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  1. #1
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    Bose Radio/Navsystem and Mp3 tips and findings...

    As I posted in other threads, the Bose Audio/Nav system seems to ignore Track Number ID tag in Mp3's stored on USB flash drive or my trusty "old" 80gig iPod Classic, or Ipad2 (with iOS 5.01) and instead play in alphabetical order of Track Name field. It doesn't matter if the actual file name contains the track name, like... 07-Bennie And The Jets.mp3

    Since the 9-4x is similar to the Cadillac SRX, which is similar to the Chevy Equinox, which is similar to the GMC Terrain... I searched out forums discussing those vehicles and checked to see if they had similar issues, and how their owners worked around them... (and yes, the SRX with NAV has the same issues, I didn't find much talk in the forums for the Eq or Terrain)

    This posting represents what I've found, and tested in my 9-4x with Nav in an effort to work around the track number in the ID tag being ignored, as well as no option of going Artist -> Album list -> songs... to play an album like I can on my iPod's built in menu system, and I could on my Dad's 2010 GMC Terrain's factory Pioneer unit without nav.

    First up...

    Using iPod Classic... (or iPad2 which is seen as an iPod by the stereo)

    There is only one thing I can do to make the tracks play in track number order... include the track number in the beginning of the track name field.

    Copying CD's to the Radio/Nav unit's hard drive...

    CD's containing CD Text, or identified via the built-in Gracenote database, that you record to the unit's hard drive DO obey/follow the track number order when playing an album. However, Albums are listed without artist name, so if you have several artists with albums titled "greatest hits" you wont know which is which from the album listing.

    USB Stick findings...


    MP3's on USB stick, or copied to HD from USB stick do no honor the meta data for ID3 tag "track number" field,

    To play in TRACK number order, the Track Name field must start with the track number, 01 - Hotel California.

    Folders are treated as "play lists", but again do not honor track number ID3 tag field. They again play in alphabetical order of track name.

    Play lists can be created as... Eagles Live CD1.m3u
    containing list of tracks as Path\Filename.mp3 such as...

    Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1)\Eagles - 01 - Hotel California.mp3
    Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1)\Eagles - 02 - Heartache Tonight.mp3
    Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1)\Eagles - 03 - I Can't Tell You Why.mp3
    Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1)\Eagles - 04 - The Long Run.mp3
    Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1)\Eagles - 05 - New Kid In Town.mp3
    Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1)\Eagles - 06 - Life's Been Good.mp3


    If you are a windows user, place the MP3's onto your USB drive, open a command prompt and change to the drive/directory constaining the songs you want on the play list.. the command... dir /b *.mp3 > playlist.m3u can be used to create the play list file (Replace PLAYLIST, with the actual name you want your play list to have.. example.. dir /b *.mp3 > Eagles Live CD1.m3u).

    To make the play list in the ROOT of the drive.. dir /b *.mp3 > \playlist.m3u
    To ADD songs in another folder to an existing play list on the root of the usb drive... change to where the next group of songs is, and use... dir /b *.mp3 >> \playlist.m3u

    to make a single .m3u file with ALL songs from ALL folders on the USB card, place the MP3's onto your USB drive, open a command prompt and change to the drive/directory constaining the songs, and use the command... dir /b /s *.mp3 > \playlist.m3u You can now open Playlist.m3u in notepad and edit it/copy/cut/etc into smaller or other individual play lists.

    Play lists and Folders show up under the same menu. If you make a play list with the same name as a folder, you'll see two listings on the Nav/Radio display screen.

    Since play lists can point to any file/folder, you can make your own "best of.." play list and not have to have duplicate tracks on your USB drive.

    The Nav/Radio unit will find/list HIDDEN folders/tracks. (I tried to make play list for albums and hide the folder in the hope that only the play list would show).



    Conclusion...

    If you want to have the unit respect ID3 tag track numbers, but don't want to load up the hard drive by recording audio CD's, one at a time, to the internal hard drive...

    The best way to handle these limits appears to be forgot the iPod and internal hard drive... but instead use a USB flash drive with albums in folders named... Artist - Album... [example: Eagles - Eagles Live (CD 1) ] with the actual file name starting with the Track # [example: 01 - Hotel California.mp3, 02 - Heartache Tonight.mp3, 03 - I Can't Tell You Why.mp3, etc]. The Mp3 ID tags values for Artist, Track Name/Title, Album and Genre. (the Track Name/Title field does not need to include the track number) Then make .m3u play list files for compilation albums, like movie sound tracks, or "greatest hits of the '70's" type things.

