Uconnect Touch 8.4/N EPIC FAIL - Chrysler 300C Forum: 300C & SRT8 Forums
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post #1 of 400 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Uconnect Touch 8.4/N EPIC FAIL

OK, well, maybe it's not EPIC, but it's stuff to which I give a FAIL, and Chrysler should be embarrassed to do what they have done. I am going to keep updating this 1st post to include every bug, missing feature, missed opportunity, and general disappointment we have with these radios. Please post your additions/corrections below, and I will add them here.

EPIC FAIL #1: Engineer an extremely complex radio back in 2010, built it into many different car models through 2014, and issue only one bug fix in 2011! It is ridiculous to suppose that you can get such a complex radio to work right from the start; Uconnect engineers need to iterate and issue bug fixes and feature enhancements on a regular basis.

Edited to add: Tanbam says they're updating the radios all the time, because he has never seen two radios with the same firmware build number. Chrysler just never updates radios in the field. (Mine's a late 2012.) Tanbam also thinks our radios were actually engineered back in 2008.

Edited to add: Tanbaum and Cool_V reminded me of the iPod playlist update.

Edited to add: There is reputedly another flash avaiable that "fixes" the H/K system subwoofer rattle by putting a notch filter in the radios. If you care about your sound, don't ever flash that!

Edited to add: An update became available c. August 8, 2014 for 2013 and '14 radios! See post here http://www.300cforums.com/forums/car...ml#post2060210 for what's changed: Short synopsis, nothing notable. Also note this caution regarding Akamai NetSession, which is set to run at startup:
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If you read the EULA, you are agreeing to let it join a peer-to-peer network to reduce the load on Uconnect's servers by allowing other users to download from your hard drive.
Edited to add: An update became available Sept 15, 2014 for 2011 and '12 radios! None of the epic fails in this post have been addressed.

Edited to add: An update became available (released July 14, 2015) for 2012 radios! Again, none of the epic fails in this post have been addressed.

EPIC FAIL #2: Put a woefully incomplete and outdated database of CDs on board, and never update it even once. How many albums come out every DAY in this old world? It should be obvious to a child that you can't put a CD database on board the car. Just incredible.

EPIC FAIL #3: Music "cleanup" function powered by Gracenotes is yet another brain-dead idea. Those of us who take the time to tag our MP3s properly, and embed album art in the metadata, obviously care what the tags show. But oh, no, we can't have that! You turn on Music Cleanup and artist names are mysteriously transformed into somebody different. David Pack becomes David Pabon. John Jarvis becomes John Davis. David Wahler becomes Ginger. If you turn off Music Cleanup, you get to see the right artist names, but then you don't get to see any album art.

EPIC FAIL #4: The radio never displays album art from MP3 metadata. Unbelievable! Are there any other music players anywhere on earth that discard album art already present in the MP3? When there is no match to the munged Album/Artist tags found in the Gracenotes database, you don't get to see album art. The number of popular artists I have which do not display album art is jaw-dropping. Many "best of" albums do not show album art. Many remastered CDs of very popular albums do not show album art. Foreign issues? Forget it! Your own music? Ha! You can buy an MP3 player for less than $50 that displays album art from metadata correctly. Why can't our $1300 radios do the same?

EPIC FAIL #5: Chrysler never published a list of supported media or playable file formats. Apparently the list is really short (must be FAT32, and MP3, WMA, or AAC). SDXC cards will not work.

EPIC FAIL #6: No support for bluetooth standard avrcp1.3 (or later). This prevents track names from being displayed when playing back songs via bluetooth from any device.

EPIC FAIL #7: No update available for iOS7 devices, including 5th gen iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and up, and iPad 2 and up. If you dare to plug your iOS7 device into your Uconnect system via USB, you will be amused to find that (1) the media player may get into an infinite loop playing a few seconds of sound and require turning off the car to reset, (2) playing a few seconds of a song and then skipping to another, and (3) displaying the wrong title. See post #83 Uconnect Touch 8.4/N EPIC FAIL and post #98 Uconnect Touch 8.4/N EPIC FAIL for a complete list of anomalous behavior when using iOS7 devices.

