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Thread: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

  1. #1

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    Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    I have opted to use dBpowerAMP Reference (DBPA) as my ripping software and about a month or so ago I experienced some problems after I'd been toying with a number of players (MediaMonkey and Foobar etc). The problem was when playing a CD directly back through iTunes. Not something I usually do but I use iTunes to load the songs I rip to FLAC and then convert to MP 3 Lame with DBPA.

    I noticed one day that when I played a CD direct through iTunes the playback speed was slow, the track sounded echoey and full of clicks and loads of interference. As MediaMonkey had crashed on me a few days before, causing a major blue screen lock-up, I put it down to that. Despite uninstall and re-install of iTunes etc nothing I could do removed the problem and, while I don't play back through iTunes, I din't want the cause of this problem to be messing up something somewhere else. Ultimately I had to do a system restore to a time before ANY of these rippers/players were installed. The problem then sorted itself. Since then I have only loaded DBPA. Taking it step at a time I installed DBPA, loaded in the codecs I use, ripped a few CDs, each time checking the CD playback of iTunes and it was working fine.

    Last night however the problem arose again. Clearly it is not MediaMonkey or Foobar. While it may not be the cause of the problem, I noticed it after DBPA couldn't identify a few tracks from an album at first. I double clicked the track inadvertently and it started to play back from the CD through DBPA wrong with the same problems that iTunes had, but worse. Windows Media Player plays the whole album fine. On selecting iTunes the CD playback was broken again.

    Now I'm still not sure whether it is DBPA that has caused this but nothing else on the PC has changed. All was working fine, including iTunes and CD playback after ripping with DBPA but it SEEMS that since inadvertently playing back through DBPA something has gone wrong. Not being too sure of the relationship with the various pieces of software, the PC and codecs etc I'm wondering if:

    a) On playing back with DBPA a codec or software relationsnhip has been created which doesn't work and with which iTunes is not compatible?

    b) Whether the problem had crept in before and I just didn't notice it?

    c) Whether I could fix by changing codecs or settings somewhere?

    d) Whether there is something I need to set in DBPA which might prevent or fix this?

    It may or may not be DBPA, it may be my PC but unless I can fix this I may have to resign myself to unistalling DBPA and using another ripping and converting software as I'm not really happy that this problem is arising. If I have to fix again by a system restore I doubt I'll load DBPA again as, after time, other programmes wil be installed after it and I can't be bothered to kepp re-installing.

    Any comments/thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Your cd drive might have reverted to PIO mode, do a search in google for "cd drive PIO DMA"

  3. #3

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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Hmmmmm. I wonder? It's a Dell XPS PC and a few seem to have had problems with Dell with this from the searches.

    Last night I did have few problems with a couple of CDs and went to Ultra Secure mode with numerous passes to record one or two. I wonder if, once it's got to the 6 or so, it's switched to PIO?

    Do you know if a System Restore would be able to fix such a problem. I ask because I have done one to 24 hrs before and it's all OK. I did the same when problems arose last time, going back further though and taking more drastic action. Obviously if System Restore won't fix a PIO reset I might have to look further, If it will, that may well be the cause. I presume a PIO switch would affect CD playback too, not just stored music? Also, if it had gone to PIO, would Windows Media Playey still be able to read/plY CDs OK? Foobar could before and WMP still could. Just not iTunes or dBpa.

    Thanks for the help so far. I really like dBpowerAMP and don't want to stop using it.
    Last edited by Empgamer; 09-12-2007 at 05:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    System restore would reset a pio, but is not required (it is easy to fix).

    Any program can make a drive switch to PIO, it is a low level windows thing.

  5. #5
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to have the vbscript on this page run on shutdown on machines with IDE drives that use secure ripping modes that tend to have this problem:

    http://winhlp.com/?q=node/10

    Basically, it strips out all of the registry keys related to the DMA, which forces windows to set them to the default values on startup.

    A .reg file could be built to do this as well, I believe.

    -brendan

  6. #6
    dBpoweramp Guru LtData's Avatar
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    See here to check to see if your CD drive is DMA or PIO: http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?t=4619

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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Thanks for that. Will the fix that Spoon suggests fix it permanently or just up until it reverts again (if that is I have any poor quality discs to burn - think I've done them all now). Or, would running that vbs script be better (as it seems to edit registry entries making the change permanent)?

    It sounds like, and I REALLY hope, that it was this PIO problem as it is only this recurring issue that is making me concerned about dBpowerAMP. I had assumed it was a software conflict/issue. Only thing that seems odd though is that Windows Media Player played the CDs fine? Why would that be? Is it running on the lower quality with no APPARENT loss of sound or interference?

  8. #8
    dBpoweramp Guru Wayne's Avatar
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    I think that the resetting of a CD drive to PIO is a feature of Windows.

    Some people have reported this issue when using secure ripping.

  9. #9
    dBpoweramp Guru LtData's Avatar
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Yes, the PIO problem is a "feature" of Windows XP. There is not a way to disable it, but there is a way to have XP reset the connection back to DMA after a certain number of good reads via the registry: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472/ Scroll down to where it mentions "ResetErrorCountersonSuccess".

