USB Music in Car

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by krause734, May 3, 2013.

  1. krause734 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    My car has a USB connection that I use a thumb drive with to play music. I put music on it using iTunes and made Artist/Genre folders and dragged and dropped playlists.

    For some reason, some of the files at the beginning of the folder have strange file names that do not play when I plug the USB into the car. I have researched how to delete these files. For some reason, iTunes or the OS is making these alternate/hidden/duplicate file types that don't play. However, they don't show up when looking at the files on the drive.

    I read that plugging into a Windows machine will show these file types and I can delete them, but that did not work. I also tried using a program called BlueHarvest to delete these files but that did not seem to work either. Any advice appreciated.

    Sometimes I wish the car just had a 4G iPad in the dash! Bring us the iCar!
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have had exactly this problem before. What you are probably seeing are .something.mp3 files which are for OSX preferences and metadata that a FAT filesystem (like a USB stick) doesn't understand. There are also .ds_store files which are another long time OSX annoyance.

    There is a preference you can set in OSX to prevent the creation of these files on network drives but for some stupid reason this preference does not extend to USB drives. I suggest you try the following:

    1 - turn on show hidden files (this might require you force quit/restart finder or log out and back in).

    2 - insert the usb stick and find all those nasty dot files at the beginning of the list and simply move them to trash then empty trash.


    The next time you copy music to the USB stick you will need to repeat the search and destroy mission to get rid of all those useless dot files. Which car radio do you have? I've heard more recent models know to ignore those files rather than trip over them, show them in file lists or try to play them.
  3. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    Thank you for the advice! I used this link

    to use the terminal to show hidden files, but it did not show the files I was trying to delete.

    I was thinking that it might be album art from iTunes, but I tried deleting all album art and that did not help.

    In the artist folder and the first bunch of songs will be ._ (filename) and they won't play.

    I have a 2013 Accord by the way.
  4. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    I tried Blue Harvest again to get rid of the ._ files. It worked great this time to get rid of those "hidden" annoying files. I just did not use it correctly the first time. I am not sure if I can do this every time I add music to the USB since BlueHarvest is a 30 day free trial. There are some free alternatives if anyone else comes across this problem:
  5. suzywongs macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thank you so much kraue734 - since purchasing my Toyota 86 eighteen months ago, I have been on & off trying to get rid of these "hidden" files (didn't realise they were hidden). It wasn't until my Mum bought a Corolla with the same head unit last month, that finally I thought I would knuckle down & find the cause. I also have a Land Cruiser with an aftermarket head unit and none of the usb's will work, unlike the 86, the LC lists the MP3/Acc file, then followed by the hidden file, causing it to stop completely. I have checked the 86 & Corolla forms, but couldn't anything about the issue. Suddenly thought it must be because I'm using a MAC & thought to check the MAC forum.

    I used CleanMyDrive2 (it's free) and within minutes my USB's were working properly in all three cars! I'll post this solution on the '86 forum as well.

    Thank you!!!

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4 May 3, 2013