Uconnect tips

So coming from a 2014 with the Blue & Me system, in July I got a 2017 model, and the electronics is different, called Uconnect (although the integrated navigation system is still TomTom).

Still figuring stuff out.



Playlists - they do not update or change

All right, it actually seems that no one but me (at least published on the Internet) has figured out how to make playlists work on the USB media. It's a nice feature, where you have all your songs on the USB memory stick, and then you have playlists (a list of song names) that are nothing but properly formatted text files. Many people thought playlist was a separate memory stick with just the songs they wanted.

At first I got erratic results, playlists that showed up on the playlist "list" with nothing in them, playlists would not go away even if deleted from the USB, etc. I'd change the playlist and the songs in the playlist did not change. Very crazy.

After experimenting, and observing how the system works, I figured it out. (As I often say in life, if you just pay attention to what you observe, you can figure a lot of things out).

First, you have to realize the system is not really fast. When I put in a memory stick with 4,000 songs, it said "reading USB" for quite a while. But I noticed that some times the system started up right away. I could then infer that the system had "rules" about when it read the memory stick, or assumed it did not have to. Since the media player still worked, it MUST have cached some information.

You can then infer that the system trys to determine if the memory stick you are reading from is the same one it read last time. That makes sense and saves time especially in light of how slow it reads the USB.

But now to the playlists, what happened as I changed the files and playlists on the USB memory stick weird stuff happened, new ones did not show up, old deleted ones did not go away. Also playlists would often be blank inside.

Put 2 and 2 together, and you can see that you cannot just change files, since the whole issue is the Fiat is trying to "cheat" to know when to read the USB "in detail" or not.

Once I figured out what was happening, I first looked for any "hidden" files to basically show a "time stamp" on modifications. I was hoping it would look at the time stamps of the playlist files. NOPE. OK, so it must be related to when the memory stick was formatted. So I formatted the memory stick. FAIL. OK you cannot do a "fast format", because that does not change the identification the system is using apparently. So you have to do a "full" format of your memory stick, uncheck the "fast format" box.

This as you can see is a huge pain in the butt, since you have to wipe the memory stick with a "slow" / complete format, and then re-copy ALL your files of course.

To re-iterate, the bottom line is there is no way to update the playlists without a full reformat of the USB stick.

There's another weird thing: if you delete a playlist, the car "hangs on" to it for a while, but it will be empty. I have not hit on a method to remove the empty old ones.

So this is all the unique information you need to get around the problem that does not make sense.

Playlist formatting

You need all the files in the playlist referenced to the local file system, and many mp3 "managers" embed the path of the file on your hard drive.

So, make sure your playlist looks like the below internally (open with notepad or wordpad, NOT a word processor!)

(I have found that several playlist formats are supported, but the M3U format works well)

Here's the first few lines of an .M3U playlist file:

T\Tangerine Dream\The Best of Tangerine Dream, The Blue Years\1-05 21st Century common man (part 2).mp3
L\Led Zeppelin\Misc\Led Zepplin - Black Dog.mp3
G\Green Day\21st Century Breakdown\21 Guns.mp3
T\Tangerine Dream\220 Volt Live\Tangerine Dream - 220 Volt Live - 08 - Hamlet.mp3

There are kind of 3 formats... the ones I know of are .M3U, and .WPL (Windows Play List), .FPL and one called .M3U8... of these I have been focusing on the .M3U, which seems to be popular. I have gotten my car to recognize these.

For making playlists, I found that foobar2000 works well, and creates the proper file the first time, as opposed to other programs that insist putting the full path in the playlist.

Album art

The Uconnect system will also display album art.

First, make sure you have embedded the album art in the mp3 file, not just put a jpg file in the directory. I use MusicBee to get the artwork.

Also, there is a limit to the resolution of the album art, too high and it won't display. What you get from the 'net varies wildly. I have found 500 x 500 at 85% compression works well in my Fiat and my Audi, so I use Sanse MP3 Art Sizer to do it. Fast and works great.


Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78