found that some MP3s would make the MEP choke or get error codes. Yes, these MP3s would play fine in iTunes and Serato (and every other application or player), but not on the MEP. Similarly, we found the MEP would choke on certain AIF files, particularly older ones (probably encoded with 5+ year old Quicktime technology). So, we wrote a script that took EVERY song in our collection (regardless of file type), imported them into the latest Quicktime 7, then exported them out to an AIF, thereby creating a cleanly encoded (new) AIF file. Yes, people, I understand that this didn't ADD data back into compressed MP3s and AACs, but the vast majority of our collection was from uncompressed sources to begin with, so we weren't lossy.

After that, we embedded each clean song file with the appropriate ID3 tags. Since we keep our music in a database, we wrote a script for that, too, to save time. We even created our own custom album art (our company logo) and encoded that into the AIF files. In our testing, we quickly learned that large album art (even default iTunes art) noticeably slows down the MEP-7000. But I didn't like the default "no image" logo on the MEP, so I counted the number of pixels that the MEP displays, then created art to match it exactly (I believe it is 75px X 75px). With "album art" at this tiny, low resolution size, there was no delay at all on loading song files.

So, we ended up with this:
1. USB flash media, formatted as FAT32. We use expensive, but nicely sized 128GB sticks. We can simultaneously play, load, and mix song files from one flash drive without any slowdown or freezing. We use USB2 (the back USB port) on the MEP for our master library.
2. All audio files are AIFs, newly encoded with Quicktime, then embedded with the appropriate ID3 tags and an MEP pixel perfect company logo for the album art.
3. We use the MEP-7000 library creator (NOT the available Pioneer library creator software) to make the MEP's library file. This is because Pioneer's Mac library creator application is not compatible with AIF files. Yes, this is a bug in the Pioneer software.

At the end of the day, we have MEP-7000s that work incredibly fast, never freeze, sound great, and have yet to fail even once on the bench or live at a gig. I personally use them every weekend. After the initial frustration and the massive overhaul of our music collection, I feel like we've found the holy grail. Working correctly, the MEP is a joy to use. (Bonus: our DJs love it, too.)

Personally, I think the MEP-7000 should be more robust. It should play anything you throw at it, and it shouldn't be picky about drive formatting. But it is picky. And I agree that Pioneer should get their best coder working on a firmware revision to make it more reliable. Why should we have to go through so many hoops? But at the end of the day, with the strategy we've employed, we feel the MEP is the best unit on the market for what we do.

I want to add three more comments:

First, for those of you that don't know it, Pulse (and correspondingly Pioneer) DID approach some of us (outside of the forums) with a detailed questionnaire, asking us for feedback on the problems we were experiencing, solutions we had come up with, and a wish list for improvements to the unit. It took me a long time to fill this out! But I give Pioneer credit. They wouldn't solicit user feedback if they didn't care about their products or customers.

Second, I was a little surprised at Pulse's response on this particular thread. To me, he seemed a little abrupt, particularly the "Are you blaming your tools on your inability to be prepared as a DJ?" comment. I thought that uncharacteristic of him. I agree with @Jon/swing that a FOB doesn't take kindly to the father/daughter dance stopping halfway in! This has nothing to do with preparation. I went silent on the dance floor a number of times (before we figured out the problems) when the MEP failed to load or play a track. This was not due to a lack of preparation, but instead, a failing unit.

Third, if forum members have had good success with solutions other than I am suggesting here, great! Post your success stories, particularly those where you HAD a problem, then solved it. Please don't flame me for presenting our company's workflow and success story. I am just trying to help other MEP-7000 owners. DJ equipment is discontinued/revised all the time, and I want Pioneer to keep making this unit!

