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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you already have a usb drive full of music, you can skip to "Creating the playlist".

I have the basic MyFord and Sync system, but this might work just as well on MFT. Also, these instructions and the program explained below are for Windows computers.

I recently ripped all my CDs to MP3s and wanted to use a USB drive with the "MyFord and Sync" system. I was having difficulty figuring out how to create playlists. I can sometimes find Microsoft Media Player confusing and I needed something simple. I ended up finding a free program called "Playlist Creator" to easily create playlists straight off the USB drive files.

I'm pretty sure there are dozens of ways to do this using other programs and invite others to share complete and detailed instructions on this thread. Also, please provide links to other threads that explain utilizing USB drives to their fullest potential with the "MyFord and Sync" system.

Here's a description of the folder structure created automatically when I ripped my CD's. I then copied the files directly to my USB drive. On the top level are Artist folders and inside those are the Album folders and inside those are the individual MP3 files. This structure is typically how ripping software will save MP3s. I used Windows 7 Media Player 12 to rip my CDs and selected to rip at 256bit MP3 format. I set the "rip on CD insertion ON" and just kept feeding my computer CDs until I was done.
Artist
-AlbumX
--Song.mp3
--Song.mp3
--etc.
-AlbumY
--Song.mp3
--Song.mp3
--etc.
Artist
-Album
--Song.mp3
--Song.mp3
--etc.
Etc...

Creating the playlist
Free Shareware that I used (be sure to deselect all of the extra software they want to install during installation)...
http://oddgravity.de/app-opc.php

Once you have Playlist Creator installed and running on your Windows PC, plug in your USB drive and drag songs from the USB drive to the Playlist creator window. Once you have your list complete, set the Save location to the top level of the USB drive. Enter a simple file name that sync will voice-recognize easily, select .M3u as the file type and click Create Playlist. Now go test your new playlist.

I haven't tried any other folder structure but if you open the playlist created, you can see that the file locations are "relative" so I assume just about any folder structure will work.

If you try this out and find more interesting ways to use the program, please post details. Also, if you know of different ways to create playlists on USB drives, please leave detailed instruction on how you do it.

Below are instruction I found while researching this from a Ford rep on using Windows Media Player to create a Playlist.

Below are instructions for creating playlists through Windows Media Player.

Make sure the music is listed on the flash drive.
Transfer the music from the flash drive to Windows Media player in the MEDIA LIBRARY tab.
Click on PLAYLISTS, and then CREATE NEW PLAYLIST.
Go back to the Media Library and Sort the music by the file name to show the file path starting with the Flash Drive Location (E.g…E:\MUSIC\MYMUSIC\...).
Select the songs that you would like to add to the playlist and drag and drop them, or right click them and send them to the correct playlist.
Once the playlist is complete, click on FILE and then SAVE PLAYLIST AS.
Click on MY COMPUTER, and then select the drive associated with the flash drive.
Change the Save As Type to Any Playlist.
Name the file and click on SAVE.

EDIT: Feedback from using the instructions...

I tried this method and got it to work. At first it did not work. You cannot save the playlist as "Relative". In Playlist Creator, hit the settings tab. Another window will pop up, then hit "Playlist details". Look under "Saving Playlist Entries" there is another sentence that says "Do you want to save the playlist absolute or relative. The default is relative so use the drop down menu and pick "absolute" not "absolute without drive".

Once this setting is changed, the directions in the quote above (which are in the first post) work like a charm
 

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.M3u playlists are also created with WinAmp, so once you move the songs you want to the USB drive, open those files in WinAmp, save the playlist on the USB drive, and you should be good. This, of course, is theory until I actually buy a thumbdrive for the car to replace the iPod.
 

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.M3u playlists are also created with WinAmp, so once you move the songs you want to the USB drive, open those files in WinAmp, save the playlist on the USB drive, and you should be good. This, of course, is theory until I actually buy a thumbdrive for the car to replace the iPod.
Think this would work with the MFT system? I've had issues with getting a USB drive to work with my car. Never really trouble shot it or anything though.
 

