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Old 05-05-2013, 06:46 AM   #1
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Post Informational: 2011 Camaro RS USB flash drive tests and summary

I wanted to use the USB port on my 2011 RS for playing MP3's, so I put some MP3's on an old 16GB flash drive and plugged it in and it worked, so I bought a 64GB flash drive and it would not work. I checked the owner's manual and GM web site for specifics on what drive formats and sizes will work, but found nothing useful for this vehicle. All I found was, "not all flash drives are compatible" and "only the 1st 10,000 songs will be recognized." I find this quite frustrating as you know someone at GM knows the exact specs, so why won't they publish them? I also found numerous posts from other users with questions, suggestions, and statements like, "mine just worked" which were not helpful at all. Being a computer geek, I performed a series of tests and the results follow. I hope this will be useful for someone else.

64GB, formatted with factory FAT32, does not work
64GB, formatted with NTFS, does not work
64GB, formatted with ExFAT, does not work
[ thinking the limit was less than 64GB, I tried incrementing ]
30GB partition on the 64GB drive, formatted FAT32, 32KB/cluster, works
32GB partition on the 64GB drive, formatted FAT32, 32KB/cluster, works
40GB partition on the 64GB drive, formatted FAT32, 32KB/cluster, works
48GB partition on the 64GB drive, formatted FAT32, 32KB/cluster, works
50GB partition on the 64GB drive, formatted FAT32, 32KB/cluster, works
55GB partition on the 64GB drive, formatted FAT32, 32KB/cluster, works
64GB partition (full drive), formatted FAT32, 32KB cluster size, works!

So it appears that the factory FAT32 format, with a cluster size that I did not make note of before reformatting, is incompatible, but reformatting with 32Kbytes per cluster works just fine.

Notes on Windows 7:

Windows 7 will only allow you to format drives larger than 32GB with NTFS,
so you need a 3rd party app to format them FAT32. I used fat32format, available here:
http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/ind...at32format.htm

Also, if you go into the disk manager on windows 7, you will see that the option to delete the partition is greyed out. To delete it, you need to use DISKPART from the command line that comes with Windows 7, but I am not going to post instructions on how to do so, because this is a tool for advanced users and you can easily wipe out your hard drive if you don't know what you are doing. Advanced users can seek info on diskpart and figure it out pretty quickly. If you want to use the full drive you do not need this. You can take a drive with an NTFS format, run the fat32format program above, and reformat it to FAT32 without deleting the partition or volume.

Notes on brands:
Several people post things like "brand X works" or "brand Y does not work." Brand has NOTHING to do with it. As long as the device is USB 2.0 compliant, the radio has no idea what brand you are using. It just sees a USB flash drive.

Let me know if you find this posting useful.

Mike
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
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Out of curiosity, how many songs were you able to fit on the 64G drive?
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:23 AM   #3
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number of songs

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Out of curiosity, how many songs were you able to fit on the 64G drive?
I have not filled mine yet, but I just did some calculations for you. The exact number will vary as the size of the files vary with quality, but my MP3's are averaging about 6 Megabytes per song. Doing the math, that would allow me to store 10,922 songs on this drive, just over the max the radio will recognize.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:51 AM   #4
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Okay as one of the old fart generation (those who do not work in a tech related job), you are still speaking greek. Just tell me what flash drive I can buy that will work. That is about as much as I can handle. But thanks for posting this info for the tech savy younguns' as this is a very frustrating issue.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spmike View Post
I have not filled mine yet, but I just did some calculations for you. The exact number will vary as the size of the files vary with quality, but my MP3's are averaging about 6 Megabytes per song. Doing the math, that would allow me to store 10,922 songs on this drive, just over the max the radio will recognize.
Curious to know what'll happen if you try to index more than the 10,000 song limit.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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I don't own 10,922 songs!
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stig View Post
Curious to know what'll happen if you try to index more than the 10,000 song limit.
My understanding is it will begin to omit those entries. I had another USB related question a while back and was able to get in touch with one of the programmers for the radio here on the forums (codeman71). The radio only has a certain amount of memory allocated to index/buffer these songs, the number of max songs (10,000) isn't a hard coded number and may rely on the size of the files.

Here is one of my earlier posts about trying to get the indexing done right. It may be a little unrelated, but still has some good information about the system.

Quote:
I had a similar issue, but was able to easily solve it. I got in touch with one of the programmers for the radio (codeman71) and found out that the indexing is done when the USB device is first plugged in or if there has been any changes to the amount of data on the device (add/remove music).

As for the order of the songs, it is based on the ID3 tags of the mp3s. I was frustrated as well when a filename would be something like "Pink Floyd - Sheep", but it would either not show up or be listed under "unknown artist" on the radio. Sure enough, the ID3 tags for the mp3s were incorrect. Be sure they are all the same as well as capitalization makes a difference.

Example: Having 2 MP3s with one as "Pink Floyd" and another as "pink floyd" will make 2 separate entries for Pink Floyd on the radio.

I had an iPhone previously and it worked perfectly with the setup. I now have Android (love it), but have to use it in UMS mode to simulate a USB stick. I'm working on an app for Android to mimic the functionality of the iPhone. When the iPhone/iPod is used, the device itself is piping the music to the radio unlike the Android/USB method where the radio directly reads from the media.

Also be aware that when using a USB stick with the radio, there is around a 10,000 song limit.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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So , I another words , we better keep the IPHONE for now , till you come up with the APP for the Droid .
Fair enough !
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #9
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what drives will work

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Originally Posted by RubyCamaro View Post
Okay as one of the old fart generation (those who do not work in a tech related job), you are still speaking greek. Just tell me what flash drive I can buy that will work. That is about as much as I can handle. But thanks for posting this info for the tech savy younguns' as this is a very frustrating issue.
The bottom line is almost any flash drive will work, but it may not work right out of the box. Worst case you could print my post and take it to a computer shop and have them reformat it as above. I would not expect them to charge much, if anything. But if you buy a smaller drive, say 16 gigabytes or less, it will probably work out of the box.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyCamaro View Post
Okay as one of the old fart generation (those who do not work in a tech related job), you are still speaking greek. Just tell me what flash drive I can buy that will work. That is about as much as I can handle. But thanks for posting this info for the tech savy younguns' as this is a very frustrating issue.
I second this
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyCamaro View Post
Okay as one of the old fart generation (those who do not work in a tech related job), you are still speaking greek. Just tell me what flash drive I can buy that will work. That is about as much as I can handle. But thanks for posting this info for the tech savy younguns' as this is a very frustrating issue.
I have a couple 16GB Sandisk Cruzers from Amazon and they all work great. Deleted the lock files that were on them and sinc them to my PC with Windows Media Player, all ripped to MP3 at 128kbps.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spmike View Post
The bottom line is almost any flash drive will work, but it may not work right out of the box. Worst case you could print my post and take it to a computer shop and have them reformat it as above. I would not expect them to charge much, if anything. But if you buy a smaller drive, say 16 gigabytes or less, it will probably work out of the box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012-1822 View Post
I second this
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMC View Post
I have a couple 16GB Sandisk Cruzers from Amazon and they all work great. Deleted the lock files that were on them and sinc them to my PC with Windows Media Player, all ripped to MP3 at 128kbps.
Thanks Guys but you lost me with this last bit?
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #13
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Been awhile since I've formatted a USB drive, but I wonder if you can make the same change to the block size while formatting for NTFS as you did for FAT32? I would imagine that it has to be able to read NTFS flash drives...
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spmike View Post
Let me know if you find this posting useful.

Mike
This is great work and a valuable contribution. Thanks to you.
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