I have just taken delivery of a shiny new Honda CRV. To my delight it has a PCM/CIA adapter in the dashboard to allow you to play MP3s (or M4As) whilst in the car. Now this does raise the issue as to why Honda should choose such an old format for the card. However, that aside, it would seem that many people (including me) cannot get the cards to play. The CRV driver’s dilemma is described in the humorously named Hodge Blog:
OK, so you don’t want to read that – in a nutshell the problem is that people cannot get their cards to work – they either get – MEDIA ERROR" or "NO MUSIC" errors.
The source of this problem is, of course, Honda who despite being an excellent company who make very nice cars seem to be incapable of telling their users how their cars work.
I believe that after quite a bit of time I have sorted out the problem – it is all about the file system on the cards. I now have 2 cards working perfectly: a 4Gb Transcend and an 8 Gb Kingston card. Both are CF cards and both are working in a generic PCM/CIA adapter. I now don’t think it matters what kind or card you have or what kind of adaper. I could get neither card to work originally getting both errors discussed above – "CARD – MEDIA ERROR" and "NO MUSIC". The secret is to format the cards with a FAT32 filesystem. Unfortunately cards often do not come with a FAT32 filesystem on them so you will need to put an appropriate filesystem on the card. Unfortunately you cannot easily do this with XP or Vista. In Vista or XP you have to run a command from a command window. To get a command window do the following:
Start >>Select Run>> in Run Dialog Box Type Cmd
Once you have done this you need to run the format command. If your card is called X: you type the following:
format /FS:FAT32 X:
Please be very careful with this – it will nuke any file systems so make sure you choose the right drive letter (it will probably be called E:, F:, G: etc. rather than X:)
On a Mac you can do the following: open Disk Utility select Erase and choose MS-DOS FAT as your preferred format. This will format the disk. Again please be careful.
I hope this helps others, if it does, please consider sending a fiver to Oxfam!