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Since I bought my 2013 (two years ago) I’ve used the same USB stick which contained all my music. A few times I’ve re-synced the stick with my PC as I’ve updated my collection. I use Windows Media Player 12 (Win 10) to transfer the music files and SyncPlaylist to sync the playlists (playlists are created and managed with WMP). Everything has worked fine, but I’ve never really liked the way SyncPlaylist creates additional copies of the files on the USB. It works fine when listening to the playlist but if you listen to the album you end up having multiple copies of the song on the album, e.g., if “I Walk the Line” is on three different playlists when you play Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits you’ll hear “Walk the Line” four times in a row.

Doing a bit of internet digging I found a way of formatting/editing the playlists manually (text editor) and manually copying to the USB. Supposedly worked with a FordSync radio. Saturday night I took a BRAND NEW USB stick, transferred the music via WMP and the playlists manually. Went out to the garage, turned on the radio in accessory mode (which may have been the problem right there) and put in the USB. First song on the stick started playing and display showed the song info and “indexing…” - everything looked normal. I knew it would take awhile to index 1000 songs so I went inside to watch some youtube. When I came out later everything was off. Looked like accessory mode had shutdown. I re-started and the display immediately showed “indexing…” OK - maybe it didn’t finish. Powered the car fully on and left it to index. Came back everything seemed good - music playing, display on. Then I realized the song on the display wasn’t the song playing and the display was frozen - the time bar for the song wasn’t moving - I watched it for a full 30 seconds to make sure. Powered everything down and tried again, same result. At that point changing the source flips it back to Sirius - hitting the source button to get to USB gets a momentary change to the USB source and then it flips right back to Sirius. Multiple “sources” gets the radio to the AM and FM sources. I then inserted my old USB - which had worked perfectly earlier that day. Same thing happened - stuck at indexing with a frozen screen. The next day we had to take a small road trip (hour each way) and I tried my wife’s USB - which, again had been working perfectly fine a few days earlier. Radio and bluetooth seem to work fine, just the USB is messed up. When we got home I disconnected the -12v lead at the battery hoping to reset something that might have gotten "stuck" in software. Today she reported the same behaviour. I pulled the -12v lead again and left it off for 10 minutes. (Both times the clock reset to 12:00 but the radio presets stayed where I had set them.) No joy. Pulled the F2 fuse for the radio. I know it wouldn’t do anything more than disconnecting the battery but it’s simple and easy - so why not? No luck. I reformatted and re-synced the new USB using SyncPlaylist and tried again. No change.

At this point, while the music does play there is basically no control. With the screen frozen and “indexing” the menu button is non-responsive. Changing the USB gets into the flip back to Sirius mode - basically the system doesn’t recognize the USB. A totally power down of the car seems to be the only way to get the USB to read and then it’s back to the frozen screen.

Any thoughts? Or have I manged to somehow completely bugger the USB system?
 

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Doesn't the radio turn off after 10 minutes if the car is off? Was the car in off mode? If that's the case the USB part might have got caught in some kind of loop? Don't know what kind of reset needed for that situation. Anyone?
 

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Try two other sticks, cleanly reformatted with no extraneous data on them - just a few .mp3 files - keep it simple. Do either of them work? If not, probably the USB port in the car is faulty. Not likely to be vehicle software.
 

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It re-indexes every time you use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Doesn't the radio turn off after 10 minutes if the car is off? Was the car in off mode? If that's the case the USB part might have got caught in some kind of loop? Don't know what kind of reset needed for that situation. Anyone?
I think that's what happened. Car turned off before the index was complete and now it keeps getting stuck in some kind of loop. Disconnect on the -12v doesn't seem to have reset it. Need more ideas.
 

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Try two other sticks, cleanly reformatted with no extraneous data on them - just a few .mp3 files - keep it simple. Do either of them work? If not, probably the USB port in the car is faulty. Not likely to be vehicle software.
Great suggestion - the smaller file will index quickly. Also - be sure to change stick names so the system will see them as new. Are all the music files the same type - mp3, wma, etc.?? The system should handle mixed, but some have reported problems with mixed file types.

