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Head unit sorts USB files wrong

4179 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bgee
Hello everyone -

I have been wrestling with what may seem like a small problem. It's not a show-stopper, but it sure is annoying! It makes one feature of the entertainment system useless to me. I have a 2013 Pro4x with the non-navigation head unit.

When I plug a USB stick in, the head unit sorts the files in what seems like a random order. The truck owner's manual says they are sorted in date sequence, but that is demonstrably not true. I wrote a bash script that sets the file dates to a known sequence, but the head unit STILL shows them in some other order.

For pop songs I guess this is not such a big deal. I like classical music, though. The movements of a symphony or piano sonata or opera MUST be played in the right sequence, else the music makes no sense at all. It's even worse if movement from several compositions get mixed up!

What's the deal here? Has anyone investigated this in detail? Does the head unit really sort by date, or is that just a typo in the manual?

What I would like is to have the files sorted by filename. The scheme I use for ripping files sets the track number as the first two characters of the filename, so sorting by filename automagically puts tracks in the right order.

I am also annoyed that the head unit only knows about mp3 and wav formats. Maybe I should just continue doing what I have been for the last four years ... plug my digital music player into the aux port. That works well but has an annoying number of wires to hook up. It also does not use the steering wheel controls.

Replacing the head unit is not an option for me. Too much money, too much work, and zero guarantee that it would do things any different.

Bill Gee
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no way to show folder structure?

After reading this thread, I used DriveSort to sort the music on my thumb drive. But the result isn’t anywhere near a usable interface.

My file structure is genre>artist>album>song, and I would like to be able to make use of that structure in the truck. But all I get when I plug in the thumb drive is a list of albums. After running DriveSort, they are at least ordered in a predictable way: alphabetically by artist in genre 1, then alphabetically by artist in genre 2, etc. But it does not show the genres or the artist names – only the album names.

Is there no way to make it recognize and show folders as they exist on the drive? I understand the ordering issue – that it orders based on creation date. That’s what DriveSort corrects. But that does nothing to make the folder hierarchy visible as far as I can tell. Is there any way to make this happen? If not, it renders the USB virtually useless for music, unless you have very few albums on the drive or if you have no desire to locate a specific album.

One workaround I was able to make work is renaming every individual album using the artist name first in the name of the album. But that will take quite a while to go through every album to do this. So it's not very practical.

By the way, I have the non-navigation head unit, which from what I can tell makes a difference. I think the USB interface on the navigation head unit does allow folder browsing.
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Hi jschmitt -
1) There is a limit of 500 files on the device. According to the manual, if there are more than 500 files then anything after the 500th is ignored.
Well there is a limit, but it's more than 500. Mine recognized the first 114 albums, which is at least 1,000 songs. That would be enough to make a thumb drive convenient, even if I needed several of them to contain all my music.

2) There is a limit of 3 directory levels. Your description uses four.
Yeah, that occurred to me, so I tried fewer levels. Still no joy.

I have not tested either of these limits. If they really exist, then the head unit software is lamer than lame. There is no excuse for these limts to exist.
No kidding about being lame. I just bought the truck in July, and I love pretty much everything else about it. But the USB music player is beyond awful.

As someone else pointed out, a $25 digital music player does not have these limits...
Rather than deal with these problems, I have gone back to using my digital music player plugged in to the AUX port. It is a bit clunky to have wires running all over the place, but it gives me unlimited storage and the ability to play files encoded in something better than MP3 - which is dang near anything!
I don't have one to try, but I'd be willing to buy one if it will do what I want. I have two questions. First, does it all you to control song selection via the head unit (complete with song titles), or does that have to be done on the music player itself? And second, you mentioned wires - can the USB port in the console be used to power the player, since the aux port is separate from it? If so, that wouldn't be too bad, with everything hidden in the console.

Thanks for your help!
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Turns out that renaming my albums to artist-album doesn't take as long as I thought it would. I decided to just do it while watching football or something, when I wouldn't be getting much else done anyway. Then I'm putting different genres on their own 32GB thumb drive. After that I use DriveSort (which is very simple to use) to make sure the head unit reads them in alphabetical order. This is a little time-consuming up front, but adding more albums later will be fairly quick and simple.

So while I do think it's silly that the head unit cannot display the filing structure, it's not really as bad as I made it out to be at first.
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