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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(In this post I hope to explain and enlighten, not just offer a quick how-to, although that process you will find to be quick. Sorry for the overall length.)

First, some background:
Most cars now come with USB ports to integrate portable memory drives with the audio system. Many people choose to store bulk music files on a USB memory device and leave it plugged into this jack. I have done this with three cars, my former 2012 Kia Soul, my new 2019 Nissan Frontier truck, and of course my 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica (with base level 3" radio).

Our Spider owner's manual states that both versions of the audio system (base 3" and upgrade 7") only support USB 2.0 memory devices. USB 2.0 is plenty fine for the constant processing/playing of music file data.

The owner's manual also states our radios will play music files in the following formats: MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio, from Microsoft), AAC, and OGG. I have personally used both MP3 and WMA file formats for music files; both file types are on my USB memory devices. I prefer MP3 over WMA. I use a Windows-based computer for ripping my CDs, using the default Windows Media Player program for the task. Windows being Windows, it will default you to rip in the WMA file type. I don't suggest this. WMA's highest quality setting is only about half the quality of the MP3 in the highest quality setting. Check your computer's audio file program, and I'd suggest using MP3 at the highest MP3 quality level possible. This will assure nearly universal playback in any car you plug your USB memory device into, and plenty of bytes of data to make your tunes sound good. MP3 is not loss-less; other music file types will retain every byte of the original music file data that MP3 will not, but again, MP3 is nearly universal and every car audio system knows how to play it.

Some people have extensive music libraries and find the available 8/16/32gig USB memory devices may not have enough storage capacity to carry their collection of music. I have a 64gig USB memory device plugged into each vehicle (with over 32gig of songs loaded, around 3800 songs so far), but I had to do just a little bit of work to get there. Don't worry, this won't hurt. You don't have to be a computer programmer to follow this process, and it only takes a couple minutes.

Memory devices 32gig and smaller are formatted to "FAT32", a format that works very well with smaller file sizes, such as songs. Memory devices larger than 32gig are formatted in other format types, such as NTSF, which are meant for file sizes MUCH larger than puny music files. Our owner's manual states only memory devices formatted to "FAT32" will play on our car radios (both base and upgraded radios). Good news, you are able to change the format type of USB memory devices larger than 32gig, here is one easy method to do it. (Other methods can be found out on the internet, but this one is quick and easy.)

Now for the How-To:
Go to this website: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm On this web page you'll see the image below. Clicking anywhere on this image at the website will start the process of downloading a self-executing program to your computer that you will use to re-format your 64gig or larger USB memory device to FAT32. (NOTE- DO NOT click any of the big green "start now" buttons at this website, those are Google ad links that will take our down a rabbit hole.) Just follow the instructions as you see them on the screen. If you are re-formatting a memory device that has data on it that you want to keep, now is your last chance to move those files elsewhere. If you format by mistake, that data is gone for good, there is no recovery program that will bring it back because you've changed the programming structure of the memory device.
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Along the way, you'll be able to change the "Allocation Unit Size" for the formatting, as shown in the drop down box near the top of the image. In this image example, the choice shown is 32768 (32kb). Looking at the choices in that drop down menu, I'd suggest using a small size, such as the 4000-ish (4K) size offered. I'll admit, we are beyond my level of technological understanding by this point, but I found an article that may help make this 4K Allocation Unit Size choice the best choice, read here:
https://www.howtogeek.com/136078/what-should-i-set-the-allocation-unit-size-to-when-formatting/
(If someone has a better understanding of Allocation Unit Size and thinks I should change this suggestion, please let me know.)

Now some additional considerations:
Once formatted, it is time to load up on songs. There are any number of indexing methods possible to organize albums or songs on your memory device. But keep this in mind- for the base radio in my Classica and my Nissan truck (and I'll assume it is the case with the Spider upgrade radio as well), the radio's internal functions will only recognize the first 250 or so files (songs) in a folder. The good news, you can have as many file folders as you want, but each folder can only contain (let's just declare) 250 files (songs). If your folder system is as simple as each album being a file folder, then a folder will only have as many files as their are songs on that album. If a folder contains the complete works of Frank Sinatra's 60-ish albums as one continuous list of songs (files), the radio will only play the first 250 files (songs) in that folder. All cars can be different- my 2012 Kia could handle as many files/songs as I could put in a folder, it was not limited to 250ish like the Spider is.

Lastly, here is a good suggestion for a USB 2.0 memory device for use in your vehicle, it is the same one I've been using, the Sandisk 64gig Cruzer Fit. It is cheap, and tiny, the size of your thumbnail, and is quite inconspicuous when installed in the USB port in your car. That small size assures it won't get knocked around in the tight confines of your dashboard/center console, too, unlike a thumb-long thumb drive can be.
https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-64GB-Cruzer-Flash-Drive/dp/B07MDXBTL1/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1VQ17A33571M8&keywords=sandisk+cruzer+fit+64gb+usb+2.0&qid=1566677017&s=gateway&sprefix=sandisk+cruzer+fit+64,aps,178&sr=8-1

I hope you find this helpful, enjoy the ride!
Steve.
 

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I got a 32gb Cruzer for the same reason, it's almost invisible when plugged in, and for me 32gb is enough capacity and straightforward enough with FAT32
 

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Our Spider owner's manual states that both versions of the audio system (base 3" and upgrade 7") only support USB 2.0 memory devices. USB 2.0 is plenty fine for the constant processing/playing of music file data.
This brings up an interesting tech question. For those of us who've installed the Mazda AA/CarPlay retrofit kit, aren't the ports in the new hub USB 3.0? If they are, would the system now be capable of reading USB 3.0 devices? I haven't yet had a chance to experiment with this but was wondering if anyone else has.
 

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This brings up an interesting tech question. For those of us who've installed the Mazda AA/CarPlay retrofit kit, aren't the ports in the new hub USB 3.0? If they are, would the system now be capable of reading USB 3.0 devices? I haven't yet had a chance to experiment with this but was wondering if anyone else has.
I don't think there's any real "lose-lose" situation here. IF, the new retrofit kits do come with a USB 3.0/3.1 port and you have a USB3.0 data source, you're off to the high speed races. You wouldn't really need the additional throughput, but it also wouldn't cause any harm. IF, the retrofit kits come with USB2.0 ports, and you plug a USB3.0 data source into it, your data device will operate, but at USB2.0 communication speed.
 

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I use the Scandisk 32 mb cruzer
$8.00 on EBay including overnight shipping. You need to rip your selections from your ad's using Windows 10
I copied 85+ ad's and used only 10 mb
You can search by artist, song and style of music. Don't use a large thumb drive but the micro cruzer! No one will even see it when in the usb port
 
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