2017~2021 USB stick playlist format and locations?

I am still struggling to get the 2019 CX-5 to read playlists on USB stick. The playlist files are displayed in the playlist menu, but you can't open them/play the list.

From what I've read, it wants M3UEXT format, and Paths without driver letter (makes sense), but havent seen whether playlists should be relative (with leading dots) or absolute, in their own playlists folder, or in the root.

for a usb stick like:
/(root)
/artist
/album
song1.mp3
song 2.m3
...

where can playlists go, and should they be relative, absolute? I've tried various combinations but havent hit one that works.
 
:
2019 CX-5 Signature
I've never seen a way to make a playlist out of a memory stick with thousands of albums on it. If I had a need for that, I would just buy more memory sticks, move music to it and call each one a "playlist". Memory sticks are cheap.
 
:
W WA
:
2020 CX-5 GT
I put playlists in the root and it works OK.

Here's what the file structure on the USB looks like:

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.46.08 AM.png


And some example entries from playlist:

Art, Experimental, Prog/Mogwai/Come On Die Young/11 Christmas Steps.m4a
Art, Experimental, Prog/Mogwai/Come On Die Young/12 Punk Rock_Puff Daddy_An Chris.m4a
Art, Experimental, Prog/Mogwai/Happy Songs For Happy People/01 Hunted By A Freak.m4a
Art, Experimental, Prog/Mogwai/Happy Songs For Happy People/02 Moses_ I Amn't.m4a
Art, Experimental, Prog/Mogwai/Happy Songs For Happy People/03 Kids Will Be Skeletons.m4a
Art, Experimental, Prog/Mogwai/Happy Songs For Happy People/04 Killing All The Flies.m4a
 
Ok,

From your example though, your playlists aren't in root, but in first folder. (Colocated with song files.)

What is interesting from your example playlists is that you have no leading slash in your paths. I don't think I have tried that.
I've tried relative paths with leading dots, and I've tried absolute paths with a leading slash.

I will give that a try tonight(no leading slash)
 
:
W WA
:
2020 CX-5 GT
Playlists are in root, at same level as folders containing song files. The sort order in Mac Finder screenshot might make this a bit confusing.
 
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