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Johnboy

Opening .cwb file freezes CbB - Resolved - Operator Error Fail

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Posted (edited)

Last August I digitized my old 1/2" 8-track tapes from the late 1980's.  I had installed a fresh copy of both CW platinum and CbB on my Win8.1 OS PC at that time.  At this point I am not sure which of the two versions I actually used to capture and save the audio with from my 8-port audio interface.  I am able to open a more recently saved .cwp file with no problems.  I'm not sure if I ever closed the application between recordings of the 6 songs contained on the tapes.  Thankfully I also separately saved the audio tracks independently as I sold the TASCAM 38 several months later thinking I would no longer need it (FLW <G>).  I did create a new project as I recorded each song and saved the audio tracks as mentioned earlier then used the option to save the session as a .cwb bundle (.cwp and audio together).  I did not intentionally save the session's environment as .cwp nor is there any indication that CW automatically created a .cwp file between captures.  Long story short, I've recently found myself with a little more free time recently <G>, so I thought I would revisit my brilliant creations from yesteryear only to get that fun older brother Wayne surprise sucker-punch  (Wonder Years) of a stalled program.  At this point it does not matter if I attempt to open the .cwb file from within either version of Cakewalk (I've also tried 'Safe' mode by holding down the 'Shift' key while clicking on the 'Open' button in the file select dialog box) or right click on the .cwb file within Windows File Explorer and select 'Open' to launch with CW.  When the application attempts to load the file the 'pull-down' menu area at the top left of the application window is greyed out and the window does not respond to any mouse input.  There is no rotating circular 'busy' indicator shown and I have left the program in that state over-night (>8  hours )just in case the program was attempting to rebuild the file.  I have 32GB of RAM and task manager shows that my system has 'plenty' of free RAM memory and hard drive space.  I only accidentally discovered the program was not 'locked up' when focus and access to the program were returned by pressing the 'Esc' key on my keyboard.  Obviously I would like to know if anyone else has experienced or resolved this issue.  I have not tried to create a new project then save it to a .cwb file, close the application, re-launch CW and try to open the .cwb yet, but I guess I'll try that too after I finish here.  Is there any procedure to log a request for the development team to look at this issue if no one on the forum can help ?

 

Thanks !

Edited by Johnboy

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Posted (edited)

OK, just finished testing both CWP and CbB versions.  Launched CWP program, selected new project, selected basic 2-track, named project 'test1' , selected 'OK' to close dialog box, selected 'Save As', selected bundle as type (.cwb extension appended to project name replacing default '.cwp'), selected 'OK' to close dialog box, selected 'Close' to close project, closed program, Started program, selected 'test1' from recently opened list, pull-down menu greyed out, waited, no program response, pressed 'Esc' key to gain control of program, closed program.  Repeated procedure with CbB using 'test2' as project name with identical results.  Are we all just lucky enough that this issue only affects me ?  If any kind soul can try this on their platform and see if they can duplicate the issue I would appreciate it greatly. 

 

Thanks !

Edited by Johnboy

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To bad you used bundle files. They are not what I would recommend for anything you want to keep safe. 

I know it's too late but for others who may read this. 

To copy 4 or 8 or 16 track tapes to Cakewalk you'll need an interface that can handle to track count. It is possible to use 2 or 4 tracks and sync them up latter. 

This is a very rough step by step, there's lots more that I would do but I'll keep it simple. 

Open a new project, insert 8 ( or ?) audio tracks and assign each tracks input to the corresponding channel of the interface.  track 1 to input 1 etc. 

Insert a master buss  

You might want to add pro channel and any effects you know your going to use for sure.  

Save this as a template

Now do a "save as" name the song and save as a CWP file. 

Put in record  standby mode and play the tape. 

Adjust input level for each track. 

Now rewind and start recording the song. 

When song is over SAVE. 

Play it back to make sure its OK. 

Now for song #2 open the template and immediately SAVE AS    and re name as song #2. 

There are other ways to accomplish the same thing like deleting the track data but the key factor is to make sure to SAVE AS before starting the new song. 

