VDJ & the on going Video Freeze Issue

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DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
It would seem that even with the latest answers from VDJ peers, there is still incredible frustration with jocks who are doing, or trying to do, video with VDJ.

My partner went out and bought a top tier Lenovo Idea Pad (Lenovo's entertainment based series) with the i7 chip, 4 gigs of ram, etc, and no dice with Video via VDJ. He has a slightly older HP Entertainment model that runs VDJ pretty close to flawless. On paper the Lenovo is far superior to the HP, but there's something seemingly indefinable about how each machine is put together that makes all the difference. There's a lot to be said for he 32 vs. 64 bit issue too, but I know some jocks (some coincidently using HP machines) who've not had an issue with this.

I know there are more than a few VDJ Video jocks who frequent here. I'm just wondering what's working for you. For me, I see no option other than to get a HP machine. It's the only consistent ingredient I can identify that works for all who are using it. Thanx gang! -Z-
 
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It might have something to do with the i7 chip. I know serato users with the i7 chips are experiencing issues, It's probably something that will be addressed in their next update.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
I find that most video freeze problems using VDJ have been a direct result of the chipsets in use on the video graphics cards. People using ATI Radeon and nVidia GE Force graphics cards don't have issues.

My $3K CLEVO systems have been problem free and both use the GE Force GTX-7950 nVidia cards with 512Mb of dedicated video ram with 4 Gb of system ram. When I first set them up, I tried adjusting the PERFORMANCE values in the CONFIG file away from the defaults but found my changes to be more detrimental than good and eventually backed them out. My hard drives are all Maxstor powered USB 2 drives.

My original Toshiba Satellite which cost me $1450 had the INTEL graphics chipset with 128 Mb video ram and 1.5 Mb system ram. It ran video fine without graphics acceleration turned on, but none of the transitions, effects or visualizations worked. When acceleraiton was turned on, all those features worked but the video output had a nice wide yellow-green stripe down the middle of it .... this was unacceptable. The INTEL chipsets just don't cut it. This is one reason I've always recommended gaming laptops for those of you who want to run karaoke and video using VDJ. Also be sure to attach your music and video hard drives directly to your system and not through a shared hub. USB contention can cause 'freezes'. Another thing is that many of the external drives, such as the MyBooks use large caching buffers and then spin down between file accesses. Then when the next 'read function' is needed, there is a delay waiting for the drive to spin back up .... this wait delay can cause a freeze. And yes there are utilities to keep 'em spinning! The larger the hard drives get, the more of this you'll see happening especially when you get upwards to 2 and 4 Tb drives.
 
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unlimitedsounds

Active Member
I think it is the I7 and windows 7 64 BIT! I worked with a DJ a few months ago and he had to laptops i7 and 7 64bit and it kept freezing.. HOWEVER, he was using VDJ6 and also had VDJ5 and 5 didnt freeze at all...
 

djgulfcoast

Mobile DJ Alabama
I had issues using multiple formats MP2, vob,etc. Once I converted everything over to MP4 AAC H264. All problems disappeared.
 

mp3jrick

New Member
This problem has been well documented and addressed for the most part.

Some current video cards need a special setting that can be made with the registry tool below.
http://www.virtualdj.com/addons/2170/Registry_Tool.html
You should determine what the video card memory is and set it to one half the value in the registry tool.
This should clear up the freezing problem you are experiencing.
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
This problem has been well documented and addressed for the most part.
Some current video cards need a special setting that can be made with the registry tool below.
http://www.virtualdj.com/addons/2170/Registry_Tool.html
You should determine what the video card memory is and set it to one half the value in the registry tool.
This should clear up the freezing problem you are experiencing.

Rick, I use VDJ exclusively and have great respect for VDJ. I hope it's clear in my writing that I wasn't bashing. I've said in at least one other post here that the issue, while seemingly VDJ, is really about the nuances of how each computer brand configures their hardware. I hope no offense was taken or construed by you or anyone else. Sincerely, Steve Z
 

mp3jrick

New Member
None taken Steve, just find more people even in our forum that are unaware of this remedy.

Another quandary is the overbuilt systems on the market today.
It used to be we twisted XP's arm to do what we wanted to get stable performance adding hardware as necessary to achieve this.
These days most store bought systems are fully capable and then some for what VDJ needs to run properly.
The problem we are finding especially on W7 is the bloatware that absolutely consumes the resources VDJ needs to run.

