(last updated 22 August 2001)
Updates, corrections, omissions and questions to email@example.com
Please note that all efforts are made to ensure this FAQ is accurate and up-to-date. Any inaccuracies or omissions are obviously by design ;-).
You can also find out more about the PJB100 by joining the Yahoo! group dedicated to it at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pjb100/
A Personal JukeBox (PJB) is a portable MP3 player that has a very large music storage capacity. It originates from Compaq’s research laboratories in the United States, and is licensed to a Korean company called HanGo (trading as Remote Solutions in the USA).
Metric: 150 x 80 x 26 millimetres
Imperial: 5.9 x 3.1 x 1.0 inches
Metric: 300 grams.
Imperial: 9.9 ounces.
The following styles are available for the PJB:
There is also a transparent red unit, although this may only have been available on early promotional units around the time the PJB originally launched. Below are some small images of the various unit styles.
Source: images originally from www.pjbox.com
The PJB has only ever been available over the Internet from various resellers around the world. The following is a list of Web addresses you can visit, hopefully one in your geographic region:
http://www.pjbox.com/ (North America & main Remote Solutions site)
http://www.mp3factorydirect.com/ (North America)
http://www.pjbox.co.uk/ (United Kingdom)
http://www.pjbox.de/ (Mainlaind Europe)
What ships with your PJB differs from reseller to reseller, but the base kit you should get when you buy one is:
It depends really on what 'X' is. The PJB was one of the first high capacity portable MP3 players available when it was released. When its 4.6GB unit was made available, existing players could hold at most 128 MegaBytes (MB) of music.
At a bit rate of 320 kilobits you could fit between two to five songs on a device that you would need to swap media in and out of for additional music. Since its release, the PJB has gained some competition in its space, and we’ll talk about those next.
The PJB uses a laptop computer hard disk drive for its music storage.
There are currently two official storage sizes – 6 Gigabytes (GB) and 20 GB. The first PJB available had a capacity of 4.6 GB.
Unofficially people have managed to install 30GB drives in their PJBs, but doing that voids any warranty you have on the PJB. As of 19 August 2001, some PJB owners are starting to experiment with a newly released 40GB drive from Toshiba, although at the writing of this FAQ nobody has a working 40GB unit.
The promotional material says that on a 20GB unit you can hold at least 300 hours of music.
In reality the number of hours you can fit on your PJB depends on the bit rate the MP3 files are encoded at, and if they are constant bit rate (CBR) or variable bit rate (VBR) encoded. I own a 20GB unit, and encode all my music at 256 kilobits per second (kbps) CBR. At time of writing this FAQ my unit is only 50% full, but already holds 3 days, 11 hours, 12 minutes and 56 seconds of music (about 83 hours).
If I filled the rest of my PJB using the same type of MP3s I should be able to get around 166 hours of music onto it. The reason this is lower than the promotional number is that I encode my music at twice the kbps used to calculate the various numbers provided by Remote Solutions.
The battery life is determined in part by the bit rate you encode the music you listen to at. The bigger the bit rate, the bigger the MP3 files produced. The PJB is pretty well designed to minimise power use during playback, but the bigger files require that the hard disk spins up more often to replenish the playback queue memory. The minimum anyone should expect is probably 5 hours, but the official guide is at that 128 kbps encoding you should get about 10 hours of playback.
Yes, the Lithium Ion (Lion) battery used can be ordered from where you bought the PJB from. Also, it may be available via other resellers, although it won't be badged as a HanGo battery. The battery is originally a Sanyo UR-110 which seems to have ceased production (to be replaced with a slightly different specification UR-111). Information on the Sanyo UR-110 and external charger is available at allbatteries.co.uk.
Yes and No depending on your reseller or location. There is an external charger unit available, but it is not always stocked. Also note that the charger for the Sanyo battery mentioned above may be of some use. The recharger in the PJB is pretty robust and switches off once the battery is fully charged.
About 3 hours for a flat battery using the PJB for a charger.
The PJB supports from 8 to 320 kbps. The higher the bit rate, the better quality your music should be. The encoding rate used to calculate the numbers you read in terms of number of hours of music you can have on the PJB and how long the battery lasts before recharging is required is 128 kbps.
