I loaded a small Windows- formatted (FAT-32) USB with selections from iTunes for use in the audio system of my Jeep. Worked great, so I thought I’d do the same for my wife’s new Ford C-Max. It upchucked with a “This file is corrupted and cannot be played” message. The Sync by Microsoft logo on the dash should have been a clue. However, I found a fix.
The problem was that even though I formatted the thumb drive properly with the Window FAT-32 file system, Mac’s OS also puts some invisible files containing the file metadata on the drive (the equivalent of the old “resource fork” in pre-OS X days, for those of you that go back that far). Unlike the Jeep’s audio system, Ford’s My Ford Touch/Sync wasn’t smart enough not to try playing those files. [It has been reported that Ford is dropping Microsoft in the future because of more serious software malfunctions. In favor of Blackberry. Anyone else thinking Frying Pan… Fire?]
In any case I had to remove all those invisible files. Shouldn’t be a problem. Just fire up Tinkertool and check “Show Hidden and System Files”. Except that there are invisible and really invisible files. Turns out the offending files, which start with “._”, are not visible even with normal Terminal commands.
There are third party apps which will show them, but even easier is an app that just removes all these pesky non-Windows files. It is BlueHarvest, available in the App Store for $14. If you ever have to produce a really “pure” windows disk or disk image for a finicky Windows-only device using your Mac, I recommend this app.