I'll add another.
Download the MP3 software tool called "MP3 Gain
" from here.
This will keep your volume at the same level so you don't need to constantly turn it up or down via the screen or buttons which I detest while riding as I have to stare at the unit too much to make the setting. In use, I set mine higher than the default of 89 to 95-96 and watch for clipping (the program will throw a small red "Y
" letter up if the songs are clipping (i.e. exceed maximum volume causing distortion). You can adjust those individually with Sound Forge or Gold Wave (but they cost with SF being lots of $$$$). The lower number of 89 compresses the file's high notes and vocal consonant's too much for my audiophile-quality in-ear phones and it doesn't sound as nice.
If you store all of your MP3's in one folder, you can do them all at once with the program on your PC, or spend more time if they are in different folders. Then transfer them all to the GPS in smaller units and preferably on the card itself and not via the cable to the GPS, doing so at maybe 10 files at a time. Sometimes, Windows will choke on a large file transfer if your computer doesn't have sufficient resources or you are running and older operating system. A corrupt MP3 file will really slow the Garmin GPS load time down and it might skip that file or jump out of it while playing.
I do a lot of other stuff to the files too like strip out all the Track Numbers
which aren't needed and slow it down or confuse it, and make the album art small in size than what is normally used (I use 300x300 and less than 22KB in size via Paint Shop Pro
). I don't know if Windows Media Player's album art attaches directly to the file playing or not, but I recall it used to use a separate art folder or something rather than placing it in the file itself. Dunno about the new one though.
Have fun with the new toy.