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How do you manage files on your USB drive?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by AcidTest, May 1, 2017.

  1. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    (Apologies if there is a good existing topic on this - I searched but couldn't find one specifically about managing USB drive music files.)

    I'm curious how people - especially those who've used or migrated from iTunes - manage music files on a USB drive? How do you "sync" the drive with new music or otherwise update/remove files?

    I'm going to be taking delivery of a CPO Model S next week. I'm really excited and looking forward to it but as many know the media abilities are a "bought it despite this" thing. I am a music nut and have a huge library; I'm currently using an iPod Classic 160GB with a 10 year old Alpine head unit, which works really nicely for being able to control and find music among the 18K tracks I have on the Classic.

    Obviously, I'll have to migrate that to a USB drive for now. At some point I might bite the bullet on a bigger audio upgrade to incorporate a hi res player or something but for the near-medium future, USB is it. I picked up a decent and large (256GB) USB drive on sale last month to use.

    So I have all of my music in a couple of iTunes libraries, one as Apple Lossless format (which is where I rip CDs or download hi res tracks) and then a 192Kbps library that I down res to for syncing to the iPod Classic. I've tried copying files from iTunes to the USB drive, but man it's a pain just to do the initial copy and for future "syncing" I'm not sure of the best way.

    Should I just do a straight copy of files? What about actually creating a new iTunes library on the USB drive?
     
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  2. X Fan

    X Fan Supporting Member

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  3. RichardD

    RichardD Supporting Member

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    Start with .FLAC or lossless music.
    Format the thumbdrive Fat32
    Create the folder structure you like, I prefer
    Artist
    -Album

    Use a good audio tagging software.

    Then fill the drive with your songs of choice.

    One thing to keep in mind, the music indexes when the drive is first plugged in, so it can take a few minutes if you are adding music constantly.

    I use these drives:
    Amazon.com: SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ43-064G-GAM46) [Newest Version]: Computers & Accessories

    Hope that helps and if you need any more help just ask.

    Congrats on the new car!
     
  4. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    I have read a bit in the Comprehensive USB thread before but just bits & pieces obviously due to the voluminous amount of info. So I searched on "organize" and found a few comments similar to above about organizing or creating a folder structure on the USB drive. I'm fairly technical... but how are people doing that? Is it just manually creating folders and copying albums/tracks? With 18K or so tracks (which is less than half my total collection... ok, I can see trimming that by a good bit but still gonna be a large number) I am looking for a software solution to manage the drive, not manual.
     
  5. RichardD

    RichardD Supporting Member

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  6. GaryREM

    GaryREM Member

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    I simply copied over my Music folder from Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music which contains music organized by artist and album (the highlighted one) to a USB drive.

    If I add new music, I either copy over the new files or synch the USB drive with the iTunes library copying only changes so fairly quick.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    @RichardD, thanks I'll take a look at those later tonight.

    @GaryREM I need to look into what you mentioned about syncing iTunes with USB drive. Did you create a new library to be on the USB drive? Or something else? I can't just copy the Music folder over as it's waaay bigger than the USB drive.

    BTW, the car I'm getting has the UHFS (and I may even look into next year doing an upgrade with Reus, LH or local installer who is aware of the great work that @fabricator has done) so I may try buying a 512GB drive to use with lossless files but even that would be less than half the size of my library. Of course IF I do a real upgrade that could end up involving using a HRA player like a FiiO or Astell & Kern which would change things.
     
  8. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    Since that is a voluminous thread, try searching it for posts by @BertL , his posts are the comprehensive and definitive instructions for how to process and manage your USB drive music.

    Since there is no playlist support, I organize some of my music into top level folders of pseudo playlists, sort of a mash up of genre and playlist. This gives me another access path besides artist, genre, album.

    Also, USB "thumb" drives are very very slow, even the ones that claim to be fast. You can now buy an SSD drive for the same or less and they are about 30x faster. I'm currently using a PNY 480GB which I filled with .flac, which are available for about $190. There are probably also other brands, but an SSD drive is so much faster and more reliable than a regular thumb drive. This is important for loading the drive, but even more so when your Tesla randomly decides to re-load the entire drive; a persistent bug that is thoroughly reported on in old threads like the one above.
     
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  9. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    @Boatguy - thanks! Very helpful. I'll look for BertL's posts. I'd previously seen the suggestion about using an SSD drive and forgotten about it, but that definitely sounds like the way to go so I'll look at options there. Obviously there are lots of portable drives which draw power over USB which are ideal for this application.
     
