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New A3 AMI/MMI Questions

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by gunja99, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Hi all.

    Glad I've found this forum, seems to be more active than others around the new A3 in the UK!

    I received a New A3 2.0TDi Sport last week (might post some pictures later, as it seems you guys like pictures!), and all in all pretty happy with it so far :)

    My question is around the MMI/AMI cables and system to use. I have the Connectivity pack I think (have the CD and 2 SD cards in the glove compartment, with an AMI connector in the centre box between the seats). Now I've heard that Audi tend to supply a cable with new cars for this (and I've not received one), have any of your who have received a new Audi been offered this for free?

    Im currently using an SD Card, but have an old USB hard drive around and want to try and use that. I ordered from Amazon a cable, but it turned out to be an iPhone one (their mess up! They refunded quickly, etc). Here is the cable I want to order: http://www.amazon.co.uk/XCSOURCEUSB...5/dp/B008RTJO4Y/ref=?ie=UTF8&m=A29EZVB447EKA7 Reason for not getting the Mini USB is so that if the USB HDD doesnt' work (and power can be a problem, I've heard) then at least I can use a USB thumb drive.

    Thoughts anyone?

    Gunja
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  3. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Hi, welcome to audi-sport.net. Any pics of the car? We love pics in here. Where are you located? someone will be along shortly to answer your questions. Hope you enjoy the forum. :) x
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  4. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Hi Gunja, welcome to the forum :)

    Ok, firstly you should receive a cable for the AMI connection as far as I'm aware. Audi have a number of options available but I think you get one free with the car and should be able to specify which one you have. I've had AMI on both my previous 8P and my current 8V and both times it's come with a cable. Interestingly, the new car just came with the Apple Dock connector cable, no-one asked me whether I wanted a different one or not, but as the car was sourced via a lease company so I wasn't dealing directly with the dealer, maybe I just wasn't asked.

    The cable you mention should work fine for USB devices, although I'm not sure about a USB hard drive. If the AMI connection doesn't provide enough power to run the drive then there's also the USB power connector in there which you could use to power it although I'm not sure what cables you'd need for such a "hybrid" connection and it might get a bit messy.

    If you're looking to use a USB pen/thumb drive then frankly I'd just invest in a decent capacity SD card or two and use those as at least then it's all tidily away in the glovebox rather than in the centre box. If you need more space (hence looking at a hard drive), then perhaps look at getting an iPod classic, maybe a used one on the cheap.

    I used to use SD cards in my old 8P2 (before AMI) and it worked well enough, but the problem I found is that you could only browse or navigate the contents of the card by the folder and file structure you'd placed on there, so however you chose to organise the files, that's how you had to browse for stuff. This got rather tedious with large amounts of stuff on there.

    With the AMI and an iPod, you get the full range of browsing/searching you do on the device itself, so you can browse by Artist, Album, Genre, Title etc etc etc. It's so much nicer and easier so you may want to look into getting an iPod of some description. Personally I use a 32GB iPod Touch which lives permanently in the centre box. Such a device is overkill really for a dedicated device like that and I could use an iPod Classic instead but the advantage of the Touch is how thin it is - it tucks very neatly into the little net pocket at the side, leaving the main box clear for me to keep my phone in.

    Any other questions let me know :)
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  5. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Wow.. Thanks Vertigo for that reply to a new guy! :)

    It's a lease car, and I know there are around 5 types available (USB F port, Mini USB, iPod/iPhone/iPad, 3.5mm jack), nope thats 4. I do have the dealers details, and I did call last week and the 'technician' (hmmmmm, he was not very helpful at all), wondered why I didn't recieve one.

    I've read around on other cars that this cable 'can' work, depends on power draw, and as you say my caddie DOES come with two USB plugs to the Mini USB input for the caddie, for drives which require it, but I have had this drive working off a laptop with just one connected (good test of whether it's powerful enough!), but I'm happy to try it out! I don't have the USB port in there for the phone (i.e. phone box option), just the AMI port. I do have a cigarette lighter USB adaptor I use to power my phone, so can use that for the 2nd power port if needed (but messy as u say).

    We do have an iPod classic, but it doesn't hold it's charge enuf to even load it with songs, can't power and USB transfer at the same time. Also I have over the years built up an absolute HATE of Apple, so won't be going there (although have owned 2 iPhones, and a couple of iPods over the years)!

    I am currently using an SD card (low capacity), and I like that, but TBH trying to save some money and have this HDD and USB caddie lying around. Can you browse artist, etc if you use AMI/Thumbdrive/HDD? As I would have thought if that'd work so would SD Cards (which don't).

    Having a touch or classic is a good solution other than having to install iTunes (no thanks), and the guys off of Amazon sent me an iPhone cable by mistake (which they've refunded and said don't bother returning).

    Think I will try the dealership see if I can get them to send me one, failing that will order one off of eBay or Amazon (even though I drive an Audi, it's a company car and don't have much spare money, price is important!)

