Alexander: Fixing Bluetooth music in your car

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Q: When my iPhone connects to my car via Bluetooth, iTunes will play two songs, then skip through about 25 songs. It will then play two more songs, then skip ahead again. What’s wrong?

Kathy Magrew, Maple Grove

 

A: Your Bluetooth-equipped car is automatically “pairing” with your iPhone’s Bluetooth wireless signal each time you travel. But then the Bluetooth connection is being interrupted, which causes the music to pause or skip ahead. Some potential fixes:

• Restart your phone. This clears its memory, giving the Bluetooth connection a fresh start.

• Turn off the car-phone connection and let a new Bluetooth pairing occur. (Turn off the connection by going to settings and choosing Bluetooth. Tap the “info button” next to the device representing your car, then tap “forget this device.” (You will be asked to confirm your choice.)

• Turn off your phone’s Siri digital assistant. When Siri is activated, it interrupts your iPhone’s music. (To turn off Siri, see tinyurl.com/sqce2yr).

• Disable the “raise to wake” feature that activates the iPhone’s screen when you pick up or bump the phone. (Go to settings and choose “display & brightness,” then toggle off “raise to wake.”)

• Try deleting songs in iTunes that are the next up to play when the music pauses or skips. Those songs may contain corrupted data that triggers the Bluetooth interruption. You can restore those songs to the phone later.

 

Q: I’m having compatibility issues with my Toshiba laptop that uses Windows 10. I recently bought a new Western Digital external hard drive, but one day the PC couldn’t connect to it. (It didn’t show up in Windows 10 “File Explorer” program.) Another day, the same thing happened to my Sony Bluetooth external speaker. In both cases, I temporarily solved the problem by using the PC’s “system restore” to return Windows 10 to its settings on an earlier date. What’s wrong?

Donald King, Lake Wales, Fla.

 

A: The other devices use software that isn’t compatible with the latest Windows 10 update. As a result, rolling back the update with system restore makes them work again. You can permanently fix the problem by updating some software drivers (that help the PC connect to devices) and firmware (that tells devices what to do.)

Try downloading new software drivers and firmware from the Western Digital (tinyurl.com/v3gvv4q) and Toshiba (tinyurl.com/rtqscwk) websites. At the Toshiba website, be sure to look for any new software drivers for your PC’s “USB 3.0 controller,” which runs the ports of external hard drives.

If that doesn’t work, try using a different USB cable for the external hard drive.

Also try turning off “USB selective suspend,” a laptop setting designed to save battery power by turning off ports that don’t appear to be in use. The setting might also turn off a USB port being used by an idle external hard drive. (Go to tinyurl.com/vzjjpty and scroll to “Disable USB selective suspend setting.”)

For your external speaker, update the Toshiba Bluetooth drivers (tinyurl.com/yy5tgxk2) or check out Sony’s troubleshooting guide for Bluetooth problems (tinyurl.com/wqjqgcb).

 

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Include name, city and telephone number.

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