    After doing that, to listen to an album, go under Folders/Playlists, select it, and play..


    Still to come...
    • how many characters long can the folder names be (i.e. how many characters can the album's folder name on the USB stick be and still show all characters on the display?)
    • How big can the USB drive be? (is 32gig the limit? The book says USB hard drive can be used, but what size? )
    • The manual says you can pair BT devices supporting AVRCP (which my HTC Thunderbolt can do), but the phone can't pair in both Both "phone/handsfree" and AVRCP at the same time.. ok, so how do I do that with the car since my phone wants to pair in "phone/handsfree" mode FIRST. This would be neat to listen to streaming Rhapsody via BT on the car stereo (like I do at home) rather than connecting 3.5mm audio cable all the time. Or to pair my Moto Xoom or iPad for its audio to play via the car stereo while my son watches movies on it in the back seat)

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  2. #2
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    I can't edit the OP, so here are some corrections and updates...

    For iPod... I forgot to mention... just like with using the internal Hard Drive, Albums are listed without artist name, so if you have several artists with albums titled "greatest hits" you wont know which is which from the album listing.

    For Folders on USB stick... I said that songs will play in alphabetical order of track name. That is not completely correct. File name does come into play. If the actual file names start with a track number [example: 01 - Hotel California.mp3], tracks in a folder will be played in alphabetical order of FILE NAME. I have to do more testing to confirm what happens if no number is present, but I think its still based on actual FILE NAME and not the Meta Data/ID3 Tag.

    For the "still to come..." section...

    Folder name length displayed... It appears to be about 30 characters (if I counted right) as "Tim McGraw - A Place In The Sun" shows as "Tim McGraw - A Place In The Su" (without quotes).

    Drive Size limit? I tried my Seagate Free Agent GO 640 gig usb 2.0 hard drive (not the GoFlex which is usb 2.0/3.0). Power was an issue as the drive did not spin up (on a standard PC/Laptop, USB port power is 550mA and DOES power that drive.), I haven't tried some of my known "not power hungry" drives yet, or drives that also support using an extra power adapter that taps 5V from an additional USB port (I have a cig lighter to USB power adapter that I can use). That 320gig Toshiba USB 2.0 drive at Best Buy for $29.99 black Friday sale is very tempting right now but it would be too small if i can't use it in the 9-4x.

    There does not appear to be a file/folder limit. If there is, I haven't hit it yet as I have 4,354 mp3 files in 414 folders on my 32Gig Patriot Xpress USB 2.0/3.0 flash drive and the stereo sees/lists that 4354 for the "all tracks" number. (22.5gig of mp3's on the drive)

    For Bluetooth AVRCP... On both my Thunderbolt and Bionic, the icon displayed for the 9-4x shows both headphones and mic (implying both Phone/Handsfree and AVRCP), but I still can't figure out how to play bluetooth stereo audio from phone across the stereo. Both of these phones DO support AVRCP for bluetooth stereo audio across my BT Stereo Gateway connected to my home receiver. I haven't tried my Moto Xoom or iPad2 yet. Not sure if I'm going to keep trying, or just write this off as "not compatible with my devices"

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  3. #3
    Saab Enthusiast
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    NOTE: I know that A2DP is usually the profile used for bluetooth stereo audio... Since AVRCP (Audio Video remote control), it needs a bluetooth profile to actually stream the audio.. A2DP and AVRCP are supported by the Bionic and Thunderbolt

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  4. #4
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    Just an update..

    1. The stereo doesn't recognize my iPhone 5 (using its lightning cable with the 9-4x's USB Port). It reports that its unusable.
    2. There is a folder/track limit for USB drives. Using a 32gig flash drive, or a 64gig hard drive, the stereo doesn't see all files/folders on the drives.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_Venture View Post
    Just an update..

    1. The stereo doesn't recognize my iPhone 5 (using its lightning cable with the 9-4x's USB Port). It reports that its unusable.
    CORRECTION... As of last night, it did start working. I was able to also stream Rhapsody via USB as well as use the Next/Prev track controls on the steering wheel. I'm not sure why it didn't work the first time I tried it.

    I will try streaming MP3's stored on the iPhone 5 while driving home from work tonight.

