iPod connected to USB port

iPod connected to USB port

When I connect my iPod or my iphone 5 to USB port, I am unable to play any songs

iholtzman | February 9, 2013

The USB is just for charging for now. You need to connect them via bluetooth.

David Trushin | February 9, 2013

I copied my music folder onto a USB flash drive and could get to the music. I think iholzman means that the USB is just for charging an iPOD for now.

BrianF | February 9, 2013

I was told this was a compatibility problem with iOS that Tesla is working on and hopes to implement in a future upgrade. For now connect with Bluetooth, but you have to manually change songs etc on the iDevice, not on the Tesla touchscreen.

KendallPB | February 9, 2013

IIRC, the skip buttons worked for me, playing music over Bluetooth from the iPhone.

I have to start playing from the iPhone, though, if I want a certain playlist, shuffle, etc. Hopefully this'll be improved.

I have an iPod Classic and haven't tried it yet. My DS said it would work if I plugged it into the USB port, but I'm pretty sure I read elsewhere it wouldn't. ;-( Hopefully in the future, if not...but I'm going to try it tomorrow. (No Bluetooth on the iPod Classic, unfortunately.)

jbunn | February 9, 2013

My aftermarket Panasonic radio/navi has perfect iPod integration, showing album artwork, and an apple interface for skip, shuffle, ect. When I asked about 10 days ago when I got my car, the delivery specialist indicated that it was a negotiation thing between Tesla and Apple. Apple can be sticky about it's licensing, but I don't know for sure if that's the actual problem. I'm wondering if that's the same reason we can't get Pandora or IheartRadio.

KendallPB | February 10, 2013

@jbunn: You can run Flash or any video in the browser on the Model S; I wonder if the audio stuff requires similar plug-ins that Tesla just doesn't support, or doesn't support yet? Pandora's requirements seem very specific about browser, computer, etc.

lov2krz | February 10, 2013

Android devices work when connect via USB. It's an Apple/Tesla issue according to my DS agent. Hopefully they'll work it out.

Vall | February 10, 2013

If apple has licensed the ipod connectivity to panasonic, sony, pioneer, kenwood, JVC, and possibly every other car audio manufacturer, not to mention home audio systems and iphone docks, there seems to be no reason they would deny tesla the license. Or tesla can just use the ipod library for linux, and hope they will win in court.

snowmass4 | February 10, 2013

There are multiple devices that can add bluetooth to an ipod classic. Some plug into the headphone jack, others into the 30 pin adapter. Amazon has a nice selection.

Brian H | February 10, 2013

Have you done it? My understanding is that the plugins won't run.

mailsrivatsas | February 10, 2013


Did you try your ipod Classic ?

KendallPB | February 10, 2013

@Brian H: Sorry, I typo'd; I meant you can't run Flash/video. Brain freeze, sorry! I actually tried Pandora--something I read made it look like they used HTML5 now--but going there says it needs Flash. I guess what I read was wrong.

@snowmass4: Thanks for mentioning that. I have a 12v FM transmitter that broadcasts it on any station I pick, and it works fine, but the cable's coming loose and I expect one day it'll quit finding a free station when out of town can be challenging in some areas (e.g., NYC!). ;-) So I'll check out the Bluetooth adapters, thanks.

@mailsrivatsas: As expected, no joy (although with my FM Transmitter it works fine, though I feel like the Bluetooth on the iPhone is crisper/better quality sound.

xsleep | March 10, 2013

"Did you try your ipod Classic ?"

I tried an iPod 5th Gen in the showroom Model S. It didn't work. The iPod showed the same "Do not disconnect" screen as when it is connected to a computer. It also froze the Tesla center display until it was disconnected. Likewise, my iPhone 4s, when connected via USB, couldn't access the music. I didn't try Bluetooth (which is supposed to work)

jeffrey | March 31, 2013

I have an I-Pod shuffle. I plugged it into the USB of the Model S. The screen displays the album artwork but a little rotating circle shows that it seems to be trying to load the music but the music doesn't play. Seems odd that I'd see the arwork but no music. Any solutions? Thanks.

RobertMontreal | March 31, 2013

When I connect my Samsung Galaxy S3 to the USB port, all it does is charge it (a bit... very low current on the S USB ports), but I can't browse my song library.

Is that normal?

David Trushin | March 31, 2013

I believe that the music players once plugged into the USB port are looking for a music player on the host computer to sync with and will not work unless it finds it. Certainly and Ipod, looking for Itunes would not find it. I doubt any of the others would either given that the music player on the MS is proprietary. I once had a music device that had a USB storage device mode. It would probably work (if I could find it and a USB cord for it). But the easier way is to just transfer the music to a flash drive and plug it in and play away.

mallynb | March 31, 2013


Your ipod music file suffix (audio file format) probably needs to be one of those that are listed on Tesla's Specs page. If you figure out how to change yours to be compatible, please let us all know. Thanks!

xsleep | July 10, 2013

I keep hoping for an update that adds iPod connectivity.

I did get a USB stick and am using it but there are several problems:

1) Whatever app Tesla is using seems to get it's metadata from some server. This is mildly annoying for album art (since every single one of my tracks is embedded with album art but not shown on my Tesla) but the Genre of the track is, many times, not the Genre that is defined by me. I have played the tracks in question on a non-iTunes player both in WinXP and Ubuntu and in both cases the Genre is correct.

2) The reason I am fooling with this Genre stuff is the Tesla player is not capable of using Playlists. One can organize using Folders but then NONE of the metadata is available and the song titles come from the file name (some of which are of the format "01NameofSong")

3) And even if it could do Playlists it's not capable of random play.