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.M3u playlists are also created with WinAmp, so once you move the songs you want to the USB drive, open those files in WinAmp, save the playlist on the USB drive, and you should be good. This, of course, is theory until I actually buy a thumbdrive for the car to replace the iPod.
I tested your theory, and I can say for certain that .M3U playlists work great using .MP3 files on a USB stick on the regular Sync (non-MFT) system. [woot]
 

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Moved to "Car Audio, SYNC, MyFord Touch & Electronics"
 

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Or you could just use SyncPlaylist to sync your exisiting WMP playlist quickly. It can be found at http://www.openviewdesign.com
I need one of these, the playlists from WMP don't copy over directly, It says that its doing it for the albums (and it does) but it is totally unclear that those are the only playlists that it copies to USB drives.

I downloaded the program and I had to install Java which I was avoiding because my wife's cheap games require it and they truly suck concerning stability of the video subsystem with hangs, changed resolutions and their complete inability to recover previous settings when they are shut down, hell, they don't even completely close, they always leave crap behind that makes the whole system unstable. I have to reboot to recover and I am using Win 8 but it doesn't matter, the same happened for the last ten years with this IWin crud clogging my system... Sigh, rant over, I will keep Java if this program works.
 

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This does not work in Win 8, copies 1 file or says it does then stops, cancel transfer, restart, copies one more or says it does.

Maybe I don't understand what is happening. Playlists in WMP are just that, lists, they are not the files themselves, they are a list of already existing files that are in a list to be played, hence, a playlist.

What am I missing here?

I uninstalled the program and Java since it doesn't work in Win 8
 

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Think this would work with the MFT system? I've had issues with getting a USB drive to work with my car. Never really trouble shot it or anything though.
No problems with a USB drive on MFT here...

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk HD
 

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I'm probably going to be asking a stupid question but I'm gonna ask it any way. Do y'all leave your USB in your car during the day or do you take it out? I can't imagine pulling it out everyday but I could see it melting. What do you guys do?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm probably going to be asking a stupid question but I'm gonna ask it any way. Do y'all leave your USB in your car during the day or do you take it out? I can't imagine pulling it out everyday but I could see it melting. What do you guys do?
I only take it out to edit the contents. It'll take the heat and cold just fine.

One feature I'd recommend is getting a low profile drive like this one.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-Flash-Drive-SDCZ33-032G-B35/dp/B00812F7O8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1367417770&sr=8-2&keywords=32Gb+cruzer

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by FordIVTteam
Below are instructions for creating playlists through Windows Media Player.

Make sure the music is listed on the flash drive.
Transfer the music from the flash drive to Windows Media player in the MEDIA LIBRARY tab.
Click on PLAYLISTS, and then CREATE NEW PLAYLIST.
Go back to the Media Library and Sort the music by the file name to show the file path starting with the Flash Drive Location (E.g…E:\MUSIC\MYMUSIC\...).
Select the songs that you would like to add to the playlist and drag and drop them, or right click them and send them to the correct playlist.
Once the playlist is complete, click on FILE and then SAVE PLAYLIST AS.
Click on MY COMPUTER, and then select the drive associated with the flash drive.
Change the Save As Type to Any Playlist.
Name the file and click on SAVE.
This just does not work when the music files originate in WMP on Windows 8.
I can't even sort by file name and Media Library won't transfer the files because they are on a removable drive (They originated from WMP anyway).

Has anybody gotten playlists in Win 8 WMP to work on a USB drive?

It copies all my music files and associated metadata (Album art, Artist Ect...) but the 'All Music' playlist does not even transfer as a file onto the USB drive so I have to assume that MFT is actually creating one so that it knows what is there.

I have formatted the USB drive several times in testing and right now I am going to manually copy the '.mpl' playlist files over to see if MFT can use them (or even see them) after this last sync session.

FWIW - Playlists for me are just that, lists of songs to be played, not the actual files themselves just as WMP shows them to be.

