Sometimes, some music you want on your car stereo is on different websites or stuck in CDs/DVDs. A simple way to get these songs is to transfer them to your USB Drive.
Except you want to be going to those websites to listen to those songs or carrying bags of CDs around. Some latest car stereos don’t even have a CD slot. So how will you enjoy those songs?
It’s simple! Transfer music to your USB Drive. Then connect the USB Drive to your car stereo if the stereo has a USB port. What if the stereo does not have a USB port?
You’ll need additional hardware before you can listen to music on your stereo from a USB Drive. However, see how to put music on a USB drive for car audio.
In a hurry? Our top pick for the best car music USB drive is the compact SanDisk 256GB Ultra Fit USB. Good luck running out of music space on this USB!
How to put music on USB Drive for car audio-step by step guide
There are different ways to get music into your USB Drive. You can transfer from any device(phone/laptop) or CD to the USB Drive. Or you can download music from a website (like Youtube) then transfer it to the USB.
But, before you download, there are a few things to note. First, find out what USB file format your stereo supports. Many stereos support the FAT or FAT32 files format for smaller storage devices.
However, newer car audios can support the exFAT and NFTs format; these allow you to use larger storage devices, like 64GB and above USB Drives.
A quick way to format the USB to the stereo-compatible file format is using explorer.
step 1: Plug the USB into a Windows computer
Step 2: Click on file explorer
Step 3: Locate the USB Drive on the PC,
Step 4: Select option from the context menu and click start
This will automatically format the USB, erasing everything, then add files internally to make it readable.
Secondly, note the audio format your stereo supports. So the question is, what format should the music be? Most car stereos support audio in MP3 format. So you must ensure you download all your songs in MP3. Otherwise, the stereo won’t play them.
Thirdly, organize the files you’re downloading; do not put all your music in one folder. Stereos have a unique way they read songs. For example, car stereos have a specific number of songs they can play in a folder.
Some accept as small as 255 or as large as 999 files per folder. Others can take up to 5000, while some have no limit. So understanding how your stereo works could help. How do you organize the music?
When transferring music, create separate folders for different music genres. And be deliberate about the number of files in each folder.
If your radio plays songs just the way it’s arranged on the USB, it’s even better. When sending songs to your USB Drive, place them exactly how you want the radio to play them. See our complete guide on how to organize music in a USB Drive for car audio.
Method 1: Transferring music from CD to USB
To copy a collection of your old music on your CD into your USB Drive, follow these steps.
Open windows media player on your PC
Insert the CD into the computer CD Drive
A list of music tracks on the windows player will appear
Click on Rip settings in the top menu
From the drop-down list, click on more options
In the new window, click on change. This is to set a different location for RIP music
Click on make a new folder. Give the folder a name. Here it’s named CD Rip
Go to the Format drop-down menu and click on your stereo-compatible audio format. Most stereos allow MP3. So select MP3
Set audio quality as you want
Click apply, then click ok
Go to the top menu and click RIP CD. This will start ripping the music tracks from the CD
Once the ripping process is complete, open the RIP music file and copy the files from it
Insert the USB Drive into the PC. A screen would pop up. Click on New Folder in the USB Drive and name it. Here it is called CD-Ripped Music
Open the newly created folder. Press CTRL plus V on your keyboard to copy the music files into the USB.
And there, all the music is now stored in the USB.
Don’t just pull out the USB; it may damage your system files. Click on safely remove hardware symbol in your system tray. Then click Eject hard drive. Afterward, pull out the USB.
Watch the full youtube video by how-to Guide.
Method 2: Sending music from Youtube to USB Drive
Insert your USB stick into the USB port on your computer. The drive should appear on your computer. You can also use a smartphone; just get an OTG to accompany the drive.
Download the music in MP3 onto your device. To do this
- Go to Youtube.com on your browser
- Search and copy the link to the Youtube video you want
- Paste the Youtube link into ytmp3 or snappea. (Both sites convert youtube videos). Select MP3, then click on convert or search as the case may be
Note: Snappea may not allow you to convert to MP3 without downloading their app, so take note.
- Select the MP3 quality as the case may be and click download
Locate where the downloaded YouTube music is saved on your device. Then copy it
Open the USB Drive and paste it into the folder you created for that music genre.
How to put Music on USB Drive for Car Audio – FAQs
What format should a USB be for music?
The format of music for a USB should be in either FAT or FAT32 file formats, which work well for small storage devices. Additionally, many stereos support this file version.
How many songs does a USB hold?
According to western digital, a 16GB USB drive can hold approximately 1,000 songs. A 32GB 2,000 and 64GB 4,000.
You can get music onto your USB Drive from websites like Youtube. Better if you already have it on your device. Alternatively, you can rip music tracks from CDs and transfer them to the drive.
Remember to download audio in MP3 formats; that’s what most stereo supports. And ensure you format your drive to the file format your stereo accepts. Lastly, learn to organize your file as your transfer. It helps the radio understand the USB Drive better.
Overall, we would still recommend using wireless carplay over a USB drive for a vehicle, but it’s a great cheap option that will work in almost any car.
DISCLAIMER: You must have the right to use and listen to the music you are downloading. We do not encourage the use of illegally downloaded music. This article is for educational purposes.