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2021 XC40 Recharge P8
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are some very capable devices that will transmit music to the car sound system using an available FM radio frequency. These devices use 12 volt power, so they would plug into the Volvo 12 volt power socket. Most of these device descriptions suggest a Bluetooth pairing to your smartphone to access your music (MP3) files, however they can also access music files from a USB thumb drive and / or SD card. It seems easy enough to set up for transmitting music to an FM frequency, which I expect would work great. What might be better is if I can pair the FM transmitter device directly to the car system via Bluetooth. Does anyone know if the XC40 Recharge system will PAIR with this kind of device & thus allow me to play MY music in MY car ??

I have USB thumbdrives already loaded with MY music. They used to be plugged in directly in our 2019 XC40 & played great, but the XC40 Recharge has done away with USB inputs completely, trying to force us to be all GOOGLE (apps) & AT&T ( LTE data). I do NOT want to be locked in with these corporations, so I am searching for options / flexibility.
 

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Getting a bluetooth device to stream content to the vehicle requires that the device have the right kind of “bluetooth profile”. Modern phones will reliably have this, which is why they use them as examples in documentation. It doesn’t have anything to do with the phone though - two devices just need to agree to talk using the correct profile. I don’t have anything other than my phone, but I’m confident such devices exist. You can learn about the different profiles here.

The USB inputs question is a matter of having an app that knows how to read those devices. Who knows if there will ever be such an app in the play store, but that is the missing component right now. It is possible that the ports in the car are all “dumb” in that they only provide power, but I highly doubt that is the case since at least one of them is clearly marked for future carplay/android auto, which will require the transmission of data. Also, Volvo probably uses USB sticks to load software and they need to plug them in somewhere.
 

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Hi, I am playing media on my iPhone set up as a bluetooth media player, so you should be able to do what you want. Search for "MP3 player with bluetooth and sd card" on amazon or google, and then read through some of the specs to make sure that you can set up the MP3 player on a car stereo. I only did a quick search, but it looks like the "SanDisk Clip Sport Plus" can do what you want, as can many others. See page 15 of their manual here: http://downloads.sandisk.com/downloads/um/clipsportplus-um.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Getting a bluetooth device to stream content to the vehicle requires that the device have the right kind of “bluetooth profile”. Modern phones will reliably have this, which is why they use them as examples in documentation. It doesn’t have anything to do with the phone though - two devices just need to agree to talk using the correct profile. I don’t have anything other than my phone, but I’m confident such devices exist. You can learn about the different profiles here.

The USB inputs question is a matter of having an app that knows how to read those devices. Who knows if there will ever be such an app in the play store, but that is the missing component right now. It is possible that the ports in the car are all “dumb” in that they only provide power, but I highly doubt that is the case since at least one of them is clearly marked for future carplay/android auto, which will require the transmission of data. Also, Volvo probably uses USB sticks to load software and they need to plug them in somewhere.
Everything I read about the USB type C ports is that they are for charging only - one way - no input. The info about Bluetooth profiles is very helpful & I see that Amazon have many devices to choose from. The one I like so far is the NULAXY NX09 - very compact - Bluetooth 5 - USB drive & SD card inputs - 12 volt power. Cheap enough to give it a try.
 

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I don't think you want a "bluetooth FM transmitter" - that kind of device puts the sound through an FM signal that your car radio will pick up. This is going to be a low quality signal compared to bluetooth. the bluetooth FM transmitter is designed to go (bluetooth player [like phone] -> bluetooth FM transmitter -> (FM signal) -> Volvo car radio).

I think what you want is a "MP3 player with bluetooth". That kind of device goes:
MP3 from player or SD card -> (bluetooth signal) -> Volvo "bluetooth media player" car interface

Hope this makes sense.
 