I'm going to put the playlist files in root to start, before the 'music' folder and then go from there. I will post if I have any success.
 

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Creating the playlist
Free Shareware that I used (be sure to deselect all of the extra software they want to install during installation)...
http://oddgravity.de/app-opc.php

Once you have Playlist Creator installed and running on your Windows PC, plug in your USB drive and drag songs from the USB drive to the Playlist creator window. Once you have your list complete, set the Save location to the top level of the USB drive. Enter a simple file name that sync will voice-recognize easily, select .M3u as the file type and click Create Playlist. Now go test your new playlist.

I haven't tried any other folder structure but if you open the playlist created, you can see that the file locations are "relative" so I assume just about any folder structure will work.
I tried this method and got it to work. At first it did not work. You cannot save the playlist as "Relative". In Playlist Creator, hit the settings tab. Another window will pop up, then hit "Playlist details". Look under "Saving Playlist Entries" there is another sentence that says "Do you want to save the playlist absolute or relative. The default is relative so use the drop down menu and pick "absolute" not "absolute without drive".

Once this setting is changed, the directions in the quote above (which are in the first post) work like a charm
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I tried this method and got it to work. At first it did not work. You cannot save the playlist as "Relative". In Playlist Creator, hit the settings tab. Another window will pop up, then hit "Playlist details". Look under "Saving Playlist Entries" there is another sentence that says "Do you want to save the playlist absolute or relative. The default is relative so use the drop down menu and pick "absolute" not "absolute without drive".

Once this setting is changed, the directions in the quote above (which are in the first post) work like a charm
Thanks, I'll update the original post with this.
 

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It may be that I'm retreading already covered ground, but I'm busy loading a 16 gig flashdrive with the stuff I'd like to hear in my new focus SE - nice car by the way.

I'm astonished at the artist names "Medea", the voice from the overhead is able to understand. No sweat with Django Reinhardt (D is silent) or Sviatoslav Richter, (Svee-ato-slav) or Willie Nelson, or On the Road Again, for that matter.

There is a problem with album names as well as with more complex artist names. If I try manually to scroll though the albums on the little LCD, I get a couple and then no more. I'm assuming that I have some messed up album names which I'll find when I edit the file metadata.

I have an excellent mp3 metadata editor which runs on Ubuntu Linux and will allow me to change artist and album names in an entire folder, or even globally.

My plan is to rename albums to shorter names - Django One, Django Two, for example and change names of artists where the present name is something like the London Promenade Pickup Symphonic Players, to Sullivan, the composer.

So my question is, has any one of you done this and if so what was your experience.

To put it another way, you guys who have 32 gig drives full of music; can your "voice from above" really recognize the spoken name and play anything on the drive?

Or are you using playlists?
 

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Ford sync usb drive - mp3 best practices with linux tools

This a guide about how Ford SYNC interfaces with a USB drive with music files, in this case MP3s.

I use an older version of Linux, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with a Gnome 2 desktop on an old Pentium-4 machine. I like 12.04 LTS, as it has a lot of free audio tools in both Gnome desktop and the CLI. Plus the ability to write scripts to bulk edit.
There are many MS Windows tools that might give the same result, possibly even in one tool. Probably not for free, though. The various tools below do achieve a high degree of control and describing them illustrates the process well. No matter what OS and tools you use, the following processes should be done in the order shown below to assure that SYNC will read everything correctly.

Note that linux apps that address CD\DVD ripping are beginning to become harder to find in newer OSs as that media deprecates. Unfortunate, as a CD carries about the maximum data representation one can find easily.

This guide breaks the linux process down into parts so you can see what needs to be done for SYNC to read and behave correctly..

1. RIP FROM CD, ARCHIVE AND CONVERT

You can skip this section if you already have MP3s or rip with another method.

