Song meant to spoof car audio systems climbs into top 50 on Apple's iTunes charts

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited August 2017
A track consisting of nothing but 9 minutes and 58 seconds of silence is currently sitting at 49th place in Apple's iTunes charts, apparently out of frustration with the way many car audio systems work.




Called "A a a a a Very Good Song," the 99-cent track -- released by Samir Mezrahi on Wednesday -- copes with the fact that many audio systems will simply play tracks in alphabetical order whenever an iPhone connects via USB. With a regular music library this can be annoying, since the same song will play automatically until a person can select their own playlist.

The issue is unlikely to affect people who who depend solely on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The track's popularity may be a sign that many people are not only using USB in their vehicles but still relying on locally-stored music. iTunes sales have been on the decline for several years with the rise of streaming -- but the Mac and Windows iTunes clients also let people import files from third-party sources, whether legal or otherwise.

Indeed the same effect as Mezrahi's song can be achieved for free by recording a silent track, properly naming and importing it, and then syncing with an iPhone.

The Mezrahi track is performing so well that it's beating out songs by well-established pop artists like Macklemore, Bruno Mars, and Selena Gomez.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 893member
    So at $.99 per purchase how much has this song raked in? How much goes to the "artist?" Brilliant move -- but I would have put something with "silent" or "silence" in the name. Now I suspect we can cue up the copycats...
    gregoriusmdysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 60
    I do not have any music locally stored on my iPhone yet it still acts as described in the article when I plug into USB car audio. It plays the 1st track from my super old library stored in iCloud. I remember the good old days when I use to care sooo much about that library...
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 3 of 60
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    The issue is unlikely to affect people who connect via Bluetooth or CarPlay
    Nope! I connect my iPhone via old-school analogue connection (iPhone 6 with a headphone port) so wasn't aware of the issue, but read about it recently at OS X Daily:

    http://osxdaily.com/2017/07/29/stop-autoplaying-music-iphone-car-bluetooth/

    It really shocked me that Apple haven't issued a fix - must be driving (excuse the pun) so many people completely round the bend!
  • Reply 4 of 60
    I had to create something like this for myself 3 years ago when I got my 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Uconnect system in that Jeep did exactly as this describes: automatically begins playing the first track in your library.

    I actually created a 4 hr blank track. Not only because it is annoying to have the song start playing every time. When trying to use Siri or Maps, you would get no voice through the car speakers unless there was an audio track already playing. Solved that by having a long silent track always playing - unless of course playing other music.
    repressthisMuntzviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 60
    This is really topical for me. My wife and I have been planning on an aftermarket Airplay headunit. She just rented a car for 4 days and returned home last night complaining about Carplay. 

    Her number 1 was that it autoplayed the first song on her list, she was infuriated which is unusual for her.
    Number 2, she said it regularly wouldn't read a text, just 'dead air' when it should have been reading a text.
    Finally, she said that the music shuts off when you try and do anything on your phone, which of course texting-while-driving-is-a-problem, but even if a passenger was playing music they couldn't do anything else b/c it would stop the music.  
    Of course, she had a map issue as well, Apple Maps didn't re-route her around construction it just kept sending her the wrong way...she had to use Waze/Google to get to her location and Waze showed the construction and routed correctly. 

    She says she doesn't want it in her car now.

    I don't know, but it sounds awful, 
    repressthisairnerdgatorguy
  • Reply 6 of 60
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 191member
    The issue is unlikely to affect people who connect via Bluetooth or CarPlay... 
    WRONG. 

    This new track has hit a nerve. I have often wanted to throw my iPhone out the window because of this stupid, useless behavior. 
    airnerdpreclarotipo
  • Reply 7 of 60
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,359member
    I'm a Mac user since 2004 and will stick despite some quibbles, but I began with Android when Apple was still "dictating" that no phone could be more than 4", and having a generally good or better experience with Moto and LG have stuck with what I know, and haven't been super-impressed when playing with iOS devices.  

    After 30 years of computing I can say they don't seem that "intuitive" to me and I see a reasonably high learning curve that doesn't appeal to me as much as such challenges did back in the '80s.....  ...and if Androids are prone to malware, after 6 years, you can't prove it by me, nor do I have to reboot my (15 month old) phone and it's nearly as fast as when I got it.

    ....but then I get interested again - they're pretty, they do some things truly elegantly - and T-Mobile has a $60 two lines unlimited deal going, so thinking about finally trying one - while not giving up what I know.   

    And then I read articles like this, and know Apple's is just another approach to making widgets - and that no one's produced a "kinkless" experience.  Hmmmm.  So maybe.....
  • Reply 8 of 60

    I complained about this about two years ago on these very boards when I rented a Ford Escape for a weekend. I got the typical nasty "well its your fault, check the settings" type response. Oh well. Glad someone agrees and that their workaround outsells major label pop music. I'm not going to pay for a crappy CarPlay implementation... so its AUX jack for me on my month-old 2017 Jeep.

  • Reply 9 of 60
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 646member
    One solution I have is to use a USB that isn't the AUX port.  I have a phone holder that has it's own USB ports since the holder plugs into the cigarette lighter.   Glad others have it as well, maybe it will be patched eventually.  Of course if Apple keeps getting a cut of the $.99 they don't have a reason to fix it.  I've deleted all the music off my phone, but songs I bought are still on the cloud I guess and it starts playing. 


    repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 60
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Shuffle needs to account for this; Apple needs to update iOS and perhaps iTunes.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 278member
    Something to think about: do you want to be annoyed now, or startled 10 min. later when this silent song ends and the next one in line begins, possibly at a loud volume... :)
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 60
    robjnrobjn Posts: 203member
    I don't use Apple Music. But when I get in the car it automatically started playing that infamous U2 album via Bluetooth.

