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asteele

Instructions on how to manage music and playlists on a USB drive

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I don't follow your "Playlists" or "Playlist" part.

 

This comes from first post on this thread:

 

I spent a while trying to work out how this works, and thought I would share.

 

Your USB should have two directories

 

 

Music

Playlists

If I have a folder labeled "Playlist" with no "s" on the end, Sync will say that the "Playlist folder is empty." If I have a folder labeled "Playlists" with the "s" at the end then after indexing the playlist button disappears.

 

The USB should be formatted as FAT32 and no other files or folders should be on it except the following.

 

A folder labelled "Music" that contains your mp3 file's arrange in sub-folders that are by Artist name, within those are the Album folders and within those are the actual mp3.

Check and check on both of those. I have a mixture of MP3s and M4a out of itunes and Sync plays the both no problem.

 

At least one file (not folder) that is type "m3u" extension. The name of this should be a simple playlist name. (ex. CarTunes.m3u, or HardRock.m3u). The m3u file will contain a list of all the mp3 files that that playlist uses from the "Music" file. Here's a sample of one line from a "m3u" file

 

Music\Band Perry\The Band Perry\If I Die Young.mp3

 

The "\" should be the separators not "/".

I will try itunes export to see what it does different but the m3u file is built as you list. I have 2 versions now 1 with all the #EXTINF tags out of itunes (with drive info removed) on it and one with a different name that has all the #extinf info removed. I tried removing the playlist folder and moving the playlist files to the root so I have a couple files and 1 directly built as listed above. Sync response to playlist button is "Playlist folder is empty."

 

So no change. I have tried Master Reset but that did not change a thing. I agree it should be easy but its not for me for some reason. My Escape Titanium's Sync3 is at version 2.2. I am going to try the playlists folder with "s" again and both versions of the m3u files as well as itunesexport program. Maybe I can work this out.

 

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This comes from first post on this thread:

 

If I have a folder labeled "Playlist" with no "s" on the end, Sync will say that the "Playlist folder is empty." If I have a folder labeled "Playlists" with the "s" at the end then after indexing the playlist button disappears.

 

Check and check on both of those. I have a mixture of MP3s and M4a out of itunes and Sync plays the both no problem.

 

I will try itunes export to see what it does different but the m3u file is built as you list. I have 2 versions now 1 with all the #EXTINF tags out of itunes (with drive info removed) on it and one with a different name that has all the #extinf info removed. I tried removing the playlist folder and moving the playlist files to the root so I have a couple files and 1 directly built as listed above. Sync response to playlist button is "Playlist folder is empty."

 

So no change. I have tried Master Reset but that did not change a thing. I agree it should be easy but its not for me for some reason. My Escape Titanium's Sync3 is at version 2.2. I am going to try the playlists folder with "s" again and both versions of the m3u files as well as itunesexport program. Maybe I can work this out.

 

You should have one folder that is labelled "music" with all your music in it and then just the m3u files not in a folder on the root of the USB.

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In using the USB on the 2017 Ford Edge Titanium with Sync3 I get the problem of sync wanting to re-index the USB about every 5th time the vehicle starts. Since it is a new USB and I only have 3,600 songs on it instead of the 8,000 that are on my iPod Classic the re-index is a lot quicker. Yes, the iPod Classic also needs to re-index after several restarts. I also have a problem with the classic that drains it's battery over night if it is connected to the lower USB, the upper one works fine.

The last sentence above, about the iPod classic draining it's battery over night appears to have been corrected when I did a "SYNC Module Reset" which is performed as follows :

 

SYNC Module Reset:

• Select radio.

• Hold the power button (center of the volume knob) + the right-seek button at the same time for up to 5 seconds.

• The display will indicate when the module is resetting. You may then release the buttons.

 

I was told to do the reset by Ford Chat to see if it would help out with the USB stick being re-indexed a lot. Have not ran the vehicle enough to know if that was fixed. But I did plug in the iPod classic and left it overnight to recheck the battery problem before taking it to the dealer. Next morning the iPod battery was not drained like it did 2 others times, so no need to go to dealer.

