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Discussion Starter #1
I've done my best to Google and it appears GM doesn't want to enable .flac playback. Is this a technology limitation of USB 2.0 or more of a copyright issue? Also it does seem kinda cheap of GM not to have USB 3 on these cars. I just googled it and USB 3 has been around since 2008 ... 3.1 since 2013...
 

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I'd say it seems odd but there are enough oddities about the Bolt that it almost seems normal :).

As far as I know Flac is open source and license free. You just have pay someone to implement it or buy an implementation. Even apple is now starting to support Flac. I can't imagine Usb 2.0 can't support that data rate. Just curious, are you just plugging in a USB stick and expecting to be able to play the music from it? I know that works for MP3 (which isn't free!), but I've always found it a huge pain to navigate music libraries that way. You may want to buy a cheap Android phone for $50 and use Android Auto (if you don't mind Google tracking your every move). I tried it and Android Auto works without a cell contract.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a dedicated sony mp3 player I use. I was hoping to avoid additional conversion to mp3 or convert from digital to analog via aux port. I was very surprised the car couldn't do this.
 

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>> it appears GM doesn't want to enable .flac playback.
What?

I don't think GM built the infotainment system. LG did.
I would suspect the LG infotainment team decided that .mp3's were of such superior quality over XM, FM, AM and the fact the people are driving a car, that they didn't need the ultimate in High Fidelity Playback.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
>> it appears GM doesn't want to enable .flac playback.
What?

I don't think GM built the infotainment system. LG did.
I would suspect the LG infotainment team decided that .mp3's were of such superior quality over XM, FM, AM and the fact the people are driving a car, that they didn't need the ultimate in High Fidelity Playback.
Well to make a counter argument against Your points. #1 . Apparently other GM cars also lack the ability to play flac files. I found this out when googling the issue.
#2 . Some people DO want to maximize their experiences in a $40k+ car. I've seen lively discussions here about even the Bose system not being good enough and car stereo upgrades (some spending thousands beyond what they have with the stock stereo system).
#3 . Yes although its still just a car some people are spending more time in it when the weather is bad and it's parked but slow charging. Even dc fast charging can take an hour of Your time. Since there is no road noise while charging that seems the perfect chance to listen to higher quality flac files.
 

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Well to make a counter argument against Your points. #1 . Apparently other GM cars also lack the ability to play flac files. I found this out when googling the issue.
#2 . Some people DO want to maximize their experiences in a $40k+ car. I've seen lively discussions here about even the Bose system not being good enough and car stereo upgrades (some spending thousands beyond what they have with the stock stereo system).
#3 . Yes although its still just a car some people are spending more time in it when the weather is bad and it's parked but slow charging. Even dc fast charging can take an hour of Your time. Since there is no road noise while charging that seems the perfect chance to listen to higher quality flac files.
I'll add another reason to support flac. Many of us keep all our music on our phones and stream it into whatever system we happen to be using, car or home stereo or high quality headphones. Having to maintain multiple formats of data to support different locations is pretty last century. While M4P (as used by iTunes) is better than mp3, it pretty easy to hear compression artifacts when using headphones - and I have old ears with a bit of tinnitus.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another disappointment... I bought a 256gb micro SD card to have plenty of room in the future for music. I put 55 GB on it. I can play music through aux. When I try USB it won't recognize it. I guess max limit is probably 128gb .
 

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i'm sure LG built it to whatever specs GM provided. and i'm sure GM didn't care about flac because it's a niche codec and only audio nerds care about it, so why bother?
 

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i'm sure LG built it to whatever specs GM provided. and i'm sure GM didn't care about flac because it's a niche codec and only audio nerds care about it, so why bother?
You'll have to buy the Buick-badged vehicle for it to support flac ... :D
 

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I think they realized there's a VERY small number of people who are interested in FLAC for playback, heck most people don't even know what FLAC is or that MP3 is a lossy file format (or what that even means).

I would be surprised if many people, even self-described audiophiles, would be able to differentiate a song played from FLAC from a song played from a high bitrate MP3 when you're listening over car stereo speakers even with the Bose upgrade.

Personally I keep all my music archive in FLAC but when I am moving it to my phone or another player I covert it to high quality MP3 first. I know I can't tell the difference even with $300 headphones my audiophile son has and while flash memory is cheap it's not so cheap that I need to spend 2-3 times as much for a flash drive or microSD card that can hold the same amount of songs in FLAC.
 

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I think they realized there's a VERY small number of people who are interested in FLAC for playback, heck most people don't even know what FLAC is or that MP3 is a lossy file format (or what that even means).

