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Micca Speck

SD cards or USB drives not showing up on media players

Micca digital media players support the vast majority of commonly used storage device types, including
SD cards and USB hard drives. There are, however, limitations that users should be aware of. The SD
cards and USB drives must meet the following requirements:

  • Not password protected or encrypted.
  • SD cards up to 32GB, USB drives up to 2TB.
  • USB 3.0 drives are supported if the drive is USB 2.0 compatible.
  • File system must be FAT/FAT32 or NTFS.
  • Partition type must be Master Boot Record (MBR).

While it is easy to determine the size of a drive, users often don’t know what file system or partition
type is being used. This tutorial shows how a Windows PC can be used to find out the file system and
partition type of a drive.

Dowload Tutorial:

icon-pdf-smallDetermining Drive Properties Tutorial (opens in a new tab/window)

Mac Users:

Below is an excellent tutorial on how to determine drive properties on OS X:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-view-information-about-partitions-and-volum.html

Deleted videos, photos, or music files still show up

If you’ve deleted some media files from a USB drive or SD card, yet the deleted files still show up, the issue is likely caused by the presence of Windows Recycling Bin or MacOS Trash Can folders on the USB drive or SD card. Fixing this issue requires emptying the contents of these folders permanently.

Warning: The purpose of the Windows Recyclin Bin and MacOS Trash Can is to allow you to recover previously deleted files that you later need. The steps below permanently empties these folders so you will not be able to recover these files again. Proceed only if you are certain that you do not need these files.

To empty the Recycling Bin folder created by a Windows PC, plug your USB drive into the PC, wait for the drive to show up in Windows Explorer. Right click on the drive and select “Properties”. In the “General” tab, click on “Disk Cleanup”. Place a check mark for “Recyclin Bin”, and click “OK”. This will delete the contents of the Recycling Bin on the USB drive.

For MacOS, there is unfortunately no built-in way to empty just the Trash Can on a USB drive; all Trash Can folders on all drives are emptied by default. To empty the Trash Can for all drives, plug your USB drive into the Mac, wait for it to mount. Next choose Empty Trash under the Finder menu or press Command+Shift+Delete. A pop up will ask you to confirm that you wish to empty the Trash Can.

How to remux videos into MKV format

The MKV container file format is quickly becoming the most popular choice for digital videos. Consequently, MKV is also the format that is best supported by HD-capable Micca digital media players. This tutorial will show you how to quickly convert a video that’s currently in a different container file format to MKV. It is also useful to remux an existing MKV file to fix any errors that may have been in the original file.

First, download and install the free MKVToolnix software from the following URL:

http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/downloads.html#windows

After installing the the software, run the “mkvmerge GUI” program that’s now available from your Start->Programs->MKVToolnix menu. Follow the directions below to quickly convert videos into MKV:

  • Click on the “add” button and find the video file you want to convert into MKV. Once the video has been succsfully added, it’s audio and video tracks will be shown in the “Tracks, chapters and tags” box.
  • Click to select the video track in the “Tracks, chapters and tags” box. The video track is identified by “type: video” in parenthesis.
  • With the video track highlighted, go to the “Extra options” tab and change the “Compression” field value to “none”. This is a very important step.
  • In the “Output filename” box, specify the output file. By default, the program will use the same directory and file name as the original file but with MKV file extension.
  • Click “Start muxing” button to begin the conversion. Depending on the size of the original video file, this process should take just a few minutes.
  • Click on the “Ok” button once the conversion is complete.

And that’s all there is to it. The resulting file should be about the same size as the original and there is no decrease in video or audio quality. MKVMerge is a very powerful tool and it can do a lot more than what’s described in this guide. For example, it is also possible to add additional audio and subtitle tracks to the video file by adding them in step 1. If these additional capabilities are of interest to you, read the help documentation that is supplied with the software for more information.

Micca Speck Does Not Recognize Certain Seagate Expansion Desktop USB Hard Drives

The Micca Speck does not recognize certain Seagate Expansion desktop USB hard drives including the following models:

  • STBV2000100 – 2TB USB 3.0
  • STBV1000100 – 1TB USB 3.0

The affected Seagate Expansion USB hard drives use their own power supply and has a delayed turn-on mechanism that is not supported by the Micca Speck media player. When connected to the Micca Speck, the Speck detects the drive but is not able to read its contents or play any media files from it. Older Seagate Expansion desktop USB hard drives, as well as Seagate portable USB hard drives are not affected by this compatibility issue.