Please Tesla, fix the Music player. I don't really want to use (or pay for or listen to adds on) Slacker.

xsleep | July 16, 2013

Follow-up on my last post.

I purchased a Kokkia i10s Bluetooth dongle designed for iPod from for $50.

Long story short it doesn't work (although it does work with a Phillips Bluetooth boom-box I have). With the Tesla it gets as far as identifying the dongle by name but then the pairing fails. I am returning it.

This device is the only Bluetooth device for iPod I could find.

patrick.meier | July 16, 2013

Typical Andriod rubbish. If Steve was still here, we would have a solution by now.

jader | July 18, 2013

xsleep: I had the same issue with the Kokkia. Pairing failed. Have you figured out another solution? Tesla people said to configure my ipod as a hard drive and connect that way into USB port. Surprising they haven't worked out a deal with Apple.

AmpedRealtor | July 18, 2013

Don't iPods still have mass storage mode? If so, you can probably play your songs that way.

roberto | October 2, 2013

Unfortunately, the mass storage setting on iPod is still a no-go with Model S USB port. I put some plain mp3 files on the mass storage portion of the iPod and Model S still can not see them. As reported earlier, iPod just displays the "Do Not Disconnect" message and it stays like that until you unplug it.

Bottom line, iPod and Model S are not compatible at this point... Hopefully some future update will fix that.

Yellow1020 | December 21, 2013

For USB flash drive, is there a brand, size limitation or folders structure? Took a 32gb into the store to try out the experience, it didn't recognize the flash drive. No one at the store seemed to know why.

DavidPM | December 22, 2013

Is your flash drive formatted in FAT32? If not, the car will not recognize it.

brucect | December 22, 2013

1. As others have said, ipod classic not set up to work with Model S - maybe in future, although in future, no one will have ipod classics either. I have one and like it bc it stores itunes playlists and has a lot of storage but only use is really for music storage and playback for autos. I've got to believe this is a low priority for Tesla - but like others on this forum would really like to see support added.

2. There was a story last month that reported that Tesla has committed to opening the Linux OS to an Android emulator that would allow third party developers to create specialized apps for the car. This would relieve Tesla from writing or coordinating with other companies to develop apps and open up new business models for developers. Chrome browser would replace current browser as well. Ideally this would drive developers to bring Pandora, Spotify, third party GPS/Nav (ie. Waze) and other apps to the Tesla. Still a year away but makes the most sense.

exfilmdlr2 | December 22, 2013

So when playing files from a thumb drive, there's really no "random" button? It's always going to play them in (it's version) of alphabetical order? Or am I just not seeing a "random" option somewhere?

Also, is there an "off" button for the sound system? (Not mute, just off.)


Brian H | December 23, 2013

No shuffle or random play yet.

Spooky | February 19, 2014

Since the last post here was in 2003 I figured I would ask again if there is iPod integration in the MS now--or planned in future software revisions? (I have looked on Volkerize...all are old posts)
If not, is there a way to have my iTunes come onscreen?
This is quite a bummer for me as I love my iPod/playlists.

Spooky | February 19, 2014

2013, that is.

mathwhiz | February 19, 2014

At the moment, the Model S doesn't support Apple's IOS devices iPod Accessory Protocol (IAP). So, USB will only be useful for charging right now. As far as Tesla's possible plan for IAP support, only they know if and/or when... Maybe the answer is never, but I'm not sure why that would be. As for the suggestion that perhaps Tesla is having difficulty in obtaining an IAP license from Apple, I don't place any reasonable prospect on that possibility, although I have no personal knowledge of this. So many car manufacturers directly support IAP (even my both my old Camry's supported it) so, I really doubt that hypothesis...

brooklynrab | February 19, 2014

Apparently, Mr. Musk uses an android phone, not an iPhone.

Spooky | February 20, 2014

This really bums me out. As mathwhiz states, IAP support is fairly ubiquitous in autos today. Unless Elon is secretly working with Apple on some crazy-good music innovation, the lack of iPod integration is a glaring deficiency for such a technologically advanced car.

pramod1969 | February 20, 2014

I guess Apple charges a fee for iPod integration and Tesla doesn't like to pay for it.
I think it is too late to expect it in the next software update. My feeling is it is never going to happen as they are focusing only on BT streaming.
Thanks to Mediamonkey, I was finally able to keep the order of songs in my playlists and using a 64GB USB flash drive just like iPod.

ran23455 | February 20, 2014

I tried loading audio books on a memory stick but my S won't play it. It recognized the device but no audio, any suggestions?

Lycanthrope P85 | February 20, 2014

Utterly ridiculous that I've just bought a car for €111k, which includes a €2500 sound-system upgrade and doesn't aven work with something as ubiquitous as an iPod/iPhone.

It's quite a disgrace actually, Tesla should be ashamed of the fact.

sv | March 22, 2014

Having the same problem with iPod interface....there is none. iPod has a Bluetooth device but it would be nice not to purchase a new device. It would be helpful if Tesla gave us a clue so we can plan accordingly with Bluetooth device or flash drive or alternative acquisitions.

sarahbatista | January 15, 2016

hmm 7.1 - still no change — ridiculous

jonc | January 15, 2016

Truly | January 15, 2016

@sv - Tesla is very clear just like most automakers. If they don't specifically state they support iPod's proprietary format it is not supported. Perhaps it is Apple that should clearly state that they only use proprietary interfaces that will not work with many connected devices.

Ok, yes it would be nice to have support for all the different Apple interfaces, but Tesla is not deceiving anyone. They never stated they offer support other than Bluetooth (which fortunately is not a Apple proprietary standard).

AmpedRealtor | January 15, 2016

Tesla will never add this functionality given their propensity to ignore existing software in favor of new stuff.