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Hi everyone, I figured I would contribute to the forum and share my experience with trying to play MP3's off a hard drive through the USB port. The hard drive that I decided to get is a 1.8" external hard drive that I bought on Amazon called Xigmatek Lighter 60 GB. It fits nicely in the front of the armrest storage compartment.

The first thing that I noticed and should have known is that the hard drive must be formated in fat32 and since the hard drive I got is 60GB I had to partition the hard drive to 32GB in order to format it to fat32. It is very easy to partition the hard drive if you have Windows 7 or Vista, just hit the start button and on the bottom you will see search and search for partition. Using that program you will be able to partition and format the hard drive.

After the hard drive is set up as fat32 you are ready to add music. I have mine set up with folder hierarchies such as rock, rap/r&b and various artist. Then inside those folders are folders for each artist and then the albums inside the artist folder, that way I can browse through my music using folder view on the car. The first time you connect the hard drive the car will read usb indexing for a while and you will not be able to access all the folders at first. After the initial indexing the car will still index each time the car starts for about 5 minutes, at least it does for me. While indexing you can still access some of the music by selecting folder view.

I have not tried using a 2.5" hard drive in the car to see if it works, maybe someone else can verify that. I am sure that some of this has already been said a few times over a few post but I wanted to create a post that should hopefully answer anyones questions that they may have.
 

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quiksilver81 said:
Hi everyone, I figured I would contribute to the forum and share my experience with trying to play MP3's off a hard drive through the USB port. The hard drive that I decided to get is a 1.8" external hard drive that I bought on Amazon called Xigmatek Lighter 60 GB. It fits nicely in the front of the armrest storage compartment.

The first thing that I noticed and should have known is that the hard drive must be formated in fat32 and since the hard drive I got is 60GB I had to partition the hard drive to 32GB in order to format it to fat32. It is very easy to partition the hard drive if you have Windows 7 or Vista, just hit the start button and on the bottom you will see search and search for partition. Using that program you will be able to partition and format the hard drive.

After the hard drive is set up as fat32 you are ready to add music. I have mine set up with folder hierarchies such as rock, rap/r&b and various artist. Then inside those folders are folders for each artist and then the albums inside the artist folder, that way I can browse through my music using folder view on the car. The first time you connect the hard drive the car will read usb indexing for a while and you will not be able to access all the folders at first. After the initial indexing the car will still index each time the car starts for about 5 minutes, at least it does for me. While indexing you can still access some of the music by selecting folder view.

I have not tried using a 2.5" hard drive in the car to see if it works, maybe someone else can verify that. I am sure that some of this has already been said a few times over a few post but I wanted to create a post that should hopefully answer anyones questions that they may have.
Not trying to start an argument, just a question. Why would you want to go to all that trouble when memory sticks are so cheap? I have a 2 gig stick with 250 songs on it with a sample rate of anywhere from 192 t0 320 K bits/sec, taking up about 1.2 gig on the stick, leaving about 600 MB free yet. If you took an average of three minutes per song, that would give me about 12.5 hours of music on the stick so far. Staples had 8 gig sticks on sale last week for $14.99.
 

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I've got an 2.5 external drive (WD Passport) that's 150GB. I'm going to try formatting it in FAT32 and try it in the car. I tried it when I first got it but then realized it had been formatted using NTFS.

Here's a guide on formatting a large drive to FAT32 using Windows 7 ( http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/formatting-external-hard-drive-to-fat-32 )

I have over 50GB of music on my computer. I've already tried spanning it across a few 16GB memory sticks and it's more hassle than it's worth. The USB hard drive get's it's power from the USB port so it's little to no fuss.
 

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Don B said:
Not trying to start an argument, just a question. Why would you want to go to all that trouble when memory sticks are so cheap? I have a 2 gig stick with 250 songs on it with a sample rate of anywhere from 192 t0 320 K bits/sec, taking up about 1.2 gig on the stick, leaving about 600 MB free yet. If you took an average of three minutes per song, that would give me about 12.5 hours of music on the stick so far. Staples had 8 gig sticks on sale last week for $14.99.
I would but I have way too much music to put onto the smaller memory sticks, right now I have about 30GB on the hard drive which is about half of my collection. I also put the entire albums on the hard drive instead of individual songs. A 32GB memory stick would be ideal since that is the maximum size you can have for formatting in fat32 but those are just as expensive as a small hard drive. I plan on keeping extra music on the other part of the partition of the hard drive so it will be easy to transfer music quickly. Also I believe that everytime you remove the USB device from the port it must do a full index all over again which takes longer, especially when you have large quantities, but I am not 100% sure on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
mIX said:
I've got an 2.5 external drive (WD Passport) that's 150GB. I'm going to try formatting it in FAT32 and try it in the car. I tried it when I first got it but then realized it had been formatted using NTFS.

Here's a guide on formatting a large drive to FAT32 using Windows 7

I have over 50GB of music on my computer. I've already tried spanning it across a few 16GB memory sticks and it's more hassle than it's worth. The USB hard drive get's it's power from the USB port so it's little to no fuss.
Well I guess I'll have to take back what I said about the maximum size for fat32 being 32GB, good find on that link. I was trying to find something about making a larger volume using fat32 but I couldnt find anything. I will have to do this when I get home to put the rest of my music on my hard drive. Also let us know if the 2.5" hard drive works out for you.
 