I would be surprised if many people, even self-described audiophiles, would be able to differentiate a song played from FLAC from a song played from a high bitrate MP3 when you're listening over car stereo speakers even with the Bose upgrade.

Personally I keep all my music archive in FLAC but when I am moving it to my phone or another player I covert it to high quality MP3 first. I know I can't tell the difference even with $300 headphones my audiophile son has and while flash memory is cheap it's not so cheap that I need to spend 2-3 times as much for a flash drive or microSD card that can hold the same amount of songs in FLAC.
Sitting in your parked car with expensive headphone listening to very high quality recording may be an excuse to request FLAC formatted audio.
For the other 100% of us, we are just driving our cars with the windows down and the music cranking!
The Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Eagles, all sound the same to me on the way to work regardless of FLAC or MP3 format.
Multiple tests have shown it's just music. All recorded music, regardless of recording format or medium will sound very different than a live performance.
Vinyl records have a built in bump at the low end due to vinyls in-ability to replay low frequencies (drums). Many of us have grown to love the vinyl sound and hate CD's although they actually produce a better reproduction of the recorded material.
MP3 files can produce audio that is almost imperceptible to FLAC. Why waste the time? Because you can?
 

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MP3 files can produce audio that is almost imperceptible to FLAC. Why waste the time? Because you can?
"Can produce" and "does produce" are very different things. There is a lot of music the MP3 compresses well. There is some music that does not compress well. As an example of the latter, I listen to a lot of jazz and if you had ever heard vibraphone music compressed with MP3 I think you would understand. It just doesn't work. I find it unlistenable. I also listen to a lot of classical and for the most part that works pretty well with MP3 (for my old ears at least). It really depends on the music and to some extent on the compression settings, which it pretty much takes a sound engineer to sort out. Hearing the difference between mp3 and uncompressed music isn't some sort of mystical voodoo. Lossy compression artifacts are very real. The degradation varies a lot from being virtually imperceptible to extremely annoying.

If someone wants FLAC it's perfectly reasonable to ask for it. They may will be hearing thing you and I can't. I'd don't understand all objections.
 

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Sitting in your parked car with expensive headphone listening to very high quality recording may be an excuse to request FLAC formatted audio.
For the other 100% of us, we are just driving our cars with the windows down and the music cranking!
The Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Eagles, all sound the same to me on the way to work regardless of FLAC or MP3 format.
Multiple tests have shown it's just music. All recorded music, regardless of recording format or medium will sound very different than a live performance.
Vinyl records have a built in bump at the low end due to vinyls in-ability to replay low frequencies (drums). Many of us have grown to love the vinyl sound and hate CD's although they actually produce a better reproduction of the recorded material.
MP3 files can produce audio that is almost imperceptible to FLAC. Why waste the time? Because you can?
Because its a pain the the butt to convert from flac your collection. Just like if I said to you your car only accepts .wmv and your collestion was mp3's. All my files are flac, its a lossless format. I have Planar headphones and expensive dac and headphone amp while I listen at my PC. so mp3's are not my thing normally. If one saves the file in a lossless format like flac, "everything" is there that was there. If you compress files to mp3, you can never get back what you lost period, yet one can always compress as one needs to. And yes if you are playing it on your premium bolt bose system driving down the road with the windows open, it dont matter.
 

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I'll add another reason to support flac. Many of us keep all our music on our phones and stream it into whatever system we happen to be using, car or home stereo or high quality headphones. Having to maintain multiple formats of data to support different locations is pretty last century. While M4P (as used by iTunes) is better than mp3, it pretty easy to hear compression artifacts when using headphones - and I have old ears with a bit of tinnitus.
if you're streaming flac over bluetooth, you're just wasting your time. bluetooth is pretty terrible for audio.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'll add another reason to support flac. Many of us keep all our music on our phones and stream it into whatever system we happen to be using, car or home stereo or high quality headphones. Having to maintain multiple formats of data to support different locations is pretty last century. While M4P (as used by iTunes) is better than mp3, it pretty easy to hear compression artifacts when using headphones - and I have old ears with a bit of tinnitus.
if you're streaming flac over bluetooth, you're just wasting your time. bluetooth is pretty terrible for audio.
But it looks like with android auto it uses USB connection to play audio- Bluetooth is for hands free calls...
https://support.google.com/androidauto/forum/AAAA6SY52nIs5RIQpqOqKI/?hl=en
 

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Now I'm my mother's tech support. After using flac for years, and encoding the same song to mp3 v0 and flac then listeng to both, the mpe just sounded lifeless and flat.

Now I don't use a chevy bolt. I am a frequent passenger in my mothers 2018 chevy sonic and the manual shows what formats are supported (on page 147) And flac is listed as a supported format.
Mp3s are recognized just fine but not flac.
 
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