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 FAQ #89
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Format a Cd to play MP3 files in my C4 (MP3 compatible) Headunit and show track info
OK we have 3 options. I used Option 1 in Widows XP and get scrolling title and artist as shown in the Video. It does take time to create a playlist, then the mp3 files then burning the disc, lots of coffee is required

Option 1:

Baby Mac wrote ...

1. Using the PLUS SIGN icon on the bottom left side of the iTunes window - make a PLAYLIST, click on it and change it's name to AA MP3 CD (the AA just ensures it is near the top of the screen)

2. Go to the FILE menu and select NEW SMART PLAYLIST. Call it MP3 Files (or what you like really).

3. Click menu over the new smart playlist icon and select EDIT SMART PLAYLIST.

4. Change the pull down menu item to KIND, you want CONTAINS in the second box and then in the third write MPEG audio file. (This is what iTunes calls MP3 files). Write it exactly like that, case for case.

5. Go to the PREFERENCES menu and select IMPORT SETTINGS. Change the setting to MP3 ENCODER. (Do not forget to change it back to AAC once this is done or else you will import your CD's into iTunes as MP3 files. This you can always do anyway if you do not want your CD's to be converted to AAC or MP4a). Of course if you have downloaded from the iTunes Store then the music will be in AAC format)

6. Now, start highlighting the albums or files you want to import in your main music library and drag the selections to the playlist called AA MP3 CD. Either singly or use CTRL A (Windows), CMD A (MAC) to select all in a window or click and select the top file and 'shift click' the bottom file.

7. Once you have got about 120 songs in. In the playlist AA MP3 CD, HIGHLIGHT ALL the songs. Go to the ADVANCED menu and select CREATE MP3 VERSION. They will now all be automatically created in the library as you have now got a duplicate of your songs, one set as AAC, one set as MP3. Go to the MP3 Files smart playlist, highlight the MP3 files.

8. Put your new CD in the computer so iTunes can 'see' it.

9. Hit the BURN DISC icon at the bottom right of the iTunes window and in the dialog box select MP3 CD. Then hit BURN.

10. Once the CD is burned, hit the EJECT icon in iTunes beside the new CD icon. You now have an MP3 CD.

11. Now go to your main music library window, click on the column title KIND. Your files will be sorted in MPEG audio files, Apple Lossless and AAC audio files. Highlight the MPEG audio files that you created. Click MENU over the top of the highlighted files and select DELETE. This will now delete the duplicated files from your AAC iTunes main library. If your library is already in MP3 format you will not need to do this.

12. Go back to your preferences and change the import settings back to AAC.

13. You can also go to the AA MP3 CD playlist, select all and delete (these are temporary files and are effectively 'copies' of your main library) Your empty playlist is now ready for your next AAC selection from the main library)

14. I have just done this with 107 songs, as I have been writing this, that is 7 albums and it has taken up 608.5 MB's on a 700 MB CD-R. So about 120 songs is about right but you can play around with that.

PS, I have not tried this on a WINDOWS version of iTunes but I am assuming the software is exactly the same on both platforms.

Baby Mac

The video was taken from an RD4 in a Peugeot 207cc so doesn't scroll as cleanly as it does in my C6 for some reason, but shows it does work.

Option 2:

Using a HP DVD Writer with Nero on Windows Vista Ultimate.

In Windows Explorer I checked (and where necessary changed) the ID tags for each MP3 file.

In Nero I created a new ISO CD-ROM with these settings.

Multisession Tab
- No Multisession

- ISO Mode 1

- ISO 9660 + Joliet
- Max of 11 = 8 + 3 chars (level 1)
- ISO 9660 (standard ISO CD-ROM)

- Allow more than 64 characters

Label Tab
- Automatic
Call it whatever you like

Don't Change

Each album got its own folder in Nero with the name of the artist and the name of the album.

I renamed each track within Nero so that it remained in order with just the track number and track name. e.g. 01 - This is the first track, 02 - This is the second track. I removed any reference to the artist.

Subfolders for multiple CD albums were named Artist Name CD1, Artist Name CD2, etc.

I burned the disc with the Burn Method Disc At Once and at 48x.

My head unit will only display the first 20 characters in the album list. Anything longer was truncated on the screen.

The whole thing was a right royal pain in the proverbial but it worked.

It seems to me that the most important part is the naming of the files and folders in Nero alongside the type of disc created. Hope this helps.

Jacippit wrote ...

Ok I treated myself to a monster 16GB Kingston USB stick (think this might have been overkill) and loaded just about my entire CD collection onto it and now have heading for 1500 tracks on it and only a third full! But I hit a couple of problems that have been highlighted before in the way the USB box displays the information taken from the USB stick via the head unit namely:-

1) The 8 character limit

2) Displays by album, not artist

So what I have done is rename all the album folders on the USB stick, via the PC, by placing the artist name at the beginning followed by a dash. For movie soundtracks I used MST and for compilation disks CD.

This is time consuming to do, but works a treat in the car because now the head unit display is arranged by artist. So its just a simple case of scrolling down to the artist you want and then letting the head unit do its own scrolling of the text to see the album title.

Jips wrote ...

If you head unit is an MP3 one (has MP3 in white above the cd entry tray) then it will show track and title info for an MP3 CD. BUT... you may need it enabled.

I have an MP3 enabled RD4, and when I picked up the car it would only show track 2/14 for instance.
In the Lexia there is an option for CD TEXT. Some models don't have it enabled. Once I enabled it it showed the info fully with the title etc.

An MP3 CD will hold many tracks, in excess of 100 easily as each song is around the 3.5 Mb size and your typical; CD is around 700Mb.

An Audio CD will only hold about 30 tracks as the data is not compressed.

If you are burning an audio CD, usually there is an option in the burning package to write CD Text
(I used iTunes to try this out.)

This too will work and bring up the track info.
Why anyone would want to do this for an audio cd is beyond me if they have an MP3 enabled unit.

Hope that helps a bit
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FAQ Posted by
Info Created: 28 December 2008
Last Updated: 18 March 2011