MP3's on External Hard Drive in Car?

Gary_Busey

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Mar 21, 2006
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I have an LG 120GB external hard drive. I want to know is there any way to play the MP3's on it in my car. Are there any adapters, cd players, anything that will allow me to do it short of putting a computer in my car?
 

chunkymonster

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There are no off the shelf products to do what you want. Not that I've ever heard of or seen. Even if your hard drive was a USB device, the appliance and your car's head unit would still need to be compatible with the file system, let alone read the fiels as mp3's and play them.

Why not just get a DVD and mp3 compatible head unit for your car? I took out the factory radio in my Jetta and upgraded to an Alpine DVA-9860 along with a 6 disk changer in the back...7 disks @ 4.7GB each of door thumping mp3's...
 

chunkymonster

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Your question intrigued me and I did some looking around...while I still don't know of any devices that allow for an external hard drive to be hooked up, however there are car stereo head units with built in hard drives specifically to store mp3's, like the Pioneer DEH-P90HDD or the Sony MEX-1HD...availability seems limited...at this point in time, this is prolly the closest you're gonna get to what you want...

Good luck!
 

deadeye2021

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I did it successfully. Just tonight in fact. What I done was take a normal 3.5" Hard drive in a external case. My car's stereo has a USB connector on it. But the only way you can get it to work is you have to format the hard drive to FAT32 file system. Its quick and painless and you can do it though windows or MAC. Leaving the drive in the external case makes life easier since you can just hot-swap from your computer to your car. Once formatted to FAT32, put whatever songs you want on it, have a 100 watt DC/AC inverter in your car, plug in, plug USB in, turn it on, and it should read the disk.
 

motman1531991

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First of all u need to make a 32gb partiotion on your HDD, u don't need any special software (if ur using XPpro like me) u can just go into start control panel then adminstrator tools.Click on computer management then go to disk managment. right click on the volume if there is no unalocated space and click on shrink volume then make the size of partition u want for the unalocated right click on unalocated space click new simple volume follow on screen instructions then its finished, hope this is some help if not let me know set up remote assistance and i will show u through that.
 

InTheRightDirection

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This should work, as long as drive is fat32. I have plugged USB Sticks in car stereo just fine. The only thing that I was ever worried about with USB HDD is they have moving parts inside, and your bound to hit bumps etc which could make the internal disks clash and wreck the drive. Solid State Drive takes care of that. That is to expensive right now. I am thinking of using one of those western digital passport USB drives so its not huge loss if it gets wrecked.

How are you planning to power it?
 
G

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Hey, I recently been to a car audio shop and the installer had a 250 GB external drive and plug it into a JVC usb port and it played all the songs read the usb fine.
 

BitiK

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I use a 120GB ext Hard Drive in my car connected to a Kenwood Headunit. I have used it for over a year and it runs fine. The only problem is when its cold like now, it doesnt wake up until its reached operating temperature. Has anyone got a solution? Its frustrating driving half the journey to work in the morning with no music.
 

gpfullmann

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Hey I was wondering if u could help me. I think I have tried everything and I cant get my Sony CDX GT54 to work with my hard drive. I have a 120 GB WD Scorpio that I have recently created a 32 GB fat32 volume. It is the only volume on the drive with the rest unallocated. I have the volume set to active and primary and for the life of me I cannot seem to get this head unit to recognize that there is a device plugged in. I have a 150 watt inverter so power isn't the problem, I just don't know if I'm looking too deep and its obvious or if its something minute maybe that's preventing the two units from connecting. Maybe driver issues? Compatibility? Lemme know what you think please.
 

gelepage

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Hey, I recently been to a car audio shop and the installer had a 250 GB external drive and plug it into a JVC usb port and it played all the songs read the usb fine.
Would yiu know waht make and model of ecternal drive it was?
I have a JVC KDR 600 with a USB port and looking for drive as well.
 

maitoga

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if you want to use your hard drive at full capacity you can google for "iomega fat32 formatter", and format your hard drive in NTFS and after that run this software it will convert your hard drive to FAT32,
 

dwills06

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i have a pioneer deh-p4100ub and have an 80gb hard drive hooked up to it. there was a program and some wiring i had to do to get it to work right still have some kinks to work out to hide and to get everything to work right. but i used a hard drive out of a computer and a free downloaded program from the internet. for more details email me at unspokenartist1@yahoo.com
 

gabromail

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using a USB Y cable and a cigarette lighter to usb adapter (69 cents shipped on ebay) solves the power issue, if you jave tried everything in the forum so far and still you can get it work. This was my first problem too.
Now I have a question for those who have FH-P8000BT. This fella is limited to 32GB. If I format a 120GB to fat32 and I put in 80GB of music it recognizes only the first 32GB. Anyone found a way around it?
 

gabromail

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and I just found my answer: my pioneer won't read more than 250 GB, 500 directories and 15000 songs. Make sure that you don't have the same limitation in yours. If so, you will have me same problem.
 

xninjagrrl

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Shouldn't the USB port on your car stereo be able to power the external hard drive? I have a no-name brand CD player in my car and it powers up my USB stick so I am hoping it will also power up the Transcend hard drive I just ordered. If not, I will try getting a cheap cig lighter to usb adapter like you mentioned. Pretty sure the Transcend comes with a Y cable since the description of the hard drive says to use one if possible.

I just hope I am not limited to 32GB of space, the hard drive I ordered is 320gb as I am hoping it will hold all of my music.
 
G

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laptop HDs in an appropriate external enclosure can be powered through the USB cable, and are designed to be more resistant to bumps and exposure (as they're in laptops). Desktop HDs cannot.
 

enjay

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What pioneer head unit have you got? I am having the same problem with a F310BT. I have a 320gb HD with Y cable and extra power in the car. I have formatted it to FAT32 (but still at 320gb) and it keeps saying no audio
 
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