  10. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    This. Since there is no playlist support browsing a large library while driving is challenging. So I used Media Monkey to put my files into top level folders like "classical" or "road trip" or whatever playlist I want. Then I just shuffle those folders while in the car. Seems to work pretty well.

    Media monkey is a great alternative to iTunes. It has a ton of options, so you can configure how exactly you want the folder structure and the files sync'd on the drive.
     
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  11. fabricator

    fabricator Member

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    Go with the Astell. Here is a AK380 we are using for the Tesla job I just finished up.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    Uh... wow. $3500 just for the HRA player isn't going to be part of my plan, sorry. I will be pushing it just to get $5K approved by "the boss" for an upgrade after what I'm spending on the Model S, which is waaay over my original budget. (Last vehicle was an '02 Accord bought CPO similar to this except 1/4 the cost!)
     
  13. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    Looks quite powerful, but Windows only and I'm a Mac guy.

    @fabricator, do you run this over Bluetooth to the Tesla? I was under the impression that the Bluetooth audio in the Tesla was a very weak link between any source and the car.
     
  14. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

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    #14 Logan5, May 2, 2017
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    I went through the same concerns as the OP before delivery of my car last year and went through the process of converting my iTunes library to FLAC files using Tesla Tunes (Tesla Tunes by tattwamasi). Like many others I wanted to have the best audio experience possible and even altered my order to the UHF system based on suggestions in this forum.

    However, for me at least, I found that in practice using USB is inelegant and frustrating. I quickly reverted to using my iPhone over Bluetooth despite the knowledge that this compromised the sound quality. It's just a lot easier to access the playlists and use Siri then it is to navigate the media menu. I don't really fault Tesla for this part of the media system. USB may provide the best sound quality but the reality is that it's not the best medium for file management. I may try USB again with a smaller playlist.

    Having made the compromise with Bluetooth what I really want is for Tesla to get it together with the phone integration and develop either the app mirroring they said was on the horizon (I was told in six months when I bought the car June 2016 so not holding my breath) or CarPlay/Android. I can live with the lower sound quality of Bluetooth but want to have better access to the music on my phone.

    In any case, give Tesla Tunes a shot to see if it fills your needs. It's a nifty app for the Mac and does a great job for what it's meant to do. You may be able to search this forum for more information on it- If I recall correctly, the developer posted some information about it here.
     
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  15. fabricator

    fabricator Member

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    I run it though a custom preset on a Mosconi 8to12 Aerospace DSP. It could be run through the OEM, but it will run through quite a bit of compression. We have the option to run it through toslink or BT through AMAS, which is a hi end uncompressed bluetooth chip.
     
  16. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    Are you using the Tesla audio system / media player at all, or is this is a completely separate audio system that just happens to be installed in a Tesla?
     
  17. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I fault Tesla for not including a direct connection method to phones/iPods via USB. That would allow easy access to playlists AND high quality via the direct connection. I would never use a USB stick at all if they offered that.
     
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  18. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    @Logan5 , I had previously seen mention of Tesla Tunes and put that in the notes I'm keeping about audio/music. I have both Win 10 and OS X boxes so I'm pretty flexible in what I can use. (In fact I keep a separate version of my iTunes library on both, in part b/c the Mac is a Mini which doesn't have an optical drive, but there are other reasons too.)

    At any rate, I'll start getting to find out soon whether the flawed USB setup is worth working with. I don't really do music on my iPhone, however - I'm one of those holdout old fogies who prefer a dedicated music player for the most part. Plus my iPhone is only 64GB and with apps and other media that's not enough storage to be serious about music. Perhaps I'll consider an upgrade to a 256GB version later this year when the 8 rolls out but it's not likely to be a priority unless the USB issues just make my head explode - which is possible.

    Of course, I fully agree with the wistful optimism that Tesla will someday soon provide a much better integration with iOS devices with a direct USB connection. Not at all going to count on that of course which is why I'm planning around "what is".
     
  19. fabricator

    fabricator Member

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    We have a controller which is connected to our aftermarket DSP. We have 2 presets. Preset 1 is for the Tesla Entertainment system and Preset 2 is for toslink into the DSP. So we are using both sources through the same system.
     
  20. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Folders, managed on my home computer through Linux. Keep it simple.
     

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