    Off that topic, I do like the new A3, I've done from a 1.9 tDi 2009 A3 Sport, to this 2012 A3 Sport 2.0, and yeah the engine needs a little loosening, but it's not half bad. Love the interior and the dials (climate control so much nicer having full rotary dials instead of the 'flicky' ones in the old car). Not quite sure of all the driving modes (either leave in Economy or Dynamic), but passenger comfort is better (so my gf says). It is a firm drive (and see where people who say this comes from), but it's a nice drive.
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  6. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Will get some pictures later, or over weekend, time depending. I'm in Cheshire! Thanks for the warm welcome :)
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  7. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Ah I forgot the USB power outlet only comes with the phone box option.

    I'm not sure whether using a hard drive would allow you to browse the content by Artist or Genre or whatever. I know the old system never used to allow that but perhaps the new system is capable of reading the ID tags in the files and offering different ways of searching or browsing? Will have to try that with an SD card and see if it works.

    Know what you mean about the comfort/ride, it's a lot better and less "jiggly" than my old S-Line. I never minded the firmness of the old car but passengers noticed it more. I think they've tweaked the suspension plus the wheelbase is longer and the front axle a fair bit further forward which helps a lot. The engine definitely needs loosening up a bit and isn't as smooth as my last one was - don't know if that will improve but it's fine as it is. The car also doesn't feel anywhere near as nose-heavy as the last one did - the weight reductions plus the aluminium front wings and bonnet obviously help here.
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  8. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    Yeah no phone box (I use it as a mounted Sat Nav anyways, so no point!), so no USB port in there, just AMI.

    I've seen screenshots around of various interfaces showing slightly different things on screen. I can't browse artists or songs or albums with the SD card, just the file structures. It DOES show artist, album, track and thumbnail/fanart (500x500px max) from the ID3 tags. It would have to build a database of artists, albums, etc. No reason why it couldn't do this, but doesn't with SD, maybe it would with the AMI port, will let you know if I ever get the right cable and HDD works. Obviously the iPhone adaptor does read the iPhone/iPods database and displays that, a HDD wouldn't provide that information. Was dissapointed that the bluetooth doesn't have the updated 1.4 protocol for browsing in my phone. Provides artist, track information, FF/RW, etc but no browsing... :(

    The sport (I have), I believe has the same lowered suspension as the S-Line, and yes the passengers previously (well my gf), complained of the passenger ride a bit. As a driver I loved it and love this too. It is a little harder, but you get to 'feel' the road. She says it's better in the new one. I think it's more the seats actually she didn't like in the old one, which'll be different between our cars!
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  9. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 1, 2012]
    if you are interested in local meets in your area, click the link below and add your name on to the members list and have a look through the section to see whats going on soon. :) x


    ​Smaller (Local) Events
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  10. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 2, 2012]
    Well spoken to the dealer that delivered my car, and they're not sure if they're meant to give away AMI cables or not with the new A3s. They're calling Audi UK today to check (apparently they've refunded the dealers when this has happened for A6's in the past). But you got one Vertigo, out of interest what dealership did you use? The dealer for mine is Dundee for some unknown reason!
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  11. MiT
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    MiT Work Hard, Play harder!!

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    [Nov 3, 2012]
    Interesting read.

    I am looking at getting the technology pack with the new sportback sport model. one think is the audio devices. I do have an ipod touch, but would prefare the SD card since its so much easier, drag and drop. etc.

    When i play audio on my pc via VLC or winamp it shows the album art, since it is embedded within the ID tags of the mp3, i am hoping the SD card in the audi will also use this.

    I hate the fact everything is around Apple, it isn't all that and they should cater for other devices. Anyway this is about Apple.

    Let me know how it goes.
    I think by the time i order the new sportback it will be February before i can get it.
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  12. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 3, 2012]
    Well they have put one in the post wooohoo. They should ship with them.

    Mit the cover art works from sd cards if they are 500x500px or less. I have actually been through a load of my mp3's sorting out the images. It works with multiples to looking for ones at 500x500. Hope that helps.
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  13. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    Well the cables arrived, and whilst I struggled to get my 160GB HDD working in it in the caddie I bought years ago, the 80GB hard drive worked fine. Interestingly the 160 was spinning up without issue, the MMI system just said "No device connected". I have a feeling it might have been a mistake by me on the formatting of the drive (struggled to get it formatted in Windows, managed with Linux in the end), so will give that another go later.

    Artwork, etc works fine (again at 500x500px or less), no artist/album browsing, but that information IS displayed.
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  14. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    Glad you got it working after a fashion - suspect it will be a formatting issue on the 160GB.

    So, have we concluded that the ability to browse by artist/album/genre/etc is restricted to iPods only and with SD cards or hard drives you have to navigate the folder structure on the drive? Useful info.
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  15. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    Well I formatted to exfat, and that didn't work, tride vfat (FAT32), but had left the partition type as HPFS/NTFS/Exfat so that probably messed it up. Also my 160 is a 2 platter HDD, and the 80 is a one platter (so the 160 requires more power to spin up and continue spinning, although that didn't seem to be the issue).