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quiksilver81 said:
I would but I have way too much music to put onto the smaller memory sticks, right now I have about 30GB on the hard drive which is about half of my collection. I also put the entire albums on the hard drive instead of individual songs. A 32GB memory stick would be ideal since that is the maximum size you can have for formatting in fat32 but those are just as expensive as a small hard drive. I plan on keeping extra music on the other part of the partition of the hard drive so it will be easy to transfer music quickly. Also I believe that everytime you remove the USB device from the port it must do a full index all over again which takes longer, especially when you have large quantities, but I am not 100% sure on that.
That's one thing we do different, on the average album I might only like three or four songs on the album, so if I were to rip full albums I would have songs I would never listen to and would be wasting a lot of HD space. I've lost count but I probably have between four and five hundred CDs. I don't spend that much time in the car unless we're on a trip, then I grab some random CDs and rip the songs I like for the trip.
 

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Well no luck on the WD Passport. I formatted it in FAT32, but I don't think the USB port actually supplies enough power. The power light comes on, but the drive sounds as though it's not able to spin, it just ticks.

It is an older style Passport drive so I'm not sure if that makes any difference. I might making a test 20GB partition and then try formatting again, just to see if it's the partition size problem.
 

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mIX said:
Well no luck on the WD Passport. I formatted it in FAT32, but I don't think the USB port actually supplies enough power. The power light comes on, but the drive sounds as though it's not able to spin, it just ticks.

It is an older style Passport drive so I'm not sure if that makes any difference. I might making a test 20GB partition and then try formatting again, just to see if it's the partition size problem.
Not enough ppwer from the USB to use one of those... Time for a thumb drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
scottb said:
i think large usb memory stick is easiest and just leave it in so no re-indexing needed.
My car would re-index every time I started the car when I had a 1GB memory stick left in there. But it did index a lot faster then the hard drive does, the amount of time the indexing takes all depends on how much storage is being used I think.

mIX said:
Well no luck on the WD Passport. I formatted it in FAT32, but I don't think the USB port actually supplies enough power. The power light comes on, but the drive sounds as though it's not able to spin, it just ticks.

It is an older style Passport drive so I'm not sure if that makes any difference. I might making a test 20GB partition and then try formatting again, just to see if it's the partition size problem.
I was going to be suprised if a 2.5" was going to work in the car, I remember when I had my Avalanche with a Pioneer headunit a 2.5" wouldnt work either, like you said it doesnt generate enough power.
 

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quiksilver81 said:
I remember when I had my Avalanche
Sorry to thread jack...but waving to ya...we still have ours
 

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"I was going to be suprised if a 2.5" was going to work in the car, I remember when I had my Avalanche with a Pioneer headunit a 2.5" wouldnt work either, like you said it doesnt generate enough power.[/color]"

I have a 60 GB Seagate 7200 RPM 2.5" drive in mine, and it works like a charm. Indexing take a while, but it does work.
 

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I've got a 160GB iPod classic that has about 130G of music on it and it just stays in the car. No fuss an no lag. I paid $249 for it 3 years ago and it still runs like a champ. You can find them all over craigslist and amazon for about as much as you are spending on a comparable HDD and you don't have to format or anything like that. Also, you can use the iPod's (or any other MP3 device) internal EQ to enhance your stereo's sound.
 

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The Passport drive only requires a single USB connection and no external power supply.

A computer provides 500 mA through USB. I would think that the USB port in the car would supply 500 mA as well, but I could be wrong.

It just may not be able to talk to normal hard drives, just flash.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
MOCHANOX said:
Sorry to thread jack...but waving to ya...we still have ours
I miss mine but not the gas milage, I had a black 04 Z66 with 18" Pro-Comp wheels, 34" Nitto tires, Leveling kit, HD hood and grille from a Silverado and a nice system but then about a year after I had it the torque converter locked up while stopping at a light and blew my transmission. Luckly my Dad works at a Chevy dealership and I ended trading it in and getting a black 07 CTS for the time being which I had for about a year and sold it for what I paid for it after putting on 14K miles.

godcore74 said:
I've got a 160GB iPod classic that has about 130G of music on it and it just stays in the car. No fuss an no lag. I paid $249 for it 3 years ago and it still runs like a champ. You can find them all over craigslist and amazon for about as much as you are spending on a comparable HDD and you don't have to format or anything like that. Also, you can use the iPod's (or any other MP3 device) internal EQ to enhance your stereo's sound.
I had an iPod classic also but it wouldnt work right in my car, whenever I went to select the genre it would never show the rock genre and when I clicked on where it should be it would go to a different one. I double checked to make sure that it wasnt the car and tested a iPod Nano with it and it worked fine. I had the iPod for a year and I bought the extended warranty from Sams Club and I went there to try to sell back the warranty so I could sell it and they told me I could just return the iPod for full refund and warranty, so I went that route.....Gotta love Sams Club return policy :)

mIX said:
The Passport drive only requires a single USB connection and no external power supply.

A computer provides 500 mA through USB. I would think that the USB port in the car would supply 500 mA as well, but I could be wrong.

It just may not be able to talk to normal hard drives, just flash.
Well mine in my car is a 1.8" hard drive and Trailblazer was able to get a smaller capacity 2.5" to work, so it could just be a size issue with the 2.5" hard drives.
 

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quiksilver81
I thought I recognized you from CAFCNA...
This was your Av...yes?
 

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MOCHANOX said:
quiksilver81
I thought I recognized you from CAFCNA...
This was your Av...yes?
Yep that sure was. I wasn't a fan of how that paint concept came out though, I dont know if the light silver pin-stripe to break the dark silver and black was too thick or something, the idea just looked better in my head. I was going to just have it all painted black but then it broke.
 

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After finding out where the USB port was located, I was concerned that eventually I would damage the port having a normal sized flash drive plugged in to it so I picked up an 8G LaCie MosKeyto.
http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10425
Comes formatted FAT32. about as low a profile as you can find.
Drop tunes on and off you go..
Cheers..
 
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