Went down the Vista are you sure you want to do that road, then went to W7 and have been quite happy. The only thing that I recommend to Pro users is spend the $120 on an OEM W7 Professional copy and either overwrite the factory os or dual boot the machine with a partition so you have both available.

There was an article floating around that showed the different manufacturer's backside load with bloatware, Sony being the worst. Definitely a problem with an easy fix when you do this.
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
The problem we are finding especially on W7 is the bloatware that absolutely consumes the resources VDJ needs to run...The only thing that I recommend to Pro users is spend the $120 on an OEM W7 Professional copy and either overwrite the factory os or dual boot the machine with a partition so you have both available.

That very advice was given to my DJ partner from Lenovo. Thanx Rick! -Z-
 

CJ Greiner

Supreme Gold Member
For VDJ:
I've been using an old HP Pavillion dv4000 series computer running XP, and the video works great. Using mp2 all the way up to .VOB files straight from the DVD.

Getting ready to install Win 7 (Pro version, probably.)
 

Tim English

Active Member
I've been running VDJ on crap machines for years with no problems. The only problem I ever had was when I bought a really nice, top of the line machine. Then it started crashing. Go figure. I guess these things can happen when you buy new hardware that didn't even exist when the software was written.

Try Rick's registry fix before you go out and purchase a new copy of Windows. You may also want to look through the documentation of your computer. One of my laptops came with an option to restore the computer to a pure copy of Windows with no crapware on it at all.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Hutt -

The answer is yes so long as you have all the associated code installed and your machine has enough video firepower to pull them off.

Some time ago I posted about a problem with my Toshiba Satellite A105-S4094 ... turn on video acceleration and all the effects work just fine BUT there was a yellow-green stripe right down the middle of my video output. Turn off acceleration and the video was perfect BUT none of the effects or transitions worked, not even the Sonique visualizations with audio files. The real problem was that the Intel graphics chipset in my laptop just didn't have the get-up-and-go it needed. My two CLEVO laptops don't have these issues and they use nVidia GE Force2 GTX-7950 graphics cards with 512Mb of video ram.
 

Cap

Always At Your Service
There has got to be something more inherently at odds with a specific machine architecture and how it handles VDJ than the obvious factors most often discussed.

My office machine is a relic. PIV@2.40ghz w/2gb ram, XP-Pro(SP-2 with no updates in like two years), NVidia 6800 graphics (256mb on-board ram), tons of programs, and has run every release of VDJ flawlessly.

I've run every release of VDJ flawlessly on a Sony VAIO AG600 ($1,600 at CompUSA), an HP9000t (custom ordered and built for me by HP at $2,000), and my current choice of three cloned HP-1468nr ($669.00 each at BJ's Wholesale Outlet). Everyone of them has internet connection, firewalls, and anti-virus (ESET) active and working in the background (but little else).

What is different from what most folks are saying (or not saying) yet a common denominator with all my machines is when purchased, the drives have all been reformatted and the operating system has been reinstalled bare bones with every required driver set, bios revision, and chip set update being downloaded and installed to the absolute most recent versions.

The second common denominator is that the machines and all the drives (external and internal alike) are "cleansed" and "defragged" weekly (a typical every Friday morning routine of "cleansing", "cloning", "defragging", and "backup syncing").

The final common denominator is the high spindle speeds of the hard drives (internal or external matters not). Laptop internal must be (minimum) 5400 rpm, external drives of any type must be 7200 rpm, and the desk top is 10,000 rpm Sata1 Raptors. All connections of external hard drives are (for video) eSata preferred, FireWire second (Sony calls it i-Link), and dead last is USB2.0, the worst resource hog of all the available connection types.

What is the uncommon denominator is the video/graphics. The HP9000 is 512mb on-board, the Sony is 128mb on-board, the 1468's are no on-board ram but all on-demand emulation up to 1912mb. See what I mean? The video card takes a lot blame for issues but it's far more than just that. These card makes and specs are all over hell's half acre yet VDJ performs 110%.

Good luck to all who are having issues. As I wrote in my article published in the DJ Times way back in 2001, "If you don't know and fully understand computers, digital DJing with computers may not be for you." This was printed way back in the Win95/Win98 simple days. How much more true is it now?

