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Discussion Starter #1
2 weeks ago, I received my new Volvo V40 with a T3 engine. Among others it is equipped with a 7 inch High Performance Multimedia & the Premium sound multimedia systems (order codes # 831/830). So one day … I created a USB stick with mp3 songs (approx. 30 files), which all paly excellent in my laptop, or in my other car’s multimedia system. But when I used this USB stick at my new V40, I noticed the following. Some songs do not play at all. I get the message: “Unrecognized file format” (or something like that) and it just skips to the next song, which plays OK. But I assure you that there is nothing wrong with the mp3 files I am trying to play. They are 100% standard format and they DO PLAY at e.g. my wife’s Nissan Juke multimedia system. I think this sounds like a Software update issue on the High Performance Multimedia system, but I am wondering if anyone had similar problems.
 

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@ang22me
Yes I have had similar problems with USB stick on the High Performance Audio with the 5" display, there are a few tracks that won't play (one of them I recall is Song 2 by Blur), I'm wondering if it's to do with rights restrictions or something.
I've had the recent software update but have not checked it's fixed this problem since then, so will have a go tonight and let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
London_2012 said:
@ang22me
Yes I have had similar problems with USB stick on the High Performance Audio with the 5" display, there are a few tracks that won't play (one of them I recall is Song 2 by Blur), I'm wondering if it's to do with rights restrictions or something.
I've had the recent software update but have not checked it's fixed this problem since then, so will have a go tonight and let you know.
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[hr]
Hello, dear friends.
Thank you for your reply above. I would be very much interested, if the new software update for the V40 solves this problem. It is great to hear from other owners, of this new model and the problems they faced. Thank you for taking the time to reply.
My new Volvo, in which I experience this problem, is the following:
- Model: V40 1.6 T3 Start/Stop FWD Manual 6spd Summum
- VIN: YV1MV4551D2028242
- Bluetooth Software version in car: 5.00.17U:
- Map and Software version: SW version = 0C72, Map version = V 30.12.12, Map market = Europe

The files that have this compatibility problem, are indeed MP3 songs (I did not try any other format, I only tried MP3 file formats on the USB stick). Now I assure you that the songs that will not play in my V40 do NOT have any rights restrictions, locked files or anything like that. Also the same files DO play successfully, in my other car’s multimedia system (a Nissan Juke -Tehcno) and also on all windows Media Players, etc… It is just Volvo’s Multimedia system that does not like the file formats
Also I went to the Volvo authorized dealer in Athens and reported this problem. I also gave them a sample of MP3 files that would not play. They told me that they would forward this incident to the manufacturing plant for sure, because this is a new model and the plant does want to hear about problems that occur with delivered cars. They also offered to update the car’s software/firmware, but they could tell me for sure, if this problem would be addressed this way. So I have not taken my car for a “Software Update” yet.
Kind regards
Angelo (Athens, Greece)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stella.Polaris said:
Are you sure they're all Mp3s or just different file formats just as Wma, M4a, Flac etc ?
Yes, they are MP3 file types only. And today at the authorized dealer, we identified the firmware problem. These tracks should play for sure and are within the specs of the High Performance Multimedia system. But they don't. Unfortunatelly, there is no firmware update availeble yet.
Regards
Angelo
 

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Yes I checked over the weekend, post the software update applied to the car earlier this month I'd found there are still files that won't play... so as you say no change.

Although I've found that it's an intermittent problem. Occasionally the files will play, as my son managed to play Parklife by Blur, previously the whole Blur album folder came up with the message 'no supported files'. Only problem being I couldn't replicate how he did it, since then I've tried again to play it but am now getting the original 'no supported files' message.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
London_2012 said:
Yes I checked over the weekend, post the software update applied to the car earlier this month I'd found there are still files that won't play... so as you say no change.

Although I've found that it's an intermittent problem. Occasionally the files will play, as my son managed to play Parklife by Blur, previously the whole Blur album folder came up with the message 'no supported files'. Only problem being I couldn't replicate how he did it, since then I've tried again to play it but am now getting the original 'no supported files' message.
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The authorized Volvo dealer in Athens reported the problem to the manufacturing plant. And the plant responded by sending us a matrix with the officially supported formats, that “should” play OK. (It is a PDF file, which I would happily post, but I do not know how to attach it, to this chain). Anyway, today I visited the dealer again and we confirmed that the “unrecognized” MP3 file (which will not play), is indeed among the supported file types. The Volvo dealer in Athens checked the “properties” of the MP3 file and according to Volvo’s official specs, it should play OK (but it does not). So there is definitely a “bug” in the High Performance Multimedia system. And now the dealer sent this “sample” of bad MP3 files, to the plant. Hopefully the plant can easily reproduce the problem … if they want too !!!!
Finally, what is very odd … is the following. The Volvo dealer in Athens tried one of these “bad” MP3 files (that do not lay in the V40 High Performance Multimedia system), in an older Volvo car (an XC70). And also at another rental car. And guess what ??? It … it plays OK in all other cars !!!!!! So this is another indication, that the V40 does have a software bug. I wonder if Volvo will put their efforts to fix it, or if they will just claim this is not a problem.
Regards
Angelo (Athens, Greece)
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It's great that a dealer spent so much time on this. I tried to persuade mine that I had the same problem and they wouldn't believe me. Kudos to the dealer in Athens! Now let's hope for a firmware fix...

