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show-stopping pedal problem
#1
I was using my Firefly pedal in a concert last night. I am the pianist and the grand piano is in the middle of the theater with performers and audience surrounding the piano. The pedal is USB hardwired to a 22" Acer all-in-one computer running MobileSheetsPro (1.43). Twice during the soundcheck, tapping the pedal to advance the pages (2 page mode where 2 pages are viewed at once) caused the .pdf score to turn grey while getting stuck in a "loop" without further displaying any pages. The only way to break the loop is to press the pedal again, which then displays a clear page again, but NOT the following page that should be loaded. It seems to be a random page from somewhere else in the score.

The real disaster came during the live show *with full audience* when this happened 3 times. The 1st and 2nd time I was able to keep playing (playing notes that had nothing to do with the composition) while searching for the current page with both forward and back pedals. The 3rd time, I literally had to stop the show, find the correct page, tell the singer where he should pick up, and do my best to finish the show. This was, as you can image, an absolute nightmare.

At first, I thought I was possibly causing this by inadvertently pressing both pedals at once. During the performance, I was super careful to not do that. Yet the loop and consequent issues remained and resulted in my having to stop the show. Not good.

I am, shall we say, rather desperate here. It is Saturday morning here in Amsterdam as I write this. My following show is Sunday evening and I need to find a solution before this happens again.

Please help - all suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated!
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#2
Hi Alan

I take it, yesterday's performance was the first time you encountered this problem.

If you have been using this exact same setup over the last weeks several times and never seen this issue, chances are this may be a one time problem, solved by powering everything off, disconnecting evertything. And then reconnecting and powering everything on again. . . .

Did you happen to do this between sound check and performance ??

Have you been using this exact same setup this moring to practice/test things any further?  And did you have the issue ???

If yes, maybe you can try a different USB cable ? (or try -just for testing - not to use the firefly and tap manually on the screen)
Alternatively you can think on what may have changed in your setup since the time where you are sure everything worked fine.

- is it a new pdf file / or did the issue present itself only in some pdf files ??
- was MSPro updated (although I have not read any reports like this on the forum) I also have an Acer 22" all in one, and have not seen this issue (I do not use pedals though) (currently am running 1.4.4 of Mobilesheets, but did not see it when on 143 either - which was only a week if I remember well)

If you are using this setup (semi) professionally, do you have any backup material (aka plan B) a second tablet or Firefly (or paper scores) . .

kind regards,

Rudy
_____________________________________________________
HP Slate 21-Android 4.4.2, HP Slate 17-Android 4.4.4, Onda Air 10" (backup tablet) Android 4 / Windows 10
Yamaha Genos, Roland PK-6, Yamaha PSR SX900
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#3
Alan,

I'm so sorry that happened in the middle of your performance! You said you saw a spinning circle when the page wouldn't load, which would indicate it's a different problem than the one described in this thread http://zubersoft.com/mobilesheets/forum/...263&page=4

I've been trying to work on that issue, and today I've been going through thousands of songs to see if I can recreate any errors with pages not loading. So far, I've had no luck. I'm almost tempted to add support for some kind of gesture or touch action that forces a refresh of the current page, even though that shouldn't be necessary when things are working the way they are supposed to.

I'll switch to testing with the two page mode with a pedal to see if I can reproduce the problem you saw. If you happen to find any additional information that helps with reproducing the issue, please let me know. You were testing with the "Quality" render preference enabled, correct?

Mike
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#4
I'm completely unable to reproduce this issue even after turning through thousands of pages. I'm not sure where to go from here...
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#5
Yes, I got the spinning circle trying to render pages (both pages in 2 page mode appearing dark grey or black, depending on your gamma settings I suppose), so it very well may be related to the other thread you mentioned.

I was running with speed mode enabled, not quality mode.
The .pdf is one long song - more than 200 pages
I've used this exact .pdf before, without a single instance of spinning circle, etc.
As I said, the only way to get out of the grey-circle turning-loop is to press the pedal, which stops the loop but renders a seemingly random page from elsewhere in the long score.

I have no time to open any preferences or do anything during the performance: I am the only musician playing, and once I start, I must continue playing the entire score - non-stop - for the following hour and a half. I pretty much never stop playing, which is why I use the firefly pedal to turn pages. Quite frankly, when I had the problem during the soundcheck, I thought at one point that the spinning circle, grey pages, etc. actually started by itself...before I'd even touched the pedal. Now I'm not sure I was imagining this.

As I said, this has happened during a rehearsal, but until last night never during a performance. When it's happened, it's occured in different places, not when it reaches one particular page.

I'm now more distraught than ever, having read that this is an existing problem for other users as well.

What to do, Mike?

(04-17-2016, 01:46 AM)Zuberman Wrote: Alan,

I'm so sorry that happened in the middle of your performance!  You said you saw a spinning circle when the page wouldn't load, which would indicate it's a different problem than the one described in this thread http://zubersoft.com/mobilesheets/forum/...263&page=4

I've been trying to work on that issue, and today I've been going through thousands of songs to see if I can recreate any errors with pages not loading. So far, I've had no luck. I'm almost tempted to add support for some kind of gesture or touch action that forces a refresh of the current page, even though that shouldn't be necessary when things are working the way they are supposed to.  