Yes, the PJB supports both constant bit rate (CBR) and variable bit rate (VBR) encoded files. PJBs with earlier firmware (pre 2.3.0) should update it to the latest version to remove a known bug that caused the unit's screen to flicker during VBR file playback.
The design of the PJB is such that additional codec support could be added (such as Microsoft’s WMA), but there is no indication that this is likely to happen. There are many factors in play on this question, ranging from demand for additional codecs from the PJB owner community (currently fairly low) to the licensing of any new codecs.
The PJB is designed as a standard USB device that you attach to your computer via a regular USB cable. You then use software on your computer to push MP3 files to it.
The PJB uses a fairly rigid method for organising your music. Your MP3 ‘tracks’ will end up being part of ‘disc’ which itself is part of a ‘set’. You can have any number of sets made up of any number of discs that contain any number of tracks. Having said that, there is a hard limit of the numbers of sets, discs and tracks you can have due to a memory limitation of the PJB in relation to it’s Table Of Contents (TOC). The exact limit depends on the number of tracks you have and how you organise them. Rest assured that the limit is sufficiently big enough for most people to fill their 20GB units easily!
Yes, the PJB supports playlists, although not in the WMU format used by software players like WinAmp. When managing your music you can create playlists by creating references (shortcuts, aliases or symbolic links) to existing tracks in other discs (so really a disc can be a playlist of sorts). The PJB also has inbuilt play ordering so that you can let the PJB create on-the-fly random playlists based on the sets, discs and tracks it contains.
The PJB has several buttons on its face as well as a large LCD display (128x68 pixels) that allows you to control how it plays your music. Most of the buttons perform more than one functions. The buttons are as follows:
The LCD screen displays information about the set, disc and track currently being played, the bit rate it is encoded at, the volume, and playback options currently set (such as play order).
||Music category, style or play list name (top level category, create any name you like, create as many as needed).|
||CD title or play list name (sub category, create any name you like, create as many as needed).|
||Select play mode: this track, this disc, this set or everything.|
||Select play order: sequential, repeat or random shuffle for a song, a disc, a set or everything. Also supports 'shuffle discs' where the PJB plays a disc in its entirety and then randomly plays another disc.|
||Normal bass, extra bass or super bass|
||Track or disc length and remaining time|
Source: images and 16 points originally from www.pjbox.de
There is an option on the currently available PJBs to include a backlit screen that makes the LCD display readable in the dark. Some older units do not have this facility, and there has been some discussion about the robustness of the backlight hardware, although most people seem to have no problems with it. The backlight comes on automatically on power up, so you will notice if you have it or not.
The PJB itself does not provide management facilities for your music. You manage your music using software on your computer. Using this software you can add, delete, rename, move, rearrange sets, discs and tracks. The software shipped with the PJB is known as the JukeBox Manager.
You have always been able to browse through the MP3s on the PJB when it is stop mode. The 2.3.0 firmware update introduced a new feature to the PJB known as "Browse-While-Playing" that allows you to browse through your MP3s while the PJB is playing back music. It allows you to select a new track while the current one is playing.
The PJB does not currently support the deletion of MP3s other than when you use one of the available management software packages on your computer.
JBM stands for JukeBox Manager. It is the music management software that ships with your PJB. See this question for more details.
1.5.6 (for Windows)
The PJB ships with its own JukeBox Manager (JBM), which is maintained by Remote Solutions. The JBM is available for Windows and Macintosh platforms, although the Mac version has been in Beta for some time and some PJB owners have expressed disatisfaction with the facilities of the JBM on Windows. There is currenltly no commercially available Linux software.
There is an alternative commercial product available for Windows users called MP3Loader that provides the JBM features along with additional features not available in the JBM software (such as mass uploading and organising of music based on WMU playlists). Further information is available at: http://www.mp3loader.com/
An open source product based on the original Compaq code known simply as ‘pjb’ is also available, although it does not provide a graphical interface. There is also non-commercial software available for PJB support on certain Linux platforms.
