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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was just wondering if anyone out there has looked at the various data interface options for the MFT system since there are a few different ones and how they might impact performance of the system. Since I was curious (and was also rather bored), I looked into which would offer the quickest transfer rates and therefore (hopefully) keep audio file re-indexing times and seek times to a minimum.

After spending some time reading Freescale's i.MX51A processor datasheet (The "brains" of the MFT i.MX516 system) I came up with some interesting notes on the theoretical maximum interface speed limits:

USB -- 2.0, Max: 480Mbits/sec (60 MB/sec)
SDHC Card -- Specification v2.0, Max: 4-bit, 200Mbits/sec (25MB/sec)
MMC Card -- Specification v4.2, Max: 8-bit, 416Mbits/sec (52 MB/sec)

I thought it interesting that the supported MMC card interface bandwidth is more than twice that of an SDHC card, although likely a higher end USB 3.0 flash drive is the probably the best bet for the $. Even though USB 3.0 is not supported, the newer 3.0 drives are actually a bit quicker on the older 2.0 interface.

Some people seem to have gotten an external USB hard drive/SSD to work, but I'm not sure if that is worth it unless you need an ungodly amount of storage.

i.MX51A Automotive and Infotainment Applications Processor Datasheet:
http://cache.freescale.com/files/dsp/doc/data_sheet/IMX51AEC.pdf?fpsp=1
 

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Has anyone had any indexing issues with large collections on a USB stick? I plan on ordering a 32gig USB3.0 stick here when I see a decent deal fly by on slickdeals or newegg. I kind of figure the MFT system may not support the USB3.0 speeds but the disk is backwards compatible with a normal USB port. Maybe USB3.0 more so for copying files to it when plugged into my PC! Currently $25-40 price range for decent USB3 sticks maybe cheaper with a random discount.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
My hope is to be able to have my entire collection in wave lossless on an external hard drive. Hopefully this will be possible.
I was kind of hoping to do that too. It should be possible as long as the drive is formatted with the FAT32 file system. But since Windows GUI does not support formatting large drives with the FAT32 file system for some reason, you may have to use the command prompt (format /FS:FAT32 X: -- Where X is your external drive letter). Remember, the exFAT file system that Windows GUI gives you the option to use will not work with MFT: it must be FAT32. Very large drives may still fail even with the command-line option, if that happens you'll have to use a special formatting utility like Fat32Format.

MFT supports MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC, so I don't think that using lossless WAVs will be a problem. HD reindexing though could take a while, partly why I'm leaning toward a 64 or 128GB USB 3.0 drive. Not sure it'll be big enough for every song though.
 

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the indexing issues vary. On my 4g usb stick it has issues, with my ipod it has issues, but with a different 8gb stick it has no problems at all.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, it only indexes the first time and any time you make a change / update from their on.


On the go - Via TapTalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I'm not mistaken, it only indexes the first time and any time you make a change / update from their on.

On the go - Via TapTalk
I think it does it if it detects a change in the file/directory structure. I would imagine this means any time you add a new song or album, which can be rather often.
 

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I think it does it if it detects a change in the file/directory structure. I would imagine this means any time you add a new song or album, which can be rather often.
That has been my experience. Not a problem for me, I don't update my selection all that much and it only indexes when hooked up via USB. For day to day use I use the bluetooth audio and stream my music. Only on longer trips do I plug into the USB.
 

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I was hoping MFT supported FLAC, which has the same quality as WAV, but about half the size. If FLAC is not supported, I'll probably copy/convert the FLAC files on my PC to high-bitrate AAC on a USB stick (16 or 32 GB depending on what MFT supports) and leave the USB stick always plugged in. I'll only unplug the USB stick to make major updates to the music, which probably will not be more than 2-3 times a year, so I'm not really concerned about the time it takes for MFT to re-index.
 

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I've had no luck transferring music from iTunes to my USB for playback.
 

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I was hoping MFT supported FLAC, which has the same quality as WAV, but about half the size. If FLAC is not supported, I'll probably copy/convert the FLAC files on my PC to high-bitrate AAC on a USB stick (16 or 32 GB depending on what MFT supports) and leave the USB stick always plugged in. I'll only unplug the USB stick to make major updates to the music, which probably will not be more than 2-3 times a year, so I'm not really concerned about the time it takes for MFT to re-index.
How about lossless WMA instead of FLAC?
 

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The lack of a good lossless codec decoder with MFT is disappointing, but with the Sony system (from what I've heard) I doubt you'll notice a difference between a FLAC file and a 320kbps MP3 file. Unless, of course, you upgrade to a different system... but even then I've never been able to hear the difference between a 320kbps MP3 file and a FLAC file even on my Paradigm speakers at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How about lossless WMA instead of FLAC?
That's what I ultimately ended up using and am rebuilding my lossless library around. WAVs are a great option for compatibility if storage is no object, but I started running into issues since windows does not directly allow the editing of WAV file metadata for some reason, and I was unable to locate a good editor to do so. So I converted the WAVs to lossless WMA which is essentially a just compressed WAV anyway and has been much easier to work with. Lossless WMA is essentially like a ZIP file for WAVs, so the size is reduced but no sound data is lost (unlike MP3s).
 

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Have you considered converting FLAC to Apple Lossless and loading it on an iPod Classic? It's virtually identical to FLAC in terms of quality and size.
 

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Or you could get an iPod classic, put rockbox on it and just play it in FLAC! If I only I had an iPod I'd probably do that
 

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I don't have an iPod and do not use iTunes, and I probably never will. For mobile tunes, I currently connect my phone (Droid Razr Maxx) to my car stereo. I know that I can connect my phone to MFT via USB or BT, but would rather have the music always available via a USB stick with nothing to connect or sync. I have not used lossless WMA before, but I will consider that as it appears to be functionally the same as FLAC. Although I can easily tell the difference between a typical MP3 and FLAC, it is much harder to tell the difference with HE-AACv2. Although MFT supports AAC, not sure if it supports Spectral Band Replication (SBR) and Parametric Stereo (PS) which are only part of the HE spec (v1 and v2 respectively) of AAC. Although I don't use iTunes, I believe iTunes 9.2 and higher support HE-AACv2, so hopefully MFT does too. Using HE-AACv2 should allow me to put MANY more songs on the USB stick compared to lossless WMA (if MFT even supports lossless WMA).
 

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Fun fact about MFT, just for fun... As you mentioned, MFT uses a Freescale SoC (system on chip) which actually has a pretty robust HD video decoder which can be used to decode videos off of a USB drive natively... but Ford doesn't use it. Strange...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Fun fact about MFT, just for fun... As you mentioned, MFT uses a Freescale SoC (system on chip) which actually has a pretty robust HD video decoder which can be used to decode videos off of a USB drive natively... but Ford doesn't use it. Strange...
At least, not yet ;)
 
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