MMITunes: Create playlists for your Audi MMI/RNS-E on the Mac

I have an iPod Classic connected to the Audi Music Interface (AMI) in my car to listen to music over the Audi multimedia system MMI 3G. The iPod is able to store a vast collection of music but sometimes I just want to listen to the tracks I recently downloaded in the iTunes music store without having to walk down to the garage, disconnecting the iPod, sync it on my Mac and so on. I just want to drag ‘n drop a few dozen audio tracks from iTunes to an SD-card and insert the card into the MMI’s SD-card slot when I get to the car the next time.

Now, the problem is that there are no playlists on the SD-card and thus the tracks are played in the order the MMI finds them on the card. This is where MMITunes comes into play. MMITunes is a small tool that creates playlists for all audio tracks it finds on a SD-card. It even creates multiple playlists with different audio track sorting. One of the created playlists contains a random sort order. Actually, there’s a “mix” option in the MMI but it gets deactivated every now and then so having a randomized playlist might be a good thing. The following playlists are created by MMITunes:

  • MMITunes_RND.m3u: Random sorting, as described above
  • MMITunes_TRK_RND.m3u: Artists in alphabetical order but albums and tracks in random order
  • MMITunes_SORTED.m3u: Artists, albums in alphabetical order, tracks in play order if track number is set in iTunes

Screenshot:

In case you’re using a folder structure on that SD-card to organize your music: MMITunes will take care of it and add playlist entries for audio tracks it finds in subfolders as well. I also added an option for Audi RNS-E users to delete all hidden files and directories on the SD-card. Unfortunately, the RNS-E displays hidden “.”-files as playable audio tracks.

The latest MMITunes release is available in the downloads area. It requires the latest and greatest version of OS X. It’s untested with Mac OS X versions prior to 10.6.4. MMITunes is free of charge and not bound by any particular license. Install it by opening the .dmg and drag n’ drop the application icon to the application folder. If you’re getting a message saying “MMITunes is damaged and can’t be opened” while starting MMITunes you will have to lower the OS X Apps setting “Allow apps downloaded from” to Anywhere. You can revert your previous setting after starting MMITunes once. It’s an OS X code signing thing.

If MMITunes isn’t exactly what you need you may want to have a look at Export to Audi MMIiTunes Export and Blue Harvest.

49 thoughts on “MMITunes: Create playlists for your Audi MMI/RNS-E on the Mac

  1. hi,
    nicely done.
    but how do I go about creating a playlist on my MacBook and copying the playlist to the HD which is in the MMI ??
    thnks

  2. I’m on a Mac running 10.6.4. Besides the automatically generated playlists, is there a way to create “your own” playlists on the SD card? I’ve tried everything, iTunes .m3u export, folders, etc.

    Jeff

  3. you will have to use MMItunes, which you can download from this site.
    the playlists you get, can be modified with a plain text-editor

  4. MMItunes creates playlists.
    you have to put the music on an SD-card or USB-stick.
    start MMItunes and select the volume.
    pls note: it runs on OS X
    not on the other thing, what was it called again :)

  5. I think I found it. I uploaded a new version. I also optimized the error output in this version so if the problem still exists, please send another screenshot.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  6. Matt, I just uploaded a new version that should fix this particular problem. The library I use to read the ID tags seems to have a problem reading a certain track. The current version will skip a track if it can’t read its ID tags.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  7. Hi, I just got a 2011 Audi A8 with 2 sd card slots. I have a MacBook Pro, and all the music on my iTunes comes from CDs I have purchased over the years. I am totally confused by the technical terms here and on most sites, so please feel free to “talk down” to me; no offense will be taken.

    If I downloaded MMItunes, what do I do next? I assume I insert a 32 gb sd card in the computer, but then what? Do I go to iTunes and export music, and if so where: by highlighting the music library and dragging it somewhere?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. I am perfectly happy just using my iPd, but I wouldn’t mind having music played on the car’s Juke Box via sd cars so the iPod doesn’t tempt any burglars.

  8. This is a warning that the current version not only failed to detect any media on my stick, but still deleted all existing files without a reason. There must be a severe bug in the current release.

  9. The easier way:

    1) Create Folders with the names of your playlists on your SD card.

    2) Open iTunes. Click on a Playlist. Select all Songs in that Playlist.

    3) Drag the songs to the appropriate folder on your SD card.

  10. Isn’t that exactly what I wrote in my post? Using MMItunes you _addionally_ have multiple playlists for every folder so the MMI won’t play the songs in the order they’re found on the volume.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  11. I agree with Twips. I had copied nearly 4GB of data on my Micro SD Card. Then I used MMITunes. Since I know that the Mac creates ._ type of useless files, I selected the option to “Remove hidden files and directories”. It went ahead and removed my entire 4GB worth of Music folder.

    And surprisingly, ONLY the Music folder.

  12. This will be fixed in 2.1.4, I’m sorry if it caused any inconvenience. Just don’t use the option for now. It’s only needed for the Audi RNS-E anyway because the RNS-E detects the hidden files as playable music tracks which is very annoying.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  13. No Apologies required Jan. I’m an IT professional as well and I do understand that there could be bugs.

    I only wished to inform you of this problem, especially it would deem to a “BIG” problem amongst novice users.

    Thanks for looking into it and looking forward to 2.1.4.

    Cheers,
    Srini

  14. I have a 2012 Audi TT. I downloaded MMItunes. I dragged my music from itunes over to my SD card,opened MMItunes, clicked Go. When I place the card in my car, it says that there are no readable files. I previously tried putting the music in folders by artist. But, that didn’t work. So, I just dragged the songs over without folders. Still no readable files. Any suggestions? I’ve spent weeks on this and just found MMItunes. Was hoping this was the answer.

    Thanks!

  15. the card is formatted as FAT31. The MMItunes converts the songs into MP#s. But adds these annoying copies that arent’t readable. When I check the box, all of my music gets deleted.

  16. My Audi has the RNS-E. My Mac creates ._ type of useless files, I selected the option to “Remove hidden files and directories”. It went ahead and removed my entire music folder. Is there away around these annoying useless files?

    Also, is there a limit to the number of folders (artists names) I can have on the SD Card?

  17. You could use the “Blue Harvest” tool mentioned in the blog post to get rid of the hidden files. When I owned a car with an RNS-E the limit was 400 songs but that was like 6 years ago so things might have changed.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  18. Unfortunately, your app also wiped my hard disk… I checked “Remove hidden files and directories” and it removed everything from the USB drive. No big deal — I just copied everything over again, but I thought you’d like to know…

    (Maybe you should disable this feature?)

    P.S. Running Lion with a FAT 160gb USB drive.

  19. Hi, to remove the ._ files use the terminal app and run the dot_clean command, so if I have an SD card called music1 you would run:
    dot_clean -mv /volume/music1
    This will remove the files and show you what it’s doing too.
    Hope this helps.

  20. Hi Jan,

    Jeff asked for the same a year ago: do you have plans to add creating other playlists, like “genre”-playlists.
    It would be VERY helpful to me… :-)
    Because I´d like to have all my music with me on the 2x32GB-SD-cards and the music is on folders “A”-“Z” regarding the names of the artists. Changes in my music-collection will be considered by sync between MacBookPro and SD-card; but sometime I´d like to hear the music not by artist but by genre. The problem is to have actual playlists by genre on the SD-Card…

    Best regards from Germany
    Fred

  21. Hi Jan, thanks a lot for doing this at your site… its so expensive to buy some interfaces to unlock vim and its a simple way to do it on vcds. Im trying to find some help to unlock vim on my Audi a1 2011. It seems its a 3g system. I didnt find the srial number in module 5f. And moduke 07 its not installed in the car. Can you help me unlock it? Thanks a lot,

  22. Fred, I’m about to release a new version of MMITunes which is capable of auto-generating genre-based playlists. I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re looking for but at least for me this is quite a useful enhancement.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  23. Hi Jan,

    sounds GREAT!
    My “idea”: take the field “genre” from the metadatas of the songs and create genre-playlists. Like “folk”, “jazz” or so.
    And this should be done of the stick or hard-disk-drive itself.

    Thanks in advance for your efforts!!

    Best regards
    Fred

  24. Hi Jan,

    unfortunately MMItunes runs only 1 times succesfully. After that I changed all the songs to ID-Tag 2.4 but MMItunes runs over 8 hours without finishing…
    Tried the old song-library again (a mix of ID-Tag2.3 and 2.4) but without success too.
    Do you have any idea what I can do in addition?
    Cheers
    Fred

    PS: Tried MMItunes 3.01 and an old version (2.x) on MacBookPro too; on SD-card as well as on hard-disc-drive; all without success :-(

  25. I use show hidden files” mac program – once enabled it will show “light blue” the hidden files delete spotlight and .fstevensd folders and eject the Sd card.
    Ever time you pop the card in to the mac it will install these two folders.

  26. I’m having the same problem as cblack. I’ve downloaded the app a couple of times now but every time I try to run it OSX says that it is damaged.

  27. You have to set your OS X to “Allow apps downloaded from -> Anywhere”. You can reset it back to the previous setting afterwards.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  28. Stefano Cantarelli

    Dear Jan,
    do you still support this application? I have a problem. Please let me know
    S

  29. Stefano Cantarelli

    I have successfully connected a 1TB hard drive with about 60,000 songs. I can give you the full tree structure which is the iTunes one with artists and then albums. The first 20 folders is by letters (A,B,C and so on).
    The application recognises the 60,000 songs and then when it starts to elaborate to create playlists just stops at 10,300 and get stuck.
    When I cancel to stop, then there is no additional file in the hard drive.
    Any idea?
    Thanks
    S

  30. Stefano, you would have to manually start it from the command line to see if an error gets dumped in the console. However, it was never designed to handle a large number of files.

    Cheers,
    Jan

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