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Compatible USB HDD

steve72 Jan 20, 2014

  1. steve72

    steve72 New Member

    Hi, I picked-up my new S3 Sportback last week - having loads of fun now :)

    But i do need some advice - I've about 750gb of music in flac format which I'd like to put it on a portable hdd since there's too much for a sd card.

    I've got MMI high and have verified that flac files play fine from an SD card.

    I've tried a couple of portable hdds;
    Samsung M3 750gb USB2, and
    WD Elements 2Tb USB3

    but neither work - tries to work but then fails.

    I've tried formatting in FAT32, Ntfs and ex-fat but to no avail

    I suspect the drives I have tried have a power consumption which is too high.

    Has anyone here managed to successfully run a high capacity hdd off just the AMI usb cable? what was the make / model

    Many thanks in advance
  2. Schizophonic

    Schizophonic Well-Known Member

    Have you just tried to see if your FLAC works at all?

    Get a smallish USB memory stick and stick that in if it works. If so then it looks like you need to get a heavty USB stick to store all that music! Do you always listen to every track?
  3. FactionOne

    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Quite shocked to read that Audi have wised-up with codecs. My 2006 A6 won't even play WAV :(

    On the power front: A lot of larger capacity (even 2.5" form) drives need power which is outside USB spec - I dare say the AMI can peak beyond the basic spec for a 'proper' USB host (which realistically it'd need to when [most] disks start-up) - but a lot of late model drives take the biscuit.

    There might be a limit to the size of filesystem AMI can address. I'd expect it to cope with 750GB/1TB, but I must confess I've not examined in detail what the latest generation can and can't deal with.

    The final thing to consider is Advanced Format - in theory it shouldn't matter that the drive uses AF, as the USB host shouldn't get to know the difference; but it's fairly safe to say that if a device can be picky over disk compatibility, AF tends to be a good way to provoke it.

    You might be better looking at specs for internal 2.5" drives (they're more likely to give an accurate picture of what juice the drive needs to work), and sticking one of those in a cheap & cheerful USB enclosure.

    THIS ONE seems to be about the safest bet I can find which has the sort of capacity you're looking for. Power-wise it will peak at a maximum of 1000mA in spin-up, and in operation is inside 2.5W (i.e. 5V 500mA - the original, garaunteed-to-work power standard for a 'proper' host); I can't see any mention of AF in the datasheet.

    I'll rip my drive (only a pokey 120GB) out of its enclosure tomorrow and check the datasheet for its exact model no. - I can't imagine it's any more efficient during spin-up than the one above; and if that's the case you should be fine.

  4. Psyman79

    Psyman79 Sarcasm is hard on a forum ;) Team Vegas Yellow Audi S3

    I had queried drive capacity when i got my A3, Audi thought that there would be a max capacity of just over 500gb. Based on that i bought one of these: Buy WD Elements Portable Hard Drive - 500 GB, Black | Free Delivery | Currys needs to be formatted as FAT-32.
    I only have mp3 files on it but it works fine for what i need. Not sure how it'll perform with better quality files though.

    Obviously thats a bit short of your requirements but its an option if the max capacity is as Audi seem to think.

  5. Leeber

    Leeber Active Member

    I'm sorry if this doesn't appear to be terribly well thought out, I haven't got my car yet.

    Are you just plugging the drive into the AMI USB adaptor lead and relying on it as the power source? If so would it be possible to use one of those "Y" USB leads with two USB plugs on it? You might be able to overcome the overcome the power bottleneck by plugging the second plug into the "power only" USB port in the car. Does that make any sense?
  6. snowfree52

    snowfree52 Full LED baby !

    I've always heard flac could not be played from the MMI. Can you really see the difference between this and a good mp3 in the car ?

    I would be worried about an HDD in a car, vibrations would kill it soon enouth
  7. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 S-line owners group saloon

    Laptop HD's should have some shock tolerance. I think someone else in another thread said that they used flac files ok...
  8. snakehips

    snakehips Well-Known Member

    I can confirm that FLAC definitely plays but, as you suggest, I can't tell the difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3 even with B&O.
    I ask steve72 how does the HDD fail? It is simply not recognised as a USB source?
  9. steve72

    steve72 New Member

    Hi All, thanks for the feedback.

    Have you just tried to see if your FLAC works at all

    I can confirm that FLAC works fine - the tags and album art seem a bit hit and miss but i'm fine navigating the folder structure.

    Can you really see the difference between this and a good mp3 in the car ?

    Without wishing to get into an audiophile discussion - I recon I can hear the difference on my hi-fi setup at home and given I have the B&O option I'd hope the lossless FLACs should be at least marginally better.

    would it be possible to use one of those "Y" USB leads with two USB plugs on it?

    Good suggestion - I tried that but no joy.

    Do you always listen to every track?

    Well no, but you never really know in advance what you want to listen to do you :)

    how does the HDD fail

    I think it spends a while reading the device then greys out and says device not compatible - i'll take another look tonight and confirm

    I can't tell the difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3 even with B&O.

    Currently I also have my library re-encoded in 192kbs MP3. Perhaps on this basis i'll do a re-encoded version at 320kbs which should hopefully just about fit on 2x 128Gb SD cards which has the advantage of full album art etc. But i am still keen to keep hunting to see if there's a way to access my whole library in flac on a HDD.

    many thanks

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