I use Asunder in Gnome as a CD ripper, ripping to lossless WAV files first. This gives a soft duplicate of what is on the CD, although it is pricey in terms of memory size. Of course this is old school (like the PC it runs on) and there are other, newer lossless formats, though they usually don't save much more size. WAVs are still good to archive, very portable and also provide recognizable input to the next tool, Sound Converter, which will convert the WAVs to lossy MP3s that are much smaller in size.

Importantly, Asunder builds a more or less valid (to start with, anyway) M3U playlist from the CD it rips. It also builds a nicely titled directory for it all.

I set Asunder to name the WAV files as Track - Artist - Album - Song (with the spaces and hyphens). This is important for the tags that will be generated later. It also makes human indexing faster and easier. You could use other characters besides the space-hyphens, like periods, but ensure those characters don't exist in your song titles, and adjust this if they are.
NOTE that SYNC will not, however, read the filename correctly in the M3U playlist if it has spaces and other programming punctuation icluded in the filename, so prepare to make changes. More on this later.

The files are now ripped into the one Asunder-built directory. In it, I then build two directories for the WAV and MP3 files, to separate them after conversion. The M3U playlist file built in the rip is moved to the WAV directory, then copied to the MP3 directory. We will come back to to discussing this file in a moment. In the MP3 directory there now should be only two types of files, one or many MP3s (audio files) and one M3U playlist file. As ripped, the original name for the M3U file in the WAV directory would be 'Artist-Album.wav.m3u'. In the MP3 directory only, I rename the M3U file 'Artist - Album.m3u'.

I use Sound Converter in Gnome to convert the WAVs to MP3. There are some options to play with, I convert with the highest quality. I select the whole MP3 directory and Sound Converter does the rest. The MP3 and WAV files are separated into their respective directories.

2. SET MP3 TAGS

It is extremely important to set MP3 tags so that the SYNC display will show more than 'Unknown' on an item and the playlist can find a song. You can skip this if your tags are already set, but check that you have included at least the referenced tags below.

I use Ex Falso in Gnome to edit the MP3 tags. The most important MP3 tags for SYNC are Artist, Album Title, Song Title, and Genre. I also usually set the Date tag with the year, though SYNC will not display it. Ex Falso will set a tag or tags across the entire selected directory, if that is chosen instead of an individual file.

There is a utility in Ex Falso to derive tags from the file name itself. This is good at this point, as it is nice to preserve punctuation that could be included in the file name into the tags, especially song titles. Most of this punctuation ultimately will need to be removed from both the song titles in the file name and inside the M3U file for SYNC to read them correctly. But when they are preserved by conversion into tags, the song titles will include them and look right.

Ex Falso / Tags from Path tab needs the following rule:
<tracknumber> - <artist> - <album> - <title>
Then use the Edit Tag tab to add a tag for Genre (required) and for Date (if desired).

3. SET M3U PLAYLIST

The M3U (.m3u) Playlist file might seem daunting until it is revealed that it is actually just a simple text file that can be edited with any text editor, like MS Notepad, linux vim \ nano, or whatever. No special programs are needed to edit or create a new one, but one must be familiar with MS DOS / Windows path navaigation to set paths to find audio files if the M3U file is outside of the directory with the audio files.

Whatever you name the M3U file is what it will show in SYNC Playlists and be accessed by voice-command (if equipped).

Inside the file, the code (text) references song runtime, MP3 song title tag, and MP3 path \ filename (windows backslash path format). The order of songs in the list determine the sequence of play. MP3 song title tags must be set and MATCH COMPLETELY (watch out for punctuation, later). A basic M3U file with two songs in the same directory appears as:

_____________________
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:123,Song Title1 <must match MP3 song title tag>
song.title.mp3 <must match the file name>
#EXTINF:456,Song Title2 <must match MP3 song title tag>
song.title.mp3 <must match the file name>
_____________________

A real example:

_____________________
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:565,So What
Miles.Davis.-.Kind.of.Blue.-.So What.mp3
_____________________

A common error made by tools is including the album name in the MP3 song title tag line. Watch for behavior like this.

