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After 4 days in my new Volt, I just had to master this music on USB flash drive thing.
Then I read that it likes to rearrange songs? Hmmm. Why would I want them in alphabetical order?

So I did some tests...
Note: I use Linux on my home computer not MS Windows.

1. Music formats:
Can it read .ogg files (Ogg-Vorbis, often used on Linux)?
NO

MP3 files?
YES

WMA files?
YES

2. Can it read playlists?
xspf = XML Shareable Playlist Format
NO

m3u = MPEG Version 3.0 Extended
YES*

m3u8 = MPEG Version 3.0 Extended for Unicode
YES*

pls = Shoutcast playlist version 2
YES

3. * Delving into Playlists:
A playlist is really just a text file with information about each song.
At its simplest, the m3u format requires nothing more than the filenames.
See: http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=65772 for more info on playlist formats.

When I first exported an M3U format playlist from my music player application onto the USB flash drive, it didn't work in my Volt.

Once I opened the .m3u file in a text editor, it was apparent why:
The full path (including the name of the drive) was being used for the mp3 file locations:
/media/USB20FD/Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

when all that was needed was:
/Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3


(Note: I had a folder called "Altan" in a folder called "Classical". Yes, I know it doesn't belong there.)
/media/USB20FD is what my Linux OS calls this particular thumbdrive. This makes it an absolute path, and you don't want that.

You need to use 'relative' paths, not 'absolute' paths.
For Windows users, that means remove the "C:\" from the front.
If you want the playlist to work on both the Volt and on Linux, don't use the / at the front.

Does it work with both forward and backward slashes?
YES

This works:
/Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

and this also works:
\Classical\Altan\Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

and this:
Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

4. Fixing the Alphabetical playlist "Feature".
Can I use a playlist to ensure that Vivaldi's "Autumn" plays after "Summer"?
YES

How simple can the playlist file be? Just need filenames, that's all.
  1. Create a text file.
  2. Name it with .m3u file extension.
  3. Add the filenames, in the order you want, one song per line. If they are in folders, use the path from the playlist to the file.
In this case, playlist is on the root of the drive, and the songs are as well. (no folders)

Filename: "Vivaldi Four Seasons.m3u"
Code:
Spring_Mvt_1__Allegro.mp3
Spring_Mvt_2__Largo.mp3
Spring_Mvt_3__Allegro.mp3
Summer_Mvt_1__Allegro_non_molto.mp3
Summer_Mvt_2__Adagio.mp3
Summer_Mvt_3__Presto.mp3
Autumn_Mvt_1__Allegro.mp3
Autumn_Mvt_2__Adagio_molto.mp3
Autumn_Mvt_3__Allegro.mp3
Winter_Mvt_1__Allegro_non_molto.mp3
Winter_Mvt_2__Largo.mp3
Winter_Mvt_3__Allegro.mp3
WORKS! Summer is BEFORE Autumn! YAY! :)
 

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After 4 days in my new Volt, I just had to master this music on USB flash drive thing.
Then I read that it likes to rearrange songs? Hmmm. Why would I want them in alphabetical order?

So I did some tests...
Note: I use Linux on my home computer not MS Windows.

1. Music formats:
Can it read .ogg files (Ogg-Vorbis, often used on Linux)?
NO

MP3 files?
YES

WMA files?
YES

2. Can it read playlists?
xspf = XML Shareable Playlist Format
NO

m3u = MPEG Version 3.0 Extended
YES*

m3u8 = MPEG Version 3.0 Extended for Unicode
YES*

pls = Shoutcast playlist version 2
YES

3. * Delving into Playlists:
A playlist is really just a text file with information about each song.
At its simplest, the m3u format requires nothing more than the filenames.
See: http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=65772 for more info on playlist formats.

When I first exported an M3U format playlist from my music player application onto the USB flash drive, it didn't work in my Volt.

Once I opened the .m3u file in a text editor, it was apparent why:
The full path (including the name of the drive) was being used for the mp3 file locations:
/media/USB20FD/Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

when all that was needed was:
/Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3


(Note: I had a folder called "Altan" in a folder called "Classical". Yes, I know it doesn't belong there.)
/media/USB20FD is what my Linux OS calls this particular thumbdrive. This makes it an absolute path, and you don't want that.

You need to use 'relative' paths, not 'absolute' paths.
For Windows users, that means remove the "C:\" from the front.
If you want the playlist to work on both the Volt and on Linux, don't use the / at the front.

