MP3 music on a flash drive question

Kodiakbear

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I ripped a couple of music CD's, and put the files in individual folders on a flash drive. I named the folders the titles of the CD's. All I get is all of the music in one long list, not the individual CD lists. Is there any way to get SYNC 3 to list the CD's that are on the flash drive so that I can just pick the CD playlist that I want to listen to? I know that I am not decscribing this very well, I am kind of computer challenged.
Thanks,
Joe in NH
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UofMEngineer

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What you can do, or do easily, depends totally on how well they're tagged. Have you added all the artist / album / song / genre names to the devices? It'll organize better that way vs navigating using the "Explore" feature to view the file system. You can make your own playlists as well, then add those. It'll also enable voice features that may be needed to select or browse music while driving.
 

MKohlman

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I ripped a couple of music CD's, and put the files in individual folders on a flash drive. I named the folders the titles of the CD's. All I get is all of the music in one long list, not the individual CD lists. Is there any way to get SYNC 3 to list the CD's that are on the flash drive so that I can just pick the CD playlist that I want to listen to? I know that I am not decscribing this very well, I am kind of computer challenged.
Thanks,
Joe in NH
What application did you use to perform the rip?
 

MKohlman

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I used Express Rip CD Ripper Software, free version
So, one of the best and simplest rippers that should work great for a USB Flash Drive is actually Windows Media Player, which you should already have.

If you have never used it before, launch it, click on organize, then options, then the Rip Music tab:

Screenshot (378).png


I would set the format to MP3, and the quality to Best Quality. If you want to eject the CD when it is done ripping, you can place a check mark there. Note where the Music RIP location is in the settings, typically it will default to the Music folder in Windows (yes, mine is set to a custom location, for most people the default location is fine). Once these settings are "set", close the options, drop in a CD and the CD should come up and begin playing. Feel free to stop the playback if you don't want to listen and then click on the "Rip CD" button:

Screenshot (380)_LI.jpg


This will create the correctly formatted directories, rip the music tracks, and place them in your Windows Music Folder in a format that your SYNC system can use. No adjustments should be needed.

Once the rip is done, simply go to your Music Folder and you should see something like this:

Screenshot (383).png


At that point you should be able to highlight the folders you want, then copy/paste them into the root of your USB Drive. SYNC should read the music as Artists, Albums. and Tracks. I've been using this method for more years than I care to count and have about 7,200 songs in my library at this point. It's pretty straightforward to do.

There is some advanced stuff, such as adding album art and additional track information that can be done as well, but based on your feeling "computer challenged" I thought I'd keep it simple initially.

Let us know how it goes. 😎
 

magicbus

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I just downloaded iTunes (free) and it automatically imported each CD. iTunes does all of the heavy lifting and all I had to do was locate where it stashed the music under Documents->Music->iTunes->iTunes Media->Music and I just copied all of those folders to the root directory of my flash drive (in my case d:\). Easy, free, and works like a charm. Sync lets me search by artist, album, or my favorite, play all which is like having a personal ad-free radio station.
 
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Kodiakbear

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So, one of the best and simplest rippers that should work great for a USB Flash Drive is actually Windows Media Player, which you should already have.

If you have never used it before, launch it, click on organize, then options, then the Rip Music tab:

Screenshot (378).png


I would set the format to MP3, and the quality to Best Quality. If you want to eject the CD when it is done ripping, you can place a check mark there. Note where the Music RIP location is in the settings, typically it will default to the Music folder in Windows (yes, mine is set to a custom location, for most people the default location is fine). Once these settings are "set", close the options, drop in a CD and the CD should come up and begin playing. Feel free to stop the playback if you don't want to listen and then click on the "Rip CD" button:

Screenshot (380)_LI.jpg


This will create the correctly formatted directories, rip the music tracks, and place them in your Windows Music Folder in a format that your SYNC system can use. No adjustments should be needed.

Once the rip is done, simply go to your Music Folder and you should see something like this:

Screenshot (383).png


At that point you should be able to highlight the folders you want, then copy/paste them into the root of your USB Drive. SYNC should read the music as Artists, Albums. and Tracks. I've been using this method for more years than I care to count and have about 7,200 songs in my library at this point. It's pretty straightforward to do.

There is some advanced stuff, such as adding album art and additional track information that can be done as well, but based on your feeling "computer challenged" I thought I'd keep it simple initially.

Let us know how it goes. 😎
Thanks Michael. Your clear concise instructions worked perfectly and were easy to follow. If you are not a teacher, you should have been!
I still have a couple of glitches, some first tracks are named "track 1", and some volume names arent correct, this seems to be a problem with CD's that include multiple artists.
Tell me about album art and additional track information, I'm stoked now that I have had some success with your help.
Thank you for everybody that is helping me, this forum is great!
Joe in NH
kodiakbear
 

magicbus

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Yes, I have found that compilations tend towards track # instead of title. Im there there is a way to correct this but I couldn’t be bothered.
 

Glamdring70

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Kudos to the WMP instructions above. This is the best way to do it for free. We ripped our audio CDs a long time ago into one large digital library so the receiver and computers and other devices can all play from it. I just copied those folders I wanted to a USB and the Ford did the rest. I can request a song by title or artist vocally. It is pretty good at figuring out what you told it.
 