Btw I mostly noticed this issue with mp3's extracted from YouTube videos.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter #9
DoctorWho said:
It's great that a dealer spent so much time on this. I tried to persuade mine that I had the same problem and they wouldn't believe me. Kudos to the dealer in Athens! Now let's hope for a firmware fix...

Btw I mostly noticed this issue with mp3's extracted from YouTube videos.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
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The dealer in Athens escalated the issue to their regional support center in Italy and sent them a bad MP3 file to recreate the problem there. I have to say that the local Volvo dealer spent a lot of time to analyze this problem, but it was beyond their ability to resolve. Unfortunately I received a “sad” answer from Volvo in Italy, saying that they do not agree this is a bug and “closed” the incident report. So I have no hope for a quick resolution. Here is the reason why they closed the incident.
The “High performance Multimedia System” specs say that it supports MP3 files with sampling rate up to 320Kbps. Volvo-Italy responded that if we “play” songs with rates 320Kbps … we are “marginally” within the boundaries of the specs.
Volvo-Italy examined one of the bad files and they said that the bit rate is “variable” and that at a couple of instances (during the playback), the bit rate jumps up to 324Kbps…. So they said the file is outside the “standard specs” (320 Kbps max.) and closed the incident. END OF STORY.
Now in my humble opinion, all the above is just … BULLSHIT from Volvo (!) … From my own experience, here were my replies:

1.- Yes, the MP3 algorithm indeed has a variable bit rate … this is the nature of all compression algorithms (like MP3), so this is not anything unusual. Anyone knows this.

2.- If there were a few instances were the bit rate jumps to 324Kbps … in the WORST CASE … these intervals would not play correctly and you would hear a …Hhssss sound … thru the speakers. Not that the entire file is rejected !!!!

3.- The 99.999% of all MP3 players in the market (I am referring to simple devices that cost 40-60 Euros even), tolerate such small spikes in MP3 rate. Even with minor … Hhssss sounds… at these time points. But Volvo’s … Super Duper ….“High performance Multimedia System” … which Volvo Greece is kind enough to price at 2,000 EUR as extra feature … does not (!!!).

4.- This is why most songs play OK in other cars I tried them. And also in all Windows PCs with Windows Media Player or other. … they all play well everywhere.

5.- For those that “know the basics” … this is an obvious case of a firmware bug (software bug) in the “High performance Multimedia System” and they could easily look into it and come up with a firmware upgrade, to resolve it .. .this is very easy .. Honestly.

Unfortunately Volvo found a good excuse not to address the problem in good faith and they said all this … bullshit … and closed the incident !!! Oh, well ….
Regards
Angelo (Athens, Greece)
 

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Sounds like the multimedia system has bugs with VBR decoding which is pretty common in systems that use older decoders. Volvo should fix this because it's not a matter of those 324 kbps spikes (which are probably glitches in the analysis tool anyway). It's just a matter of using a buggy or outdated mp3 decoder. The multimedia system doesn't know about the spike in the middle of the song until it decodes it so it's just a bullshit excuse...

VBR file uses single-pass or multi-pass encoding, maybe the possible bug has something to do with that?

And for the one who mentioned youtube downloads, they are standard 192kbps CBR. CBR is the most basic way to encode mp3-files since it's a constant bitrate. If your car has problems with those files, then the problem is somewhere else than in the encoding type and Volvo should fix that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
parvenu said:
Sounds like the multimedia system has bugs with VBR decoding which is pretty common in systems that use older decoders. Volvo should fix this because it's not a matter of those 324 kbps spikes (which are probably glitches in the analysis tool anyway). It's just a matter of using a buggy or outdated mp3 decoder. The multimedia system doesn't know about the spike in the middle of the song until it decodes it so it's just a bullshit excuse...

VBR file uses single-pass or multi-pass encoding, maybe the possible bug has something to do with that?

And for the one who mentioned youtube downloads, they are standard 192kbps CBR. CBR is the most basic way to encode mp3-files since it's a constant bitrate. If your car has problems with those files, then the problem is somewhere else than in the encoding type and Volvo should fix that too.
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Thank you. Makes sense ...but try to explain this to Volvo. They just will not listen. It is very unfortunate, that they refuse to qualify this as a problem.
Thank you for your m?st valuable info above.
Regards
Angelo
 

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Discussion Starter #12
parvenu said:
Sounds like the multimedia system has bugs with VBR decoding which is pretty common in systems that use older decoders. Volvo should fix this because it's not a matter of those 324 kbps spikes (which are probably glitches in the analysis tool anyway). It's just a matter of using a buggy or outdated mp3 decoder. The multimedia system doesn't know about the spike in the middle of the song until it decodes it so it's just a bullshit excuse...

VBR file uses single-pass or multi-pass encoding, maybe the possible bug has something to do with that?

