Step by step guide to copying MP3 music files to your Porsche vehicle.
Automotive: New Cars
Many Porsche vehicles come with stereo systems that include an internal storage system that can hold your music collection so you don't have to connect your iPhone or Android device. When it works, it's a great feature.
Unfortunately, getting it to work may be more complicated than it needs to be. As my dealer says, Porsche isn't a technology company. They make a great a vehicle and excellent driving experience but tend to fall flat on some of the technology features. Tesla they're not.
Still, after doing some research and fiddling around a bit I found a system that makes copying music files to your Porsche very easy. Before we begin, it's important to note that this only works with audio files that are not DRM protected. Meaning, files you ripped from a CD or otherwise purchased outright without any digital rights management embedded in the files.
The next issue is to make sure that your USB thumb drive is one that your Porsche vehicle can read. What works for me is formatting the USB drive as FAT or FAT32. My 2016 Porsche Macan would not read a thumb drive (of any size) formatted as exFAT or NTFS.
Also, as it turns out, size does matter. Mostly because the FAT formatting option only works on partitions up to 2Gb in size. While FAT32 will work on a drive up to 32Gb in size, that means a drive formatted at 64Gb isn't an option. If you have more than 32Gb of music you'll need to repeat the process multiple times.
Got all that covered? Then format as FAT or FAT32 and copy your MP3's to your thumbdrive and let's begin. Note that my photos are from a 2016 Porsche Macan S but the process should be the same or similar on most Porsche Cayennes, Porsche Caymans, Porsche Boxsters, Porsche Carreras, Porsche 911s, and Porsche Panameras made in recent years.
Step 1: USB Thumb Drive
Find the USB port in your Porsche. On my 2016 Porsche Macan it's in the center console storage area. If it's not there on your car it's likely in the glove box. Pop it in your USB port and your Porsche Communication Management (PCM) screen should briefly show "USB Loading" at the bottom. If you don't see that it likely can't read your USB drive at all, probably for the reasons mentioned above.
Step 2: Switch To Source
Locate and press the Source button under the PCM display as we need to switch to the USB port option.
Step 3: Select USB
Press the USB option on your PCM touch screen display.
Step 4: Option Tab
Switch over to the Option tab.
Step 5: Find Music
Press the Find Music button. Depending on how much music you have you may now wait a few minutes while it searches the USB for music files.
Step 6: Copy All Tracks
When available, press the Copy All Tracks button.
Now, a word of warning here: Depending on how much music you have, this process can take a long time. Most people report that the system will stop and "time out" after around 100 or so songs unless you have the engine running. My advice is to wait until you're planning a long drive and to start this process then. In my case, 10Gb of music took well over 1 hour to copy. It's ridiculously slow because, well, Porsche isn't a technology company!
Step 7: Copying
Now you just sit and wait, or drive around and enjoy your Porsche. When it's done copying you'll be all set.
Step 8: Done
That's it, you're done. You can now press Source on your PCM and switch to Jukebox at any time. Jukebox is the internal memory that all of your music was just copied to. Enjoy!
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