EPIC FAIL #8: No update available for iOS8 devices, which appear to be completely incompatible. Reports are showing up that the radio cannot index music on iOS8 devices, even after being plugged in for hours, and therefore cannot play off iOS8 devices at all.

EPIC FAIL #9: No support for Message Access Protocol (text messaging) on any current generation smartphone.

EPIC FAIL #10: No official map update for Uconnect 8.4N for the 2013-14 model years. 2011-12 hopelessly outdated. Just incredible.

FAIL #1: Inability to play tracks in original track order. Alphabetical is all you get.

FAIL #2: On skip, player cuts to digital zero, introducing a "tick" sound before the next track is played. We know the radios can fade out (and fade in) because the satellite part of the radio does just that when it suffers loss of signal.

FAIL #3: No lossless formats.

FAIL #4: No way (after ignition/accessory/start) to acknowledge reading the nag screen so that it goes away permanently. It shows every time you start your car.

FAIL #5: Six title iPod playlist does not automatically scroll when radio advances to 7th title.

FAIL #6: No true reset function, e.g. to get the radio to rescan the SD card.

FAIL #7: No gapless playback of ripped CDs with continuous music across tracks.

FAIL #8: No scrolling of artist name, album name, or track name. If these names are too long, they get truncated. We get no help from the info screen either; they're truncated there as well.

FAIL #9: Compression/limiting and auto-loudness built into amplified systems (and possibly base-model unamplified systems as well), making it difficult to get audiophile quality sound.

FAIL #10: A three-band equalizer. There is also the issue that the equalizer controls have a dead spot both + and -3 bars, and do precious little beyond that. After applying the mysterious do-nothing update that became available in 2014, this dead spot is gone with base model sound systems, and disabled completely in Beats sound systems.

FAIL #11: Shuffle track list is regenerated from scratch every time you start your car. (Also, you can get a different shuffle track list simply by toggling the Shuffle soft key.) When you start your car, the radio resumes playback of the track you were on when you stopped, but if skipping forward or backward quickly, the track you're on is no longer in the list!

FAIL #12: SMS message function of our radios has largely been broken with Android phones from Kit Kat on. Some phone manufacturers, e.g. Samsung, fixed it with 4.4.4 and still more worked with 5.0 (Marshmallow). But it remains broken on Nexus phones. See some details here: Messaging Works!

FAIL #13: SMS message list (if you can get it to work at all) is limited to 34 entries. Once the 35th (or more) message reaches your phone, you receive notification and you can have Uconnect read it to you. But the 35th (and older) messages are not displayed. See details here: Uconnect Touch 8.4/N EPIC FAIL

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post #2 of 400 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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By the way, I have several CDs by the German guitarist Friedemann. One of them, Aquamarine, displays a different album cover than the CD I own. Bah, humbug.

Thought of another one: no lossless formats available, not even wav files. Don't know if this is an EPIC FAIL or not. Quite the oversight, IMHO.

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post #3 of 400 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TheKrell View Post
EPIC FAIL #1: Engineer an extremely complex radio back in 2010, built it into many different car models through 2014, and never issue a single bug fix! How many of these radios have been foisted onto unsuspecting customers?
Great system so far. I haven't come across any major issues yet and I really prefer this new 8.4 system over the old 7" in my 2011 Ram.


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EPIC FAIL #2: Put a woefully incomplete and outdated database of CDs on board, and never update it even once. How many albums come out every DAY in this old world? It should be obvious to a child that you can't put a CD database on board the car. Just incredible.
Even bigger fail is that there is still people listening to CD's. I didn't know anybody still bought those, I'm amazed there would have even been any effort put into making this CD database you speak of.


