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Discussion Starter #1
Love the 2021 Crosstrek Limited car itself but so far the music system seems poorly documented and rather pathetic in function.
We have Option Package 33 w/ the Starlink 8" Multimedia infotainment center.
The file format I created on a USB stick, that I use on Sonos, and other devices including my Ford F-150 does not even come close to working!

Problems so far:
1. FAT32 is limited to 32G by Windows though you can get a special formatter to format larger USB sticks as FAT32. Why would anyone support FAT32 only in 2021?
2. Format exFat does not work at all even though it is a preferred format for a USB stick, Some poster here claimed they got it to work but I could not.
3. Book is wrong that only FAT32 USB is supported as NTFS seems to work, though just as poorly as FAT32.
3. FLAC lossless files seem to not be supported at all according to the manual. This is sad as I don't want to convert all my files just for the Subaru.
4. Organizing albums into separate folders w/ title named.mp3 files, a cover art .jpg, and a playlist .m3u just lumps every song into a single unknow album. No albums or artists!
5. No error message is displayed when the system cannot load the USB files. Just says "loading..." forever.........

Questions:
1. What is the proper way to organize multiple albums so a folder shows as an album, with artist, and cover art? And you can search by artist and albums?
2. What meta files are supported such as title named.mp3 files, a cover art .jpg, and a playlist .m3u?
3. What stick formats are truly supported and for how large of USB or SSD drives? Some here have said they got exFat to work but I could not. Only small FAT32, Large FAT32 and NTFS.
4. Any chance FLAC lossless format is or could be supported? Now or in a future software upgrade?
5. Is my system a Type B or a Type C/HK Premium radio? How do you tell?
6. For my system, what is the limit of albums, folders, songs etc.?
7. Is there a definitive guide for this stuff from Subaru rather other than the skimpy and incorrect doc in the manual? How long would it take for Subaru to create this? An hour or two?

Thanks, Dave
 

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I had to format a USB key for the
recent map upgrades. I have windows 10 on a Mac.
Use exFAT.
Also on Mac the disc utility does the same.
Sorry I just used it with the map downloader app.
you could try it as I think it may have formatted the USB drive.

I’m an Apple Music guy. I’m trying tidal as well right now. I’ve never achieved the second level decoding as I don’t have special hardware. Air play limits the data rate to 24/96 usually 48. Tidal is CarPlay compatible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I tired exFat and it did not work. I'll try again though NTFS did work as exFAT is more efficient however. Maybe I had not converted from flac to .mp3 yet.
Do you know the details of how the directory and files should be organized? I've only gotten all the songs to show in a single "unknown" album even though I have the folders mapped to the albums.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I've seen that page in the owner's manual but it has two glaring inaccuracies at minimum 1) NTFS actually works well and since naturally indexed, is much faster than a large FAT32 stick. Also FAT32 can normally not format more than a 32G stick and is essentially an obsolete format. 2) m3u files are actually used for playlists if present even though it says they are not compatible, though it is true most of the meta data in the m3u file is ignored. As far as I can tell it is the ONLY way to create a playlist.

In general, there should be more information regarding meta data. My system seems to use meta tags in the actual mp3 files just fine once I put them there by converting the FLAC files, but ignores meta data inherent in the path and file names, and in the m3u file. And more details should be given on folder and file limits as what I have seem posted for Type A and B radios also seems incorrect for my radio which seems to be neither a Type A or B.

And FLAC should be supported like it is in some of the other Subaru players.

How long would it take? A couple hours for a Subaru engineer to post the details on the website? The correct details? And make them radio specific? That would be decent customer support as compared to having thousands of their customers groping around for hours in the dark trying to figure this stuff out by hit and miss and hearsay. I highly doubt the above is applicable to both types of radios in the Crosstreks if there are only two types now as my 2021 does not seem to be either the A or B type mentioned elsewhere in the forums.

Thankfully I was able to create an mp3 stick with 376 folders and 4416 files. I used a FLAC to MP3 conversion utility called "EZ CD Audio Converter" that allowed me to convert my entire FLAC tree to an MP3 tree and preserve the meta data tags from the FLAC files. Worked great and you can get it here Music Converter with Professional Audio Quality | Convert Music to/from MP3, FLAC, M4A, AAC, Opus, DSD, WAV, OGG, and more audio formats. Secure CD Ripper converts CDs to FLAC, MP3, and more audio formats.

In summary, it would be nice to have the details spec'ed by Subaru on the website, by car, by radio, so that we can tell what is truly supported, and if there is any degradation or improvements, in future versions. There could also be some improvements in how the radio operates in general such as what happens when the car is restarted.
 

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One technical correction. FAT32 is NOT obsolete. In fact, data USB sticks that are UEFI (the BIOS replacement) compatible need to be in FAT32 format. NTFS (and if I recall correctly ExFAT) formatted USB drives will not boot under UEFI (you need to manually change your BIOS/UEFI every time to allow them to work then change it back so your hard drive boots properly). I know it is strange but I found that out the hard way then confirmed it from several articles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
True, not obsolete, but I rarely use it and officially does not format over 32G but you can get 3rd party software that will...
 
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