The one slightly hard-to-derive item, if you didn't rip it or have it, is the 'runtime' of the song. The runtimes shown above are the numbers after '#EXTINF:', in seconds (123, 456, 565 in the real example). They should match reality. If for some reason you do not know the runtime, in linux, it can be derived with a CLI-based tool, mp3info, as follows:

mp3info -p "%S" <path>*

4. REMOVE OFFENSIVE PUNCTUATION FROM FILE NAMES AND INSIDE M3U FILE

Even though most windowing programs like gnome, MS Windows etc let you move around and work with files with almost any character in their name, command line interfaces (CLIs) and external devices such as SYNC are much more particular. SYNC WILL NOT TAKE A SPACE AS A CHARACTER IN THE FILENAME OF THE M3U FILE, as well as many other characters you find on the keyboard punctation row, quotes and various other symbols. General rule if it looks like a programming character in this file, it is perceived as one. However, it will take periods and hyphens with no problem.

So to review:
Spaces and punctuation OK and wanted in MP3 Song Title tag line
Spaces and punctuation NOT OK and prohibited in filename \ path line

Include tracknumber at the beginning of the file name, or not? I have done it both ways. Most of the heavy lifting for sequence should now get done in the M3U. But to see the tracks in order in a computer, they still have to be indexed.

I use gnome PyRenamer to substitute periods for spaces, and other edits on multiple files at once.

5. M3U PLAYLIST LOCATION AND RELATIVE PATH

For SYNC, the M3U file must either:
A. reside in the same directory as the MP3 files it references and not reference a path in the file name line, or
B. reside somewhere else referencing the RELATIVE path to get to the files BASED ON THE CURRENT LOCATION OF THE M3U FILE. This requires perception of a 'relative vs. absolute' path name. The M3U file references the relative path in the same line identifying the file name, such as
_____________________
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:565,So What
..\Jazz\Miles.Davis\Miles.Davis.-.Kind.of.Blue\01.-.Miles.Davis.-.Kind.of.Blue.-.So.What.mp3
_____________________
**(Assuming the M3U file is located on the USB root level under no directory)**

Be advised again that one must use the MSDOS-type back slashes for paths to correctly translate to SYNC.

Note the preceeding, required '..\' path orientation that sets the file system navigation to look up one directory from where the M3U file resides, in this case telling SYNC to use whatever designation it has for the USB drive. SYNC only will use a RELATIVE path for navigation. IT WILL NOT USE AN ABSOLUTE PATH, per extensive testing. SYNC will, however, find the M3U file wherever it resides, so album playlists can sit in the album directories without referencing any path and custom mixed playlists can reside in a centralized directory while referencing relative paths. To clarify, if there was a directory called 'Playlist' at the root level and the M3U resided inside that, the path would look like:

..\..\Jazz\Miles.Davis\Miles.Davis.-.Kind.of.Blue\01.-.Miles.Davis.-.Kind.of.Blue.-.So.What.mp3
(up one level to get to the root directory and another to get to the drive)

6. FORMAT USB STICK

In ubuntu/gnome this is done by selecting the USB stick under 'Computer' in 'Places' dropdown. Format FAT (Compatible with all systems). I sometimes double format with another type (Ext4) first to ensure a very clean wipe before re-formatting with FAT, if I feel like something is giving me problems.

7. DUMPING THE FILE SYSTEM

The file system construction process to build a directory hiearchy should be pre-built at the PC. The USB stick is only used to dump a completed file system. NO EDITING OF ANY TYPE SHOULD BE DONE ON THE USB STICK. While it usually is possible to add directorys and files to a stick, it can cause SYNC read problems to edit or delete them on it. The reason is that formatting builds a trash directory, and if files are deleted from the stick, they go to that trash directory and SYNC still sees them, now as possible duplicates. Additionally, some text editors leave hidden files that SYNC does not always know how to ignore. If a M3U file is opened by some editors, hidden files are generated on the stick. Not usually fatal, but messy.

If there is any mistake, the stick should be reformatted and the pre-formed file system redumped to it.
 
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