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FYI

I followed what you did, I opened a new project and called it test 1 using the 4 track template. 

I recorded a few measures of silence. I then "save as" to a CWB file. and closed everything. It asked to save the Test 1 CWP file and I said yes.  

Opened CbB and when I tried to open the Test 1 CWB it has a dialog asking to unpack the file. I said yes and it said it couldn't because that file already existed ( Test 1 CWP) so I renamed it test 2 and it opened no problem. But there's no point in using bundle files these days. They are a left over from the days of small hard drives I think. Things have been known to go sideways and lots of posts on this forum from people in your situation. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for helping verify this issue John.  In my example I did not actually record any audio data or modify any settings whatsoever.  I realize that those steps would never be a practical example of a normal use, but in my opinion should still be just as valid as the most complex project ever produced.  But you note that when you selected to close the project or exit the program that you were prompted to save the project.  That dialog would save the project  in a file using the default 'normal' .cwp format.  I repeated your steps and was similarly prompted to save before exiting.  I don't doubt that I was prompted to 'save' the project at the time I was closing the song title named projects between recording and saving the audio for each song, but when I noticed that the dialog prompted that it was going to save the session in the .cwp format I selected the 'No' button because in my mind I didn't want to take the chance that it might have replaced and deleted the .cwb file that I had just saved in the format I preferred and had additionally used the pull-down menu option 'Utilities>Consolidate Project Audio...' to save the audio files in the project sub-folder.  So the bottom line is that it appears that at least since the latest version of Cakewalk Sonar Platinum through the current version of Cakewalk by BandLab that if you don't save a project as a .cwp file at the time you close the project or exit the program if won't matter if you had saved it in a .cwb you will not be able to open the .cwb file unless a fix by the program developers is provided.  So make sure you verify that all of your audio files are saved and accessible outside of Cakewalk and that you have saved your project in the .cwp format before you exit the program.  I have included the section of the 'Help' file related to the 'Save As' menu option below.  It seems to me that not many people who read the information contained in it would expect that cakewalk would allow a user to create a file with critical information that could not be opened at a later time and therefore be unusable (i.e. 'Bundle files are great for backing up projects, and are also useful for moving Cakewalk projects from one computer to another.' NOT!!!) . 

Some other oddball behaviors that I noticed while trying to diagnose this issue:

When selecting to start a 'New' project and selecting and loading a template, if you immediately arm an audio track to record, the transport control will not become active (the control buttons are greyed out) until either the 'Now Slider' directly under the 'Transport Module' buttons or the 'Now Time' marker in the 'Time Ruler' is moved. 

Selecting 'Project>Audio Files' after recording a few measures of silence also causes the program to freeze as described above and requires the the 'Esc' key be pressed to regain control of the program.

Selecting 'Utilities>Consolidate Project Audio...' a second time without recording any additional audio also causes the freeze.

 

I have not tried any more permutations to try and trigger a similar effect.  So for now beware, perhaps there might be a stand alone program that can extract the audio/MIDI/Automation files and create a valid .cwp file from old .cwb files or, ideally, provide a code patch for both CWP and CbB in the future.  If the current development team chooses not to provide a fix then perhaps they could at least provide the .cwb file structure details to allow someone with the necessary programing skills to create the extraction program.  Fingers crossed.

 

Thanks !

 

Save as type

Select the type of file you want to save your project as. If you are saving a project, you have the following options:

 

Normal. Saving as type Normal saves your MIDI data, all project settings, and references to your audio data, with the extension .cwp. Cakewalk saves no audio data in a .cwp file, only references to where the data is on the hard disk. Saving your project as a bundle file saves all your project data in one place, including a new copy of your audio data; this method uses a lot more disk space than saving as a .cwp file.

 

Template. Template file with the extension .cwt. Use Template files to save commonly used project settings for quickly setting up a new project.

 

Cakewalk Bundle. Bundle file with the extension .cwb. Bundle files contain everything that a Normal file type contains with the addition of all your project's audio. Bundle files are great for backing up projects, and are also useful for moving Cakewalk projects from one computer to another.