Does it work with both forward and backward slashes?
YES

This works:
/Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

and this also works:
\Classical\Altan\Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

and this:
Classical/Altan/Altan_-_Runaway_Sunday_00_-_Suil_Ghorm.mp3

4. Fixing the Alphabetical playlist "Feature".
Can I use a playlist to ensure that Vivaldi's "Autumn" plays after "Summer"?
YES

How simple can the playlist file be? Just need filenames, that's all.
  1. Create a text file.
  2. Name it with .m3u file extension.
  3. Add the filenames, in the order you want, one song per line. If they are in folders, use the path from the playlist to the file.
In this case, playlist is on the root of the drive, and the songs are as well. (no folders)

Filename: "Vivaldi Four Seasons.m3u"
Code:
Spring_Mvt_1__Allegro.mp3
Spring_Mvt_2__Largo.mp3
Spring_Mvt_3__Allegro.mp3
Summer_Mvt_1__Allegro_non_molto.mp3
Summer_Mvt_2__Adagio.mp3
Summer_Mvt_3__Presto.mp3
Autumn_Mvt_1__Allegro.mp3
Autumn_Mvt_2__Adagio_molto.mp3
Autumn_Mvt_3__Allegro.mp3
Winter_Mvt_1__Allegro_non_molto.mp3
Winter_Mvt_2__Largo.mp3
Winter_Mvt_3__Allegro.mp3
WORKS! Summer is BEFORE Autumn! YAY! :)
Why does your LCD have that turquoise color look. Are we able to change the LCD display colors?

Thanks,

Ian B
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I also tested putting playlists into other playlists, but that didn't work either. That feature isn't usually well supported, 3 out of 4 audio player applications on my Linux PC don't work for that either, so it's no surprise.
 

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Excellent job and explanation. I think I attempted M3U in the past as a test but don't recall it working. Thanks for clarifying. I'll add this to the 'FAQ'.

I just found a past post I had on the manual content which does mention m3u/pls and relative paths.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?16863-USB-SSD-(IDE-SSD-in-a-NexStar-3-case)&p=190217#post190217

2012 manual states this:

USB MP3 Player and USB Drives

. The USB MP3 players and USB drives connected must comply with the USB Mass Storage Class specification (USB MSC).

. Only USB MP3 players and USB drives with a sector size or 512 bytes and a cluster size smaller or equal to 32 kbytes in the FAT32 file system are supported.

. Hard disk drives are not supported.

. The following restrictions apply for the data stored on a USB MP3 player or USB device:

‐ Maximum folder structure depth: 11 levels.

‐ Maximum number of MP3/WMA files that can be displayed: 1,000

. WMA with Digital Rights Management (DRM) from online music shops cannot be played. WMA files can only be played back safely if they were created with Windows Media Player version 8 or later.

‐ Applicable playlist extensions are: .m3u, .pls.

‐ Playlist entries must be in the form of relative paths.

‐ The system attribute for folders/files that contain audio data must not be set.
 

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Brilliant!

find * -type f -iname \*.mp3 | sed -n 1,1000p >list.m3u

Then edit the file names into the order you want. That's Linux. You can do it in Windows, too. It just takes more editing.
 

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For those of us with built-in hard-drives unfortunately there is no way to create/edit the playlist or filenames after a CD is ripped onto the HDD and the track titles are downloaded from Gracenote CDDB. The alphabetical play order remains an issue in this case.
 

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thanks for the info! I had already experimented and done something similar for at least some of my music folders, but it's good to see folks doing the systematic investigation.
 

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Use Genre as a Playlist Hack

I hope this is helpful: Another playlist hack is to simply rename the genre of the all songs in your list to the same unique name, and then just use the Volt system to play all songs in that "genre." For example, you have your 100 favorite songs that you want to go to at will when in your car. When you build your usb drive, collectively select the 100 songs on the drive and go to properties (in windows, right click and select properties). Choose details and then change the genre to "My Favorites" or any other unique name. When the USB is connected to the Volt, simply choose Genre from the menu and you will see My Favorites waiting to be selected, along with the genres of any other songs on the drive. You can make multiple "playlists" this way. Note, however, that if you have a song that is in more than one playlist, you will have to rename it for each playlist. So, if "Born to Run" is in three different playlists, you will have to have three files on the USB drive, e.g. Born to Run 1.mp3, Born to run 2.mp3 and Born to Run 3.mp3. Each file would have a different genre for the three different playlists. For very long playlist, this hack is better because, in my experience, .m3u files require quite a bit of time-consuming editing (using the excellent instructions above) to make them work. It's much faster to put the files you want on the USB drive and simply change the genre in one fell swoop.
 
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