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I wanted to share some things I’ve learned about playing lossless audio through the USB ports.

First a quick primer if you’re not familiar with these terms: FLAC is a lossless audio compression file format and WAV is an uncompressed audio file format. Both FLAC and WAV deliver CD-quality audio when played but both have file sizes that are much larger than MP3s or other compressed audio formats. Thankfully, as the cost of portable storage has come down, this is less and less of an issue. Wherever possible, I avoid lossy music formats like MP3. Even at 320 bps, the degradation of sound quality is too much for me.

So I converted my entire CD collection into FLAC files (a huge task on its own) and I’ve been using a high-resolution portable music player that can play FLAC files. With a couple of micro-SD cards in my player, I can walk around with 1000+ albums of CD quality music in my pocket. This is a great portable setup for me, but because the infotainment system in the Canyon doesn’t play FLAC files, I was struggling to get things working in the truck. I was able to figure out how to play WAV files from a 1 TB FAT32 formatted USB 3.0 hard drive, but the only way to browse through that collection was using the “Folder” view for the USB flashdrive. That’s because WAV files are not tagged with the song’s information – stuff like artist, song, album, cover art. I could set it to shuffle and it would play randomly through all the folders – and that is pretty cool in itself, but I really wanted to be able to browse through the files for artists or albums like you can for MP3 songs.

So the problem boiled down to finding an application that could tag WAV files. And lo and behold, at least one exists that will work with this infotainment system. It’s called bliss. So I bought it for $39 and had it go through my WAV file collection and tag everything. It was able to identify more than 2/3 of my albums by audio fingerprinting and the rest I had to tag on my own using bliss. But somehow bliss knows how to add these tags to WAV files in a way that other systems can see them. I use MediaMonkey or dbPoweramp for most of my audio conversion stuff, but they were not generating WAV tags that worked in the Canyon.

So when I take that hard drive and plug it onto the console USB (using a USB 3.0 drive and cable), it shows up as a USB audio device and starts indexing. From there, I can browse for artists and albums like you can for MP3s and it shows the album art. So the tagging worked. I think I read that it re-indexes a USB drive every time it’s plugged in, and if that’s the case I have no idea how long it will take to index the entire 1 TB drive. So far, I haven’t gone further than 15 minutes or so. Regardless, I was able to see hundreds of albums in a couple of minutes. So now I have the best of both worlds – CD quality audio and tagged file browsing with album art for over 1000 albums. If you're a lossless audio fan like me, give it a try!
 

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VigilAndy thanks for doing this work. I have only recently gotten the bug for higher resolution audio files. I am still learning but it strikes me there are a number of points where this can breakdown. As I read your comments it seems to suggest that the DAC that is built into the MyLink head unit will read WAV files. As I understand this WAV files are not samples so the issue of sample rate and bit depth do not come into play. If that is correct then using an external USB DAC will not improve audio. I have been looking at the Audio Concepts DragonFly.

By plugging in the hard drive, there is no native music player...just WAV files. If correct, then the OEM stereo is able to read and convert the files. Which USB port do you use...or does it matter?

Regarding Bliss, is this something you installed on your desktop and did the indexing from there? I have been on the road of buying music from Apple iTunes and have not gone through the process of copying my CDs to my desk top. Did you have to recopy your entire library in order to have everything as WAV files?

I have not looked at your profile. What year is your Canyon and do you have the Bose audio upgrade? I would sure hate to go back and buy CDs for all of the music I have downloaded from iTunes. Is there any other option for that?

Thanks again.
 

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2018 Colorado CCLB Z71 3.6 LGZ
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@VigilAndy
what is the " high-resolution portable music player" that can play FLAC files?
Is it like a Pono?

@SilverShadow
what is the Dragon Fly?
AudioQuest Fragonfly Digital Audio Converter?
 

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@Iamscotticus, the DragonFly is a series of USB Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC) produced by Audio Concepts. Unlike the good old days of records, which were analog, MP3 and other files are digital files that must be converted from their digital format to analog to produce the music that we hear. All players, like an iPod or Sony Walkman or your laptop have a DAC built in to do this work but generally they are not of the best quality in order to keep costs down. The DragonFly series (Black, Red, and Cobalt) are USB DACs that provide for better conversion and better sound. But, it all starts with the quality of the digital file. MP3, AAC, and most files compress the file by sampling the sound wave and discarding some bits of data that are perceived to be outside the normal range of human hearing. FLAC, ALAC (or Apple Lossless) compress the files but do so in a way that less data is lost but these tend to be larger files. The larger the individual files the fewer you can store in a given space. WAV files are not compressed and retain 100% of the sound wave and produce CD quality sound which is better than MP3 and AAC. There is a lot of info on the web to help explain this.

What @VigilAndy has done is offer a solution that allows him to store the files on a 1TB USB storage drive, store them as WAV files at the same sample rate and bit depth as a CD, and play them in his Canyon, I presume through his MyLink Infotainment System AND by using the bliss app he is able to ID the WAV files as music and retain all of the metadata associated with each file.

After writing to @VigilAndy I pulled out the manual for my Colorado. The highest sample rate supported is 48 kHz which is the sample rate used for CDs. The MyLink supports many different bit depths, including 24, which I believe is what is used by CDs.

I think for a file to be HiRes it has to be 24 bit with a 196 kHz sample rate. And, yes, the Pono is a HiRes audio player but Sony has a few in the Walkman series.

Have fun chasing the HiRes (High Resolution) sounds!
 

