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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[Resolved] Radio Resets Itself While Playing From USB or SD

Hi, everyone. New here.

I have a 2013 Charger R/T with the Uconnect 8.4 system (non-nav). For the most part, everything works great. However, while playing music from either a USB drive or SD card, often the radio resets itself. That is, the music stops, the screen fades to white then turns black, and then a few seconds later it will come back on and resume playing from where it left off. This happens usually every time I try to play music from these sources. Sometimes it happens every few seconds, or every few minutes. It doesn't seem to happen while playing from Bluetooth or with radio stations. It's more of an annoyance than anything else.

:confused:

The car is still under the bumper-to-bumper warranty, so in theory I should be able to get the problem fixed for free at a Chrysler dealer. However before I take the time to try to get a dealer to fix it and instead not find anything wrong, I figured I'd ask here if anyone knows of this sort of problem and how I may fix it myself. Perhaps I can do a factory reset and clear some rogue setting that's interfering?

Thanks.
 

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2017 Dodge Charger R/T
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Have you installed the firmware update for the radio listed here:

Uconnect Update for '13 - '14 Radios Released

Go to the UConnect website here:

http://www.driveuconnect.com/

In the bottom left hand corner is a link to see if a software update is available for your radio!

You will need the last 8 of your VIN!

You will download that and put it on a flash drive and stick it in your car to update.

We don't know 100% what the update does, but it might fix your problem!
 

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Ahhh, okay!

Next question was going to be if it happens randomly during different songs, but think you answered it above!

Are you an iTunes user by any chance? If so, not sure if any of the files you are trying to play has DRM and is causing issues.

If so, I would see if you have any cd's and then rip the songs to MP3 and only try playing those songs! That way, we would know if the DRM is causing issues!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Although I do have a few (less than 20) songs from iTunes on the flash drive, the vast majority of the music is ripped from my own CDs or recorded from analog sources (like vinyl) and in DRM-free MP3 format. I've observed resets with each type of file.

I will try what you suggest though, and burn a CD or DVD's worth of music in data format on a CD, and see if I have the same problem. Maybe I can isolate the problem to either the unit itself not processing audio files properly, or an issue with whatever connects the ports to the radio. Will report back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Radio Resets Itself While Playing MP3

Additional info:

I wrote some MP3 files to a data CD and tried to play it in the car, just to see if I could recreate the problem. Sure enough, it did the same thing. So now it seems that the problem occurs when playing MP3 from any source physically connected to the system. Wonder if it's a faulty wire harness or a faulty memory module inside the unit itself.

Here's a short video of the reset as I described earlier:

http://youtu.be/aaxHQztYq_I
 

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I drove a rental 2013 last week that had the 4.3 Uconnect. I put some music on a thumb drive and it did that exact thing twice when I started out. I thought was lose or something. For the remainder of the 2 hr drive it didn't happen. I can confirm you aren't crazy. That has never happened with my 2012 8.4 system. My music is a mix of amazon mp3 and ripped cd.
 

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My 2013 SE had the Connectivity Group and Uconnect 4.3S.

The USB port worked intermittently. After repairing the HVAC controls, the dealer said it needed a new radio and replaced that. I could only get one preset on the radio to work. They looked at that. Then they replaced the USB cable. Then they called Chrysler and asked for help. Then they ordered some other part.

Then the family that owns the dealership sold it.

As The World Turns.

Good freakin luck is all I can say!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good freakin luck is all I can say!
It sounds like you've had quite the hard time. Sorry to hear.

I can confirm you aren't crazy.
Thanks. That's the best news I've heard all day.

At any rate, I called today and set up a time to take the car into the local dealer. Next Monday. The guy on the phone suggested doing some flash updates to see if it helps. I already have the latest download from the UConnect site installed, so I have my doubts. But who knows? Maybe the dealer has access to things we mere peasants don't.

I'll report back.
 

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Maybe he an get you some HP while he is at it!
 

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Guess what! I replicated the issue in a different car! A Toyota Corolla S rental I have while my '12 is in the shop (being repaired, someone hit my wife while she was stopped at an intersection!)

Anyway, I was using the very same thumb drive I was using on the Charger rental above. I had driven to work with it working fine, but when I was underway to head home it did the reset thingy. Screen blinked, it went to radio, then back to the music playing off the drive. My thumb drive is a cheap 2Gb I got at a trade show. Maybe check that out on yours. Try swapping out for a quality item or re-format or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Resolved

The dealer was unable to help. In fact, they said "The radio is doing what it's supposed to be doing." They went on to find no error codes, no updates, nothing.

So I kept digging, and found some info in another thread: http://www.chargerforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163752


Short version: It seems that the UConnect system does not support MP3 files with variable bitrate. I had to convert all my music to constant bitrate using a conversion tool. Since doing this, the radio has not reset itself while playing.


Longer version (for those actually interested in the details): The bulk of my music I ripped myself from my own CDs into Windows Media Player. WMP presumably encodes using VBR when ripping and doesn't offer any CBR options in the rip settings. As all other MP3 players handle VBR files just fine, I never had a problem prior to using UConnect.

So there doesn't truly seem to be a defect in the radio, even though the problem looks like a defect when it occurs. I really wish Chrysler/UConnect took the extra time to include this info in the troubleshooting guide and user's manual, as the common consumer doesn't know what the hell a "bitrate" is -- they're just used to things working or not working.

So I'm happy everything's working well now. I hope this information helps someone else down the road.


EDIT below:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Resolved (Part 2)

Well, a few hours after I posted the previous message, the problem came back. Figures...

However, I did notice that resets did not seem to happen on songs downloaded from iTunes, which are in M4A format. So I went out on a limb and copied all my songs on my PC to another folder, and used iTunes to do a "Create AAC version" of everything. This created an M4A version of all my songs. Once done, I copied all of the M4A songs to the flash drive. Music is playing beautifully. It has been about a week since I did this, and so far there have been no resets.

So I now think it has nothing to do with bitrates at all as I described above, because M4A is a lossy format, and typically has a variable bitrate. Instead, I'm guessing simply that UConnect/Chrysler has optimized the system for Apple compatibility, as most people tend to use iPhones or iPods for music. This is perhaps why the problem I had is very seldom reported, as iPhone and iPod users aren't playing MP3 music via the USB port -- they're in fact playing M4A.

At any rate, the problem appears to be truly resolved now. I'll report back in the event that something else wacky happens.
 
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