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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My P8 was delivered to me two days ago and already I'm severely disappointed in the infotainment system. I think we need a new thread just for the new infotainment system. It's clearly not ready for prime time.

I'll start with this issue. All I want to do is listen to my mp3s and wma music files. I used a thumb drive in the USB port in my last car but despite reviews and the Volvo salesman assuring me it is possible to do that in the Volvo, it turns out it is not. After much research and querying different sources I called Volvo Consumer Support who told me at first that it was possible, but then later sent me this official email:

Thank you for contacting Volvo Car USA!

We have looked into your request for information on playing music via the USB port in your vehicle. Unfortunately at this time vehicle cannot play music via the USB port, the only ways to play music from an outside source is from a blue tooth connected phone.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Med vänliga hälsningar!

Yours Sincerely,
Briana
Volvo Consumer Relations Center
800.638.6586

I don't have my music files on my phone and don't always have my phone with me in the car. It's not even clear if it can play music from another bluetooth device like an iPod or mp3 player. The only streaming service I use (and don't even like all that much) is Pandora. I tried to install that, but the Play Store doesn't have it. This is a huge issue for me. any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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My P8 was delivered to me two days ago and already I'm severely disappointed in the infotainment system. I think we need a new thread just for the new infotainment system. It's clearly not ready for prime time.

I'll start with this issue. All I want to do is listen to my mp3s and wma music files. I used a thumb drive in the USB port in my last car but despite reviews and the Volvo salesman assuring me it is possible to do that in the Volvo, it turns out it is not. After much research and querying different sources I called Volvo Consumer Support who told me at first that it was possible, but then later sent me this official email:

Thank you for contacting Volvo Car USA!

We have looked into your request for information on playing music via the USB port in your vehicle. Unfortunately at this time vehicle cannot play music via the USB port, the only ways to play music from an outside source is from a blue tooth connected phone.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Med vänliga hälsningar!

Yours Sincerely,
Briana
Volvo Consumer Relations Center
800.638.6586

I don't have my music files on my phone and don't always have my phone with me in the car. It's not even clear if it can play music from another bluetooth device like an iPod or mp3 player. The only streaming service I use (and don't even like all that much) is Pandora. I tried to install that, but the Play Store doesn't have it. This is a huge issue for me. any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Have you ran into any other issues/concerns with the infotainment system besides the mp3 files?
I considered the promising functionality of the gold driven infotainment system as one of my decision points for choosing the xc40 over the competitors.

I spent some time with the Mach-E infotainment system, but haven’t had much time to physically compare it to the Volvo’s.

Appreciate any additional feedback that you can provide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you ran into any other issues/concerns with the infotainment system besides the mp3 files?
I considered the promising functionality of the gold driven infotainment system as one of my decision points for choosing the xc40 over the competitors.
Appreciate any additional feedback that you can provide.
Yes, another problem I encountered is the radio system. I haven't listened to radio in years, but in view of being unable to play mp3 files, I tried to fiond the ones I might use. I was able to add several stations like classical, news and PBS, but my favorite station, which I can get on my previous car and my wife's car, doesn't show up in the station list. Twice now I've used voice commands to the Google Assistant to change to particular radio stations and even though it showed me the correct text of what I said, it changed to totally different random stations I didn't like instead of the ones I said. That means you have to scroll through the channels to find the one you want which isn't safe while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
On the good news front, I just tried pairing my wife's iPod with the car. It paired successfully, but seemed to take a long time to recognize that it had music on it. It took multiple times going from the Bluetooth settings screen to the apps screen where there is a Bluetooth media app. Eventually I brought up a list of songs from the iPod showing on the app screen and I played one of my songs. The sounds quality was excellent. So it looks like the solution is for me to get an mp3 player. Unfortunately, iPod's don't recognize WMA files, which most of my music is, but there are many bluetooth media devices that do.
 

