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Love Tesla. Love my car. Wish Tesla would please fix the USB Audio Player.

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,839
Philadelphia
We all know what a technological masterpiece the Model S is and how 7 years after the car was released, a competitor has yet to match the technology or capability of the Model S.

With all the cutting edge technology in our cars, there is one unbelievable deficiency with USB audio playback that I really wish Tesla would fix. Every car I have ever owned has been able to resume audio playback from when I last left the car. I basically get back in the car, and every other car I have owned would resume music where I left off.

Granted not everyone is likely using USB audio playback but many of us do. So much so that there is unfortunately a thread on TMC that is about 100 pages, with nearly 2,000 posts long discussing the bugs in the USB audio player:

Comprehensive USB Bug List

I really wish Tesla would give the USB audio player some much needed love and fix some of the media player issues that have festered for years. USB audio is how I primarily listen to music in the car and it is a shame with all the advanced technology in the car, that the car can't resume USB music where it left off :( I bet this situation is ever worse for people who listen to podcasts via USB audio because I can imagine how difficult it is for them to find the spot they were last at.

I really hope it's not too unreasonable to expect the following basic functionality in the USB audio player to be fixed. I will update this tread with each software update and report if any of these issues are fixed.

Please Resume USB audio when you get back in the car
This is such a big issue that affects the otherwise wonderful experience of getting in the Model S. You approach the car, the car unlocks automatically. The door handles extend. You feel good, get in the car, all is well -- and but oh Sh!t. No music. Again. Worse yet, this brings us to the next big issue...

Please do not needlessly scan the USB audio drive
I have a little over 200GB of music in my drive so that's around 9000 songs. I realize this is not a small music collection -- BUT -- this is 2019 and a $49 cheap Amazon Fire tablet will flawlessly handle the same music library in an SD card with absolutely no issue whatsoever. So can my Android phone, media player, and every other electronic device I use to listen to music with the exception of my state of the art car from the future.:p I wish the car would not needlessly scan the USB drive just about every time I get in my car when there has been no changed to the music whatsoever. There is no need to index the music all over again because it means while the car is indexing the music, I can't listen to my music for 3-5 minutes leading me to navigate music menus while driving to resume music.

Please support playlists
My USB audio drive has playlists I have created after mush effort but sadly I can't listen to them in the car. This is such a basic feature in any audio player and would be such a wonderful feature for road trips where I am driving in areas with spotty cellphone coverage.

Please allow the audio source to be changed easily
I wish the car would allow the audio source to be changed easily. Here's an idea: I realize how long pressing the "Next Track" button takes you to your next "favorite." How about the "Previous Track" button long pressing be used to switch between the audio sources to resume audio playback where it was left off? How great would that be? You want to switch from streaming audio to USB Audio, you just long press the "Previous Track" button. And the thing is we used to have this functionality before, until sadly it was removed :( What would be even better is to be able to change the audio source using a voice command... How great would it be if we would say "Play USB Audio" or "Play Streaming Audio."

Implementing these 4 simple things would make such a massive difference in the enjoyment of my car and I bet also for others who listen to podcasts and music via USB audio. I am a software developer and I don't think implementing these 4 basic features will really take much resources. Probably a single competent developer can get this done in a week and would address issues that have affected Tesla customers so much that the thread I posted has over 1,900 posts.

Partly the reason why I'm posting this is because I contacted Tesla about this issue and they said they will try to get to it but the priority given to fixing the USB audio playback will depend on how many support requests they get asking for a resolution. So if you are affected by this, please sign on to your Tesla Account, click on your car, and submit a support ticket asking them to please fix the USB Audio player.

And perhaps tweet to Elon, if you are on Twitter. :p

It would be so blissful the day I get in my car, and my music resumes without waiting for minutes for the software to scan and index my music for no reason and go through many menus to select and resume music playback while I'm driving.

