Workshop: Get More Ford Sync Music

Using Bluetooth streaming more effectively

Here’s five ways to get more music from your Ford Sync system.

By Vincent Hennigan, Ford Sync Specialist

The focus of this workshop is simple – to get the most out of your Ford Sync music with the hands-free infotainment system found on most Fords – especially those built since 2010.

First, streamline the access to your music.

Yes, it’s true the iPhone has a port for recharging that has a USB plug on one end. You can plug it into a wall adapter to recharge the phone. You can plug the phone into a computer (by accessing iTunes) so you can back-up (sync) your files with the computer, install larger apps, move files (movies, photos) and/or charge the phone. You can push the “voice” button on the steering wheel and say Bluetooth. You can say, “Play,” “Shuffle,” or “Pause” but don’t ask the system to “Play Artist Rolling Stones.” You can plug your iPhone into the vehicle through the USB port, but don’t expect the system to find it by saying “Bluetooth Audio.”  Also, don’t go to your phone’s screen and expect to be able to scroll through your playlists. The screen will not show any details, but you can (after you let the Sync system “index” your files for a few minutes) say, “Play Artist Rolling Stones” and have it locate and play all of your Stone’s tracks. So the moral of the story: Get a 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or larger USB jump drive and transfer all of your music files to the jump drive. Then plug this USB into your vehicles USB port. Then you can access the music by pushing the voice button and saying “USB.” Then you can use voice commands to search by song title or artist name. When you’re at BestBuy or other electronic store, you can find a USB charger that fits into your 12-volt charge port on your vehicle dash. This will charge your phone batteries faster than a stand USB connection. Also, if you have iTunes on your computer, you can play your CDs and let iTunes records the material into Mp3 or Mp4a format. Most store-bought CDs will transfer over artist information, such as song title, length of track, and so on through Gracenote® technology. Once you have recorded your music though iTunes it will be “searchable” through a system such as Ford’s Sync.

Second, remember “there’s an App for that!”

Sure, most new cars today offer a complimentary Sirius subscription. Droid- and iPhone-based systems allow installing downloadable apps. The Pandora App allows you to “build” radio stations (AKA streaming Bluetooth music) around a specific artist. You can build multiple stations and access them at will. So, if you’ve got Sync and a smartphone, then push the voice button on the steering wheel, say “Bluetooth Audio.” Then go to your phone and start up the Pandora App. Select your station and hit “play” on the phone handset, it will play through the vehicle’s sound system. You can push the radio’s hard buttons to access CD or AM or FM and to get back to Pandora, just push the AUX button. On some systems, the right-hand tuning knob on the radio has the symbols for Play and Pause. If you push the center of the tuning knob it will pause the Pandora music, push it again and it resumes playing. On some steering wheel controls, the bottom button on the right side of the steering wheel has a “hone” icon on the left side of the button and the word “OK” on the right side. If you’ve got this button, push the OK and it will pause the music on Pandora (or on your USB music, or on your CD music). Push the OK again and it will start playing the music again.

Third, need someone to talk to, ask your dashboard!

If you have an iPhone 4S paired to your vehicle, then you can push and hold the “home” button on the phone for a couple of seconds. The phone will chime and you will hear Siri, your digital assistant’s voice come over the vehicle sound system. You can then speak commands, such as “what is the weather like today?” or “Do I have any text messages?” Siri will access the information through your phone but speak it through your vehicle’s sound system. Asking Siri to send a text message this way is easy. You can tell her whom you want to send a message to. Then tell her what you want to say. She will repeat it back to you and ask if it is ok to send. Say “Yes” and she’ll send the voice-to-text message. This system actually works better than the voice-to-text system that is available on SYNC. That system only works on a few Droid phones and a Blackberry phone. Ford’s voice-to-text messaging does not work with iPhones.

