MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

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MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

Postby Enjay » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:08 pm

I'm just wondering if this is possible with MZD Connect.

On my USB stick, I have a whole bunch of MP3 files in folders with 20 files per folder. I deliberately did this to divide a large number of files up into conveniently sized groups. When I say a large number, the folder structure is like this:

Code: Select all
│   
├───a00
│   ├───a01
│   │       
│   ├───a02
│   │       
│   ├───a03
│   │       
│   ├───a04
│   │       
│   └───a05
│           
├───b00
│   ├───b01
│   │       
│   ├───b02
│   │       
│   ├───b03
│   │       
│   ├───b04
│   │       
│   └───b05
│ 


The root directory has 26 folder named a00 to z00

Each 00 folder has 5 sub folders (e.g. a01, a02, a03, a04 and a05)

Each folder has 20 MP3 files, 2600 files in total. For the most part, I just leave this thing cycling over and over.

With nearly every ICE system I have used in recent years, I can just slap the USB into the port and the files in the folders will play continuously. However, they have all also have a system that allows me to skip from one folder to the next with one button-press. e.g. a 4 way joystick (similar to the one in my ND) on a Pioneer system used left/right to skip tracks and up/down to skip folders. So, if I was playing any file in folder c00/c01 and I pressed joystick-down, it would skip to the first file in c00/c02 or if I hit joystick-up it would skip to the first file in b00/b05.

I can't seem to find similar functionality with MZD.

Why do I want this? MZD connect sometimes forgets where it was in a playlist and goes back to track 1 (I've seen this mentioned in a few forums so it's not just me) or if I take the USB out, alter it and put it back in, I might want to start playback at a particular point in the folder list. That's one of the main reasons for the folder structure: an easy ability to skip about 20 songs at a time or to navigate to a particular point in the file list and then continue playing from that point - and keep doing so for all 2600 songs on repeat (OK, it takes weeks to get through them, but that's not the point).


I can't find an easy way to do this with the MZD Connect system. Yes, I can hit a button to skip to the next track and if that happens to be the last track in a folder, it will go to the next folder but that isn't as powerful as I want. I can also use menus to go to particular folders but when I do, that seems to take me in to that folder without an easy way to skip to the next one. The repeat functionality, for example, now just operates on files within that folder. I *think* it effectively generates a virtual playlist of the files in that folder and only uses them until a different selection is made from the menus? The whole thing seems to be playlist driven, genres, artists, etc but I just want one folder to play after the other and with it to be easy for me to pick a particular folder and carry on from that point.

I can, of course, navigate to the root menu of the USB and have every file on the USB listed. That creates a huge list. That's fine in as much as I do want the whole list to play but, as I mentioned MZD sometimes forgets where it was in a playlist. So, if I happened to be listening to a song in folder r00/r04 when MZD resets itself and I want to go back there, I can either navigate to that folder and then be trapped in it (as described above) or scroll through hundreds of files in the main list until I get to something in r00/r04. That takes too long and not something I'd want to concentrate on while driving.

So, is there any way to get around this that people know of? I've scoured the manual and googled around but I'm not finding what I need. Is it me doing it wrong or does the functionality simply not exist?
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Re: MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

Postby IanH » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:44 pm

Not tried I must admit, I have seen people ask similar questions, meearda dot net is probably your best chance of finding an answer.
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Re: MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

Postby Enjay » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:46 pm

IanH wrote:meearda dot net is probably your best chance of finding an answer.

Typo? Name I'm not familiar with? I can't find that at all.

I did, however, spot this on the UK site:

RichardFX wrote:Today was the first annual service for my Mazda3...but also took time to

a) Update the MZD system, about another half hour added for no charge.

The MZD system has gone from 56.00.100 EUN to 59.00.502 EUN, and Music Database from 00.05.00 to 00.07.00. I've noticed that it no longer sticks inside one album and is much more flexible on how it can be sequenced through the USB stick


So it seems as if a system update might address some of the problems I've been having. I forget what system version mine is but it is not EU_59.00.502A which I believe is the current one. I *think* it was one of the 56... versions. Do Mazda do updates on request or do I have to wait until service time? I've actually seen a video on how to do it myself and I know where to get the update files but does anyone know if doing so would invalidate my warranty.
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Re: MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

Postby IanH » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:55 pm

Sorry, wrote it with an accent, miata.net :D

Dealer should update software on request if there is a problem with the current version that is addressed in a later one, they are not routinely updated as part of a service.
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Re: MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

Postby Enjay » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:10 pm

Thanks. I had actually just realised that you were talking about miata.net as you were posting. :D

Just checked my version...

Image

Not a 56 version but I think that was before updates that improved Bluetooth speeds and, from the post I quoted, the sticking folders problem that I was trying to describe. So I guess I have justifications for asking for an update. The main file looks like a 2GB download and the update process looks easy enough but if me doing it would invalidate the warranty, I can get in touch with the dealer and ask if they'll do it.
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Re: MZD Connect - Skip folders in USB mode?

Postby Enjay » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:19 am

Unfortunately, I haven't found much information to help with this at all, and I have searched many places, including spending quite a bit of time on the Mazda 3 forum (they've had more time to get to know the MZD Connect system). It seems as if this is just the way it works. A few people have highlighted it (and associated issues) but there doesn't seem to be a solution. The Gracenote database comes in for a lot of criticism with people complaining about it over-riding their carefully catalogued mp3 tags and genres and so on. The whole thing seems to be set up for people who like to say to their car "play Nirvana" or "play Funk" and allow the system to make up a playlist for them. Frankly, I prefer more brute-force control than that, and I prefer to get it all set up before I even get into my car. In fact, one of my personal beefs with iPods and iTunes is how playlist driven they are. I just like to put things in folders and have the folders played as if they were CDs.

Not to worry, I can kind of work with what I've got. It just means that I have to play everything from the root directory menu option. This doesn't let me skip through my folders but it does play the files in the order that the folders has the files arranged and I can scroll through the list of files if I need to.


However, I came up with another... I guess it's a problem. I had a bunch of MP3 files with embedded album art. People have had problems showing album art on the system but my files were working. Then I changed the album art and the images stopped showing (they worked on a number of other devices). I tried a few things that had been suggested, e.g. 'disabling' the Gracenote database but they didn't work. Then I noticed that a couple of new files and a couple of renamed files were showing the new image. I then discovered that renaming a folder would allow the art embedded in the files to be seen and naming it back to what it was made the art disappear again.

So, my conclusion is that the MZD connect system holds some kind of cache or database of an inserted USB drive and if the cached album art data from a file that is recognised by its file name/location doesn't agree with the cache, the art doesn't get shown. This even gets remembered across the USB stick being taken out, reformatted and the files copied back, having the USB volume name changed and rebooting the system.

Assuming that this cache exists, I can't find any way to clear it and I've really found no useful information "out there" about it at all. So, I guess I'm just flagging it up and ranting in the very remote hope than someone here knows something about it.
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