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The *Ultimate* Mp3car player...

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  • The *Ultimate* Mp3car player...

    Ok I've been at this for two years now and my setup is pretty good but the *real* problem is the administrative overhead as your collection grows. I now have 3 hard disks totaling 50GB in my car. And this collection is constantly being updated as I try out new frontiers of music or get rid of the bad ones as I find out. Maintaining and keeping track of all this music at home AND car has gotten so overburdening that I have stopped ripping CDs and Napstering all together for now.

    Imagine there is a car mp3 player like this:
    - capacity to hold practically unlimited mp3 songs
    - no need to load up and sychronize mp3s from your desktop
    - no need to mess with hard disk problems in car
    - instantly play any song in the world, even if you don't have it!

    Ok you get my drift. The solution is to go total wireless and maintain just your desktop collection and stream it to your car. Your mp3 car player can also be directly connected to napster all the time. The possibilities are endless.

    I am SERIOUSLY thinking about doing this now today. The software sides will be trivial. The only thing I need is a wireless access that can maintain at least 128k and cover my driving area. So :
    - Ricochet coverage is available where I live. Anyone know if their 128k is dependable?
    - Cellular access : I don't think there is one of enough bandwidth, and the cost for the amount of data I'll be downloading!! But still, any ideas here?
    - Some proprietary wireless gear? If something is out there that can cover 10 mile radius and give ~160k bandwidth and cost within a grand now, I can go for it. My current hard disks were $540 origianally so if I look at the big picture it can be really cost effective in the end I think.
    -I'm also thinking multiplexing connections, Big car antennas, satellite dish, etc. etc.. Give me some ideas.

    I know all this will happen eventually but I need it NOW! Hey, I'm the proverbial 'early adopter' if there ever was one, and let that be the spirit of this board.

  • #2
    I think you are moving a little ahead of the times with this! True it is possible at this time but not very cheap and stable. The only idea that COULD work is the wireless internet (Ricochet). But that wouldn't solve any of your problems and create new ones.
    1. You would still need hard drives for your "Desktop collection"
    2. 128K really wouldn't be the best bandwidth to be working at (less than CD quality). Plus think of Ricochet as a cell phone... Even in the biggest cities there are holes in the coverage, and the signal strength varies. Well the same will apply for Ricochet. Weak signal = choppy music. No signal = no music.
    3. "capacity to hold practically unlimited mp3 songs" Nothing like this out in the market today, and I doubt in the next decade.

    In all it is a great idea, and sorry to shoot you down but I this it is too early for this to happen economicly right now. You could just use the wireless connection to connect to your desktop and the internet, but as far as streaming MP3 the bandwidth just doesn't cut it right now. But I could be wrong. M.A.V.I.C. System
    Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case. MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)


    • #3
      In testing, and talking to other users -

      Ricochet is verry reliable, its just the fact that metricom is going broke that stops me from purchasing one out-right.
      Techonlogy on Wheels


      • #4
        I can't see any available wireless connection being fast enough to stream MP3s to the car, but what about using some sort of syncronization software so that the car is constantly keeping itself in sync with the desktop? Sure you'd need hard drives in both places, but the cost of drives should be the least of your ceoncerns given the cost of wireless internet! The Napster idea would work at 128K, but if you lost signal momentarily then your transfer could abort. What about using remote software like VNC to control your home PC from the car and then the home PC is the one grabbing the music off Napster (I'm assuming you have a high bandwith connection on your home PC)? Once the transfer was successfully completed then the syncronization software would move the new song to the car. Far from instant, but it would be more reliable.


        • #5
          I wouldnt rely on the ricochet to stream mp3s from your desktop. 128k I think it the theoretical max, so you probably would get like 100k or something like that. What I would do is set up a wireless 802.11b network at home and when you pull up to your house, log on to the network and sync up your files. I think 50gb of mp3's in your car is more than plenty. I mean really, how many songs can you listen to in your car in one sitting? I know it would be cool to have all those mp3's, but really. I think 802.11b is the way to go


          • #6
            i just set up one of these Orinoco 802.11, 11mbit/sec networks today at work. in fact, i am posting on it right now. its not all that hard to setup and the range is incredible(1700ft). something like this can work for the car pretty well. all you need is 2 wireless cards and set it in the software and ur set.
            2004 F-150
            Shuttle XPC, 80gig HD, Wireless Internet, DVD
            "How piMP3d is your ride??"