Fourth, leave your CDs at home

Most vehicles have CD players, but they may be phased out over the next few years.  It used to be we had to buy CD wallets to store the disks while we were driving. The amount of information on the songs that were playing was limited, so it was hard to find songs. A good Sync solution is to record your CDs through iTunes on your home computer or laptop. Then take 1GB, 2GB or larger USB sticks. Save your music on a variety of USB jump drives in any way you choose. Use each jump drive as one of your personal playlists. It livens up a long drive, especially if you push the voice button and say “Shuffle.” The system will repeat “Shuffle on” and at the end of the song will randomly pick the next song.

Five, isn’t it time for a phone upgrade?

One of the most obvious things about the Ford Sync system is that there are a ton of options of playing music stored on the phone, music streaming from apps, podcasts, books and more. However, if you still have a Nokia flip phone with the ear piece, then why not go all the way and upgrade. The Sync system works well with iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S. It also works great with HTC One S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound, T-Mobile My Touch 4G Slide, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Samsung Epic Touch 4C, Motorola Droid Razr, Motorola Droid Bionic, Samsung Galaxy SII and the Evo 3D. There are a host of other phones that will work with Sync. It’s always a good idea to go this Phone Compatibility Chart to see how the phones will with the Sync system. Also, be sure to do your research on Ford’s Sync My Ride website.

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54 thoughts on “Workshop: Get More Ford Sync Music

    • Just to recap… when you push the voice button and say “Bluetooth Audio” your system will connect to your phone. You can use voice commands to play, pause, or shuffle but not to request a song, an artist or a playlist. When you plug your iPhone, or a USB jump drive with music, or an Mp3 player, then push the voice button and say “USB” The system will take a few moments to “index” the music content and when ready can handle requests such as “Play Playlist Party Music,” “Play Artist (artist name)” and more. See you Owner’s Manual or for more information. You will notice that the screen of the iPhone or iPod will “lock out” the ability to scroll through music, thus the need for voice commands.

  1. Is there any way to program a button I can push to achieve the same result as hitting the voice button and saying “bluetooth audio”? Sometimes I get in the car and everyone is talking, which makes it very difficult to use the voice command. I’d much rather just hit a button.

    • I’m pretty sure that once the vehicle identifies your phone as a Bluetooth source, then you can use the “Media” button on the dashboard or the Aux button on the center dash (on the radio unit) to scroll through the various sources to “Bluetooth Audio” to access your music.

  2. I keep getting a File Indexing Full message when I plug my 80gb iPod 5th Gen device in after using my iPhone4s and iPod Touch 4th Gen previously in the USB Plug and those having been indexed. Is there a way to clear the index cache so I can use voice commands?

    • When I first saw your question, I saw the 80 GB iPod… man that would fill almost anything! My suggestion is to not bring so many devices to the “table.” Just for the sake of keeping battery drainage down, I have used my home computer iTunes program as the “middle man.” I take all of my mp3 and mp4A music from the home computer iTunes file and I have saved it to several 16 GB USB sticks. Rather than having cords and devices every where, I just plug one in. The Sync system will index it and within seconds I’ve got voice-searchable music files. I think the number of devices is helping confuse the system. I would recommend turning off your vehicle, open the hood, loosen the black battery cable (the negative side) and remove the cable for about a minute. Then replace it and retighten. Shut your hood. Start your vehicle. Allow it to run a few minutes before plugging anything in. Then plug in a USB jump drive. Push the voice button and say “USB”. The SYnc system will recognize the new device and run an new index check. The “hard reboot” should clear the File Index Full. If not, then go to the Sync Phone Menu and do a “Master reset” (found in the Advanced Settings). And, then do the black battery cable thing again. The combination of those things should definitely clear out any Index registers. Let me know how it goes.

  3. My 2013 Ford Escape has Sync and MFT and has the voice activated Navigation. The software was updated at the Ford Dealer on 8/17/2013 with the latest upgrade. Now it tells me it will not play copy righted music and only indexes a fraction of the 1500 songs I have on my 64GB USB thumb drive that were playing just fine before the upgrade. The songs were ripped to my PC hard drive first using Windows Media Player and the “Windows Media Audio Lossless” format. i own the CDs that the music was ripped from. How can I get this to work again?

    • In order to ensure that all media on your USB Flash Drive or iPod can be played, it must be indexed first. The Album, Artist, Genre and Song metadata must be properly populated in iTunes (or Windows Media Player) and then synchronized with the player before connecting your iPod to SYNC.

      The easiest way to correct these errors is to use SYNC My iTunes. This downloadable software program corrects common errors in your iTunes music library, so that your music can be indexed by SYNC. Download the file here:

      You may also want to make sure all your files are in one of the following formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, and MPEG audio.

      Yes I know the sound quality is superior with the Lossless format… however, I don’t know of any car stereo that plays this format.
      Also, there is a limit to the number of songs, playlists, etc. that Sync can effectively index. I know it sounds like going backwards, but I wouldn’t recommend putting in a USB with any more than 32GB — you could use your 64GB, but change the format of your material. And I would recommend ripping your quality music down into a format that fits the system (see above). One of the challenges that Ford (or any auto maker) faces is that the in-vehicle technology is a platform. Developers need to be able to have the driver safely interface with the system to control audio, phone, navigation and climate functions — which commands coming in via steering wheel controls, voice, touch screen and console controls — and, with media coming from terrestrial radio, satellite radio, CD, SD card, AV, Bluetooth and USB. It seems that every month I’m finding drivers who are plugging in newer technologies, or more sophisticated technologies, or even untested technologies/formats/media/etc…

      For more info, check out the Ford FAQ page:…

  4. Why isn’t Microsoft’s SYNC system compatible with their own Windows 8 phones via USB? It’s ridiculous that SYNC works with every phone but Microsofts. BTW, SYNC hands free sucks, it the worst I’ve ever had. For that matter, SYNC sucks too, but it would suck less if it worked with Windows phones. I guess putting anything made from Microsoft in a car brings a whole new meaning to the word “crash.”

    • Mike, I’m sorry you feel the way you do. This isn’t a “Forums” site where everyone comes to “bash” Ford, Sync, Microsoft or MyFord Touch. The purpose of this site is to find solutions and help people get more out of their vehicles and equipment. Maybe things aren’t as bad as you think they are… maybe there is something in your situation that needs further review and study. Have you contacted the Ford IN-Vehicle Technology team at 800-392-3673?

  5. I’m starting to explore using a USB drive in place of my iPod for music. However, I find that I am unable to do a voice search for albums. I can do a voice search for artists, but this doesn’t help when I’m driving on the highway and want to listen to a particular album by an artist for whom I have many albums. Do you have any recommendations on how to be able to search for albums as well as artists?

    • This could be a couple of things. You have to speak the exact, specific name of the Artist, the album or the track/song. For example, “Play Album Joe Cocker” should really be “Play Album Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Live 1970 Fillmore East).”

      And, when you recorded the music you should ensure that you have included on the song notes the album name, the artist, the song title and the genre and/or playlist.

      Here is a comprehensive list of Voice Commands for USB music. :

      Push the Voice button to play music on your connected media player and say:
      USB, or USB 1, or USB 2
      Once the system responds, with ex. “USB”
      Then say:
      Play Track
      Play Artist

      Play Genre Jazz
      Play Album

      Play Playlist

      To return to main body of music, push the Voice button and say:
      “Play All”
      At any time, push the Voice button and say:
      “Resume Play”
      “Play Previous/next track”
      “Play Previous/Next Folder”
      “Turn on/off Shuffle”
      Turn on/off Repeat”

      To PLay other tracks in same genre/category, say”
      “Similar Music”

      To hear the title and artist of track playing, push VOice button and say:
      “What’s this?”

