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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I looked into Spotify as an option, but it won't help. I would still have no reliable way to play my music. Spotify allows playing local files, or so I read in the help sections online, but those files must reside on the local device. Right now there is no way to put them in the Volvo's memory. I would have to get a paid Spotify account and then play them from my phone. My phone already has some of the files on it, and I can play them via bluetooth, but I want to be able to play them with having to bring my phone. I've also read that Spotify forgets or deletes all the local files every time it updates the version. I go a lot of places without my phone. I've been able to play recorded music in my cars for decades without needing any more than the recording media, from tapes to CDs to USB. This is the first car I've seen in 40 years or so that can't play music on its own. This is ridiculous.
 

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Has anyone tried a powered mp3 player? I have an old one(not Apple) I keep in my equinox. It stays plugged in and when it is turned on it is recognized and the equinox starts playing the songs via what it calls "play from device" maybe a stick won't work but an mp3 player will?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Has anyone tried a powered mp3 player? I have an old one(not Apple) I keep in my equinox. It stays plugged in and when it is turned on it is recognized and the equinox starts playing the songs via what it calls "play from device" maybe a stick won't work but an mp3 player will?
Yes, I bought one to use with the Volvo. The mp3 player recognized the car via bluetooth and the car recognized that a device was trying to connect, but it kept displaying an error message "unable to connect due to invalid code" or words to that effect. It does recognize my wife's iPod, though.
 

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Yes, I bought one to use with the Volvo. The mp3 player recognized the car via bluetooth and the car recognized that a device was trying to connect, but it kept displaying an error message "unable to connect due to invalid code" or words to that effect. It does recognize my wife's iPod, though.
I should clarify, one that plugs in via USB and can support files being read from it. Try plugging it right into the USB of the car and see if there's any file read like that through the mp3 player. Might not work with a USB stick since it relies on the USB drive to turn it on? Either way I'll be bringing mine with to try this at my dealer next month.

Does the wife's iPod work when directly plugged in and not relying on Bluetooth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I didn't try plugging my wife's iPod in. I've solved my problem mostly by downloading an app for my phone called Poweramp that allows me to set up playlists and doesn't require a monthly streaming fee. I've copied my music files onto my phone and will just rely on Bluetooth. I think eventually Volvo/Google will enable that white circled USB port for reading, not just charging.
 

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I have just taken delivery (3 days ago) of a leased P8 and I too am astonished at the inability to play my music mp3s. I don't want to pay a monthly charge for Spotify nor for a premium membership of YouTube Music (which apparently allows one to upload): I want to be able to play the music I own and love rather than listen to choices made by software which claims to know my likes. I also do not want to clutter my phone with lots of music or even apps: I am a product of the 20th Century and use my phone to make and receive calls, send texts, and take photographs when I don't have my camera with me. I have tried 2 bluetooth mp3 players but the car recognised neither, and I am reluctant to spend more money without knowing that whatever I buy will work. Surely there must be some way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I'm with you 100%, of course, but I suggest you give Poweramp a try. It only costs 5 or 6 bucks, doesn't bug you with ads, and has no monthly fee. It does require transferring your music to your phone and setting up playlists, which is a bit of a pain, but it's one time only. I recommend you use a stylus instead of a finger because there's a lot of tapping small boxes. The app is surprisingly sophisticated about finding all music files, organizing them as you like, shuffling in several ways (e.g. by album or folder) or not at all, etc.
 

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I have just taken delivery (3 days ago) of a leased P8 and I too am astonished at the inability to play my music mp3s. I don't want to pay a monthly charge for Spotify nor for a premium membership of YouTube Music (which apparently allows one to upload): I want to be able to play the music I own and love rather than listen to choices made by software which claims to know my likes. I also do not want to clutter my phone with lots of music or even apps: I am a product of the 20th Century and use my phone to make and receive calls, send texts, and take photographs when I don't have my camera with me. I have tried 2 bluetooth mp3 players but the car recognised neither, and I am reluctant to spend more money without knowing that whatever I buy will work. Surely there must be some way!
I agree - very surprising they don't support browsing/playing files on a generic USB storage device. Most every car has had this for the last 15 years.

I'm currently experimenting with the YouTube Music app on my XC40 P8 as an alternative. You can upload your entire MP3 collection to your private YouTube (Google) account, up to 100,000 songs. You can then stream your own music over the internet, using a web browser or the YouTube Music app. No subscription or fee required to play YOUR music, although they will try to upsell you to a monthly subscription of THEIR music.