While I like farts and playing games as much as any other Tesla owner, it just saddens me when they find resources to add fun features to the car, when they've allowed very basic media player bugs and issues to languish with no resolution.

So my plea and wish is for everyone to please contact Tesla Support and ask them to please fix the media player.

PS: Especially those with the upgraded audio system in your car, listen to some high quality lossless/FLAC music via the USB and you will really appreciate the audio system in your car. Having a USB drive with your music also provides you with music when you are driving anywhere with poor phone connectivity.
 

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
Add me to the list of people whose every drive in my otherwise perfect car is messed up by the media play not resuming music.

It never seems to resume USB music any more :( And as yo pointed out, I can't even resume USB music before I start driving because the media player is busy indexing the music and I can't listen to music until it is finished indexing. Not sure why it keeps indexing my music most times I get back in my car because I have not made any changes to the USB drive with the music in months.

All the fun features and apps they are adding are great but so is a media player that works...

I feel they should give at least as much priority to the media player used to listen to music as they do to adding games, especially when I listen to music just about the whole time I drive.
 
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gsmith63

Member
Apr 19, 2016
27
41
California
Totally agree. Easily my biggest pet peeve. All I want to do is go from USB, to radio, and then back to USB and pick up where I left off with whatever song was playing. Teslas used to do this before v7. My wife's Toyota, and pretty much every car on the market, can do this now. How difficult can it be?
 

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
Totally agree. Easily my biggest pet peeve. All I want to do is go from USB, to radio, and then back to USB and pick up where I left off with whatever song was playing. Teslas used to do this before v7. My wife's Toyota, and pretty much every car on the market, can do this now. How difficult can it be?

Do you know when they removed the audio source switching feature? This would be super useful for the car to keep track of what was playing in each of the audio sources and switch between each audio source with long pressing a steering wheel button.

Today I get in my car and sadly, as usual, it didn't resume playing USB music. This is what the audio player user interface looked like where I can't even press the play button to resume USB audio (notice how the USB audio "Play" and "next" buttons are greyed out).

I have to wait several minutes for the car to scan all my music and then I have to go to the USB audio player app and find what I was listening to so the music can resume again while I'm already driving :( Of course nothing changed in the USB drive but it insist or scanning all my music when I get in the car. No other audio player I have does this.

20190728_171135.jpg
 
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PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,839
Philadelphia
Totally agree. Easily my biggest pet peeve. All I want to do is go from USB, to radio, and then back to USB and pick up where I left off with whatever song was playing. Teslas used to do this before v7. My wife's Toyota, and pretty much every car on the market, can do this now. How difficult can it be?

I think just about everything on my list would be very uncomplicated for them to implement and it will make a massive difference for all those who like listening to music and podcasts in their cars. When the USB music player fails to resume audio playback it's such a mess to try and find where I last left off in a podcast because some of the podcasts are quite long.

Since they already had the ability to switch audio sources with the steering wheel controls, I'm hoping this is something they can "put back" without much difficulty.

I agree, switching audio sources should be a basic feature for any multi source audio player....
 
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Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,658
5,582
Logan
I listen to audiobooks in my car on USB. I have to keep a notepad in the car to write down which track & minute/second I'm on whenever I stop the car. I think v9 changed how it orders tracks too, they seem even more random than ever, I'm pretty sure it used to order them properly.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,661
861
Bay Area, CA
It's funny. In the early days the USB audio interface was heavily promoted as a stopgap until real smartphone integration was complete. Now neither really work well.

I found myself stranded with a car that wouldn't power up one time. Turns out the USB drive (non-bootable, just formatted FAT with music on it) was preventing the car from booting up.

It's not a well-thought-out or well-supported feature.
 

gsmith63

Member
Apr 19, 2016
27
41
California
Do you know when they removed the audio source switching feature? This would be super useful for the car to keep track of what was playing in each of the audio sources and switch between each audio source with long pressing a steering wheel button.

