Jump to content
IGNORED

Pono Music Software


jriver

Recommended Posts

Great review here: Pono

 

PonoMusic World has the familiar JRiver skin, and it behaves like an early beta version of the latter. The application isn’t very responsive, and it hesitates and grinds its teeth a lot. You can almost hear the gears gnashing. It took three or so reboots of the Player, the software, and, ultimately, my computer to get the Player to mount as a device on my desktop and within the PMW app.

 

Then, after the app stalled yet again, attempting to eject the device – both from within the app and/or on my desktop – brought up a spinning rainbow pizza and locked up my Finder. Simply right-clicking on the PonoPlayer drive icon on my desktop would stall the Finder for minutes at a time. Unplugging the USB cable from the Player would result in that ominous OS X warning about ejecting a removable drive before disconnecting it.

 

Reboots seemed to clear up the problem, at least temporarily.

 

Uploading HD files seemed to work best when only doing a couple at a time. When I tried to do about 25 songs (or three or so albums) at once, the progress bar slowed to a near-glacial pace, then the evil rainbow pizza would begin mocking me with its dervish dance — or the app would just crash, necessitating another series of reboots.

 

When PonoMusic World worked, loading music seemed to take a longer time than it should. Transferring a 24/96 album and an 3-song EP at 16/44 took over 15 minutes, which doesn’t seem right. It’s probable that transferring music from an internal hard drive would go faster – all my files are on a 2TB external FW800 hard drive.

 

 

After all the lockups, the reboots, having to re-select files to transfer…trying to fill one 64-gig micro-SD card half-way took me about three hours. Not including the swearing and periodic breaks to pace like a caged animal, of course.

 

 

I consulted the Pono Community forums and some helpful souls suggested I bypass PonoMusic World and “sideload” the tracks directly to the SD card using a card reader. I didn’t have a card reader at my office, but did so this weekend at home and found the process relatively painless…and MUCH faster. My sideload end-around of PMW meant that, within an hour, I had a card packed with FLACs and AIFs. I inserted it into the Player, got a “Scanning music library…” screen, and…few seconds all the new music was browsable.

 

 

I believe it’s possible that having three installs of JRiver – my original JRMC19 and JRMC20 plus PonoMusic World – might be confusing my system software. But no one at Pono told me not to do that, dude. I’ll keep an eye on the Pono Community forum and see if anyone else is having the same crash-test-dummy experiences I’m having. It’s all about the fellowship.

 

 

I’m still working on filling the Player up with my own tracks. I’m hoping that there’s some PonoMusicWorld software updates that improve the responsiveness and stability of the application. Soon I’ll find something to buy on the Pono store. I hope that experience is distinguished by less, um, friction.

 

 

Until then, me, my PonoPlayer, and sideloading…we’re going to be spending some quality time.

 

Link to comment

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

Link to comment

It's beta.

 

The speed issue was fixed in the build you're trying to test. We'll take a look at the crash you reported.

 

There may be another build available this afternoon.

 

I'm not trying to do anything but build great software.

Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center / jriver.com

Link to comment
It's beta.

 

The speed issue was fixed in the build you're trying to test. We'll take a look at the crash you reported.

 

There may be another build available this afternoon.

 

I'm not trying to do anything but build great software.

 

That's great, I look forward to the update. Your comment to another poster just seemed a little defensive on your end for no reason.

Link to comment

I agree with many of the observations in the linked review and Mystic's comments. This is the most unstable piece of software I have loaded on my current model MBP. It is the only software that has ever completely crashed my Mac, the Sync function works perhaps 1 in 4 times, and it is completely inconsistent at what speed files will sync or upload. It is much easier, and much faster just to transfer files using Finder.

 

What doesn't help, pardon the pun, is the lack of any useful instructions or troubleshooting from the Pono people. Within the app's help option, this seems to go to some general JRiver wiki type thing, which bears little relationship to the Pono app. On the Pono website, there are a few cheerful videos showing how perfectly everything works. But no written text that I could find. Too much sizzle, not enough steak.

 

The app seems potentially very powerful (perhaps too much so for this type of player), but for me this whole Pono experience is very much amateur hour.

Link to comment

+1 on Glisse's comments and experiences on the Pono Software, I love the actual player but can't really use the software (Reverted to using Finder). Maybe being a Mac user does not help.

 

That said we need to help the JRiver people try and improve it to at least and acceptable level. Firstly decent instructions would help..I am sure that some of my problems are of my own making but I just can't find out how to solve them.....

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

Link to comment

Beta software is not meant for general consumption. It is for building, troubleshooting, and figuring things out. Lord knows I have problems with the Mac approach of the JRiver folks but this criticism of beta software is just unfair. I have a no beta policy on my computer because I do not want to deal with the crashes, instability, and even potential data loss that using beta software entails. If you're not interested in filing bug reports then don't use the software until it reaches the first release version. Sheesh...

Link to comment
+1 on Glisse's comments and experiences on the Pono Software, I love the actual player but can't really use the software (Reverted to using Finder). Maybe being a Mac user does not help.

 

That said we need to help the JRiver people try and improve it to at least and acceptable level. Firstly decent instructions would help..I am sure that some of my problems are of my own making but I just can't find out how to solve them.....

