Solid State Hard Drive for media playback.


ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
3,508
721
Saint Marys, GA
  I see head units saying they are compatible with Windows NTFS (New Technology File System) through their USB inputs, which is great, but has anyone hooked up a loaded SSD (Solid State Drive) to their head unit for audio media playback? If so, please tell me about it. Issues, pro's, con's how it was hooked up...

 

ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
3,508
721
Saint Marys, GA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
My thoughts are... HU that plays FLAC or WAV files at up to (192kHz / 24bit) and reads NTFS with one of these two 500GB SSD USB drives. Neither needs external power so simply connecting to the HU should work just fine and both are backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

So: SSD --> HU --> DSP --> Amplifiers --> speakers --> Good Ear.

A85V_1_20190502502794732.jpg

A0ZX_1_2019010325903919.jpg

 
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THATpurpleKUSH

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Why not just use a high capacity flash drive (>128gb) 

How many people out there actually drive around with their entire music library in the vehicle?

 

ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
3,508
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Saint Marys, GA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Why not just use a high capacity flash drive (>128gb) 

How many people out there actually drive around with their entire music library in the vehicle?
Well obviously capacity is a plus and the higher the bit rate of the music, the larger the files. I was also thinking a semi-permanent mounting of the hard drive for display. FAT and eXfat and FAT32 are limited in their speed and capacity. NTFS should be limitless. I use a flash drive right now (32GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit) It disappears on the face of the head unit which I like. It works fine but again... it is limited. I do load music on it frequently though. It would be nice if all my HiRes music files were already there. 500GB is a lot of storage. I don't have 500GB of HiRes music but I may some day.

Think about it --- A single MP3 track/song @ 320kbps is on average 11MB ( 11MB x 8 tracks = 88MB for an 8 track album - approx. 568 albums )

                           A single FLAC track/song @ 192kHz/ 24bit is on average 195MB ( 195MB x 8 tracks = 1.56GB for an 8 track album - approx. 320 albums )

                           A single WAV track/song @ 192kHz/ 24bit is on average 329MB ( 329MB x 8 tracks = 2.63GB for an 8 track album - approx. 190 albums )

                           A single DSD track/song @ 5.6MHz/ 1bit is on average 403MB ( 403MB x 8 tracks = 3.22GB for an 8 track album - approx. 155 albums )

This is assuming only 8 tracks per album and a 500GB drive.... some albums have more tracks, some have less. You can see how much more room you need for HiRes files.

An average normal store bought music CD is around 700+MB

 
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ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
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Saint Marys, GA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I get that high quality means a larger file size but theres no sense in reinventing the wheel. I got a 128gb flash drive for $35 2 years ago. 
And it is probably a FAT file system then. Which means limitation... especially by the head unit reading it. It will be limited to the amount of folders and files it can read or index... or access. Example... my eXcelon is limited to 99 folders.

The NTFS was a leap forward and got rid of those limitation. With a 128GB flash drive... I'd be in the same boat I am in with this 32GB drive that holds my down-converted to 44.1/ 16bit (head unit is limited to CD quality on all sources) music files and not being able to hold more music and having to swap albums on the regular to the flash drive. I don't want to use my phone to stream music via BlueTooth and AptXHD if I don't have to. It would be so much easier to not have to fuss with a phone to play music when I can just go right to it on the head unit.

You say " How many people out there actually drive around with their entire music library in the vehicle?" I think more would if it was that easy. I listen to A LOT of music when I am driving and it doesn't take long to cycle back to the beginning... maybe a few days of driving. Then I am like damn, time to add more albums and get rid of some. It's inconvenient. However, like I said, I drive my own vehicle for my job so I am on the road much more than the average car audio enthusiast... I suppose.

The cool thing is, if you get more music and you have a lap top... you can just add your music without having to remove your storage device. Also... if the head unit is able to play video files from the USB input then you could also put videos in that sumbitch.

 

THATpurpleKUSH

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Pretty sure you can reformat a flash drive to NTFS. 

