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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, new here, but have been doing car stereo stuff for a long time, but far from an expert. I like the Kenwood series, and the Excelons are nice. I have a DDX393, and it works well. I've been copying my vast CD collection onto a 32gb SD card, then putting that card into an SD card reader, and then sliding that into the USB reader on the back of said Excelon. Problem is, the stereo is only recognizing a handful of the several artists I've installed on the card. I like the feature of this stereo where I can hit random play, and it'll play from any folder at any time. But, it's not recognizing every folder on the card. All the files have been installed on the card the same way, with the same Asus laptop, using windows media player, mp3 format.

So, I've been looking at the DDX396 which would be newer. Since it's newer, would my problem be solved? Or have I put the files on the card in the wrong way or format? What have I done wrong here?

Also, is there another stereo I should look at that will do what I want? I'm a Kenwood fan, but as such, am not familiar with other brands that maybe I should know about, but definitely do not.
Look forward to hearing about a solution. Thanks
 

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I'm doing things a little differently than you but I'll try to help. I suspect that using media player is the bulk of your problem. I use the EAC app to rip my CDs to the hard drive before copying them to SD for use by my Pioneer. I use the MP3tag app to manage the tags on the files. I haven't had too much trouble with artist tags but the album art was a pain when I first started.

You should look at the structure of the files/directories after the ripping process and use MP3tag to analyze the tags on the files. Try to figure out what is working and what is failing. I now have over 90 CDs on my SD card in FLAC and they are all indexed by songs/genre/artist.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I'm kinda the old guy who's let technology go on by. MP3tag app, that sorta stuff is over my head, but I'll take a look.
What exactly is FLAC? From what I can gather, it's a new format? Must be better than MP3 format? I see the 396 will read FLAC where the 393 makes no mention of it.

And what is EAC?
 

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FLAC is an audio format that compresses audio files without loss and allows the addition of tags. EAC is the app that I use to rip the CD files to my hard drive and compress them with FLAC. MP3tag is the app that I use to adjust tags and set the cover art that my pioneer displays while playing the songs.I had to learn all of this using google and it is a bit of a pain but possible. Click the links that I gave you there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome, good stuff. Thanks. I'll check it out. Album art would be cool, but at this point, I'd just like the stereo to recognize all my files. If I use these apps you've listed, will my 393 work as I want, or will I still have to get something newer?
 

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The specs for your 393 say it will play WAV files from USB. You should be able to play files from USB without worry about compression (flac), you will just be able to put a lot less on your USB device. I'm not sure what the easiest method to get proper file transfers is. EAC is a bit of a pain to get setup the first time. Here is a pretty good site to try: roozster.info > EAC
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But it also says my stereo will be play MP3 files, which makes me wonder why I'm having this problem. True, I'm not able to put as many on, but I'm using a 32gb card which seems to be enough for what I'm demanding of it.
 

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Yes, if the MP3 files are properly copied. I suspect a problem with the way media player is copying the files, the tags attached to files, the directory structure the files are put in, etc. I wouldn't know what media player is doing without examining the usb drive after the transfer. I have little faith in media player getting the details correct. I used iTunes to put my iTunes library on a USB drive and it was a mess until I did a lot of adjustments.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gotcha. That clicked in my head a little bit there. I'll have to check out the other copier, see if it makes a difference. It's been very time consuming to do all these CDs on a memory card, and I've already filled another 16gb card that didn't hold all I wanted, so I started on a bigger card. Looks like maybe I'll be doing it again.
 

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Try it using a usb stick and see if it’s any different, it could be the tagging or encryption of the files on the cards, but I don’t think using a third party device will do you any favours if I’m honest
 

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I use an USB stick with my Kenwood 9903s. I also normally use Exact Audio Copy software to copy my CDs over to FLAC.

My unit will read FLAC files up to 192khz/24bit. I think a CD is 44hhz/16bit. So my headunit is more than capable of the resolution of a FLAC file from a CD.

The only problem that I have ever had that was somewhat similar to yours involved using a slow USB card. It would also be slow to move between songs and folders. It was worse in the heat & the bigger the memory card. It was also worse the more songs on the memory card.

People told me it wasn't possible but, I could hear a slight difference. I assume it was not transfer the bits over quick enough. I ended up buying three new very fast memory cards over a year ago and no more problems.

 

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As a matter of fact, I have a Kenwood Excelon myself, and come to find out, many Kenwood HU's had had a problem with the USB functions, however you can go to the Kenwood USA website and download a software update, that should fix this problem. And, this will probably work for you. I'm just the "lucky guy" for whom that update refuses to install ! Urgggg...
 

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Sorry if I am hijacking OP's thread but could use some USB playback help myself.

I just installed a Kenwood Excelon DDX9905S and tested USB playback and I can’t figure out how to select playlists.

