Can an iPhone5 Play tunes from a USB stick? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-19, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Coast of Canada - God's Country
Posts: 698
Cool Can an iPhone5 Play tunes from a USB stick?

Hi Folks,

My employer supplies an iPhone 5 (with a limited memory) with the understanding I only carry one phone, and use it for personnel use as well as business (I've seen tons of guys - never a woman - carrying two phones and it seems silly). So there really isn't any option to go Samsung or elsewhere.

I moved from CDs to USB sticks to play MP3 Tunes in the Car, and now I'm into FLAC files (Which my Car won't play). I see tremendous merit in the ability to connect my iPhone5 directly to a USB Stick (or even one of my portable USB Hard Disk Drives) and "Beam" tunes via Bluetooth to the Car, my Portable Bluetooth Speakers, or even my Sony STR-DN1050 Receiver which is Bluetooth capable.

The problem is I can't figure a way to connect a USB stick to the Lightning Connector. Does such an adapter / converter exist? Like millions of other I wish Apple wasn't so "proprietary" (some say gouging) but if I have to pay $60 for an "Authorised" Adapter / Converter Cable - I'd do so. (I already had to buy two $60 Apple Cables to connect my iPad / iPhone to LCD Monitors - with VGA & HDMI outputs.) I have found the iStick but it doesn't fit my needs. (I already have lots of USB sitcks I like to plug in.)

Can you advise if this exists yet, or if you know a work around that I can do without taking the iPhone apart? Or am I dreaming...

Your comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-19, 02:30 PM
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Location: Calgary AB
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I don't believe there's a way to do it. IPhones don't support USB On-the-Go like quite a few Androids do unfortunately.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-19, 02:33 PM
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Actually there are a few ways now, I am getting one soon! I have seen others but heres a familiar name.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-19, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Coast of Canada - God's Country
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I've looked around a bit and there seems to be lots of supplier of various sizes of dual USB to Lightning Connector Flash Drives. Names of some are iStick
iXpand, iSafe File, Lightning Flash Drive, Omars 32GB Mobile USB Flash Drive with Lightning Connector, etc. They all seem to need an App to work with. I'd rather have an adapter that can work with the Media Player built into the phone and the many USB sticks I already own...

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-20, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Belleville ON
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^^^^ You will also need to make sure your files are in .m4a compressed apple format or Apple loss-less format, which will essentially be the same as .flac files. .mp3 files can also be played on an iPod. Note that these file types can be imported into iTunes for the iPod / iPhone without further conversion if created outside of the iTunes environment. I realize that you want to play files directly from connected media.

If I'm not mistaken, the Apple ecosystem for iPhones and iPods does not play .flac native files.


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Last edited by CamDAB; 2015-12-20 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Added more info
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-20, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Coast of Canada - God's Country
Posts: 698

Thanks for the post.

I downloaded a FLAC App for my last iPhone (a 4S) and it worked well. I'd assume it will do the same on the 5S.

I prefer to avoid any Apple proprietary file formats as most of my digital library is FLAC and MP3 which can be played over our home network (via DLNA) to our STR-DN1050 natively, and to a HTPC in the basement system. The Apple formats are not supported. I certainly don't want to have to convert all of my tunes to another format in any case. I'll go in another direction before I'd do that.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 2015-12-21, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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One thing to be aware of if you are going to try any of those expansion type drives...

My first thought.. which it looks may be the same on the Sandisk one that was linked earlier in the thread..

By default.. the only thing the iOS would likely be able to see On the device, is the pictures/video. It probably runs then the same as like lightning to card reader cable. Really only for transferring picture/video files.

The sandisk does appear to allow to play audio.. but through ITS software

Generally I do like/support the apple environment.
Sure you have to load your music through iTunes.. but other than the small amount I do carry on my phone, my BIG collection stays at home. The iTunes + mobile + airplay capable devices, give some unlimited choices in terms of streaming music fairly easily while at home, without having to always have the music ON you. (one thing I have yet to quite get with android. CLOSER with the chromecast audio.. but still then reliant on 3rd party DLNA streaming, etc).
But the lack of other connectivity, even for viewing/storage.. is the biggest downside.
I would be completely fine with a lightning to USB adapter. Though, likely that would INSANELY drain the power on the phone though I would guess. It would likely have to be a FORCE power added one.. where you need to plug in the power charging cable as well into it (to then power the USB stick)

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