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evnow
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Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 303
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: USB drive organization

Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:58 am

blorg wrote:There are freeware programs out there that can do this for the "order written to disk" method, but it wouldn't be hard to write up my own program to do it either way and gives me a little more control.

Here is an idea.

Using playlists as the source, create folders on the USB drive - one folder per playlist. The tracks would be written either in shuffled mode or normal depending on the option selected.

I think the USB navigation is too clumsy to go by albums. A few long playlists is easier to handle.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to ?

blorg
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:48 pm
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Re: USB drive organization

Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:40 pm

evnow wrote:
blorg wrote:There are freeware programs out there that can do this for the "order written to disk" method, but it wouldn't be hard to write up my own program to do it either way and gives me a little more control.

Here is an idea.

Using playlists as the source, create folders on the USB drive - one folder per playlist. The tracks would be written either in shuffled mode or normal depending on the option selected.

I think the USB navigation is too clumsy to go by albums. A few long playlists is easier to handle.


I use iTunes (yeah, yeah, I know, so sue me). My playlist was shuffled, and sorted by the play order. Copied them via itunes to the drive, but the order in which they showed up in the Leaf was alphabetical by filename (first couple dozen were all "01 ..." since I have the files named by track number). I'm not sure if iTunes, in its infinite wisdom, decided to copy the files in that order, or if the Leaf chose to read them in that order. I guess I'll have to experiment by manually copying over some files tomorrow and playing with it.
~ Blorg
---------------------------
2011 Nissan Leaf: Campbell Nelson Nissan, Delivered 4/1/11
2008 Zap Xebra Hatchback
2005 Nissan Murano SL AWD

blorg
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:48 pm
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Re: USB drive organization

Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:06 pm

OK, I've just found a very irritating limitation on the Leaf sound system regarding USB drives, after spending money to get a nice, small, large-capacity drive.

The Leaf will only recognize 255 songs in a folder. No more. So my playlist of 3148 songs? Nope, sorry, only 255, and IT'S going to decide which ones are available (maybe the first 255 written to the drive?). I haven't yet tried splitting them up across many folders, then set it up to play through all folders. Perhaps it will allow 255 files in each folder and behave nicely that way, but that's still irritating.

Might have to ditch the USB drive idea and start hitting up ebay and craigslist for an old ipod of some sort.
~ Blorg
---------------------------
2011 Nissan Leaf: Campbell Nelson Nissan, Delivered 4/1/11
2008 Zap Xebra Hatchback
2005 Nissan Murano SL AWD

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davewill
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Re: USB drive organization

Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:45 pm

blorg wrote:Might have to ditch the USB drive idea and start hitting up ebay and craigslist for an old ipod of some sort.

My daughter's old nano won't hold a charge anymore, which will make it perfect for the car. There's got to be a lot of ipods out there that have bad batts or screens.
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease

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evnow
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Re: USB drive organization

Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:56 am

blorg wrote:The Leaf will only recognize 255 songs in a folder. No more. So my playlist of 3148 songs? Nope, sorry, only 255, and IT'S going to decide which ones are available (maybe the first 255 written to the drive?). I haven't yet tried splitting them up across many folders, then set it up to play through all folders. Perhaps it will allow 255 files in each folder and behave nicely that way, but that's still irritating.

Yes - split it into various folders and then play them all with shuffle on. Basically, the navigation using USB is cumbersome for anything over a dozen albums.

I'm now trying the used ipod I got. Still have some issues - but works ok so far using "smart" playlists.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to ?

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Randy
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Re: USB drive organization

Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:14 am

I don't remember if I've posted earlier in this thread, but I've arrived at a solution that works for me with USB.

I have created a folder for each "album" or "CD". The title is "Artist - Album name". Inside the folder are all the mp3 song files for that album. My current stick has 75 folders on it.

Because the Leaf plays songs by the short (8.3) filename alphabetized, I use a file manager tool called Ztree to sort all the files on the USB stick by their long file names (which contains track number, artist name, album name, and song name) and once they are sorted I use Ztree to rename all the mp3 files on the USB drive at once, starting from "001.mp3" on up. This renaming function changes both the long and short file names at the same time.