It plays songs fine, shows album art, allows me to search artists and albums but I want to select a specific playlist and randomly play the songs on it.

I assume I could put a single folder on a USB drive with a single playlist on it and it would play fine. What I tried was a 256GB 3.1 USB with 3 folders on it; one with all my albums in it and two folders with playlists. I am able to do this in my BMW’s and select a specific playlist folder or an individual album.

Songs are saved from Apple Lossless to FLAC.

Edit 1: I found Search Operation on page 33 of my manual. Manual shows there should be a Folder List option I could not find earlier today, I'll look again tomorrow and see if selecting category drop down will show a Folder List Option.

Edit 2: I was able to find the playlist folders but it wasn't intuitive. I scrolled up and down the list and didn't find the folders until touching the "top" button. Then my 3 folders were listed and I could select a playlist. I also checked my firmware and upgraded from 1.2.0009.1800 to 1.6.0009.1800. I realize it is a 2018 model but was new in box, regardless, it is up to date.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, some great stuff here guys. I'll try to find that Kenwood update Fish Chris, unless you can post a link here. I'd be willing to give it a try, don't figure I have much to lose at this point.
I've wondered if there was a problem with my SD card, but it's a new 32g card, and seems to be fine. But buying that fast memory stick is tempting too.
Either way, looks like maybe I'll be copying music once again to some sort of device, unless the software update comes thru for me....so, I'm planning on copying again.

I guess a big question here now is, do I even need to worry about upgrading from the 393 to the newer 396? I guess I'll try to find that software update first and go from there. But I agree already with what was said earlier, in that I bet windows has something to do with it.
 

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Wow. Finding that firmware updated was incredibly easy. Here's the link in case anyone needs it.


So now my question is....do I need to update 3 things? There's application, system and DVD firmware updates.
 

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Here's a little update. I did all three updates on my stereo, and it took them all. I can see noticeable differences on the screen, and maybe I'll hear some over time, but nothing immediately that I can notice. USB issues are still the same, it's recognizing the same files it did before, so at this point, I'll be looking into that EAC thing and seeing if that makes a difference. I do hope someone will chime in and let me know if they think I need to upgrade stereos or not at this time. I sure hope not, but if I can get my files to work and all be recognized and played, I'd do it.
 

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Here's a little update. I did all three updates on my stereo, and it took them all. I can see noticeable differences on the screen, and maybe I'll hear some over time, but nothing immediately that I can notice. USB issues are still the same, it's recognizing the same files it did before, so at this point, I'll be looking into that EAC thing and seeing if that makes a difference. I do hope someone will chime in and let me know if they think I need to upgrade stereos or not at this time. I sure hope not, but if I can get my files to work and all be recognized and played, I'd do it.
I have a similar problem with my Pioneer not playing some flac files, I just re encoded them with foobar and they work fine. You can download mp3 tag for free and edit tags.
 

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So, what does 'editing tags' mean? I'm not up on that at all. I think I will try the EAC at some point in the near future, see if it makes a difference. If my stereo plays all the files I put on the card, I will be very happy. I don't even care about album art at this point, but sure would be a nice bonus.
 

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Briefly a tag is the title of the song, the album it is on, the artist that performs it, the year it was released, the genre of the song, and possibly the track # of the song on the album. If done properly, you can set the tag fields to your preference.

A quick example might help. A song from band ABC could have a song with artist tag: ABC feat. defghi where defghi is an outside artist performing that song with the ABC band. I prefer all of the songs listed under ABC artist instead of having that song broken out from the rest of the album and remove the "feat defghi" from the artist tag so that all of the songs from that album are under ABC in an artist listing of the music on my SD card.

More complete information on tags can be found here.
 

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It may only play a few songs due to the directory levels your using.

My HU will only play 2 levels deep, so any songs on a 3rd deep sub-folder level or more can not be reconized or played.

Think of the Folders and sub-folders on your Computer.


Lets say your SD Drive (thumb drive) is called E: drive when you have it plugged into your PC.

Lets say the 1st level folder is called the name of the band. I.e. Lynyrd Skynyrd,

So, we have the Drive and 1st Level folder >> E:/Lynyrd Skynyrd, ...at this point, any songs in the LS folder can be played.

E:/Lynyrd Skynyrd/The Last Rebel 1993. at this point 'The Last Rebel' folder is the 2nd deep sub-folder, all songs can be played.

So, If your folders are setup with that are 3 levels deep, any songs in the 3 level will not play.

Example: E:/MyMusic/Lynyrd Skynyrd/The Last Rebel 1993 << Level 1 is called MyMusic, Sub-Level 2 is called Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sub-Level 3 is called The Last Rebel 1993, any songs in the Sub-Level 3 will not play because your HU cannot read that deep into the sub-folders.

I had to keep all my music folders either 1 level or 2 levels deep on my Thumb Drive, because my HU could not read the 3 levels deep.

Hope this makes sense....
 
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