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Alpine KCA-620M: USB interface for Ai-Net

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  • Alpine KCA-620M: USB interface for Ai-Net

    http://www.alpine-usa.com/en/product...KCA-620M&tab=D

    Want to play music from your USB thumb drive or portable MP3 player? For playback of all your MP3's, connect your MP3 player to the KCA-620M USB adapter, and control your music right from your Alpine Ai-NET head unit. Use Quick Search™ to find your music quickly.


    I just found this while browsing Alpine's website. It sounds like it has some potential for Carputer people. The first thought that came to my mind was simply connecting an external USB drive instead of a small thumb drive. Its due out in April so I guess we'll see.
    2003 Mazda Protege5 -- Clarion/DLS/Eclipse
    Click here for install photos!

  • #2
    Very interesting - sounds like soon Alpine will offer products to replace needing CarPCs completely.
    My install log
    My "selling entire system" thread

    Comment


    • #3
      A great setup from Alpine's new lineup would be:
      IVA-W200 ($1100) - Double Din Head unit / DVD
      KCA-620M ($160), USB adapter for mp3 playback from a disc
      KCA-100BT ($220), bluetooth integration for cellphone (hands free)

      ...and add some other goodies and you've got a system that is very competitive with the CarPuter scene. It's priced right too.
      2003 Mazda Protege5 -- Clarion/DLS/Eclipse
      Click here for install photos!

      Comment


      • #4
        Good stuff, but people building carPC not just for DVD/movie, MP3, GSP, .....
        We build CarPC to surf for PORN when network available
        Alpine, Elipse, Pioneer can't do that yet or may not be that cheap.
        2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
        89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
        Y2K Accord Dell GX150
        RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
        EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm sure Alpine is working on the WiFi PORN search adapter for Ai-Net as we speak. (LOL)

          Everyone has different plans for their carputers. Most already have a head unit or intend on connecting their carputer to one. If all they are looking for is a music bank, this is a cheap alternative to building an entire carputer.
          2003 Mazda Protege5 -- Clarion/DLS/Eclipse
          Click here for install photos!

          Comment


          • #6


            The Pyle PLCD63WMU has been on the market for over a year. same thing

            on sale, only $120

            Comment


            • #7
              There are few HU (Dual, Clarion, ... ) that has USB plug in the front.

              BTW, I don't mind getting the Alpine USB adapter for 20-40 bucks. I am not sure if I am willing to spend more than 41 bucks.
              Great solution to people for people who want simple way.
              2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
              89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
              Y2K Accord Dell GX150
              RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
              EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

              Comment


              • #8
                I wouldn't buy the Pyle unit but Clarion's unit has restrictions...
                http://www.clarion.com/us/en/product...643389085.html

                USB Input for Compressed Digital Audio

                Anything with a USB output plugs right into the DB365USB so you can hear your music through your mobile entertainment system. The USB (Universal Serial Bus) port takes MP3 and WMA files from portable digitalaudio players and other devices. This source unit can handle 255 digital audio files. File names can be up to 28 characters long, and folder names can be up to 16 characters long.


                Alpine will probably have similar restrictions. Oh well, it was a good idea while it lasted.
                2003 Mazda Protege5 -- Clarion/DLS/Eclipse
                Click here for install photos!

                Comment


                • #9
                  ".... some potential" you say?

                  as soon as it's out I want one, this is the first real step towards integrating a carpc with an alpine multimedia setup, which is what I need
                  MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                  first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Read my last post though. I'm sure Alpine's hardware will have restrictions on the number of files it can reference the same way Clarion's unit does. However, some Alpine units support DVD MP3 audio so they must have the capability of referencing more than 255 files....unless that is a USB restriction.
                    2003 Mazda Protege5 -- Clarion/DLS/Eclipse
                    Click here for install photos!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Long time lurker, first time poster...

                      I just got the KCA-620M yesterday. So far, I am not the happiest camper.

                      Installation was the easiest part: Two cables, Ai-Net and USB. No power, ground, etc. Sweet.