I have free Sirius XM, the 128gb drive and whatever else I want to hear I just stream bluetooth and I can't tell a difference between flac and 320kbps mp3s. 

I guess I don't spend enough time in my vehicle even with a 40 mile round trip commute sitting in rush hour (5-10mph on a 70mph hwy) 90% of the time. 

 

ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
3,508
721
Saint Marys, GA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Pretty sure you can reformat a flash drive to NTFS. 

I have free Sirius XM, the 128gb drive and whatever else I want to hear I just stream bluetooth and I can't tell a difference between flac and 320kbps mp3s. 

I guess I don't spend enough time in my vehicle even with a 40 mile round trip commute sitting in rush hour (5-10mph on a 70mph hwy) 90% of the time. 
Yes, but the majority of head units only support FAT file systems. The ones that say they support NTFS through their USB's are the ones that open up the storage capacities for us.

I will send an email or two and see what the responses I get from a few manufacturers on their folder limits, if any... Their HD size limits if any.

 

ThxOne

AudioFreak
Jun 8, 2018
3,508
721
Saint Marys, GA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Ahhhh. I have the answers I was seeking!!

The eXcelon double din head units I have been looking at (DMX905S, DMX906S, DMX907S) will all do NTFS with unlimited music folders. They accept USB "Mass Storage Devices" so the portable SSD's will do fine and they do not say there is a limit on the GB size of the hard drives.The USB 2.0 powered USB inputs will power the SSD's 5v 1.5a which is what they ask for.

So, to answer my questions in post #1, at least the Kenwood eXcelon's I have listed will do multiple Mass Storage Devices (SSD's). So yes, if anyone wants all their music in their vehicles, go for the head units that accept NTFS.

Also... The manual does state it will do video as well including .mkv

Kenwood DMX906S manual listed below. Highlighted in red are the key points.

Kenwoods-NTFS.jpg

 

slide95

CarAudio.com Newbie
Mar 22, 2019
12
0
Your media player is loaded into the RAM when you run it. Information is not sent from the HDD to the SSD.

 

wew lad

wew lad inc
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Even though it says there's no "limit" I guarantee you there is.

Throw a 256gb microSD card into your phone and connect via bluetooth. You're making this harder than it needs to be.
 
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stephgirl

Member
Mar 5, 2014
296
25
Covina CA
Well great question. I have this somewhat exact system in my vehicle now. I played around with this few years back and this is what i found that works for me. I use a portable hard drive Western Digital 1TB, not a SSD drive but a standard small WD portable hard drive. I had installed last year a
Pioneer FH-S701BS it will play FLAC files (high def files) and Wave files and MP3 and so on. it was under $150 Crutchfield. My old HU was a Clarion and it too ran the WD Hard Drive but only played MP3. Being that i believe most HU will run a USB port but from what i have found out is most will play only Fat 32 format. As you know Fat 32 is an older format but most HU USB ports except only Fat 32. That is what most
flash drive or memory stick have on them is a Fat 32 format. So if you know this, past many years Windows come with NTSB format and most all of the new Hard Drives are pre-formated in NTSB from factory. So i did the test few yeas back on my old Clarion HU and installed some music in mp3 and hard drive was in the original NTSB format and it will not play or recognize it. Also tried it in my new Pioneer HU, NO GO also. In the specs of the HU it will say what format the USB port will recognize. Most say Fat 32 being that almost all flash drive come in Fat 32. So what i did was find a free or cheep software program that will reformat the HD into Fat 32 format. Like CNET.com, they have cheep or free basic programs you can download. So i did that and then installed the music in MP3 and it worked fine. So last year when i decided to go High Def car audio in my vehicle i looked for a HU that would play High Def FLAC files and Wave files. The Pioneer HU i have recognizes a lot of folders and files way over 1000 or so something like that. Look for my Pioneer HU model and see the specs on it. Crutchfield has all the specs. I have a High Def sound system in my vehicle now. High Def certified Kenwood amps and Pioneer component speakers and so on.