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On the good news front, I just tried pairing my wife's iPod with the car. It paired successfully, but seemed to take a long time to recognize that it had music on it. It took multiple times going from the Bluetooth settings screen to the apps screen where there is a Bluetooth media app. Eventually I brought up a list of songs from the iPod showing on the app screen and I played one of my songs. The sounds quality was excellent. So it looks like the solution is for me to get an mp3 player. Unfortunately, iPod's don't recognize WMA files, which most of my music is, but there are many bluetooth media devices that do.
Did you get the upgraded HKardon sound system ? Or the standard factory one ?
That's great news on the iPod!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did not get the HK upgrade. I had that in my previous Volvo a 1999 C70 and it was great, but my son has the standard Volvo sound system in his XC60 and it sounds great, so I knew this one would, too.
 

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Maybe you can import the songs to Google Music.

Can you upload MP3 to Google Play Music?
Unlock your music with Google Play

Google Play helps you bring your iTunes library to your Android devices. You can upload up to 50,000 of your songs from your computer to Google Play for free. Once you've uploaded your music, it's instantly available on the web and your Android phone or tablet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe you can import the songs to Google Music.

Can you upload MP3 to Google Play Music?
Unlock your music with Google Play

Google Play helps you bring your iTunes library to your Android devices. You can upload up to 50,000 of your songs from your computer to Google Play for free. Once you've uploaded your music, it's instantly available on the web and your Android phone or tablet.
I'll look at that some more, but I just tried to play the few songs that are on my phone now using Google Play Music and my phone told me Google Play Music no longer exists and has been replaced with YouTube Music. I was able to navigate using the Files app and find my songs, mixed in with all the ringtones and other audio files, and when I tapped one, it played, although I'm not sure which app was playing it. When I opened YouTube Music, there was no way to play songs on my phone that I could find and I didn't see any way to create playlists. I think a dedicated bluetooth mp3/wma player is the way to go.
 

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I'll look at that some more, but I just tried to play the few songs that are on my phone now using Google Play Music and my phone told me Google Play Music no longer exists and has been replaced with YouTube Music. I was able to navigate using the Files app and find my songs, mixed in with all the ringtones and other audio files, and when I tapped one, it played, although I'm not sure which app was playing it. When I opened YouTube Music, there was no way to play songs on my phone that I could find and I didn't see any way to create playlists. I think a dedicated bluetooth mp3/wma player is the way to go.
Have you tried Spotify?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm continuing to work through the music problem. I figured out how to play the music files on my phone through bluetooth. The sound quality is very good. However, there are still several issues to work through. First, I don't always have my phone with me in the car. When I go running at the park, for example, I don't like the extra weight and bulk of the phone with me and I don't want to leave it in the car where it could get stolen. Second, most of my music files are in WMA format which Android doesn't read or play. Third, even if I convert them, it's not easy transferring external files on and off the phone, which is something I do regularly with the USB stick as I get tired of some songs and add others. So I'm thinking I'll get a portable bluetooth mp3/wma player.
 

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I think I'm going to use my iPhone and Apple Music as the main source of music in the car. I set up the phone as the source for the car's Bluetooth Media Player. I can use car menus to navigate to different playlists and podcasts. And then use "Hey, Siri" to get any song / artist, etc. that I want. I might even keep doing this after CarPlay support comes — all I need from the phone is music, Apple radio, and podcasts.
 

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Do you have an older phone that you no longer use? There are numerous third party music apps that can turn an old phone into a music player that supports many formats, including MP3 and WMA. You would of course be limited to the available storage on that device, and want to put it in airplane mode, then just turn on Bluetooth.

FWIW, music transmitted by Bluetooth is encoded using Bluetooth compression which is agnostic to the compression used for the original music file. In other words, as long as the music app you choose supports the format of your music files, you should be able to use Bluetooth to play it back.

