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KlaxonLabs
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Joined: 08/18/2018 - 19:13
Song files backed up to PC are missing data

Hello fellow Caustic users -- first-time poster here.

I've been using Caustic for just a couple of months (the unlocked version, on my Kindle Fire tablet), and enjoying it a lot.  But I discovered something this weekend that concerns me.

I wanted to make a backup copy of my project, so while my Fire was connected to my Windows 10 PC via USB cable, I found the song file in the caustic/songs/ directory, and copied it to my PC.

As an experiment, I tried opening it in the Windows version of Caustic (which I had recently downloaded and installed).  I was surprised to find that, while my instrument patterns were all there, the main song sequence was missing from the sequencer, as were all my mixer settings and insert effects.

I tried renaming this file and copying it back over to my Fire.  When I opened it up there, I found the same things were missing.

I thought maybe this was because the Windows version of Caustic isn't as up-to-date as the Android version, and that opening it up there corrupted the file.  But I wanted to be sure that was the problem.

So once again, I copied the original song file (which is still fully intact) from the Fire to the PC, but didn't open it up in Windows Caustic.  Then I renamed it, and copied it back from the PC to the Fire.  When I opened it in Caustic on the Fire, I found again that mixer settings, insert effects, and the main sequence were all missing.

Can anyone explain why this is happening?  I'd really like to be able to back my song files up to my PC, but if I lose valuable information in the process, it's not workable.  Is there a way to do this that doesn't strip out all that data?

 

KlaxonLabs
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Joined: 08/18/2018 - 19:13
I guess maybe I should ask a

I guess maybe I should ask a different question: Is this a normal behavior?  Do other people have this problem, or are you able to move song files back and forth between Android and Windows without losing any data?

 

Darloth
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Joined: 06/21/2016 - 09:06
I think you're experiencing a

I think you're experiencing a weirdness of the Android file system here.

Caustic saves its files in such a way that they don't get placed directly into the file system where Android says they are. Instead they go to some sort of buffer or cache, I'm not certain myself.

A while later, after some condition I'd really like to know about, they get copied or updated from that other place to the file system I can actually see.
I know this is happening because often when I save a new song it simply doesn't exist to a USB connection - it just isn't there. Android can see it, but the PC via USB cannot copy it.

I think what happened to you is you had access to an old version of the file you were working from.
If it helps, other android apps such as dropbox or whatever do seem to have the up to date version, so you can use those to copy to elsewhere, instead of the USB cable. Personally, I find this irritating, but I don't think it's directly Caustic's fault.

According to the internet, it's a bit of a known issue with android. Restarting the tablet (not just sleep mode, a full restart) tends to fix it, as does clearing various caches and suchlike, but it's all rather fiddly. If someone finds a better solution I'd love to hear it.

KlaxonLabs
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Joined: 08/18/2018 - 19:13
Maybe it's just a Kindle problem

Thanks for the prompt reply, and the suggestions. 

When I copy the file over to my PC, I don't think I'm getting an older version of the file.  Opening up the file after copying it (either on the PC or on the Fire, after copying it back), I can still see all my instrument patterns, including the most recent edits I made yesterday.  But the entire sequence in the sequencer is just gone, as are the other things I mentioned.

I'm starting to suspect it's an issue with the Kindle version of Android.  I seem to recall reading (maybe in another thread on this forum?) that Rej was never able to get Caustic to install properly from the Amazon app store.  I had to install the demo version of Caustic on the tablet by sideloading it as an APK.  Later, I was able to get the unlocked version installed, but only by first installing the Google Play Store (using some installer files I found online).

I know various standard Android apps just don't work quite right on Kindle OS.  I'm enjoying using Caustic on my Kindle tablet, but I'm starting to think maybe I should save up some cash and get a Samsung Galaxy Tab or some other "proper" Android tablet soon.

In the meantime, I will try backing my song up using Dropbox.  Hopefully that will work.

 

KlaxonLabs
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Joined: 08/18/2018 - 19:13
Yep -- after installing the

Yep -- after installing the Dropbox app on my Kindle Fire, uploading my mix to Dropbox, and then opening it in Caustic on my PC, I found everything there.  Problem solved.

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
Caustic saves in the public

Caustic saves in the public directory. No cache.

The cache thing you are experiencing is Rej may not be calling the API that rescans the public library on your device.

I can pretty much guarentee that if you save a file and can't see it in an explorer, you have to restart your device. Every time an Android device is restarted, Android re-scans for files in those "Public" directory.

Also, the "sdcard" location on Android is crazy weird, and it's a link to another spot that you cannot get to if you are not rooted.

This doesn't mean that Rej is saving files in a cache private directory.

Edit: Yes, Kindle is another wierd peice of the pie that can add even more confusion to this confusing topic.

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
> Is there a way to do this

> Is there a way to do this that doesn't strip out all that data?

Looking at this as a developer there are only 2 things happening with a .caustic file.

When you save, Rej writes a whole binary blob to the .caustic file, writes it to disk and that is that.

When you try an open a file, Rej loads those bytes(mixer, effect data etc) and reads them back exactly the way he wrote them out.

If you are missing data it's either, your file system is corrupt and not saving correctly(missing or un aligned bytes) OR the version of Caustic you are using is lower then what was saved, but Rej has an error for that.

Can you post the file, I can actually read it. (the one that has missing data)

 

carl-alex
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Joined: 11/08/2012 - 05:30
Do you correctly mount your

Do you correctly mount your tablet/phone as a file device to the PC?

I had sometimes problems when I just connected the devices. The PC found a device with subdrives but there occurred some errors; in the worst case my beatbox folder got corrupted. So, I always use "Settings - External - USB connection" to connect the Android device (needs some taps) - and I ignore all Windows warnings to correct the file system.