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Discussion Starter #1
I think this topic deserves its own thread -- we've been discussing it under the heading "Chevy's wireless plans are confusing" but it seems interesting enough to pursue as a topic in its own right.

Here's a little WinDoze app someone wrote to address exactly this problem by using prefabbed playlists:

https://www.codeproject.com/Articles/711100/MP-Playlist-creator-for-Opel-Ampera-Chevy-Volt

and here are some more elaborate workarounds, including hacking the Genre data in your mp3s to force useful playlist-like categories

https://gm-volt.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-41313.html

Re-reading the fine print in the owner's manual, I see that another (low tech!) option is to attach a sensible device like iPad to the aux 3.5mm port and play audio from it (but that's one more screen to deal with and no place to mount it).

My next fun project will be to try to get an Android tablet to pair with the car and see what can be done with Projection.
 

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Sounds like too much work, if you ask me.

To me, the simplest way is to attach another iDevice (maybe an iPod Touch (6th gen is the most current even though it's a bit old) since it's smaller and cheaper than an iPad) and do your MP3 and playlist management from iTunes for Windows/Mac. I wasn't a believer in the iTunes method until I got a click wheel (black and white) hard drive-based iPod in 2005. I used that until I upgraded to an 80 gig iPod w/video (aka 5th gen) which I used for ages until I gradually backed away from then began playing music from my iPhones and eventually some of it via streaming sources from my phone (e.g Spotify).

The bonus now is that I have a car w/CarPlay and that works fine w/my iPhone 8.

On iTunes for Windows, I'd created some playlists and many smart playlists (e.g. songs I rated 3+ stars that I hadn't heard in 2 weeks). IIRC, the "my top rated" (songs rated 4+ stars) smart playlist comes with iTunes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
mp3 playlist management

Well I am probably the only person in the world who hates iTunes... I much prefer open source players. So I'll just have to pay the price of my stubbornness :) and work harder at solving the mp3 challenge.
 

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Well I am probably the only person in the world who hates iTunes... I much prefer open source players. So I'll just have to pay the price of my stubbornness :) and work harder at solving the mp3 challenge.
You are not alone. I quickly dumped iTunes. I use mp3 all the time. I don't understand what the problem is. I just put what I want on the usb and listen. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have no problem reading the USB, it even has Folder view (though it flattens hierarchy which is kind of disconcerting), but it's just such a slow scroll. no "inertial" scrolling as with almost all modern tablets. I have a couple of hundred folders on the stick so it is slow work "scraping" through them.

I've found a simple app for OSX called Clementine that can generate playlists fairly easily (and honours folder view as well as MP3 ID info). So that's the next experiment, to generate some .m3u files and see how the car player likes those. VLC can also generate playlists.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Initial tests of playlists are good. I created playlists with Clementine (pretty substantial ones too) so now with Random Play I have my own virtual radio stations (Good Riddance Sirius!). Relative file paths seem to work fine and I've had no problem with filenames so far (even with special chars in them). My stick is formatted FAT32 and that seems compatible.

Only glitch is it can take a while for the car player to absorb updates to the USB stick. I get an "updating" sort of message and a long pause after modifying the contents, before it will play. I have about 30 GB on my stick. I don't think I'd want to try feeding it more than that on one device. Haven't figure out quite where the Updating delay comes in -- is it the length of the playlist or the total number of files on the device? -- but it's only a few seconds really, so not to worry about.
 

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Initial tests of playlists are good. I created playlists with Clementine (pretty substantial ones too) so now with Random Play I have my own virtual radio stations (Good Riddance Sirius!). Relative file paths seem to work fine and I've had no problem with filenames so far (even with special chars in them). My stick is formatted FAT32 and that seems compatible.

Only glitch is it can take a while for the car player to absorb updates to the USB stick. I get an "updating" sort of message and a long pause after modifying the contents, before it will play. I have about 30 GB on my stick. I don't think I'd want to try feeding it more than that on one device. Haven't figure out quite where the Updating delay comes in -- is it the length of the playlist or the total number of files on the device? -- but it's only a few seconds really, so not to worry about.

The Bolt can't index more than 5000 files on a USB stick. My 40G of music is spread over three sticks, by alpha of artist. If you try to use more than 5000 files, it takes an exceptionally long time to come up, and you'll only get 5000 of the files on the stick. I think it's the first 5000 by alpha of artist.:eek:
 

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Can you provide a snippet of the .m3u file? One that you know works with the Bolt's MP3 player. (I tried using Clementine but it crashes and burn on Mojave.) I'm hoping an example will provide enough info that I can work around the issue.
 

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I have no problem reading the USB, it even has Folder view (though it flattens hierarchy which is kind of disconcerting), but it's just such a slow scroll. no "inertial" scrolling as with almost all modern tablets. I have a couple of hundred folders on the stick so it is slow work "scraping" through them.
I had that problem too. My solution is to use the audio screen on the DIC to browse through the list. When you hold the buttons down to scroll it switches in about 2 seconds to an alphabetic indexed scroll mode which is pretty quick to jump around my collection.
 
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