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Problems with gen4 music via USB

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11 Apr 2019 08:55 #205871 by Hanslow
Has anybody encountered problems playing music through USB on their gen4? I know it's a bit old school using USB but that's where I'm at currently. I know from reading the manual there's a limit on 10,000 songs, which I find an odd restriction, my previous Toyota never had such a problem nor does my partner's Ford, and I'm over this limit at around 16-17k songs, but what I'm finding is that if I take a USB stick and copy everything on fresh with the USB being a device new to the head unit, it seems to pick up all the songs fine. If I then remove it to add more songs, like I have done twice so far, and replace it, it comes back up part way through the last song it was playing but frozen. I can alter where the song thinks it is timewise, which moves the orange bar, but it still doesn't continue playing. If I skip to the next song using the steering controls, it then plays again, but has now seemingly limited me to the first four artists on the USB stick. I can see all the artists by browsing folders, but it's not detecting all the music by default and allowing me to play through them.

I'm not sure if it's using a playlist behind the scenes, which I believe may well be where the 10,000 song limit comes from as that seems common on other applications, i.e. Windows desktop programs, but I'm curious to know if others have experienced such an issue updating their USB sticks, if indeed I'm not alone in still using this old way of doing things, and if there's a cleaner way of updating/recovering from this strange situation that doesn't seemingly require me to wipe the stick completely and transfer all the music back on to it.

At least I have Planet Rock to listen to as an alternative through DAB and I don't do streaming through my phone as I'm on a pay as you go contract, which at around £20-30 a year for my usage I'm not going to start changing habits when USB should just work.

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12 Apr 2019 09:50 - 12 Apr 2019 09:51 #205946 by Hanslow
I'll have to experiment a bit more I think. I've been doing some research and I suspect the head unit is doing something behind the scenes, creating a pseudo playlist perhaps, which might be getting corrupted with me having so much music.

The only way I can get it to play nice, is to reformat the drive, using a bespoke tool as it's 128GB and Windows won't allow FAT32 formatting of that. Now, whenever I format the drive, it generates a new ID for it of the format nnnn:nnnn. The first time this is inserted the head unit seems to cope OK, but I don't know whether it's still limited to 10,000 files or not. Once I remove it and reinsert it, it's then that it all goes horribly wrong as I suspect it's trying to re-read data previously associated with it which may be bad due to number of files (assuming it's not just a rubbish system).

It's a bit of a pain having to reformat/regen a new ID every time I want to add to it, which I do frequently as we tend to buy music regularly and like the randomness of our whole collection on a long drive.

So, first test will be to truncate down to < 10,000 files and see if I can remove/insert at will without issue. Seems such a daft limitation but if it's using OSS playlist functionality (seems to be a lot of OSS software utilised on the head unit) then it may be an industry standard limitation, which is still rubbish. It's a real shame the unit doesn't give more flexibility on playing USB music, i.e. on the folder view, I've not found a way to play a folder, only tracks, so I can't play everything from a particular artist from folder view, only from what it's correctly scanned.

An option to rescan the USB would be good, and not uncommon on other systems...
Last edit: 12 Apr 2019 09:51 by Hanslow. Reason: paragraph spacing

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12 Apr 2019 09:57 #205947 by GeorgeC
I assume you have your "local" manual? If not: www.suzuki-slda.com/_layouts/15/start.as.../Forms/AllItems.aspx

"Nobody expects The Spanish Inquisition."
www.aveoforum.com/forum/f118/seniors-jim...-suzuki-jimny-23477/

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12 Apr 2019 10:55 #205949 by Hanslow
Yeah I do thanks George, Europe English for me :) Next to useless for anyone at all familiar with either car headunits or computers :(

I've just found a small utility that will allow me to change the disk serial so at least I can just copy new music onto it, run that and hopefully it will consider it a new stick each time and read the music properly. My only concern with that now is that it might be storing information per stick so I could be building up a glut of hidden files as it tries to be clever with each one.

There's a long thread on the xda-developers site about the suzuki slda head unit but it's mostly concerned with sat nav updates rather than the rest of the unit, but I've not read the whole 100+ pages of content. It's a shame really, I'm finding the head unit otherwise fine for what I need and I've always found something equally disappointing with aftermarket products.

Don't get me started on how far behind car infotainment is with general computing and the incurred cost for new technology. Why oh why there seems to have been a trend for tying in firmware updates to map updates I'll never know, other than monetise it and fleece the end user. Nearly every other electronic device I have allows free firmware updates.
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12 Apr 2019 11:16 - 17 Apr 2019 22:25 #205951 by GeorgeC
Ok, I need to re-charge the battery.
When I re-fit the battery, re-boot the Infotainment system, and start the car, should the SD Card be in the slot or out?

