Idiot Proofing

My BeatBuddy morphed into a brick last sunday. I was setting it up for return today and Amazon offered me a free replacement at no charge with free shipping. I had to sit back and think because I planned to return it and get something else. The thing is I really like the sounds and since this seemed like the path of least resistance I agreed, send me a new one. Free shipping though is at their discretion so I’ll be waiting for the spring wagon train out of Santa Fe. We’ll give it another go.

When I was in the Navy we had a saying that if you put a sailor in a padded room with a feather and an anvil he will within thirty days find a way to screw up the anvil beyond all usefulness using nothing but a feather. Mil Specs are very demanding and specific to the smallest detail so that military equipment is very nearly idiot proof.

The makers of BeatBuddy need to take a page from that notebook and seriously try to idiot proof this device. I don’t know if I did anything wrong but that’s the problem. What did I do that was wrong and could I have been warned ahead of time? The only one I know of is that you:

  1. Don’t cut power during a firmware update.

I’m posting this in hopes that everyone who has more cautions will post them and add to the list of commandments. Is there a problem with removing or installing the SD card with power applied? Is there a bug in firmware 1.77? I really liked being able to select songs with midi but it was not reliable. Sometimes she ignored me, (note the gender affix in honor of my wife) other times she would serve up the wrong song. Though my Ipad would display the correct message sent.You can’t have that during a gig. Luckily I haven’t tried this on a gig yet. Still using the Boss DR3.

So if you guys know of another cautions please add them and let’s see if we can get this thing Sailor Proofed (idiot proofed).

Cutting power during a firmware update is a no-no for every computer-driven device - not a flaw in the BB. Sorry you had this happen, hopefully they can fix yours.

I didn’t cut power during a firmware update. That’s the problem, I don’t know what caused it.

Probably not your fault then. Good thing you were able to work out a way forward with Amazon/Singular Sound.

The only real problem I see is that the way the BB handles songs and parts of songs is complex because it’s a complex device. It’s sort of like Windows but not really. It was difficult for me to really understand the BB until I grasped how the whole file structure and management stuff worked. The tutorials do a great job of showing how to mechanically operate the BBManager but there’s no introduction to important BB concepts to lay a foundation of understanding upon which to build the rest of what you do.

That said, once you get it - it’s pretty easy.

There is an official video tutorial on how to update the firmware -

There is also an official sticky on the forum with the latest version and how to install it.

I have never had a problem updating the firmware although the process always fills me with dread as I know what can happen. There are people here who have tried updating the firmware and report having a power cut and have a brick - however I am unaware of BeatBuddy support failing to bring one back to life.

Rule one of any software update is NEVER switch off the device.
If you have a Windows PC and are doing a Windows update forcing the machine off will corrupt the operating system and it will need some serious work to get it working. Unfortunately you can’t fool proof technology - there is always a way of breaking it. Some do it just out of curiosity or impatience - I’ve done it myself (not with the BB), where a process has taken so long that I have switched off the machine and killed it.

I don’t believe it was the firmware and the firmware update process is quite straight forward if you follow the instructions. 1.77 beta appears very stable however I would never recommend that anyone installs a beta version unless they are part of the beta testing team or have done it before.

Unfortunately in certain (very rare) cases, there is a certain production file left on the SD card by mistake by our factory that causes the firmware update to “continue” endlessly - erasing the old version without completing the new version, and having it stuck in limbo, so there is really no choice but to disconnect the electricity. When the old firmware version gets erased without a new one to replace it, the BB (or any product for that matter) tanks. Most of the time this doesn’t happen though, luckily. And the even luckier aspect is that if the BB is dead because of an interrupted firmware update, it is purely a software fix, not hardware. :slight_smile:

In the case described above, it may very well be a defective adapter, or some other non-firmware related issue. Generally speaking, I always make sure that no other adapter was used of higher voltage (which would essentially destroy the BeatBuddy, and it is not covered by the warranty at all), and after that is confirmed, we test another adapter of identical specs to the BB’s. If the BB’s default adapter is defective, we will either replace it or reimburse the customer for purchasing a new one (whichever is easier/faster/more convenient for him/her).

In extremely rare cases (I can probably count on one hand from the last year) the SD card itself is corrupt and causing the issues. The best way to detect this is to take the SD card out and see if the BB turns on. If it does, it’s the SD card itself. Throw it away and replace with a new one with the SD Card Backup files.

For James though, my understanding is that he got it replaced already by Amazon, so everything should be good now. :slight_smile:

So this would be only for users who have never updated before? Could we not build in a failsafe were the firmware looks for this file and either refuses to update or deletes the file in the process.
Are there plans afoot to add the firmware upgrade to the manager software rather than the manual process it currently is?

I’ll look into this.


Thanks, nice new avatar by the way.

My new BeatBuddy arrived today. It is fully up and running and responds to midi song select and midi beat clock from my Ipad. It’s beat clock midi out is synchronizing with the looper in my Voicelive 3 and all is well.

Thanks! I love it too. :slight_smile: