Need Help Saving Changed order for car USB

Hi Everyone, New to forum, first post. I have about 2000 .mp3 files that I want to put on a USB drive to play in the car. The USB in the car can support 1000 folders and 5000 files. I take that to mean 5000 per folder. I put all the files on the USB drive and opened them in MP3TAG. So far so good.I didn't want to play them in the order they were list in the directory so I used the random file tab then the auto numbering wizard. Again, so far so good. How do I save all of this so that files now play in order showing in the file list window? Thanks for your help.

What does your player use as sort criterion?
The track number?
The album?

Hi ohrenkino,
Thanks for the reply. Most of the files are say Frank Sinatra - My Way.mp3
I don't care what order they play, unless there's a lot of the same artist one after the other. I just want them to play in the car.

That would be the filename.
As you used the

the track number should now reflect the random order.
So, if your player uses the track number as sort criterion, then everything should be OK.
But if you are not satisfied and the player does not play that order, you would have to find out what the player uses instead and then add the data from TRACK to the property by which the player sorts.
Or create a playlist and see if the player knows how to read that

Sorry about this long winded file but I don't know how to explain it any other way.


Supported audio formats

  • Audio file specification
    • WAVeform audio format
    • MPEG1/2/2.5 Audio Layer3
    • Windows Media Audio Ver 7.X/8.X
  • Bit rates
    • MPEG1 (Layer3):32/40/48/56/64/80/96/112/128/160/192/224/256/320 kbps
    • MPEG2 (Layer3):8/16/24/32/40/48/56/64/80/96/112/128/144/160 kbps
    • MPEG2.5 (Layer3):8/16/24/32/40/48/56/64/80/96/112/128/144/160 kbps
    • WMA (High Range):48/64/80/96/128/160/192 kbps
  • Bits Per Sample
    • WAV (PCM(Stereo)): 24 bit
    • WAV (IMA ADPCM): 4 bit
    • WAV (MS ADPCM): 4 bit
  • Sampling frequency
    • MPEG1: 44100/48000/32000 Hz
    • MPEG2: 22050/24000/16000 Hz
    • MPEG2.5: 11025/12000/8000 Hz
    • WMA: 32000/44100/48000 Hz
    • WAV: 44100/48000 Hz
  • Maximum length of folder/file names (Based on Unicode): 40 English or Korean characters
  • Supported characters for folder/file names (Unicode support): 2,604 Korean characters, 94 alphanumeric characters, 4,888 Chinese characters in common use, 986 special characters
  • Maximum number of folders: 1,000
  • Maximum number of files: 5,000


  • Files that are not in a supported format may not be recognised or played, or information about them, such as the file name, may not be displayed properly.
  • Only files with .mp3/.wma/.wav extensions can be recognised by the system. If the file is not in supported format, change the file format by using the latest encoding software.
  • The device will not support files locked by DRM (Digital Rights Management).
  • For MP3/WMA compression files and WAV file, differences in sound quality will occur depending on the bitrate. (Music files with a higher bitrate have a better sound quality.)
  • Japanese or Simplified Chinese characters in folder or file names may not be displayed properly.

Supported USB storage devices

  • Byte/Sector: 64 kbyte or less
  • Format system: FAT12/16/32 (recommended), exFAT/NTFS


  • Operation is guaranteed only for a metal cover type USB storage device with a plug type connector.
    • USB storage devices with a plastic plug may not be recognised.
    • USB storage devices in memory card types, such as CF card or SD cards, may not be recognised.
  • USB hard disk drives may not be recognised.
  • When you use a large capacity USB storage device with multiple logical drives, only files stored on the first drive will be recognised.
  • If an application program is loaded on a USB storage device, the corresponding media files may not play.
  • Use USB 2.0 devices for better compatibility.

THis does not say anything about how the player deals with metadata like tags in MP3 files (hence the name MP3tag).
I would say that if you do not find anything else like "support of ID3V2 tags" then you have to try whether the player shows anything else than just the file name.
And once that is clear, further steps can be taken to get the order displayed in MP3tag to be respected by the player.

Which tag fields have you filled so far?

I haven't intentionally altered anything I don't think. I have been playing another USB drive in this new car, and the one before it that I made 10 years ago. I just put a heap of .mp3 files on the USB drive and plugged it in. This old USB drive works in the new car also. The files are as I described. Frank Sinatra - My Way.mp3
This drive that I'm trying to organize plays in the car ok, just not in the order I'd prefer.
When I did the random organize, it changed the play order, or what I thought was the play order to the file list in MP3TAG. So, is there a way to save this order to the USB drive?

