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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've copied the music folder from iTunes on my PC to a USB drive. MZD Connect lists all the songs and albums but the artist list is empty despite all tracks being tagged with the artist. What am I doing wrong here? I have the latest version of Gracenote.

The USB drive structure is Root > Artist Name > Album Name > Track Name as structured in iTunes and shown in the enclosed file.
 

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I've copied the music folder from iTunes on my PC to a USB drive. MZD Connect lists all the songs and albums but the artist list is empty despite all tracks being tagged with the artist. What am I doing wrong here? I have the latest version of Gracenote.

The USB drive structure is Root > Artist Name > Album Name > Track Name as structured in iTunes and shown in the enclosed file.
I don't see any reason it shouldn't work. One thing you could do is look at the files with another program to see if the tags are actually in the file and not just in iTunes' own database. Maybe boot without the stick, then reinsert later and see if it will rescan. At the very least iTunes organized it well for you, so folders mode will basically be a list by artist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't see any reason it shouldn't work. One thing you could do is look at the files with another program to see if the tags are actually in the file and not just in iTunes' own database. Maybe boot without the stick, then reinsert later and see if it will rescan. At the very least iTunes organized it well for you, so folders mode will basically be a list by artist.
Thanks. I scanned the USB drive with MP3Tag and that shows some tracks having a bad tag labelled !BAD IDV2. However, iTunes shows the tracks are correctly labelled. Are those bad tags screwing up MZD Connect recognising the artist? I'm unsure how to progress from here since I haven't used MP3Tag before.
 

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Thanks. I scanned the USB drive with MP3Tag and that shows some tracks having a bad tag labelled !BAD IDV2. However, iTunes shows the tracks are correctly labelled. Are those bad tags screwing up MZD Connect recognising the artist? I'm unsure how to progress from here since I haven't used MP3Tag before.
I had a similar problem a while back. Here's what helped me:

There is more than one type of artist tag. If possible, open your files in Windows Media Player or try to see the tags in Windows Explorer. Look for a tag called "Contributing Artist" and make sure it's not blank. This is what the Mazda system reads. Many software programs only fill in "Album Artist" but leave "Contributing Artist" blank, which means that the Mazda system won't find an artist. Good luck!

Now I want to go listen to some Bowie or Dire Straits. Good stuff.
 

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Thanks. I scanned the USB drive with MP3Tag and that shows some tracks having a bad tag labelled !BAD IDV2. However, iTunes shows the tracks are correctly labelled. Are those bad tags screwing up MZD Connect recognising the artist? I'm unsure how to progress from here since I haven't used MP3Tag before.
Yes those bad tags are screwing it up. I had the same problem and was able to repair them using MP3Tag. I had to reenter all the tag info even though iTunes has no problem with the existing tags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes those bad tags are screwing it up. I had the same problem and was able to repair them using MP3Tag. I had to reenter all the tag info even though iTunes has no problem with the existing tags.
Thanks. Did you enter the tags using MP3Tag or another method? How do you ensure the tags are in IDv2.3 format since I found this statement on the forum "IDv2.3 tags & 2.4 will mostly work (though I've seen issues), 2.2 will give you nightmares" ? I noted some of my tags are in IDv2.2 format which may also be a problem. I used iTunes to rip the tracks so I've no idea why the format of the tags differ. Is there a simple way of changing the tag format in iTunes or using another method?
 

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I used MP3tag to manually force all my files to ID3v2.3. Look under Tools - Options. For Read check only ID2v2. For Write check ID3v2 and ID3v2.3 UTF-16 and for Remove check ID3v1 and APE. I did this to my entire library of files. iTunes seems to be ok with making this change outside of iTunes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used MP3tag to manually force all my files to ID3v2.3. Look under Tools - Options. For Read check only ID2v2. For Write check ID3v2 and ID3v2.3 UTF-16 and for Remove check ID3v1 and APE. I did this to my entire library of files. iTunes seems to be ok with making this change outside of iTunes.
I've solved this problem following help from the above posts. This is what I did based on using iTunes to compile and organise my music library:


  1. Use MP3Tag to identify music having bad tags
  2. Use Tagscan to correct the tags. Cut the metadata for the offending tracks then paste it back in the same place. This resets the tags to ID3v2.3. Also, use Tagscan to set the Artist, Album Artist, correct album name and track number. iTunes Store is useful for checking album details and track numbers.
  3. Run MP3Tag again and check the tags are now OK.
  4. Review the artist and album names in iTunes are correct. I had to insert some missing artwork using Google image search for the artwork.
  5. Consolidate the iTunes library.
  6. Check the music folder structure and delete any empty folders - I had a few renamed folders just containing redundant artwork.
  7. Copy your music folders now in the folder format Artist / Album / Track to your USB device
  8. Export your iTunes playlists to a folder named Playlists on the USB device. The playlist files need to be edited using Notepad to show the correct file path for the tracks on the USB device.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I can now see all of the artists having gone through all the steps I mentioned in post 8. I find MZD Connect does not display the album art some some albums despite the album cover being set in all fields checked using TagScanner & iTunes.