Please see the answer to the previous question.
Yes, there is a sourceforge project known as OpenPJB that is working with the GNU Public License release of Compaqs code to implement open source management software. More info such as CVS tree and builds to download can be found at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/openpjb
TOC stands for Table Of Contents.
The TOC is one of the most important parts of your PJB as it holds the information on how your music is organised and the physical location of the various MP3 files you upload to the PJB. When you work with the various music management software packages covered below you are really manipulating the TOC.
There are two options to create a backup version of your PJBs table of contents. In all instances make sure your PJB is connected to your computer and has plenty of power.
1. Using the OpenPJB 'pjb' command-line application
You create a backup of your TOC that can be restored to your PJB by issuing the following command:
pjb ls -raw
This dumps a raw TOC listing to your computer. You can use this TOC in a situation where you need receive a corrupted TOC message.
2. Using the JBMs 'Test' menu
The JBM has a hidden test menu that can be used to create a backup version of your TOC. Please see the FAQ question entitled 'How do I enable the JBM test menu?' for details on how to do that. Once you have enabled the test menu you simply need to select 'Extract TOC' from the test menu to have a backup copy of your TOC.
Source: Andrew Birrell's post (JBM) and Toni Tammisalo's post (pjb)
In certain circumstances you can restore a backed up TOC to your PJB, although it is not always possible. In all instances make sure your PJB is connected to your computer and has plenty of power.
Warning: Writing TOCs to your PJB can cause problems. If in doubt you should send your PJB for servicing.
Always make a backup copy first, even if your TOC is corrupt. This should provide at least some hope of restoring your PJBs TOC should these steps fail. See previous question for how to backup your TOC.
1. Using the OpenPJB 'pjb' command-line application
Using an already existing backup TOC image (created using the method described in the previous question) you can use the comman-line application to push it to the PJB by issuing the following command:
pjb writetoc "toc_image_file_name"
Replace "toc_image_file_name" with the name of the raw TOC image you want to restore to the PJB.
2. Using the JBMs 'Test' menu
The JBM has a hidden test menu that can be used to create a backup version of your TOC. Please see the FAQ question entitled 'How do I enable the JBM test menu?' for details on how to do that. Once you have enabled the test menu you simply need to select 'Rebuild Map'.
"This takes quite a long time to run; it's scanning the entire disk. If this runs successfully, just save the changed TOC in the usual way (click "Save Changes" on the Jukebox menu). If it doesn't work, scream and ask for help. The TOC copy that you saved in step (9) will probably be good enough to let an expert repair things."
Source: Andrew Birrell's post (JBM) and Toni Tammisalo's post (pjb)
We reproduce Andrew Birrell's Yahoo! posting as it details everything:
"The correct thing to do is to request technical support from the dealer who sold you the PJB. However ...
CAUION(1): the following involves editing your Windows registry. It's quite easy to use a registry editor in such a way that your PC becomes unusable and you lose all your files. Don't do that. If you're not comfortable editing the registry, or not willing to take the risk, use technical support instead.
CAUTION(2): the following reconstructs your PJB's TOC using code that hasn't been debugged or used much. If it goes wrong, you might lose all of the music stored on your PJB.
CAUTION(3): I doubt that this recipe has ever been tested with a PJB whose contents were loaded or modified by MP3Loader. If you've been using MP3Loader, and you try this recipe, you're probably being a pioneeer, with consequent risk of getting arrows in the back.
This recipe will enable "Test Mode" in the Jukebox manager, and will rebuild the allocation map section of the TOC by scanning the allocated blocks on disc. It assumes that the Set/Disc/Track section of the TOC is correct.
1) Be sure that the Jukebox manager software is installed and can communicate with your PJB.
2) Be sure that the Jukebox manager is NOT running.
3) With your favorite registry editor (e.g. regedit under Windows 98), navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Personal Jukebox\Jukebox Manager\Settings
4) Create there a new value called "SRC", of type "DWORD", with value 1
5) Quit from the registry editor, and run the Jukebox Manager. In the Jukebox Manager, click "Preferences" on the Jukebox menu.
