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Comments on HD Audio

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by komills23, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. komills23

    komills23 Member

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    In the hopes that this might save some time and be helpful to other fans of HD music, I wanted to provide an update on my own experience getting HD music in to my MS.

    I am a quasi audiophile at home and ordered the upgraded stereo for my Model S with the hopes that I could play my library of music in my car. All of my music at home is digital and is either in the format of full resolution AIFF files - ripped without loss from CDs and imported into my iTunes Library, high resolution FLAC files downloaded from services like HDTracks, and converted high resolution AIFF files from these FLAC files, imported into iTunes. iTunes will not play FLAC files.

    I have a library of some of these AIFF files on my iPhone, but the Model S will only access these via BlueTooth, with significantly diminished sound quality.

    After reading a number of posts, I purchased a Samsung T1 1TB SSD, a size large enough to hold most of my frequently played music. http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/portablessdt1/overview.html Another one that gets good reviews is the Oyen u32 Shadow. Oyen Digital: U32 Shadow 1TB External USB 3.0 Portable Solid State Drive SSD

    At first, I could not get the Model S to see the drive until I realized that the drive was formatted in exFAT format. The Model S will only read FAT32 formatted disks from what I understand. I corrected this by going into Disk Utility in the MAC OS and erasing/reformatting the T1 drive and reformatting it using FAT.

    Once I did this, the Model S saw the USB drive.

    In transferring files, my next discovery was that the Model S can read and play HD FLAC files (all the way up to 192kHz/24-bit), and all AIFF files ripped at standard resolution (44.1kHz/16-bit) but NOT any of the high resolution AIFF files converted from FLAC. ( I used Amarra by Sonic Studio for this). These files just produced a loud hiss. Perhaps a different conversion system would have worked better.

    And so, after a bunch of tinkering around, I now have access to all my audio in full and high def resolution. The sound a joy to listen to: very quite detailed, clear and warm. An impressive and a significant step up from Blue-Tooth, Satellite or Slacker. It would be great if Tesla would make this all a bit easier and create a better interface for HD music playing, but it is still worth the effort.
     
  2. Korben

    Korben Member

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    My understanding is that ext4 etc.. would work as well. I just use FAT32 myself. FLAC files sound incredible on my Model S with the UHD sound. Can't wait for playlist support.
     
  3. EBill

    EBill Member

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    Komills23,

    Great summary on getting HD music to play on your MS. It is worth the effort to go through this conversion to get the most out of the premium sound system. I followed a similar path except most of my music was in already in FLAC format. Currently using a 500 GB SSD and will upgrade to a 1TB as I sort out the rest of the music library.

    To demonstrate the difference between high quality FLAC and typical MP3 sources I made two USB drives with the same songs. Then do an A-B comparison for interested listeners. There is a meaningful difference even in cars with the standard sound system. The result is a few others who have heard the difference decided it was better to upgrade their source of music versus spending thousands of dollars upgrading the hardware but still using internet or mid-quality MP3 music; i.e., spend the money on the music not the hardware.

    I also made a set for my local service center to demonstrate to owners how the music source impacts the sound quality.
     
  4. Tamar

    Tamar Member

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    Thanks for posting this. If we start working on this now maybe we'll be ready when we take possession in the next few weeks (dates still TBD).
     
  5. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    It does. My USB stick is ext4 and the Tesla has no problems at all with it.
     
  6. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    @EBill - What bitrate of MP3s did you use for the comparison? Do you think you would still hear a difference between something like a 320 kbps stream from Spotify vs. a lossless FLAC file?
     
  7. komills23

    komills23 Member

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    There is still a signifiant increase in musical data between 320kbps and 16bit/44.1KHz for full resolution CD quality, or 24bit/96Khz or 192Khz for high resolution files. You can hear the difference in the detail that you hear, the warmth and fullness of the sound, and the range. You hear things that you never knew were there before. Slacker and Bluetooth connection to your phone are very convenient, but the best and only way to take full advantage of the MS sound system is a hard-wired connection to full resolution audio files, thorough the USB connection. I have found that with the upgraded sound system and the generally quiet cabin and good listening environment of the MS, it is well worth the effort. I find myself taking a little longer to get to where I am going so that I can prolong my time in the MS listening to music. A good problem to have.
     
  8. EBill

    EBill Member

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    Wayner,

    We do not have Spotify here in HK. We use the tunein subscription supplied with the car. Which sounds worse than most MP3s. I do not know the stream rate for this service here. We also have lots of dropouts here in HK with losing the signal. I primarily use the internet radio for news (BBC).

    I concur with komills23 on the hard wiring through the USB ports to get the best sound. I've tried a variety of the resolutions on the FLAC files. All are better than streaming. Overtime I've migrated to the higher quality settings despite the space requirements.
     
  9. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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  10. ClearwaterBchSteve

    ClearwaterBchSteve P445 / VIN 1794

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    I have a 2012 Model S with the original "Premium Sound" option which is some similar version of the current "Ultra High Fidelity Sound". Long before I took delivery of the car, I too was exploring the capabilities of the audio system with respect to high-resolution files. I opted for FLAC and have had no issues with a simple USB stick hosting the files - they play back fine and sound great. I still don't think the Model S can play multi-channel surround (5.1) high-res audio files from USB which would be cool.
     