      For more information see

  6. May I just ask for some clarification regarding lossless audio?

    I have purchased some HD audio tracks from QoBuz that I have in FLAC and WAVE formats; is there any way I can play or convert these and then copy to my USB memory stick to play in the car?

    I think that the answer is above (i.e. the system cannot play lossless audio) but I just wanted to double check before investing in conversion software. I wonder what the highest bit rate/sample rate is achievable with SYNC.

    Many Thanks,


    • Can you take your items (or at least a copy of your files) and open them up in Apple iTunes?
      If so, can you do the conversion to mp4a format in iTunes?
      Sync will play mp3 and mp4a formats. I’m not sure what the highest conversion rate that they allow….
      Here is a reply to a similar question from another website:
      Both M4A/AAC audio and MP3 are both lossless audio codecs that throw out digital information from the original source material in order to create there smaller file size.

      Even at 320kbps M4A and MP3 are not as good as a CD in sound quality.

      However with that being said, at a bit rate of 192kbps and above, human ears can not tell the difference anyways. This is due to the fact, that M4A and MP3 only throw away the sounds that humans can’t hear anyways.

      If you want to play back flac files, then I would recommend that you download the free and highly rated VLC Media Player. (Audiophiles swear by it.)

      Get it here:

      If you want to put flac files onto your phone, then just get a audio converting program that can convert flac to mp3. has a list of programs that can do this.
      See here:

      Hope this helps.

      PS. MP3’s and M4A’s when encoded from lossless sources like CD’s for example, will sound nearly 1 to 1 with a CD at 192kbps and above. (Though technically still inferior to audio CD’s even as high as 320kbps.)

      • Dear Vincent,

        Many thanks for your response and advice, it is much appreciated.

        I’m still struggling to play lossless audio files from my USB flash memory device and I’m trying to confirm claims I’ve read on various forums that users are able to play WMA lossless files through SYNC in this manner.

        You are quite correct about VLC, I use that already and it is a very versatile media player.

        Best Wishes,


  7. Quick question. I have some CDs that I haven’t added to my iTunes account yet so I still like to play the actual CD in the car. Why won’t the artist and name of the song show up on my screen? For instance, Imagine Dragons. It only says Track 01 or 05 or whatever song I’m listening to.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Encoding…. GraceNote is the standard encoding at the beginning of most CDs. This encoding signals to the player that number of tracks on the CD, song titles, genre, length of material and so on. Sometimes CDs (especially older and self-recorded ones) do not have this info. iTunes and other sound Apps will allow you to add the names the songs and album titles.

  8. Hi… This my have already been answered and I apologize if this is so…

    I’m using an SD card to make all my wife’s music (CDs) available to her in her car. I’ve used iTunes as the intermediate step to get the MP3s files onto the SD card. I’m wondering if there is an optimal format that Sync likes best for the SD card? I’m using ExtendedFAT which I believe in the Windows world is FAT32 but I may be wrong about this.

    Also, I’ve started putting each CD’s MP3 files into a separate folder at the root of the SD card. This seems to work but is there a better way? Thanks!

    • Now you’re getting into strange territory! ExFAT is a format used by the SD card folks because it can handle larger DVD files more efficiently. Although FAT32 is an older format, it’s what most USB2 flash drive use. It’s what I’ve always used. I just don’t save music to an SD card. It seems the inherent format for SD card is better suited to visual files and movies. Yes, you could format an SD card with FAT32… or just use up to a 32GB flash drive (I prefer the short ones). iTunes will convert AAC music files to mp3 and mp4a. Pretty much what I do is slip a CD into my computer, and when iTunes recognizes it, allow it to “download” the files into iTunes. Then I go to the iTunes folder, to the Media, and just copy the folders over to my USB.
      Please, never have any other files on your SD card or USB (.exe files and so on will corrupt the Sync system’s ability to read the files).

      • O.K…. I guess that there is no (or you’re not aware of a) preferred format for the SD card or the USB flash drive for the Sync systems of today.

        For the benefit of others here: the SD card I used was a small (2GB) unit that I formatted on my Mac and used it to hold about 8 or 9 CDs worth of music in MP3 format. At the root level (the lowest level) I created a folder for each album and copied (Drag&Dropped) the music directly from iTunes into these folders. When Sync recognized the SD card it registered it (scanned) and made all the albums, artists, and genre available to be selected in the main menu system. In other words… It worked very well…

  9. Hi, I’m looking for a workaround for my AUX cable (broke off the jack in the port a year ago and haven’t been able to get it out). I’ve been using the bluetooth audio function, but I am wanting to use an ipod shuffle (which has no bluetooth connection). Is it possible to plug the ipod shuffle into the USB port using the charging cable it comes with, and play music from there? I don’t need to index the artists or anything like that, just want to be able to play the playlist directly from the shuffle.

    • The quick answer is, Yes. Just plug your iPod into the USB. Give the vehicle a few moments, then push the Voice button on the steering wheel and say “USB.” They system will respond, “USB, state your command.” or “Sync has discovered a new USB device and is currently indexing.” If so, in a minute or so, push the Voice button again and ask for “USB.” Then, when it stats “USB, state your command.” Say, “Play All.”

  10. I am having two issues. First one, my iPod was no longer coming up on sync, message I would get no usb detected . I did a master rest which did not work, then I read pulling the spark plug will work. Well it did work but now voice commands no longer are recognized, such as play artist, play song and so forth, how do I fix this issue?

    Second issue that has been a issue. The iPod indexing, it will not index all of my music on the iPod. I have hook up my iPod to the suggested web-site Sync My Itunes to correct this issue. It runs and comes back as completed but when I hook it back up to sync I still get the same error can’t index all of the music. I have tried this several time and still no luck. Any ideas?

    • You didn’t say what year, model or trimline of vehicle, nor did you state which Sync system… so I’ll have to say, visit my “Hard Reboot Workshop.”
      I believe you referred to it as pulling the spark plug, but I have a feeling you didn’t also completely power down and try to reset your iPod.
      Also, the Sync system will not play WAV, AAC and variety of other music files… so the Sync system may not be able to adequately index your music.
      And, if you have more than 2,000 songs, the Sync system may not be able to index all of your music.

  11. I have transferred files to a 32 gb usb from itunes and the usb works on my computer and plays all the songs but when unserted in my 2014 Ford Escape, the message No Media Files appears. The music is there but not being read, please help! Thanks!

    • When you plug the USB into your computer, and go to the USB “Folder” and look inside, do you just see Folders or do you see individual mp3 files? Are they mp3s, mp4a’s or some other file extension?? Music can be played on your computer may comes from FLAC, AAC, WAV and a variety of other extensions. Your SYnc system can “read” mp3 files (and some mp4a’s). Also, if your files don’t have song titles, artist info or genre info, then the Sync system won’t display that data… What source created your music? iTunes? Windows Media? or some other music software program?

      • On my 2013 Ford, only FAT formatting of USB drives were recognized, and there was a 32GB limit to the partition size, so a 64GB drive was wasteful…Now, since I updated the sync software, to v. 4.4, it will no longer let me use Track commands, claiming “too many files”

        • I hope you can see the issue here… Ford offers a “bring your own device” system and offers parameters for other companies to comply with… so they set standards. With the updates they have narrowed the number of files… I had heard that it could index about 2,000 files… so extremely short files “take away” from your listening diversification. They has always had the FAT formatting as far as I know… and I believe the 32GB limit has been around for several years. I have my USB music on flash drives, broken down into the genres I’ve created. So that’s something to consider as a work around.

  12. 2014 Ford Escape SE. Saved music to a flash drive from my iTunes. Some music did not load once the drive was indexed in the car. It says the car will not play “protected” music. Will the Sync My iTunes download fix that? Will Sync My iTunes load and do its thing automatically when downloaded?