So far its working. I can browse & play all of my MP3 artists/albums/songs on the XC40 touchscreen, complete with album art and basic tags. So far I haven't yet determined to what extent you can use Voice commands to control it.
 

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I have a feeling that they have moved forward and made the assumption that everyone has a iPhone android or a blue tooth enabled MP3 player.

So much technology has been abandoned 8 track. Cassette tapes. CDs and nobody is annoyed when they are not present but it seems they jumped the gun on usb sticks and abandoned them too early. Oddly I assume it would take almost no effort to have the USB port ( the white one ) be able to hold a usb stick the system could play.

Are there any other cars using android/google center boxes that do play usb sticks?

Good luck in getting it working.
 

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Thanks to Rat and BainbridgeIsland for the suggestions and SeattleCat for the wishes. I'll try YouTube Music first as I can upload at my desktop PC rather than fiddle around on the small screen on my phone. Uploading all my music may take a while!
 

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My suggestion would be to find the cheapest android phone you can find with expandable memory (personal suggestion would be motorola g play for usb c); no need to add cell phone service for it. Add a micro SD to fit everything you want, transfer everything to the micro sd, download an mp3/wma player of your choice, then use it as a bluetooth device. Bonuses:
  • If you use it to walk/run/bike, you can add a gps running app
  • You now have a backup phone if your primary cell phone breaks for some reason.
Frankly, I think the reality is that your use case isn't one the engineers account for anymore, unfortunately.
 

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My suggestion would be to find the cheapest android phone you can find with expandable memory (personal suggestion would be motorola g play for usb c); no need to add cell phone service for it. Add a micro SD to fit everything you want, transfer everything to the micro sd, download an mp3/wma player of your choice, then use it as a bluetooth device.
Thanks, AtlantaXC40Recharge, for that suggestion. I had in fact considered going down that route but thought I would give YouTube Music a try first. I have in fact uploaded about 400 tracks today and can access them in the car. Only problem is creating a playlist which I can shuffle as there doesn't appear to be any way to add multiple tracks to a playlist in YouTube (would you believe?) so I will need to plod on adding them manually while I have nothing else to be getting on with.
 

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it seems they jumped the gun on usb sticks and abandoned them too early. Oddly I assume it would take almost no effort to have the USB port ( the white one ) be able to hold a usb stick the system could play.
I wouldn't assume they've abandoned USB. More likely - since this is a brand-new operating system - nobody has yet released a device driver & app for USB media. Developers' first priority always lies with apps that support their revenue-generating subscription platforms - and that's what we're seeing so far. They'll certainly need USB device drivers for the promised Apple CarPlay support, and that may be what media app developers are waiting for.

Are there any other cars using android/google center boxes that do play usb sticks?
The only 2 shipping cars using AAOS so far are Polestar2 and XC40 P8.

Note: Google has very confusing terminology here:

Android Auto: there are hundreds of cars that support "Android Auto". This is an APP that lets your Android phone project its apps onto your car's infotainment system. Basically lets your car function as an external touchscreen monitor for your phone. But ALL the user apps really run on the PHONE. This is exactly like Apple's CarPlay app.

Android Automative Operating System (AAOS): only 2 cars using this so far (Polestar2 & Volvo P8). But lots of major manufacturers have announced future support for this (Ford, GM, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubushi, etc). This is a full-blown OPERATING SYSTEM that runs apps natively on your car's computer. It doesn't require a phone at all. But it doesn't (yet) have support for USB Media.
 

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BTW - here’s a nice in-depth review of Google’s Android Automative OS. Reviewed on a Polestar2, so lots of cosmetic differences from our P8s - but the same basic underpinnings. Cool to see how much promise this platform has; sad to see just how much work is still left to do:

 

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When I get to the artist screen on media I have to scroll through all the artists by hand. Is there a way to jump to a letter? This is a pitiful ui for 2021 when we have thousands of artists. Also safety issue making us scroll and look …


I tried saying a letter. I chose m as was heading to Marillion. In reply the system said you rock. Nice but totally not helpful.


Help me control my big list please.
 

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When I get to the artist screen on media I have to scroll through all the artists by hand. Is there a way to jump to a letter? This is a pitiful ui for 2021 when we have thousands of artists. Also safety issue making us scroll and look …


I tried saying a letter. I chose m as was heading to Marillion. In reply the system said you rock. Nice but totally not helpful.


Help me control my big list please.
Agree. I like that YouTube Music lets me stream my own MP3 files - but the UI experience is horrendous. With a large collection it will only be usable if I can figure out some way to use voice commands.
 
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