How To Fix “Device Does Not Contain Media Files” Bluetooth Error On Suzuki Cars

Not the usual territory for this site – but today I’m sharing a fix for an error on Suzuki cars.

In particular, the error occurs when connecting a Bluetooth phone (specifically, I believe this error occurs on iPhones and not Android phones, but happy to be corrected) to Suzukis with the newer style infotainment system. This is the integrated infotainment unit that has touchscreen controls, but doesn’t have Apply Carplay or Android Auto.

For example, here’s what the head unit looks like in my 2021 Suzuki Swift Sport:

I believe a similar unit is used in most Suzukis from the past few years, such as the Jimny, Vitara, Swift etc. I also believe the same unit is possibly used in Maruti Suzuki cars, based on my research when trying to find a fix to this issue. Apologies if I haven’t got this bit right … I don’t have the time to go and do full research on which infotainment units are fitted to which Suzukis. I do believe that 2022 MY cars come with Apple Carplay infotainment units, so you probably won’t have the same issue.

What’s The Problem?

You can connect your iPhone via Bluetooth to your Suzuki, and calls (inbound and outbound) work fine.

However, when you try to play an audio file off something like Spotify or YouTube, you get an error:

“Device does not contain media files”

Your iPhone will indicate you are playing audio via your Suzuki, but when you switch audio modes you have no option to select Bluetooth. If you go into the input menu (where you can pick all the options e.g. AUX, USB etc) and select Bluetooth you get the warning that “Device Does Not Contain Media Files”.

I came across this error when trying to connect my new iPhone to my Suzuki Swift for the first time. After nearly 12 months of trouble-free connection with my old Android phone, it took me over 30 minutes to figure out how to actually get audio from Spotify etc playing out via the Suzuki’s infotainment unit from my iPhone. Fun times.

Why Does It Happen?

I’m not 100% sure. However, my understanding is that what is happening is that the fairly unsophisticated infotainment system in the Suzuki thinks your device doesn’t have any compatible audio files to play out via Bluetooth (someone with technical knowledge can correct me, but phones seem to treat call audio and other audio, e.g. songs from Spotify, as two distinct things) and so it can’t establish a connection.

Looking at reports of similar problems from other Suzuki owners, this issue typically seems to happen with Apple iPhones and when using audio from streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music etc. This is possibly because of the way the audio is stored/accessed via your phone. On the Suzuki forum there was a user who claimed that Suzuki’s audio system simply doesn’t know how to recognise Spotify/streamed audio files as valid media files – at least not without the fix outlined below. I certainly didn’t have this issue with my old Samsung Note Android phone (RIP) but I do with my new iPhone, so it must be something in the way the iPhone works as well.

I know it’s convenient to use Bluetooth, but as somebody who doesn’t like making or taking calls in the phone (nothing I have to say is sufficiently important to warrant the distraction of talking on the phone while driving) I miss the days of ubiquitous AUX connections … so much easier.

Long story short, the Bluetooth connection between your iPhone and your Suzuki is working but for some reason the infotainment unit cannot find/detect a playable audio file.

How To Fix This Problem

If you have the “Device Does Not Contain Media Files” Bluetooth error on your Suzuki car, here’s exactly how I fixed it:

Firstly, I deleted my phone from the devices list in the Bluetooth setup area on my Suzuki’s infotainment unit.

I don’t know if this step is actually necessary, so don’t feel like you need to do this.

Secondly (and this is the important bit) you need to get a downloaded audio file onto your iPhone. I would imagine that transferring an audio file from your computer to your phone – like you used to do with iTunes and an iPod – would work, but I was out and about when I first encountered this issue and didn’t want to wait until I got home. I also haven’t used iTunes (which I believe is now called Apple Music) in years; I’ve had Spotify for about 5 years and never looked back.’

The way I did this was by going into Apple Music on my iPhone and starting a free trial. You can get 30 days’ free subscription to Apple Music in most markets I believe. I then saved a song to my library and downloaded it as per the following instructions: https://support.apple.com/en-nz/guide/iphone/iph0cff2d191/ios 

I then played that downloaded song via Apple Music when my iPhone was connected to my Suzuki’s infotainment, and it automatically changed the media input to Bluetooth and the song played successfully, and showed the correct details in the audio area (i.e. artist and song).

