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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick & easy question for most but I rarely if ever use the radio and am on foreign territory.

I can't seem to find a decent answer to this from searching and haven't found it spelled out in the manual either. Is there a limit to the number of MP3's I can put on a CD and have the '08 stock radio recognize them, and can a directory structure be used to separate different albums or should I stick with everything in the root? This place needs a faq on using MP3's.
 

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I don't know about the stock Element CD player, but I expect it allows you to put mp3's in a directory structure that can be navigated - every mp3 player I've ever owned has allowed this, as does the non-OEM sony mp3 in my Element.

As to how many mp3's on a CD... it depends on the length of the songs and the amount of compression used (or bitrate) for each song... a CD will hold around 600-700 mb of songs. For most people, this would work out to 100-200 mp3's per CD - an easy way to check is to copy the songs into a local directory on your computer and see if the total space used by the directory is more or less than the amount of space available on the CD (I'd also recommend leaving a tiny bit of extra space for directory overhead on the CD, but this might be optional, and may depend on how the operating system on the computer counts file space on the local hard drive).

Switching directories can sometimes be cumbersome while driving, so you might want to think about a naming convention that alphabetically organizes your albums in a play sequence that suits your listening tastes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your help, guys, but I'm not worried about how many files will fit on the CD. I want to know if the radio will recognize and play them all or if it has a # limit. I guess I'll burn a few disks and see what it does.
 

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Thanks for your help, guys, but I'm not worried about how many files will fit on the CD. I want to know if the radio will recognize and play them all or if it has a # limit. I guess I'll burn a few disks and see what it does.
There is a limit to the number of folders and files that can be read by the player. It is specified in the owner's manual. The higher number of folders will cause an initial delay in the stereo reading the disc. Once the first song begins to play, then it will play just like any other CD.

As others have said, song length and bitrate will affect the total number of files stored on the CD.

Here are the specs:
MP3:
400 playable files within 8 folder layers
Max 100 folders and each folder can hold 255 files
8 to 320 kbps bit rate
32 to 48 kHz Sampling Freq (MPEG1)
16 to 24 kHz Sampling Freq (MPEG2)

WMA:
200 playable files, 16 subdirectories, 8 folder layers
Max 100 folders and each folder can hold 255 files
32 to 48 kHz Sampling Freq
48 to 192 kbps bit rate

Both MP3/WMA compatible with variable bit rate encoding and multi-session discs. WMA files with DRM are not supported.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey! THANK YOU Hillstones. I did look in my manual and didn't find it.
 

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:)
Let's do it the easy way?
When you use almost any CD creation program and tell it you want to create a "DATA' disc, not "AUDIO", CD a space bar will appear showing how much space is available on the CD. As you select MP3's to add, a space bar will indicate how much space remains. If you go over the 700 Megabyte limit a "RED" flag will indicate you are over that limit, so remove some tunes. Select, create, or burn. Put the created CD into the Element CD slot, press 'CD' and the display will change to show you the name of the tune, artist, album, etc. as it plays the tunes. You can skip forward, or backwards. As mentioned, how many you can stuff on a CD depends on the tune. I like jazz so I get maybe 200 or so, but if you like shorter tune, thus smaller size MP3's you will be able to load up many more.

:oops: It is much easier to do than explain. And comes in very handy on the road.

:| A very minor downside to the CD method is the order of the songs is fixed vs the iPod method which can be set to shuffle tunes.

;-) But the CD cost 5 cents, versus the $$$$$ for the iPod.

Enjoy!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. Somehow, my question "how many mp3's can I put on a cd and have the stock radio recognize them" has turned in to "how many mp3's can I fit on a cd."

Thanks everyone for your help and especially Hillstones who actually answered the question. I'll work with it this weekend and see if I like doing it this way or just go back to enjoying the sounds of the road. I think it'll be nice to have a background soundtrack of my favorite music over the years - kind of what XM promised and never delivered.
 

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Hey! THANK YOU Hillstones. I did look in my manual and didn't find it.
It is in the Audio section, under "Playing a Disc". There is one page that describes the file and disc formats for MP3/WMA files.
 
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