Every decent car-player should have a random functionality of his own, sometimes only within folders, sometimes scross folders. So there should ne no need to create your own pseudo-random order for a car-player.

To have an order, it would be necessary to know what is read by the player to create an order as apparently the order you find now is not the one that you expected.

I know by now what you want to do but it needs more information from your side to suggest the next step to reach your goal.
What happens if you plug that USB device with the files for which you used the track numbering wizard into the car? Does it show the newly numbered order?

Hi poster,
Thanks for the reply. As you can tell, old fart that knows very little about this stuff. I remember seeing something about a random order in the old car, haven't looked for it in this car but I'm sure it would have it somewhere. If I was to "press" random for instance, would it just start off from scratch each time I started the car or would it pick up where it left off? The way I had it in the other USB it just started at one end and went to the other.

The most easy way is to try it.
Write the following example songs to your USB stick:

Attempt #1

\ABBA\01 - Waterloo.mp3
\ABBA\02 - Sitting in the Palmtree.mp3
\ABBA\03 - King Kong Song.mp3

If your car player show this 3 songs in this sort order that should work for you.

If your car player does not show it, try it this way
Attempt #2

01 - Waterloo.mp3
02 - Sitting in the Palmtree.mp3
03 - King Kong Song.mp3

Does this work for you?

No, it just plays them in the order they were originally list on the USB. Not in the way the files were listed in MP3TAG window. Have I made an error in saving them?

Which would mean to me that TRACK is not used by the player to sort.

Please try the following:
Select a fair bunch of files in the correct order in MP3tag.
Open Convert>Tag-Filename
Enter as
Format string: $num(%_counter%,4) - %_filename%
and click OK.
Then check if these files get played in the favoured order.

Just checked what is diplayed when I play the USB. Frank Sinatra My Way No other information that I can see Give me a sec and I'll your idea ohrenkino.

There aren’t a lot of details there, nor does this system support many of the current audio file formats. I’m guessing this is an older vehicle. Often these only used the order of how the files were written to the drive, and has nothing to do with filenames or metadata.

There are several topics Google shows for this, including this one from Hydrogen.

1 Like

This tool claims to be able to manage the sort order for such car audio players and on USB sticks formatted in FAT12, FAT16 or FAT32:

OK ohrenko, you've kicked a goal ol' son. It now playes in the random order. I'm propbably pressing my luck here. I noticed two songs of the same name, not artist, play one after the other is there any way to move one of those files?

MotleyG, this is a brand new car. Three weeks old, it does everything that opens and shuts Even parks itself without being in the car, so I'd say the sound system stuff is state of the art. It's me, the operator that's the problem. :-))

If you want to get the files in ever new orders, then I would suggest that you fill the tags.
With tags filled, you can sort by ARTIST, TITLE, TRACK, ALBUM, YEAR and create new filenames out of this order.
If your car is really that new, then I suspect that the player would read the tag data and allow to play the files according to ad hoc sort criteria and not just the fixed filename.

If your files follow

Then try Convert>Filename-Tag
Mask: %artist% - %title%

You might even try to test the newly written data in your car and see whether the player now can produce a list by artist and by title.
The more data you have in the tags, the more can be used to get the right order or select just those files that you want to hear.

Hi ohrenkino,
Thank you for all your help, I really appreciate it. I'll try what you suggest with the tags. I don't understand all this stuff but I'll give it a go. I'll let you know how I get on. As I said, the car is brand new and I haven't looked at the options with USB drives. I'm sure there will be a random play option somewhere.
Thanks also to everyone else who contributed to my pleas for help. Much appreciated.
Thank you.

That's better news for you. Almost every auto manufacturer has invested heavily into their "Infotainment" systems over the last 10 years or so. But the limited specs you listed above surprises me with only wav, mp3, and wma supported. I would have thought that m4a and flac would be supported in the newest systems.

Regardless, if the car is that recent, it should be using the metadata tags as suggested earlier by @ohrenkino. I would go through at least a few albums and add these to see if that helps.

It should be easy to find out. If there is a "Search" function in the car (typically this is a magnifying glass icon on the media player screen) and within that menu you can see further options to find Albums, Artists, Genres, etc. that is a good sign that tags are being used.