I'll switch to testing with the two page mode with a pedal to see if I can reproduce the problem you saw. If you happen to find any additional information that helps with reproducing the issue, please let me know. You were testing with the "Quality" render preference enabled, correct?

Mike
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#6
To my knowledge, only a handful of users have encountered this problem, which makes it much more challenging to solve as it appears to be very difficult to reproduce. I've switched my tablet over to the "speed" render preference and I'm going through large PDFs right now seeing if the problem will occur. The manufacturer of the PDF library that I use when "speed" is selected has released an update, so I'm going to include that in my next release. Depending upon the nature of the issue you've described, this may or may not help. I still don't really know what's happening, and until I can reproduce the issue, I have no way to easily fix the issue. I'm happy to test with the same PDF you are using if you think it may be beneficial.

Thanks,
Mike
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#7
I can WeTransfer a copy to you, if you'd like. Just tell me where to send it.
Again, my show is Sunday evening. Any updates you have would be enormously appreciated before then.

(04-17-2016, 08:32 AM)Zuberman Wrote: To my knowledge, only a handful of users have encountered this problem, which makes it much more challenging to solve as it appears to be very difficult to reproduce.  I've switched my tablet over to the "speed" render preference and I'm going through large PDFs right now seeing if the problem will occur. The manufacturer of the PDF library that I use when "speed" is selected has released an update, so I'm going to include that in my next release. Depending upon the nature of the issue you've described, this may or may not help. I still don't really know what's happening, and until I can reproduce the issue, I have no way to easily fix the issue. I'm happy to test with the same PDF you are using if you think it may be beneficial.

Thanks,
Mike
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#8
If you can send it to mike@zubersoft.com (if it's small enough for email), that would be great, otherwise we could use cloud storage (you could share it on dropbox or google drive). I'll do everything I can to help get this issue addressed.
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#9
(04-17-2016, 09:41 AM)Zuberman Wrote: If you can send it to mike@zubersoft.com (if it's small enough for email), that would be great, otherwise we could use cloud storage (you could share it on dropbox or google drive). I'll do everything I can to help get this issue addressed.

Just sent you a link to the file on dropbox, Mike. Hope it helps!

Just thought I'd mention that battery useage is not an issue here, as the computer stays plugged in when being used.
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#10
I believe I may have located the issue. Certain conditions can trigger requests from the Android OS for my app to release some memory (like if it's in the background or the device is almost out of RAM). In response to those requests, I free up resources, but some of those may be actively in use. I believe this creates a situation in which pages can not render or be rendered incorrectly. I'm certainly seeing this while trying to print large PDFs. I'm going to be changing the code to either safely free up resources, or just not free them at all to ensure that the program can never enter a bad state.

Mike
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#11
(04-17-2016, 03:04 PM)Zuberman Wrote: I believe I may have located the issue. Certain conditions can trigger requests from the Android OS for my app to release some memory (like if it's in the background or the device is almost out of RAM).  In response to those requests, I free up resources, but some of those may be actively in use. I believe this creates a situation in which pages can not render or be rendered incorrectly.  I'm certainly seeing this while trying to print large PDFs.  I'm going to be changing the code to either safely free up resources, or just not free them at all to ensure that the program can never enter a bad state.

Mike

This sounds encouraging, Mike. Without sounding like a blithering idiot (as I have no idea how much work is involved making the changes you'd need to make), is there any chance an update would be available within the next 9 hours? That would give me just enough time to update MSP on the tragically slow WIFI network available within the theater and hopefully do the show without any further drama. Thanks so much for all your efforts!
Please let me know.

PS Just checked and saw that this Acer puter takes a max. of 4 gig RAM. So stuck there.
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#12
The update was released about 8 hours ago, so I hope you've gotten it by now... 4GB of RAM should be plenty - the Android OS just likes to preserve RAM when possible.
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#13
(04-18-2016, 12:49 AM)Zuberman Wrote: The update was released about 8 hours ago, so I hope you've gotten it by now...  4GB of RAM should be plenty - the Android OS just likes to preserve RAM when possible.

Yep, most definitely got it! I installed it and have been testing for hours, all seems good so far, no matter how hard I try to break it ;-)

If this fixes it, I owe you (another) drink, Mike.
What's your pleasure?

Okay, fingers crossed for tonight...I'll let you know what happens!
Mucho thankolas,
Alan
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#14
No drink required - I'm always very appreciative and thankful when my users are patient when problems arise. Software development is rarely simple or easy...

Have a great show tonight!

Mike
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#15
(04-18-2016, 02:13 AM)Zuberman Wrote: No drink required - I'm always very appreciative and thankful when my users are patient when problems arise.  Software development is rarely simple or easy...

Have a great show tonight!

Mike

Well, I must tell you that at the end of tonight's flawless show (except for some rather extraordinarily bizar playing on my part), the entire audience rocked the foundation of the theater when they stood up during the curtain calls and, in unison, roared "THANK YOU, MIKE!!!". And me? The stage manager kept throwing me bananas as I swung from chandelier to chandelier in a state of near orgasmic bliss.
In other words, your fix worked. I am a very happy musician right now.
I can't thank you enough, Mike :-)
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