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I am an audiophile and sound engineer. I've added an all Alpine system consisting of PXE850 processor/amp, new door speakers, separate 600 watt sub amp and 10" sub in sealed cabinet. Sounds FANTASTIC.

My issue is with the workings of the Honda sound head unit itself in my 2021 Sport SE. Specifically, I do not wish to use my iPhone for inputting music into my car. I have little enough memory left on the device and a massive library of music. Used to be easy with an iPod and box of CD's to make long trips, but I'm having some difficulty.

iPod - Yes it will kind of play. There was an icon in the 2019 car shaped like an iPod, and it's specifically mentioned in the manual, yet plugging into the car yields barely usable results. If I start the iPod prior to connecting, ie selecting a playlist and hitting start, then plugging in, it will manage to play that list. But there is no way to utilize the car's controls to switch playlists, nor browse by artist or title, things that this 10+ year old Apple device can do on it's own but this modern Honda seizes up with?

USB - I'm a Mac user, like most artists and music lovers. I bought several USB sticks, up to a 128GB model for only like $80 - great cheap memory right? Recorded several folders of music from my iTunes into the USB stick, keeping it in order HOME folder/ Artist / Album / Songs. The Honda will only accept pure CD quality files (AIFF in Apple-land), not MP3 or any other compression scheme. That's fine - it gives me the best quality possible (or at least the same quality I can get in my 2005 Accord)- EXCEPT that there is NO artist info, NO album title, NO album art, just the song title. Like the iPod issues, I can browse by folder but NOT by artist, NOT by album. This firmware in the Android system seems horribly clunky.

USB with PC, somewhat different results. I handed my USB stick to a friend and he recorded some tunes from his PC computer. Even MP3 files work and the album title and artist do appear. Does the Android system hate Macintosh? Is this by design or simply a massive firmware oversight?

Weirdly, occasionally, like 1% of the time, the full color album cover will appear on the screen for a song. All these were imported to my computer exactly identically, and I put album covers in the Art field of Itunes. The same covers appear for these few songs every time they are played, yet so infrequently. What's up with that Honda?

Has anyone else tried the above and had better results? Again - I do not wish to use my phone for inputting music. There is not nearly enough memory for my library that I wish to keep on hand. Thanks, other than that the car seems fine. I've driven it a whopping 2500 miles in 9 months, preferring my 2005. ugh. I don't hardly drive this car I hate the sound system so much. $35K down the drain? I've happily driven Hondas since 1977, and honestly wish I'd done more research prior to this purchase. Help please I want to love my new car!
 
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