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If I connect my phone via Bluetooth to my car (2016 Toyota Corolla), and then play music using the Google Play Music app, the car shows a Browse button, which allows me to navigate through artists and albums with the car's buttons:

Toyota Bluetooth Audio UI with Browse button

If I install another app, it doesn't show the Browse button on the car stereo.

Apps that produce a Browse button:

  • Google Play Music ☠ (RIP)

Apps that do not produce a Browse button:

  • AIMP
  • BlackPlayer
  • Canaree
  • FPlay (found by searching for "AVRCP")
  • JetAudio (found by searching for "AVRCP")
  • kure
  • MediaMonkey
  • Music [com.maxfour.music]
  • Music [com.android.music stock]
  • Music Player Go
  • Musicolet
  • Nyx
  • Odyssey
  • Omnia
  • Oto
  • Phonograph
    • Vinyl
  • Pretty Good
  • Pulsar
  • Retro
    • Metro
  • Samba Player (found by searching for "AVRCP")
  • Shuttle
    • Shuttle+
  • Simple Music Player [com.simplemobiletools.musicplayer]
  • Timber
  • Vanilla
  • VLC
  • YouTube Music

Is there some Bluetooth feature that needs to be supported by an app in order for this button to show up? What is the feature's name? How do I find apps that have it?

This is especially important now that Google has killed off Google Play Music and replaced it with YouTube Music, which does not provide this Browse button on a Bluetooth connection.

If I knew what this function was called, I could try to pester Google, or the third-party app developers, and ask them to add support for it.

0
2
+200

The Bluetooth snoop log with the other players shows that the players do not support browsing as part of the GetFolderItems request on AVRCP.That is the reason why browsing is not working with other players. It shows that browsing support is advertised only with GPM and the player is marked as BluetoothPlayer and not GPM in the snoop log.

6
  • So it's not a matter of supporting a specific AVRCP version in the app, but supporting the GetFolderItems request? – endolith Nov 16 '20 at 15:35
  • Does the stereo try to GetFolderItems and then the app rejects it? Is there an error message I can send to the app developers to help them find what to support? – endolith Nov 16 '20 at 15:56
  • 1
    You need both AVRCP version > or equal to 1.4 and at the same time the app/player should support browsing.The app/player on the phone responds to the GetFolderItems request with the details of the player and what features it supports. – Venkata Nov 17 '20 at 19:29
  • Do you know of any apps that support it? – endolith Nov 17 '20 at 20:29
  • 1
    Samsung Music seems to be supporting browsing, but it is not consistent – Venkata Nov 18 '20 at 20:43
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+100

This "browse" feature is probably part of "Audio/Video Remote Control Profile" aka AVRCP. AVRCP has different versions with different feature sets. Browsing of playlists was introduced in version AVRCP 1.4 and improved in version 1.5, according to wikipedia.

This bluetooth profile must be supported (in the correct version) by the the car stereo, the mobile phone as well as the app.

3
  • I searched for apps that mention "AVRCP" but even those don't work. I learned that there's a Bluetooth debugging ability in Developer mode, so maybe I can snoop that and see what difference in messages are being transferred. I don't know anything about Bluetooth though – endolith Sep 10 '20 at 13:38
  • I was going to try to snoop Bluetooth and see what GPM is doing, but Google has disabled GPM to try to force us to use the inferior YouTube Music. >:( – endolith Oct 28 '20 at 14:15
  • In Developer Options you can select AVRCP 1.4, 1.5, 1.6. Default was apparently 1.4 and the button still existed in that case, so this seems right, and the playlist browsing is supported by the phone and the car, but not the app. – endolith Oct 30 '20 at 19:51
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I'm going through this AVRCP nightmare last months. The result and my experience is, there must be an Android 8 on the phone (introducing 1.4 AVRCP in this version), but with Android 10 the browsing not working again (Samsung Galaxy A20e). So I search and find a phone with Android 9 (Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T) and using it with the JetAudio HD Music Player Plus in my 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport, the Bluetooth music playing work like a charm with browsing, shuffle play etc. and it work with good and strong volume too.

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There may be the following solutions, from Android Authority:

Problem #3 – Tracks missing on phone but available on web player
In the Settings menu, go to Apps or Application Manager, search for Google Play Music. Then tap on “Storage” and then press “Clear Cache.” On some devices, you may find this under the “Storage and USB” section in the Settings menu. Restart the device, then open the Play Music app and all your music should now be available.

Problem #4 – Songs not uploading

Also, make sure that the audio you are trying to upload on Google Music is of a supported format. Supported formats include MP3, AAC (.m4a), WMA, FLAC, OGG, ALAC (.m4a), and DRM protected AAC (.m4p). Some music file types like WAV are not supported. ... If songs aren’t uploading, make sure that the library isn’t full. Currently, you can upload up to 50,000 songs to your library. If you have gone past that, your only option will be to delete some other tracks to make room for new ones.

Hope this helps you!

1
  • Sorry, clearing the cache or erasing all storage of Google Play Music does not help it recognize the files. They are mp3 and can be played by the app, but do not show up in the library. I do not have more than 50,000 files. – endolith Dec 11 '19 at 16:31

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