 

MIDI Format 0. Save in this format to create a Standard MIDI File that has all channels merged into one track.

 

MIDI Format 1. Save in this format to create a Standard MIDI File that keeps each channel on a separate track.

 

Riff MIDI Format 0. Save in this format if you need a Riff MIDI File of Format 0.

 

Riff MIDI Format 1. Save in this format if you need a Riff MIDI File of Format 1.

Riff Wave files. If you are saving in the Loop Construction view, you can save the wave file as a Groove Clip/Wave file or a regular Wave file, depending on whether you enabled looping on the clip that you’re saving. Groove Clip/Wave files are ACID-compatible files which can be used in Cakewalk or any application that supports ACIDized files.

Edited by Johnboy

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i had 2 bundle files become corrupt back in 2008, and that pretty much did it for me with them.  i've asked on the forums, several times over the years, if anyone had created an application that would sort through a corrupted bundle file, but alas, the answer has always been "you shouldn't use bundle files"

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Hi guys...I am collaborating with a friend on the opposite coast who also uses CbB. I've been sending him bundle files via Dropbox, and I am also getting errors about corrupted files.

Any suggestions about sending him my projects and visa versa, so we can eliminate this odd behavior?

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If you wish to send the "complete" project with ALL audio  whether currently used by the project or not, zip the current project folder and upload the zip to Dropbox.

If you prefer to send a clean copy of the project with just the audio referenced in the project (similar to what bundling does), use "Save As" with "Copy all audio with project" enabled to a new drive location. Zip up the "Save As" copy and upload it to Drop box. The choice is yours whether to retain the original project or not.

 

For those having problems with bundles here is a reminder: if a bundle cannot be opened, the audio may not be lost. It is possible to play and edit the bundle as a regular wav file by changing its extension from cwb to wav. IIRC, bundles also support safe mode like regular projects so if the problem is during project load (IOW after unpacking), this may help.

That said, bundles are a poor substitute for regular back ups of projects on a per-file basis. Regardless of what the documentation says, bundles are not suitable for long term project storage. They are too fragile. My understanding is the reason bundles are still available is backward compatibility.

Since the introduction of per-project audio folders, bundles as a method of managing projects became redundant.

AFAIK, since the introduction of per-project audio folders there was one case where bundling was indicated, recreating project files suffering from a bug in audiosnap.

 

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Bundle files at one time were a very handy way to transfer stuff particularly before the advent of per-project audio folders. Personally, I send other CbB users a project folder as it's a direct 1:1 of your original project and packing the audio into a bundle doesn't really give you anything extra. Plus if you're collaborating with somebody, if you put a copy in a dropbox (or similar) folder and do a shared folder, it'll update your local copy as its changed. 

Per the original problem, if you want to upload a copy of the bundle file we can take a look. 

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1 hour ago, Jonathan Sasor said:

Bundle files at one time were a very handy way to transfer stuff particularly before the advent of per-project audio folders. Personally, I send other CbB users a project folder as it's a direct 1:1 of your original project and packing the audio into a bundle doesn't really give you anything extra. Plus if you're collaborating with somebody, if you put a copy in a dropbox (or similar) folder and do a shared folder, it'll update your local copy as its changed. 

Per the original problem, if you want to upload a copy of the bundle file we can take a look. 

So nice of you to offer to take a look at my bundle file - I've actually restored everything without loss via an earlier auto-saved file, so I'm good.

Going forward I'll put a copy of the project folder in our shared Dropbox folder. If we'd like our updates to populate the song file on both of our machines, so we open the project from the shared Dropbox folder? That would make sense....

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1 hour ago, scook said:

If you wish to send the "complete" project with ALL audio  whether currently used by the project or not, zip the current project folder and upload the zip to Dropbox.

If you prefer to send a clean copy of the project with just the audio referenced in the project (similar to what bundling does), use "Save As" with "Copy all audio with project" enabled to a new drive location. Zip up the "Save As" copy and upload it to Drop box. The choice is yours whether to retain the original project or not.