Edit: Thank you for the reply. (below)
It all went ok! :) 13.0V After re-charging.
USB Socket, now found! See Thumbnail below.

"Nobody expects The Spanish Inquisition."
www.aveoforum.com/forum/f118/seniors-jim...-suzuki-jimny-23477/
Attachments:
Last edit: 17 Apr 2019 22:25 by GeorgeC. Reason: USB Found!

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12 Apr 2019 13:22 #205956 by Hanslow
I've not removed my SD card at all so far, so I'd say leave it in, it should be ok to have in whilst the unit boots up. I originally purchased a larger SD card as I was going to transfer the maps onto it and sit my music alongside until I read that the CID is written to match that of a value in the head unit which stops people just migrating data from one card to another. I can understand that from a non-piracy point of view, but a pain for someone like me that wanted to do that and keep the USB socket free for phone charging.
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12 Apr 2019 14:09 - 12 Apr 2019 14:12 #205958 by Gadget
SZ4 or SZ5? If SZ5, do you not have a smartphone to hold the music so that you can connect it via USB and use Android Auto or Apple Carplay? It gives a far nicer experience than USB storage with no requirement for streaming and enables support for lossless formats (FLAC etc).
Last edit: 12 Apr 2019 14:12 by Gadget.

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12 Apr 2019 14:24 #205959 by Hanslow
I'm on SZ5 and do have a Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact that could store the music, that was going to be my fallback as I've a 128GB card in there that can hold the lossy versions, my lossless masters are too large and the car is far from a decent acoustic environment for me to care that much to warrant a 1TB or so memory card (if such things are available/affordable these days).

I equally don't know if there's a file limit through the phone or whether it just treats it as an offboard DAC and streams the audio but using the phone. The downside for me would be plugging it in each time I get in and out whereas I currently just keep it in my pocket. I might still try that route anyway just to see how it fares once I bottom out the USB stick idiosyncrasies.

My other thing to attempt will be a playlist of all the files, but that's something else to maintain and keep adding to as we buy more music. We really shouldn't have bought, and continue to buy, so many CDs.

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14 Apr 2019 17:05 #206084 by Hanslow
Well I think I've come to the conclusion that the number of files on USB is indeed limited to 10,000. From playing around I've observed the following.
  • when the head unit first discovers the USB stick and indexes it, it appears to discover all the music without issue, although I'm not sure if that's truly the case as some of my music in the latter reaches of the alphabet was never played. Given the large number of files, it's hard to know if this is just a random number issue with a general median in the middle reaches and the outliers being less played
  • if new files are added that takes the stick > 10k files, or was the first addition following the first read, things go odd and the list of artists becomes heavily truncated, in some instances for me, down to four artists
  • reducing the number of files back under the 10k limit appears to bring things back to normality
  • creating playlists of the files works to a degree, but again, I've not seen anything in that latter reaches of the alphabet. In fact, in the time I've been trying this with both a .m3u and .wpl playlist, I never had anything later than the letter J, which for me is less than 6k files. Again, skipping tracks can only entertain me for so long, but I certainly expected something later

So for the time being, I'll either have to truncate my music down to those tracks I know I'd want to listen to more regularly, or look at porting it all to my mobile phone and relying on the two devices to play our music collection. It is a disappointment, my recent vehicles have all coped without issue. Maybe a future firmware update will lift the restriction, although from what I can see I'd probably have to go with a maps update just to get it and I'm not sure I'm that bothered if it's going to get expensive.

If anyone's interested, and also so I don't lose it, the script I used for generating the playlists is below. It's windows batch, so not pretty, but may be useful for people in future. My music lives in a <root>:\Music folder, then artist, album, songs arrangement and I understand that the playlists can work with relative paths, so I remove the path prefix from the file listings. There's probably an easier/better way to do it, but I was trying to get something in place to (dis)prove theories so it's served it's purpose. I stuck it in the root of my USB and ran it from there, either from a DOS prompt or by launching through the GUI.