6) In the preferences dialog, use the "Test Mode" tab, check the "Enable Test Mode" box, then click "OK" to save the change. Your Jukebox manager now has a "Test" menu.
I don't recommend trying any of the other options that test mode makes available [other than Extract TOC], and I'm not likely to help you if you do try them. The "Load TOC" command is especially dangerous.
Source: Andrew Birrell's post
Yes, you can upload MP3 files you have already created. If you use the JBM software you can copy directly from your CDs to the PJB.
Originally the PJB only supported uploading of MP3 files. In the second quarter of 2001 Remote Solutions made the decision (a popular one!) to enable the downloading of MP3s from the PJB back to a computer.
At the time of writing the only software available to download tracks back to your PC is the ‘pjb’ command-line utility. There are other packages based on the ‘pjb’ codebase that provide this also, but as the facility is currently quite new support for it is fairly light.
You will need a copy of the open source 'pjb' command-line application (see this question for where) in order to load non-MP3 files onto your PJB.
Once you have installed the pjb application you can load data tracks onto the PJB by issuing the command:
pjb add -data "data_file_name"
The PJB doesn't perform any checks on the file when uploaded and if it tries to play the file it will skip it as it won't recognise the format. You can retrieve the data from the PJB by using the pjb application to copy the data file back to a computer.
Some of the PJBs competitors allow users to perform drag and drop type operations that make their MP3 player look like an extra hard drive on their computer. The PJB doesn't have this capability at present because it uses its own proprietary filesystem that is optimised for storage and playback of MP3 files.
Source: Thanks to Toni Tammisalo!
There should be no problem with large files being placed on the PJB.
Firmware is software that is stored on a chip rather than on a disk. There is a small erasable chip inside the PJB that can be updated with new operating software for it. This allows for the previously mentioned additional codec support as well as allowing for things like the enabling of the download function and the browse-while-playing feature that did not exist on the initial PJB releases.
When your PJB starts the firmware version is shown on the splash screen. You can also find out the firware version at any time during power on by holding down the Up button and then pressing the Stop button.
Remote Solutions. The main programmer behind the firmware is a member of the Yahoo! group and regularily chips in with useful feedback and information.
No. And it is likely there will never be one either because the PJB firmware relies on licensed code from Fraunhofer IIS that could not be released under the GPL or some other such arrangement.
It depends on the platform you are using. You will find that all the various management software packages provide a way to ‘flash’ the firmware. It is generally a menu option that says something like ‘Update firmware’.
The PJB uses a Motorola 56309 Digital Signal Processor (DSP). This DSP controls all of the functions in the PJB, including the disk, LCD, buttons, and USB interface. The PJB also has 12MB of DRAM and 1MB of flash memory. The DRAM is used to buffer about ten minutes of music, and the flash memory is used to store the player program and bootstrap.
Source: Original PJB FAQ at: http://www.pjbox.com/faq.htm
Signal to Noise Distortion: <0.1%
Audio Output Wattage: >90dB
Bandwidth: 20 Khz
OK, so maybe not everyone knows what an Easter Egg, but I bet you're reading this because it looked like the most weird question out of everything. Simply put, an Easter Egg in relation to computers refers to hidden features that usually do something fun.
The firmware on the PJB has its own Easter Eggs:
You can access the Easter Eggs by holding the Up button and pressing the Play button.
The PJB makes good use of the limited number of buttons it has. The latest firmware update comes with a simple text file that details all the various combinations and what they do. We reproduce that file here fully:
"PJB Buttons for the main screen (version 2.3.2)
The buttons on the front panel are called, from top-left anti-clockwise, "up", "down", "play", "stop", "left" and "right". There's a slideswitch and a wheel on the right edge. The wheel can be rotated or clicked.
At power on:
- slideswitch at "locked" = front panel buttons are disabled (wheel isn't)
- For normal power on, press any button or click the wheel.
- To start playing, power on with a short hold on "play" or the wheel.
- To bypass normal firmware start-up and enter flash update mode, power on while holding "up" and "right".
At any time:
- Hold "play" and "stop" and then click the wheel for hardware reset.