I was then able to swap from Apple Music to Spotify, and play my music as normal. Any other Bluetooth audio streaming I tried, e.g. playing back a YouTube video, also worked fine.

For some reason, downloaded/available offline Spotify files don’t seem to work, or at least didn’t work for me. I wonder if this is because Spotify uses some kind of proprietary format or stores the files in some manner that can’t be easily read off an iPhone … if you have an answer to this question let me know.

Basically, the downloaded song “kickstarted” the process of being able to play audio back via Bluetooth. Annoying to need to do this, but then again Suzukis are hardly famed for their high end features (although I must admit that the $150 Aliexpress headunit in my wife’s Subaru Legacy is easier to connect via Bluetooth than the Suzuki factory option – I’d be interested to try a 2022 car to see the improvements).

Updated Solution 

When I first fixed this issue, I did so by getting a free trial to Apple Music. However, there’s a downside here, in that you need to sign up for something that will charge you money if you forget to cancel. It does work well, but I wanted to find a completely free method for you all. 

What I also discovered the hard way is that when you do cancel Apple Music, after some time the connection may drop and you wind up with the same problem again. This happened to me just yesterday (15th December 2022). I got in my car and I could see that my iPhone was connected to the Suzuki media unit, but when I tried to pick a Bluetooth source I just got told ‘device does not contain media files’.

What I did to fix it this time was open up the Apple Podcasts app and then download an episode. Download the first thing that comes up (or download something you actually like listening to).

Once the download is complete, play that downloaded file. Your phone should then properly connect and allow you to play music from other apps such as Spotify or YouTube.

The good thing here is that Apple Podcasts episodes are free to download and you don’t have to sign up to a trial or anything like that.  

My next step is going to be downloading any old MP3/audio file from the Internet on to my iPhone and just keeping it in my phone storage as a backup.

Is The Fix Permanent?

Writing this article was the first thing I did after getting home, so I’m not sure if the fix will work when I go and start the car next. It will be a right pain if every time I want to use Spotify I have to first playback a downloaded file from Apple Music. I’ll report back here. I would imagine that wiping my phone off the devices list would probably require me to restart the process though.

Update – I got into my car the next day, and Bluetooth audio worked fine via Spotify after the phone had connected with the car (there’s about a 10 second lag in my experience).

2nd update – As per the ‘Updated Fix’ section above, the connection eventually failed some time after I cancelled my Apple Music plan. However, using a downloaded Apple Podcasts file seems to have fixed the problem again. 

Suzuki “Device Does Not Contain Media Files” Bluetooth Error With iPhone – Recap

In short, this error appears to be caused by the budget infotainment system Suzuki have used in recent years not recognising audio from streaming apps as valid, and therefore not detecting a media file. To fix this, you need to “kickstart” the audio connection.

To recap:

  • Connect your iPhone via Bluetooth
  • Download a song or audio file via Apple Music (either from within the app, or transfer from your computer).
    • You might be able to use another media player as well – I will test and report back.
  • Play this downloaded song/file when connected – this should allow you to select Bluetooth.
  • Change to Spotify/YouTube Music/whatever that one Jay Z tried to launch is called

Let me know how you get on. I would especially value any comments from those who better understand the technical reasons for this problem, and why the fix works.

If you think I need to make a video explainer/tutorial, leave a comment below and if there’s enough interest I will record one.

What I would also say here is Suzuki really needs to get a fix out for this problem. Since I first wrote this article (thinking hardly any one would have the same problem) this web page has recorded thousands of views; about 100 people a day view this page, and many of you have been kind enough to leave comments or send in emails thanking me for the solution, which I greatly appreciate.

What this means is that there must be thousands and thousands of Suzuki owners out there all struggling with the same issue. Suzuki needs to develop a firmware/software fix for the media system in this era of car, and then have it rolled out by their dealer network. It’s really not good enough for a modern car (even one from a budget brand) to have such basic connectivity issues.

43 thoughts on “How To Fix “Device Does Not Contain Media Files” Bluetooth Error On Suzuki Cars”

    • Hi Vivien,

      I’m glad it worked well for you – took me too long to work it out myself (and that’s including Googling various other suggestions).