 

I agree constructive feedback is the way forward. Looking at the general Pono experience, I would say that JRiver probably received little in the way of a formal briefing from Pono. But the quality of the feedback will, as you rightly said, be dependant on addressing the basic functionality. That the player's firmware requires user intervention to work with the app (manually putting the player into/out of file transfer mode) is not intuitive, and poorly explained on the video. This is where most users have initial problems, I suspect. But erratic syncing and numerous crashes are conflicts with Finder, not user error.

 

You may also be correct that JRiver programmes, which IIRC are originally written for Windows, are not so robust on OS-X. But I did just check the Pono videos, and they are using Macs. Not surprisingly, as most people in the music industry would think Windows is something you look out of :)

Link to comment
Beta software is not meant for general consumption. It is for building, troubleshooting, and figuring things out. Lord knows I have problems with the Mac approach of the JRiver folks but this criticism of beta software is just unfair. I have a no beta policy on my computer because I do not want to deal with the crashes, instability, and even potential data loss that using beta software entails. If you're not interested in filing bug reports then don't use the software until it reaches the first release version. Sheesh...

 

It is hardly advertised as Beta software as it comes with the Player, or should we all keep the player in the box until they can get something out that is not a 'Beta'. These days it seems beta is used as an excuse for software not working...like this. I am vaguely supportive to helping them get it right buts lets be honest this is hardly Rocket Science software these days - it is just something to get music files into the player right? Sheesh indeed...

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

Link to comment
It is hardly advertised as Beta software as it comes with the Player, or should we all keep the player in the box until they can get something out that is not a 'Beta'. These days it seems beta is used as an excuse for software not working...like this. I am vaguely supportive to helping them get it right buts lets be honest this is hardly Rocket Science software these days - it is just something to get music files into the player right? Sheesh indeed...

 

Earlier in the thread, the developer said it was beta software, that's what I'm going by. If they didn't mark it as beta that's a little disappointing but so far all that has been shipped is the kickstarter product right? It's still very early days.

 

The beta label is not an excuse, it is a description. Beta software is a prototype. As far as thinking that it isn't "rocket science" I think you're being rather naive when it comes to software development. Especially for cross platform software development. You want a bug free, polished piece of software. How do you think that happens? You need many many people using the software and providing feedback. That's what beta software is, and that's what's happening now with this brand new product. Give it some time...

Link to comment

There are a couple of solutions that have been found to the problem of memory devices not showing up.

 

One seems to be a problem with the micro-SD card:

Bad Micro-SD Card?

 

Another is just confusion over the process for getting the device ready for transfer:

Pono player not recognized

 

If anyone has any other problems, please post the details.

Jim Hillegass / JRiver Media Center / jriver.com

Link to comment

Well, I think most of us will still be using the Pono supplied Micro-SD card, so lets hope they are not supplying "bad" cards.

 

But corruption of the card may related to the way it is being treated. Under OS-X, ejecting the player under Pono Music Software always results in an OS warning message indicating the storage devices have not been correctly disconnected. That can often lead to data corruption. Clearly PMS (!!!) is causing some conflict with Finder.

Link to comment
[...] Clearly PMS (!!!) is causing some conflict with Finder.

 

That's what I was thinking, also. However, this could also be a problem with the current release of the Pono firmware, right? Or maybe a combination....

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

Link to comment

I'm constantly having problems ejecting the SDcard from my Mac and it will not allow me to force eject saying it is being used by another program...which I assume is PMW, even after I have quit the program.

 

I would really like to have 1 eject button in PMW and not having to separately eject the PonoPlayer and than also the SDcard, seems kinda messy to me.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Once I discovered that Time Fades Away was available to me at 192/24 FLAC as I am eligible at this time because of my status as a Kickstarter patron, I made my first purchase from Pono Music.com.

 

After purchasing the album, having already installed PMW 20.0.45, I clicked the bar that correlated with my download. With PMW launched the download did not start. Waited for several minutes, expecting the download to commence. Nothing happened. Called the 800 number (this was on Saturday of this week) and the support person recommended I close PMW. Reopen the program, go to Tools, click on check for downloads, and, voila! The download commenced. Having viewed the video in advance, as with other videos offered for support, the actual steps have changed. It comes down to the idea of it as to what to do. The download showed up in my main HDD on my Mac Mini in the Music folder. I took the easy way and just dragged the album folder to my SDXC disc recently inserted in my Limited NY Chrome player without converting to AIFF to avoid the possibility that despite all the tracks being transferred, only a limited number of tracks would display and be playable as was the case with Barry Diament's Winds Of Change which transferred completely at 192/24 but is in the AIFF format and only 3/13 were displayed and playable.

 

I am only posting these details for other members who may have or will purchase a download from Pono Music.com only to discover the download does not start. And the foregoing is one way to troubleshoot that problem. All my music tracks are in the AIFF format on my external Raid 5 drives. But for now until the firmware is updated to remove the AIFF impediment, any downloads from Pono Music.com installed on my Pono Player will be left in the FLAC format instead of AIFF.

 

I am starting to get use to how to do things with PMW. It is still clumsy, in my view, but as long as I can accomplish getting the music tracks to the Pono Player, I can deal with it, hoping these operations improve over time as a work in progress.

 

No comments about Time Fades Away as I have not taken the time to listen to the album on the Pono Player yet. Support by telephone was friendly and helpful. I appreciate that very much. I was reluctant to close PMW before contacting support only because I find the program buggy and idiosyncratic. Once support made the recommendation, of course, it made sense to do just that.

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...