Does Gracenote perhaps override the album art if the album title doesn't quite agree with what's in the Gracenote database? I can't think why else the album art won't display for some albums.
 

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It looks like you are suffering from bad ID3 tags. Unfortunately converting to another tag format doesn't help because corrupted tags make the metadata even harder to read for some devices.

My solution has been to stick to one ID3 format ID3 2.3 has worked best for me and then run all my music through MP3val (a freeware MP3 checker) which checks all the id tags and fixes up all the corrupted ones.

I have found this an invaluable tool for ensuring everything in my music collection plays on all devices.
 

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I can now see all of the artists having gone through all the steps I mentioned in post. I find MZD Connect does not display the album art some some albums despite the album cover being set in all fields checked using TagScanner & iTunes.

Does Gracenote perhaps override the album art if the album title doesn't quite agree with what's in the Gracenote database? I can't think why else the album art won't display for some albums.
The Mazda infotainment will only show the correct image if it is embedded in the file. Many programs don't embed, but rather just put a hidden image in the same folder as the music file. Mazda won't see those.

Yes, there are occasions where your tagging won't agree with Gracenote and it will display different art, although I've found that to be a rare occurrence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Mazda infotainment will only show the correct image if it is embedded in the file. Many programs don't embed, but rather just put a hidden image in the same folder as the music file. Mazda won't see those.

Yes, there are occasions where your tagging won't agree with Gracenote and it will display different art, although I've found that to be a rare occurrence.
I already used Mp3Tag to check all the fields and ensured all music files have embedded artwork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It looks like you are suffering from bad ID3 tags. Unfortunately converting to another tag format doesn't help because corrupted tags make the metadata even harder to read for some devices.

My solution has been to stick to one ID3 format ID3 2.3 has worked best for me and then run all my music through MP3val (a freeware MP3 checker) which checks all the id tags and fixes up all the corrupted ones.

I have found this an invaluable tool for ensuring everything in my music collection plays on all devices.
I found MP3val hard to use to scan 1000+ tracks. You can output to a log file but that's almost unreadable. Is there a better tool to check the MP3 fields for errors?
 

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I found MP3val hard to use to scan 1000+ tracks. You can output to a log file but that's almost unreadable. Is there a better tool to check the MP3 fields for errors?
I'm sorry you found it difficult to use. Maybe you didn't spot that the Windows front end (yes this is an old app) has an option that allows you to scan complete folders in one go. I have successfully scanned my entire iTunes library (33,000 tracks) by scanning the iTunes Music/Music folder
 

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The Mazda infotainment will only show the correct image if it is embedded in the file. Many programs don't embed, but rather just put a hidden image in the same folder as the music file. Mazda won't see those.
This is not true. I have all my covers as a separate images in folders and Infotainment shows them just fine.
None of the covers are embedded in the music files. This is waste of space, except cases when there are a bunch of songs from various albums in one folder.

In 59.00.502+ there's even such config in race_config_params_CMU.xml file: <config><name>acAlbumArtImageName</name><value>folder.jpg</value></config>


I also had some issues with Infotainment hanging when some particular files were on the USB stick. It happened on 56.xx version. But I had FLAC tweak installed back then. It happened not even when playing the file, but when the system reached the file during the initial indexation of the USB after system start up, so it could start playing a song, and then after half a minute hang. I did many various tests, until I figured out that there was issues with some tags (not sure which exact). What I did to fix it - I used MP3Tag to make a batch fixes of tags:
1. Copy tags to filenames
2. Clear all tags
3. Copy tags from filenames.
This is not the ideal way, of course, because some special characters can't be stored in filenames, so those will be lost during such scheme. But it did clear all incorrect tags that were causing system to hang. So you might use some similar way of fixing all your tags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm sorry you found it difficult to use. Maybe you didn't spot that the Windows front end (yes this is an old app) has an option that allows you to scan complete folders in one go. I have successfully scanned my entire iTunes library (33,000 tracks) by scanning the iTunes Music/Music folder
I eventually found the front end. I found two other utilities more useful - MP3Test and MP3Diags. MP3Test is fine for a quick scan and found some offending files. MP3Diags is more comprehensive and found some issues with duplicate album art. Many files have the MP3Diags issues below. I'm currently unsure if these are important or how to fix them:


  1. ID3V2 tag has at least one valid APIC frame (which is used to store images), but no frame has a type that is associated with an album cover.
  2. The padding in the ID3V2 tag is too large, wasting space. (Large padding improves the tag editor saving speed, if fast saving is enabled, so you may want to delay compacting the tag until after you're done with the tag editor.)
 

