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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > 6FL USB Flash Drive Users (NOT iPod) - What format/settings do you use?

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      10-30-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
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Question 6FL USB Flash Drive Users (NOT iPod) - What format/settings do you use?

(Since the iPod uses its own internal DAC this doesn't apply to iPod users--only people who use the car's onboard DAC. If you use an iPod the car couldn't care less what the format or settings are as long as the iPod can decode the file and stream it to the car.)

Having searched 6FL-related threads for hours every day for the past week, it seems 10% of the 6FL-using population is happy, the other 90% has had some sort of problem. But in every thread people are real vague about their file specifics. Minute differences in encoding settings can make or break compatibility, so I'm curious exactly what everyone is using. BMW documentation states that the onboard DAC supports MP3, AAC, M4A, M4B, WAV, WMA, ASF, and M3U playlists. It also says 256 kbit/s is the highest bitrate. But from what I can see it's quite vague on more complex settings.

What have you used? Have you had better luck with one type/bitrate/setting than another? VBR/CBR? What encoder did you use? What about brands, sizes, and speeds of thumb drives and/or hard drives?

I'm not a fan of spending a fortune on a stereo only to play compressed files, so my native collection is in WAV format... but it turns out the car can't read the ID tags in WAV, it can only browse by filename, so I scrapped that (worked fine and sounded GREAT otherwise).

Next I tried creating MP3's using MediaMonkey 3, which uses a LAME encoder behind the scenes. First shot was 320 kbit/s CBR with bit reservoir enabled but I did NOT check the box for "enforce strict ISO compliance". Every so often, the left channels cut out completely, and the only way to get sound from all channels again is to turn the car off, unplug the thumb, let the car sit a few hours, then plug in a different thumb drive with a different volume name and different files so the car is forced to re-index the whole drive. After a few minutes it's golden again.

This morning I re-encoded my entire collection using MediaMonkey again but this time at 256 kbit/s CBR, again using bit reservoir but no "strict ISO compliance". Worked great for a few hours, I breathed a sigh of relief, then this afternoon my left cut out again. AARGH.

At the moment I'm re-encoding everything *again* to 192 kbit/s CBR using the "enforce strict ISO compliance" option to see if that makes any difference. I could be barking completely up the wrong tree but my dealer doesn't have any openings for a week and I wanted to rule out the variable that my files themselves are incompatible with the player.

As for brands, I've used Kingston 8 GB, Kingston 32 GB, Corsair Voyager Mini 8 GB, Corsair Voyager Mini 16 GB (fits in the slot with no adapter cable--very very cool but 16 gigs isn't enough for me), Corsair Voyager 32 GB, Corsair Voyager 64 GB, and I have a Corsair Voyager GT 64 GB on order. My "car-worthy" MP3 collection at 256 bitrate is around 30 GB. I just dump all the files in the root of the drive with no subfolders, using the genre/artist/album tags and playlists to navigate. Works great when I can get sound from all channels. Takes maybe an hour for the car to first index 30 gig's worth.
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2009 328i E90 6MT | Black / Sports Package | BMWPP Intake, Exhaust, STB, Short Shift Kit, pedals, brake lever, ZHP shift knob | Zeckhausen CDV | Cool Carbon Pads | Alpine / Earthquake / MB Quart / Kenwood
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      10-30-2009, 07:08 PM   #2
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I just use whatever I have in itunes, usually around 160-192kpbs in acc. Id hate to have to change settings whenever I put new music on the usb. I am going to start embedding equalizer settings into the files to make the sound better in the car however.
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      10-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #3
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i play mp3s in my idrive with a bitrate usually at 320kbps. i have used 16gb ocz rally2 and a 4gb sandisk cruzer.

the only problem i have is with the random setting. for some reason it always plays the songs at random in the same exact order.
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      11-02-2009, 09:06 AM   #4

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I have all kinds of MP3 encoding across my collection and never have sound-related issues. Sometimes an ID3 tag gets displayed with an 001 at the end, presumably because of embedded album artwork - but I can live with that. For me, the biggest annoyance is the lack of GAPLESS playback. I hate the stops between continuous mixes, which ALL my stuff is...
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      10-11-2010, 04:41 AM   #5
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AGT Smith,

Check this out: http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?...addd58ba3b8878

I have the 32GB version of this drive, and it is TINY. Here's a pic that can give you some idea of how small it is: (Dimensions: 31.3 x 12.4 x 3.4 mm)

I loaded mine up w/320Kbps MP3's and leave it plugged in.
<img src=http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d49/Snootch420/BMWSigcopy1.jpg border=0 alt= />
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      10-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
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i have 128, 160, 192, and 320 bit rate MP3s
i'm using a 128GB corsair SSD (much faster to switch between songs)
never had issues a all
but what i realized makes a huge difference in how quickly the car reads the ID tags is to REMOVE ID3v2 tags, just keep the V1 tags
i used this program
you only want "remove ID3v2 tag " checked
huge difference in speed

if you want my advice
make like 4 folders on a drive, with the same 10 songs in each (ideally songs you know very well, maybe a favourite CD or something)
one in MP3
one in AAC
one at WMA
one in WAV
all at the highest bit rate available

just keep playing inside each folder for a day and check which one you have issues with and stay away from that format

just curious how big your collection is if its all wav format
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      10-11-2010, 12:29 PM   #7

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Most of my mp3's are in 320kbps and my drive is the OCZ Diesel 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive. I have not come across any of the issues you mentioned. I use Audiograbber to encode my mp3s.
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      10-12-2010, 05:29 PM   #8
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All music on my external 240gig usb hard drive is WMA lossless.

No problems at all.


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      10-30-2010, 03:57 PM   #9
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I am using a 8 GB usb flash drive but do not have a random option. I have all my music in seperate folders ie: country, rock, hip hop etc. Is this the reason I have no random option? Do all the songs need to be uncatagorized on the flash drive for this option to appear?
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