GRACENOTE® MUSIC DATABASE VERSION 8 UPDATE

GRACENOTE LOGO

NOTE: Version 9 has since been released.  See new article with updated links

 

When playing music on your Infotainment Center, you may notice the album covers that are displayed corresponding to the current song.  This is one of the features of the Gracenote® database stored in memory.  The initial 2017 Fiat 124 Spiders were shipped with version 5 of this database which dates back to 2015, so songs released since then will not be recognized, so by updating your database, more recent songs will be recognized.

Other benefits of updating your database:

  • Because a phonetic database is also included, voice recognition of artist and album names will be improved when searching using the microphone
  • Once music is identified by MusicID, Gracenote® algorithms can transform music into killer playlists organized by similar Genres, Moods and Tempos
  • Logo and Genre database for all known AM, FM and HD radio stations is also updated
large-album-art

HD Radio station album art example (I tweaked the system to enlarge the album art, display current date, compass, altitude, speed, get rid of the red border around the status bar message & display my preferred background)


Although more recent 2017 and 2018 vehicles may have come with version 7, rather than version 5, in either case an even newer update – version 8 has recently been released (October 2017) for the Fiat Connect system (and Mazda Connect).  My North American file (256 MB), took close to 15 minutes to update from the version 7 to 8.  Downloads:

European version for Europe (UK, Russia, Germany, France, etc)

North American version for US, Mexico and Canada

ADR version (Australian Design Rules) for Australia, NZ, Taiwan, South America, South Africa, Philippines, Thailand and Oceania

Chinese version is for China, Hong Kong and Macau

Japanese version

Instructions

Using a USB drive, here are the Windows instructions to update (do not use a Mac computer to format the USB drive as files are added that your Infotainment Center doesn’t like*):

1. Insert a FAT 32 formatted USB 2.0 or 3.0 drive into your computer.

2. Download the appropriate gracenotes .up file (from the links above) to the USB drive. Please ensure you have at least 400 megabytes of space remaining and the gracenotes.up file is saved to the top level of file folders on your USB drive.

  • Firefox: After selecting the “click here” link on the website and selecting “Save to Disk,” click “OK,” find the gracenotes .up file in your designated download folder, right-click on the file icon, select “Send To,” and select your USB device by name and/or drive letter in the window to transfer the file.
  • Chrome: After selecting the “click here” link on the website, click “Show in folder” next to the gracenotes .up file name at the bottom of the window, click “Move this file,” locate your USB device by name and/or drive letter in “My Computer,” and click “Move” to transfer the file.
  • IE8/9/10: After selecting the “click here” link on the website, click “Save” in the “File Download” window, select where you will save the gracenotes .up file. It is recommended that you save the gracenotes .up file directly to your USB drive.

3. When the download to the USB drive is complete, safely remove the USB drive from your computer.

4. Make sure your phone is unpaired from the vehicle, especially if you have a lot of contacts, and remove any USB drive(s) with media files, so that you free up enough memory to install the new gracenotes .up file.

5. Insert your update USB drive into your vehicle’s USB port.

6. Select “Settings” on the vehicle’s main display screen.

7. Scroll right and select the “System” tab.

8. Select “Music Database Update”.

9. The system will ask you if you would like to search for an update package for the Music Database on your USB device. Select “Search”.

10. The system shows your current Music Update version and lists updates available on your USB device. Select the newest update.

11. The system displays the version of the Music Update currently installed on your system and asks if you want to install the Music Update version you selected in step 8. Select “Install”.

12. The update may take several (close to 15) moments. Once completed, the system will display that the update was successful and instruct you to acknowledge a reboot.  If by chance the update is taking longer than 15 minutes, be sure to momentarily step on the brake pedal to insure that the system doesn’t go to sleep as this will corrupt the upgrade.

13. The USB drive can be safely removed from the vehicle port as it’s rebooting.

*     bspielman recommends using Funter to clean up USB drives that were formatted using a Mac.

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Depending on what version your navigation maps are at, it might be a good time to update your SD card as well.

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If you find mistakes in the Gracenote database, you are encouraged to submit corrections (using iTunes) that hopefully will be implemented in the next update.

15 thoughts on “GRACENOTE® MUSIC DATABASE VERSION 8 UPDATE

  1. Dan, a quick question for you. I was able to link to the URL and download the file, but when I was searching the Gracenote database updates, I found a link published for the Mazda MZD Connect system that is also October 2017, but 418 MB in size. That seems like a considerable amount of additional content. This is the site I found it on:
    http://infotainment.mazdahandsfree.com/howto-updategracenote?language=en-NA

    Folks, please don’t attempt to use this alternate datafile, as it may not be compatible with our vehicles. That’s why I’m asking Dan for his sage wisdom.

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  2. I remember reading that someone else had tried that download and determined that it was the ADR version, rather than the expected NA version.

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    • Thank you. I went out into my unheated garage yesterday afternoon and installed the version 8.0 update. As you noted, it’s not a fast process, and it took at least 15 minutes to complete… but went absolutely swimmingly. Your assistance is greatly appreciated, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan, I’m confused. And as you know, not for the first time. lol I have successfully updated my Gracenote database to version 8, and I have confirmed this via the settings on my Infotainment system, but here’s the rub. For whatever reason, I never see any Gracenote album art show up when I’m playing HD FM stations. Never. It only shows the default album art image for when a song isn’t recognized or in the database. I’ve tried several different FM stations with the same result. Any thoughts as to why it may not work? The artist name, album, and song information come through from the station, but the Gracenote link to album art never seems to occur. Thoughts?

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    • It works for me on some HD FM radio stations in the Chicago area, so my guess is that the stations you have tried in the Calgary area are simply not submitting the Gracenote compatible song catalog number as part of the data stream. Does the HD logo turn yellow by the way? If it is grey in color, it could be that the Stubby antenna is simply not pulling in HD, and you are receiving the analog FM signal instead. We have some analog FM stations that transmit song data that definitely don’t include Gracenote data. By the way, you can display no image, rather than the “clef note” default image, so it won’t be so obvious that the album art is missing.

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      • No, my HD icon is illuminated (I think it shows up as red in my display, but it may be yellow) so I think I’m pulling digital signal. Next time I drive stateside, I’ll have to see if I pick them up from American stations in Montana. I tried a good dozen of the stations here in Calgary, and none seem to transmit the proper code as you indicate. It does show album art for content I play off of USB sticks, so I know the content works for some media. .

        I did notice with the stubby that I start to get signal drop for HD content about 30km outside city limits, or around 50 – 60 km from city centre. Next time I drive out to Banff, I should screw in my old antenna to see when it drops HD signal for comparison.

        For what it’s worth, I don’t see album art with Sirius/XM either. I should post an email to a couple of the local stations and ask them if they do or don’t support Gracenote content. The reply is appreciated as always.

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