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#372054 - 10/06/2019 05:42 largest hard drive possible
Mr_Maniacal
new poster

Registered: 21/04/2002
Posts: 13
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
I was wondering how big of a disk drive you can use for an empeg mark2a.
I first thought about using 2 ide 120gb drives. I then saw a cf device where I can use 2 flash drives in one drive bay. I could use a flash drive of 128g and another one with 128g. I use very high bitrates on my audio files and use FLACs. Does anyone have any idea. Also what would effect the size of drive I can use. Example: number of songs, song list, quality of files, tag info, etc.

thanks

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#372055 - 10/06/2019 08:56 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
There are other threads here somewhere (10yrs ago?) discussing/implementing stuff like this. I think the general result was that, for a Mk2a RioCar branded player (has more RAM), up to 240GB combined storage was doable.

The limitations are in the memory required for the data structures which are used by the player software to manage LARGE numbers of audio files.

In your case, perhaps you don't have an insanely large collection, but the individual files are quite huge. That should be less of an issue.

The dual-CF adapters ($5-$15 on Amazon) do work, with one card as Master and the other as Slave (fully automatic, that bit).

Sticking to 128GB max per drive is not required if always using Hijack kernels, but going beyond 240GB or so is probably going to cause more memory issues.

There is now a "combined" bigdisk builder image available, that installs Hijack, partitions 1 or 2 drives, and installs player software v2.01 onto the setup, all in one step.

I expect to be further improving that builder image over the next week or two, to help more with larger drives (beyond 64GB or so). Stay tuned to the SSD threads in the Technical discussion area of these forums.

Cheers


Cheers

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#372057 - 10/06/2019 17:46 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31298
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
but going beyond 240GB or so is probably going to cause more memory issues.


Mark, thanks so much for this information. Can you elaborate on what memory issues will occur if a drive goes beyond 240GB? And how does that relate to using a two-disk configuration versus a one-disk configuration? In other words, two smaller disks less than 240GB each, versus one large disk of greater than 240GB? And also, would there be a difference if it were winchesters or if it were CF cards?

For the purposes of my question, I'm temporarily setting aside the issues with the song database and the number of tunes being indexed. For example, let's say that the drive was intended to be filled with FLAC files, which will be individually very large, so the user wouldn't likely hit the ceiling of the number of songs. Let's concern ourselves with the disks' ability to be recognized by the player, correctly built, and correctly store their files via emplode.

I'm asking because, in email, Mr_Maniacal was asking me about this, and I told him to hit up the experts on a BBS thread. smile My suggestion was to stick with a single disk configuration instead of going for dual drives, if possible. But if, say, a single 512GB CF card would be a problem, I'm interested to know what the issues would be.
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Tony Fabris

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#372058 - 11/06/2019 01:24 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
It sounds like it's more of an issue of loading the database/playlist/metadata into volatile memory and caching, etc, more than the amount of disk space. There are upgraded units with up to 64mb of memory out there, so I'm not sure how that would affect things. There's some old threads out there with a long detailed discussion on this. EDIT: My search-fu is weak though...I can't seem to find one.
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~ John

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#372059 - 11/06/2019 13:41 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
Purely sem-informed speculation here: Larger drives require more kernel memory for bookkeeping and whatnot. And based on previous BBS discussions, I don't believe anyone has tried to go beyond a pair of 120GB drives yet, mainly because larger ones probably weren't affordable before now. smile

A would expect a single larger drive would be easier on RAM than a pair of smaller drives, as only one mount point and associated data structures would need to be maintained.

One will definitely need to format for 4096-byte block sizes as well, which my builder_v21 does NOT currently do. Some of the older bigdisk builders do it though, and I'm likely to update v21 with that feature at some point as well (currently still travelling).

For the player software, it's all about the number of tracks, not the individual track sizes. And I believe there's a hard limit of less than (approx) 60000 tracks due to FID numbering and bookkeeping.

We did cover all of this at one point, probably more than 10 years ago now! smile

Cheers

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#372060 - 11/06/2019 17:21 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31298
Loc: Seattle, WA
So, to confirm what I'm hearing:

Regarding disk drive building and storage:
Your guess is that a single 512GB CF card would be easier on RAM than, say, two 256GB CF cards, but that no one has reported trying a disk that big yet. And also, anyone attempting it should wait for a new version of your bigdisk builder.

Regarding song database size:
In the past we had determined that the player software could handle a database of somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 songs, depending on how much data existed in the songs' tags.

Does that sound right?
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Tony Fabris

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#372061 - 12/06/2019 02:18 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: mlord]
Mr_Maniacal
new poster

Registered: 21/04/2002
Posts: 13
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Well I guess I will wait and see what I should do. I will buy a cf, but I just dont really know what size I should buy at the moment. If I should buy one large drive to reduce problems and in the future with software upgrades see if the empeg can accommodate greater drive space. So get a 128g or a 256g.

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#372062 - 12/06/2019 11:01 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tfabris

In the past we had determined that the player software could handle a database of somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 songs, depending on how much data existed in the songs' tags.

Does that sound right?


