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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I just muddled through the above task, and found out there are many potential problems, and the owner's manual is not very helpful. So I thought I'd help people out by sharing what I've learned.

This applies to me with my 430N RHB radio, but also applies to many other types.

I'll cover a few topics, then get to the USB transfer issue...

RE: Loading MyGig Hard Drive from CDs

If you're loading the hard drive from the CD, one problem people have had is with Gracenote. Gracenote is a database of CD music information, which recognizes the CD and enters in the song titles to the hard drive in what is called an ID3 tag (see below). Gracenote IDs your CD not by any barcode or such, but rather by the number of songs, the length of each song, and the length of the album...a sort of digital fingerprint. Gracenote also adds album cover art. A Gracenote database is installed in your radio already, so if you have a newer CD than your database, it will not be recognized fully.

So, if your version of Gracenote is not working, see if there is an update you can install.

ID3 Tags
I noticed that lots of people don't know what these are. ID3 tags are tags of information about the song, which are tucked inside the song's digital file. The MyGig uses the ID3 tags to sort and display your music, NOT the file's name. So an mp3 file like "Fleeeetwould_Mac-Dreams-song.mp3" could easily show the correct information, so long as the ID3 tags weren't as mangled as that file name. Free software like Windows Media Player and iTunes allow you to edit and change ID3 tags, and there are hundreds of other tag editors both automatic and manual. Just remember this, your ID3 tags are what you'll see in your MyGig, and garbage in means garbage out.

USB Dongle Issues
- by "dongle" I mean thumb drive, memory stick, etc.

Size:
I haven't found or heard of any upper limit to the size of the dongle, but be careful not to go too big...it might confuse your MyGig. I'm using a 16GB and can vouch for that size, but I haven't yet heard of bigger working. Comment if you've used bigger and it has worked.

Format:
Your dongle must be formatted to Fat32. It's just a way of storing files that the MyGig understands. You can re-format the dongle from your PC, and select fat32, but it will erase the contents, so back it up first. BTW, fat=File Allocation Table, not the way you look in those pants.:doh:

Partitions:
Some people have tried multiple partitions on the dongle, and that is a recipe for failure. If you don't know what a partition is, it's a way of taking one physical drive, like a thumb drive, and turning it into two or more "virtual" drives. The MyGig likes things simple, so one partition.

Sandisk or Kingston software, etc:
Some dongles come with software for backing up, security, etc (sometimes using the "U3" standard). These often confuse the MyGig. Also, these often have multiple partitions. See if you can get rid of the excess stuff, or use a simpler dongle.

Keep it Clean:
The more file types you have on your Dongle, the worse your odds of success. It also makes the initial scan slower. You could leave your other files on the dongle, but your odds get better if you limit the task to the music you want to transfer.

File Types:
The MyGig likes MP3 and WMA files. MP3 is a generic format out of the motion picture industry, WMA is Microsoft's competing format. Apple uses formats (AAC) that aren't compatible with the MyGig. However, Apple and iTunes can work with MP3s. MP3s are kind of the universal language...the esperanto of music files - every player can use them, so if you are a newb, you should just stick with Mp3 and your life will be simpler.

File Bitrate:
Bitrate means how much data your music creates per second of music. Higher bitrates mean more precise digital representation of the music, and lower compression - so bigger files. Higher bitrates also require faster processing to encode and decode. I've heard that the MyGig starts to choke up a bit at bitrates of 320K (Kilobits per second). I'd advise ripping your CDs to bitrate of 192K, or buying that bitrate if you have a choice. Unless you're a trained audiophile, you won't notice any improvement with a higher bitrate than that. If your songs are stuttering, check the bitrates in iTunes or Windows Media Player.

DRM:
Digital Rights Management is Hollywoods way of saying "@#$ you very much" after you buy their products. You see, if you get the MP3s for free from pirates, they play easily on any device. But if you buy them from music studios, and legitimate stores, they often include DRM limitations or encoding, which is designed to prevent the music from playing on multiple devices. Nice, eh? Anyhow, the MyGig is one of those "multiple devices". So yell at the store you bought the music from, and demand a non-DRM version. More and more music is being sold DRM free, but if you're just learning, consider DRM to be about as desirable as VD.:158:

Folder Structure:
Here's the issue that gave me headaches with my Ram 2500. I copied my music from PC to a thumb drive, but kept the folder structure from my PC intact. My files were sorted into a folder called Music, then into folders by Artist, then folders by Album. So I had about 150 artists in my first transfer and well over 150 folders and subfolders. The MyGig choked and stopped the transfer part way through. It turns out MyGig hates subfolders. It has a specific way it considers folders, and here is how MyGig sees it:
"A folder is a playlist. And there should be a small number, say <10. Each folder on the dongle will classify music in some way, and will have no subfolders but only mp3 files in it."​
So, I fixed my problem by wiping the MyGig hard drive to start over, then going to my PC and creating folders on the dongle, one called "oldies", one called "kids", one called "Tunes". I then sorted the music using windows media player, and transferred the mp3 files onto the thumb drive, first Oldies. Then I dragged the mp3 oldies files into the Oldies folder on the dongle, and next did kids and Tunes. The MyGig had no problems at all sucking up 9GB of music this way, all in one shot. Remember, I can still sort by Artist, Theme, Song Title, etc. because the ID3 tags of each mp3 are fully understood by the MyGig.

BTW, I understand that some MyGigs display the Folders transferred from your dongle as "Folders" in the music search function (magnify glass), and some MyGigs display them as "Playlists". Basically, they see dongle folders as playlists. If you understand this, you can actually use it to your advantage, as a great way to sort music, as I do to, for example, to separate the kids music from my Tunes...or to separate Audiobooks or comedy from music.

Transfer From an Ipod/iPhone/Android Phone to Hard Drive:
You can't. While you can use Bluetooth to stream music, the Aux 3.5mm plug to connect to your device, and even the USB connection to play from your device, you CANNOT use your device as if it were a flash drive. There are a few exceptions to this rule for devices that emulate plain old storage, but those are exceptions.

Transfer From External Hard Drive
You can use a USB external hard drive. Follow all of the dongle advice, and these two cautions:
- don't forget to re-format to FAT32, most hard drives use NTFS instead
- don't expect the USB port to correctly power your hard drive. Even if it looks like it is powering it, it will be marginal. It may work if you're lucky, but you really should use external power.

Good luck.
 
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