How to format an SD card for use in your VW using a Mac


Posted on December 23, 2009, in CC, EOs, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Navigation, Passat, Radio, TDI, Tech, Tiguan, Touareg, Volkswagen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. hay dike que tu sabes de todo

  2. Good morning Jay,

    I have a 2010 VW CC. I am using a 8gb SDHC memory card for use in my car. I have created numerous folders that specify different genres of music. How large of a memory card can I use? I noticed that the car radio somehow renamed some of the mp3. For example one song is 01 Besame Mucho.mp3 but I aslo noticed some files as ._01 Come away with me.mp3 which is not recognized. Radio states it is in a wrong format. So any file listed as ._01 or ._02 etc. etc. isn’t recognizable. Any ideas?

    Thank you,

    • depending on when your car was built you can use up to a 32G card and the radio wants file names that start with a letter or number

    • The ._ files are generally created when copying files from a Mac to a non-Mac partition. They are safe to delete, assuming you didn’t intentionally create your file to be named like that.

      If visible, a normal erase will work. Otherwise, open Terminal and type “cd ” then drag the desktop icon for whatever drive or folder onto terminal and the path will enter itself. Press enter and you should be in the appropriate folder. Type “rm ._*” and press enter and everything in that folder beginning with ._ will be erased. (Don’t type the quotes when you’re performing the commands though.)

  3. Hi, Jay

    I have a 2010 CC can not get the SD Card to read in player. What am I doing
    that is casuing this to happen.

  4. I foratted the card as you suggested and cannot get it to work in my 2010 Jetta. Any ideas would be appreciated

  5. How do I get the system to randomly mix between the folders on an SD card during playback?

  6. hi jay,
    just bought a 2010 jetta. in the video you said you cannot use a sdhc card with the jetta’s audio system, yet in a question above the writer states he is using an 8gb sdhc card in his jetta and it seems to work for some of the songs but not others. if i’m going to purchase a memory card, can i use the sdhc or do i need to get an sd instead?

  7. Hi Jay, helpful series here. You state (24 May 2010) that SDHC cards are NOT compatible with the Jetta system, but there’s no such thing as a 32 gig SD non-HC card! In fact, I think the largest non-HC SD card you can get is 4 gig. But you state that the Jetta can read up to 32 gig cards, depending on when the car was built. Which leads to another question: what’s the cut-off point in date of manufacture? I’d love to install a 32 gig card but they’re not cheap enough to get and not be able to use….

  8. Im so confused with this, we got a 2010 VW CC no navi. We have just been trying to get the sd card to work on the CC. Have an 8gig SDHC card, the manual says it is compatible with up to a 32gig SDHC card.
    The card is formated correctly and I have been dragging and dropping the files from itunes into the card but the car wont read it.
    Does it only read MP3? Is the size of the card causing the issues?
    So many different answers on here I want to get to the root of the issue and try to solve my problem.
    Also we got a 2010 jetta no navi and there is no info on the sd card in the manual. Will this be any different than the protocol for the CC? thanks!!!!

    • Shelia – i was having the same issue with the i-tunes …yes convert all your music to mp3 format and at least 192kbs and that should solve that issue ….. now in about the size of the card i started with a 4gb card and had no issues after i converted some of my music from i-tunes to mp3 so i went up to the 16gb SDHC card and now im having all kinds of issues …. per the book and a vw rep we ( i have the same car no nav 2011 model ) we should be able to use a 32gb sdhc card ….. but it needs to be formated in fat32 now my understanding is that all sdhc cards are formatted in fat 32 but some cards depending on brand may need to be “reformatted” i didnt Skimp on the card … bought what i was told a good brand “scandisk” and im going thru a reformat as we speak …. if i am able to solve this i will post an instruction list on how i did this ….

  9. If I have an SD card, can I see pictures on my navi screen? I just got the 2010 CC and I thought thats what I heard my Salesman say, did I hear wrong? Thanks

  10. I have CC with regular radio (no nav) and have had good success using 4GB SDHC. Upgraded to a 16GB SDHC card and it reads the MP3 fine – but stops reading the folders/albums after about 200-250 albums – i tried putting artist/albums in subfolders (A-L and M-Z) but that didn’t help – can still see all A-L albums but only a fwe of the Ms. Is there a limit on the number of folders that can be read by the radio? Any other suggestions? thanks.

