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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[EDIT/UPDATE: So it looks like the Volt disliked the exFAT filesystem I'd originally formatted the drive with. I have reformatted as NTFS, reloaded 19GB of the original 69GB of music, and it works fine, with the drive showing up on the display as (correctly) 128GB. Initial indexing was < 60 seconds, too. I'm now going to copy over the rest of the 69GB to the drive to make sure that there are no hiccups with that much data. FYI, although perhaps you can specify FAT32 on a larger-capacity drive using W10's shell, you can't do it via the GUI. Your only options are exFAT and NTFS, if the drive is larger than <not sure of threshold. 64GB?>. I tried with a 16GB drive and FAT32 did show up as one of the filesystem options, along with NTFS.]


I bought this one. Loaded it with 60+ GB of MP3 and FLAC files. Plugging it into either of the front USB ports, a red light on the drive flashes, which I believe simply means it's connected, but then nothing, i.e., nothing on the display to indicate that the drive is now an input source.

The manual doesn't say much, so I'm stumped. Is USB 3 not supported (although I assume that's a non-issue b/c backward compatibility)? Some min/max data transfer speed I'm bumping up against? Something else? A little research suggests the interface is finicky, so maybe I just need to try a different drive? Recommendations? Thanks!
 

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Not sure about your 2019 but it might not be compatible with 60 Gb USB. I bought a radio for the TR7 a few years ago that had manual tuning for that retro look but it had a USB and SD card slot in the face (discrete). The maximum size USB it would recognize was a 4 Gb USB.
 

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The MyLink Infotainment manual for the 2017 Volt says this:

USB Port
This vehicle is equipped with two USB ports in the center console. These ports are for data and charging.

The vehicle may have USB ports in the armrest, in the upper glove box, in the storage bin behind the radio (if equipped) and if equipped with Rear Seat Infotainment (RSI), there may be one USB port for charging in the rear media console storage area.

The system is optimized to support two connected devices with a total of 15,000 songs.
...
Playing from a USB
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).
. 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.
- Applicable audio extensions are mp3, wma, aac, m4a, and aif.
- WMA and Apple lossless files are not supported.
- Supported file systems are FAT32 and NTFS.
 

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Just make sure drive is formatted properly and use mp3s, mp4s or aacs. I have tested a western digital 2 TB usb portable drive on my ‘16 and it completely works, although a bit slowly. Day to day on my 18 I use a 256 GB Sandisk ultra low profile usb drive. No issues at all.


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Just make sure drive is formatted properly and use mp3s, mp4s or aacs. I have tested a western digital 2 TB usb portable drive on my ‘16 and it completely works, although a bit slowly. Day to day on my 18 I use a 256 GB Sandisk ultra low profile usb drive. No issues at all.
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Also I don't think it is mentioned in the manual.. But the system will also play some forms of h.264/mpeg4 video as well. Though the video will only appear on the screen if the vehicle is in park. It will continue to play the audio portion if you take the vehicle out of park.
 

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Also I don't think it is mentioned in the manual.. But the system will also play some forms of h.264/mpeg4 video as well. Though the video will only appear on the screen if the vehicle is in park. It will continue to play the audio portion if you take the vehicle out of park.
Thanks. I’ll have to try that. How do you select it to play? Just as if you were selecting a music track? Thanks


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I bought this one. Loaded it with 60+ GB of MP3 and FLAC files. Plugging it into either of the front USB ports, a red light on the drive flashes, which I believe simply means it's connected, but then nothing, i.e., nothing on the display to indicate that the drive is now an input source.

The manual doesn't say much, so I'm stumped. Is USB 3 not supported (although I assume that's a non-issue b/c backward compatibility)? Some min/max data transfer speed I'm bumping up against? Something else? A little research suggests the interface is finicky, so maybe I just need to try a different drive? Recommendations? Thanks!
I went and did some testing with my Gen 1 .. see thread ... maybe you need to go to the 2nd menu on your screen and choose USB .. I needed to do that with one of my tests ... it then operated as one would expect as long as its still plugged in (turning car off/on)
 

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Thanks. I’ll have to try that. How do you select it to play? Just as if you were selecting a music track? Thanks


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Yep!

Only video files it supports will appear in the list. If the file is not supported, it doesn't show it. Select one to play and it will play full screen, the on-screen controls will disappear after 5-6 seconds of not touching the screen.
 

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On my 2018 its's pretty finicky for sure. One thing I've noticed is when I put in a large amount of songs, it will take 15-20 minutes to index them. When I first insert the USB, I don't try to play anything until it's done indexing. I would try a 32 gb or smaller drive first to make sure that is working. Fat32 formatting is a must, and Win10 does not format to Fat32 on a drive larger than 32 gb without some help.
Also, if you are connecting via Bluetooth with your phone, hit the "media" button to switch between usb and Bluetooth.
 