I have over 6000 songs(over 250 G on drive) do to i have professional music editing software WavLab on my home computer and edit and save all kinds of music. So on my WD hard Drive 1TB i have the individual folders listed, like Rock, Pop, Rap, Soft Rock, Techno, Dance, and so on. And in each of the folders i have sub-folders. Example in Rock folder i have say Judas Priest or AC/DC and then in that sub-folder i have all the music in Wave format. In the same main folder like Rock i have the single songs that may not have enough songs to be put in there own sub-folder. Same in say Pop folder i have sub-folder Michael Jackson with all his songs in there. I have not had time to download any FLAC High Def music yet do to, I have a Job and am busy and get tired. But the Pioneer HU will play the high def FLAC files. So with my Pioneer HU i can scan the main music folders and then push the buttom and it will stop on that main folder like rock folder and then i can scan the sub-folders or the single songs by turning the main knob in HU.

Ok well i can not forget to tell you about some of the special information i have come across when i have been playing around with this Hard drive thing. it may get more complicated. But this is extra on what i found out when experimenting with this. Earlier this year i purchased a brand new Western Digital portable hard drive to re-format to Fat 32 and load with music and so on. The WD portable drives have become way affordable 1TB for $60 or $70 anyway. I did the exact thing i did with my older WD drive and it did not work. Looking into why it did not work and trying new things i looked at the hard drive partitions that were on there. I found out that these new drives have a front partition that has some small info on there. This partition is before the main drives partition that holds all the info or music or what ever you have. All hard drives have this. One of my older drives had the same front partition and i have to go into my disc management on my windows computer and do a expand drive partition and add the front partition to the main partition to make only one main partition. I would guess that when you plug the hard drive into the car stereo HU USB port it will automatically look for the Fat 32 ye,s then any music to play. Well if you have this front part partition on the drive and it has some hard drive info or something with computer info, the HU USB port will see or try to read this part of the drive first and it will see that it has no info it can read and just give an error on HU. Dose this makes sense to all.
So with this older WD drive i had i did the expand the partition and incorporated the front partition to the main partition to make for only one main partition. Then i did the re-format to Fat 32 and loaded some music and it worked. But with my new WD drive i purchased this year i could not get it to work. I think it has some embedded software from WD that runs the drive in front or something on there. So after making one main partition and
re-format to Fat 32 it still don't work and i think it is because the HU USB port tries to read the first part of drive and it sees the embedded WD info and gives an error.

Software i used was, MiniAideFat32Formatte, believe I got if off CNET.com. If was a basic free program.

Now when i looked at the USB stick or flash drive when i was doing my investigations i noticed that flash drives are basic and don't have all this partition stuff and are already in a Fat 32 format. Flash drives have like a one partition the whole stick basically This is how i found out to try to incorporate the front partition into one main partition so the HU USB port will read the main music Fat 32 part first and recognize then play.

For now my system or Pioneer HU plays fine with my Western Digital portable drive in Fat 32 format. No lag times and it changes fast to new songs and so on. So the original poster and others here have said that new car stereo HU are now recognizing NTSB format?? I have not seen this but i will have to look into it, if so that would be much better then Fat 32. If you know or maybe don't know, In fat 32 format it does not alphabetize the songs. As i install more music on my drive it just puts the song in the last place in the list. So i have to go to the end of the file or sub-file to find the song. In NTSB that been now for many years it will alphabetize the files for you and i hope this will be so in new HU units.

This all i just posted sounds like a lot of work but really is wasn't. I just played around with it few years back little by little and got to where i am today. I was just tired of the small flash drives and only 32 g drives. I wanted to have all my music and be able to listen to what ever i felt like at that time.
Now that i have all this info on how to do it, it don't take long to re-format and expand drive and so on.

I have not tried a SSD Drive yet. They still a little pricey for me.

Sorry for the long post reply but hope this helps

 
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wew lad

wew lad inc
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Mar 22, 2015
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VA
Samsung 860 evo's are dirt cheap ($140/1tb) compared to just 6-12 months ago. I purchased one for my xbox/ps4 and the load times are worth it. The only reason it's worthwhile in a car is because spinning platters + vibration = death.

