Backup your B2 - using USB storage

You can backup the contents of the B2’s Hard Disk to a USB memory stick or hard drive.

The backup device should be formatted FAT32 - you can use the B2 to reformat the device if necessary.

Backup the B2

Plug your USB backup device into USB C

The B2 OLED display will display "USB C: Mass Storage Mounted". (The B2 cycles through several status lines so you may have to wait to see it).

Select USB Functions > Export to C

The B2 will copy all music and playlists to the backup device. The LED on the front panel will flash and the status line on the OLED will show the progress.

You can stop the backup at any time by pressing and holding the Play Stop button,

Backup is quite slow but it is incremental - that means it only copies files that are not already on the backup disk. So backup as you go!

The Export function uses a folder called b2Export on the USB device.

Restore music from a backup

Select USB Functions > Import USB C.

The B2 will copy all the music (but not the playlists - use Playlists > Import Playlists) from the backup device to the B2 internal disk.

The LED on the front panel will flash and the status line on the OLED will show the progress.

You can stop the import at any time by pressing and holding the Play Stop button,

Import is incremental so it only copies music not already on the B2 hard disk.

Formatting a USB device

Formatting erases all the information on a USB memory device - so only do this if you are sure there is nothing on the device that you need.

Some USB devices use different "formats" that B2 cannot use. B2 uses the FAT32 format. NTFS is the most common alternative format.

If you plug a USB device with the wrong format the B2 will display "USB C: Mount failed - expects FAT format" on the status line. (Turn the volume knob if its in standby and you can't see the status messages).

You can convert the format to FAT32 using Settings->Maintenance->Format USB C. This can take a minute or two depending on the size of your USB device.

Once it has formatted you can use it to make a backup.

Note FAT32 has a limit of 2Tb so if you format a larger drive only the first 2TB will be useable.

Export Specific Music to USB

The USB export function is for copying the entire music collection to a backup disk.

To transfer specific tracks, albums or artists to a USB device you must first create a playlist containing the music you want to export - usually using the web UI. Then

Playlist Menu > Export Playlist

will export the music to the USB device in USB C

JB7 Backup and Restore

The Brennan JB7 is an older simpler Brennan player.

If you want to load music onto a B2 from a JB7 backup then use

USB Functions > JB7 Functions > Restore USB C

conversely if you want to backup your B2 so that you can load a JB7

USB Functions > JB7 Functions > Backup to C

The JB7 functions use a folder called hardfi. Do not mix JB7 and B2 style backups on the same USB device - use a different drive.

How much space do I need?

You can find how much space has been used on the B2 internal disk by pressing the info button on the remote control.

The same information is also available on the web UI if you press the cog icon.

But this figure is not always up to date!

Settings > Maintenance > Free Space

Scans the disk and updates this figure - but it can take several minutes if you have a large music collection - but then the info will be up to date.

Your USB memory device should be large enough to hold the Used figure.


Incremental backup works by comparing the names of files and folders.

If you rename an artist then the B2 will think that this is a new artist and all the albums and tracks by that artist are new. So the B2 will copy them - even if the albums are already on the backup.

If you do a lot of renaming then its easy to end up with duplicates on the backup disk.

We recommend that you backup routinely - even though the backup may contain duplicates - its better to have two copies than none. Then once in a while - after you have completed a batch of loading and organising your music - delete the backup - and create a fresh backup.

You can delete a backup using

Settings > Maintenance > Delete Backup

You could also delete the backup folder on a PC or reformat the device using

Settings > Maintenance > Format USB C


Most of the functions above also work if the USB device is plugged into USB A

Some USB hard disks can consume too much power for the B2. It might help to plug the USB hard disk into USB A (it has slightly more power) or try using a powered USB Hub between the USB hard disk and the B2 (the hub powers the hard disk).

Sometimes it can help to turn the B2 off before attaching the USB device.

You can look at the files in the B2 backup on a PC or Mac. If you get a prompt on Windows select "Continue without scanning". 

Import from other sources

Import will cope with many file arrangements on the USB device - though the USB device should be formatted FAT16 or FAT32 (not NTFS).

B2 uses the parent folder of a track as the album name and the folder above that as the artist. If there are no parent folders B2 will assign a name like USB C to the artist. You should rename it to something sensible.

You can import one specific folder (say an artist or an album) from a USB device using the USB section of the Web UI.


Does it work with USB3?

Yes and no - USB 3 is backward compatible with USB 2 so B2 will work with USB 3 drives but at USB 2 speeds - 480Mbits.

Can I transfer CD tracks to iPhone?

Not directly - you could transfer from B2 to USB stick then use iTunes on PC or Mac

Can I backup B2 using NAS?

Yes - I haven't done it but at least one B2 owner used SyncBack to backup

Backup disk works on USB A only?

Not unusual with bigger disks - USB A has more power.

Can I connect B2 to JB7?

Sorry no. Need a backup disk as intermediary.

Can I load FLAC files from USB?

Yes - use USB Functions > Import from C

Can B2 use JB7 Playlists?

Sorry no.

Is there a limit to USB folder depth?

Yes - seven folders deep - the last two are used as the artist and album name on import.

Artist called USB A?

This happens if you import and there is no artist or album folder. Just rename to something sensible.