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  6. #6
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    To update an old thread..

    There does seem to be a folder/track limit when using USB. I haven't found the combination yet to explain the limits. I've stuck with a 32gig Sandisk Cruzer Fit and when its full, the stereo shows all files and folders. When I use a 64gig stick or external hard drive, I reach a point where not all files and folders are listed.

    It appears the Bose/Nav system doesn't support BT A2DP or AVRC profiles. Only Headset/Hands free and Phone Book Access profiles are supported. This means no streaming of audio via Bluetooth, and no steering wheel controls like when using my iPhone via USB cable (as noted in post #5 of this thread).

    To get BT audio streaming from my phone, I used my old Blackberry Bluetooth Audio Stereo Gateway (amazon sells Amazon.com: BlackBerry Remote Stereo Bluetooth Gateway for BlackBerry 8100, 8110, 8120, 8130, 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8800, 8820, 8830, 9000 (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories ) connected to the Aux jack. It gets power via USB Mini-B plug, so its perfect for the car and can stay in the arm rest. There are other bluetooth receiver devices for audio, but they use an AC adapter for power. This device also supports A2DP/AVRC only, so no worries about it trying to connect to the phone's BT Handsfree/Headset profiles. The phone still connects to the Bose unit in Headset/HandsFree as usual to make/take calls. There is a newer model of the BB device (Amazon.com: BlackBerry Remote Stereo Bluetooth Gateway for BlackBerry 8100, 8110, 8120, 8130, 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8800, 8820, 8830, 9000 (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories ) its less expensive and appears to use USB Micro for power, but I haven't tried it. NOTE: I recommend also using a ground loop isolator to prevent humming.

    When my phone is connected to the BT Gateway, I need the stereo on AUX to hear any/all non-phone call audio. i.e. sound for google maps, notification tones, etc.

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast
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    Another update...

    Because of past attempts using greater than 32gig devices, I've been using a 32 gig Sandisk Cruzer Fit (29.8gig formatted capacity) to store my USB music. Its small and doesn't get in the way while in the arm rest compartment. I had it filled. It had 5,738 MP3 files arranged in 414 folders occupying 29.7GB (free space was 39.8Meg) The 9-4x sees every song and folder just fine.

    The folders are in the root of the USB drive and named Artist - Album and the songs in each folder are named Track# - Song.mp3

    With best buy having a very good sale on PNY USB flash drives, I picked up a 64gig PNY Turbo Plus USB 3.0 planning on using it for my PC's. I got some new music, so I figured before I figure out what to remove from the Sandisk, why not try and see if this new USB drive works. I started by coping all the music from the Sandisk Cruzer Fit to the PNY, then added a few more albums. After putting it in the 9-4x, it recognized it all!

    Now the PNY stick is up to 6,909 MP3's in 500 folders, occupying 36.8GB and the 9-4X continues to see them all.

    500 folders appears to be the limit (two are reserved by file system, so 498 available). Once I pass that, it only sees the 498 folders, and the number of tracks changes. i.e. The car had listed 498 folders/6909 MP3's, after adding more to make 540 folders/7589 mp3's, the radio only showed 498folders/6872tracks.

    Moving those additional (42) folders so they were nested under another existing album/folder that was in the root, resulted in the car telling me 498 folders/6909 tracks. SO nested folders wont get around this limit.

    NOTE: I have been using WinDirStat to make sure I have nothing but MP3 and folders on this usb stick, something I didn't do in the past. I make sure to remove any .INI, .DB, .JPG, .BMP, etc. so I am left with only MP3's.

    I have not tired it, but I wonder if there is a limit to how many tracks or .m3u files can be in a single folder? i.e. create a m3u for each album as stated in Post#1, and place all the tracks in one folder.

    EDIT: yeah, using .m3u for each album doesn't get past the 498 folder/play list limit.

    Files and albums keep getting seen just fine. I'm 7000 tracks and 538 albums now. I guess I will have to retag my MP3's so that the album field of the ID3 tag is artist-album, and keep on filling the USB stick


    EDIT2: Even though I have 7,556 mp3's on my stick, the car only shows 7,000. But it does show 568 albums.

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    Last edited by Mark_Venture; 15 August 2014 at 12:16.

  8. #8

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    Mark,

    I very appreciate your findings. I've continued your work to find the best way how to store music collection on internal HDD.