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This is not true. I have all my covers as a separate images in folders and Infotainment shows them just fine.
None of the covers are embedded in the music files. This is waste of space, except cases when there are a bunch of songs from various albums in one folder.

In 59.00.502+ there's even such config in race_config_params_CMU.xml file: <config><name>acAlbumArtImageName</name><value>folder.jpg</value></config>
In my experience with older versions, they would only show correct artwork if it was embedded. This must have been changed with more recent versions to see the separate image files. Good to know.

Sorry if my out-of-date information was confusing to anyone. I'm happy to be corrected.
 

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If you use iTunes on Mac or Windows, try using the freeware Media Human Audio Converter to get your music onto a thumb drive.

https://www.mediahuman.com/audio-converter/

Put iTunes into Album view, open MHAC, then simply drag one or more album covers into the MHAC window and click the start button. It converts and copies directly to the USB drive, creating the correct folder structure on the fly. Couldn't be easier. Using AAC/128, I put around 110 ripped CDs onto an 8 GB USB drive, and it works perfectly.

No relation, just a happy user.
 

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I'm using the exact same USB drive I had before but the newest firmware fully changed the music aspect and I'm having problems left and right. With all these adjustments you made, when you go to the very root of the drive and click "folder" at the bottom of the music list, does it go to a list of folders for you (and then any song not in a folder laid out under them)? It used to for me but now when I go to "folder", it simply lists every single song alphabetically on the drive without any sorting by folders anymore. So whereas a "Beatles" folder used to be near the very top of my list and I could click that and see all the separate albums in subfolders, now every single Beatles song is in alphabetical order regardless of album or layout. And they are among every other band/song on the drive that were in different folders. I had a "soundtrack" folder with many different film scores in it and now they are all spread out alphabetically with hundreds of other songs on the drive.

I used FAT sorter to go through again and put it on the drive in the display order but that didn't change it. Even when I make playlists, it doesn't work well. I went into FAT Sorter and highlighted every single soundtrack song and made sure each was labeled as the genre "soundtrack" but when I go to the infotainment "genre" listing, it only lists about 40 of the songs from that huge folder of hundreds of songs. And I exported a "soundtrack" playlist with all those songs on it and it doesn't even show up in the "playlist" file though some of the other playlists I made DO appear there. It's so inconsistent.

There are lots of other random things too. The music takes about 5 times as long to start up than before so I'm halfway down the street before the music resumes. I like to use "random" and it does continue the song I was playing previously when on random however now after THAT song finishes, it reverts back to the first song on the drive. Random doesn't work well and appears to go in an order similar to song 1, song 68, song 3, song 67, song 2, song 70, etc... They all all very close so if I have 7 or 8 songs by a band in a huge folder of artists, I might "randomly" hear that same band every other song or so.

Anyway, I'd be happy just to have my folders and structure back when I go to the root and "folder", I'm hoping some of those fixes you talk about help that aspect. Thoughts? Thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Ref post 19 - yes I do see all the folders on the car's display.

I'm sure my USB stick has all the fields correctly completed and the album art embedded in the file. The music tracks show up fine in iTunes, Windows Media Player and Groove on two PCs. The car finds all the tracks and plays them but some tracks are still labelled with the wrong artist or do not display the album art. These tracks are correctly labelled when I diagnose then using MP3 utilities.

My theory now is that the Gracenote database in the car is overriding the data set in some MP3 files due to a minor mismatch in the album title or other track characteristic. Some people on the forum have had more success by disabling Gracenote. They say they do this by selecting a Gracenote upgrade then turning off the ignition mid way through the update which disables Gracenote. However, when I put the latest Gracenote version on my USB stick at root level (file Gracenote_ADR_October2017.up), I get the message "No New Music Update Packages Available" (see photo). This is presumably because I already have the latest version of Gracenote. Any ideas on how to disable Gracenote to test my theory?
 

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