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Old 12-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
AudiQ5Canada
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Default Problem with playlist and mp3 on SD card (Audi Q5 2012 MMI). Any known limitations?

Hi,

I have been having quite a few problems with my playlists in my car (Audi Q5 2012).

Here is the setup:
- All my files are organised in playlists (m3u).
- Those playlists are created using PlayList Creator from OddGravity under windows
- On a 32GB SD card, I copied 56 playlists which include 1800 files (mostly mp3, but some other formats as well)
- I used a flat stucture (no sub-directories) because it loads faster

I came to realize that about half of my playlists do not appear on my console under the playlist folder, and MANY of the playlists have only a very partial list (sometimes only 1 song instead of 20+).

I have the following questions:
1- Are there knows bugs in the MMI loading playlists and MP3? For example, bugs with accentuated characters, special characters such as "&" or "_" or other?

2- Are there known limitations such as filename length, max number of files on the SD card, max number of files in a playlist, max number of nested folders, etc?

Has anybody else encountered such problems that their playlists get truncated? Any pointer would be appreciated. Otherwise, I'll try to debug myself and try to find where the problem/bug is, this takes time because the Audi system is soooooo slow in loading my card each time.

Also, does anybody here know if Audi sometimes FIXES bugs that users report (for example if we discover that the system skips filenames with a & in them), or do they simply ignore us and don't bother with an update?

Thanks
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
AudiQ5Canada
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Hi,

Since nobody replied, I investigated furthermore, and found the following limitation to the Audi 2012 Q5 multimedia system (other systems probably have the same flaw).

I find it quite astounding that in today's technology world, Audi built such a restrictive and poorly designed system, without documenting and letting its customers. So here it goes:

1- Have more than 512 files in one folder? Audi will stop counting after 512 - you won't see the other ones. They probably think people still carry CD with 12 songs on a CD, so "512 should be enough for anyone". That's just terrible. But there is more.

2- Audi doesn't think it is reasonable to have a playlist with more than 100 songs on it. You do? Well, tough luck, only the first 100 songs will be played and displayed

3- mp3? That's soooo 1990's, but nobody told Audi. They don't support flac nor m4a (and probably other formats - I haven't tried anything else).

How lame! Is there a way to send this feedback to Audi?

Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:41 AM   #3
Frednat
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Hi "AudiQ5Canada", I have met the same limitations. Not only that but the documentation also specifies all the following limits:

Max 512 files/ directory
Max 2048 files per medium
Max 255 subdirectories

Playlists max 128, max 100 entries per playlist

The max 2048 files per medium I believe means you can't stick more than 2048 songs on an SD card or the extras won't be read.

This is a big drawback, my entire collection is 391 directories, and 7030 songs (which makes 8000+ songs when you add album art etc...), which means I can't just copy it all over to the SD card and play it in the car as it will stop reading files at MC Hammer....erm I mean Metallica.

This should also impact the size of the SD card you are going for. If your library is at 128Kb/s (mine was created when 1GB was a big deal!), so 2-3MB per song on average, the Max size SD card you will need is roughly 8GB! No point plumping up for more.
Ditto at 256KB with 2048 files (~8MB file size) that would be just over 16GB. I got a 32GB card for nothing...

Bit of a disappointment, but also means there's a lot more manipulation involved to get my "Top" songs into my SD card. I'll start another thread with my method to get from a 7000 song library down to a 2000 song library but with the folder structure intact, and useable playlists...it ain't simple.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:16 AM   #4
AudiQ5Canada
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Hi,

Thanks for your post with all the information. It is a bit of a disappointment also to see all those limitations.

Can you tell me where you found the documentation with all this information? I certainly didn't see it in my user manual.

As an aside, a friend of mine and I have been working on an application for the past few weeks that will allow anyone to sync a media library to an external media (usb, cd, hard disk, etc). This means, if I modify my Bananarama playlist, heu.. I mean, Bad Religion playlist to add a few songs, the next time I insert the SD card, I can "sync" and it will detect that the original playlist has changed and will update the files on the SD cards.

We are currently making some changes to the application to support a maximum # entries per playlist (if the max is 99 songs, and you have 120 songs, it will make 2 x 60 songs playlist) and a max per folder (if you have 800 songs in a folder, it will split in 2 folders on the SD card and make the according changes to the playlist).