 

Hope fully the re-indexing will be less also.

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I want to clarify something in the original poster's instructions. While it is organizationally useful to have a "Music" and "Playlists" structure, it's not necessary. The files can be organized, or not.

 

What's critical is that any m3u files have the right paths.

 

See the images from this test flash stick. Note that there are three albums, two of which are in the drive root, and one in a subfolder, and the m3u file for the playlist "Export_Test.m3u" is also in the root.

post-49471-0-12243100-1508650579_thumb.png

 

See inside the subfolder (The Abyss)

post-49471-0-84538100-1508650589_thumb.png

 

Next, see the m3u file, and note that the m3u file was in the root of the stick (this M3U was exported from a playlist created in iTunes, and was exported to m3u format, then edited to strip the path down to just the file path on the USB stick):

post-49471-0-24732800-1508650720_thumb.png

 

In fact, I originally had all music in the root, then moved the one album into a subfolder and edited the m3u file to reflect the change.

 

I suspect that all the sub-folders are actually not ideal, for two reasons:

  1. A file system indexing routine needs to essentially do a recursive search through every folder hierarchy, starting at root, to look for folders and files. Every one of these is a file system read, and then holding an index or memory structure of the directory listings, and popping back out to go dive through the next one. There's the file system (e.g. flash stick) read speed issue, and an overall system memory usage. Having everything flat definitely gets rid of all the recursion and additional file system reads. Also will cut down on the size of the index file, as long path names don't need to be stored.
  2. Excessive path lengths may cause problems in the indexing to search via Metadata and voice. I've already found a weird merging of two albums into a single interleaved album (15 tracks + 23 tracks, showing 38 tracks, with track 1, then 1, then 2, then 2, etc.) and the key thing is both are Star Wars films (ep 3 and ep 7). But playing them directly via album browse is fine. I'll guess something is getting borked in the index and generation of voice prompts, especially since I get a query back from voice command for which line # - but it's "Episode III" and "Episode 3" - but I've never tagged anything "Episode 3" (just the "III")

Just a final note - it's odd having done in vehicle media playback before iPods even existed at PhatNoise, having gone through all of this before. I'm a little surprised at how a lot of the same issues keep coming up, now 15 years later... sigh. I just started using Sync 3, and just switched to USB flash from iPod (160GB) due the crashing issues (usually due to iAP out-of-bounds issues!). I was previously on a Sync 1 with that iPod, and prior to that, a Harman/Kardon Drive + Play 2 (a product I designed). Seems like a lot of things are still difficult to get right.

post-49471-0-12243100-1508650579_thumb.png

post-49471-0-84538100-1508650589_thumb.png

post-49471-0-24732800-1508650720_thumb.png

Edited by PhatNoiseProgrammer

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After reading PhatNoiseProgrammer's post I experimented with my USB and MP3 files and found that if the music files are not in folders like they are in iTunes by Artist, Album, Track but just placed on the root of the USB they index faster. The index time went from 20 minutes to just under 2 minutes on my 2017 Edge with Sync3 for 3,000 songs and 5 playlists. On my 2014 Taurus the index time went from 20 minutes to 1 minute for the same 3,000 songs and 5 playlists. They both are now indexed before the first song playing ends and the Edge no longer hangs up after playing the first song waiting for the indexing to finish.

 

I used iTunes Export which is free software and set the playlist format to "M3U" and the copy files setting to "Flatten". I then used MP3GAIN free software to level the loudness.

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USB problem with 2014 Taurus on Sync2 MFT.

 

I changed the "Removal Policy" on my USB's which would allow me to download songs to them quicker, which worked fine. When I tried them out in the 2014 Taurus which is Sync2 MFT they created an error which restarted Sync and would not work. I had to reset the "Removal Policy" from "Better Performance" to the "Quick Removal" setting and re-format the USB's to get them to work again.

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Very simple, down free version of Media Monkey music manager, load all of your albums into it. Then convert all music into MP3 files, then download on to a micro usb drive, done! I have over 4700 songs of 320 bit audio files that sound great, never had a problem.

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