                      Then I had my first "gotcha" which is that it did not immediately recognize my USB hard-drive, giving a "NO MAGAZINE" error. The manual is not worthy of an RTFM (even though I did). Searching the net did not offer much (you search these forums and you know what I mean, not a slam on MP3CAR.com, but the lack of *any* hard info on the KCA-620M). I was able to use a 2GB USB thumb drive without fail, where I found the difference to be FAT vs. FAT32, even though the "manual" clearly says "FAT or FAT32". I wont bore you with the rest of the experiments, but the final solution was to use an older FDISK (Win98) to re-create the partition and format the drive. It seems that using Windows XP or 2000 wont cut it. Fortunately I have a few extra 2.5" drives and USB enclosures to "test" with.

                      The next gotcha: it does NOT use ID data from the files! All that shows is <filename>.MP3 in the "song" field. Artist and Album show "NO TEXT". The same files on an MP3-CD do show all data fields on my head-unit (CDA-9835).

                      The searching is cumbersome as it is very different from how the MP3-CDs are treated by the head-unit. EVERY folder is listed alphabetically, even sub-folders, into ONE list. Think of it as sorting all of your CDs by Album Title and not two-stepping it as Artist, and then Title within Artist. There is also an "ALL" folder you can use, which has every file on the device sorted by filename (which, for me, is "Track#_song title")

                      The last gotcha is the thing that annoyed me most about my old Archos Jukebox, and that is when you power down, it does not remember what you were doing. That's right, it starts off with file number one on that sorted list when you get into your car the next time.

                      There is a 255 file limit per folder. I know this because I have one "junk" folder of orphan MP3's I have (where I took the one or two good songs from a CD and did not want to waste a whole Artist\Album folder for it). There are 465 files in it, but the KCA-620M shows only the first 255.

                      I would assume that using what the manual calls a "Premium Support" media player, where there is access to search by Playlist, Artist, Album, and Genre, the KCA-620M might actaully shine. I am going to borrow some various modern media players to test this theory. My ancient Archos Jukebox 20 won't cut it. Yeah, I tried, it does not even see it ("NO MAGAZINE").

                      The KCA-620M is like a KCA-420i that supports more than one player, and it happens to also give limited access to USB mass storage devices. IMHO, this is a serious let-down after waiting almost a year.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        thanks for the review, i almost wanted to get it for my 9855, now i have decide to sell away the 9855 altogether and use a CarPC instead

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jbuck2029 View Post

                          I would assume that using what the manual calls a "Premium Support" media player, where there is access to search by Playlist, Artist, Album, and Genre, the KCA-620M might actaully shine. I am going to borrow some various modern media players to test this theory. My ancient Archos Jukebox 20 won't cut it. Yeah, I tried, it does not even see it ("NO MAGAZINE").
                          Possible theory on that Archos. The drivers for it are not built into windows, and it doesn't show up as a USB MASS STORAGE device as such. I wouldn't be surprised if the Archos, or any other unit that requires drivers (Creative Nomad 3) doesn't work.

                          Anything that shows up in windows as soon as you plug it in, will most likely work.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jahntassa View Post
                            Possible theory on that Archos. The drivers for it are not built into windows, and it doesn't show up as a USB MASS STORAGE device as such. I wouldn't be surprised if the Archos, or any other unit that requires drivers (Creative Nomad 3) doesn't work.

                            Anything that shows up in windows as soon as you plug it in, will most likely work.
                            That was my theory before I got KCA-620M as well. I never expected it to work, nor did I really need it to. But I had to try, because it is possible, however improbable, that Alpine would build support for many legacy players! Yeah, right...

                            That said, I found some more quirks this morning.

                            I was listening to Sirius for a while, then decided to play with the KCA-620M at the first stop-light. Remember how I said it starts over with the first song? Well, it was well into the THIRD song. That's right, it started playing without me! Odd.

                            I used the oh-so-efficient search to pull up a particular CD I wanted to listen to. After two songs, I decided to skip to the last song and let it play out. I wanted to know what would happen when it finished playing that CD. Would it go to the next folder? Would it start over again with the first song? Well, it *tried* to start over with the first song. It pulled up the title, but never played. I bumped it up a song, still no audio. I had to go into search and select a song, that worked. More oddness...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tested with a co-workers new iPod

                              FYI, it does not recognize the iPod at all, not as a USB storage device, nor as a "Premium Support" player. I am waiting to find out if this thing supports firmware upgrades and if more functionality is coming. If not, I probably wont be keeping it.

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