• Protip: Profile posts are public! Use Conversations to message other members privately. Everyone can see the content of a profile post.

1991 OEM CD player plays store-bought CDs but not my burned CDs

Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
23 July 2015
Messages
17
Location
New York
I am working from memory because my Grom instructions are out in the car in the garage and its raining and I am lazy so....

Have a look at the instructions, particularly the file set up. Did you load the five .mp3 files in to the root directory of the USB stick? If so, that may be confusing the USB drive because at that level it is looking for directories, not files. All of my USB sticks are set up with 6 directories in the root directory with up to 99 files in each directory (the sub directories correspond to each CD). The Grom may be looking for the 6 directories (might work with less - I haven't tried). Try creating 6 subdirectories with one file in each (duplicate one of your files to fill the 6 directory).

Did you plug the Grom into an already powered up head unit? That may not work because the head unit may not be recognizing the Grom. Power up the head unit after the Grom is connected

If the above doesn't work. With the Grom disconnected, power up the head unit, switch to radio and then turn everything off. Connect up the Grom with the radio unpowered and then turn the head unit on. Switch from radio to CD. You should hear a voice say "USB". If you don't get that read through the instructions about mode set up. Its been 7 or 8 years since I did this; but, I recall a little drill you had to go through to cycle through 3 modes in the Grom to get it to work. I did it once at the start and haven't done it since so the specifics have disappeared from my volatile memory.

If you don't get the voice then it is possible that the Grom might truly be dead. Definitely read the set up part of the manual because I am fuzzy as to when the voice appears. I know that if you don't cycle through the modes at initial power up and select the correct mode at the right time it won't work. Also, check the instructions because the voice feature may no longer be on the latest versions of the Grom.

Finally, if you get the voice and your USB drive is set up with the 6 directories, check the light on your USB to see if it is trying to read the files. The USB extension cable might be faulty.

Based upon your description of the problem, my initial gut reaction is that file structure is the cause of the problem. When I connected mine up with a USB stick with 6 directories I think I had about 5 minutes of set-up and that was it. @TomCat has a more recent version of the Grom so may be able to advise on whether the set up procedure has changed

UPDATE:
Thanks Miner and Old Guy for all of your suggestions and assistance. Firstly, I found that my USB stick drive was not formatted. Fixing that I can now hear music through the GROM adapter from the USB stick. However, it's not mimicking the CD changer controls. It may be the way I set up the files on the stick. I created six files and downloaded three .mp3s into each file to simulate 6 CDs with three songs on each. From selecting "CD" as source from the head unit I can access all of the .mp3s but not in as controlled fashion as with actual CDs. For instance, if I start at file 01, track 01 and toggle through each track it'll move track-to-track sequentially like it should. However when it goes to the first track of file 02 the head will still show "01" instead of "02" as the selected "CD". And so it's difficult to tell where I am in terms of which file/track is playing at any given time. Also I never hear the voice say "USB" when I switch sources. I know it's there (somewhere) because I heard when I was first experimenting with the adapter setup.

The other accessory that I did buy and attach is the bluetooth dongle. Again with mixed results. I was worried that because I installed the adapter in the trunk that the bluetooth signal would not be able to be picked up in the cabin (through the engine compartment!). However, it does make it through and I can play applications like Pandora from my iPhone. Application priority is phone calls first then Bluetooth apps then USB when bluetooth is on. If you hang up or or turn off your bluetooth (like Pandora) app then the USB picks up where it left off. The downside to the trunk connection is that the phone mic (that comes with the dongle) has to be plugged into the bluetooth dongle. This means that even though you can receive the call through the head unit you can't talk unless you switch back to the phone as a standalone . In summary to use the phone as true hands-free then the bluetooth dongle needs to be located in the main cabin so the wired mic can be used appropriately.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
3 November 2011
Messages
2,918
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
"I created six files and downloaded three .mp3s into each file to simulate 6 CDs with three songs on each" I assume you mean 6 directories with 3 .mp3 files in each directory? If so, that should work. If you let it play (as opposed to manually advance the tracks) through the 3 files in directory 1 and let it advance to directory 2, does it play that first file in directory 2 and still show 1:01 or does it do something like 1:04. The latter would suggest a problem with the way the files are set up on the USB. The prior is a big ?. When you use Prog button, does it advance through the directories / CDs or is it always stuck on 1? I have noted on mine that if you manually advance through tracks quickly the Grom can get 'lost'. Not an issue for me as I tend to turn it on and forget about it unless there is a track I really dislike and then I may skip it.