And for the one who mentioned youtube downloads, they are standard 192kbps CBR. CBR is the most basic way to encode mp3-files since it's a constant bitrate. If your car has problems with those files, then the problem is somewhere else than in the encoding type and Volvo should fix that too.
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Thank you for your valuebale feedback & opinion. Oh well ... trying to tell Volvo this ... is a challenge on its own. Volvo-Italy closed the incident that Volvo Greece forwareded to them and refused to look into it. They closing comments was: ... "Suspect MP3 files are outside the car's specs" ... (or somehting like this).
Thank you,
Angelo (Athens, Greece)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
parvenu said:
Sounds like the multimedia system has bugs with VBR decoding which is pretty common in systems that use older decoders. Volvo should fix this because it's not a matter of those 324 kbps spikes (which are probably glitches in the analysis tool anyway). It's just a matter of using a buggy or outdated mp3 decoder. The multimedia system doesn't know about the spike in the middle of the song until it decodes it so it's just a bullshit excuse...

VBR file uses single-pass or multi-pass encoding, maybe the possible bug has something to do with that?

And for the one who mentioned youtube downloads, they are standard 192kbps CBR. CBR is the most basic way to encode mp3-files since it's a constant bitrate. If your car has problems with those files, then the problem is somewhere else than in the encoding type and Volvo should fix that too.
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This was escalated to Volvo-Italy (which supports Volvo-Greece). Unfortunatelly Volvo-Italy rejected this as a problem and refused to lok into it further. They claimed the MP3 songs that coud not be reproduced, were outside the specs of the car's sound system. so they closed the complaint.

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I'm having this same problem in my premium sound multimedia system. Haven't had time to research it further, but it does seem to be a bit random. It's not the bitrate, it's not the encoder... Some mp3s with similar specs do work, some don't. Thought it would have something to do with the id3-tag, but didn't test it yet. This has been only affecting mp3s that have been downloaded from youtube.
 

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Same thing, random behaviour here. Not a sound technician myself, so not many things that I know or I understand.
I prepared two CD's with mp3s for the car, some 160 songs (80 in each one). Most of them play OK (more than 90%), so I do not consider this a real problem.
What I noticed: songs that do not play, start but get interrupted within some seconds (20 to 30) after start up. It happens on older songs, e.g. Pink Floyd etc.
Hope these remarks may be of some help to an experienced user of mp3 players.
 

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Non-working mp3s:

Filesize: 6.12 MB
Length: 04:27
Compression rate: 13.61 %
Bitrate: 192 kbps
Encoder: MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.99
Sample rate: 44100
Channels: 2
Bits Per Sample: 16

Filesize: 9.68 MB
Length: 10:34
Compression rate: 9.07 %
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Encoder: MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.99
Sample rate: 44100
Channels: 2
Bits Per Sample: 16

Other songs with similar specs are playing fine. The problems might be because of LAME 3.99 with constant bitrate (CBR), but still, other songs with those specs are still playing fine. This problem is completely random.
 

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Have you tried the mp3s that don't work in another V40?
 

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steveojo69 said:
Have you tried the mp3s that don't work in another V40?
Nope.

Yet another non-working mp3:
Filesize: 16.48 MB
Length: 06:57
Compression rate: 23.51 %
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Encoder: MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.98
Sample rate: 44100
Channels: 2
Bits Per Sample: 16

It does seem to be a problem with CBR. All files with variable bitrate (VBR) have worked fine.
 

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Another non-working mp3:
Filesize: 6.59 MB
Length: 04:48
Compression rate: 13.61 %
Bitrate: 192 kbps
Encoder: MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.99
Sample rate: 44100
Channels: 2
Bits Per Sample: 16

We were able to replicate the problem in steveojo69's V40.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
parvenu said:
Non-working mp3s:

Filesize: 6.12 MB
Length: 04:27
Compression rate: 13.61 %
Bitrate: 192 kbps
Encoder: MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.99
Sample rate: 44100
Channels: 2
Bits Per Sample: 16

Filesize: 9.68 MB
Length: 10:34
Compression rate: 9.07 %
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Encoder: MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.99
Sample rate: 44100
Channels: 2
Bits Per Sample: 16

Other songs with similar specs are playing fine. The problems might be because of LAME 3.99 with constant bitrate (CBR), but still, other songs with those specs are still playing fine. This problem is completely random.
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It’s a petty that Volvo is “hiding” and refuses to address this problem. All it probably takes, is a firmware update … which Volvo does not seem willing to investigate at all. Personally I think this bug is very embarrassing for Volvo’s … “High (!!!)” (hahaha … bad choice of name for sure) … Performance Multimedia System (!). Just to demonstrate how embarrassing this problem is, I have tested a few MP3 songs that will not play on Volvo’s newest High Performance Multimedia System, on a 2010 Ford Mondeo of my father …. (a 3 year old car) and they play fine. I could also mention at least 5 more cars of friends, that are 3-5 years old (not new models for sure), whose MP3 player plays these songs fine, too. But I guess I am just wasting my time. I am sure Volvo has a very reasonable excuse, why these songs will not play on their latest model’s … super-duper … High Performance Multimedia System (this is meant as a joke of course).
This is all very sad !!!
Regards
Angelo
 
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