---

Here are some links that might prove helpful for any fellow anal computer housekeeping addicts:

To rid your machine of tmp files, dead history, unneeded old install files, and to wipe free space clean, here's a fabulous freebie:
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

To defrag your drives (ALL of them), this puppy physically and graphically gets your drives to super-highway status, and it too is free:
http://www.piriform.com/defraggler

If you're using a laptop that still has all the factory loaded crap on it, to temporarily suspend almost all resource hungry applications, then run VDJ in a less crowded environment, this has sped up my machine to even higher efficiency than they already are, and, yep, it's free too:
http://iobit.com/gamebooster.html?Str=download

Note: I am trying the Beta 2 version right now which, for the moment, seems bug-less as it applies to VDJ.

Lastly, here's a great registry clean up, compression, and system restore utility that belittles anything similar, including MS System Recovery Restore program (somewhat of a mean joke for a program) and, YUP, free:
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/erunt.html

The registry is the road map and menu the operating system uses to load system files, programs, and peripherals. If it gets bloated with trash and lots of empty space, the time it takes your computer to load can double or triple. By keeping the registry lean and mean, by revitalizing pre-fetch data, and every so often deleting the MUI Cache key from the registry itself (not for the fainthearted or inexperienced),
[ HKEY CURRENT USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/ShellNoRoam/MUI Cache]
your computer boot-up time, including the operating system files anti-virus scan, should be 1 minute or less.

Please Note: ERUNT will run on Win 7 (32 and/or 64) BUT it will not optimize the first hive completely. Doesn't hurt a thing and works just fine.

Here's a fine article about ERUNT:
http://technologizer.com/2009/05/26/why-i-dumped-windows-system-restore-for-erunt/#more-12273


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blueflpro

New Member
Have you considered buy a Mac. I run serato Vsl with 2008 macbook pro and it runs flawlessly.
MacBookPro4,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.5 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB RAM
 

Cap

Always At Your Service
Searto does not handle the same codec structure and does not have the versatility of VDJ. Two different animals. Kinda like comparison of a Mac and a PC.
 

txatty

New Member
I have a Sony VIAO laptop and have had no problems with freezing, effects, transitions, etc. It has worked flawlessly.

I don't have my laptop with me at the office, but will post the specs when I get home.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
I become more and more convinced as I read that like motorcyclists, there are 2 type of computer users...those that have crashed or malfunctioned, and those that will.

I imagine that the perspective is completely different....after the crash.

Years ago I took a static charge that fried the disc drive and OS, and I've never ventured back in the realm of computer djing....but the tools and suggestions for error free performances offered here give me hope that these occurences of freezeouts/crashes are more and more scarce because we become better users, enhanced by the knowledge base and improved tools to combat same.


I will be using these tools on my home network computers this evening, and I thank everyone for their very useful input.

I may yet decide to try it again and carefully select both a machine and a platform from which to do this.
 

mp3jrick

New Member
Hi Bill
Trust me, I know those experiences first hand.

The biggest difference today is the operating systems and hardware that is available. It's sooo much better now than it was.
Back in the day, we had to modify machines to get the hardware to perform above the average every day user.
We twisted XP's arm against its will to do what we wanted service pack after service pack disabling this and that to streamline it into stability.

Today's systems are so overbuilt for what we need, its much simpler, excluding Vista that is.
The other problem as has been discussed is back side load and bloatware. That coupled with anti virus and you might have half of the power you paid for at the store. IMO anti virus IS a virus in as much as how it infects your system and slows it down.
I finally removed it on my main work pc and am really careful what I open and navigate to. So far after 1 year, no problems, so I don't live in fear anymore. Even then, if I had to restore I am prepared which is still better than letting anti virus dog my system.
Personally, I've always either built my systems or spec ordered directly from the manufacturer for these reasons.
We all spend thousands of dollars on gear, and our lives could be so much simpler with an original Windows 32 bit OEM version rather than a modified over bloated manufacturer's version.

My best advise is to create a dual boot os with that oem version without anti virus and just boot into that for djing use.

That will give you the best option with the hp needed to make dj software fly and also have the options it came with when you boot to that side.

My other option is a Mac which I use on the net and boot camp to W7 for my pc needs.

Hope that gives you a little confidence, jump in the water's fine.
 
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