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Backmaging
What version of a usb are you using 2.0, 3.0, or 3.1 ?
I have a 128 gb 3.1 that will not play in my '22 LT usb port. I have 2 small 16gb in 2.0 that will play just fine. I have used both fat 32 and ntfs formatting but is still get "No Device" notice when the 128gb is plugged in. I do have (2 ) 64 gb 2.0 drives coming in the mail as I could not find a 128 gb version 2.0 online.
Luck
 

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Backmaging
What version of a usb are you using 2.0, 3.0, or 3.1 ?
I have a 128 gb 3.1 that will not play in my '22 LT usb port. I have 2 small 16gb in 2.0 that will play just fine. I have used both fat 32 and ntfs formatting but is still get "No Device" notice when the 128gb is plugged in. I do have (2 ) 64 gb 2.0 drives coming in the mail as I could not find a 128 gb version 2.0 online.
Luck
[/Q
Backmaging
What version of a usb are you using 2.0, 3.0, or 3.1 ?
I have a 128 gb 3.1 that will not play in my '22 LT usb port. I have 2 small 16gb in 2.0 that will play just fine. I have used both fat 32 and ntfs formatting but is still get "No Device" notice when the 128gb is plugged in. I do have (2 ) 64 gb 2.0 drives coming in the mail as I could not find a 128 gb version 2.0 online.
Luck
 

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The usb is a 3.0 formatted to FAT32,, it is a 128gb drive with 110gb of used space and 5.25gb of free space. The folders of artists are in the root directory, so , for example, on my pc it would read >This PC > (F:) > Eric Clapton>
 

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Backmaging
What version of a usb are you using 2.0, 3.0, or 3.1 ?
I have a 128 gb 3.1 that will not play in my '22 LT usb port. I have 2 small 16gb in 2.0 that will play just fine. I have used both fat 32 and ntfs formatting but is still get "No Device" notice when the 128gb is plugged in. I do have (2 ) 64 gb 2.0 drives coming in the mail as I could not find a 128 gb version 2.0 online.
Luck
On Amazon:

128gb

256gb
 

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Thanks a bunch for the info Bacimaging. So I must be doing something wrong here, but my 2.0 drives work fine and the file stucture is the same?? What radio do you have, your rig is not in your signature?
Mine is the IOR with Sirios radio, but no Nav.

TomS. Thanks for the links, I am really after the ultra fit model, less apt to get broken, but easy to lose.
They only seem to be in the 3.1
These are supposed to come today.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0828Y669...colid=MBGVYSKX1K0G&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
The 2.0 version.

Thanks gents for the info. I will post up my final fix.
Luck
 

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Well the solution for me is at hand.
Thanks Tom S. The 2022 owners manual has vary little info on the HU systems. I found the 2018 Infotainment manual online and also read at GM Tech to use a 2.0 16gb+ for updating the HU, but I also saw to use 3.0 16GB+ for installing updates .
Mine is an IOR with Sirius and no Nav.
But the 64 GB 2.0 formatted in fat32 works fine and so does the 64GB 2.0 Formatted in NFTS. Bacmaging say a 128gb does work I assume it is a version 2.0. I have 58.2 Gb of music mostly in wav. on a 64 GB SanDisk Cruzer Fit flash Drive and it plays just like it should. I had tags that were missing but that should be corrected now.
Is the IOR Head Unit supposed to show the album art?
There is a split screen view showing phone and what's playing on the radio, but I don't know how I got there. I will keep fiddling with it and see what come up.
Thanks for all your input Tom S., bacimaging and Backmaging. 👍
I hope this helps someone else out..
Luck
 

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MrCamo
What head unit is in you truck ? Do you have a full color display and Nav.? Does your truck have a Memory card slot in the center stack in with your 2 usb slots and the round jack? I think that is the difference in what will work in the usb slots.
Mine is a IOR with Sirius and NO Nav. and no card slot. If I understand it correctly the card slot is for map / nav updates. I changed formatting on on my 3.1 drive 2 times and it was always been a "No Device Connected" message.
Thanks for the input..
Luck
 
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Yeah I have the Nav- 2 usb and a memory card slot for Nav card, Full color DIC. Edit- BOSE too
 

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Mr Camo Thanks
There we go that is the difference, as to why your HU will take a USB in 3.1 and mine won't.
A recap IOR 8" Head Units will take a USB drive up to 256GB (maybe bigger) if its version 2.0, Formatted in Fat32 or NTFS works. Someone has a Terra bit HDD working in the USB port.
It appears that a HU with navigation and full color display and I would guess the Bose version will take a USB version 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0. Formatting my guess would be Fat32 and NTFS.
The versions difference is the speed of data transfer 3.1 the fastest at up to 130 Mb/s.

Luck
 
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Good job dude. At least you know what’s up.
It seems you either already knew a lot more about this than me or had to become a USB hobbyist over the last couple weeks. I hate becoming a forced hobbyist. :)
 

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MrCamo I guess I was a forced hobbyist in the story of my '05 I put a Kenwood in that had cd and USB, I played with the usb and the only issues was poor labeling. That USB worked in the Kenwood easy. Fast forward to the '22 AARGH no cd! Yes I knew long ago about that. Welcome to my USB rabbit hole. Ah day light again.
It is to bad GM does not have any real documentation in the 2022 owners manual for the infotainment systems. There is an online H/U manual at GM but it is even light on info and a broad generalization of the capabilities.
Thanks for all the folks that helped along the way.
Now back to our regularly scheduled mayhem.
LUCK..
 
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Ok I'm new here and new to this type of Audio. This is my first go around without a CD player. I don't like having my phone plugged in all the time to access music through Samsung music so what do I need to get?
 
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