    The biggest problem indeed is that internal music player ignores track number ID3 tag. That is very awkward behaviour, since most people listen to complete albums, not just tracks.

    Regarding playing music from USB drive, I completely agree with your findings.
    To summarize - the sorting problem can be solved by 3 workarounds:
    1) Store an album in separate folder on USB drive and format folder name like "<Artist> <Album> <Year>" or "<Artist> <Year> <Album>". All MP3 files must start with track number. Then use "Folders/Playlist" mode for playing albums (and don't use "Albums" mode). This is the best and simplest solution.
    2) Generate M3U playlist for any album on USB drive. You can prefix M3U filename with some symbol like "!Eagles - Live (1980)". Therefore music player will list your playlists before folders. This workaround allows to store all Eagles tracks in single "Eagles" folder and just create playlists for each album or selection. This is a bit complex solution, but it helps if you find PC music player which handles M3U playlists very well and uses relative paths in M3U playlists.
    3) Store all music collection for SAAB in separate folder on your PC. Use MP3 tagging software to prefix song title with track number in title ID3 tag. This is really complex solution, but can be applied f you don't want to use playlists or don't want to store music in many folders. The complex part though is not ID3 title modification, but maintaining that this modification is applied just one time for every MP3. Otherwise, you'll end up with track titles like "01 - 01 - 01 - Hotel California", which will require a lot of manual work to remove excess track numbers.


    Now I continue with my findings. I discovered 2 things:

    1) Apparently files on HDD are copied by maintaining folder and file name as it was on USB drive.
    2) Playlists can be successfully used and copied to HDD. This is the best workaround for sorting problem when music is stored on internal HDD.

    My recomendations for storing music collection on internal HDD drive:

    Two cautions:

    1. As files and their folders are copied to HDD by using their respective names, and we know that there is Windows CE operating system (and therefore most likely FAT32 filesystem on HDD), do not use non ASCII symbols in folder and file names. FAT filesystem are known for problems when user somehow copies file/folder with localised letters in name, which later cannot be normally deleted. As you have no direct access to filesystem on HDD, you will not be able to delete that folder/file. Therefore, just be careful with folder, file and playlist naming. Especially folders.
    2. Do not use nested folders. I don't know how they are managed on HDD drive. Most likely all folders which contain .mp3 file are simply copied to HDD root directory. You should do the same on USB drive to avoid any possible further problems.


    My recommendations:

    1) Use separate USB drive for mirroring your files on SAAB internal HDD drive. In such way you will always know what files are on HDD, avoid duplicates and manage playlists.

    2) Store all files for an artist in separate folder:

    D:\Eagles\01 - Hotel California.mp3
    D:\Eagles\02 - Heartache Tonight.mp3
    D:\Eagles\03 - I Can't Tell You Why.mp3
    ...
    3) Create playlist for each album and/or your own music selection. You can prefix playlist filenames with "!" or other special allowed character (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.3_filename) if you want some playlists to be shown on top of the list. Playlists must contain only relative paths (e.g. Eagles\01 - Hotel California.mp3) - do not use full paths (e.g. C:\Music\Eagles\01 - Hotel California.mp3)

    4) Copy music from USB drive, by using "Folder/Playlist" mode. Copy folder itself by selecting it and pressing "REC" and after that copy corresponding playlist(s) by selecting it and pressing "REC". The infotainment system will warn you about duplicated files - it just confirms that MP3 files are not duplicated.

    5) When first playlist is copied to HDD, "Playlist" mode will be available in SAAB music player, which will list all playlists you've copied.


    That's it.

    * If you delete playlist from HDD, it will also delete all tracks which were included in that playlist. Keep it in mind if more than one playlist includes same tracks.
    ** You can delete all files and playlists by selecting "All songs" and pressing "DEL". It will also delete all playlist files.
    *** During first copying, you don't have to copy folders one by another. Just select "Folders/Playlist" category on USB drive and hit "REC". After that just copy all playlists one by one.

    Following tools I've used:
    1) Clementine (good for importing/organizing files and MP3 playlist creation)
    2) PuddleTag (good for ID3 tag management and cleanup)
    3) Musicbrainz Picard (for autocompleting ID3 tags and embedding album art in mp3 files)
    4) Rhythmbox (sorts all music library by artist/album/genre in the similar manner like Infotainment system does)

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    Last edited by Grey; 01 December 2016 at 11:02.

 

 

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