A corollary to this is if you use a standard audio cable from the phone to the AUX jack (if the XC40 has an AUX jack) you will get better sound quality, however you will loose the ability to use Bluetooth playback controls from the Infotainment system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just obtained a bluetooth media player (Oakcastle). I had no trouble loading all my songs on it. I should have tested it with one or two songs first, but instead I spent hours creating a long playlist, which is very cumbersome on the device. Then I tested it in the car. It recognized the car and vice versa, but when I tried to play music, it didn't come through. I went to the apps screen and pressed Bluetooth media device just as I did with my wife's iPod. Only the car player said I had to connect my device. I went back to the Volvo's bluetooth screen and it asked what services to allow, phone or media or both. I tried to uncheck phone and just select media, but it wouldn't let me. Instead it kept putting up a message saying to change settings on the "phone" to allow access to contacts. It's not a phone, of course. It didn't do this to the iPod Touch even though that's not a phone either. So far I have no workaround. I've tried everything I can think of. I may have wassted $40 and three hours. At least I didn't create the other two playlists I have. I can't use my phone or an iPod because neither plays WMA files which most of my music files are. I tried to convert all my wma files to mp3 on my PC but haven't been able to do that. There are hundreds of them. I tried Audacity, but it gave a warning that couldn't convert wma without me first installing some other program from an outside source. I clicked the link to that download that said it was no longer a valid site for downloads. This whole thing with Volvo infotainment is inexcusable in my opinion.

On a related note, when I put this problem up on the Facebook Volvo XC40 Recharge group, most people were helpful and sympathetic, but at least one poster acted like I was an idiot for thinking the USB posts could be used to import or play music. He said they were "clearly labeled" as charge ports. There is a lightning bolt and of course they are able to charge a phone or device, but the Volvo salesman, MikesCarInfo (reviewer), and the Volvo support specialist all thought it was tpoosible, so I don't think I was all that dense. Not only that, one of the two ports is circled in white, they other not. That has to mean something. I suspect that it is enabled to be two-way, i.e. receive data, but the software on the other end isn't ready yet. We can hope that's coming.
 

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I tried to uncheck phone and just select media, but it wouldn't let me.
What a pain. Maybe try 'Forgetting' all devices, then pairing your phone first, and be sure to uncheck 'Media' during the process. Then try pairing the music player, and uncheck phone in the process. They should be able to coexist and operate independently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I spent over half a day converting all my WMA files to mp3s and loaded some on my phone, so now I can play more. I want to put them into some kind of system, either different folders or playlists but haven 't figured out how to do that on my phone. I tried to use Google Play Music, but when I tried to open it, my phone told me it was no longer available and to try YouTube Music. It signed me up for a free trial. I don't want another paid streaming service. I already have one - Pandora.

Speaking of which, the printed material the Volvo salesman gave me (a color photocopy of a Volvo printed brochure), says on page 11 that the car has access to all the music apps in Google Play Store, and specifically lists Pandora as one, but when I tried to download and install it, the search function in Play store couldn't find it and instead displayed only Spotify. Volvo is clearly overpromising and underdelivering.
 

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I spent over half a day converting all my WMA files to mp3s and loaded some on my phone, so now I can play more. I want to put them into some kind of system, either different folders or playlists but haven 't figured out how to do that on my phone. I tried to use Google Play Music, but when I tried to open it, my phone told me it was no longer available and to try YouTube Music. It signed me up for a free trial. I don't want another paid streaming service. I already have one - Pandora.

Speaking of which, the printed material the Volvo salesman gave me (a color photocopy of a Volvo printed brochure), says on page 11 that the car has access to all the music apps in Google Play Store, and specifically lists Pandora as one, but when I tried to download and install it, the search function in Play store couldn't find it and instead displayed only Spotify. Volvo is clearly overpromising and underdelivering.

Sirius bought Pandora in 2019.
It is only available through Sirius which is not available from Volvo at this time.

You can stream Sirius through your phone and gain access to Pandora.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I installed Pandora on my phone and that works okay through bluetooth. It's better than nothing. I'd rather have my own files, since ~2/3 of them aren't available from Pandora. Pandora doesn't allow uploading your own music in the free, regular, or premium memberships. I believe if you upgrade to Pandora Radio you can do that. That still doesn't solve the problem of having music when I don't have my phone with me. If I wanted to go that route, Spotify would be a better choice since it is already installed in the car, but it still grates to have to pay a monthly fee to listen to music I've already paid for and downloaded, especially since I don't drive much. I'd be paying almost as much every time I play a song as I paid for the song originally.
 

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I run Spotify, through bluetooth, on my iphone and it seems to work fine. Apple car play was a hasssle having to plug in.
 
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