 

For those having problems with bundles here is a reminder: if a bundle cannot be opened, the audio is not lost. It is possible to play and edit the bundle as a regular wav file by changing its extension from cwb to wav. IIRC, bundles also support safe mode like regular projects so if the problem is during project load (IOW after unpacking), this may help.

That said, bundles are a poor substitute for regular back ups of projects on a per-file basis. Regardless of what the documentation says, bundles are not suitable for long term project storage. They are too fragile. My understanding is the reason bundles are still available is backward compatibility.

Since the introduction of per-project audio folders, bundles as a method of managing projects became redundant.

AFAIK, since the introduction of per-project audio folders there was one case where bundling was indicated, recreating project files suffering from a bug in audiosnap.

 

Thank you for such a quick reply, scook!

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Posted (edited)

OK , WTF !!!

I decided to just go ahead and import the 8 individual audio tracks that I had saved and start a new project, but then when I was ready to select the individual file I noticed that I was in the directory with the .cwb files and decided to see what would happen if I selected that file instead of any default audio format extension file.  The procedure was as follows: Start program (CWP in this case - haven't tried in CbB), select 16 track template, delete 8 tracks, select track 1, from the main pull-down menu select File>Import>Audio, in the file selection dialog box on the right side of the 'Files of type' input field left click on the down arrow and select 'all files (*.*)' to display all file types, this should show any .cwb files which are easy to identify if you have globally set your OS to display filename extensions, select the desired .cwb file and click on the 'open' button.  The particular file I selected was for a song that was just over 5 minutes in length with 8 audio tracks and I tried a few variations of this procedure where I tried to pre- select various combinations and orderings of selecting tracks.  The result of this procedure always ended up with just one track containing all of the 8 audio files appended (concatenated) to each other in reverse order from the original project.  8 tracks times ~5 minutes each equals ~40 minutes which is how long the resulting file in the track was.  All of the audio was there, just in serial order.  What this means is that CW currently has active code to at least extract the bundled audio from the .cwb file (I don't know if there is a trick to get any other data out of the file).  I don't know if Marke B. or wetdentist might get lucky and be able to recover at least some audio from a corrupt file if it doesn't exist somewhere else, but if the selection ends with an immediate display of a corrupted file notification dialog then the CW or OS code is probably doing a CRC immediately upon opening the file at which point you are probably out of luck with this work-around.  One other big thing to note is that it took CW over 1 hour to finish extracting the audio and place it in the track.  Now I have a fairly peppy 4-core CPU, 32 GB of ram, and fast SATA drives, so this was an interesting but frustrating discovery.  So I hope this might help some desperate soul who has the patience to wait for the extraction.  I'm Still hoping this gets a look from the development team at some point.

 

Good Luck !!!

 

OK it looks like Johnathan and Scook have already provided some valuable information prior to me refreshing my browser page.  Maybe it would be a good thing to remove the option to save a bundle file while fixing and retaining the ability to open a bundle file.

 

Looks like the 'Selected Track Inputs...' and 'Selected Track Input Series...' options in the individual track settings, when selected, also freeze the CW program.

 

Edited by Johnboy

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@Johnboy If you can send a link to the bundle I can take a look at it. Which version did you save it in? If It's from a recent version it's unlikely to be corrupted since we fixed many issues with reading and saving bundles.

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Hi Noel,

 

Thanks for dropping in and offering help.  Looks like I've got major egg on my face.  I launched CWP to get the version number from the Help>About menu selection when the program froze again.  It dawned on me that that simple action should not have failed.  Yep, the old three finger salute (soft reboot of the computer) did the trick.  My .cwb files are loading without any issue now.  The only excuse I can offer is that I had several tabs with Covid and financial stuff I have been monitoring for my folks weighing on my mind.  While I have restarted CWP and CbB many many times, it did not occur to me to reboot the machine.  Sorry to all for unintentionally crying wolf.  Thanks to everyone who showed up to help.

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