  10. #10

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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Thanks. Any thoughts on the below before I go dabbling with the registry:

    Only thing that seems odd though is that Windows Media Player played the CDs fine? Why would that be? Is it running on the lower quality with no APPARENT loss of sound or interference?


    I'd hate to be trying to fix something that wasn't actually wrong and screw up the machine even more.

  11. #11
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Quote Originally Posted by Empgamer
    Thanks for that. Will the fix that Spoon suggests fix it permanently or just up until it reverts again (if that is I have any poor quality discs to burn - think I've done them all now). Or, would running that vbs script be better (as it seems to edit registry entries making the change permanent)?

    It sounds like, and I REALLY hope, that it was this PIO problem as it is only this recurring issue that is making me concerned about dBpowerAMP. I had assumed it was a software conflict/issue. Only thing that seems odd though is that Windows Media Player played the CDs fine? Why would that be? Is it running on the lower quality with no APPARENT loss of sound or interference?
    Spoons fix is just till it reverts again. Same with the vbs script.

    I wouldn't be concerned, though, about dbpa. Let me put it this way:

    Yes, dbpoweramp is more likely than, say, itunes or WMP to trigger the DMA->PIO feature of windows. This is not due to a defect in dbpoweramp, this is due to a *feature* in dbpoweramp. Specifically, the fact that the software repeatedly re-reads problematic portions of a CD over and over again in order to get a slightly to much more correct version of the data extracted from the cd means that the windows device driver is much more likely to experience closely-spaced and repeated i/o errors (we are rereading a bad patch of the cd after all) which then trigger the "maybe it's a bad cable, lets move to a lower-speed connection" protocol in the microsoft ide driver.

    IMHO, microsoft has this wrong in that devices such as cds and dvds which are much more likely than hard drives to report recoverable (e.g. fixable with a damp cloth) IO errors shouldn't *ever* incur the "maybe the problem is a bad cable" penalty that microsoft's driver applies. Unfortunately, the team that put that in was a bit short sighted. Microsoft should turn that feature off for optical drive connections in this day and age.

    Summary: this is really a microsoft bug.

    There are workarounds to avoid it happening at all, but you probably won't like them: put the drive into an external case and connect it via firewire (thus avoiding the microsoft IDE driver entirely). USB 2.0 might work as well, but that might introduce other issues.

    -brendan

  12. #12

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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Thanks. I really do wonder how it is that Windows Media Player manages to play CDs from the drive though (whereas iTunes can't) IF it is the PIO problem.

  13. #13
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Quote Originally Posted by Empgamer
    Thanks. I really do wonder how it is that Windows Media Player manages to play CDs from the drive though (whereas iTunes can't) IF it is the PIO problem.
    Well, there's one other explanation: optical drives can also be told to play a CD just like a home stereo, through an analog out. An analog audio cable runs from the drive (separately from the data I/O) to the mainboard or soundcard connector, which is an analog input the the sound chip mixer.

    So maybe WMP is using the analog playback function.

    -brendan

  14. #14

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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    Well, it certainly seems it's the PIO problem. All running fine until last night (UDMA 2 was being used) then came across a dodgy track (on a relatively new and totally undamaged disc!!) that ripped first with errors, then I re-ripped with Ultra Secure. After it finished, iTunes would not play the CD and Primary IDE 'Current Transfer Mode' was set to PIO.

    Just to clarify as this stuff, esp registry dabbling, is a little new to me:

    1) I need to run the advice that Spoon suggests on his link first to restore UDMA mode. In doing so I believe I have to click 'Uninstall' the THREE items under IDE/ATAPI and THEN click 'Uninstall' on the main IDE/ATAPI heading and reboot. I have a bit of sense of dread doing this and do wonder if a System Restore might be less risky???

    2) Then I need to go through the registry key editing that the Microsoft site suggests and which Lt Data posted. This SHOULD allow the counter to reset upon a fresh disc being inserted (or is it after a re-boot)?

    Only other query is that my machine is a Dell XPS 600 with XP (Media Centre) installed and the Dell support site makes mention of this 'fix' for PIO mode on its site. This was posted in 2002 and I'm not sure if this might do one or both of the above. Given its description it SOUNDS as if it is just a script that does the Uninstall that Spoon suggests and that you may then have to still run the MS registry edit to fix long term. This is the Dell 'fix':

    http://support.us.dell.com/support/d...0&fileid=63977

    After this I have even less regard for Windows OS than I used to have, and that wasn't high!!! Gradually on a programme of replacing our systems with Macs. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that DBPA is a Windows only programme I'd likely bin my desk top PC.

  15. #15
    dBpoweramp Guru LtData's Avatar
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    Re: Possible dBpowerAMP/iTunes conflict??

    I believe you only need to uninstall the Secondary channel (if that is where the CD drive is) and then go to Action --> Scan for new hardware and it will re-detect the drive. You will need to reboot for the mode to be reset to PIO, though.
    My recommendation regarding the registry entries will put the drive back up to DMA after successful reads. Note that the PIO-mode drop will still occur, but after successful reads, it will be reset back to DMA mode.

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