The soon to hit the streets 2007 Nissan Infiniti G35 will come equipped with an internal hard drive for direct CD ripping. The internal hard drive is said to be a “9.5G”. It is unclear whether that means it’s capacity is 9.5 gigabytes or it is the model number. Nor is there mention of what file types audio gets ripped to. The sound system includes a 24-bit Burr Brown used in home theatre setups for the audiophiles, door mounted Bose 10” subwoofers for the bassheads, and what looks to be a memory slot for the geeks.
The photos of the center console show a slot labeled “compact flash” but the article mentions nothing of this. Possibly additional music storage, photo viewing, GPS companion, firmware updating, or [insert your own theory].
[Edmunds via TGDaily]
Finally car audio manufacturers are starting to support other devices in the car other than the iPod. Dual will be releasing a head unit in Q2 of 2006 with a iPlay EAUSB20 media adapter that will interface with your PlaysForSure compatible devices. And we are not just talking audio input, the stereo will be able to control the tracks and read ID3 information. It will also allow you to listen to all of the music you purchased through online music stores including the unlimited services. The head unit will sell for $190 and the media adapter $100.
Now we can hope that other car audio manufacturers will follow suit. However, I would like to see a uniform standard for connection devices weather it is a PlaysForSure device or an iPod, let’s not be discriminate. Give the consumer option to choose whatever MP3 player they want and not having to worry about compatibility issues.
[Press Release via Engadget | USA Today]
The Sony Xplod MEX-1GP is a single DIN car audio CD player, but what makes this unique is the integrated 1GB memory in the head unit’s face plate. Simply detach the faceplate and connect it to your computer by USB. The player supports MP3, WMA, and of course ATRAC3 formats. You will also be able to play MP3 and ATRAC files burned to CD in the player, bringing the total music storage to 1.7GB.
It would have been nice to see a memory stick slot to add on additional memory. While were at it, why not add a headphone jack and a rechargeable battery to the face plate and make it a full blown portable? Put that on your with list.
If your budget for your next digital audio player is six figures then this is the MP3 player for you. The two new 2006 Ferrari F430 Challenge or 626 Scaglietti come equipped with a compact clash slot that will serve up several gigs of your favorite tunes while driving the Autobahn or crusin Miami Beach. Additional dashboard features to make you tech heads happy include Bluetooth, Navigation, and backup sensors. I only have one question… Does it do gapless playback?
For a few years vehicle iPod controls have been supported in a number of higher end autos like the BMW. Today more and more auto manufactures are jumping on this proprietary bandwagon. This is a great feature, if you have an iPod. Until now…
The new Volkswagens will support MP3 files by directly plugging into a USB connection in the center console. The difference is that you can use any USB mass storage device not just the iPod. For example, memory cards, portable hard drives, or other USB MP3 players. The connection will integrate with the head unit and function just as a CD changer unit.
You will be able to order this feature this December in Germany for around two hundred euros in place of your CD changer. No mention of when it will hit the States, perhaps the same.
[The German Car Blog via Engadget]
The VR3 MP3 FM Modulator is an MP3 player that plugs into your cigarette lighter in your car and transmits the signal via FM. The VR3 has no internal memory, you are required to supply it with any USB flash drive. Buttons on the front allow you to skip forward back and pause the music. There is also an audio input for any other portable device you want plug in.
I have never had any good experiences with FM transmitters but other users on the net mentioned that this one actually did work, and work well. I was drawn to the simplicity of the VR3 FM Modulator which looked like a great way to get tunes into your car. So how well does it work? Keep reading below.
One thing that I have yet to find is a good solid car stereo solution. My problem was always that you have to turn the MP3 player one and off every time you get in or out of the car. Then if you forget to turn it off you have a dead battery in your player. There are some solutions but they require you to hack a bunch of mounting brackets and adapters together creating a window display for thieves.
This looks like the solution. A simple USB and SD slot in a DIN sized head unit. While it is just a first step, it looks like navigation and display could be improved. Until then I will be using my trusty old cassette adapter to my numerous devices.
[Dr Gadget via Engadget]
This MP3 player plugs into your cigarette lighter and transmits tunes via FM. The player has no memory you must plug in your own USB flash drive in to a slot located below the buttons. But, forget plugging in anything bigger than a 512MB which could hold several hundred songs because turning off your car will send you back to track one. The FM modulator will also accept 3.5mm stereo input from any other source. If it is like any other FM transmitter it sucks. However there are some reports CDRinfo that it does actually work. You can pick one up at Wal-Mart or eBay for $30 to check it out yourself.