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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear All,

Things are going pretty well so far for us and our new Velar - she is called Holly.

However, because the ICT is so advanced for a car, I am having to learn how to get the best out of Holly. I thought I would share what I have learned so far when playing music from a USB drive and what still leaves me bewildered.

Why USB for music files?
..... I hear you ask! I am an audiophile. I love music and I want to hear it at its best. I have found Bluetooth compresses the sound quality too much. An iPod connected via a cable is better but not the best. The USB drive, a tiny 128Mb Samsung thumbnail USB, slots neatly into one of the ports. The sound is very good and I can update it when needed from my home laptop / external hard drive. I could use Holly's onboard hard drive but that seems like a lot of hassle if the USB can be made to work seamlessly.

File Structure and Format
This seems important. When I first connected my USB, Holly only discovered about 350 tracks from a total library of nearly 3,000. I needed to clean up the file structure on the USB drive. I deleted the non-music files and folders. I also moved all of my music out of sub-folders so that the files were all at the same level.

I have found that I can detect some subtle sound improvements when playing uncompressed FLAC files ripped directly from CDs. Of course, the original CD recording quality is important but these are generally better than the Apple ALAC or general MP3 files at 256kbps or 320kbps. The discernible difference is the stereo separation of instruments which is the speciality of the Meridian tri-field surround sound system. Meridian is not so good at playing poorer quality MP3 files at a low bit rate. Good is good and poor is poor with Meridian. I don't think clubbers and DJs would make Meridian their system of choice as the brand is about faithfully reproducing the music and not thumping it out via extensive use of graphic equalisers!

Sound Quality Experience
I have struggled with this. Normally, with other systems, I have ramped up bass and treble with lower levels of midrange. But the Meridian system isn't like anything else I have had, other than perhaps my Marantz amplifier on my separates at home. For now, I have only the slightest additional bass, and slightest upward tweak on subwoofer. Treble is set to neutral. I find the music precise, possibly a little too bright and digital? The tonal richness of the Jaguar XJ I had before Holly (she was called Camille) arrived was a little better. It's good but not quite as great as I had hoped - almost but not quite.

Problems
Things are a little erratic on start-up. Sometimes the screen says the music queue is corrupt and won't play anything (usually resolved by simply unplugging and re-inserting the USB in the other port). Or it reverts to the very first track alphabetically on the USB drive - I have heard that track so many times I could scream. It's one of the new releases from Steps in 2017. I then need to re-select shuffle mode and move on! Occasionally Holly remembers where she left off last time and seamlessly starts from there again - that's rare though.

So, as at today's date, we are in a good place but not perfect. I will continue the slow but enjoyable experience of ripping high quality FLAC files from my CDs to the USB drive so I will eventually end up with a clean, orderly and consistent music library. I am unsure right now what I will do with my downloaded music - most of that, from whatever source (Amazon, MSN Music Store (now defunct) and iTunes) has been upgraded via an amazing little facility offered by Apple by which it matches your music and then, if found, duplicates the file but at the best 320kbps / 256kbps AAC file iTunes can find. Neat! Some of my oldest digital music is now upgraded to a much better standard. Once complete, I simply deleted the original poor quality, low bitrate files.

Anyone else have any Ideas?
I hope this may have offered some ideas or solutions for others? Crowd sourcing solutions, not just moaning about them, is the way to go and let's use this forum to exploit the power of The Community. Obviously, Amelia or perhaps even a dealership may want to contribute (I live in hope on the latter) but I have found that many issues are resolved faster and better by the end user - i.e. us!

Best wishes and I will update this thread when I have something new and useful to share about music in the Velar.

Regards,

Arianne
 

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Sound scary and reminds me the time when you had to create a directory file for the music collection of a USB stick.

Question myself how the rest of the Velar software is written, if in the apparent part of it so many flaws exist :-(
 

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Its probably written by Tata in India. Sounds exactly like software projects from India. Its declared as finished, but turns out to be not. How long is music via usb around JLR? It be honest it's aboutly unacceptable do deliver this mess and charge this kinda money for the sound system. In all BMWs we had for the last 12 years, must be more then 8, music via iPhone / usb just worked.
 

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Dear all velar and music fans,

Having collected our velar 4 days ago, I still have little exoerience in handling the ICTP.

I have the feeling that there is an issue with USB recognition. It looks unstable. When Plugging a simple usb stick (properly Fat 32 formated) I experienced a good connection on one USB slot and then no connection 2mn acte on the 2nd slot.

This happens often with my IPhone 6s as well. Sometimes I can see it and even play Spotify over USB, sometimes there is no way it is recognised on any of the 2 USB slots. Bluetooth is fine and stable though.

