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Discussion Starter #1
2016 Premium audio unit, JBL system but the head unit should be the same as the regular Premium unit.

Is anyone using file playback from a thumb drive? My previous JBL system had "folder random" playback and even artist or album random modes. This unit seems to only offer file random from within the current folder.

Has anyone managed to get this to play random tracks from multiple folders? I'd really rather not have to completely restructure 5000 tracks on my drive. :frown
 

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Well this gets even worse. The system doesn't seem to remember what it was doing when you shut the car off. It'll finish playing the file it was on when you start it back up, but then default back to playing all files in order afterwards. Very odd and almost useless as a media player. Almost seems to have a mind of its own.
 

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Yes, the USB playback is hit or miss. As an overall media center, it lacks features and conveniences of less expensive aftermarket head units. I have resorted to using my Nexus 7 tablet connected via Bluetooth for playing podcasts and media. Not what I expected from a Premium Audio experience in a car, especially for the price paid. And considering random re-boots on 3 units so far.

And since it is based on Android, I would hope one day that Toyota would open up the system to allow loading a complete Android OS. This would allow the use of many options to give a richer experience. I will not hold my breath however.
 

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Yes, the USB playback is hit or miss. As an overall media center, it lacks features and conveniences of less expensive aftermarket head units. I have resorted to using my Nexus 7 tablet connected via Bluetooth for playing podcasts and media. Not what I expected from a Premium Audio experience in a car, especially for the price paid. And considering random re-boots on 3 units so far.

And since it is based on Android, I would hope one day that Toyota would open up the system to allow loading a complete Android OS. This would allow the use of many options to give a richer experience. I will not hold my breath however.
Well the one I had in my '13 Prius was great, (7" JBL system), had folder browsing as well as tagged browsing for artist/album. This one does display embedded artwork, but its not much of a consolation.
 

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it does show album artwork based on the Gracenote database, but I tried my thumb drive in my 16 limited with the middle of the line radio ( not the JBL) and I thought the file system sucked. My 13 Highlander with a lower level radio has a better system to get through the directory
 

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There seem to be a few threads which address this issue.

I was taken aback by not being able to play mp3s on a USB drive by folder. I have had the bulk (maybe just over hald) of my MP3s around since the 90s. The majority of them don't even seem to have metadata; they just have filenames.

Filenames and grouped folders has worked for me all these years. It works on a Windows PC, using Media Player Classic. It works on Android, using either MortPlayer or the stock Google Music Player.

It works on every rental car I have had with USB.

Finally, I upgrade to having native USB support with my brand new Rav4, but I find I cannot browse by folder at all. I have over 2000 files separated into over 100 folders on my drive. Most of these folders are albums. Yet, I cannot play albums because I have not encoded the metadata to the files.

My 2007 Rav4 could play MP3 CDs. It would start in the first folder and play sequentially through the files, from folder to folder. My 2016 Rav4 has no CD player at all.

I've been doing a little reading. Perhaps I could download a program such as MediaMonkey to encode all my files with tags that will make them more useful in my Rav4. Yet, it seems like an awful lot of work. Is there something I'm missing here?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Without tags you won't get anywhere. But there is software that can look up meta data for you, though I haven't used any.

I finally found a way to get true random file playback that's remembered. You put the browser into "song" mode then select "random" which is at the top of the song list. This function is different from the random button on the display interface.

You get a sort of random album function if you just use that random button on the interface.

None of this works till the system has had time to index every file. Once this is done the next time you start the car some of that indexing is remembered and the time needed is about 1/2 as much. If you make the smallest change to the drive it has to be completely re-indexed. I have about 5600 files on my drive, roughly 45GB, it takes about 5-6 min to fully index them the first time, then 2-3 min after that.

I won't swear to it, but I think I get a more true random file playback if all files are in the root of the drive. But I still do get random files if they are in folders too.
 
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