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  • G4 review

    Here are the issues I can remember off the top of my head, not being near my car. I'm using a Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Roadie USB soundcard, as required to pass the sound to my amp:

    • Radio doesn't work at all (no audio). From http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/mp3c...adio-work.html it sounds like this is a problem with external sound cards.

    • After using radio and then trying to play a song, your Wave Output is set to Mute (must go to Windows volume control panel to fix).

    • Volume control buttons are not very responsive (I think this is a software issue, but the lack of tactile feedback makes it worse).

    • The "Open/Close" button (for accessing the DVD slot and the oft-needed "Master Off" button) only works about 1 in 5 times (I think this is a hardware problem with the G4, not SD's fault).

    • GPS volume is *extremely* low. I have to set the GPS volume to maximum to be able to hear it, and so my Media volume must be set to almost the minimum to avoid hearing damage when listening to songs. Sigh. (Edit: A week later, I still have found no way to make the GPS volume audible enough, and still have my music loud enough. I tried playing with the GPS again today, and it was just too low to hear the instructions.)

    • GPS mode locks up the entire G4 at least 50% of the time (requiring reboot through the hard to access Master Off button next to the DVD slot). Usually happens if I use the GPS once and then return to it later before doing a full reboot.

    • You have to press Begin Navigation twice in GPS mode to actually get it to begin navigation.

    • System locks up at seemingly random times, even not in GPS mode.

    • Voice input doesn't work (trying to use microphone training dumps you to Windows temporarily with an error message).

    • While the screen gestures are nice to have, it would be very nice to have actual hard buttons for play/pause/next/previous. I have to pay way too much attention to my screen gestures while driving, which is unsafe. If I could just feel for a Pause or Next button, it would be much safer. Of course this is a G4 limitation, not SD's fault, but it's an issue to be aware of. Maybe as a compromise, there could be a music control screen that would have almost nothing but 3 giant play-pause/previous/next buttons.

    • Sometimes when I turn my car ON, the G4 boots up and then promptly goes into Standby.

    • After the G4 resumes from Standby, the last-playing song starts over from the beginning (doesn't matter if it was paused or playing when the car was shut off). (Strange, this was working before. I wonder if it's because I switched to using a Playlist instead of using the Browse Hard Drive feature almost every time I got in my car.)

    • Once while at the main screen, it spontaneously went to the radio player without me touching anything.

    • Fader is set to 100% rear and none of the fader/balance settings changes are saved. From http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/mp3c...wont-save.html it sounds like this is because these controls are only for the onboard sound card. Would be nice to have controls for this in SD for the many people that must use an external sound card! Regardless this is a nasty bug that for now, I can't get any front speaker sound.

    • The "Play All" feature only looks at my MP3s (which I have very few of), not my FLAC files. I resorted to making a Playlist of my FLAC files so that I wouldn't have to use the Browse Hard Drive each time (which freezes the G4 for about 2 minutes as it goes through my 1200 songs), especially because the Queue gets cleared (other than the last-playing song) after each of the frequent crashes. I did make the registry changes as specified in another thread, but maybe there's still a way to fix it. I just can't figure it out.

    • No way to override the safety feature which prevents certain activities while the GPS detects motion. What if my passenger wants to do things on the G4 while I'm driving? There should be a registry key we can change, or some setting that requires a confirmation that the user assumes responsibility.

    • Hard to read in sunlight, even with tilting the screen down as much as I can (which is just vertical... maybe it would go lower if not for my Honda double-DIN mask?).

    • Song keeps playing for about 5 seconds after the car is turned off, which makes me often wait to open my car door if someone is standing nearby.



    Still, I would be very happy with the G4 if some of the major bugs were fixed (radio, front speakers, GPS volume, GPS lockups, random lockups and G4 turning itself off sometimes after the car starts). Currently I am just grudgingly accepting the fact that there's nothing I can do about it, and hope my $2k investment soon will be worth it.

  • #2
    Same Here... All of the Above

    Nothing fancy install.
    Palm Treo 650 tether.
    no external sound card.
    no external amp.
    no bu camera
    no ODBII

    My New G4 with the Windows and SD build straight out of the box from mp3car crashes constantly when using GPS...

    Using the G4s CD/DVD drive at all for AV crashes SD 100% of the time..

    Album art shows in WMP but not in SD.

    EQ settings are not saved.

    Voice volume low off the scale with other audio.

    Stand-by is flakey. Often when I start the car the G4 powers up only to go into hibernate. The system then needs to be brought back online with the power button.

