Copying recordings from Norns to USB storage

In the early days there was at least a way to copy everything from usb to norns (I think it also worked the other way). I would love to have this back :slight_smile:

You can execute shell commands from maiden by wrapping them in os.execute. but no, there aren’t menu functions for copying to USB media.

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here it is as a script !

    os.execute 'cp -r ~/dust/audio/tape /media/usb0/audio/tape'

usb system backup (still requires another computer tho) is buried in the docs, will make more obvious and add audio path and norns-only helpers (ty @andrew!), thank you for the q! help | monome/docs


20 charrsss of bookmarked! Awesome

mmm, just to be clear: this recommendation from the docs involves shelling into norns via the serial port and executing bash commands there. it still requires another host computer, though it has the advantage of working without wifi.

i think that saving your go-to bash sequences in scripts for offline execution is a fine idea.


ah, right, yep tired brain. just seeing the initial request was for norns-only. ignore the recommendation all! i’ll add these norns-only solutions to the docs, tho.

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At the risk of getting too ambitious, which I’m aware is a trait of mine, this seems like a small enough thing that would be useful to many. I haven’t done any system dev on norns but it seems like it’s within reach for a weekend project. Am I being too ambitious?

if you need a starter for your script, i have something similar that could work here: Shell Runner

if you have a bash script this will give you a menu to execute it.

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I use an app called admin hands for Android to download/manage/copy tape files. Not quite on topic, but maybe you’ll find that useful.

When norns first shipped there was a menu item which would try to bidirectionally sync the entirety of the audio, code, and data folders to an attached USB storage device. The implementation didn’t work well for a few reasons so if was removed in favor of the SMB (and SFTP / Cyberduck) methods.

The biggest east shortcoming of the old sync method was the inability to control what got synced so it was quite slow.

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I’m thinking of something simple like the sample loading menu but when a file is selected it copies it to / on the first attached USB device, which I think is /dev/usb0? This depends on that device automounting to the same location every time.

@zebra is this where I should be looking to add this function? I got a dev environment set up on the main computer but if I don’t need anything that requires a C compiler to change menus I could do it on-device. But then it might be weird for diffs/pull requests.

does not require C

@tehn owns the menu UX design. I think first step is not coding, but a proposal for the new UX feature. (I guess if it were me I would probably add it to SYSTEM or something, I dunno.)

But yes, in general, a new function/feature for a menu page would go in norns/lua/core/menu/some_page_source.lua

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Who is the audience for this proposal? Like, who are the approvers?

I can help implement but Brian is the gatekeeper

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so the previous implementation (which wasn’t perfectly stable) just sync’d dust to a usb disk which was more appropriate for backup and transfer. transfer is generally easier via wifi.

given many people have upgraded to 32GB modules, and the shield can have any size SD card, this external storage feature was perhaps deprioritized. USB disk transfer is inherently going to be slower, though probably not to the degree that it’d impact performance in most cases (@zebra correct me if i’m wrong?)

so more the point perhaps: how and where would you like to see usb disk support? the UI is going to be pretty tricky given the screen size and that we’d need to make a sensible navigation. FYI this all needs to happen within fileselect.

but there’s also an issue that a lot of the audio file paths are expected to live within dust/audio/ by design. so this might be a really messy feature to attempt to add.

if i may extrapolate a little…

i think the idea is something smaller in scope. for example, “copy the most recent TAPE recording to the first available external media, then delete it from the emmc to save space.”

i guess i would just make a script that does this, as @andrew suggests, and just make it bulletproof:

  • issue the copy command

  • checksum the copy with the original

  • if ok, delete the original

  • draw status and errors on screen as approrpiate

  • maybe loop over all the TAPE files and do this.

if it’s really solid, it could be added to a system function on the TAPE page. somehow. i don’t know how. adding UX to the TAPE page sounds a little tricky.

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spent the AM and got something going:

some stuff:

  • I’m forcing USB detection by pulling the status from os.execute("mount | grep sda1") – that seems to line up with “the first USB storage device mounted on the filesystem”, yeah?
  • i pulled checksum from Converting a C Checksum Function to Lua - Stack Overflow
    • seems to be working – returns error if USB drive is pulled during transfer or if drive becomes full, which felt like they’d cover the range of issues
    • could def use expert eyes from @zebra !
  • deletion is not automated, requires confirmation, feels like the right move
  • I might just have a very slow USB drive, but looping over all the TAPE files (most of mine are 15+ mins) was not realistic so I opted for this one-at-a-time model. if someone with a more standard drive can confirm that large files are buttery, then i can adjust!
  • as a file transfers, norns will seem unresponsive until the transfer finishes and the script returns to latent state – this seems normal and unavoidable, but would love any tips to avoid!

My motivation initially was after I played an outdoor show with no wifi, I wanted to copy the file to a USB keychain before going back to the house or I forgot about it on the device. Very niche but it did seem in line with the whole “norns works on battery power without a network” concept. I performed for about 25 minutes with an Arc on battery power so that was pretty damn cool.

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