Playing music & Videos

Note: this page is under construction and is incomplete. Feel free to email me with errors, omissions, additional data... I'm expanding this information now

Overview

This seems to be a source of confusion and it also varies a bit between model years I believe. I'll focus on my car (of course), a 2014 A8L.

So the system has 2 SD card slots behind the "CD" door. There is also a 40 gigabyte hard drive, which has about 20 gigs useable for us.

You can "import" music files to the hard drive, which is called the "Jukebox"

The SD cards have limits on them, which is a source of controversy and also a lot of misinformation, which I will discuss. It seems that trying to use anything over 64 gigs is a waste of time, but I'll be exploring this.

There was/is a capability to "rip" a music CD to the Jukebox, but it seems to be disabled in my model year. I'm working on it, and may succeed. It may be of little use though, since the reports I have indicate it is painfully slow.

You can also play DVDs on the MMI screen, but normally only at rest, and if you start moving, the video blanks and you get sound only. I have been able to restore the VIM function (Video in Motion) for my car, and I have that covered in the modifications page.

SD cards

OK the first thing to know is that you need FAT or ExFAT formatting on your SD card. You may have to re-format your SD card to get it to work.

I'm working on getting a definitive answer on how big a card is supported, but it's really not about that, there are limits in terms of directories, and number of files that are supported, and basically you will normally run out of these before you reach the limits of storage, i.e. trying to get a 256 gig SD card to work is worthless.

There's a lot of misinformation about this, because people stick in a huge card with lots of songs and they don't get any error messages. But if they try to access the songs, then they find the limit, so you have to temper what you read with making sure the person reporting this has PROVED that the files are accessable.

What I understand today is there is a limit of about 10,000 titles. I don't have a firm handle on what differences it makes if they are all in the root of the SD card or in sub directories.

For convenience in finding songs, I have albums/songs in a directory structure, either album artist, and then directories for each album, or when I have a lot of music, the letter of the artist, then the artist, then the album. This is a pretty standard organization.

Playlists

First, they need to be in the root of the SD card, and also in a particular format. Normally when you make a playlist, the absolute path of the files are put in there, and you need the relative path.  (this will be explained)

It seems that the Jukebox does not work with playlists, but I need to research this further.

Album art

This needs to be embedded in the music file itself, not a separate jpg in the folder. Also, it needs to be 500x500 pixels or less. I found a great free program to do this, called Sanse Mp3 art resizer... run all your files through this. Silly that the display shows such a small image, but it is what it is.

 

Videos

Video in Motion is normally disabled in NA cars, but there are ways to get it going, I used VCDS and got it working, details in the modification page.

Apparently certain mpeg files can be played from the SD cards too, I will report on that.

 

the video codec you should use is .xvid

The resolution of the video you want to have it set to is 720x576.
The Bitrate you want to set the video is 2000KB
The framerate you want to set the video is 25fps

For audio use .mp3 as the codec
Set the bitrate for that to 320kps
and the Sample Rate to 48,000 hz