At the main screen:
- slideswitch at "locked" = front panel buttons are disabled (wheel isn't)
- rotate-wheel = change volume
- click-wheel = if playing then pause else play
- click-up = select previous line, if any
- click-down = select next line, if any
- click-play = if playing then pause else play
- click-stop = if not stopped then stop else power off
- click-left = move to previous value in selected line
- click-right = move to next value in selected line
- hold-up = auto-repeat click-up
- hold-down = auto-repeat click-down
- hold-play = enter browse-while-playing mode
- hold-stop = if playing then pause; in any case, power off
- hold-left = if playing then rewind else auto-repeat
- hold-right = if playing then fast-forward else auto-repeat
- hold-up + click-play = games
- hold-up + click-stop = statistics
Source: pjb.txt file from 2.3.2 firmware update zip
You should be able to go jogging with your PJB. The hard drive used in the unit is designed for use in laptop computers and can withstand relatively rough treatment. The PJB uses a temporary memory to read in around 8 to 12 minutes of music (depending on your bit rate) similar to the anti-jog facility in many modern portable CD players. When it needs to replenish the memory it spins up the hard disk and reads the MP3 data into memory and then shutdowns the hard disk again. A hard disk shutdown will withstand substantially more rough treatment than when reading!
Many people in the Yahoo! group have reported performing all sorts of nasty treatments on their PJBs from simple drops to accidentally treating it like an expensive shotput. In most cases the unit still played, although the casing took punishment.
Remember: it's still an electronic device, and it's not designed for ruggedness!
You will find that the 20GB units make a rattling noise when moved while powered off. This is normal as it is due to the IBM hard disk used to store the music.
There are many reasons why your music skips during playback, although the main reason is usually down to problems copying the orginal CD track due to dirt or scratches or some other factors.
The JBM software does a reasonable job of 'ripping' and encoding music from CDs, but suffers the same problem as many other similar pieces of software in that its error correction facilities are pretty non-existant. Lack of error correction usually manifests itself as skips and jumps in your MP3s.
A recommended combination to ensure you have high quality MP3s without skips or jumps is the two following pieces of software:
Exact Audio Copy
EAC makes an error corrected copy of the music on your CD. It can pump its output directly to LAME to create MP3s. It uses freedb (an alternative to CDDB) to get CD information.
LAME MP3 encoder - a very high quality free MP3 encoder.
Be aware that this combination will not push encoded MP3s directly to your PJB and will require a little more technical understanding than you may wish. However, there are plenty of people who are about to ask questions of in the Yahoo! group. A good site to checkout for information on MP3 quality is http://www.r3mix.net/.
Many people have reported that the random play on the PJB doesn't seem to be that random and that pockets of tracks play more often than others, and some music never plays at all.
The truth is that the PJBs random 'seed' is reset every time you update the TOC of your unit, so it is possible that you will hear the same music if your are updating it pretty regularily. If your PJB has an old firmware version (pre 2.3.0) pressing the stop and play buttons causes the random 'seed' to be reset. In this case you should considering updating to the latest firmware.
The clicking is usually a sign that your battery is running down and there may be not enough power to run the PJBs hard disk properly. Try recharging the unit and see if the clicking noise goes away. If the clicking persists you should contact your reseller for technical support.
In some types of lighting the LCD has a tendancy to have a shadow that looks "like oil on water" or a "pretty rainbow effect". We're sure somebody has a some physics to explain this, but rest assured that there's nothing wrong with your PJB or its screen.
Having said that, if it persists in all sorts of lighting conditions, it's probably best to get it serviced...
That usually means that you don't have the most up-to-date drivers for the PJB installed on your system. Depending on your Windows platform (sorry Mac and Linux guys...) you can download the drivers from either your resellers web site, or from the Yahoo! groups file section.
Also, when you install them, make sure to remove all versions of the old drivers by doing a search on your system for all files matching cpqpjb.* and then deleting them.
Please see the previous question for a possible answer!
This can suggest that the USB hardware in your PC has problems. You should check with your PC manufacturer for updated USB drivers for your operating system, or if there are are any BIOS updates available that may cure slow USB data transfers.