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EPIC FAIL #3: Music "cleanup" function powered by Gracenotes is yet another brain-dead idea. Those of us who take the time to tag our MP3s properly, and embed album art in the metadata, obviously care what the tags have in them. But oh, no, we can't have that! You turn on Music Cleanup and artist names are mysteriously transformed into somebody different. David Pack becomes David Pabon. John Jarvis becomes John Davis. If you turn off Music Cleanup, you get to see the right artist names, but then you don't get to see any album art.
I don't even know what this function is that you're talking about? I haven't had a single problem yet with the system displaying my artists or song titles incorrectly.


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EPIC FAIL #4: The radio never displays album art from MP3 metadata. Unbelievable! Are there any other music players anywhere on earth that discard album art already present in the MP3? When there is no match to the munged Album/Artist tags found in the Gracenotes database, you don't get to see album art. The number of popular artists I have which do not display album art is jaw-dropping. Many "best of" albums do not show album art. Many remastered CDs of very popular albums do not show album art. Foreign issues? Forget it! Your own music? Ha! Uconnect engineers just laugh at us.
I just plug in my iPod and all my album art displays just fine. Even if it didn't though, I am looking at the road when driving, not at the album cover of a song that is playing. What is the concern with needing to see Album Art?


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EPIC FAIL #5: Chrysler never published a list of supported media, or playable file formats. Apparently the list is really short (must be FAT32, and MP3 or WMA).
How many file types does it really need to support when 95% of users are just going to plug in an MP3 player and be on their way?

From what I am gathering about reading your post is that you are probably trying to do everything through a stone age system of CD's. If you spent 50$ on a decent MP3 player I'm willing to bet half your problems would disappear. Plus you would save yourself the hassle of burning CD's, do not have to burn a new one every single time you find a new song you want to add to your library, and you don't have all the waste of consistently turning old CD's into garbage when you burn a new updated one, also you don't have the hassle of changing CD's in the car or even carrying them around for that matter.

An Ipod was easily one of my top 5 best investments. Heck, most people have smart phones nowadays. You wouldn't even need to buy anything new, just download all your music to your phone and just plug that in like an MP3 player.

These things might seem like a big fail to you, but you have to look at it from the engineers side. Why would they spend copius amounts of time and R&D money to perfect a system that nobody really uses anymore? It's the same reason you can't get a manual transmission in an SUV or a truck anymore. Because there just isn't enough market for it to recoup the money that would be spent in integrating it.
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post #4 of 400 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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I'm amazed there would have even been any effort put into making this CD database you speak of.
Correct, and the only point you made with which I agree. I've used the grand total of TWO CDs in my 300 since I bought it. (For the record, one of them showed album art, and the other did not.) Does anybody fiddle with CDs any more? I sure don't, except to rip my collection. I never play CDs anymore. (I never play DVDs directly either! Hate hate hate that FBI copyright notice.) I have over 1500 songs on the SDHC card in my 300. The medium doesn't matter to our radios: USB drive, iPod, smartphone streaming, SD card... It's all just storage.

Regarding the iPod being a good investment, are you aware of the fact that you aren't using it for anything but it's flash memory when you plug it into your 300? How much memory does your iPod have, and how much money did you waste on it compared to an equivalent SD card? I think if you have album art displayed on all your albums, you must not have many albums stored on the thing, and zero new releases. I first noticed missing album art on recent Amazon downloads. About 50% do not show album art, even though Amazon embeds it just fine in the file.

P.S. I owned and used 4 or 5 dedicated MP3 players before the iPod was invented. They all used CF cards! The CF standard was from the beginning capable of large capacities. None of this SD, SDHC, SDXC crap. I have a number of SD card readers that are stuck back in 2GB land, and others (like our 300s) stuck in 32GB land.