    • OK, here’s the deal… the script that the Sync lady always says is that “Some material is content protected and may not be played by the Sync system.” However, if you have mp3 and mp4A files (that can be indexed by the system), then push the Voice button on the steering wheel again and when prompted, say “USB.” When the system replies, “USB,” then say “Play All.” And the system will start playing. And, yes, there may be “Bad Media” files, or files that are the wrong format, so the system will skip over those to get to the next files it can plan. Oh, and yes, the Sync My iTunes does help in ensuring the system has the correct files for playback.

  13. I just purchased a new 2014 Mustang v6 premium with standard sync…no navigation etc.
    Sync will play my mp3s on a USB drive but i don’t know how to get playlists transferred or created on the USB drive that sync would recognize. I currently use iTunes to transfer music to the USB drive. Can you suggest how to get playlists on the drive so i can have different playlists that sync will play?


  14. I loved Itunes, I was able to have all my songs in the same location and manage it with ITunes. Sort thru songs and make playlists. After I got a Galaxy phone I got the iSyncr app so I was able to copy my playlists, songs and cover art to my phone. I found It would also let me copy them to a USB thumb drive. I just had to have a folder names iSyncr. But in order to get my FORD Sync to read the playlists, I had to change the way the playlist was formatted. I simply open it in wordpad 9windows) and did a find and replace. Only took a minute to replace all the Apple / with the windows std \

    Now my 2015 Ford Edge Sport recognizes and plays my ITunes playlists!

  15. I put music on a USB drive through windows media player. The music plays just fine, however, if I want to use the option to “play similar music” I have found a problem. Why does SYNC think that BB King (a BLUES artist) and The Notorious B.I.G (a RAP/HIP-HOP artist) are both R&B Artists? While I like them both – they are not similar. How can I fix this?

    • You know, I’ve never used that feature… I push the button and call out the artist – “Play Artist B.B. King.” After I get some Lucille, I push the Voice button and after the prompt say “Play All.” or some other command.It sounds like Windows Media Player tags artists by alpha-numeric categories… you would have to go to your USB media files and change the genre tag to Blues (versus whatever else category) on every song that fits the category (unless it was automatically put there when you downloaded it.

  16. We are trading in our 2010 Ford Fusion with Sync. We are buying a 2015 Fusion with Sync. How do we transfer our music library from one car to the other? How about the addresses in the Nav system?

    • I’m sorry to tell you this… but the CD-based music file transfer system in the 2010 Ford Fusion, as far as I know, does not have a way to transfer files… you see there is no USB port and no way to move files from the internal hard drive to a USB. If there was, then you could load to the USB and then plug it into the new 2015 and access the files… but, you see, the 2015 does not have a hard drive. All of it’s music is accessible from streaming online music (Pandora, etc.) from USB, from Bluetooth and from CD. I really don’t know if there is a process to transfer files. If the original files were “copied” from a CD, then I would think you could plug those same CDs into a home computer. Save the files to iTunes and either save that to your iPhone or to a USB to play on your new Sync system.

  17. 2014 Ford Escape – looks like 5000 song index limit…
    I changed the SD card count to 4999 MP3s and the index said 4999.
    Split my collection into multiple SD cards of 5000 MP3s or less

  18. We have a 2014 Ford Escape with Sync. I copied 5 albums on to a flas drive to play. But I cannot get the album to play from song #1 to ## … The songs play randonly. I havent found a way to play the songs in random order or not. Any Advice?