    Honestly I'm almost ready to start playing with RR as SD does not seem to be quite ready for Prime Time. I undestand that the G4 is brand new hardware but I did not realize that by buying one I was enrolling myself in a beta test situation. I need some assurances that mp3car knows there are some major problems, that they have a handle on it and some kind of idea when they expect to have the issues to be resolved.

    If it was Mp3Car's aim that the G4 with SD could compete with Pioneer's AVICs they have missed the mark horribly. This is BLEEDING EDGE technology and I would not recommend it for anyone but the serious Geek.

    Dan Hartmann

    Comment


    • #3
      Bummer! I hope there will be a fix soon!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by johnk View Post
        • Volume control buttons are not very responsive (I think this is a software issue, but the lack of tactile feedback makes it worse).
        • The "Open/Close" button (for accessing the DVD slot and the oft-needed "Master Off" button) only works about 1 in 5 times (I think this is a hardware problem with the G4, not SD's fault).
        These are not necessarially touch buttons.

        For the eject button, you might find that it's more responsive when you just slide your finger over the eject button, not actually pushing on it. Same with the volume button.

        Use it like you would a click wheel on an iPod. Slide your finger over the button, don't push it.
        • GPS volume is *extremely* low. I have to set the GPS volume to maximum to be able to hear it, and so my Media volume must be set to almost the minimum to avoid hearing damage when listening to songs. This also means that I can't have music playing very loud (or else the GPS speech is piercing my eardrums). Sigh.
        Have you adjusted the various input volumes? Not just for GPS, but from within Windows as well?

        • GPS mode locks up the entire G4 at least 50% of the time (requiring reboot through the hard to access Master Off button next to the DVD slot). Usually happens if I use the GPS once and then return to it later before doing a full reboot.
        This has been reported.

        Many of your other bugs are bugs with StreetDeck, not the G4. I'd suggest you do two things.

        1.) Go to the StreetDeck forum and read the current bug reports.
        2.) If you find your bug already reported, post saying so in that thread. If it's not reported, start a new thread.

        By posting your bugs here, in the G4 forum, when they are StreetDeck bugs, those bugs are not as likely to be seen by the StreetDeck QA team.

        Some of the issues you've already reported are already being worked on to determine the source of the problems, as has been posted numerous times here in the G4 sub forum.
        Jan Bennett
        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by beefHeart View Post
          Same Here... All of the Above

          Nothing fancy install.
          Palm Treo 650 tether.
          no external sound card.
          no external amp.
          no bu camera
          no ODBII

          My New G4 with the Windows and SD build straight out of the box from mp3car crashes constantly when using GPS...

          Using the G4s CD/DVD drive at all for AV crashes SD 100% of the time..

          Album art shows in WMP but not in SD.

          EQ settings are not saved.

          Voice volume low off the scale with other audio.

          Stand-by is flakey. Often when I start the car the G4 powers up only to go into hibernate. The system then needs to be brought back online with the power button.

          Honestly I'm almost ready to start playing with RR as SD does not seem to be quite ready for Prime Time. I undestand that the G4 is brand new hardware but I did not realize that by buying one I was enrolling myself in a beta test situation. I need some assurances that mp3car knows there are some major problems, that they have a handle on it and some kind of idea when they expect to have the issues to be resolved.

          If it was Mp3Car's aim that the G4 with SD could compete with Pioneer's AVICs they have missed the mark horribly. This is BLEEDING EDGE technology and I would not recommend it for anyone but the serious Geek.

          Dan Hartmann
          Again, as with above, many of the things you have reported here have already been reported in the StreetDeck forum. I'd suggest you do the same. Head over there and read the bug reports that have already been submitted. If you find one that matches, post as such. If not, create a new thread.
          Jan Bennett
          FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

          Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

          Comment


          • #6
            Again I will reiterate that I did not realize that the purchase of a G4 from Mp3Car was enrolling me in a Beta environment. No average Joe end user can be expected to scour forums for band aid fixes to a product not ready for market. Everything I read on this forum posted by the mp3car team(prior to the g4 release) suggested that the target market was average users as a direct replacement Head Unit. The SD implementation on the G4 falls sadly short of expectations. I'm guessing maybe 6 months before the bugs are fixed and the unit works as advertised. Perhaps longer.

            Mp3Car should be shipping all the people who bought the G4 a copy of infillstation software. I'm sure the G4 will run perfectly with it's native software. At this point this is the only thing that would make me happy that I ever did business with Mp3Car.

            Comment


            • #7
              I use the Infill Station not SD. No problems here.
              Latest centrafuse is really good too but looks basic and radio not supported yet.
              www.ssw.com.au

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                [/LIST]Have you adjusted the various input volumes? Not just for GPS, but from within Windows as well?

