Honda Accord 2014

MP3 player

Honda Accord model CU1 / Acura TSX was one of the first cars on the marked equiped with an USB port to use in connetion with MP3. The first tests showed nothing but impressed journalists. The old model did not have this option - although it was possible to buy players from other vendors which could be mounted to the AUX port. On the old car this worked perfect - just the way I wanted it. I was please to realize that this fine piece of electronic was standard in my new car.

Disappointment was emmense as I realized that it did not work as expected. Music was played, but not in the order I would expect. I like to listen to New Age when I drive - and often a CD is made of 8 titles where you can't hear when you go from one title to the next. But in the Honda / Acura it was different. It was kind of random - but in a fixed sorted way.

File copying

On my USB stick which I had bought for this purpose I created a certain number of folders and named them 01, 02, 03 etc. Hereafter I copied the tiles into these folders. When done I add a number in front of each title to make sure they are played in the order I want them played.

Experience has told me that the titles are not played in the order and I just couldn't explain why. I contacted Honda where they had never heard about this before, but they were the opinion, that it was caused by the USB Stick. I couldn't ague against this, and therefore bought 3 different Sticks - all well known brands. The titles were copied to the Sticks and the result was absolutely the same. The theory from Honda was thereby proven wrong.

Root Cause

To find the reason for this problem we have to go back to the early 80's as Bill Gates and Co. came up with DOS 1.0. Files were all stored in the good old 8.3 format and the files were all placed on the disk in the order they were copied to disk. This was so irritating. The FAT table worked, but things just got worse when Windows 95 was introduced. FAT32 made it possible to use long file names too. No need to say that the problem was exactly the same. And now we are at the core of the problem. A USB Stick uses FAT32, and here we have to find the solution.


In those good old with Windows 98 it was a fixed monthly task to run a full defragmentation. The Program that was deployed with Windows 98 solved this task perfectly. Not only was the Hard disk defragmented, files were sorted properly.

Today is Windows 98 considered fairly "Old School". New versions of Windows do not care in which order files were copied to disk. If you open explorer you will see the files sorted properly. A defragmentation today is not the same as a defragmentation was back then. And one thing is for sure files are not being sorted any more. Try to open a CMD prompt. Type in the command "DIR". You will then get something like this (This example is made with Windows 8.1):

Note here that title number 9 and 10 are out of order.

I sat down and wrote a PowerShell script which first copies all data from the Disk and on to my PC. After this I create all folders again. Now the titles are being copied back one file after the other and in the right oder. Thereby I have done what the Defragmentation tool did in the old days.

Honda Accord MP3 Sort Order Fix

... and it worked. Now the titles are played in the oder I want it.

Copyright © Fml. Laursen 2018