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post #5 of 400 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:40 PM
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My 2-cents:

Epic Fail #1 - Yes, it's an extremely complex radio, but I'm sure that it was designed YEARS before 2010. I wouldn't be surprised if it was designed pre-'08. It takes a ridiculously long time to get licensing, reliability, certifications, manufacturing, etc to get these things integrated. The new 8.4A systems were probably developed in 2010. Even smartphones, which folks think are latest-and-greatest, are designed a couple of years before they're released - I know, because I work on the parts that go inside of them...

There have been several bug-fixes, though most of them are transparent to the end users because they simply go into the newer cars and we never see them. I've worked on dozens of these radios, and each one has a different build number.

There was an update for the early 2011 models, but nothing has been released to the public since then. We get to live with our bugs. That being said, I'm overall happy with the 2013 system I have - after investing a ridiculous amount of time on figuring out how to 'beat' it.

Epic Fail #2: The CD database does indeed stink; there's no other way to look at it. It wouldn't be a horrible thing for them to have, if it was regularly updated like it is from other car manufacturers. I think that if it was done the 'right' way and was ONLY used for displaying information for physical CD's AND had regular updates that we could easily install to accommodate disks released after 2011, it would be a great idea.

Epic Fail #3*: I'm in total agreement with you here. Music Cleanup works correctly if the music tagging is compatible with what is in the database. Everyone has their own idea of how they like to tag their music, and if a popular album (pre-2011) doesn't show artwork, it simply means that something in your tags is causing the cleanup to fail.

I have successfully gotten about 95% (or more) of my artwork to display correctly, but it required me to adjust my tagging to the point where I am required to maintain two different libraries - one for my car and one for everything else. An example of this are compilation albums, where the Artist tag on each track needs to be "Various Artists" in order for all of the songs to be displayed in one album and have correct cover art.

It's not enough to simply have Artist and Album tags; you need to include a number of other tags in order for everything to display properly.

I've never had the wrong artist/album displayed, like your "John Jarvis" problem, but I'd be willing to look into it and see if there's anything that I can do do fix them. If you give me the artist/album of one of the incorrectly displayed items, I'll try it out.

Epic Fail #4: Again, in total agreement. I would rather have my own album art override the built in art, if it's embedded into the track. I was playing a Beatles track in my car a couple of days ago and the art was horrible. The CD must have been released sometime with a t-shirt, and the artwork was a promotional ad for the album and the t-shirt. It was kind of comical, because there was a tiny CD cover in the bottom right corner, a t-shirt overlapping it, and some illegible text in the top half. I've got another couple of albums that have the displayed artwork rotated 90 degrees, so they're sideways.

I've fixed all of my remastered tracks and most of the "best of" and foreign releases, but it is part of the two-library setup that I need to maintain for my car.

Epic Fail #5: I've never really encountered this problem. I used to use my iPhone for music, until iOS 7 started borking things up. Since then, I bough an iPod classic to use in the car and never looked back. It's much better than a phone or normal storage media.
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post #6 of 400 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 01:03 PM
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The medium doesn't matter to our radios: USB drive, iPod, smartphone streaming, SD card... It's all just storage.
Actually, if you ever plug an iPod classic into the USB port, you'll find that it works completely different than normal storage. iPhones and iPod Touches are similar in that they're also a little different, but the frequent updates that they get have caused issues over time. My radio will actually lock up after while while using an iPhone with iOS 7 and iTunes Match enabled.

Since the iPod classic firmware has been 'frozen' for years, it works VERY well with the system in our cars.

In addition, I think that the music is decoded on the iPod and streamed down the USB cable, so it sounds better than the DAC that is in the radio that decodes the data from a regular storage device. I've heard details in music that I've listened to years and never noticed until I started using the iPod.

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Regarding the iPod being a good investment, are you aware of the fact that you aren't using it for anything but it's flash memory when you plug it into your 300? How much memory does your iPod have, and how much money did you waste on it compared to an equivalent SD card?
Personally, I feel that the iPod classic has been one of the better investments that I've made regarding this system. It's completely plug-and-play, has 160GB of storage space, and adding new music is as easy as simply plugging it into my PC and letting it sync.