So each folder's tracks are numbered sequentially, although one folder might go from "050.mp3" to "063.mp3". that's enough for the player to play the songs in album order, which is my preferred method of hearing my favorite music. Never been a shuffle kind of guy... :)

Nissan / Clarion really need to produce a software update that respects the track number tags and plays them in order that way....

blorg
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Re: USB drive organization

Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:24 pm

I'm a shuffle guy, myself. I have a huge playlist of all the music I like, and randomize it so that it's basically like a huge radio station (but no commercials, no reception issues, no annoying DJs, etc). The problem with the Leaf's randomized version of playing (as I mentioned before) is that if you want to skip a song, it goes to the next numerical one rather than the next random one.

So I guess my plan will be to write a program that will take a list of all the songs, rename them with a 5-digit random number at the beginning of the name, then allocate them across however many folders it takes to do the whole playlist at 255 per folder. Then I should be able to set the car up to play "all folders in order", but the "in order" will be my pre-randomized order. That way skipping to the next track is skipping to the next "random" track.

Now I have to figure out how to handle multiple playlists. More experimenting to come, I guess. Don't want my USB drive purchase to go to waste... :)

You would think that by now new cars would have a better implementation of this kind of thing. Not like playing mp3 files is a new concept or anything.
~ Blorg
---------------------------
2011 Nissan Leaf: Campbell Nelson Nissan, Delivered 4/1/11
2008 Zap Xebra Hatchback
2005 Nissan Murano SL AWD

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evnow
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Re: USB drive organization

Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:48 pm

blorg wrote:You would think that by now new cars would have a better implementation of this kind of thing. Not like playing mp3 files is a new concept or anything.

They need to let us navigate using meta tags and playlists. Idea of using folder names is too silly and takes us back to 1980s.

Better still, get a good multi-touch LCD and use one of phone/tablet multi-touch OS.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to ?

blorg
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:48 pm
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Location: Seattle Metro Area

Re: USB drive organization

Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:50 am

Got a little time to play with this last night, getting more frustrated than before. What a crappy implementation.

To see how it behaved with my idea of a "in order randomized list" I took 100 songs and put them all in the root of the USB drive (nothing else on the drive). Basically I took the list of songs, shuffled the order, and renamed them to 00001.mp3 through 00100.mp3. I set the car to play "normal" meaning all folders (only 1 in this case) in order. This behaved as I expected, starting at 00001 and continuing based on the filename. Skipping to the "next" track incremented the file one as expected, and since the list was already randomized by me, that works great other than the 255 files per folder limit.

So then I split those same 100 songs up into folders, each with five songs per folder like so:

USBDrive
.....Folder1
..........00001.mp3
..........00002.mp3
..........00003.mp3
..........00004.mp3
..........00005.mp3
.....Folder1
..........00006.mp3
..........00007.mp3
..........00008.mp3
..........00009.mp3
..........00010.mp3
etc...

Again, set the car up to play "all folders in order", and if you just let it go it behaves as you expect. Starts on song 00001 and goes down the list of all 100 in order. HOWEVER, if you skip tracks manually, it will not jump out of your current folder. So in the above layout, if you're currently playing song 00005.mp3, and you skip to the next track with the steering wheel controls, it jumps to 00001.mp3 and NOT to 00006.mp3.

So basically there is a different implementation regarding what the "next" song is based on whether the song finishes normally or the user intervenes to skip tracks. This difference is both when the car is set to play in order or random. In my software development experience, that would be a bug.

I have not yet found what the limit is on number of folders.
Last edited by blorg on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
~ Blorg
---------------------------
2011 Nissan Leaf: Campbell Nelson Nissan, Delivered 4/1/11
2008 Zap Xebra Hatchback
2005 Nissan Murano SL AWD

blorg
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Seattle Metro Area

Re: USB drive organization

Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:56 am

Oh, and on the topic of folders, the system essentially flattens your folder hierarchy. So if you have this setup on the USB drive:

Root
.....Artist1
..........Album1
..........Album2
.....Artist2
..........Album3
..........Album4

The screen will show it this way:
Album1
Album2
Album3
Album4

So for those of you wanting to have your Artist/Albums folders set up for easy access, you're going to have to combine the artist and album name into on foldername like this:
"Dire Straits - Money For Nothing"
"Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms"
etc.

I'm definitely leaning towards ipod. I'll have to play with some of my old ipods this weekend and see if that's a better way to go, although I don't like the idea of having an ipod sitting out in plain view, need to find some way to hide it.
~ Blorg
---------------------------
2011 Nissan Leaf: Campbell Nelson Nissan, Delivered 4/1/11
2008 Zap Xebra Hatchback
2005 Nissan Murano SL AWD

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