wlcpod won't download certain lessons - why?
For the past several days I find that the software will not download certain lessons, (for example the first and second in the Wang's Office series.) It begins, says: 'downloading html data', but then just hangs up, and an empty folder with that lesson title is created in the lesson folder.
I've sent an email to CPod enquiring about the problem, but there was no response. (Well, that's not unusual.)
So I thought I'd mention it here. Any possibility this can be fixed and/or explained?
ZhaoyangDecember 30, 2009, 04:16 AM
The following Newbie lessons wouldn't download for me:
"ERROR4: PDF files for lesson (weekend-warriors) could not be downloaded, skipping lesson."
All of the above gave the same error message.
daniel70December 30, 2009, 05:53 AM
note: I run CPod in traditional character format, and the traditional pdf file is missing on the Wang office lessons. In the simplified version, the pdf appears to be present ... so ... who knows?!
RJDecember 30, 2009, 02:57 PM
There seems to another problem with WLCP. The collective mp3 files created for the expansion sentences, dialogues, and vocab look ok, but when played you only hear the first sentence. (It should play them all twice with a pause between them.) The mp3 filenames look different now so something has changed at cpod. WLCP still works fine for older lessons. The last ele lesson to work properly is "are you free" no 1215. After this the mp3 filenames are much longer and contain the word "prototype". These do not work correctly in WLCP. Other aspects of WLCP seem ok. Time for a tune up in the program it seems.
Derek are you out there?
daniel70December 30, 2009, 03:21 PM
Tal, it seems the html page with (cog wheel) simplified characters lists the pdf file. The traditional page currently does not. It's possible that something in the cpod database has changed since you originally downloaded it. I've (recently) noticed several old lessons with missing pdfs, but no "fix the pdf" comments in the comments section. You should check your wlcp log file ... it is possible that your problem is not the same as Querido's.
TalJanuary 01, 2010, 02:06 AM
Hey daniel, the log file just gives info on the most recently downloaded lesson, is that right?
I tried downloading Wang's Office again, and this is what the log file says:
Downloading lesson 1/1: "wangs-office"
to folder D:\Documents\Tal\Chinese Study\Chinese Pod\wlcpod_2009_09_12\lessons\wangs-office
The folder D:\Documents\Tal\Chinese Study\Chinese Pod\wlcpod_2009_09_12\lessons\wangs-office already exists
Downloading lesson HTML data...
Saving XML document as D:\Documents\Tal\Chinese Study\Chinese Pod\wlcpod_2009_09_12\lessons\wangs-office.xml...
Downloading image, selected PDFs and main lesson MP3s...
ERROR4: PDF files for lesson (wangs-office) could not be downloaded, skipping to next lesson.
Saving XML index of lesson(s) just downloaded as D:\Documents\Michael\Chinese Study\Chinese Pod\wlcpod_2009_09_12\lessons\wlcpod-index.xml...
Saving XML index of all lessons ever downloaded as D:\Documents\Tal\Chinese Study\Chinese Pod\wlcpod_2009_09_12\lessons\wlcpod-master-index.xml...
And the Wang's Office folder in the main lessons folder is still just empty. What do you think? Will the fix/mod you suggested work? (Sorry, I'm being lazy, I should just try it.)
Yes RJ, that's really annoying about the expansion sentences no longer being combined into a single file for the newer lessons. Is anyone working on this?
daniel70December 30, 2009, 05:34 AM
Querido: This may not be particularly helpful, but my hack for the "ERROR4: PDF files ..." is to make a copy of wlcpod.py, comment out line 295 (put a # in front of 'continue'), and insert
pdf_file_name_base = "unknown"
at line 303. In python, the spaces in front of the first character are important. Here there are two tabs.
I don't recall what this does exactly. I think it just skips the pdf files (which appear to be missing). I only run this version for lessons that give the error (i.e. I run it in a separate folder).
Tal: I noticed that the Wang office lessons do not have a pdf file listed, so this hack might work for you too.
On the other hand, if CPod put a pdf file on these lessons, the regular wlcp file might work as usual.
daniel70January 01, 2010, 02:42 PM
When wlcp hits an unexpected pdf issue, it prints the ERROR4 and skips to the next lesson (the 'continue'). Putting the # before it stops it from skipping the lesson, and inserting the additional line bypasses an 'undefined' value error later. I've had to use it many times. After running wlcp, I check the log file. For any lessons that were skipped, I run the hacked version. I've had to use it a lot. I'm guessing that some data in the cpod database is getting clobbered ... I've found several (older) lessons with missing pdfs. Even if you pass on doing this now, you're going to hit the issue again on another lesson.
powerfuldragonJanuary 01, 2010, 02:52 PM
eupnea - same thing I'm experiencing !! what a bummer as I also load them onto my ipod etc ............... I've been relying on wlcp software for that specific purpose !!
thanks RJ for articulating this issue !
c'mon CPOD what gives ??
RJJanuary 01, 2010, 03:09 PM
Hi powerful dragon,
you have to understand that cpod does not own WLCP. This was a program written by users. For that reason, whenever there is a programing change at cpod it may impact the wlcp program - but its not their responsibility to fix it. The wlcp baton has passed from Andrew C to Jon L to Derek and perhaps Derek has also retired. I do hope some programmer out there picks it up. The python code needs a tweak, but I am not a programmer.
igennemJanuary 10, 2010, 08:52 PM
Daniel, this doesnt works for me, can u plsexplain your method more detailed. i putted # in front of continue, thats ok. After that i changed the pdf_file_name_base = (theres was something else) "unknown".
but i have the continue line at 194, and there is 2 pdf_file_name_base lines at 300 and 297
TalJanuary 11, 2010, 01:15 AM
This is probably a dumb question, (I am not a computer programmer,) but how to edit the the wlcpod.py file? Does one use notepad?
eupnea63355January 01, 2010, 11:40 AM
I've noticed that the combined mp3 files don't play. Only the first segment plays, then Windows Media Player thinks the track has ended.
Also, numerous pdf's won't download, so the entire lesson is skipped. With those lessons, I have to individually download all I can, but the individual mp3's are not downloadable, unless I can find them in my cache, which is difficult and time-consuming.
Although I love love love CPod (!!! truly !!!) I do wish they would allow us an easy way to download all of the lesson material, especially all of those individual mp3s without using another party's software. I need all the mp3's I can get as I don't live in China and do not have the opportunity for listening and conversational practice.
Often I take a bundle of those mp3's, slow them down 10-15% with my audio software, and record a CD to play in the car on road trips.
querido, I get what I can using the WLCP software, and keep hoping, and asking politely, CPod to offer something for us directly.