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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I got my ’08 CR-V /w Navi I was pretty excited about the option to use a ‘datacard’ to play mp3s. It’s that rectangle slot behind your Navi screen. I could not find out from the owners manual what exactly I had to buy, it listed a lot of options but it seemed complicated and there was no kind of direct, “Buy this, it works.” After reading these forums I found that a lot of people were having the same problem, some people had 2gig SD cards with an adapter, others just used compact flash from their digital camera but couldn’t read some songs, others had 07 Civics and it just didn’t work. It looked like I could get a small amount of mp3s loaded up but I wanted the most I could get on 1 card w/o any problems. So I vowed that once I got the maximum amount of songs on a card I would post it back here in the hopes of saving some other poor person a bunch of time, frustration and money.

Here is how it works for total songs on a card. It looks like you can have a maximum of 999 objects on the device you use. So if you have 990 songs in 30 folders it may play some of the songs, but you could have problems as you really have 1020 objects. Also if whatever software you use to make your mp3s also makes, 'album art' (little pictures of the album) that counts towards the 999 cap. All that aside, what hardware are you supposed to buy??

I bought these and it works perfectly:

SanDisk - CompactFlash PCMCIA Adapter - SDCF38/SDA

update: It seems that this adapter gets sold out a lot, you can usually get it from amazon though

It's only $15 from Best Buy, it's the PCMCIA adapter you'll need if you use compact flash. The slot in the car is a PCMCIA slot, but you can't just buy that kind of card to store music. There is no such product that does that. This card is merely an adapter for the card that will hold the songs. I would suggest using compact flash over an SD card as the transfer rate is a lot faster. Basically when you load up your card and when you scroll around through songs it will be much smoother. Also when you plug in your compact flash card to this adapter it will fit flush behind the Navi screen.

And for what compact flash to buy? First of all compact flash is just a type of datacard, like VHS or Betamax are types of tapes to record stuff off the TV. There are lots of brands, sizes, and speeds. I would suggest a 4 gig card, that should hold just about 999 songs (I think I hit 980) so that's a perfect size. I went with this one:

SanDisk - Extreme III 4GB CompactFlash Memory Card - SDCFX3-4096

In theory you could use any compact flash card, I just went with this one as it was on sale, was rated to be fast, had good reviews, and I could buy it at a store that would let me return it if I ran into trouble. Note that I’m sure there are lots of solutions that work, this is just what worked for me right out the gate, no problems at all. You could probably even buy a cheaper solution but I was pretty happy to get everything for $75 and have it all work.

The way this works is you plug your compact flash card into your computer and load it up with songs by just copying and pasting the folders you want on. You may need an 'all in one' kind of reader to plug it in, or there may just be a slot on your computer where it fits. If you have a laptop you would plug the compact flash into the PCMCIA adapter (the $15 thing) and then plug that into your laptop and load it up or you could buy a media reader and use that. If you really needed help getting the mp3s onto your compact flash card you could ask for help as Best Buy, it’s pretty easy. I had told them what I was trying to do with the PCMCIA and compact flash for my car and they just looked at me like I had 2 heads, but if you ask, “Hey, I’m buying this compact flash card, how do I get my mp3s onto it from my computer?” You’d get some help if you needed to by a media reader or something.

You then take the PCMIA card (with the compact flash in it) and plug it into your car. In about 10 seconds it will start playing. The songs will be organized alphabetically by artist, then by album, then by track number. I've had some of them show up a little off (the artist and the album are the same for example) but no problems aside from that.

Another option you’ll have is to just make CDs with mp3s on them. All you do is straight up burn the mp3s to a blank CD with whatever folder structure you’d like (artist, album, song) and pop it in the in dash player (they won’t work in the 6 disc changer) and it works great. You can only hold about 700 megs of songs so about 1/5th of what you’d get on the PCMCIA/4gig compact flash card and of course won’t be able to change it (once you burn a disk it’s on there, you can’t really delete and swap songs) but blank CDs are REALLY cheap, about 10 cents each if you buy 100 at a time. So, I ended up doing both, I have my datacard and a few CDs burned with all the mp3s of an artist on each.

Either way you’ll need to create mp3s from your CDs. If you need help ‘ripping’ music from a CD to mp3 files on your computer there are lots of resources on the Internet for that.

FreeRIP - Convert audio CDs and audio files to MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis and Flac
How to turn a CD into MP3s - Music Center - CNET.com
Ripping CDs in Windows Media Player

And then it’s just a matter of copying them to your datacard. And if you need help copying files from your computer to the datacard:

Copying files to a USB drive or external hard drive - Help Article

That article is to copy to a USB drive, which is just another kind of external storage like your compact flash. The instructions would be identical.

I’ve read that there has been trouble with different brands/sizes etc. of adapters and compact flash cards so I was very carful on what I ended up picking out. So this is what worked for me and I’m very happy with it. I hope somebody finds this helpful! I’ll try and check in on the thread to answer questions if people need help.
 

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Too Cool, SniperD!

Thanks for the comprehensive explanation.
I am new to this technology and have been somewhat confused by all the different advice being given on the forum regarding the PC Card Reader.

Your advice and explanations are sure to help anyone new to this stuff.

Thanls! :)
 

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Thanks to this post, I didn't have to go through all of the trial and error procedures to find a working combination. Thanks a lot!

