Play something slow

The new Mazda6 has generally wowed the critics, who seem to enjoy its driving dynamics and its not-entirely-bizarre appearance. However, there’s apparently a drawback in the center stack:

The media interface is incredibly slow. I n c r e d i b l y s l o w. So slow that at first I assumed the head unit had frozen so I plugged, unplugged, plugged, unplugged to no avail. Then I gave up and listened to the radio. (Gasp!) A full 4 minutes later, the system switched to the iDevice and started to play my tunes. (Yes, I tested it with USB sticks and it did the same thing). If you think this is a momentary aberration, think again. The system has to fully index your entire USB/Android/iDevice music library before it starts playing. It does this whenever you unplug/plug or when you stop/start the car. Every. Single. Time. The larger your library, the longer it takes. Users on the Mazda forum reported a 10+ minute delay when playing larger devices while I averaged just over three minutes. Want tunes on a short journey? I hope you enjoy AM Gold.

Reminds me of my Sansa ClipZip, of which I once said:

[G]iven any really ginormous number of files, it chokes on the database refresh, which it never quite finishes. Meanwhile, your battery plummets.

I found a solution for the Sansa. Let’s hope Mazda finds one of their own before I have to start looking for new wheels.


  1. McGehee »

    10 August 2013 · 8:54 am

    Goodness. How do iThingies avoid having to re-index their onboard content everytime you turn them on? What lord of the underworld did Apple sell its corporate soul to for that bit of black magic?

  2. CGHill »

    10 August 2013 · 11:54 am

    I own no portable iThingies, but I have observed iTunes in action, and one thing it deploys is an XML file which contains pointers to everything; at the end of the session, it need only update that file for anything that moved. I suspect this technique is under patent, otherwise everybody would be doing something similar.

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