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There are some very capable devices that will transmit music to the car sound system using an available FM radio frequency. These devices use 12 volt power, so they would plug into the Volvo 12 volt power socket. Most of these device descriptions suggest a Bluetooth pairing to your smartphone to access your music (MP3) files, however they can also access music files from a USB thumb drive and / or SD card. It seems easy enough to set up for transmitting music to an FM frequency, which I expect would work great. What might be better is if I can pair the FM transmitter device directly to the car system via Bluetooth. Does anyone know if the XC40 Recharge system will PAIR with this kind of device & thus allow me to play MY music in MY car ??

I have USB thumbdrives already loaded with MY music. They used to be plugged in directly in our 2019 XC40 & played great, but the XC40 Recharge has done away with USB inputs completely, trying to force us to be all GOOGLE (apps) & AT&T ( LTE data). I do NOT want to be locked in with these corporations, so I am searching for options / flexibility.
You bought a car where the infotainment revolves directly around Google and the lte is free for 4 years... You were already locked in when you purchased this model, so why not use the convenience built in ?

The Spotify streaming works really well.
 

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I am under the impression the the USB type C port that is circled in white will become activated to accept thumb drives with music files in the future.
I think this will be the android auto / apple car play USB port... Similar to the active sensus USB ports that have a white circle around them. They may also support USB thumb drives as well, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You bought a car where the infotainment revolves directly around Google and the lte is free for 4 years... You were already locked in when you purchased this model, so why not use the convenience built in ?

The Spotify streaming works really well.
My understanding is that the LTE data plan is FREE for 3 months - then AT&T will sell me a data plan for $200 US / year. That's not too bad, for convenience, but we have opted to invest in a very nice Bluetooth MP3 player that does so much. Paring this device to the car is easy & the sound is awesome, & of course we can easily charge the device on board with the correct USB type C cable. So, for less than $100 Canadian we are good to go with our music, forever. The MP3 device goes everywhere we go & also pairs great with our Bluetooth speaker, again with awesome sound. We were not informed by our Volvo dealer that the infotainment system would try to force us into a data plan with AT&T, & we were not informed that the USB ports were OUT only - no input. We would expect that our going from a 2019 XC40 to a 2021 XC40 Recharge would prompt the dealer to give us DETAILS on what is different, but no, we have to discover it all on our own. Check out my post about the fiasco with SIRIUS XM radio - we have a FREE Sirius XM trial underway, but the car does not have it installed - how useless - how disjointed between Volvo Canada & Sirius XM. This is my 9th Volvo & I am shocked that the VOLVO CUSTOMER CARE TEAM does NOT care & does NOT know what's going on - terrible confusion & chaos.
 

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My understanding is that the LTE data plan is FREE for 3 months - then AT&T will sell me a data plan for $200 US / year. That's not too bad, for convenience, but we have opted to invest in a very nice Bluetooth MP3 player that does so much. Paring this device to the car is easy & the sound is awesome, & of course we can easily charge the device on board with the correct USB type C cable. So, for less than $100 Canadian we are good to go with our music, forever. The MP3 device goes everywhere we go & also pairs great with our Bluetooth speaker, again with awesome sound. We were not informed by our Volvo dealer that the infotainment system would try to force us into a data plan with AT&T, & we were not informed that the USB ports were OUT only - no input. We would expect that our going from a 2019 XC40 to a 2021 XC40 Recharge would prompt the dealer to give us DETAILS on what is different, but no, we have to discover it all on our own. Check out my post about the fiasco with SIRIUS XM radio - we have a FREE Sirius XM trial underway, but the car does not have it installed - how useless - how disjointed between Volvo Canada & Sirius XM. This is my 9th Volvo & I am shocked that the VOLVO CUSTOMER CARE TEAM does NOT care & does NOT know what's going on - terrible confusion & chaos.
From everything I have read and been told, the XC40 Recharge comes with 4 yrs of free lte, which makes the streaming much more compelling.

Volvo SiriusXM know the service isn't available yet so they extended the free service from 3 months to 12, so it will be interesting to see how that works out. I imagine the SiriusXM will be the android app using the free lte as well and not a dedicated satellite radio service.

I wouldn't trust a dealer to provide the details of new models... I usually hit the forums and auto journalists, as they usually have been hands on even before the local dealers...
 
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