When I bought the Volt I switched to USB from BlueTooth because I didn't want to use up all my phone memory with music files. I have about 2800 songs in mp3 format on a USB stick. I just used iTunes because it was compatible with my iPhone and iPad. I wasn't really interested in setting up custom playlists – rather just saved the music in folders by artist/album/song. The Volt system sees the artist listing under “folders” with album and song as sub menus. Songs are in track order. Simple, and worked fine except for 2 problems:

I found that if I just shut down the car while the USB was playing, it would randomly not recognize the stick upon startup. I would sometimes have to unplug the stick and reinsert it. This was somewhat irritating. After working with the system, I discovered that if I turned off the radio before shutting down the car that it never lost track of the USB and continued playing from the shutoff point when the radio is again turned on. Apparently there is a radio shutoff routine that was cleaner than the abrupt power cutoff when the car was powered down. I'm not sure if this is true in retained power or accessory mode, but is worth considering. I just changed my shutdown routine to 2 steps – radio off, car off – and it works fine.

I also found that when I added artists/albums to the stick, they would not display in alpha order, but rather in the order they were added to the stick. This is the way data is actually stored in a file, but pcs or macs sort the file names when displaying them in file utilities. To make the folders display in alpha order in the Volt I use a utility program called Drive Sort each time I add music.

First I change the name of the USB stick – VM1, VM2, VM3, etc. - so the car thinks it is a new stick and will force reindexing. Then I sort the album names, then the artist names (selecting the option to omit mp3 files thereby leaving the songs in track order, but creating a new file index in artist/album/song order). This only takes a couple of minutes, and since I only add songs about every 4 or 5 weeks, it's no big hassle.

With many albums by the same artist there will be duplicate song files, and I have found that if I select a song it will play through the duplicates - even if the duplicate is by another artist. This appears to be normal, but since I usually just select and album it is not an issue for me.
 

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I think that's what happened. Car turned off before the index was complete and now it keeps getting stuck in some kind of loop. Disconnect on the -12v doesn't seem to have reset it. Need more ideas.
Plug in a different USB source, like your phone. See if that will reset it. As I mentioned before, the system re-indexes each time the radio starts or you select USB. I have a thumb drive plugged in all the time. Sometimes it pops back to FM upon start up, sometimes I have to unplug and plug it back in. But every time it begins re-indexing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Great suggestion - the smaller file will index quickly. Also - be sure to change stick names so the system will see them as new. Are all the music files the same type - mp3, wma, etc.?? The system should handle mixed, but some have reported problems with mixed file types.
Just tried two different sticks. One was brand new - never used before; the other I've had awhile and used as a general portable file device. Formatted both of them. Gave them different names. Synced three wma files on the new one with WinMediaPlayer; the older one I dragged three mp3 files to it using Win file manager. (My original stick that I've used for 2 years had mixed files on it with no issues.) The first locked up after 37 seconds, the 2nd one after 40 seconds. By "locked" I mean the time bar stopping moving and the time indicators (elapsed & time left) stop changing. The MENU button on the screen is unresponsive. The physical buttons on the console for music control - play/pause, seek, etc. - are unresponsive. The SOURCE button on the screen reacts to touch. Other physical buttons on the center console react - home, back, source, etc. The "indexing..." notation on the screen keeps doing the scrolling thing - "Indexing." Indexing.." "Indexing..." The music keeps playing; the next song starts in whatever order the system puts it into.

If I change the source, e.g. FM, I can't get back to USB. It just skips past it - as if the USB isn't plugged in. I have to power off the car and wait for it to totally go dark (a minute or two) before I power back on or else it won't detect the USB.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've noticed that sometimes it would start re-indexing when I start the car and sometimes not. No pattern I could see. I could start in the morning and it pick up right where I left off, no problem. The I would stop for two minutes and when I start again I would notice it would "indexing.." for a few seconds. But it never caused any real issues. Sometimes it wouldn't do the indexing all day. It was just puzzling.
 

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Try two other sticks, cleanly reformatted with no extraneous data on them - just a few .mp3 files - keep it simple. Do either of them work? If not, probably the USB port in the car is faulty. Not likely to be vehicle software.
The stick seems to be communicating - the songs play. That tells me the hardware is ok. At least, I think it tells me that. Getting stuck in the index loop seems to me a software thing.
 

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Sounds like a trip to the dealer . . .


There is a TSB that has something to do with the radio freezing:

TSB #PIC6158B
Posted 2017-03-17
353400 EQUIPMENT:ELECTRICAL:RADIO/TAPE DECK/CD ETC. bulletin for the 2013 VOLT
THIS PRELIMINARY INFORMATION COMMUNICATION PROVIDES INFORMATION TO THE TECHNICIAN SOME VEHICLES WITH RADIO REGULAR PRODUCTION OPTION CODE UFU, UP9, OR UHQ MAY HAVE SOME BLUETOOTH ISSUES, RADIO FREEZING UP, XM GRAPHICS ISSUES OR RADIO REBOOT
 
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