View Full Version : H/U that will work with a USB hard drive?

04-19-2009, 12:54 PM
I have found a few different USB capable H/U lines that I like, and have been weighing my options since my ipod failed. I was thinking that I would use my flash drive and just go that route originally. I do not like the idea of only being able to access 16gb of my 56gb of music at one time. I am now wondering if there are any H/U that anyone knows of that can read the mp3's off of a portable usb HD, seagate free agent go?

I am new to this forum and appreciate any help or suggestions!

04-19-2009, 01:01 PM
doesnt 56gb of music seem like a lot to have to wonder threw to find the song you want?? i use 2gb memory sticks and it takes a while to go threw it..

04-19-2009, 01:04 PM
I have a huge selection of live drum n bass mix sets, varying from 45 minutes to 3 hours, and also my music is meticulously well organized and alphabetized, I have over 5800 songs. I change my mind all the time with what I want to listen to, from rap one time to metal do drum n bass to trance, and I always want to have my entire selection with me

04-19-2009, 01:06 PM
doesnt 56gb of music seem like a lot to have to wonder threw to find the song you want?? i use 2gb memory sticks and it takes a while to go threw it..

not if you spend the time to put everything in folders. i have 300 gb, which would be impossible if the music weren't somewhat organized.

04-19-2009, 01:08 PM
that's exactly what I'm saying, my music is flawlessly organized in folders starting with genre then artist then album then live sets. It would be impossible to keep track any other way, lol

04-19-2009, 01:14 PM
The new Alpine ida-x100 offers usb drives to be connected. I was considering one of those as well as I have about 250 gigs myself.


04-19-2009, 02:33 PM
I have found a few that will do it, but I am hearing things like it needs to be 1.8" drive to power it, and it needs to be fat32 format, these are all things I will have to look into further, bc I really dont want to waste my money on another ipod

04-20-2009, 01:18 AM
I did some research and it seems the Alpine IDA-X200 does it as well, and can be had on ebay for a very reasonable price! I will be calling their tech support tomorrow to discuss things like the power output to the usb connection, what type of drive format it needs and load times. I hear some load times can be minutes if you have complicated folder set ups

04-20-2009, 11:53 PM
i would consider getting a 110 powered HD then use a inverter with your car lighter

04-21-2009, 01:34 AM
I talked with alpine, they said it needs to be in a FAT32 format the same as a flash drive, and that it only does roughly around 500mv, and that it wouldn't support much over a 40g at that voltage. so no I need an external drive that either takes a second usb for power, or a dc connect, and then a power source that I can hard wire to my cigarette lighter power supply bc it never gets used, and I want my install to stay clean

Side Show
04-21-2009, 02:01 AM
pioneer ones need tobe in fat32 aswell, also need tobe in a certin format within folder ect ect on the usb self power'd unit..........

04-21-2009, 03:33 PM
All headunits with USB requires using FAT32, NTFS is not supported. This shouldn't be a problem since FAT32 handles files up to 4gb in size and supports partitions larger than 32gb, however Windows XP will not let you format it in FAT32 on anything larger than 32gb. You will have to format it in Win98 or use a 3rd party program to do it.

Next issue is power. Max power a USB port puts out is 500mA. Hard drives that use more than this will not work and needs an external power source (cig lighter, inverter...). If you dont want to run any extra power, 1.8" and 2.5" laptop drives are your best bet. I've use a 1.8" 80g hard drive on a Kenwood off just the usb and it was fine. If money isn't a concern there are 64gb usb flash drives available but they're $$$.

And last, how well this setup works depends on the brand and model of the HU. Some will handle USB drives better than others and each will have their own limitations (read times, how many folders and how deeply nested those folders can be). One thing is certain for many of these HU is the more complicated and larger collection you have the longer it's going to take to read and access the songs.

04-21-2009, 04:21 PM
Kenwoods are the best as far as usb playback in my opinion. As mentioned above though, the drive will need to be formatted using fat32. I used a 40gb usb powered harddrive with my x991 and it worked flawlessly.

04-21-2009, 07:52 PM
Pioneer Premiers are the only ones that have true 250 gig support that actually works.

04-24-2009, 01:59 PM
I am running the Alpine IDA-X200 and love mine... I always just have mine formatted as a mp3 and have no problems. I just store all my music to a sd card the slide my card reader into the usb slot and go from there...

04-24-2009, 02:12 PM
if you can find one, get one of these:


they are bus powered and have an extra port for a second usb power line. then get something like this :


and you will never have to worry about power problems again.