    Well I can probably safely say that SD cards and the USB HDD DON'T allow browsing by album, artists, etc on the MMI system I have. I have not used an Apple product myself to test (iTunes on my computers... no thanks ;)), but I guess the Apple devices keep artist, album, etc information on the device itself which the car's MMI displays. The car would need to scan a storage device and store that information somewhere (possible of course) for this to work, but it seems it doesn't do that. I like listening by album anyways, so browsing through the folders is not a big deal for me, as I organise my files by Arist/Album/Track.mp3 anyways. Also it does work with playlists too, which is nice.

    Might get round to trying one of my old iPhones at some stage, and install iTunes on a VM sumwhere :)

    Guess you can confirm that the iPod works fine with artists?
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  16. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    Yeah it works fine with artist, album, genre and so on with my iPod Touch.

    I think there are some alternatives to iTunes if you're prepared to jailbreak the device. Then again, I don't have much problem with it, just use it to shovel music onto the iPod and that's it really.
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  17. MiT
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    MiT Work Hard, Play harder!!

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    sometimes you can get USB hard drive leads which have two usb sockets on end and a mini usb on the other, to help with power. If that doesnt work then it could be down to size or format type which i guess you have already tried.

    all the track information is stored in the mp3 file under its IDtag, there are different versions and you can use software to edit this.

    VLC player and winamp allow you to do this, and just found these two, which i have never used to be honest.
    Mp3tag - the universal Tag Editor (ID3v2, MP4, OGG, FLAC, ...)
    EasyTAG - Tag editor for MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MusePack and Monkey's Audio files, ...

    just do a google search.

    might be worth checking the information is there else it could be simple as that :)

    just found this How to eliminate potential problems on USB Powered... - Western Digital Community
    not sure if it helps
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  18. gunja99
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    gunja99 New Member

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    Mit, thats the cable I tried at first. I have quite a lot of cables I've collected over the years, heh, and tried both double USB powered, and single (plugged one into the MMI, and one into a powered USB port in the cigarette lighter I normally use for my phone, heh!). Tried both USB plugs in the MMI as well (though I'm pretty sure which one is the 'data' enabled one). Neither worked with the 160, and in all honesty think it's probably the formatting (which I've still not had a chance to correct and try again, will report back when I do get a chance though). As I said it seems to spin up (I hear it), just says 'not connected'.

    I use Linux and use EasyTag, and have been going through all my MP3's gradually, and re-ripping CDs to MP3 AND Flac, heh! The tags are fine, and the car DOES show Artist, track, album and art, it just doesn't scan them all and show you a list of artists, albums, etc (as Rhythm Box, XBMC, etc, etc, would). It just allows you to browse by file/directory structure.
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  19. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    I use Tag & Rename for manipulating Tags and the TuneUp! plugin for iTunes for retrieving and saving artwork. Both work extremely well.

    I think the issue is that, whilst you can ensure all of the tags and artwork are correct in your files, the MMI system won't do a full scan of an SD card or hard drive so it can then compile lists by artist, album, genre etc. iPods obviously do this themselves so the MMI can just present these lists from the iPod itself and don't have to scan the entire contents.

    One thing I've been meaning to try but not got round to is seeing if iTunes Match works. Whilst I store music directly on my iPod in the car, on my phone I use iTunes Match so I can stream any music I have in my entire iTunes library from the cloud. Means I don't take up any space on the phone but still have access to anything I want whereever I am. With the AMI in my old 8P, it couldn't see anything on the iPhone unless it had been actually downloaded from the cloud first. I'm interested to see if the new system will see everything that iTunes Match presents but then download/stream it when you try to actually play it. Would be cool if it did but I doubt it somehow.
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  20. MiT
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    MiT Work Hard, Play harder!!

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    ah i see.
    I guess its Audi then :)
    I don't understand why something so simple cant be done by them.
    Oh well.

    on a seperate note; Might visit local audi today to see what colour to choose :)
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  21. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    Yeah I suppose Audi could make their system scan the SD card or drive to compile lists of tags so you could then navigate by artist/album/genre and so on but, on a large card or drive, this would take a long time to do.

    As for colour - Daytona Grey. End of discussion :p
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  22. MiT
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    MiT Work Hard, Play harder!!

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    lol. i really like that colour, but cant get it on the sport :(
    also depending on the budget i may only have a choice of the free ones.
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  23. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    Ah, forgot that Daytona was S-Line only :(

    Got to be black then, either Phantom or, if you're limited to the standard colours, Brilliant Black.
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  24. MiT
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    MiT Work Hard, Play harder!!

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    [Nov 7, 2012]
    I read and was told by audi sales guy that Brilliant Black is not a good choice, since the brilliant black compound allows the car to scratch very easily. So i looked at Amalfi White on an A1 car at the dealers which wasn't too bad, not as good as Glacier white.

    He also got me thinking about the tech pack, so i am thinking if i didnt get that i could get something else instead, maybe another colour and better wheels, but the standard sport where also good.
    #23

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