Check to see if there is a firmware update for your particular unit. Depending on when it was produced it may not have the latest firmware.

The 'voice' on mine does not appear when you toggle between, CD/AM/FM on the head unit. In order to get the voice, you have to switch to AM or FM, turn the head unit off and then turn it back on and then switch from the radio to the CD. The display will show 1:01 and the voice makes its appearance and then the Grom jumps to the last track it was playing (at least on mine). I prefer it that way because I am not keen about the voice.

Every once in a while my Grom will hang up and will take a significant amount of time to advance to the next file. I had one occasion when that occurred in heavy traffic so I didn't want to fiddle with it. About 10 minutes late it started playing which gave me a hell of a start because I had forgotten that it was on. If yours ever hangs up at the end of a song just hit the >>/ button.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
23 July 2015
Messages
17
Location
New York
Are you sure that those 'burned CDs' were ripped to .mp3 format and not ripped to .wav? If your CD changer is original as in 1991 original, I would be exceedingly surprised if it supported .mp3 files. The Motion Picture Experts Group released draft versions of the MPEG-1 Audio Layer III standard in 1991; but, the final approved release did not occur until around 1993. I would be exceedingly surprised to see commercial devices supporting .mp3 format prior to an approved release. In fact, I thought the first CD drives that could read the .mp3 format did not come out until around 1996 or 1997.

Update: For whatever reason I have continued to pursue the reason why my OEM CD changer/player can play "store bought" CDs and some of my older burned blank CDs with .mp3s. Well, after a lot of searching and reading on forums that discuss this issue, I have a breakthrough. It seems that sometime in the early 2000's that the reading mechanism in new CD players was changed to accept a newer format (blank) CDs. That new (and current) format is 700 MB/80-minute CD-R with up to 52x burn rates. The older format is 650 MB/74-minute CD-R(only) with blue colored bottoms and typically up 12x burn rates. I bought some new "old stock" older format blank CDs and burned a sample disk at 8x to test. And it worked! I am now buying a bunch of new "old stock" blanks for the future.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
2 December 2003
Messages
1,246
Location
San Francisco
check you PM's
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
24 May 2010
Messages
1,304
Location
GA
This is an amazing thread.
Thanks to everyone posting in here.

I just might have to try out a Grom myself. I used to rock the CD changer along with a cassette adapter as an "AUX" input (I actually still buy CDs).
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
24 February 2002
Messages
1,087
Location
Waterford, MI, USA
I have had the USA-Spec HON since the year 2000, with ZERO problems. It is mounted in the trunk using the CD Changer connection (I have NOT removed the CD changer from the car, but it is no longer hooked up). I plug my old style iPod (with over 20,000 songs) into the USA-Spec. I created five (not six) playlists in iTunes, named them "HONDA1, HONDA2, HONDA3, HONDA4, & HONDA5" and put these playlists on my iPod. You are NOT limited to 99 songs per playlist. Three of my playlists have over 200 songs each. The "song counter display" on the head unit simply turns over (like an old odometer) when going from song 99 to 100. So song #100 displays on the head unit as "00", song #101 displays as "01", etc. I left the sixth playlist blank so the USA-Spec treats my whole iPod as playlist 6. Granted, I don't know what it will play for playlist 6, but that is actually kind of fun!
 
Top