I pit the car stereo industry for not being able to produce a decent MP3 player

I am posting this half in the hope, that someone more knowledgeable than me will set me straight, and if so it should be ignorant car stereo salesmen I’m pitting. Nevertheless …

I described my stereo’s problem in a GQ thread this morning, and perhaps something useful will come from that. It never plays most of my songs, but plays Tom Petty to death.

After work today, I went to two after-market car stereo installers, and neither had anything to offer. I can’t find what they call a “digital music receiver” (AM/FM stereo with USB input for a flash drive or an iPod) that will read more than a few hundred tracks in any given folder. That includes folders on a flash drive or playlists on an iPod.

My “favorites” playlist, which I’ve put in a folder on a flash drive, has about 2600 songs, and that’s less than a quarter of my collection. But it turns out my stereo will only “see” the first 600 songs in any folder, and the rest will be inaccessible.

And newer players aren’t any better. My car is 2 years old, but I was looking at brand new stuff and they all had the same problem.

And so I asked about stereos that that will read and control my iPod, and it’s the same problem. It doesn’t matter that my iPod playlist has more than 2000 tracks on a playlist. When it’s under control of the car stereo, it’s the car’s system reading the iPod’s disk, and again it simply ignores everything past its own file number limit.

It seems that my only available option to hear all my music is to play music on my iPod through its headphone out and into the aux in of the car. That leaves me futzing with the controls on my iPod for everything except the volume control. My iPod is 10 year old technology, and has no problem with playlists of thousands of songs.

WTF is your problem, car stereo industry?

Advanced electronics in cars sucks in general. Didn’t Ford just have to redo its entire system because it was pissing people off? It might be because the design cycles for cars is so much longer than for phones and players, so the stuff in cars is obsolete the moment it gets shipped., or it might be because the designers are incompetent.
What we really need is a method that lets you control your player from the dashboard. Fiddling with your phone in California can get you a nice ticket, and they probably won’t believe you were trying to get a new song.

card electronics change slow. things are small, embedded and hard to change.

best is a good plug/radio in.

One might hope this problem might be mitigated by after-market manufacturers who are not tied down by the car’s design cycle. But apparently, no.

The Pioneer DEH-X9500BHS can index up to 3,000 songs, in case you were still looking for a better replacement.

By necessity, really. Those things have to operate in temperature ranges from way below freezing (the great north) to 140+ F (the South). And do so reliably for at least several years, generally even if the owners don’t maintain their cars.

That’s not impossible, but it’s not easy or simple.

With regular consumer electronics, it’s easy to offer a better version every year, so, to an extent, it doesn’t matter if the equipment doesn’t operate reliably or if the owners drop them or don’t take care of them.

Those kinds of expectations don’t translate well to cars. The technology has to last for years and work as advertised from the beginning. The testing alone takes years, meaning the reliable technology used in cars often lags behind the latest electronic gizmos.

And if the engineers are told to take a few shortcuts so things are just as reliable as off the shelf consumer electronics, you suddenly get swarmed with dissatisfied drivers wondering why a gizmo baking in the sun all day breaks down when the unit they have in their climate controlled office works fine. With car technology, you can often get it now or get it reliably but rarely both.


The issue **Boyo Jim **is talking about is programmable. New improved ROM in the unit can be tested in an extremely short time.

A new programed instruction set isn’t any more climate sensitive than the last

I understand you, OP, and sympathize.

My Mini has a factory CD/MP3 disc player that has a rather unique “feature”. If you shut off the car while the player is in the middle of a song, it will reset to the beginning of that song the next time the car is started. And it doesn’t do it right away - the player will reset somewhere between 5 minutes and a couple hours, and it doesn’t seem to be the same time frame each occurrence.

This is not a bug - it actually IS a design feature. Who would come up with that? Who would think anyone wanted that?

Bullshit on the bullshit.

Any evidence that the testing can actually be done quickly under road conditions rather than on a computer?

That the patch won’t break anything else leading to say, uncontrolled skipping of music or changes in volume or anything else that might distract drivers leading to accidents?

Any unforeseen problem is a lawsuit waiting to happen, leading to extensive road condition testing.

Even if a programming patch could be developed quickly, actual testing vs lab testing physically can’t be done much more quickly. Automobile manufacturers sure as shit aren’t interested in exposing themselves to more lawsuits and have to play it safe.

Your car stereo might not be ale to accomplish this directly, but you can get closer to what you want…

Pick up a used iPhone, iPod Touch or Android device for around $100 - $200. Make sure it’s relatively current…iPhone 5, iPod 5th Gen, or Android device running 4.4 or above.

Load up all your music and then simply use voice commands to do everything that the stereo won’t control (like volume). You will need to take the time to learn the proper commands.

Bonus if you’ve got a stereo with Bluetooth built in and can avoid wires.

There you have it Boyo Jim. That’s the reason why your car stereo can’t work with more than 600 songs. Just might be dangerous to do so.
You never know, changing the code to use more memory and randomize more songs might somehow cause the stereo to skip or play loud or heat up and catch on fire or shoot the stereo’s faceplate into your chest or deflate your tires or something like that.

Best to chuck the whole fucking stereo out the window and hum to yourself. You’ll live longer.

I have an iPod Gen 5 and it doesn’t take voice commands.

That’s a way bigger number than any other I’ve seen but not worth buying when it still won’t read 3 quarters of my labrary.

Thanks, though. I was hoping some folks would be able to find more capable players.

Can’t you just make multiple folders of 600 songs each?

I sympathize. I’ve got all kinds of car stereos and they all pretty much suck. The CD’s quit ejecting, they skip, won’t play ones you burn yourself, yada yada yada. The fucking removable faceplates are always loosy-goosy and fit for shit.

I’ve got one stupid unit with a fucking USB port, but doesn’t play from it! Its for charging only! What Feltchmeister thought that was a feature? Oh well. At least I didn’t pay for it.

I have a dachshund that doesn’t, either. Nor will he play mp3’s or make phone calls.

So what features *does *he have?

Did the OP really complain that the crummy hardware can “see” ONLY 600 entries in a folder?

And - how long does it take to play all 2,600 of your “Favorites”?

Have you ever even listened to all 10,000 entries in your collection?

Until those crummy auto makers come up to speed with the demand for 10K entry play-lists:

Create a new stick with no more than 600 entries (I can’t, in good conscience, call them “tunes” or “songs”) in a folder. Yes, you’ll need to change folders - about every 50 hours.
Exactly how long do you spend in a car, anyway?

He’s a gooooooood boy!

The stock stereo on my Subaru has the opposite problem. It has USB port in the center console but it’s only powered when you’re playing music off it! I’ve got a few albums of MP3’s on the phone specifically in case I need to charge it.

The music player that came with my Galaxy S4 would start with a new random song when you paused it. I got rid of that pos real fast.
I guess some people must think that you want to start at the beginning, since you won’t remember where you .left off. Stupeed - since you can hid fast back.

I don’t understand the time delay. Is it playing something else and then resets? Does it only do it if you have the player off that long?