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Playback Music Files in Model S Large Hard Drive, *.Flac Format

I am pleased to report that my Model S equipped with Sound Studio Package plays audio music tracks stored and played back using a large external Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) with just one USB connection for both audio and power. This is one of the rare cars that plays back fine using an external USB hard drive rather than just a USB memory stick.
I am using a 448 gigabyte solid state drive that has loaded onto it 335 gigabytes of music. All of the cataloguing and album art works fine.
My entire music library is in *.FLAC format, a lossless format. The Tesla Model S is one of the rare cars that plays back native *.FLAC files without reformatting to a different format. Many of my music tracks are in high resolution (studio master) 24-Bit and sampling rates as high as 192kHz. These very high resolution music tracks play back fine with no need to reformat before playing.
I recommend using an SSD drive because the car is in motion and the constant jostling would jeopardize a platter-based hard drive.
As far as I found in the marketplace, the 448 gig model I am using is the largest size drive made in SSD.

FLAC format is big in the Linux/OSS world, so no surprise that it plays back on the Model S, as the software is all Linux based under the covers. I too have some music on my USB stick that is in FLAC format, and it plays back great.

Great technology!

I forgot to mention in my post that the user needs to reformat a blank external SSD drive to FAT 32 format before using. My drive was shipped in NTFS format and I had to reformat the blank drive before adding content. If you use a Mac, FAT 32 format is called "MS-DOS." The Tesla Model S only recognizes a drive formatted in FAT 32.

The Crucial M500 is actually 1 TB (actually 960 GB). Don't know if the MS can power it successfully or not. I really wish they would support ALAC in addition to FLAC, but that's the topic of a different discussion.

"As far as I found in the marketplace, the 448 gig model I am using is the largest size drive made in SSD."

Nope, there are several 1TB versions out there. Here is one:

I think you will hit 500,000 miles before having to repeat a song!

No the model jkirkebo links to is an internal drive and will not connect to the Model S USB port. The largest EXTERNAL SSD USB drive I have found is the Oyen U32 480 gig SSD USB model, the one I own (not 448 as originally posted, but 480 gig).
Here is a link:

Really good price on a solid 1TB SSD drive that runs on usb power;

Anybody have experience with this one?

@TheCheetahExpress, that is not an SSD, it's a mechanical HD.

@reach, you can put any internal drive into an enclosure like this for $20:

Any ... Serial ATA 2.5".

This is interesting news but I wish the onboard memory I paid for with the sound studio package would work someday...

That's changed recently. It'll be used for caching navigation maps/tiles instead in the near future.

As a slightly related topic, would any of you be able to suggest the best way to convert Apple ALAC files to a lossless format recognized by Tesla?
Dragging the files out of itunes results in MP4a files. Album art is visible, but the music does not play.
Would you recommend converting the MP4a to MP4 rather than converting the ALAC to FLAC?

I bought some lossless music (suggested by another poster on the forum) and could download it in either FLAC or AIF (apple lossless). Decided on AIF as they suggested that as "best" for iTines use.

Unfortunately when copied to my (large) flash drive all you hear is a burst of nasty digital noise!

Fortunately its quite easy to transcode to FLAC which does indeed play fine.

So, for what its worth, if you have AIF files you will need to transcode. Both formats are lossless so nothing should be "lost" in transcoding.

The "Eagles" collection really does sound fantastic in the Tech Package audio system. Instruments are much more "3d" than my other version in 192K MP3.

I have a little tip re USB playback. I like bossa nova but my Model S wasn't seeing my Joao Gilberto files. I went back to my PC and made sure the files were MP4, so that wasn't it. It turns out that the car couldn't understand the accent mark over the "a" in Joao's actual name. Once I renamed the file with a simple "a" instead of an accented one, voila, there were my songs.

Lesson learned: There may be some characters in USB directory names that the Model S can't understand. Rename those with normal characters and you should be all set.

I hope some people find this helpful. The forums are a great resource to me, so I try to give back whenever I can.

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