      For shame I haven’t actually looked in the Suzuki manual to see if they have a solution listed in there … but as long as this works, it works!

      Thanks for commenting.

      Sam

      Reply
  1. This fix definitely worked, unfortunately, when I cancelled my Apple subscription. It stopped working! So will have to stick with Apple Music for the future

    Reply
    • Hi Jason,

      That’s strange, as my understanding is that the Apple Music subscription is only required to allow the download of a proper audio file that the Suzuki system can recognise.

      Can you download a file via a different means (e.g. connect your iPhone to your computer and transfer an MP3 into Apple Music – now that iTunes is gone – and see if that works?)

      Keep me posted.

      For what it’s worth, Suzuki need to get off their backsides and release a software fix for this. The functionality and usability of the stereo system is worse than the knock off Chinese headunit I put in my wife’s car.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the detailed description. Its an annoying little glitch.
    Does the fix work even for Apple Music radio or only after one buys the trial.

    Reply
    • Hi Dhruv, thanks for commenting. I’m not 100% sure actually as I fixed it by purchasing the Apple Music trial and so now it’s fixed. I would just try it and see if it works – all that matters is that the Suzuki stereo finds a file it as able to read as music, which “jump starts” the connection. Let me know how you get on!

      Reply
  3. Hi Sam,

    I couldn’t play a single song due to this issue since the last 2 months. Your solution works perfectly fine, Music to my ears 🎶. I also played few tracks through Spotify and Amazon music, it works!
    And yes, rightly suggested it is not required to perform the 1st step of deleting the device from saved Bluetooth list, I was able to play the downloaded audio directly.
    Thanks for the help!

    Reply
    • Hi Abhijeet,

      I’m really happy that this worked out for you … music to my ears too when I can help someone out 🙂 Please let anyone else you know who’s got a Suzuki about how to fix this issue.

      Reply
  4. Been trying all sorts since buying the Renault Kadjar and iPhone just won’t play music (Spotify) , don’t really want to set up Apple Music, wouldn’t play via aux either until I had a brainwave and turned my bluetooth off and hay presto it worked, I’d prefer to use Bluetooth but for a quick fix for now this will doo..

    Reply
    • Hi Phil, thanks for commenting.

      So to confirm, you connected the phone not by Bluetooth or AUX but something else?

      I wasn’t aware this was an issue on Renault cars (it’s been a long time since I’ve tested one)!

      Reply
      • Hi Sam, oops I didn’t explain properly 😕 I basically used the Aux cable and turned off my Bluetooth on my phone and it worked (the aux wouldn’t work when Bluetooth was on, played about a second then stopped), hope it helps

        Reply
        • Interesting, thanks for sharing.

          I wonder if this approach might work on the Suzuki media units as well (TBH I have never actually tested the AUX functionality in my car – just went straight to Bluetooth).

          Reply
  5. This workaround is perfect for playing music through the bluetooth connection. But I’m afraid it creates some kind of problem with the CarPlay standard, as the car infotainment system detects my iPhone as an iPod when I connect it via cable, and CarPlay no longer starts.

    To fix this I deleted the downloaded audio file on my iPhone, and CarPlay started working properly again, but I lost the bluetooth music in the process 🙁

    Reply
    • Hi Alvaro, thanks for commenting – that’s really interesting. You know what I’ve never actually used the wired CarPlay (in fact I didn’t realise my MY21 Swift Sport actually has it? I thought it was only 2022 models … shows how much attention I paid to the brochure and salesman). I’m going to give it a try.

      Basically, it seems that if doing the Bluetooth workaround results in no wired CarPlay (or vice versa) that there is a known issue Suzuki needs to fix, probably via a firmware update.

      Reply
  6. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for sharing.Ive been trying everything to sort it out like purchasing another car play to connect my vitara and aux cable.They are not working well.After input two songs to my iTunes, now just press bluetooth and music plays. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
    • No worries Cheryl, I’m glad this helped you.

      My car is actually booked with Suzuki for a service next week – I’m going to ask them if they are aware of the issue and any fixes (I suspect to fix it properly would require a firmware update to the vehicle’s infotainment system).

      Feel free to share this link with anyone else you know who has a Suzuki and has issues with theirs!

      Reply
  7. I tried your solution without deleting my iPhone from paired devices and by transferring one song from my laptop to the music app using iTunes. AND it works amazingly!