    • When you copy music files using iTunes and save it to your flash drive it won’t place them in the oder that they appear on the CD. Sometimes it will play the songs in alphabetical order… (this is how some files are stored on your computer…)
      You can save songs onto your own Playlist in iTunes…, and you can “call” them up with Sync by using the voice command, “Play (Summer Songs) playlight… (with the name in parenthesis to match the name you’ve selected for this specific playlist. However, it will usually play in this same “random”
      If, in the process of copying the files, you take the time to “edit” your song titles by adding “01” “02” etc. in front of your existing song titles… this may allow them to play in sequence…but you would have to request the specific song by stating “Play Song, Zero Four Stairway to Heaven” and frankly, this really won’t work very well at all.
      It’s best to just let them play as the USB flash drive saved them.
      If you have a MyFord Touch system here is a comprehensive video that covers using the Entertainment functions in MyFord Touch…

  19. I am selling my car with the Jukebox function. How can I copy (or cut) the music & copy it to a removable flash drive to add to my new car?

    • I’m sorry, but unless you know someone that’s a hacker, there wasn’t a way to “copy and move” stored files. You can delete then… and I don’t think you even have a USB drive so transfer would be difficult, if possible.

  20. on a 2106 ford escape, how do I keep the shuffle on the last song it played when I turn off the audio system?

    • I’m not sure there is a way to “hold” the same song after shutdown and to have it start up again when turned on – with a phone… if you were listening to music stored on an USB I believe it would start up just where you left off.
      But, try this… just before turning off the car, push the OK button on the steering wheel, your screen should show “Paused.” Then turn off the vehicle. See if it starts up from there…

  21. I have a 2012 Ford Focus with Sync and My Ford Touch, without Nav. No matter what type of external device, i.e. USB Thumb Drive, SD Card, I am experiencing 2 issues.
    1. When pressing the FF Button to go to next track, it will repeat a song and not go to next track. (it does not matter if the repeat button or shuffle button is pressed on the main Sync Screen)
    2. Indexing, I have read of a limitation of the number of songs that can be put on an SD/USB/USB attached HD to be 2000. Indexing on any of these media no matter how many songs takes 1/2 hour to build index.

    p.s. being it takes 1/2 I have successfully been able to connect a 1TB HD to the usb port, it works fine except the indexing and problem 1.

    • Well, well, well… sounds like you’ve “been coloring outside the lines” since you’ve been in grade school. I would say, yes, pushing the Sync system the way you are is going to cause some interface problems. I’ve had success by loading groups of songs on 32GB (or smaller) USB drives. These are files copied from my iTunes library. The Double Arrow buttons work with this type of media. Because it easily indexes, the voice commands work in searching for specific artists or song titles.
      Where I’ve come into some issues is from sounds I’ve burned myself onto my hard drive with other types of sounds management software. Obviously, lossless files aren’t going to be “understood” by Sync as it would with an Mp3 or Mp4 format. I’ve never know a large USB accessible portable HD to work with the Sync system’s indexing. And if you’re using USB 3 equipment, then you’re almost sure to have issues… And if you have other files (i.e. .exe files, photos, multiple file folders, or other non-music documents mixed in with the music – then all bets are off when it comes to indexing.
      Sounds like you enjoy listening to tunes while driving. You may just want to simplify your selections on smaller USB jump drives to get things working more easily.

  22. I have a 2016 Ford escape. I just bought a 7th generation ipod and downloaded all my songs to it. When I plug it into the usb port to play on the car stereo, it plays great. However, when the iPod goes to the next song, it pauses every time and I have to hit play every time. It does not do this when not connected to the usb port. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you

    • It sounds like either the Sync or the iPod (probably the iPod) might have a setting to play one time on a song… check your Settings folders. I know that I’ve always had better look playing an iPod through the system with a USB cable. Connected to USB you can even use the Voice controls on the steering wheel to, first, ask Sync to access “USB” and then push the button again and say “Play All.”

