mp3 Files, can't read "duration" or "timescale" on Windows

Sannyasin Sivakatirswami katir at
Sat May 24 16:49:07 EDT 2003

I have a tool that is distributed to team players around the world that 
is used to transcribe audio talks, interviews, discourses etc.

Precise control is required over the playback to start, stop, resume 
from a given point in the "tape" etc. In order to achieve this I use 
some wonderfully simple scripts that depend on the "duration and 
"Timescale" properties of the player which is referencing an external 
.mp3 file, either from a CD or over the internet.

Now, the problem is that this gadget always works on any Mac... But, I 
am getting weird results from a variety of windows users where, after 
some testing, it is clear that the player's duration and timescale or 
both are being returned as empty. Thus the math being done by my 
scripts: e.g.

on postTime
   put the duration of player "theTape" into fld "thetime"
   put the timescale of player "theTape" into intervalsPerSec
   put the currentTime of player "theTape" into fld "theMovieTime"
   put the currentTime of player "theTape" into tCurrentTime
   put  (tCurrentTime div intervalsPerSec) & " secs" into fld "theTime"
   if tCurrentTime  is not (the duration of player "theTape") then
     send postTime to me in 1  second
     answer "Tape is over!" with "OK"
   end if
end postTime

is failing on line

   put  (tCurrentTime div intervalsPerSec) & " secs" into fld "theTime"

because one of the operands is empty.

what make this even more mysterious is: I have on user in India who is 
on Windows, accessing mp3 files from a server in San Deigo, and it 
works fine for her.

I have another user on Windows where it works fine if the file is on 
his hard drive, but not if the same file is being accessed over the 

and a third Windows user for whom it will not work if he tries to 
reference the .mp3 file from his hard drive.

All three users have pretty high powered Windows machines, more than 
enough horsepower for the job and the latest version of QT installed.

the exact same error is being returned (where the currentTime or 
timescale are empty) in all cases of failure. But it does work on 
Sheela's machine in Chennai!

Anyone have any clues about this?

Sannyasin Sivakatirswami
Himalayan Academy Publications
at Kauai's Hindu Monastery
katir at,

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