                Yup, I've spent a lot of time playing with the various volume controls, both in SD and in Windows. I can get the volume quite loud; my problem is the disparity in the GPS speech volume (low) vs the music volume (very high if I increase it enough for the GPS speech to be heard).

                Are you saying that when you use the G4, the GPS volume is relatively close to the music volume, without having to set Voice to max and Media to almost minimum?


                Thanks,
                John

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is really sad news. I was all set to get this thing but I do want a turn key solution, no beta and no patches.
                  Once upon a time I enjoyed being on the bleeding edge experimenting and beta testing, now I'd much rather pay for something that works

                  Thanks for the review John.

                  Hopefully we can see an official thread listing currently known problems and what is expected to be done with them.

                  regards

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Give the G4 a little Love!

                    Hello

                    My name is Adam Engel and I have been working with MP3CAR for 6 months. My desk ext. 205. and my email is [email protected] I am personally responsible for the image on the G4 and i will do whatever it takes to make this a better experience for you. I understand your frustration with the product. There are some known limitations on the initial shipping image on the G4. We are working on a restore DVD that will fix most of these. If you contact me directly I will make sure you get this DVD ASAP. I would like to take a moment and address the issues you have brought up.

                    QUOTE " * Radio doesn't work at all (no audio). From http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/mp3c...adio-work.html it sounds like this is a problem with external sound cards.

                    The radio works fine out of the internal amp. The internal radio is hardwired to the internal amp. Streetdeck controls this, but we do not route the audio over USB to the external sound card. At this point the solution is to use an amp with high level input or use internal amp. We are still looking into other software solutions.

                    * After using radio and then trying to play a song, your Wave Output is set to Mute (must go to Windows volume control panel to fix).

                    This is a known bug and should be fixed in the next update.

                    * Volume control buttons are not very responsive (I think this is a software issue, but the lack of tactile feedback makes it worse).

                    I understand the volume button is difficult to learn but after using it in my car for 6 months I prefer the G4 buttons because there are no mechanical buttons to break or wear out. Very sturdy over time! Not a SD or G4 issue.

                    * The "Open/Close" button (for accessing the DVD slot and the oft-needed "Master Off" button) only works about 1 in 5 times (I think this is a hardware problem with the G4, not SD's fault).

                    As i said above make sure your finger is covering the whole button and don't press hard slide your finger down across the button. I use this all day every day works every time.

                    * GPS volume is *extremely* low. I have to set the GPS volume to maximum to be able to hear it, and so my Media volume must be set to almost the minimum to avoid hearing damage when listening to songs. Sigh. (Edit: A week later, I still have found no way to make the GPS volume audible enough, and still have my music loud enough. I tried playing with the GPS again today, and it was just too low to hear the instructions.)

                    Try using the exponential volume control in the newest build. I will look into making the speech volume set to a constant level. but for now see what happens with the new build.

                    * GPS mode locks up the entire G4 at least 50% of the time (requiring reboot through the hard to access Master Off button next to the DVD slot). Usually happens if I use the GPS once and then return to it later before doing a full reboot.

                    * You have to press Begin Navigation twice in GPS mode to actually get it to begin navigation.

                    Streetdeck is designed this way to first confirm address and then confirm on the map the desired route. You can disable the confirmation of hte route in navigation settings.

                    * System locks up at seemingly random times, even not in GPS mode.

                    We have not been able to duplicate these issues yet. Help us document the crashing to resolve these issues by submitting a bug report on the forum with a log file.

                    * Voice input doesn't work (trying to use microphone training dumps you to Windows temporarily with an error message).

                    Fixed in restore DVD.

                    * While the screen gestures are nice to have, it would be very nice to have actual hard buttons for play/pause/next/previous. I have to pay way too much attention to my screen gestures while driving, which is unsafe. If I could just feel for a Pause or Next button, it would be much safer. Of course this is a G4 limitation, not SD's fault, but it's an issue to be aware of. Maybe as a compromise, there could be a music control screen that would have almost nothing but 3 giant play-pause/previous/next buttons.

                    The remote control has these buttons. I think infill was going for the simple look. I also would like to see this on the next unit. Unfortunately that wont be out for another year or longer.

                    * Sometimes when I turn my car ON, the G4 boots up and then promptly goes into Standby.

                    Should be fixed in next update

                    * After the G4 resumes from Standby, the last-playing song starts over from the beginning (doesn't matter if it was paused or playing when the car was shut off). (Strange, this was working before. I wonder if it's because I switched to using a Playlist instead of using the Browse Hard Drive feature almost every time I got in my car.)

                    Should be fixed in the next update.