  23. I just bought a 2017 F150 XLT Ecoboost with the single CD and subwoofer. I decided for safety and convenience reasons to ditch cd’s and put them on a USB in WAV format. I bought a 64GB drive, made sure it was in FAT32 format with nothing else on it and started. After finally successfully figuring out how to name them of and get them to play in order to my satisfaction albeit the song title is identified but ‘unknown’ shows where the artist should be. Not important for now. I am thrilled to say I can now enjoy the same CD sound quality in a much more convenient manner. However.. I am starting to get situations where the audio selection will stop and then shortly start again for no apparent reason and the incident of that issue has increased. It is not the USB as replaying the selection always plays perfectly. Resetting the USB seem to help temporarily. I could be wrong but it seems the incidence of this issue has increased as I continue to add music to the drive. The drive now has over 40GB of wav music files on it and counting. Is it possible that the SYNC system is overburdened by the size of memory on that file? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • All I can say is, WOW!
      Yes, Sync most definitely has some limits on music and the ability to index it…
      And, you have successfully blown past the limit.
      I had a customer once, a DJ for hire, that carried multiple portable drives – each with thousands of songs. He thought the Sync system was lame because it had difficulty handling so many titles…. but consider this… your Sync system is an App-driven processor which takes commands and routes data (music, map info, sound, etc.) from multiple sources all in a moving environment, with rolling code technology, in freezing temps, or boiling temps, on smooth roads and on backroads…
      So, yes, there are limits.
      Yes, WAV format should give you better sound than mp4 (and definitely better than mp3)… and yes, you have to be formatted in FAT32, but I would use smaller 32gb drives and “group” types of music to each drive… The system interfaces with each USB as it is placed in the port. It tries to index all of the titles. So it doesn’t want to look for songs within folders, and more folders…
      It wants to be able to have you let it review a new USB for several minutes, then respond to your Voice command such as, “Play Artist Flaming Lips,” or “Play song “Take Me To The River.”
      At first Sync was limited to indexing 2,000 song title per drive… depending on file size you could exceed that with a 4gb drive.
      I would stop overloading your USB indexing demand on the system… over time it could fry your APIM or even your processor.

      • Thanks for the education! Migrating from a 2000 F150 I am totally new to SYNC. I guess my suspicions regarding memory overload were correct. While impressive, I thought it odd that ALL, actually it’s 33GB, 47 CD’s and the approx. 950 song titles are loaded in alpha order on the SYNC system from the USB every time you plug it in. Using your suggestion that I use smaller drives and “group” types of music to each drive, can I assume that what you are saying is that no matter how you label/name the USB files, SYNC will index and load all of the them?? Along those lines, the possibility of frying the APIM or processor is of great concern, probably very expensive, and I do not want to do that and I won’t. 16GB drives are cheap, easy to carry/store, and come is a variety of colors for ID purposes, Example; red for rock etc…… That being said, I think it important to reference the lower left corner of page 444 of the epic “War and Peace” 2017 F150 owners manual. It reads: “Note: The system is capable of indexing up to 15,000 songs.” …. And then in the next paragraph acknowledges support for WAV files. Hmmm? The suggested memory size of the USB is not mentioned, at least that I can find. To continue, on that page the manual also recommends USB 2.0?. Mine is 3.0 which I was led to believe was optimal for playing music. So is the 10X faster transfer rate of the USB 3.0 (4.8 Gbps vs. 480 Mbps) also a cause of concern? That would be nice to know before I go out and get my new smaller drives. Thanks again for your help.

        • Well… from my experience, I found that it’s best not to overload the system on indexing… The voice recognition system wants to be able to list artist name, song title, etc. on the screen display and allows voice requests. Things just seem to move faster if the system is only focusing on a few hundred songs. And, when I’m driving I sometimes feel the need to change things up… Motown to Psychedelic, Highway themes to Pop, etc…
          And, USB 3.0 is the newest version. It is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 formats. When I first tried a USB 3.0 a couple of years ago, I couldn’t get it to be recognized in my 2010 Escape. So I fell back on USB 2.0’s and things worked better. Since you’ve got a new model, I’m sure they brought the USB 3.0 format into the realm of possible. By the way, your Sync system is covered under the 36,000 miles or 3-year warranty.
          Enjoy the drive!

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