The ONLY reason I'd ever use a wired connection is for FLAC files with a system that uses fiber and balanced connections which is already in the area of diminishing returns vs $$$. New headunits with APTx have more than enough bandwidth over bluetooth to support FLAC files and it's going to actually be cheaper than setting up a SSD (or at least similar in price).
 

stephgirl

Member
Mar 5, 2014
296
25
Covina CA
My update

I was looking little wile ago at the head units and some now do have NTFS format capabilities. But seams as if they are most of the hi-line units.
My Pioneer i said i have uses Fat 32 format. Fat 32 is still fine.

I also looked on Amazon and found a Western Digital Passport Go SSD 500G for $53.98. A WD passport Go is a rugged SSD drive for drops and vibration and so on It is a Amazon Warehouse used unit. Meaning it is new hard drive but package may have been somewhat damaged or something like that. Still a new SSD for $53.98 dam cheep if you ask me.


I was going to buy it but I already have two WD drives here i use in the truck.And one more not even opened yet brand new. I really don't need one more. And my regular WD drive i said i have has been great no skipping or shut downs wile driving in my Toyota Tacoma Xcab truck even.
 

stephgirl

Member
Mar 5, 2014
296
25
Covina CA
Well great question. I have this somewhat exact system in my vehicle now. I played around with this few years back and this is what i found that works for me. I use a portable hard drive Western Digital 1TB, not a SSD drive but a standard small WD portable hard drive. I had installed last year a
Pioneer FH-S701BS it will play FLAC files (high def files) and Wave files and MP3 and so on. it was under $150 Crutchfield. My old HU was a Clarion and it too ran the WD Hard Drive but only played MP3. Being that i believe most HU will run a USB port but from what i have found out is most will play only Fat 32 format. As you know Fat 32 is an older format but most HU USB ports except only Fat 32. That is what most
flash drive or memory stick have on them is a Fat 32 format. So if you know this, past many years Windows come with NTSB format and most all of the new Hard Drives are pre-formated in NTSB from factory. So i did the test few yeas back on my old Clarion HU and installed some music in mp3 and hard drive was in the original NTSB format and it will not play or recognize it. Also tried it in my new Pioneer HU, NO GO also. In the specs of the HU it will say what format the USB port will recognize. Most say Fat 32 being that almost all flash drive come in Fat 32. So what i did was find a free or cheep software program that will reformat the HD into Fat 32 format. Like CNET.com, they have cheep or free basic programs you can download. So i did that and then installed the music in MP3 and it worked fine. So last year when i decided to go High Def car audio in my vehicle i looked for a HU that would play High Def FLAC files and Wave files. The Pioneer HU i have recognizes a lot of folders and files way over 1000 or so something like that. Look for my Pioneer HU model and see the specs on it. Crutchfield has all the specs. I have a High Def sound system in my vehicle now. High Def certified Kenwood amps and Pioneer component speakers and so on.

I have over 6000 songs(over 250 G on drive) do to i have professional music editing software WavLab on my home computer and edit and save all kinds of music. So on my WD hard Drive 1TB i have the individual folders listed, like Rock, Pop, Rap, Soft Rock, Techno, Dance, and so on. And in each of the folders i have sub-folders. Example in Rock folder i have say Judas Priest or AC/DC and then in that sub-folder i have all the music in Wave format. In the same main folder like Rock i have the single songs that may not have enough songs to be put in there own sub-folder. Same in say Pop folder i have sub-folder Michael Jackson with all his songs in there. I have not had time to download any FLAC High Def music yet do to, I have a Job and am busy and get tired. But the Pioneer HU will play the high def FLAC files. So with my Pioneer HU i can scan the main music folders and then push the buttom and it will stop on that main folder like rock folder and then i can scan the sub-folders or the single songs by turning the main knob in HU.

