DVD Studio Pro Glitch: Cannot launch DVDSP while copying files

Posted by Lab Rat

Here’s something fun to try if you own DVD Studio Pro. Find a large file or folder on your computer (something over 2-3 GB or so) and copy it from one drive to another (or even within the same drive). Now try to launch DVD Studio Pro. Know what will happen? Nothing. at least not until that file is finished copying.

The splash screen will appear, then the “spinning beach ball of death”. If you press Command+Option+Escape, you will see the computer thinks DVD Studio Pro has stopped responding. Take a peak at Activity Monitor and you will see it too thinks DVDSP is dead, as well as 2 more processes: “DSPX_EncoderServer” and “DSPX_AEncoderServer” . However, as soon as your file finishes copying, all is well and DVD Studio Pro will launch as if nothing ever happened.

The real problem is that those extra 2 processes, “DSPX_EncoderServer” and “DSPX_AEncoderServer” never come back to life. We’re not sure what they do. We thought maybe, given their names, they had something to do with DVDSP’s encoding abilities, but we found we were able to successfully encode a QuickTime to MPEG-2 even with them stuck at “not responding”. But every process has a purpose, and so too must they, so it can’t be a good thing. We reproduced this behavior on both Mac Pros and PowerMacs (all running the latest version of DVDSP and Mac OS X), so we’re fairly confident this is a legitimate bug.

Macenstein employee Count Macula noticed this odd behavior while copying some 30GB of files, and DVD Studio Pro failed to launch for that entire 15 minutes. We are arbitrarily suggesting you copy a file or folder over 3 GB in size just so you have time to notice the error, as it takes about 20 seconds for these processes to appear in the Activity Monitor as “not responding”. Final Cut Pro opens fine under these conditions.

Anyone else able to verify? Any techies out there know what’s going on? (we tried to report the bug to Apple via the Bug Reporter, but we got “An Exception has Occurred” error. The Apple Discussion forums seem to be down now too. Feel free to submit this if you verify the issue).

[UPDATE:] Apparently the DVD Studio Pro 4.1.2 update released yesterday (sort of ) fixes this.

What happens now seems to be, if after a fresh reboot, you try to open DVDSP while copying a large file, it will still hang, but eventually it snaps out of it after the file/folder has copied about 3GB worth in our test, or about 1 minute.

Those other 2 processes do not hang every time (maybe 1 in 6 tries). However, when they DO, they still do not UNhang.

The improvement with the update is that once DVDSP has launched once on a computer, it will open fine on subsequent launches, even when copying large files, until the computer is rebooted. It will then hang again until the file finishes copying. A log out/in will not hang it like a reboot will. So the odds are very few people will run into this problem, as how often after a fresh reboot to you begin moving large files and then immediately open DVD Studio? Still, it’s weird, and worth fixing.

Comments
5 Responses to “DVD Studio Pro Glitch: Cannot launch DVDSP while copying files”
  1. David Soku says:

    I can verify the first error, but haven’t installed the update yet.
    But I agree this isn’t much of a bug in that it probably hardly affects anyone.

  2. MV1 says:

    Yep, sad to announce that this bug is still around even with DVSP 4.2.1… simply adding to the frustration fail rate that I’ve experienced with DVDSP.

  3. AJW says:

    Seems the problem is not so uncommon and it apparently is not a result of copying files. On a fresh restart of a new and powerful MacPro with 350 GB of scratch on an internal second drive and 177 GB of scratch on the system drive, I get the beach ball. I will try the idea of letting it spin. The wierd part is that this problem did not occur through about ten days of using DVDSP but it happens every time now.

  4. AJW says:

    Tried letting the beach ball spin for 6 hours. Nope. There’s no doubt that the program is hung.

    Have also tried repairing permissions on the application drive and resetting permissions on the drive where the DVDSP project is located. No change in the behavior.

    All suggestions are welcome.

  5. AJW says:

    Fellow Studio user Ken Stone said to me, “DVDSP doesn’t like to have assets changed under its feet.” I think this may be the real explanation for hangs in DVDSP such as discussed here. If you build a DVD project and then go back and change some of the assets used in the project, you may very well end up with the spinning ball of death next time you open the DVD project.

    This is supported by the following observation: I decided I had to rebuild my whole DVD project. So I import some assets. I drop a video asset on a track and get met with the glorious spinning ball. Turns out the video had something wrong with it — DVDSP insisted it had no length.

    This suggests that DVDSP is susceptible to assets that it cannot read and it makes no apparent attempt to recover when it cannot process that asset. This is not good news for those who may have already gone down this path, but it means that if you intend to change some assets, consider removing them from the DVD project, change them and then reimport them. Otherwise, “death by beach ball” may greet you once again.

    For a lot of great tips on Final Cut, visit http://www.kenstone.org.

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