  11. Law&Disorder

    Law&Disorder Member

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    I also have a number of albums recorded in FLAC on a USB stick plugged into the car and the Premium Sound option. The difference is not subtle and kudos to Tesla for making FLAC files playable. I just wish the car would either use the embedded JPEG in the files for album art or search the internet for album art like it does with my regular MP3 files.
     
  12. reach

    reach Member

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    #12 reach, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
    USB Ports in Model S Are Underpowered Causing SSD Drive Failure over Time

    I love listening to music so I have a large library of stored HD tracks and albums (also several vinyl albums) that I play back on very high quality home audio systems. All of my music (except the vinyl) is stored on a RipNAS in *.flac format in my home. Most of the HD content has been downloaded from sites such as LinnRecords.com and HDtracks.com. So far have not used the new HD distribution site, ponomusic.com but it is supposed to have several major labels and acts signed to it. HD tracks have a much better musical sound because of their higher resolution.

    For my P85D I have been using an Oyen Digital U32 Shadow SSD that has my HD and other music library copied to it in *.flac format. My vehicle has the Sound Stuido Package. Because the Model S does not recognize exFAT or NTFS drives, a drive being used in the model S needs to be formatted in FAT32.

    However I just RMA-replaced my second Oyen Digital U32 Shadow 500 GB drive. My original drive failed after about a year, and the replacement drive failed again after about 6 months. When I spoke with technical support at Oyen Digital about my second failed drive being requested for RMA replacement, the agent asked me near the beginning of the call "Were you using the drive in a Tesla?" The tech support agent recognized the problem because he had another customer, a model S owner from Louisiana, with the same problem. This is a known issue at Oyen.
    Each Model S USB port only provides about 400 milliamps of power. This is only 40 percent of the standard USB 3.0 port power specification. Over time the SSD drive fails because it is operating using less power than is required.
    Oyen is replacing my second drive RMA, as it did the first. It is also providing me a Y-cable. Oyen is recommending plugging its drive into both USB ports using the Y cable or purchase a USB to 12-volt car adaptor plug and connecting one end of the Y-cable into the USB port and the other end of the Y cable into the car's 12 volt outlet using the adaptor.
    I have written to Tesla at [email protected] asking it to increase the power to each of the USB outlets in the vehicle to standard USB 3.0 specifications. So far no response. Great customer service at Oyen Digital with both returns.
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    #13 AmpedRealtor, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
    I very much doubt that is the reason. Doesn't the Model S have USB 2.0 ports? The USB 2.0 specification calls for a maximum power output of 500 mA, I believe, which is close to the 400 mA that you've cited.

    Citation: Undocumented | TeslaTap

    Second, if the SSD was not receiving sufficient power, I would presume that it would not function at all instead of functioning in a compromised state where it was damaging itself. From what you said about your tech support call, they appear to be assuming this is a Model S issue simply because one other person had the same problem as you did, also in a Model S. I don't think that's enough information on which to make a sound correlation. It could be any number of other factors.

    My iPhone 6 happily charges using the same USB port, as does my MLS key. I very much doubt that either device would charge and function if the power being provided was insufficient or dangerous in any way.
     
  14. ClearwaterBchSteve

    ClearwaterBchSteve P445 / VIN 1794

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    Mine does show album artwork for the majority of the FLAC files I produced directly from CD - presumably by getting the artwork off the net. However, it does not for files where I manually embedded an image.
     
  15. Law&Disorder

    Law&Disorder Member

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    It's possible mine fails to do so because of the file structure on my USB stick which is organized with a separate folder for FLAC files. It might be worth it for me to move those files out and rely on memory to know which are FLAC and which are MP3.
     
  16. RichardL

    RichardL Member

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    Remember if you are playing 'By Folder' on the USB stick, that the player only shows the song title (no artists etc.) and does not display album art of any kind - if you play the same music via the 'albums' or 'songs' tabs etc. it does show album art (from the internet).
     
  17. reach

    reach Member

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    The tech specialist at Oyen Digital said that each Tesla USB port provides 400 milliamps for power. Oyen recommends its U32 Shadow SSD drive operate under the power of the USB 3.0 Spec which is 1000 milliamps (1 amp).

    I note in a different thread a discussion about the Tesla firmware 6.2 audio CODEC upgrades. Tesla has provided no details as to what, if anything, Tesla did re: audio codecs with this upgrade but states it improved something. There is anecdotal reports from owners in this thread some of whom said the sound is better and one who said the sound is worse. I didn't notice any difference after this upgrade. Firmware 6.2 Audio Enhancements?

     
  18. EBill

    EBill Member

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    I'm using a Samsung SSD with a hub from Amazon (Unitex USB 3.0 6 ports with 2 charging ports). I know that Tesla only has USB 2.0, however, this was a hub with powered ports supplied by an external power supply. I made a cable that plugs into the 12v power socket by the Tesla's USB ports to supply power to the hub. The hub comes with a household power adapter that is not useful in this application.

    The hub supplies enough power to charge ipads with no problem. I can also still connect the SSD. I haven't measured the voltage available to the regular USB ports but this may solve power problem mentioned by Reach.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EHCY3AA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00

    I bought this last year. There might be newer models available.
     
  19. Lauralie

    Lauralie New Member

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    same here

    - - - Updated - - -

    same here
     
  20. Knobby

    Knobby Member

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    Thanks for this.. I didn't know that about the HD FLAC files, but I've tried it now, and I am impressed.
     

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