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I think if you have album art displayed on all your albums, you must not have many albums stored on the thing, and zero new releases. I first noticed missing album art on recent Amazon downloads. About 50% do not show album art, even though Amazon embeds it just fine in the file.
There won't be ANY album art displayed for anything newer than 2011 - even in 2014 vehicles, unless Chrysler starts putting a more recent database in the radios.

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P.S. I owned and used 4 or 5 dedicated MP3 players before the iPod was invented. They all used CF cards! The CF standard was from the beginning capable of large capacities. None of this SD, SDHC, SDXC crap. I have a number of SD card readers that are stuck back in 2GB land, and others (like our 300s) stuck in 32GB land.
I remember buying an MP3 player back in 2003 to strip the CF card (which was actually a hard drive) out of it to use in my PDA. It was $200 to buy the player, and $400 to buy the card. 4GB, which was HUGE back then.
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I bough an iPod classic to use in the car and never looked back. It's much better than a phone or normal storage media.
I edited the OP to include your fascinating build number statement. Do I need to edit my other post regarding the iPod? What does it do that fixes any problems within our radios? You're not playing back via the aux in, are you?

Since you've worked on these radios, can you tell us what kind of memory the firmware resides on?

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Sorry for your troubles. I know my REC/NAV is outdated and I don't use the CD function anymore (I still buy CD's ... read on) but I like the NAV interface. I guess I've gotten used to it.

I still buy CD's of new music I haven't downloaded via a website in 24bit/96 to 192 kHz lossless FLAC, with the CD's being ripped to 16 bit / 44.1 kHz lossless FLAC. I use those files on an Astell & Kern AK100 portable player that feeds its headphone out into an AUX jack I wired into the REC. Now I have high rez files in the car, the truck and at home.

I'm just glad I don't have these new fangled head units you all are having EPIC FAIL problems with.

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I edited the OP to include your fascinating build number statement. Do I need to edit my other post regarding the iPod? What does it do that fixes any problems within our radios? You're not playing back via the aux in, are you?

Since you've worked on these radios, can you tell us what kind of memory the firmware resides on?
There are lots of subtle differences between the radios, but I don't know what bugs they fix. There have been a lot of slight changes to the icons and background colors. Each year (I haven't really looked at any 2014 models yet) looks a little bit different. The biggest change was 2011 to 2012, but the 2013 radios look a bit more refined than the 2012's. I haven't seen much change in 2013, but if you look at an early 2012 vs. a later 2012, you can see that there has been some color added to the icons and the background shading is also different.

If any bugs were squashed, it is probably more 'urgent' things like radios locking up or such. They have also been adding features to the cars that need to be in the newer builds of the radios. In any case, someone has been updating things throughout the radio's run that we never get to see.

There are a few things that used to bug me when I was using my iPhone via the USB cable. This was when I was either using music loaded on the phone or via iTunes Match:

1) The album tracks were listed in alphabetical order. Bugged me to no end, especially when the indexing was going on and I couldn't browse to another song without scrolling through 12,000 tracks.
2) I got really tired of the song with the title "A" because it was frequently the first song that I played when I plugged my iPhone into the USB jack.
3) It was very slow when indexing the music whenever I added any new music to my library.
4) I'm sure that there were other things, but I've forgotten them by now.

Other than that, it worked fine until I upgraded to iOS 7. After that, when I had iTunes Match enabled, my system would play a few songs and then lock up. The only way to get it going again was to turn the car off. After that, I decided to get the iPod classic.

I had similar things that bugged me when I used an SD card. The tracks were often out of order, and there was an occasional "pop" that would occur between tracks. Other than that, I didn't have much issue with the SD card, but I don't really like having to pre-select what I wanted to listen to and load up the card with only a portion of my library.

The max size SD card that you can use is 32GB; I tried a 64GB card and the system wouldn't read any music off of it. I've also heard some folks having trouble with numbers of tracks per folder, but that hasn't cropped up for me since I don't really use it except to see if the artwork is good for a particular album.

