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How Do I Format a USB Drive To Play Music In My Car?

I use a USB drive to plug into my car’s USB port to play music, audio books, etc. in my car. How should the USB drive be formatted for this? I use DisK Utility, and under “format” I have several options. One is MS-DOS (FAT), which I think is the correct choice. Under “scheme” I have 3 choices, and I don’t know which to choose; GUID Partition Map, Master Boot Record and Apple Partition Map. Any additional information that can help would be appreciated. My car is a ’14 Ford Escape and I believe my SYNC is current. Thanks!
Jack Weibel

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Format a USB Drive To Play Music In My Car?”

    2 years ago

    There are two ways to figure it out. The first would be to look at the documentation for your car’s audio system. You should find a drive format specification there. The second is to try until it works. Starting with FAT is probably a good idea, but then continue to the others if that doesn’t work.

    As far as the scheme, Master Boot Record is commonly used for Windows, GUID for Mac, and Apple Partition Map is for old Power-PC Macs. So probably not Apple Partition Map.

    I would start with FAT/Master Boot Record and see if that works. It could be that the scheme doesn’t matter and the system works with either one.

    2 years ago

    Related: I suggest using a USB ‘extension’ cable in the car. Leave said cable plugged into the car, and plug the drive into the cable… doing so saves wear/tear on the car’s pricy USB port. Extension cables are cheap and if need be quickly & easily replaced; having the car USB port replaced is an expensive nuisance at best. This is actually suggested deep within my Honda owners manual. Also, I learned my car stereo is fussy about USB drives… as in refusing to accept econobudget drives.

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