                    * Once while at the main screen, it spontaneously went to the radio player without me touching anything.

                    If it happens again send the log file in a bug report and let us know.

                    * Fader is set to 100% rear and none of the fader/balance settings changes are saved. From http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/mp3c...wont-save.html it sounds like this is because these controls are only for the onboard sound card. Would be nice to have controls for this in SD for the many people that must use an external sound card! Regardless this is a nasty bug that for now, I can't get any front speaker sound.

                    StreetDeck will only work for the fader and balance controls of the built in sound card. To set the fade and balance of an external sound card you have to use the utility that ships with it.

                    * The "Play All" feature only looks at my MP3s (which I have very few of), not my FLAC files. I resorted to making a Playlist of my FLAC files so that I wouldn't have to use the Browse Hard Drive each time (which freezes the G4 for about 2 minutes as it goes through my 1200 songs), especially because the Queue gets cleared (other than the last-playing song) after each of the frequent crashes. I did make the registry changes as specified in another thread, but maybe there's still a way to fix it. I just can't figure it out.

                    * No way to override the safety feature which prevents certain activities while the GPS detects motion. What if my passenger wants to do things on the G4 while I'm driving? There should be a registry key we can change, or some setting that requires a confirmation that the user assumes responsibility.

                    * Hard to read in sunlight, even with tilting the screen down as much as I can (which is just vertical... maybe it would go lower if not for my Honda double-DIN mask?).

                    * Song keeps playing for about 5 seconds after the car is turned off, which makes me often wait to open my car door if someone is standing nearby.

                    There is a short but unavoidable delay between when you turn off your car and when it gets the message to shut done. You can always make the stop gesture before shutting down the system to make the audio stop.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can anything be done on the EQ settings not being saved?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mhk View Post
                        Can anything be done on the EQ settings not being saved?
                        Please see the streetdeck bug tracking sub forum for the status of outstanding bugs. This was already answered there.
                        StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
                        Get StreetDeck at http://www.streetdeck.com
                        The Official StreetDeck Forums have moved, please visit us at http://www.streetdeck.com/forum for official support for Streetdeck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The radio works fine out of the internal amp. The internal radio is hardwired to the internal amp. Streetdeck controls this, but we do not route the audio over USB to the external sound card. At this point the solution is to use an amp with high level input or use internal amp. We are still looking into other software solutions.
                          My only comment to that is that it absolutely should have been documented before the G4s were sold, since it is a huge huge issue. To me, the radio is a critical feature and if I had known it wouldn't work, I definitely would not have bought the G4 (or I would have sadly not used the amp I paid a lot of money for, but if I go to the internal sound card now and have the installer rewire the audio directly to my speakers, it will cost me probably another $200 or so, not to mention the $100+ I paid for the external sound card and the extra $50 the installer questionably charged me for "hooking up" the external sound card.

                          But I am glad to hear you are still looking for a software solution. If you guys do think it will be impossible to fix, I'd appreciate hearing about it sooner than later, so I can go get my car audio rewired to avoid the amp. Thanks.

                          Try using the exponential volume control in the newest build. I will look into making the speech volume set to a constant level. but for now see what happens with the new build.
                          I will, but also note that in the Speech control panel the speech sounds fine. For some reason it is just extremely low when played in SD.

                          StreetDeck will only work for the fader and balance controls of the built in sound card. To set the fade and balance of an external sound card you have to use the utility that ships with it.
                          I have set my sound card's fader control to be right in the middle, and it works perfectly fine in Winamp from all 4 speakers. But SD shows the fader set to 100% rear and no audio comes from the front speakers. Are you saying that when you use an external soundcard, you hear the front speakers in SD?


                          Thanks for the new fixes that are coming, though.

                          John

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StreetDeckAce View Post
                            We are working on a restore DVD that will fix most of these.
                            Will this DVD allow a clean install of StreetDeck onto an OS other then the included Windows XP Home? I'd like to install Professional so that I get remote desktop, but currently have no way of easily doing this. I tried doing a clean install of Pro then restoring a backup I made using NTBackup, but it ended up making a bastardized version of XP since the backup came from Home.

                            If the restore DVD can't do this (and is just a flat image), please ensure an updated normal Streetdeck DVD is also included when these go out to the existing customers. This would be similar to the inclusion of the base XP Home CD in the package I got.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Try RealVNC

                              Originally posted by drakino View Post
                              Will this DVD allow a clean install of StreetDeck onto an OS other then the included Windows XP Home? I'd like to install Professional so that I get remote desktop, but currently have no way of easily doing this.

                              You might just want to try the free RealVNC software (http://www.realvnc.com/). It works pretty well.

                              John

                              Comment

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