    To stop this behavior I deleted the album. Now that Apple Music is empty it defaults to Podcasts and just starts playing something I'm subscribed to.

    I have a third party app I use for music but I can't find a way to make it the default.
    repressthis
  • Reply 13 of 60
    Millennial problems.
    repressthismike1viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 60
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,846member
    I wonder how much of this depends on the car. I have an iPod always connected to the USB port, in the center console, and it always starts on the last song I was playing, in the same playlist and with shuffle enabled. However, it reverts back to the first song (by artist, not song title) when I reconnect the iPod after updating its music.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 60
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,834member
    Basically anything connected to Apple Music is a needlessly user-hostile experience.
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 16 of 60
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,069member
    bigpics said:
    I'm a Mac user since 2004 and will stick despite some quibbles, but I began with Android when Apple was still "dictating" that no phone could be more than 4", and having a generally good or better experience with Moto and LG have stuck with what I know, and haven't been super-impressed when playing with iOS devices.  

    After 30 years of computing I can say they don't seem that "intuitive" to me and I see a reasonably high learning curve that doesn't appeal to me as much as such challenges did back in the '80s.....  ...and if Androids are prone to malware, after 6 years, you can't prove it by me, nor do I have to reboot my (15 month old) phone and it's nearly as fast as when I got it.

    ....but then I get interested again - they're pretty, they do some things truly elegantly - and T-Mobile has a $60 two lines unlimited deal going, so thinking about finally trying one - while not giving up what I know.   

    And then I read articles like this, and know Apple's is just another approach to making widgets - and that no one's produced a "kinkless" experience.  Hmmmm.  So maybe.....
    Cool story bro. Unfortunately you're barking up the wrong tree -- this behavior isn't Apple's fault, it's the thick-headed auto makers who suck at software. Their media system code is what's launching their music interface (iPod mode) and playing the first track. My 2016 Subaru Crosstrek does it too and it's maddening. (Worse, the Subaru will auto-play Pandora if you have it installed, every. single. time you plug in -- regardless of what YOU want it to do.) This behavior doesn't happen for me via BT because there it's the phone (Apple code) deciding what to play, and it sensibly picks up where it left off.

    But sure, hate on Apple. (I especially got a chuckle at your claim about Apple dictating to you. Got a link to their dictation!?)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 60
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,069member

    Basically anything connected to Apple Music is a needlessly user-hostile experience.
    Nonsense. This issue has absolutely nothing to do with Apple's streaming service, and everything to do with the car maker's media player sending instructions to the iPhone's iPod interface.

    As usual, the auto makers have no idea what they're doing. They're probably just excited that they can get it to play music at all.
    edited August 2017 bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,265member

    Basically anything connected to Apple Music is a needlessly user-hostile experience.
    Nonsense. This issue has absolutely nothing to do with Apple's streaming service, and everything to do with the car maker's media player sending instructions to the iPhone's iPod interface.

    As usual, the auto makers have no idea what they're doing. They're probably just excited that they can get it to play music at all.
    FWIW Android Auto doesn't seem to do that. Why? No idea but it picks up where it left off if I tap Google Music. In addition  to that if I have the radio on it remains on until I tell it to do otherwise by tapping one of the Android Auto music providers. Android Auto also does not automatically start playing music when I plug it in via USB and music in my playlists stays in the order I set it up.  Based on all that I think you might be wrong blaming the Carplay/Apple Music operation entirely on the automaker. 
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 19 of 60
    Won’t work for me. The first song in my library is ‘A’ by the Barenaked Ladies. The only way to circumvent the issue is to have something already playing when you connect, and even then the system overrides and I’m back to, “…begging for attention or something I won’t even mention.”
  • Reply 20 of 60
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,069member
    gatorguy said:

    Basically anything connected to Apple Music is a needlessly user-hostile experience.
    Nonsense. This issue has absolutely nothing to do with Apple's streaming service, and everything to do with the car maker's media player sending instructions to the iPhone's iPod interface.

    As usual, the auto makers have no idea what they're doing. They're probably just excited that they can get it to play music at all.
    FWIW Android Auto doesn't seem to do that. Why? No idea but it picks up where it left off if I tap Google Music. In addition  to that if I have the radio on it remains on until I tell it to do otherwise by tapping one of the Android Auto music providers. Android Auto also does not automatically start playing music when I plug it in via USB and music in my playlists stays in the order I set it up.  Based on all that I think you might be wrong blaming the Carplay/Apple Music operation entirely on the automaker. 
    This has nothing to do with on-phone systems like Android Auto or CarPlay. Repeat: this has nothing to do with CarPlay. 2016 Subarus don't even have CarPlay. This is about the manufacturer's in-dash system, and the internal programming it has that says "if an iPod-device is plugged into USB, then begin playing the very first track on it". Not every manufacturer is going to do this of course, but enough of them are so poorly coded that this AAA-titled song is here. 

    Has absolutely nothing to do with CarPlay, Android, Apple Music, Google Music, Spotify, or anything.
    watto_cobra
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