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion

REM Cater for Japanese characters
chcp 65001

set filelist=%TEMP%\mymusicfile.txt
set wplplaylist=%TEMP%\mywplplaylist.txt
set m3uplaylist=%TEMP%\mym3uplaylist.txt

if exist %wplplaylist% del %wplplaylist%
if exist %m3uplaylist% del %m3uplaylist%

dir /A:-D /S /B Music > %filelist%

set /a num=0
for /f "tokens=*" %%a IN (%filelist%) do (
    set /a num=num+1
)

echo Creating playlist for %num% files

echo #EXTM3U>> %m3uplaylist%

echo ^<^?wpl version="1.0"^?^>> %wplplaylist%
echo ^<smil^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo     ^<head^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo         ^<meta name="ItemCount" content="%num%"/^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo         ^<title^>Music^</title^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo     ^</head^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo     ^<body^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo         ^<seq^>>> %wplplaylist%

for /f "tokens=2 delims=:" %%a IN (%filelist%) do (
    set playfile=%%a
    set playfile=!playfile:~1!
    echo !playfile!>> %m3uplaylist%
    echo             ^<media src="!playfile!"/^>>> %wplplaylist%
)

echo         ^</seq^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo     ^</body^>>> %wplplaylist%
echo ^</smil^>>> %wplplaylist%

copy %m3uplaylist% music.m3u
copy %wplplaylist% music.wpl
del %m3uplaylist%
del %wplplaylist%
del %filelist%

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14 Apr 2019 17:15 #206086 by Hanslow
I see you can get hold of the source code for the OSS parts from Bosch online so I might have a gander and see if I can spot anything that truly would confirm the limitation. No doubt there's a hard coded ceiling magic number in there for no particular reason.

The downside is it won't allow me to update anything, just have a nosey around some elements of the head unit.

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18 Apr 2019 19:23 #206338 by Gadget

Hanslow wrote: So for the time being, I'll either have to truncate my music down to those tracks I know I'd want to listen to more regularly, or look at porting it all to my mobile phone and relying on the two devices to play our music collection. It is a disappointment, my recent vehicles have all coped without issue. Maybe a future firmware update will lift the restriction, although from what I can see I'd probably have to go with a maps update just to get it and I'm not sure I'm that bothered if it's going to get expensive.

If anyone's interested, and also so I don't lose it, the script I used for generating the playlists is below. It's windows batch, so not pretty, but may be useful for people in future. My music lives in a <root>:\Music folder, then artist, album, songs arrangement and I understand that the playlists can work with relative paths, so I remove the path prefix from the file listings. There's probably an easier/better way to do it, but I was trying to get something in place to (dis)prove theories so it's served it's purpose. I stuck it in the root of my USB and ran it from there, either from a DOS prompt or by launching through the GUI.


Might be of interest how I manage my music between PC and Android mobile. My music (about a 50/50 mp3/flac mix) lives in my OneDrive folder (so replicated to the cloud with version control), with a similar structure to yours (artist/album/track). I use MediaMonkey Gold on both devices which allows me to sync my library to my phone over WiFi, no need for any manual copying. You can apply criteria to the sync process, so I typically only sync tracks that I've given a 4 or 5 star rating, which lets me keep all of the more obscure stuff at home and have the tracks are currently flavour of the month on my phone.

For in-car playback I use Bluetooth for shorter journeys, keeping my phone in my pocket and via cable and Android Auto for longer trips.
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18 Apr 2019 20:17 - 18 Apr 2019 20:18 #206341 by Hanslow
Thanks Gadget. Mine is all stored on a NAS microserver (disks in raid mirror config) with all the music being original lossless rips from our CDs. I just keep the lossless versions as masters really so that I can convert them to any format, new or old, as required. That's all backed up with synctoy to a separate external hard drive as I really don't want to go through ripping all those CDs again!

For home use it's all converted down to AAC, hangover from us using ipods in the car, but now all held on a sony walkman connected to the home stereo. Other than that I have it replicated on three USB sticks, one for the missus, one for each of my cars and for my daily car I dump it on my secondary drive at work.

Like you, all mine is managed through media monkey, again, hangover days from when we had ipods (which we still have, just don't use them anymore).

The downside is we probably buy two or three new albums a month on average, so I end up building up another glut to rip, store and convert.

I probably have the dumbest smart phone in that I use it for calls, texts and photos, nothing else. We're both on pay as you go so keep data to a minimum as/when we need to and a battery charge will last me a good week through lack of use, but available if I need it.

I could put all the music on my phone and sync to that in both cars, well probably the missus' as well (but then I get control ;) ). I've actually enough space on there too, in lossy format there's about 75GB of data, about 600GB or so in lossless I think. Both of us like the whole library with us, on random, just because it covers so many bases and we never know what's next. Even music that we don't particularly like, more me with some of the missus' taste, I'll at least give another go when it comes on randomly.

To give a minor update, I raised a query with Suzuki customer services and they agreed to pass on my issue to Bosch as a defect/feature enhancement request. They also fed back that we'll be entitled to free firmware updates, but only through the dealer when we take the car in. They'll allegedly check if we need an update and put one on, or do that on request, so it's not actually tied to the map update, but they also went let us do it ourselves.

Maybe it's time to start filling my phone with music...
Last edit: 18 Apr 2019 20:18 by Hanslow.
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