I'm pretty sure it was at the onset of v7, which was when the "improved" audio system was first put out (in what appeared to be an early alpha release state), and many USB features went to hell in a handbasket.
 

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
1,839
Philadelphia
I'm pretty sure it was at the onset of v7, which was when the "improved" audio system was first put out (in what appeared to be an early alpha release state), and many USB features went to hell in a handbasket.

Could we expect the USB media playback to be fixed in version 10? The 4 features/ issues I mentioned could likely be implemented with so little effort. Especially being able to switch audio sources by long pressing the previous track button.
 

nativespinner

Member
May 28, 2018
157
64
Tulsa, OK
I'm on version 2019.24.4 MCU1 and my USB audio starts from the last playing position. I think it's always behaved that way. I normally listen to radio or streaming podcasts and the podcasts start from last playing position also. It might be the size of USB drive. Mine is a 4 or 8 gb and the music will be going as soon as the door opens. Yeah it won't fit thousands of songs but in my situation a few hundred songs suits me fine.
 
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Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,010
4,613
McKinney, TX
It's funny. In the early days the USB audio interface was heavily promoted as a stopgap until real smartphone integration was complete. Now neither really work well.

I found myself stranded with a car that wouldn't power up one time. Turns out the USB drive (non-bootable, just formatted FAT with music on it) was preventing the car from booting up.

It's not a well-thought-out or well-supported feature.


A corrupted USB music drive trashed my MCU. I won’t use a USB drive in my S now.
 

jdw

Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
689
1,317
Vancouver
If you're running a Mac, check out TeslaTunes

It solves the (iTunes) playlist problems and converts Apple Lossles Files to FLAC, preserving album artwork etc. I've been using it for about 5 years and it makes USB music on a Tesla about as good as it can be.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,413
11,966
California
Could we expect the USB media playback to be fixed in version 10?

I’m sure you could, plenty of people expected it to be fixed in v9.

Most of those same people also expected it to be fixed in v8 too.

Personally I wouldn’t expect much. I think Tesla views this as an only slightly more modern way to listen to music than the cassette deck. Cloud/Bluetooth streaming is all 99% of people care about.
 

thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,772
1,627
Sunnyvale, CA
I’m sure you could, plenty of people expected it to be fixed in v9.

Most of those same people also expected it to be fixed in v8 too.

Personally I wouldn’t expect much. I think Tesla views this as an only slightly more modern way to listen to music than the cassette deck. Cloud/Bluetooth streaming is all 99% of people care about.
At this point, I think that if there is too much complaining, the USB Audio feature will simply be eliminated. There was a time when I couldn't imagine they would remove AM radio reception, yet here we are.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,635
22,288
Texas
I’m sure you could, plenty of people expected it to be fixed in v9.

Most of those same people also expected it to be fixed in v8 too.

Personally I wouldn’t expect much. I think Tesla views this as an only slightly more modern way to listen to music than the cassette deck. Cloud/Bluetooth streaming is all 99% of people care about.
They have fixed a lot of it compared to how it started out. I really have no idea why people would want lossy streaming music.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,413
11,966
California
I really have no idea why people would want lossy streaming music.

1) It’s a car, not a soundproof, acoustically tuned screening room.

2) Streaming is convenient

3) I tend to think that people who claim to be able to tell the difference, in a car driving down the road at 70mph, are full of the sweetest sugar.

4) The term “audiophile” (which thankfully hasn’t been uttered in this thread until just now) makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Full disclosure, I’m a recovering audiophile that once spent $1500 on a Denon SACD/DVD-audio combo player. This is my 1,834th day clean and sober.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,635
22,288
Texas
1) It’s a car, not a soundproof, acoustically tuned screening room.

2) Streaming is convenient
Not when you can't get the songs you want. I find in inconvenient and costly.

3) I tend to think that people who claim to be able to tell the difference, in a car driving down the road at 70mph, are full of the sweetest sugar.
Very likely. Still, garbage in, garbage out.
 

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