I thought the practical FID limit was more like 40000 tracks/playlists or something, but yeah. If we could find/link the older threads for this it would help I think.

EDIT: At least one person reported 37000 working FIDS after applying various hacks (eg. fidsift.sh etc..).


Edited by mlord (12/06/2019 11:53)

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#372063 - 12/06/2019 11:26 Older threads dealing with CF-Cards and large numbers of FIDs (tracks) [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
I am searching the BBS for some of the older threads relevant to the SSD/CF discussions here.

First up, this fascinating thread from 2007, when many of us first starting replacing spinning rust with CF cards:

https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/317823/1 "CF empeg"

And various others..

https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/357267/1 "Player crash when uploading playlists"
https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/250953 "Patching the Player for more dynamic FIDs"
https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/287390/1 "Plain english description of what the "maxfid" patch does?"
https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/248680/ "empeg file structures"
https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/306495/ "Large harddisk upgrade, many songs, 2 questions"
https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/306417 "250 GB Drives" and the beginnings of the bigdisk builder

EDIT: Wow, read through those threads and there's a virtual gold mine of useful info. Not to mention a reminder that I need to also incorporate the set_max_fid stuff into the new builder images along with fidsift.sh (easy, just gotta do it).


[more to come]


Edited by mlord (12/06/2019 20:22)

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#372064 - 12/06/2019 17:22 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31298
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: mlord
At least one person reported 37000 working FIDS after applying various hacks (eg. fidsift.sh etc..).


I meant without having to do hacks, i.e., merely run emplode and drop songs into it.

Cool links to the various threads with all the info. Thanks so much for the information, and thanks so much for keeping the builder images updated with new features which keep our old players working with new drives!
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#372065 - 12/06/2019 18:21 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
Faolan
journeyman

Registered: 08/11/2017
Posts: 67

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#372066 - 12/06/2019 20:22 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Faolan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada


Added to the list above, thanks.

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#372067 - 13/06/2019 01:14 Re: Older threads dealing with CF-Cards and large numbers of FIDs (tracks) [Re: mlord]
Mr_Maniacal
new poster

Registered: 21/04/2002
Posts: 13
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Thanks for those links. I will look those up.

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#372071 - 14/06/2019 05:15 Re: Older threads dealing with CF-Cards and large numbers of FIDs (tracks) [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
_________________________
~ John

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#372073 - 14/06/2019 12:50 Re: Older threads dealing with CF-Cards and large numbers of FIDs (tracks) [Re: JBjorgen]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada


That's another excellent link, this time dealing with the ReserveCache=xx setting and other items. Including a reminder for me to add "nocheck" to the rwm script that the bigdisk builder installs. Done (not released yet).

Cheers

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#372075 - 15/06/2019 12:59 Re: Older threads dealing with CF-Cards and large numbers of FIDs (tracks) [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/287449/fpart/1 "Plain english description of what the "maxfid" patch does?"

https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/183410/all/fidsift_sh_rearrange_drive_fid "fidsift.sh -- rearrange /drive?/fids/ into subdirs"

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#372077 - 15/06/2019 20:03 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
Mr_Maniacal
new poster

Registered: 21/04/2002
Posts: 13
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
I was looking at a compact flash adapter from ide to hold two flash drives, a master and a slave. It looks average price for 128gb is $79 to $99. i am wondering if you could use another adapter that fits a micro sd card into a flash drive because a 128gb is $25 a 256gb is $48 and a 400gb is $95. Those micro sd cards are much cheaper than a regular flash drive. I am wondering if something prevents that or what the downside would be

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#372079 - 16/06/2019 04:10 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31298
Loc: Seattle, WA
CompactFlash is better for the empeg than SD, as discussed in some other threads on this BBS.

Reason: CompactFlash drives are IDE drives (technically they have a PATA interface), and they talk directly to IDE PATA controllers (like the one in the empeg) without having to go through any kind of translation. So a CF-to-IDE adapter does not have any complex conversion firmware which could potentially have bugs. Whereas an SD-to-IDE adapter would require a layer of firmware between the SD card and the IDE controller, potentially having bugs and compatibility issues.

I don't know if anyone has had success with an SD-to-IDE adapter yet, whereas more than one person has had success with a CF-to-IDE adapter.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#372080 - 16/06/2019 15:24 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
Yeah. Two of us have recently tried out very similar SD-Card to IDE44 adapter boards. The one I got works with SD cards up to 16GB, but fails with a 64GB card. I don't have a 32GB to try with it, but theoretically it probably would work.

BBS user JBjorgen had no success with a 1GB or 32GB test card:

https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/371821/Replacement_SSD?#Post371821

Cheers

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#372084 - Yesterday at 04:24 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: Mr_Maniacal]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
Mark, what was the brand/model of the 16GB card you got it to work with?
_________________________
~ John

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#372087 - Yesterday at 12:01 Re: largest hard drive possible [Re: JBjorgen]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14105
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: JBjorgen
Mark, what was the brand/model of the 16GB card you got it to work with?


I have had this card for a long time, so probably no longer available:

Silicon Power SDHC Class-10 16GB.
S616G1208
TFSKOM1201517

So, SDHC rather than SDXC.

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