Woodster

This message has been edited. Last edited by: The Woodster,
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Ireland
Registered: 14 November 2010
Posts: 5
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This is great feedback guys. Some of which I understand, some of which I don't, as I mentioned before I'm not a "techy" so as far as coding and embedding etc I have not got a clue. However there are a few sticking points that I would like to throw out there and see if there are any answers to:
1) players seem to work fine for the first 6/8 months before problems arise, coincidental??
2) my player freezes when using mp3cds, pioneer said it may be due to low quality songs, these songs/CDs play on every other pioneer device i have tried, along with trying númerous other makes/models with absoulutly no problem
3) I have played both my hard drives through another MEP and not had 1 problem. This other guys MEP is using a 1tb hard drive and all music is sourced from places like frostwire,btkunkie etc nothing from the likes of iTunes or amazon and he has had no problems whatsoever,
Guys it's these sticking points that leave me frustrated, an expensive piece of kit that is gathering dust, it's soul destroying, I have pioneer mixers, cdjs the lot, I love the gear, second to none,but this is testing my patience to the limit. Once again thanks for everyones response and help,
DD
Guest DJ
Location: Hartford
Registered: 05 July 2009
Posts: 35
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I cant recall being as impressed with a reply on any of the many forums i subscribe to, as Woodsters post. We have to contact EricVisa to chime in...this might actually become the exhaustive compenduim i was hoping for.

With that said, our business model is similar to Woodster; a mobile company with several djs using several systems.

Im concerned about the USB-only advice.
Based on the design-claims of the MEP, we were hoping to configure our systems in the following way:

1) a "core" library on a fan-cooeld hard drive that stays with the systems (nested in foam)
2) the ability for the DJ to plug in his own personal hard drive or flash drive (possibly needeing a powered USB hub to allow dualaccess?)
3) supply job-specific "important dances/intro-clips/customer requests" on a supplied flash drive (instead of burned cd's, as is common practice now)
4) for those DJ's who bring a laptop with Virtual DJ, etc- they could use the MEP/SEP controller to also navigate their laptop.
(Although Im not sure if you can play a song in controller mode from your laptop on one side of the MEP, and cue up a sone on a different hard drive, flash stick or just a CD on the other?)

Do you see my goal? Seems like a logical one for a multi-op, no?

These are the (4) core functions we were hoping for, and seemed like the engineers had been able to perfect.
In practice, too often things seems to have choked or not quite worked as reliably as one would need for hi-liability events.

Are these 4 expectations asking too much from the design,
....or is anyone using the MEP exactly this way without problems?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swing,
Pioneer Newbie
Location: Dublin
Registered: 08 March 2011
Posts: 9
posted   Hide PostReport This Post  
Hi all,

A lot of tongue lashing here....and not in a good way!

I'm happy with the MEP7000 so far and for what i use it for. Just wondering for those who have had problems with their players being sluggish have they done the following -

1 - Update to the latest firmware. i know pioneer's last update was a while back but make sure its at least up to date.

2 - Get your unit serviced from time to time. We all get our cars serviced, and like all equipment, its needs to be in tip-top shape. No harm in giving your gear a little tlc when it needs it!

3 - Your hard drives - put it simply, the unit is only designed to take flash drives and not something big. Yes most of us are lucky that we can put in a 500gb or a 1tb drive into the back of it and format it to FAT32. i've have had no problems.

Fair play to Woodster for his in-depth testing. I'm trying to make my gear as light as possible for bring it out on the road. Personally, i'm not a fan of any high capacity HDD or flash drive that is not powered - I have seen too many crashes in my lifetime.

To anyone who has had HDD or player freezing problems, my idea to you is simply do a clean fresh format of your HDD and start again - use your back up HDD to rebuild the HDD that you bring on the road.

NOTE - What we bring on the road on a HDD should be music only - no episodes of a tv series or movies etc...

If you don't have a back up drive just at home for restore purposes, you need your head examined!!!!

No harm if posters put up what time of HDD they are using at the moment....so i'll get the ball rolling....

Make - Iomega Prestige
Actual drive - Seagate Barracuda
Capacity - 500 GB
Speed - 7200 RPM
Format - FAT32
Powered - External PSU


@swing - i wouldn't recommend putting your HDD in foam. It needs air to cool down. Foam insulates it. yes its good for transporting duties when its powered off but i have my HDD in a padded bag. When i'm gigging its beside my flightcase with just the power and usb leads coming form the case.

@pulse - i can totally understand his frustration when someone tells him of an ongoing problem. i agree with woodster that this is kinda out of character but we all need to blow out a little steam. no doubt that pioneer are working on it but giving with everything that is happening in Japan, give pioneer and pulse, a little space.
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