My wife and I are retired and travel frequently in our truck/camper, completely off-grid in the boonies. We also own a high mpg Honda sedan for around town and non camping – hotel – trips.

I am uncomfortable using a phone/tablet for playing music while driving. With age, its become a safety issue for me. Being older, I grew up pushing AM radio buttons to change stations in my parents cars as a kid. Going back to my roots, I have resorted to using a USB drive as a music source while driving. I simply push the next (button) to skip to the next track when something comes on I do not care to hear at the time.

Head unit differences between the truck and car add complication:


The truck plays FLAC files.  However, it lacks directory functionality. When a file directory is selected, the directory is played back in “Written/name” sequence. When the last song in a directory is played,  it skips to the next sequential directory automatically. Selecting “Random play” plays all songs randomly without regard for directory structure.


The Sedan head unit only plays mp3 files and allows random play of directories as well as random play across all directories. I find the ability to chose a directory and randomly play the songs within oddly satisfying. I usually choose a Genre Directory and randomly play it.

After creating numerous directories on a USB drive, I define each directory as a handheld device within J River then use playlists to populate respective directories in whatever codec necessary for the target head-unit. Use of the J River filekey() function randomizes file names – play order – for the truck head unit. 


I have tried using voice activated devices without much success. I’ve found the volume needs to be turned down before effective communication can be established with any of the many digital genies.  I find clicking the next button is a lot easier than fiddling with volume. Background noise in the truck cab is usually quite loud.

My question to this group is am I a complete dimwit; or, do others consume car audio in a similar fashion?  

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