View Full Version : Playlists on USB devices

Huey Driver
11-03-11, 01:29 PM
I have the base radio (AM/FM/XM/single CD) on a 2012 SRX. Instead of leaving a $200 ipod in my center console, I went out and bought a 16gb thumb drive for $20. It works great, even if you have to be a little more particular about filenames. For example, I found that the radio will not use the file metadata (that has the track number in it) when sorting, so if you want to play an album in order, you have to put the track number at the beginning of the file name (which everyone probably knows)...

Anyway, two questions, I guess.

Has anyone been able to create playlists on generic USB devices? I'm pretty sure my IPOD playlists came through on the radio display. Some of the old MP3 devices I have used just allowed you to create a text file with a list of filenames in it. I havent tried that yet, but the manual says it will play playlists if it finds them. The trick will be how to name them on a generic thumb drive. Anyone had success with this?

Second, since I have a large number of songs, the radio seems to index them every time I start the vehicle. This seems to take several minutes or longer, making selecting an album or something unavailable until the index is done. Is there any way to 'save' the index, or manually create it so that it doesnt have to re-index all the time?

Huey Driver
11-06-11, 06:13 PM
I guess I should have done more research, but I was being lazy WHILE I looked...

I was able to create a playlist on my thumbdrive, with an 'm3u' extension (ie, "playlist.m3u") that was read by the radio, showed up in the 'playlist' section of the search AND played when selected. The random feature appeared to work with this list (ie, it randomized the entries in the playlist). You dont have to put the playlist in a special directory, it finds it fine in the root directory.

The format of the playlist file is plain text, on each line is the word 'file' and a space then the path to the song.
file .\Jimmy Buffett\License to Chill\01-Hey Good Lookin'.mp3
file .\Jimmy Buffett\License to Chill\02-Boats to Build.mp3
file .\Jimmy Buffett\License to Chill\03-License to Chill.mp3

I played around with various paths to files and all I could really find out was you must have the full path name to the file. It appears you dont need quotes, and that special characters (spaces, apostrophe, etc) work ok, but YMMV. The format I have here, with the playlist in the root dir, works. I was also able to get it to work by putting all my playlists in a separate directory (titled 'playlists') and using two dots in front of the path (ie, 'file ..\Jimmy Buffett\...') but dont know if that is absolutely required.

No need to have multiple copies of songs!

As for the indexing, it still seems to do it most of the time when I start the car but of course I only notice it if I am immediately trying to play from the USB. About 2500 songs seems to take about 3 minutes until the 'indexing device...' line goes away in the display.

The MP3 play seems to be fairly feature rich, but could likely be tempermental. It seems to read file metadata (contrary to my original post) but uses that only for display and sorting (ie, in genre) and not for the track listing. Gathering and collating all the metadata is probably what is involved with the indexing. So, like I said, based on all the features I keep finding, I'm not ready to make any firm will/wont statements about it...