Originally Posted by Guzzi 1
I am also using flash drives for music. Works out pretty nice, but as others have said, it is a pain finding music. Unless I am missing something, I only see a folder number. I have no idea until something starts playing what album it is. I was able to get about 650 songs on a 4 gig drive. Music saved to the puter at 320 bps. Higher bit rates result in both better volume and better sound quality. Anyway, what I decided to do was get a bunch of 4 gig drives from Micro Center for 4 bucks a piece. That way, I can divide the music up a little and tape a label to the outside. For that price, you really can't go wrong. I can drive to Micro Center myself. Otherwise, they charge a buck per drive for shipping, which seems a little stupid to me but whatever.
I currently have the 32GB Sandisk in my car that was recommended in this thread. It works very well, around 1700 songs or so, most in 320 aac format. Also, I ran the songs through mp3gain, a windows shareware program, to normalize the volume of the songs. It seems to help with more even volume from song to song, so you don't have to adjust the volume so much.
Bitrate: 320 is the highest that the head unit can play, gets you the best sound. Given how cheap these thumb drives are, I see no reason to go with smaller files to save room. The best sound is with 320 bps sound encoded in aac/mp4 format, a bit better than mp3.
Folders: the folder name shows below the folder number on the display, at least the first 15 characters or so. If it's not showing for you, try pressing buttons until it does show.
Organization: your suggestion of organizing music onto separate drives would work well. As for me, too lazy. I usually just listen in drive random mode. If it jumps to a song I'm not interested in, I move to the next song. If it stops on an album that interests me, I'll take it out of random mode.