Your job forces you to spend part of the day driving and you would like to find a solution to listen to your favorite music in the car, without having to carry dozens and dozens of CDs with you. Furthermore, the numerous business calls you receive during the day tend to quickly download your smartphone and consequently you have ruled out using it as a music player to connect to the car. Don’t worry, maybe I have the ideal solution for you: one USB pendrive.
Through a USB stick, you can comfortably have thousands of songs available, without having to worry about draining the battery of the device and without having to carry bulky media with you. If your car is equipped with a USB socket as standard, connecting the key to the car is a simple operation that takes a few seconds; if, on the other hand, the car in your possession does not have a USB input, you can consider one of the numerous external devices that allow you to be able to connect the key to the vehicle’s stereo system.
Would you like to know more? So come on, let’s not waste any more time chatting! Make yourself comfortable, take five minutes of free time and let me explain in detail like listening to music from a USB stick in the car. I can assure you that in no time you will be able to find the solution that best suits your needs and start driving in the company of excellent music. I just have to wish you good reading and, above all, good listening!
- Preliminary operations
- Connect the flash drive in a car equipped with a USB socket
- Plug your flash drive into your car without a USB socket
- Other solutions to listen to music in the car
Before going into the details of this tutorial and point you out like listening to music from a USB stick in the car, I recommend that you perform some procedures so that your key and the songs contained in it are compatible for in-car playback.
Then turn on your computer and choose the songs to put on the stick, then make sure that these are in MP3 format. If not, you need to convert: if you don’t know how, I’ll leave you with my guide on how to convert audio files to MP3.
Now, you can format the key in FAT to make it compatible with as many devices as possible and move the tracks in MP3 format to the USB stick. Depending on the number of songs selected, the transfer speed will be more or less fast. For more information, you can read my guide on how to download music on a stick.
Connect the flash drive in a car equipped with a USB socket
Almost all newer car models have one or more USB sockets as standard, which allow you to listen to music by connecting a USB stick. In some cases, however, the USB socket only has a charging function: to find out the functionality of the USB socket, it is therefore necessary to contact your dealer, consult the car user manual or simply proceed with connecting the key.
All you need to do to listen to music from a USB stick in the car is to equip yourself with a stick containing audio files in MP3 format and insert it into the USB socket of the car. If your car’s software supports music playback, it will automatically start playing the files contained in the unit.
Through the vehicle display, you can browse files, choose which song to play and take advantage of some features, such as shuffle play. The controls visible on the car display change according to the car in your possession, but the functions are almost identical on all cars.
- Player (or Player): to access the media player, which allows you to pause and resume playback, access previous and next songs, view the song title, artist name and advance the timeline of the content being played.
- List (or Current List): allows you to access the list of songs on the USB key and choose which one to play.
- Options or (Settings): the section to set the Repeat mode to repeat the execution of a track or folder and to set the random playback (Shuffle).
- Source (or Source): to choose another audio source such as radio, CD or AUX.
Plug your flash drive into your car without a USB socket
Not all cars have a standard USB socket or a car stereo with USB input. However, there are some devices that allow you to add this functionality to your car and listen to music from a stick in your car without a USB socket.
The first solution you can consider is a FM transmitter with USB socket, which communicates with the stereo system via radio waves. There are numerous models and the most complete allow a Bluetooth connection, connection via AUX cable and via USB socket. Before purchasing an FM transmitter, however, make sure that its USB socket is not only useful for charging but that it also supports music playback via USB stick.
After purchasing one of these devices, it only takes a few seconds to connect. All you have to do is turn on your car’s ignition and plug the FM transmitter into the cigarette lighter socket: the device will turn on automatically.
After that, turn on the car stereo, select the function Tuner (the one that allows you to listen to the radio), connect on the radio frequency that you see on the FM transmitter display, enter the USB pendrive into the socket of the device and that’s it.
Alternatively, you can connect the FM transmitter to the car stereo using the supplied AUX cable and set the AUX mode by pressing several times on the button you use to switch from the radio to the CD player (it should be SRC or Source). Connecting with a cable improves the audio quality.
If you have a bigger budget available and want a solution that can integrate perfectly with your car, you can consider Yatour: it is a device to be installed directly on the rear of the car radio (both standard and external) and which allows to have a USB socket, in addition to the AUX IN and SD input.
The installation requires the extraction of the car radio using special tools supplied with Yatour, after which it is sufficient to connect the blue plug of the device into the relevant input on the rear of the car radio and insert the other connector into the input on Yatour. Once the installation is complete, just insert the key into the USB socket and that’s it.
You should know that Yatour is available in basic version and in Bluetooth version and is compatible with numerous car models. Before making your purchase, check that the device is compatible with your car.
Other solutions to listen to music in the car
If your car does not have a standard USB socket and through the solutions proposed above you have not succeeded in your intent, I am sorry to tell you that you must abandon the idea of listening to music from a USB stick in the car. Despite this, you can consider numerous other solutions to listen to music in the car. Here is a list of alternative methods that might be right for you.
- Cassette and CD: the traditional method of listening to music in the car is to rely on physical formats such as cassette tapes and CDs to be inserted in the cassette player and in the car CD player.
- AUX cable: using a common AUX cable with 3.5 mm connectors, it is possible to connect to the car any device that has an AUX IN input such as smartphones, tablets, CD players and MP3 players. If the car is not equipped with an AUX IN input, it is possible to rely on a cassette adapter to be inserted into the car cassette player and which outputs a 3.5 mm jack.
- Bluetooth: among the solutions to listen to music in the car to be considered there is also the Bluetooth connection between the car and smartphone. If the car is not equipped with the Bluetooth system as standard, there are numerous external Bluetooth devices that allow the car-smartphone connection. If you have an Apple smartphone, you can learn more by reading my guide on how to connect iPhone to the car via Bluetooth.
- Smart systems: the most recent cars are equipped as standard with Smart systems that allow you to connect your smartphone and use it while driving in total safety. Among the many features, Smart systems offer the possibility to listen to the music in the device library or through services such as Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Deezer and much more. If your car does not have a stock Smart system, you can install one of the compatible car radios. To learn more, you can read my guides on how Android Auto works and how to install Carplay.