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Old 02-05-2009, 11:07 AM
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Cereal_Killer Cereal_Killer is offline
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Default Car stereo playlist control?

So, here's what I'm trying to do, hopefully this makes so sort of sense. I'm going to get a car stereo, probably a Pioneer DEH-P3100UB. It has the USB plug in front, but Pioneer will not control an MP3 player in MTP mode, but will work on an MP3 player or thumb drive in SMC mode.. So, what I'm wanting to do is set the Fuze in SMC mode, and load it up that way. According to my understanding, this should make the Fuze work on the Pioneer head unit (HU). Now, my question is: will this HU properly use a .m3u playlist created under SMC, per this conversation http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=39534

In theory, it should work. But I want to run this by you guys and gals, the experts. Any experience?
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:26 PM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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I don't know of any head units that support m3u's yet. I have a recent JVC HU with a front USB port that supports both MSC and MTP, but it's very basic folder navigation only. It's so limited and tedious that I don't even bother with it and use the headphone-to-aux connection instead, using the Fuze to control playback. That way navigation is a breeze and you get all the Fuze's playback features (like playlists).

One thing that suprised me was the quality of the headphone connection compared to direct USB. The Fuze's D/A converter and analog stage must be at least as good as the HU, because there wasn't any noticable difference in sound quality.

The only issue is the lower volume level typical of headphone to aux/line connections. My HU has an adjustable gain for the aux input that helps compensate for the lower level. I also used MP3Gain to adjust all my MP3s to 92dB. That got it near the same level as the CD.
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:38 PM
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Well, I found out the hard way, that pretty much nothing out there will control any non-ipod mp3 player, except the Alpine Digital Media Receivers. It worked, but there's no cd player or aux input, just one USB plug and the radio, plus they're pretty pricey. All of the extra features like HD radio, etc. need a very expensive adapter. You even have to buy a separate piece just to have aux input. Crazy. So, I just went with a Sony CD player with the aux. input, which also has the adjustable gain. Sounds pretty good, as far as I can tell. My crappy stock speakers are going bad, so I can't tell if it sounds better or not. And I do kinda like being able to control everything on the Fuze itself.

So, if you increase the gain on the MP3 file itself, that will help with the volume also? Interesting, I'll have to check that out. I'm also going to do a comparison of an MP3 to Ogg Vorbis to see if I can tell a difference quality wise. I have noticed that some songs I encoded on Media Monkey, in to MP3 at 192 bit sound differently. Some sound really good and clear, others not so much. I don't know what's going on there.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:42 AM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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Using MP3Gain with a target level of 92dB should help, especially with older CDs that are typically at a lower level. A lot of newer mainstream CDs from major labels are already jacked up to the point of clipping, so MP3s ripped from those might actually get lowered a couple dB. The main advantage is to get your whole collection at the same, relatively strong level.

At 92db some songs will clip, so you'll want to use the "automatically prevent clipping" feature. That basically tells MP3Gain to get as close to 92dB as it can without clipping. You can try even higher levels if you want, but I've found that going much higher that 92 will cause most files to clip, so you either have to live with clipping or with the levels being noticably different between songs. 92db seems to be the best compromise between boosting and maintaining an even level between songs.

You can also use the EQ on the HU or on the Fuze itself to boost all frequencies evenly. This not necessarilly ideal from a sound quality standpoint, but in most car stereo situations probably wouldn't be noticable.

As for Ogg vs MP3, once you're into the 192 range or higher, I seriously doubt you'll be able to hear any SQ difference in the car. Ogg should give a little smaller file size, but the sound quality advantage to Ogg is most evident at low bitrates. Note that there's not currently any equivalent to MP3Gain for Ogg.

Last edited by Skinjob; 02-10-2009 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for the info. When I started to use MP3gain on some of my MP3's I noticed some of the were "clipping." I wasn't too sure on what that was, so I wasn't too worried about it, as after I would do the gain, the clipping would be gone. So, it all works out just fine. I guess I'm going to stick with MP3 for now, as I was reading on another thread about how Vorbis uses more battery than MP3. And like you said, the sound quality won't be noticeable at that bit rate anyways. Thanks again for the info, I keep learning something new every day here.
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