    Thank you Sam for sharing your solution with us.

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting, I’m so glad it worked for you!

      If anyone from Suzuki is reading this, can you please release an official fix as it’s really absurd that people have to go through these kind of hoops to connect up their iPhone to stream audio!

      Reply
  8. Thanks Sam.. for last two years after moving to iPhone 12 I was facing this issue. Tried everything from reading Apple forums for a solution to Suzuki’s ICE firmware update but nothing worked.
    Following the steps detailed in your post, my iPhone now connects seamlessly over Bluetooth for music.
    Thank you very much for taking time to address it.

    DK

    Reply
  9. Thank you Sam for your post.
    Two years back I switched to iPhone from Android and this was the only grudge left that my iPhone is not able to play music over Bluetooth in my Suzuki car.
    I tried everything from reading Apple forums back then for a solution to ICE firmware upgrade in my car. But nothing worked.
    Recently I was in my friends car and he too drives a Suzuki and was able to play the music. When I tried the same error came “device does not contain media”. My friend did not know why his iPhone works.

    After returning I found your post on the internet and Voila my iPhone now plays music over Bluetooth too in my car.

    I checked with my friend too, he purchases the music and maintains it his library.

    Thank you for your detailed steps to help me out here.

    Reply
    • Hi Tomi,

      I’m glad this worked well for you (and clearly you’ve seen my recent update to the article about using the podcast download trick). It makes my day when I know that we are helping people with this website!

      Thanks,
      Sam

      Reply
    • I’m glad to hear this even works in Sweden … although it sounds like Suzuki needs to get their act together and roll out a fix to this annoying problem. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  10. Hi Sam
    I’m driving Alpine A110 in Japan.
    I had the same problem with this car.

    Alpine’s system is probably the same as SUZUKI’s system.
    When I tried the method in the article, the problem was fixed and music can now be played.

    Reply
    • Alpine A110? I’m very jealous … such a cool car. Where are you based in Japan? Ben (the other editor of the site) frequently travels to Japan.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if many manufacturers are all just using ‘re-branded’ versions of the same system. Long story short it seems that some media systems have an issue with identifying streaming audio files on iPhone/iOS and need a kickstart from a locally-stored file to work. I’m glad this has worked out for you.

      Reply
  11. Live in Tokyo.
    Since there are not many owners of Alpine, there is little information, and I was in trouble. Thanks to Sam for helping me.
    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Not a problem, thank you once again! I’ll be in Tokyo this year as well for a holiday … very excited to finally make it there. Where are good places to go if you are a car enthusiast?

      Reply
  12. Really?
    If you rent a car in Japan, I recommend going to the Daikoku parking area in Yokohama on Sunday mornings.
    Especially the 3rd Sunday, you can see more rare cars than at a motor show!

    Have a good trip!

    Reply
  13. Thank you soo much for the in detail explanation. This was such an intelligent hack 😉 it really worked for me. Thanks to you for saving my loooong road trip with this hack 🙂

    Reply
  14. I just had the exact same thing happen to me, I purchased a brand new Suzuki Swift Sport about 2 weeks ago. I have been unable to connect to Bluetooth and listen to Spotify. Just keeps saying “no media files”. I wish I had read this 2 weeks ago as it would’ve saved a lot of frustration for me. I had my car at the Suzuki service place today to which their outcome was that you can only connect android phones via Bluetooth not iPhones!!! This did not ring true for me, so after a lot of trial and error (and help from the salesman) I loaded iTunes just to see if it would work. It was a last ditch effort and I didn’t think it would work, but it did! Thankyou for this info as I wondered why this was happening and thought it was a fluke that it had fixed the problem. What a ridiculous audio system, particularly given it’s a new car. As I said, even the Suzuki dealer were totally unable to explain this fault.

    Reply
    • Hi Joleen, thanks for commenting. Glad this worked, but as you say it’s not really good enough and Suzuki needs to issue a recall fix to bring all of their units up to standard. Very disappointing TBH.

      Reply
      • Yes, I totally agree! It makes no sense to me at all. My old car (2015) connected perfectly the first time and never missed a beat, it is ridiculous that a brand new car would have this issue! Very disappointing.

        Reply

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