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I've never had any problems playing a USB music drive in any car, including my 2017 Volt. I just took the 4000 song drive from my traded in BMW and it worked fine in the Volt. For the one who asked, my USB drive showed up as "my Music" in the Volt.
 

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Yep!

Only video files it supports will appear in the list. If the file is not supported, it doesn't show it. Select one to play and it will play full screen, the on-screen controls will disappear after 5-6 seconds of not touching the screen.
Thanks


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Discussion Starter #12
The MyLink Infotainment manual for the 2017 Volt says this:

USB Port
This vehicle is equipped with two USB ports in the center console. These ports are for data and charging.

The vehicle may have USB ports in the armrest, in the upper glove box, in the storage bin behind the radio (if equipped) and if equipped with Rear Seat Infotainment (RSI), there may be one USB port for charging in the rear media console storage area.

The system is optimized to support two connected devices with a total of 15,000 songs.
...
Playing from a USB
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).
. 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.
- Applicable audio extensions are mp3, wma, aac, m4a, and aif.
- WMA and Apple lossless files are not supported.
- Supported file systems are FAT32 and NTFS.
Interesting. My 2019 Infotainment System manual says that
audio extensions supported may include FLAC, MP3, AAC, OGG, 3GP.
And that supported filesystems
may include FAT32, NTFS, and HFS+
[Side note: I have to love the use of the word "may" in these contexts. Does that mean "may include (or, OTOH, may not. No one here at GM really knows.) " ]

All my files are FLAC or MP3.
I'm also good on folder depth and file system.
As for the USB MSC, I looked at the spec and it's quite technical. I have to assume my drive complies, but I don't really know for sure.

I formatted the drive as FAT32. I'll try again with NTFS and see if that makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On my 2018 its's pretty finicky for sure. One thing I've noticed is when I put in a large amount of songs, it will take 15-20 minutes to index them. When I first insert the USB, I don't try to play anything until it's done indexing. I would try a 32 gb or smaller drive first to make sure that is working. Fat32 formatting is a must, and Win10 does not format to Fat32 on a drive larger than 32 gb without some help.
Also, if you are connecting via Bluetooth with your phone, hit the "media" button to switch between usb and Bluetooth.
Hmmm, given the size of the drive and amount of data, it's possible I wasn't giving it enough time to index, so I'll have to try that---and also try a smaller drive. I formatted the drive on W10 Pro and was offered the options of exFAT or NTFS. I chose exFAT--which may be my problem. So I'll first try the current setup, but wait 30 minutes or so for it to index. Then, if nothing happens, I'll try a reformat to NTFS, which, per the manual, should work.
 

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I wonder if this is why my 1 TB USB drive, when I inputted it, I determined to be no good.

Maybe the indexing was taking so long that it was effectively no good (not that in theory it was...who is going to wait 1 hr for indexing).
 

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Wait, let me get this straight, with the vehicle in Park , my 17' Volt will play from a suitably formatted USB thumb drive both audio and video files? (video park only )

Does anyone know which video file types are supported?
 

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I found something interesting on my '18 Volt. I've been using the SanDisk 64gb Cruzer Fit, very small drive. Just barely larger than the insertion portion of the USB drive. They have worked flawlessly, and with the metal insert, I haven't noticed any heat coming from them at all. I thought I'd make up a couple extras and give them a try. I purchased 2 of the new style Cruzer Ultra Fit only to find they aren't compatible with my Volt. After going around in circles between the computer and the Volt, I found they were the newer style USB 3.1, not 3.0, and for some reason the Volt doesn't even show them inserted into the USB ports.
Went back to USB 3, and everything works great. NTFS format on all my drives, with no worries.
 

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I found something interesting on my '18 Volt. I've been using the SanDisk 64gb Cruzer Fit, very small drive. Just barely larger than the insertion portion of the USB drive. They have worked flawlessly, and with the metal insert, I haven't noticed any heat coming from them at all. I thought I'd make up a couple extras and give them a try. I purchased 2 of the new style Cruzer Ultra Fit only to find they aren't compatible with my Volt. After going around in circles between the computer and the Volt, I found they were the newer style USB 3.1, not 3.0, and for some reason the Volt doesn't even show them inserted into the USB ports.
Went back to USB 3, and everything works great. NTFS format on all my drives, with no worries.
My sandisk ultras are usb 3. Work fine on our 16 and 18.


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The point I was questioning isn't USB 3, it's the newer USB 3.1.

Anyone tested it in their second gen Volt, or do i need to look into a software/firmware update?
 
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