The application is still under construction, there are many things I want to add, but if some people are interested in being beta tester, you can let me know and eventually I can send you a copy.

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:58 PM   #5
AudiQ5Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frednat View Post
The max 2048 files per medium I believe means you can't stick more than 2048 songs on an SD card or the extras won't be read.
Actually, my interpretation is that you can have max 2048 files TOTAL, including playlists and other items (logs, album art, etc.). So, in reality, this would mean that the real number of songs is less than 2048, and I too am unhappy that I purchased a 32GB SD card for no reason.

I think I was lucky that my current "on the go" library only has 57 playlists and about 1900 songs.. I am close to the limit but didn't realised it.

I am also wondering if Audi will make any updates to those limitations, or if I should not expect Audi to make changes to "older" (my car is a 2012) models..?

Finally, I'd like to mention that when I was using winamp to manage my SD card, it was re-creating the folder structure that is in my library (artist\year - album), which meant A LOT of folder (don't know if I was near or past the 255 limit) and the startup time before I could see and play my files would be VERY long (more than a minute).

I tried putting all the files (1900) in one directory, butit still took a lot of time before the files were loaded and available when starting the car.

Now that I have adjusted for the limitations, I have 4 folders with each about 500 files, and when I start my car, loading the files takes only 2-3 seconds, it is very fast. So, it is worth noting that the load time increases a lot when you are outside the specs (clearly, it doesn't just ignore the remaining files).
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:26 PM   #6
Andrew A4
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It's depressing a car that came with a Bang & Olufson sound system doesn't have the ability to play "lossless" audio formats. The difference between flac and a 320kbps mp3 is huge when listening on sennheiser headphones, and DSD is even better. I could understand Audi not including DSD support, but flac??
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
Frednat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudiQ5Canada View Post
Hi,

Thanks for your post with all the information. It is a bit of a disappointment also to see all those limitations.

Can you tell me where you found the documentation with all this information? I certainly didn't see it in my user manual.


Thanks
Hi AudiQ5Canada, the information was in the pack I got with the new car. So this will be in the standard manuals you should have been given. Perhaps in the MMI section. I don't have the manuals with me so can't quote exactly.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:33 PM   #8
Frednat
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Default Keeping Folder structure etc...

Hi,

Wanted to post more info on how to whittle down a music collection down to a max of 2000 songs.

Firstly it's simple: use Eric Daugherty's "iTunes Export" program:
http://www.ericdaugherty.com/dev/itunesexport/

I let iTunes organise my directories which simplifies everything. You can then create playlists: 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars etc.. whatever you fancy. iTunes allows you to export the files from you favorite playlists whilst keeping the folder structure!!

This is super-handy as it means it's all ordered by artist/album when you load it up in the MMI.

So in my set-up I have 360 5 star songs, 1,110 4 star songs and 2,687 3 stars and up songs. So I can't just export the 3 stars and up folder as there will be too many files (and probably too many folders as this is a lot of artists). Total songs is 7000+ in far too many directories so I can't just copy over all my collection due to the MMI limitation of 255 directories.

So what I do is export the 5stars only, the 4 stars only. But then as I have only 900 songs left due to the 2048 files max limitation, I need to create in iTunes a smart playlist which holds 900 songs maximum picked at random from my 3 stars songs, which is fairly easy to do:
Rule Rating is ***
Limit to 900 items selected by random

Hey presto I have all my 5 stars and 4 stars songs plus a good selection of 3 stars as well. And it turns out the number of folders fits.

It helps though to group together some of the artists in iTunes which can sometimes be separated due to contributing artists. There you need to change the "Album Artist" so that you keep the information about the track artist but the folders are organised by album artist (eg: Classical music, Mozart will often be organised by the orchestra that performed on the CD rather than the composer WA).

I've taken it a step further as my collection contains pop, classical and Jazz. All my Jazz artists start with "Jazz ...." (eg Jazz John Coltrane) and classical composers start with "Classical ...." (eg Classical Beethoven etc...). It takes a long time but it simplifies things when you then search for songs on the MMI.

Any questions/suggestions please let me know.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:33 PM
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