Ok well i can not forget to tell you about some of the special information i have come across when i have been playing around with this Hard drive thing. it may get more complicated. But this is extra on what i found out when experimenting with this. Earlier this year i purchased a brand new Western Digital portable hard drive to re-format to Fat 32 and load with music and so on. The WD portable drives have become way affordable 1TB for $60 or $70 anyway. I did the exact thing i did with my older WD drive and it did not work. Looking into why it did not work and trying new things i looked at the hard drive partitions that were on there. I found out that these new drives have a front partition that has some small info on there. This partition is before the main drives partition that holds all the info or music or what ever you have. All hard drives have this. One of my older drives had the same front partition and i have to go into my disc management on my windows computer and do a expand drive partition and add the front partition to the main partition to make only one main partition. I would guess that when you plug the hard drive into the car stereo HU USB port it will automatically look for the Fat 32 ye,s then any music to play. Well if you have this front part partition on the drive and it has some hard drive info or something with computer info, the HU USB port will see or try to read this part of the drive first and it will see that it has no info it can read and just give an error on HU. Dose this makes sense to all.
So with this older WD drive i had i did the expand the partition and incorporated the front partition to the main partition to make for only one main partition. Then i did the re-format to Fat 32 and loaded some music and it worked. But with my new WD drive i purchased this year i could not get it to work. I think it has some embedded software from WD that runs the drive in front or something on there. So after making one main partition and
re-format to Fat 32 it still don't work and i think it is because the HU USB port tries to read the first part of drive and it sees the embedded WD info and gives an error.

Software i used was, MiniAideFat32Formatte, believe I got if off CNET.com. If was a basic free program.

Now when i looked at the USB stick or flash drive when i was doing my investigations i noticed that flash drives are basic and don't have all this partition stuff and are already in a Fat 32 format. Flash drives have like a one partition the whole stick basically This is how i found out to try to incorporate the front partition into one main partition so the HU USB port will read the main music Fat 32 part first and recognize then play.

For now my system or Pioneer HU plays fine with my Western Digital portable drive in Fat 32 format. No lag times and it changes fast to new songs and so on. So the original poster and others here have said that new car stereo HU are now recognizing NTSB format?? I have not seen this but i will have to look into it, if so that would be much better then Fat 32. If you know or maybe don't know, In fat 32 format it does not alphabetize the songs. As i install more music on my drive it just puts the song in the last place in the list. So i have to go to the end of the file or sub-file to find the song. In NTSB that been now for many years it will alphabetize the files for you and i hope this will be so in new HU units.

This all i just posted sounds like a lot of work but really is wasn't. I just played around with it few years back little by little and got to where i am today. I was just tired of the small flash drives and only 32 g drives. I wanted to have all my music and be able to listen to what ever i felt like at that time.
Now that i have all this info on how to do it, it don't take long to re-format and expand drive and so on.

I have not tried a SSD Drive yet. They still a little pricey for me.

Sorry for the long post reply but hope this helps

Did i just see my error in my post. NTSB format Nation Transportation Safety Board. What a dummy i am. Meant to say NTFS format
 

Ripkon

CarAudio.com Regular
Apr 11, 2019
185
40
Virginia
I just started a flac library on a 1tb hd with ntfs format and my pioneer AVH-2330NEX had no problem. It shouldn't be a problem with a ssd
 

stephgirl

Member
Mar 5, 2014
296
25
Covina CA
I just started a flac library on a 1tb hd with ntfs format and my pioneer AVH-2330NEX had no problem. It shouldn't be a problem with a ssd
Hi Ripkon, That is great that your starting a FLAC library. If it sounds good to you and your happy so be it. We seam to have to many haters on here that just want to poke fun and yell and cry and say there system is better then yours. Don't listen to them. But there are many others on here that do care and want the honestly help others and give there experiences and knowledge. learn what you can and educate yourself on car audio. I too have a Pioneer HU that has my hard drive plugged in 1 tb . I to have to start building my FLAC files. I have right now high quality WAVE files that do sound nice with the High Def sound system. I work a lot and am tired so i just have not gotten to downloading any High Def songs. If it sounds good to you and your happy so be it. Thanks :)
 
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