MKohlman

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Thanks Michael. Your clear concise instructions worked perfectly and were easy to follow. If you are not a teacher, you should have been!
I still have a couple of glitches, some first tracks are named "track 1", and some volume names arent correct, this seems to be a problem with CD's that include multiple artists.
Tell me about album art and additional track information, I'm stoked now that I have had some success with your help.
Thank you for everybody that is helping me, this forum is great!
Joe in NH
kodiakbear
Well, thank you and much appreciated. Technology support has indeed been a big part of my career, so it's always nice to dust off the skills from time to time.

Sure. let's do a slightly deeper dive, beginning with Album Art.

Windows Media Player does/will create the album art automatically when ripping a CD, however for reasons that have always been a bit mysterious to me, the album art files are saved as hidden/system files during the rip. Because of this getting the album art copied over to a USB thumb drive involves a few more steps.

If you are comfortable with getting a 3rd party app, the most expedient way around this is to get a 3rd party file manager application from the Windows store called (appropriately enough) Files - File Manager for Windows:

Get Files - File Manager for Windows - Microsoft Store

Once you have downloaded that, you will need to change a few settings to see the album art (only once, the settings should "stick" unless you change them back): Launch the application and in the lower left-hand corner, click on settings:

Screenshot (385)_LI.jpg


On the settings page you will click on Files and Folders. On the Files and Folders page you will set "Show hidden files and folders" to On and "Hide protected operating system files" to Off.

Screenshot (387)_LI.jpg


Use the back arrow at the top left corner to return to the main menu, and then navigate to your music folder and files as you would typically do in File Explorer.

If you drill down into one of your Music Folders, you should now see several album art files and often a folder art file:

Screenshot (389)_LI.jpg

At this point if you do a copy of a folder to a USB drive, the album art will carry over to the USB drive and SYNC will read these files and display them correctly:

20210909_192744.jpg


A few possible "gotchas":

I have on occasion run into an issue with Windows Media Player where it doesn't generate the album art, especially with more recent music releases. I submitted a bug report with Micrsoft a while back but given that WMP isn't used as much anymore, I don't think fixing it is a high priority for them. The workaround is fairly simple -- Launch the Groove Application after ripping new music. Groove is a better music player anyway and if it finds incomplete album information when scanning for new Music it will automatically do an online album match and add the album art as well.

If THAT fails (really rare, I've only had that fail for some very eclectic music in my library) there is a neat little open-source application called Album Art Downloader that can find and add almost any kind of album art you'd like. The link follows if anyone wants to play with it, but in the interests of keeping this somewhat simple I'm going to skip how to use that program for now:

Album Art Downloader download | SourceForge.net

One final P.S. - before someone points it out, I do know that it is possible to show hidden files and folders via the built-in Windows File Explorer. I prefer the above method for music moves, especially if one doesn't have some advanced Windows skills, because changing the settings to make those files and folders visible in File Explorer is a system-level change and does some odd things to your PC (such as making your system configuration files visible on your desktop) By using the Files - File Manager for Windows application, you don't run into that problem.

I'll see if I can cover how to edit track information (aka meta-data) a bit later.
 

magicbus

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I just used Windows Explorer to copy music folders to the USB and the album art came along with the music.
 

jazzdab

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Kudos to the WMP instructions above. This is the best way to do it for free. We ripped our audio CDs a long time ago into one large digital library so the receiver and computers and other devices can all play from it. I just copied those folders I wanted to a USB and the Ford did the rest. I can request a song by title or artist vocally. It is pretty good at figuring out what you told it.
What do you use to stream data to your other devices?

I use Plex and plexamp but am always looking at alternatives.
 

MKohlman

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What do you use to stream data to your other devices?

I use Plex and plexamp but am always looking at alternatives.
Plex. I was fortunate enough to invest in them during their Kickstarter phase and have a lifetime membership 😁. Even so I believe I would still be using it as it is an outstanding product overall.

And I have a fairly large library at this point. I'd be embarrassed to state how many pictures my wife has accumulated over 25+ years for example...

Admittedly I'm fairly old-school when it comes to media, with a big preference for purchasing physical when/where I can and sticking to open standards whenever possible (MP3, MP4, JPG, PNG, SVG, yada yada yada) as I'm rarely impacted when one of the big boys (Apple, Microsoft, Google...) decide to obsolete one of their "standards". It also allows for the convenience of offline copies and backups as there are still places a Bronco Sport could go where streaming isn't exactly optimal. 😉
 

jazzdab

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Plex. I was fortunate enough to invest in them during their Kickstarter phase and have a lifetime membership 😁. Even so I believe I would still be using it as it is an outstanding product overall.

And I have a fairly large library at this point. I'd be embarrassed to state how many pictures my wife has accumulated over 25+ years for example...

Admittedly I'm fairly old-school when it comes to media, with a big preference for purchasing physical when/where I can and sticking to open standards whenever possible (MP3, MP4, JPG, PNG, SVG, yada yada yada) as I'm rarely impacted when one of the big boys (Apple, Microsoft, Google...) decide to obsolete one of their "standards". It also allows for the convenience of offline copies and backups as there are still places a Bronco Sport could go where streaming isn't exactly optimal. 😉
Same here. Can't bring myself to dump all the physical media I have acquired but Plex lets me take it on the road. And finding plexamp for the iphone has helped me stream my own media while mobile.
 
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