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Registered
2019 Forester Base CVT
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've read many posts but still cannot resolve a problem with playing MP3s from my thumb drive in our new 2019 Forester (Base). I have each album as a folder and all songs as files within that folder.

In my KIA Soul, it would play the contents of the first folder (or whichever one I scrolled to and picked) and then go to the next folder automatically and play those. And so on. Endless music. If I wanted to skip a folder/album, I could click for the playlist and it showed the current one which made it easy to just scroll to the next one.

With the Forester, it plays one folder and stops at the end. I can only go on to the next folder by selecting "Browse", then selecting "Folder", then scrolling through the entire list (starting at A with the first one), selecting that folder, selecting "Play All", and then it plays that one folder to the end and stops again. Frustrating.

I consider myself fairly computer competent for a 60-year-old-fart, but this one has me baffled. Maybe I have to organize the music differently on the drive??? Or is there an easy setting I missed in the manual???

I appreciate any help. Thank you!!
 

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2019 Forester Base CVT
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Sorry to double post, but no replies to my previous request in the last post and I have tried everything. ^^^

For those of you who use thumb drives to store your MP3, how do you have them organized? Or, is there a setting on the radio I'm missing?

On mine, I have about 60 folders (albums) containing 10-15 songs (files) each. In my KIA, it will continue playing from one folder to the next and to the next in an endless stream. Apparently this doesn't work in our '19 Subaru Forester (base model). In the Subaru, it stops at the end of each folder (album). I have to basically reset everything at the end of the album and pick another folder - takes about a minute of fidgeting. Ughhh!

I would appreciate your help. Thank you.

.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,153 Posts
Use an iPod classic instead. Much better as a music storage device for the head unit. I have a 30GB Gen 5 model and it works great. Indexing is quick (more or less at start up) and it resume playing as it should.
This ^^^^^^^^^^^ is it.

I use on old [10+ years old?] iPod nano - the 2nd gen? (about the size of a matchbook)... 16 gig, I think. Load it up and plug into the usb port in the console... Cycle through source on the Foz head unit til it finds it.

Create your own play lists on the iPod and iTunes. You can play based upon playlist or artist or albums.

I usually have 3 or 4 playlists [80s, Dance, Singers, 60s Motown, whatever] and can choose my music by mood. I want to belt out major fave songs? Create a playlist and - bam - it's carpool karaoke all day long. Oh - it's Christmas? Holiday classics vs new artists vs "A Very Special Christmas" volumes 1 through 4? Done.

The iPod is always indexed and ready to play within seconds of plugging it in or turning on the radio. And for the dj that I am, this rocks.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
I tried using a 64GB flash drive for music, and I could never get past “indexing files,” even after an hour or more of driving. 32GB is the limit given in the manual, and a bigger drive doesn’t appear to work.

I transferred the music files onto the flash drive from the music folders on my desktop machine. Most of them were ripped from CDs via iTunes, and most are not MP3. They all seem to play with no difficulty.

I have the files organized in folders first by artist or genre, then by album. The folder structure is no more than two deep.

If you have a need to have more than 32GB of music files loaded onto a single device, an iPod is a good solution. They are available with up to 160GB capacity, although that model goes for about $500. For $500, I can swap out a flash drive now and then.

My iPhone X, which has 256GB of onboard storage, handles music files very well (not too surprising, given that it’s basically an iPod with a radio), and manages them via iTunes. I can fill up any unused space with music, if I like. I’m still getting accustomed to the car (I’ve had it for two weeks), so that may be my go-to music solution. The car interface is at least as easy to use as the one on the phone itself, and I can use voice commands to select and play music.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
I have only a few days of experience with this, but so far, the player seems to "shuffle" by playing selections from two alternate folders, going from one to the other. Not a lot of variety there, but I can always create my own playlists.
 

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2015 Forester XT
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26 Posts
copwriter

Uhhhh $500 for a 160GB Ipod ? Where are you shopping, they can be had for about $100 on ebay, I'm about to throw mine up on ebay for $100 as I'm done w/this HK crapola in my 2015 FXT. I listen to a lot of music, over 10TB on my home drives. The usb sticks actually sound crisper than the ipod but there's drawbacks on size/make of the sticks. I've been listening to FLAC only for years, the only mp3 files I have ever needed have been for my 2015 FXT. Playing FLAC is standard in most new cars for the last 3 years or so, always works in my rental cars. Time to move on to a better double din head unit replacement so I can enjoy my uncompressed music collection, as well as a modern quick GUI, HK has and always will be a wallet busting dumpster fire upgrade.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
$500 is the cost of a new 160 GB iPod on Amazon. I would be hesitant to purchase a used one, especially if it had a mechanical hard drive. I've purchased and formatted these for consulting clients, and had several up and die on me.