    • I am not sure what the limits are but I have heard 200 is the max

    • Lee, you and I are experiencing the same problem. Called VW support and after rep talked to higher level support, she informed me that the RCD510 only handled up to 4GB cards. Obviously they are uninformed as my card is totally filled with MP3 formatted music and when I peruse the files, the alphabetical list only goes to K. Everything else is missing. I haven’t calculated how much of the card is being read but assume it’s approximately half the capacity. The only thing I’ve been able to find out is that there may be a limit to the number of songs so I’m going to count the number it is able to access and will post later. If anyone is able to get a full 32GB SDHC card to read (and play)all the files, please post your experience. Thanks.

    • try one folder then creating playlists on your home cpu then use “mix” to shuffle inside the car …. the car will see a limited amount of folders and subfolders ….

    • i was told 500 folders total

  11. I have a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta with a RCD 510, Premium 8 with no nav. I have tried a 2gb sd card and a 4gb sdhc card. I formatted just like you said and when I go back and check I does say the card is formatted in MSDOS Fat 32. When I move my music to card everything works fine and It shows up on the card. When I put the card in the radio it says there is no music on the card. I bring it in put it back in the computer and the music is on the card and the format is correct. Could it be because itunes puts it on the card as a mp4 instead of mp3? Thanks

  12. Ok. I figured out before you move music from itunes to card you must create a mp3 version in itunes on mac. I just selected my music and went to top and clicked on advanced at top of screen. There is a option to create mp3 of selected music. Just click on it and it will convert mp4 to mp3 creating both versions of music. I then made a mp3 music file in playlist, went to recently added music and select songs, click and drag to mp3 playlist. I then click on card, click on file and add folder of artist. Then I went to mp3 playlist and highlighted that artist group of songs and click and drag to artist file. Everything worked fine except when I play in rcd510 it creates new version of every song listing it as ._01 song title, ._02 song title and so on and says it is in wrong format. All created duplicates are at top of file but when I scroll down my music is listed just as I placed and named it and those play perfect. I have come to the conclusion the rcd510 sd card reader is a strange creature but hey what do I know. Hope this helps someone. Thanks

  13. I have a 2009 Jetta SportWagon TDI with a navigation radio/CD player which has a 20GB hard drive. It will only play or upload MP3 files from an SD card. I have done a FAT 32 format on a 2GB SD card and uploaded 40 songs to the card in 5 folders. The radio/CD will play the songs with no difficulties and identify them within their folders but when I upload the songs to the 20 GB hard drive, it creates a duplicate title for each song. The duplicate title is identical to the original title but it begins with (._), (dot underline) and this duplicate file is empty and, of course, will not play. I have been in contact with Apple and they have no idea where the duplicaye is originating. It is not coming from the Mac.

    Why does the silly and overpriced VW radio do this? And why wont the same radio upload files from the CD player? And why does it require only the low quality MP3 file system to be uploaded to its hard drive? It is bad enough that the sound from the radio is so harsh and ugly but to have it malefaction is the icing on the cake.

    I love the car but it is the last VW I will ever buy. The three dealers I have gone to with the problem do not even understand what I am talking about and their only solution is to replace the whole navigation system and radio/CD. I have had this done once and nothing changed.

  14. Hey Jay thanks for this. i just bought a 2011 jetta sportwagen with the Nav system. the manual says it can deal with SDHC cards up to 32GB. I bought an 8GB card and put a bunch of mp3’s and M4A’s from itunes on my mac into two folders. so there in the root directory is folder01/bunch o mp3s and folder02/bunch o mp3s.

    when i hit the media button the screen rips through a each track at about 1 per second. each have been renamed or are coming up with the name leading with the ._ as described by earlier commenters.

    could you please tell me what i may need to do? i dont believe its a fat32 issue as the card is readable in whatever format it came from the store in. its just an issue with the files.

    by the way, this behaves the same with both the mp3 files as well as the m4a files.


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