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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I've got a SE on order. I was going out to purchase an external USB hard drive from Maplin a I have 1000's of albums on my computer.

Does anyone know if theirs any capacity limit on the hard drive that the MMI will accept. I've ordered the USB adapter via the dealer. I just don't want to go out and buy one that's too large for the car to read.


Any help...will be of great assistance.
 

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I can't find any limitations published or recorded anywhere, but as an itinerant IT guy I suggest sticking to below 500GB. Above that size there are various format or sector length limitations you could theoretically come across, so best to be safe.

Oh, and stick to recognised brands (Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba etc.) as some of the cheapies can have less well-developed interfaces.

I'll be interested to hear if anyone else can add to this.

UPDATE: I've just scanned through Maplin's website and there's an ideal unit there...

http://www.maplin.co.uk/320gb-intenso-memory-station-portable-external-hard-drive-black-476967

....it's a web-only item but well worth ordering it.


Edited by: Gromit
 

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Depending on what you have at home you might want to consider an ipod. I had a 60 gb attached and more recently swapped that for a used 160gb one from ebay. No problems creating playlists etc and using them in the car, the ipod even lights up with an audi logo on it when connected. I keep a set of headphones next to it so on occasion so i can take it with me, like i say though it depends on what you have at home as not everybody uses itunes.
 

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Oh and you will get a sore hand scrolling through hundreds of albums using the dial, i think i suffer from too much choice
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really wanted to use a Hard Drive rather than an iPod as its so much easier for me to put music onto, rather than having another library in iTunes.
 

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For what it's worth, I shall be using SD cards for my music. I don't do iPods, iTunes, iPhones (or even iRoning, according to Mrs G) and using SD 16 or 32GB cards means that I can keep the number of albums/tracks on each individual card down to a manageable level where I won't be afeared for my wrist due to scrolling too much and keep a different card for each genre.

Also, SD cards are much more durable than ipods or ext. HDDs and take up so little space that storage is never a problem. A matchbox full of 32GB cards would give me the same storage space as a portable HDD at a fraction of the physical size - they're harder to damage, too.

That's just my personal take on things, but I thought some of you might possibly find it useful.
 

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I'm with Gromit on this (including the iRoning
), SD cards are the easiest option, easy to use, nice and compact to store and no worries about expensive equipment in the car that could get damaged or stolen.
 

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Del said:
I'm with Gromit on this (including the iRoning
), SD cards are the easiest option, easy to use, nice and compact to store and no worries about expensive equipment in the car that could get damaged or stolen.
+1
 

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I'll have to back track on this, I do have an iPhone but it has never been connected to the car via a cable and I have never tried to play any music from it in the car, can't see the point when SD cards are so easy.
 

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Allow me to back track a bit too, before my car arrived i bought a 32Gb card to put all my music on. I spent ages copying music onto it then it slipped down the back of the sofa into the actual sofa. I can still feel it in my sofa but i have no way of getting it out


I buy a lot of music, got an ipad and a mac but no iphone anymore. This is mainly why i still use itunes for all my music. I'm also a bit guilty of listening to podcasts in the car, i must be getting older

 

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I use all types!
bought an old 64Gb iPod touch (4th Generation, without a camera..?) and that stays in the car apart from syncing with iTunes. Bonus is that my driveway is within my house wifi range, so the iPod updates podcasts etc when parked up overnight!
SD Cards I use for music I'm unsure about, or want to copy to the Jukebox Hard Drive - things I don't necessarily want to clog my iTunes library with (Daughter's choice of tunes usually!)
 

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Agree with the comments re using SD cards being the simpler option. Even on a 32GB SD card you start to struggle with navigating through all the folders etc. to find what you are after.
I have also been quite happy with the built in hard drive storage. Sure it is only 20GB, but it does mean that you can use things like the cover-flow interface and Audi voice recognition to navigate and find stuff. Downside is that it doesn't support custom playlists, but the upside is that it automatically organises everything for you, creates auto built-in playlists (based on track ratings etc. if you have maintained them in iTunes or similar) and most importantly (for me) it will let you play stuff using proper random across all your music. Unfortunately for SD card and USB, the random is confined to only the current folder for some stupid reason.

Anyway, in response to the original question regarding maximum capacity for a USB device, the MMI system will only read FAT or FAT32 filesystems. Therefore you will face a technical limit of 2TB per partition when using FAT32 (you wouldn't bother using FAT). The MMI system will also support a maximum of 4 partitions though so technically if one existed you could use an 8TB drive split into 4 partitions. The issue with all of this though is that the MMI track navigation system is simply not up to the task of dealing with huge volumes of media - in my opinion anyway. It is just too slow and cumbersome to navigate quickly between folders/files.
You also have these other limitations to consider (from pg. 20 of the MMI manual). From USB, the MMI system will handle a maximum of 5000 files per directory and a maximum of 1000 files per playlist. Audi also note that large numbers of files will affect performance of the system when reading the folder structures and file lists (although personally I haven't really noticed this yet).
Also the maximum bitrate for audio is 320kbit/sec, and although the system will play variable bitrate files (VBR), the time remaining will not calculate correctly... so if you have a choice i would suggest sticking with constant bitrate (CBR) encoding.
Embedded album artwork does show up if they are GIF, JPEG or PNG format and no larger than 800x800px in size.
Back to the SD/HDD conversation, I really would suggest using SD cards (as per other recommendations here) or the internal hard drive. The MMI cable interface is located in the most ridiculous location (almost smack-bang in the middle bottom of the centre console) and so by the time you have the cable plugged in and the hard drive in there you end up with no real useful room for anything else, and one thing the Q3 is already sorely lacking (IMO) is front cabin storage.
Cheers, Ivan.
 

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Well explained, Ivan. Just to add a footnote to it - as I'm still waiting for my Q3 (not long now) I haven't been able to read the MMI manual yet.

If you're buying an external HDD to use in the Q3, be careful to go for one that is FAT32 formatted - quite a few of them now (Samsung in particular) are NTFS formatted and would therefore need re-formatting as FAT32 devices before the MMI will recognise them.
 

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Tickton tigers comment very funny. But just made me realise I haven't put a cd into a car for around 3 yrs now!
 

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ticktontiger said:
What are you all on about?

Please can you tell me which hole I fit my cassette tapes into.
That would be the external round hole just under the rear bumper, I believe you have a choice of 2
 
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