I know FLAC is a purer, lossless format, but I have a hearing loss and would likely be unable to tell the difference. Besides, depending on the source of your music files (CDs, vinyl, downloaded in various formats and bitrates, etc.) the fidelity loss may have already been introduced into the equation.

From my perspective, the factory Harmon Kardon stock head unit is as good a car sound system as I have encountered. I'm sure there are better ones for purists, but I am not among those.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
Does anyone know how to create a playlist that will work on the USB drive? The owner’s manual states “m3u playlists are not compatible with the audio device.”
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
The newer iPods are just iPhones without cellular radios. You have to look very closely to tell the difference between an iPod and an iPhone.
 

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2019 Forester Base CVT
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Does anyone know how to create a playlist that will work on the USB drive? The owner’s manual states “m3u playlists are not compatible with the audio device.”
After some experimenting, I have come up with the following compromise.

I created 6 folders with general music genre - Classical, Christmas, Country, Pop/Rock, Jazz, Misc. In each of these large folders, I put in several albums as folders with song files. On the radio, I select
Media" and browse for folders and select one style. When opened, it gives me the option of "Play All". Then, I touch "Shuffle" in the lower LH corner and listen to an assortment of that style. When I want to listen to a different style, I go back to "Browse", then "Folder" and select a different folder.

I wish I could find an easy way to select a specific album or artist. Maybe after more experimenting.

.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
My music is arranged in folders by artist, then by album. I can play everything by one artist, or all of one album (skipping songs if I choose). The four options I have for playing music from a USB drive are "Songs," "Artist," "Album" and "Playlists." There is an option to use playlists, but I don't know how to create them.
 

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2019 Forester
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112 Posts
Hi. New to forum but have owned 2 foresters. Still driving my 2010 but looking at a 2019. I was at the dealer today and asked if could plug in a USB drive with music on it. They could not answer if it would play. I’m assuming from reading this post that you can play music off a USB drive which is what I like to do. I also have an apple nano that I could use if radio finds it. Does the radio list the artist and song on the screen if it’s on the USB drive?
 

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Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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247 Posts
@Drew1964 Yes. If you’re playing music from a USB drive, the display will show the title, artist, and sometimes the album. I assume this information comes from metadata encoded in the music file. I created my music lists with iTunes, which preserves the metadata.

Keep in mind that the max size USB drive you can use is 32GB. The head unit won’t read a larger drive.

There may be a way to create playlists that are subsets of the files on your USB drive, but I haven’t found a way to do it. The head unit will play all the songs in a folder, then start over. You have to switch the folders manually.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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538 Posts
My music is arranged in folders by artist, then by album. I can play everything by one artist, or all of one album (skipping songs if I choose). The four options I have for playing music from a USB drive are "Songs," "Artist," "Album" and "Playlists." There is an option to use playlists, but I don't know how to create them.
There should also be an option for folders. I put my playlists in separate folders. It then plays like any other album folder.

EDIT: I forgot the most important part. Choose the Folder option. Then it will play like a playlist.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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538 Posts
Hi. New to forum but have owned 2 foresters. Still driving my 2010 but looking at a 2019. I was at the dealer today and asked if could plug in a USB drive with music on it. They could not answer if it would play. I’m assuming from reading this post that you can play music off a USB drive which is what I like to do. I also have an apple nano that I could use if radio finds it. Does the radio list the artist and song on the screen if it’s on the USB drive?
Yes to USB drive up to 32GB. All my USB music shows up with Song/Artist/Album information. All songs have thumbnail pictures of album cover also. I have the HK head Unit. I have one USB with a lot of Folders with Album/Artist/Songs and a single playlist. The HU always breaks down the playlist to individual Albums and mixes them into the rest of the music when searching. It does not recognize the playlist folder when you choose Playlist option. It will play as a playlist if you choose the Folder option. You then can listen straight through or shuffle within the Folder/Playlist and stay within the "Folder".

I have yet get the HU to recognize any flac files or play Folder to next Folder in order. Shuffle will play from any folder for next song.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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33 Posts
I exported my iTunes library to a 64g thumb drive. Doing it this way the folder structure, album artwork, artist & genre metadata remains intact. No problem using a drive of this size except that it takes 7-10 minutes for all the music to load, but once loaded I have access to everything on the drive and sort, select, and shuffle play as needed.
 

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2019 Forester
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112 Posts
Also do any of you know who makes the base stereo and speakers. I have hertz speakers in my car now that I purchased aftermarket. I don’t know if they will fit in new Forester. I’m wondering if replacing stock speakers will have an overall sound improvement in stereo. I also have a sub woofer attached to back of rear seat in my old car. Was thinking of removing it before trade in if could use with new car but not familiar with connections on the head unit
 

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2019 Forester
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169 Posts
Can I just put all my music on a USB device (<32GB) - no folders and random play selections. Also is there just one of the USB ports that will play music or any? About to get my Forester and trying to prepare.
Thanks,
 
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