There has been no reports of incompatibility with other brands of external desktop USB hard drives such as Western Digital or Toshiba. This issue is unique to the specific Seagate USB hard drive models listed above.

720p/1080p HD Video Encoding Tutorial

Encoding a video in 720p or 1080p high definition format is easier than ever thanks to the availability of free and well working tools like Handbrake. This tutorial will show you how to use this wonderful tool to recode videos into popular MP4 or MKV formats for playback on Micca products that support 720p and 1080p video playback.

Dowload Tutorial:

icon-pdf-smallMicca HD Video Encoding Tutorial (opens in a new tab/window)

Micca Speck G2 Not Reading USB Hard Drives

Micca Speck G2 supports USB flash drives and USB hard drives that are 2TB or smaller in size. In the past, all drives smaller than 2TB have shipped from the factory with MBR partition tables, which is supported nearly universally by computers and electronics. Recently, manufacturers like Western Digital and Seagate have begun shipping newer USB hard drives with GPT partition table even for drives that are 2TB or smaller. This has caused numerous issues with users of older version of Windows, various backup software, and many media devices like the Micca Speck G2. When the Micca Speck G2 encounters such a drive, it will show the USB drive letter, but not be able to read any of the files.

For everyday users, there is no practical difference between MBR and GPT, especially when it comes to a USB hard drive that is used to carry large amount of files in bulk. Therefore, this guide shows you how you can take a USB hard drive that is 2TB or smaller, check to see if it is using GPT, and switch it to using MBR instead. Doing so not only makes the drive compatible with the Micca Speck G2, but with all other computers and electronics.

1. Check The Partition Type
We start by checking the partition type of the drive you have.

  • Press the “Windows” key on the keyboard and type “Drive Management” and press enter. This will open the Disk Management window. Your USB drive will be listed as one of the drives detected.
  • Right click on the square that matches your USB drive and select “Properties”, in the example below, our USB drive is “Disk 2”.
  •  
    disk-management-right-click

     

  • In the pop up window, switch to the “Volume” tab. If the drive is using MBR partition, it will have a partition style of “Master Boot Record”. If instead it uses GPT, it will have a partition style of “GUID Partition Table”. In our example below, the partition style is GPT, meaning the drive should be converted to MBR in order to be used with the Micca Speck G2.
  •  
    disk-management-show-gpt

     

2. Backup Your Files
Changing the partition table from GPT to MBR will erase the content of the drive, so be sure to start by copying the files off of the drive to a safe location. You will copy the files back onto the drive when done.

3. Change Partition Style to MBR
Once you are sure you’ve backed up all your data in a safe place, we can begin changing the partition type. Do not proceed unless you are absolutely certain that the data has been copied somewhere safe.

  • In the Drive Management window, right click on the block that represents your USB hard drive’s partition and select “Delete Volume…”. You will be asked to confirm the action. Do not proceed unless you are absolutely certain that the data has been copied somewhere safe.
  •  
    disk-management-delete-volume

     

  • Right click on the square that represents your USB drive and select “Convert to MBR Disk”, as illustrated in the photo below:
  •  
    disk-management-convert-to-mbr

     

  • Once the conversion is done, you need to create the primary partition. Do so by right clicking on the block that says “Unallocated” and select “New Simple Volume”, as illustrated below:
  •  
    disk-management-new-volume

     

  • Click “Next” through all the steps in the new volume creation wizard and click Finish to complete. The computer will take a bit of time creating the new partition and giving it a quick format.
  • You can confirm by checking the drive partition style again that it now shows “Master Boot Record”, as illustrated below.
  •  
    disk-management-show-mbr

     

  • Now you can copy all your files back onto the drive and use it with the Micca Speck G2 without any issues!

Mac Computer Owners – Photo and Video Playback Issues

Mac computers are great but Mac owners often report odd behaviors when they share a SD card or USB drive between a Mac and non-Mac devices, including Micca digital photo frames and media players. The issue is most likely caused by the following:

If you are using a Mac to copy photos or videos to a SD card or USB drive, it will create a small thumbnail in the same folder as each image/video, preceded by a “._” in the file name. These extra files cause problems on non-Apple devices. There are utilities like this one:

http://www.zeroonetwenty.com/blueharvest/

To remove these extraneous files so that non-Apple devices can work correctly. It is also possible to erase these files without running a utility, such as described in the following web tutorial:

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-.Ds_Store-Files-on-Mac-Os-X