Now I just have to figure out how to make the process of changing formats from the iTunes .m4a format to the .mp3 format required by the system. I found a program to convert the files, but it's woefully inefficient and doesn't like the .m4p files downloaded from the iTunes store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just figured I toss an update up here. My datacard is still working just fine, I've swapped songs on it a bunch and have had no problems. I'd highly recommend anybody looking to do this to just buy the 2 items I linked above. I've received a few private messages with questions/problems using different brands, all the more reason to just go with what work :)

Good luck to all!
 

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I was using a 2 GB SD card with a Dazzle 4 in 1 adapter. It works great and never had any problems. I tried using a 4GB card with this adapter and it didn't work.

I purchased a PCMCIA Compact Flash Adapter because I cannot find a PCMCIA SD card adapter that will work with more than a 2 GB SD card. I purchased a Kingston 4 GB Compact Flash card. Transferred about 2 GB of music on to it.

Well, it worked fine for a while. Used it for an extended period today for the first time. After about 1 hour, it stopped playing. I took it out and the card was quite warm. Tried again 4 hours later and it worked fine for a while once again and stopped. Ejected the card once again and it was quite warm again.
Is it the heat? Is it the fact that the music on it is in WMA form instead of
MP3? WMA works fine on the SD card.
Any clues?
 

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I've heard that Honda has only tested up to 2 GB CF cards.

I tried a Kingston 4 GB 133X elite pro card with a nondescript PCMCIA adapter I had laying around and after a minute or two of play time my NAV computer froze! Had to restart the car to get it to reboot.

I bought a Sandisk adapter and a Sandisk 2 GB Ultra II card and this combo works like a charm. I haven't tried the Kingston card yet with the Sandisk adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I was using a 2 GB SD card with a Dazzle 4 in 1 adapter. It works great and never had any problems. I tried using a 4GB card with this adapter and it didn't work.

I purchased a PCMCIA Compact Flash Adapter because I cannot find a PCMCIA SD card adapter that will work with more than a 2 GB SD card. I purchased a Kingston 4 GB Compact Flash card. Transferred about 2 GB of music on to it.

Well, it worked fine for a while. Used it for an extended period today for the first time. After about 1 hour, it stopped playing. I took it out and the card was quite warm. Tried again 4 hours later and it worked fine for a while once again and stopped. Ejected the card once again and it was quite warm again.
Is it the heat? Is it the fact that the music on it is in WMA form instead of
MP3? WMA works fine on the SD card.
Any clues?
In regards to having problems with the SD card that might be due to the fact that there are a few different kinds of SD cards. Most 4 gig cards are actually SDHC cards (and often it's in small print). That kind of card probably won't work in the CR-V as far as I know, it’s a ‘newer’ kind of technology that isn’t backward compatible. That would be my guess if you looked at the 2 and 4 gig SD cards you have, the 4 gig will have somewhere on it in tiny print HC or SDHC. For example, I have a Nintendo Wii (game system) and it can only us regular SD cards, but I can get it to work with this 4 gig SD card with a few tricks but SDHC cards won't work at all. This is the 4gig SD card that works for my Wii:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820208411

That one might work fine for you as well, although I don’t have a way to test it in my CR-V.

Interesting about the compact flash card though! I'm surprised it stops working after a while. Usually it's either going to work, or it's not. WMA or MP3 shouldn't matter either way. I've checked my card as well and it's usually a little warm so I think that's normal. Are you finding that it's stopping on the same song, or type of song? I can see that if it's having trouble moving to the next song it would just hang. Or if the next folder it's moving to has a strange file in it I can see the player getting stuck.
If you really want to just get it to work, I know for sure the combo I posted works fine. I've had several PM's since I posted it asking why certain combos don't work. Some I've been able to figure out, some I can't, but everybody that bought the 2 I have listed have yet to have a problem (or at least hasn't sent me a nasty-gram!) I’ve gotten a few nice PM’s just to let me know they also bought the combo I posted w/o problems. That's what is so goofy with this stuff, it's these little cheap-o cards that sometimes just don't play well together, the trick is finding the 2 that do!

Update:
Looks like BestBuy doesn't sell that adapter anymore! Here it is on amazon for a highly inflated price:
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-SDAD-38-A10-CF-Card-Adapter/dp/B00006B9QD/ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_0
And here it is at some random site for a much more reasonable price:
http://www.xpbargains.com/xpricer.php/product_reviews__pid--SDCF38SDA.htm

I bought mine for $15 when I got it. Very odd indeed! If possible I'd suggest buying it from a store, that way if for some reason it just won't work you can easily bring it back. Although amazon is good with returns.
 

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We read a ton of issues fining the right meida reader for the CR-V PC Card slot, but beleive it or not for $9.99 this little Compact Flash PC Card adapter works like a champ in the CR-V

http://www.amtron.com/adapter/pcacf2.htm

PCACF2 by Amtron Technology. Sure CF cards aa little more than SD and such, but they are easier to handle. I have used 4GB CF with 498 songs and dozens of folders and it works like a champ and also all the issues with VBR MP3, I think is over blown too, all my MP3s are VBR and they all work fine so far.
 

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I'm very pleased with the PCMCIA MP3 playing capability of my 2009 CRV EX-L. I do have one question, though. When playing in "Album Mode", the songs for the currently selected album play out of sequence (i.e. not by track number). They seem to be playing in alphabetical order. I checked to ensure that the MP3 files have the proper track numbers encoded in the tags. Am I missing something? Is there a way to fix this?
 
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