With the iPod classic, it's much better.

1) The song list that pops up when you plug in the iPod the first time is sorted by album, so the first tracks on the screen are from David Gilmour's About Face in my library. The system finishes indexing by the second song, so it's many, many times faster than the iPhone ever was.

3) Songs are ALWAYS listed in the correct album order - regardless of if you put the track number in the title of the actual file.

2) The iPod never leaves my car unless I'm syncing new music, so it always starts where I left off - though that might be same with an SD card, too.

3) It's big enough that I always have any music that I'd like to listen to.

4) It sounds better. As I mentioned earlier, I suspect that music is decoded on the iPod and streamed to the radio over the USB cable, so I think it follows a different signal path than raw files that are decoded by the radio. It could be that the iPod hardware does a better job at decoding the audio files than whatever was designed into the radio, which wouldn't be too surprising...

5) (Cheese alert) The iPod displays a really cool Dodge logo on the LCD when you plug it into the car. Not that anyone ever sees it, since it's inside the center console, but I know it's there!

Aside from that, taking care of the tagging issues fixes the majority of the artwork.

I've got a radio taken apart on my lab bench at work, so I can look to see where the firmware is loaded. It's either on a soldered-down flash memory IC on the circuit board, or possibly on the internal SD card module. I haven't really looked into that too much yet.
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Originally Posted by TheKrell View Post
Correct, and the only point you made with which I agree. I've used the grand total of TWO CDs in my 300 since I bought it. (For the record, one of them showed album art, and the other did not.) Does anybody fiddle with CDs any more? I sure don't, except to rip my collection. I never play CDs anymore. (I never play DVDs directly either! Hate hate hate that FBI copyright notice.) I have over 1500 songs on the SDHC card in my 300. The medium doesn't matter to our radios: USB drive, iPod, smartphone streaming, SD card... It's all just storage.

Regarding the iPod being a good investment, are you aware of the fact that you aren't using it for anything but it's flash memory when you plug it into your 300? How much memory does your iPod have, and how much money did you waste on it compared to an equivalent SD card? I think if you have album art displayed on all your albums, you must not have many albums stored on the thing, and zero new releases. I first noticed missing album art on recent Amazon downloads. About 50% do not show album art, even though Amazon embeds it just fine in the file.

P.S. I owned and used 4 or 5 dedicated MP3 players before the iPod was invented. They all used CF cards! The CF standard was from the beginning capable of large capacities. None of this SD, SDHC, SDXC crap. I have a number of SD card readers that are stuck back in 2GB land, and others (like our 300s) stuck in 32GB land.
Unfortunately an SD card has no plug in for headphones. So I figure instead of having both an MP3 player AND an SD card simply for the car. I would just use the iPod in the car as well as everywhere else, and then it is a multi tool. My iPod is 160gigs, can't say I have ever heard of an SD card that big?

If you're using a SD card I'm not sure what the issue is with your album art? Any song I play that was downloaded from iTunes seems to display fine IIRC, I will double check to make sure. Either way, what is the epic fail of not being able to see album art? It displays the song title, what else does a guy need? If you're burning off music videos and it isn't displaying the video, that would be something I could understand being PO'd about.

Not trying to crap on your thread or anything, this just kind of seemed like another SPARTAA thread.

EDIT- From what I'm reading here, are you guys trying to say that this device does not use the album art that is imbedded right into the song on your iPod? And instead takes it from some internal database it has? If that is the case then yes that is absolutely the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.

Oh, and the iPod has a built in equalizer(or whatever you want to call it) if you use the data/usb cable for it. That's why it sounds better. If you have a lot of old downloaded MP3's from Limewire or whatever, you will notice when you use headphones on your iPod, that some songs just blast the volume, and others are quiet. When played through the USB they all come out volume levelled.

Last edited by Someguys300c; 02-09-2014 at 04:01 PM.
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