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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have reviewed the Starlink Owners Manual and found this statement in regard to playlists:

“m3u playlists are not compatible with the audio device.“

But when I look at the menu options when using a USB memory stick, besides showing artists, albums, folders, etc., it also shows playlists, but grayed out.

Does this mean there is a way to put a playlist from iTunes onto a USB memory stick that the infotainment system will recognize?

Trying to figure this out for my wife as she refuses to use a smartphone and only uses an iPod Classic for music.

Thanks for any help.
 

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no older ipods

howdy, i tried my ipod classic and it cannot be recognized because it is too old. there is a list of current apple products that will interface with the stereo; unfortunately none of my apple devices are on the list. my only option was to go out and purchase an up to date apple device, or, as i did, convert all my music to mp3 format and then load it to my android phone. then that creates all new complications by trying to use 3 different player to listen to my music. still trying to figure that one out. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The best I have been able to do is create a folder with the name of the iTunes playlist on the USB memory stick, and then select the playlist in iTunes, highlight/select all songs in the playlist and drag them to the folder on the USB memory stick. That way she can still have a pseudo-playlist by simply selecting the folder from the infotainment system and then pressing play all.

However, I really don’t understand why the infotainment system has a “button” for “Playlists” that is displayed when you go to Media and select the USB memory stick. It makes it seem like it could read a playlist, but what type if it does not read “m3u” playlists?

I’m just trying to keep the music playing process as close to what my wife is use to as possible. Happy wife, happy life.
 

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I cannot get my Ascent to play my Ipod (Nano 3rd gen) when using the USB port - just shows it is loading - then says it cannot read it. Howeve using the auxilary cable I can get the IPOD to play - but no playlists etc - just the music. Anyone also having this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From page 162 of the Starlink Owners Manual:

The following iPod®, iPod nano®, iPod touch® and iPhone® devices can be used with this system. Made for
●iPod touch (5th generation)
●iPod nano (7th generation)
●iPhone 4s
●iPhone 5
●iPhone 5s
●iPhone 6
●iPhone 6s
●iPhone 6 Plus
●iPhone 6s Plus
●iPhone SE
●Depending on differences between models or software versions etc., some models might be incompatible with this system.
●iPod video is not supported.

So nano 3rd generation is not supported. Sorry.
 

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This is only relevant to Apple iTunes people. I'm from Down Under, and have just bought a 2020 Forester 2.5i-S which has the 8 inch infotainment system (Starlink apparently). Seems identical to the 2019 Forester one. I had problems getting a USB to work with iTunes playlists, but I found this forum via Google. And posts about how to hack m3u files etc.

I also read in the Forester Infotainment System manual (p 140) that "m3u playlists are not compatible with the audio device". Mind you this was a manual published in 2019. But this statement isn't true. The system in my Forester appears to read them just fine and preserves the playlist order on the USB.

I found a solution which does not involve editing/ hacking m3u files, or changing the formatting of the USB. This post is a bit long, but sometimes detail is useful.

The USB I trialled is a standard Toshiba 32 GB one from the supermarket. I have not checked format, but it works on my old iMac running Yosemite (10.11.6) so maybe FAT32. Dunno, I was too lazy to check. I can check this if you need me to.

I didn't fancy hacking and testing, so I found another solution. On the App Store I found an app named Export for iTunes. It can export an iTunes playlist plus a m3u file. It exports the music files from your iTunes Music folder (and album cover image), plus the m3u file to the USB you have plugged into your iMac. The Export for iTunes app cost me $A 5.99 so in the USA it probably costs about $4. I have no connection to the author, but it worked for me.

My procedure:
1. plug in a USB to your iMac, name it whatever you want.
2. create a folder on the USB to hold your music. I just named mine Music.
3. open iTunes and show a playlist.
4. open Export for iTunes.app which gets installed in your Applications folder after you buy it.
5. bring iTunes window back to the front, open a playlist (or create a new one if you want to modify the old one)
6. bring the Export for iTunes app to the front. It will display a list of all your iTunes playlists. Select the one you want to copy to the USB (tick the box at the left of the window). It will display a list of all the tracks in a playlist. Click the Export button or icon at the top right of the window.
7. You are presented with a window asking if you want to retain the playlist title, or change it.
This window also allows you to select an alternative music format, like convert to mp3 or AAC. As my files are AAC/m4a I just ignore this because I don't want to degrade quality to mp3. You get a Next button, another window and an Export button.
8. If the app detects any file path problems to an actual audio file it highlights the track in red. If this happens it is because you have messed up your iTunes music library files and you will have to delve into those and restore the missing audio files to the right place. Your bad.
9. If all your audio files are where they are supposed to be, the app just copies those onto the USB, into your Music folder, and in a sub-folder named whatever you named the playlist. Plus an m3u file at the bottom below the audio files.
10. The app also deletes hidden files. These are what can screw up playback in different audio systems. You just get the audio files plus the m3u.

The m3u file is very simple. Just a list of the track titles and their numeric order in the list. No path references to drives etc, nothing to be hacked/changed. You can open the m3u file in a text editor and check it out if you want. Basically the order of tracks in your playlist is preserved. The copy process to the USB is quite fast, a few seconds per track.

And, in my Forester, it just works. I plug in the USB, select Media, select the USB, scroll down the screen to select Playlist, the playlists are presented, I press to select the one I want, and the tracks are all there in the correct sequence. Press one to start, and enjoy.

Hope this helps you Apple iTunes people who want to use the USB input in a Forester or whatever Subaru has the same system. Cheers.
 

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m3u playlists are definitely compatible, on USB sticks, if drive letters are removed, and pathing issues are corrected. I use it. I did a really horrible video showing how to do so.
First and foremost, format the USB stick to NTFS and use a USB 3.x stick

 

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First and foremost, format the USB stick to NTFS and use a USB 3.x stick
Blurg--what if I there is no NTFS option on my iMac? Does ex-fat work?
I'm putting my hi-res collection on sticks and playing them, formatted in ex-fat, but I rarely get the artist and album to show up. I've been just renaming the tracks with prefixes that I can remember for what album and artist I have. It's tedious, and I'd love to find a way to access the artist and album, like the rest of the world!
 
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