Cowon J3 (Cow’n’Emu)

So I’ve recently bought the Cowon J3 32gb mp3 player. It’s a small upgrade from my Cowon S9, which was the 16gb version.

Both players has an excellent sound quality, the best I’ve ever had in an mp3 player (I’ve owned a couple of different ones, Rio, Creative, iPod, Samsung and something that starts with F that I can’t remember the name of anymore).
My only problem with the 2 Cowons is the touch-screen user interface, which has gotten a lot better with the J3. The problem is, even though the touch UI is improved, the new button(buttons on the actual device) layout is not as good as it was with the S9 (my own opinion).

But to the point of it all. Both the S9 and J3 runs on a Adobe Flash UI, and Cowon have opened up for their API, so you can make your own UI with flash and Actionscript 2 (unfortunatly the UI runs on a AVM 1 in Flash Player 7, so you can’t use AS3).
So I started out making a simple SWF to test out what the J3 was capable of, and how to use the Cowon API. And everything was really straight forward, to call their API you use the ext_fscommand2 function, and passed along some arguments letting the device know what you want to do.
The main problem is the testing phase. You need to plugin the player, transfer your SWF to it, plug it out, turn it on and then test it. The first couple of times it wasn’t an issue, but the 5th time you do it, it gets annoying, and the 10th time I did it, I stopped. It was to much of a hassle. So I searched the net for an emulator so I could test my project right away.
Now the only emulator I could find had no download link, and no one seemed to update it. So I decided to start working on my own.

So far I’ve implemented the ext_fscommand2 function and have it working as intended. But I haven’t made any actual functionality that simulates the device yet. One of the things I’m still having a hard time with is the Key events. I need to catch all the events from the UserSWF (the SWF you wish to load onto the device), and handle them in my own emulated environment instead of having Flash doing it for me.

Anyway, that was a long post just to tell you that I had started work on a Cowon S9+J3 emulator. Hopefully I’ll have a running alpha version next time I post about the subject.

  1. Mark Moorhouse


    I too am interested in trying my hand at programming Flash apps for the Cowon J3 – which I do not yet own but soon will, I hope. I did some AS2 programming a few years ago. That was when I had Macromedia Flash MX2004 installed on my work computer. But now I do not any have any Flash authoring/development tools to help me create and edit the visual interface and the actionscript code, nor any way to compile FLA or AS files to SWF.
    I downloaded a free 30-day trial of Adobe Flash Professional CS4 a year or two ago but that is now expired. I am unwilling to spend hundreds of dollars on Adobe Flash Pro CS5 (or whatever), especially as that is aimed primarily at developing AS3 object classes and scripting, which I do not need at this time.

    So, can you recommend any cheaper – or even free – Flash 7 / AS2 development tools that would be suitable for developing Cowon Flash apps?

    As for testing apps, I can see why having to continually load the .SWF files onto your J3 would be very tedious. So I would certainly be interested in any sort of simulator that runs on a PC (pref under Windows OS.)

    Thank you


  2. Hi Mark.

    I don’t know of any free Flash development tools. I know there’s an Actionscript 2 compiler named MTASC(, but you will miss out on the actual graphical editing part. Try to do some google searching for a free fla editor. I just did a quick search the only thing I found was SWiSH, which is cheaper but still $100+.

    When I finish the simulator it will be able to run on any system that runs Flash AIR.
    Unfortunately I’ve been very busy at work, so I haven’t had the time to develop on the simulator. But I’ve been thinking about just tidying up the code a bit and releasing it.

    For some inspiration on Cowon J3 programming you can visit, their forum has some custom UCI’s.

  3. Mark Moorhouse

    Thank you, Philip, for the prompt and helpful reply. I will follow up the leads you suggested.

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