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2014 ES 350 USB Media

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Old 07-14-14, 05:27 PM   #1
Kijug
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Wink 2014 ES 350 USB Media

Before I bought I went out and tried the USB port on the ES 350 with UL/ML in detail. I thought I'd share some info since it seems there is confusion out there.

I currently have a Western Digital 1 TB self-powered hard drive plugged into the UBS port for my music. About 9000 songs and about 900 albums. I re-ripped all my CDs into iTunes using the highest MP3 settings I could (320 kps). When I turn on the car I can play whatever was last selected and click individual songs or one click the arrow and change albums one at a time. But, for 9000 songs, it takes the car about 10 minutes to read all the songs and then I have full access to everything, and can use speech to play an artist or album (wish I could play a song, tho!) So, this setup works fine if folks have a large music collection. Now more details. Make sure any UBS thumb drive or hard drive is formatted for FAT16/32--this is critical factor number one. This is an old PC-DOS format but Windows and Mac can both format this. I called my disk "MUSIC" to be simple. Fancy names can confuse the car. You lose some disk space formatting a 1TB drive as FAT 16/32 because each file has be to "x" big regardless of its real size, but with 1 TB, it's not an issue, really.

Next, you basically copy your iTunes files onto your hard drive. Now, I'm a software engineer so I copied files in a more complex way--details skipped. However, I did notice that if you have any "dot" files, it may confuse the car. If you are having problems with USB music, hook up the USB to your computer and either Windows or Mac terminal, see if yo have "dot" files. For Mac (or Unix systems) run "Terminal" and type "ls -la" to see if you have files like ".DS_Store" or ".Spotlight", etc. You might need to remove those. This can get rather technical if you don't know this part of using the computer, so I'll skip the lengthy, gory details. This is perhaps the biggest issue I've seen with folks having issues. The car gets confused if there are strange "dot" files laying around. ONLY MP3 files and folders should exist on the disk if at all possible.

I really just wanted to let folks know that large, bus-powered USB hard drives will work and the more music you have, the longer it takes until the "album" selection lights up, indicating the disk is all ready for surfing and voice commands.
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Old 07-14-14, 08:36 PM   #2
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Questions:

Isn't a hard drive not recommended due to moving internal parts? I would imagine it would get damaged over time due to the car's movements.

Does the loading/transfer time of 10 minutes happen everytime you start the vehicle?

Isn't there a limit on the maximum number of files you can have in a folder? You didn't address the number of file limit per folder. From my experience, when I put all my music files into one folder, not all of them appeared. I had to put them in several folders.
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Old 07-15-14, 05:10 AM   #3
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I started out with a 32GB USB stick and found it was way too large. Switched with an 8GB stick and loaded 20 CDs on it which took about a third of the space. I used three levels of folders to allow for Artist, Album and Song. For me that works just fine and there is no noticeable delay in accessing the music.
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Old 07-15-14, 07:31 AM   #4
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Not sure why you would need a 1TB drive for 9000 songs. I have more than enough space for my >1k albums, all ripped at 320kbs, on a 128GB flash drive. The only issue I have is with the number of folders, so my library cuts off at whatever the max is. I can't remember the limit, but it's posted on here somewhere. Probably the best thing for me to do, would be remove the individual album names and just combine all songs under the artist. Too lazy to do that for now, though.
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Old 07-15-14, 06:14 PM   #5
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I got the 1 TB drive because I like this WD version, and for $69, I think it is a steal. I have several I use for backups. I thought about 128 GB USB stick but decided against it...no real reason why. The manual says to you can have up to 3000 folders each with 255 files and no more than 9999 files total in the device. So you're limited to 9,999 songs however you do it. So I organized mine by album (folders) and then the 10-15 or so songs in each folder.

Yes, it takes about 10 minutes to read all the songs every time I turn on the car. Kind of a bummer. You'd think that it could recognize that you didn't unplug the device and could remember stuff. Oh well. But that is a lot. I'm sure most people do a 4-16 GB stick or so which doesn't take as long.

Once the music is read in, however, because the MP3s encode the album, artist, etc., you can sort and surf through all the songs/albums/artists using the Remote Touch so I don't need to sort the songs in any special folder order. Also, after the songs have loaded, you can use voice commands. You have full access to "the system".

As for moving parts, hard drives are more rugged than people give credit for. Nonetheless, the HD sits in the center console on a towel to absorb some vibration. I really don't expect any problems.

Thanks!
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Old 07-15-14, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kijug View Post
Yes, it takes about 10 minutes to read all the songs every time I turn on the car. Kind of a bummer. You'd think that it could recognize that you didn't unplug the device and could remember stuff. Oh well. But that is a lot. I'm sure most people do a 4-16 GB stick or so which doesn't take as long.
I hate the fact that the "transferring" text appears and stays on the navigation screen after you turn on the vehicle. This obstructs the rear-view cam, and I find myself waiting for 10 extra seconds before I can reverse as this text notification blocks a good portion of the upper part of the screen. (I hope I am making sense.) But for you, do you have that notification on for 10 minutes?

Is there a setting to avoid this text notification?
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Old 07-16-14, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbm79 View Post
I hate the fact that the "transferring" text appears and stays on the navigation screen after you turn on the vehicle. This obstructs the rear-view cam, and I find myself waiting for 10 extra seconds before I can reverse as this text notification blocks a good portion of the upper part of the screen. (I hope I am making sense.) But for you, do you have that notification on for 10 minutes?

Is there a setting to avoid this text notification?
That's display is only your phone data being transferred, not anything plugged into the USB port.

I read somewhere that you can adjust the amount of time it's displayed.
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Old 07-28-14, 10:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kijug View Post
The manual says to you can have up to 3000 folders each with 255 files and no more than 9999 files total in the device. So you're limited to 9,999 songs however you do it. So I organized mine by album (folders) and then the 10-15 or so songs in each folder.
Is there a workaround to the 255 songs per folder limit? Thanks!
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Old 07-28-14, 05:33 PM   #9
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I don't think there are any work arounds for the limits. If you have more than 9999 songs, you'll have to break it up. Otherwise, you'll have to organize your music to 3000 folders and up to 255 songs in each folder with no more than 9999 total. Also, the folders are just "one way" to organize. After the ES reads all your music, it will let you select by Folder, Artist, or Album. So regardless how your folders are organized, you'll still be able to select by Artist or Album. Again, the folders are just "another way" to organize your music.

After driving for a couple weeks now, I'll clarify. I have about 8500 songs on my USB HD. After turning on the car, the current song plays (if I select MEDIA). However, I can only select different songs from that album or change albums one at a time via the arrows. After five minutes (I said 10 above) then the albums selection is available. So then I can select by Folder, Artist, or Album. I unplugged and plugged it back in and now the ES has to re-compute the songs for voice recognition. That seems to take forever and I don't have a single ride long enough to let it finish. Heh. I have to take my son to college in August--my first ES road trip. We'll see how long it takes for the voice recognition to catalog all the files. Otherwise, the voice recognition works for Albums and Artists just fine.
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Old 07-28-14, 05:33 PM
 
 
 
 
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