For what regards to reading music files from usb sticks. I must say only .mp3 files were viewable and readable from usb stick. I also experienced the message "corrupt list". Eventually I was able to transfer .flac files from usb to the velar internal drive (From the very same Usb stick with the corrupt message!!!). then could read those .flac files. Brilliant sound. It was a rip from a 24 bit AAD AUDIO CD oF the remastered Soft parade album from The doors. I Must confess this was quite a nice audio experience with the meridian. Even if it's only the medium range (S PACK)

So overall, when it' working the ICTP is brilliant : Spotify works great. But the USB weakness is so annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I also have been continuing my research and experimentation. We are away on a short break in Cambridgeshire staying with family and so we were able to enjoy a long journey down from Scotland on Saturday - good for fiddling with the technology on the car!

Sadly, the system chose to recognise just 170 tracks from the 3000 on the USB drive even though nothing had changed from earlier in the week. The other USB drive had been updated with some new FLAC files (that is the clean, uniform and consistent drive mentioned in my earlier post) but the system didn't recognise any of the new ones at all. It's as if they don't exist.

However, I have something new to try when I get home. I found that the F-Pace owners have a thread with a similar problem. They suggest that part of the issue is the folders on the drive. Some have dispensed with the folders and just dumped all of their music onto the USB drive without the folder file structure that is standard with ripping software like dbPoweramp -i.e. artist, album, track name. They say that none of that is needed but just confuses the system. Gracenote picks everything up for you.

So, I will try that later this week and see what difference it makes. Otherwise, the sound quality remains very good albeit that I think it would be nice to have a bit more richness. The treble is too bright and the bass too thin. Adjusting the tone controls will make it brighter or ramps up the bass but not the depth of the music. It's very precise though. Difficult to explain.

SatNav is truly excellent with reliable and very accurate Real Time Traffic Flow data and re-routing options.

I will get there!

Arianne
 

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@ Arianne : I tried files directly saved on the root of the USB stick , without any directories. there was a mix of . mp3 and .flac files. Still had the 'corrupt' message . But as said earlier, eventhough the media player does not recognise the list, I was able to see the files via the transfer menu and save them on the internal HDD, whilst listening to . flac files was possible eventually...

it's Just bizarre . the USB recognition is still eratic
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^^ thanks Ludo. I will share anything I learn too. Arianne
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello folks,

So I have tried the clean, reformatted FAT32 USB with only one type of file format on it. And I have tried different USB drives, small memory, larger memory etc, etc.

The result is the same - the Velar cannot consistently read these USB drives but returns all manner of different errors. Music queue corrupt, file data corrupt, or it can't 'see' the USB whatsoever. The list is extensive. The concept of jumping in my car for a short nip around the corner, quickly switching on the music to listen to a quality track, is virtually impossible because the system takes time to load up and then, when it has, it's a complete lottery as to whether it will play anything. I find myself pulling into a bus stop layby about 1/4 mile from my house and fiddling with the thing to try an coax it to play some music.

So today I ripped my music files across to the on-board hard drive. Someone said that there's 60Gb of space. Oh no there is not. Maybe that is the gross memory size but my 601 music files were taking 25Gb on my USB drive and, after 208 files had been transferred to the on-board hard drive, the Velar told me that the memory was full. I will leave you to do the math.

It looks as if I will just have to make do, fiddle and be patient in the hope that a software patch emerges from JLR one day. How they plan to get away with this on the FFRR and RRS beats me. I paid £70k and I am frustrated. But the base FFRR starts at £72k.

Oh well. Bad day at the office!

Arianne
 

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Arianne said:
Someone said that there's 60Gb of space. Oh no there is not. Maybe that is the gross memory size but my 601 music files were taking 25Gb on my USB drive and, after 208 files had been transferred to the on-board hard drive, the Velar told me that the memory was full. I will leave you to do the math.
Kind of annoying really, storage is so cheap these days there's really no excuse for JLR to skimp. Reading through the fine print in the docs:

  • Without Rear Seat Entertainment - 60GB SSD storage (up to 10GB user media storage)

  • With Rear Seat Entertainment - 160GB SSD storage (up to 110GB user media storage) except North American specification vehicles which still only get 60GB SSD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
fatmanz said:
Arianne said:
Someone said that there's 60Gb of space. Oh no there is not. Maybe that is the gross memory size but my 601 music files were taking 25Gb on my USB drive and, after 208 files had been transferred to the on-board hard drive, the Velar told me that the memory was full. I will leave you to do the math.
Kind of annoying really, storage is so cheap these days there's really no excuse for JLR to skimp. Reading through the fine print in the docs:

  • Without Rear Seat Entertainment - 60GB SSD storage (up to 10GB user media storage)

  • With Rear Seat Entertainment - 160GB SSD storage (up to 110GB user media storage) except North American specification vehicles which still only get 60GB SSD.
Yep, that's helpful. I hadn't read the fine print but my math calculated 10Gb was about it. The rip made it to the letter 'E' alphabetically from the USB drive - there is only so much Electric Light Orchestra and Chris Rea that Mrs A can take before raising the white flag (as it happens, Dido made it with her White Flag single!).

It looks like I will need to compromise on file size, format etc. I have some thinking to do.

Thanks again.

Arianne
 
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