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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coming from a 2015 mazda 3 and have always used usb sticks for music.

I have two 16gb sticks which were formatted etc and have all my music on.

I have put them in my passat and they seem to half work, in that some music shows up and others (most) do not.

I know I could use carplay and spotify but I would also like to have my collection to play without having to plug in my phone everytime.

Just checking the format of many of my music files and they are M4A....am I right in guessing that they are not compatible?
 

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You don't say what media player device is fitted to your Passat, but I'm guessing from it being a 2018 model that it may be one of the following;

Composition Media (Gen2GP, MQB)
Discover Media (Gen2GP, MQB)


As well as usb ports, does your car have SD card slots and/or a CD player ?

According to the VW manual for the above players, the following media and audio file formats, including m4a, should be supported;

Requirements for playing audio files
Applicable to SD memory cards and USB storage media with the FAT16, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS
file systems:
—MP3 files (.mp3) with bit rates of between 32 and 320 kbit/s or with variable bit rate.
—WMA files (.wma) up to 10 mono/stereo and up to 768 kbit/s without copy protection.
—WAV files (.wav) (64 – 1,411 kbit/s).
—OGG-Vorbis files (.ogg) (32 – 576 kbit/s).
—FLAC files (.flac) (max. 96 kHz).
—AAC files (.m4a, .m4b, .mp4, .aac) (16 – 400 kbit/s).
—Playlists in M3U, M3U8, PLS, ASX and WPL formats.
—Playlists no larger than 20 kB and containing no more than 1,000 entries.
—Max. 32 playlists on one data medium.
—Max. 1000 folders and max. 30000 files on a data medium.
—Maximum size of 4 GB for a single file using the FAT32 file system.

You say some music 'shows up' and some doesn't. Are you sure they are all m4a files ?

I'm assuming that the music which 'shows up' actually plays ok.

For the ones which don't 'show up', can you 'see' any of the artist/album/tracks details listed in the car player ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes sorry it is the discover gen 2 that I have.
It has a CD player, 2 x USB and an SD card.

So far I have actually only used the USB slot in the centre armrest.
I need to test the USB in the glovebox, the SD card slot is also in the glovebox but I don't have an SD card to test, although imagine that it should work in the same way as a USB stick?

The actual albums/artist show up but when I select to play them nothing happens.
Others work fine as play as normal.

I have folders set up as artist - then albums in sub folders.
 

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How did you compile the music and copy it to the usb sticks ? I would guess you used a PC or Mac and some software to rip CDs.

OK - silly question ... just to eliminate any problem with the usb sticks themselves, have you tried plugging them in to another device and playing these problem albums/tracks elsewhere other than in your Passat, eg do you still have your Mazda or a computer to try ?

Also, if you have a spare usb stick (or perhaps an SD card from a camera or even a smartphone + an adapter), format the device and then copy a sample of the problem albums/tracks and some which work in the Passat and check if the problem tracks will play from this new device - copy the files from your existing usb sticks rather than from any masters you have on a computer.

Lastly, if that still doesn't help then zip up the sample files and send the zip file to me as an attachment to a PM and I'll try them in my car and check for other issues.

Note: the forum doesn't support uploading zip files, so append .pdf to the file type extension (eg sample.zip.pdf or samp.7z.pdf).
 

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Update - MPEG-4 audio files with M4A file extension usually contain digital audio streams encoded with AAC or ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) compression standards.

I'm guessing that your files might be ALAC, which is not supported on your Passat. The newer Mib3 infotainment system supports both AAC and ALAC, but the Mib2 only supports AAC.

Some media players include the ability to convert ALAC to other formats (eg mp3), so you could do that and copy the output files to your usb stick(s) but it could be a lengthy process.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for your help Impala.
I had a bit of time yesterday to check over things. It would seem that one of the USB ports (under the climate controls) is only for charging (and I hope carplay but not tried yet) and the other USB in the armrest is for data transfer.
So I have ordered a 32GB SD card.
I have also noticed that the tracks that did not play are in fact m4p not m4a.
A lot of my music is donkeys years old from back when I had an ipod and it seems that these tracks/files must have been the one`s that I purchased from I-Tunes so they must be encrypted. Odd that they worked in the Mazda though!
 

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According to the VW info I posted above (#2), mp4 audio files should be supported. I assume that is what you meant rather than m4p.

I'm afraid I know nothing about Mazda players and iTunes but I think there are T-Roc owners who have posted on this forum and able to play tracks they downloaded from iTunes. Perhaps some will add some into to this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They are M4P files. Apparently it's an apple thing! It seems they used to encrypt them to stop people copying/using them outside of their chosen software like itunes/quicktime. I don't think they do it anymore and the only way to convert them outside of ripping a cd is to pay to upgrade your account.

I'd forgotten to be honest as goes back to the days when I used to use itunes and an ipod.
 
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