            • #7
              Originally posted by RaZor:
              <STRONG>all you need is 2 wireless cards and set it in the software and ur set.</STRONG>

              So you wouldnt need an access point? how do the 2 cards talk to each other? I thought they just transmitted not received


              • #8
                read my description of all that in the wireless post ( to lazy to look up link) yes they can talk w/o access point this is called Ad-hock mode, the access point allows direct connection to a wired lan, it also allows greater distance.
                Techonlogy on Wheels


                • #9
                  Some notes again

                  - I don't mean wireless when the car is garage; I mean wireless as I'm driving down the freeway. (altho something like 802.11 is great and I'm thinking of getting that TOO). Broadband(quasi) on the road is really revolutionary! Read on.

                  - By practically unlimited storage I mean that your desktop at home can have 100's of gigs. The car itself can have a 1 gig expendable hd($10 at shows) and just run the software. All your stuff is at the server in your home. Trust me 50 Gig I have in my car now is NOT enough. So far I have encoded half of my 15 year collection of 700+ CDs at 256K. Since I installed the LCD screen, I've started loading the 50G with music videos and my friends just want to ride in my car whenever they see me. My niece made me load up all the Nsync & Britney videos. I'm out of space.

                  - Even if you had terabytes in your car it's still not going to work. As I said the problem is with the maitenance and sync overhead. Most people don't know how grave this problem is because most deal with manageable data and they can just manually duplicate the work at home and at the car. When you have large data this overhead becomes a monster. With a central server at home all this overhead disappears. Imagine then, that you can install this simple client in your girlfriend's car so she can enjoy the collection just like you. She will make love in different ways now. Install one for your boss and get a raise.

                  -ok I won't write more cuz it's getting too long but the conclusion is that wireless on the road with streaming mp3 is the killer app(are you listening Toyota?). And do-it-yourselfers like us today can do this easily. I see no problem writing the client code etc myself. The only missing link is the cheap wireless deal. So far the only viable way I see is to multiplex 2 Ricochet and I think that might work. But that would be $160 a month which is the avg weekly wage of posters here so.. Anyways I'm like anxious anxious because it almost feels like I can almost do this now, almost...


                  • #10
                    Even if you multiplex connections and achieve 250Kbps (highly unlikely), it's still not going to work for streaming MP3 for realtime playback. The only way I can see this wokring is converting all those MP3s to a format more suited for streaming (ie. RealAudio) then streaming that to the car. The sound quality would suffer to the point where you could not jsutify the cost.
                    I have tried streaming MP3s from my fast calbe connection at home to the T1 connection at work, and it's still not quick enough for realtime streaming. I tested this using a Realaudio file and the streaming worked but the quality was much lower.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by moossmp3:
                      <STRONG>(are you listening Toyota?). that would be $160 a month which is the avg weekly wage of posters here so.. </STRONG>

                      Im listening, but I really don't think it will be reliable enought to stream QUALITY mp3's in your ride. Sure you could stream 56k quality audio, but whats the point? And what happens if the network gets overloaded and you loose your connection? Nothing like explaining to your friends why you cant play thier favorite Britney Spears track becuse you cannot connect to the internet! And I make a hell of a lot more than $160 a week, but it is mostly already spent before I can spend it on carputer stuff! And even if you were able to acheive a 250kbps connection, it would only work in limitied areas. If you go out of that area, then you have no mp3's to listen to. I don't know about you, but I like to go on road trips alot. Plus I go off-roading in the middle of nowhere in the woods and I'd like to bring my music/video collection along with me. Nothing like watching a Eminem video while rockcrawling!


                      • #12
                        I have a similar problem, I also have a 40+ gig mp3 collection which is continually growing. The biggest problem for me is weeding through the huge collection, so what I like to do is take 10-20 albums in my car at a time, I just have a 10gig drive in my car. I have a server at home with my entire collection. I would like to find a elegant system for playing mp3s in my car, that could be updated easily without removing a hard drive from the car which is what I do now. I could get a wireless lan, however I still have to have my car on to transfer the files. Idealy I could send files over to my car whenever I wanted from my desktop which has my entire collection, maybe someone has a bright idea on how to do this. The problem here would be having the computer in my car "on" all the time.


                        • #13
                          Atomic, maybe plug the car into AC if you park it in a garage and keep it turned on


                          • #14
                            Does anyone know if it's possible to use wake on lan with wireless? If yes, this would be ideal! When you go to send files to the carputer, it would power up and run off the car battery while receiving files. Once the transfer was completed you could power down the PC using soemthing like VNC.


                            • #15
                              sigh* I'm beginning to agree with people that it's too hard to get a cheap reliable wireless connection for streaming. Ok I'll wait. I had to wait two years before prices were viable for lcd carputer so I guess I'll just sit tight for this one too.

                              Well then for interim solution I'm going with 802.11. I dont have garage for my car so no AC power for me. mtmsol's suggestion sounds good. Can anyone expand on this?