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  1. Track ordering broken on USB and SD media

    I stumbled across this thread today when looking for a solution to this problem. I've been tolerating it for years on my AVH-8500BHS but finally decided to fix my SD card today. The problem is, as previously stated, the head unit sorts the files according to the order in which they were copied to the card. What seems to be the simplest solution is to put the track number at the beginning of the filename so when you copy the files to the SD card, they get copied in order. The problem is that Windows (and I assume other operating systems as well) treats the filename as an alphabetic listing and not as a numerical one. This is why this occurs: When the files are copied to the SD, Windows copies them in the default sort order. So to fix this, you ultimately have to manipulate the way Windows sorts the files then copy them fresh so that they get copied onto the SD in the desired order. Here is how I did it, using Windows. This seems like a really long process, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to do. We are going to use a freeware utility called MP3Tag that makes the job MUCH easier than doing it by hand. Part 1: Copy your SD Card to your computer so you can work with it. 1. Pull your SD Card out of the head unit and insert it into your computer. 2. Create a folder on your desktop. 3. Copy the entire contents of your SD Card to that folder. 4. Open the new folder and look for a subfolder called 'data.' Delete it if it exists. This folder contains the database your head unit created, and since we want the database to be re-built by the head unit after the card is reinstalled in the vehicle, you want to delete it now. 4. Make any changes to the folder structure you like. I set up mine as ARTIST \ ALBUM \ MP3FILE. This worked for me, I have not experimented with other layouts. Part 2: Set up MP3Tag and make sure you have tracks set right. 1. Download a utility called mp3tag. It's an indispensable utility when you work with lots of MP3 files. 2. Open MP3Tag and drag the entire folder from your desktop into MP3Tag so all of your songs appear on the list. 3. Go through the TRACK column and make sure all of your files have tracks set up. If not, set them up. This track number will dictate what order the music plays in when all is said and done. So if you have a "variety" folder that has different songs from different albums or artists, then you'll want to set the track order according to what order you want the songs to play. 4. At a minimum, make sure that the ARTIST and TITLE field are set for every file in addition to the track number. Note: One trick is that MP3Tag supports nested sorting. I suggest clicking the TRACK column header to sort by track, then the PATH header to sort by your folder structure. That makes it easier to see the song order, since the head unit will play by folder then by track. Part 4: Set up MP3Tag to perform the Track Reformatting. 1. A special action has to be defined in MP3Tag to perform this operation. Click the Actions menu at the top of the window, then select ACTIONS. 2. Click the "New" button along the right side of the "Action Groups" window that appears. It has a little "yellow star" on it. 3. Give the action a name, such as "Format Track Numbers" and click OK. 4. Click the "New" button along the right side of the "Actions" window that appears. Select "Format Value" from the list and click OK. 5. In the "Format Value" window: a. In the "Field" box, type TRACK. b. In the Format String" box, cut and paste this text: [$num(%track%,3)] 6. Click OK, OK, Close. Note: MP3tag saves this configuration. So if you need to do this again in the future, you will already have this part taken care of. Part 5: Perform the Track Reformatting. 1. Highlight (select) all of your files by pressing CTRL+A in MP3Tag. All lines will highlight. 2. Click ACTIONS and select the action name you just created. 3. MP3Tag will work for a bit. When it's finished, all of your track numbers should be exactly 3 numbers long. 001, 002, 010, 015, etc. Part 6: Place the track numbers into the filename. 1. With all lines still highlighted (Selected), click the "Convert" menu and select "Tag - Filename." 2. In the Format String field, paste this text: %Track% - %artist% - %title% and click "OK." 3. MP3Tag will work for a bit, when done, all of your filenames should begin with the three digit track number. Note: The format string can be customized if you are feeling adventurous. It's beyond the scope of what we're trying to get done here so your mileage may vary if you plan to tinker with it. The key is that the track number must be 3 digits long and it must be at the beginning of the filename. Part 7: Validate. Go back to your folder in Windows Explorer. Look through your folders and make sure you are happy with how everything looks. If not, make any changes manually or use MP3Tag. Part 8: Redo your SD Card. 1. Open the SD Card in Windows Explorer, and delete everything from the card. Formatting it is even better, but as long as everything is deleted, it's fine. 2. Copy the entire contents of the working folder you created on your desktop to the SD card in one shot. Windows will copy them in track order, populating the card properly. Enjoy. Pop the SD card back into your head unit, and everything should play in perfect order.