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  • Need Music, Carputer or Stereo Deck?

    I'm stuck in the search of some way to have all/most of my music in my car.

    I've been directed here as you guys are pretty knowledgable about these things. Anyways, I'm looking for a car stereo deck that will accept an external hard drive. Many of these have a 10,000 file limit, a select few have 65,000 file limit. I'm looking for something that can support atleast 250GB of music if not more if/when my media library reaches that amount. I have been hinted on a few details I am missing such as these HU's (head units) can't power the hard drives so i'll have to find an external enclosure with a 12v input. Right now my determining factor would be how much media can be indexed and easily accessed. So I have been told that a carputer may be the way to go. I don't think I need all the extra junk that a carputer involves though. Feel free to treat me as a complete newbie as I know that I have many gaps in my knowledge. THat's what I am here for, to learn. Just keep in mind, budget is a big factor.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Shill View Post
    I have been hinted on a few details I am missing such as these HU's (head units) can't power the hard drives so i'll have to find an external enclosure with a 12v input.
    There's no need for looking at specifically 12v, no matter what enclosure you get, you'll still require a DC to DC adapter, or an inverter. You can get a small 5v for a laptop or a 12v 3.5" enclosure. Car power is an unregulated 12v, which *could* damage a 12v enclosure with a spike and kill your entire collection in a flash.

    Not many of us use head units that will accept USB drives here, might not be too many people commenting on that.

    You might be a perfect candidate for a netbook carPC install. My suggestion would be to look at all the completed projects and figure out what all you think you're going to need/want. Then come back with a game plan and we can go from there.
    Tidder

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    • #3
      i disagree with tidder--if you really aren't all that crazy about the idea of a carpc, then don't do it.

      carpc's are a computer hobby, if you aren't all that interested in computers, or another hobby, it will quickly get frustrating fast..

      if the only reason you are interested in carpc's is the amount of music you can carry, i would recommend slimming down your music collection to a hu-usable size.

      i built a carpc kind of for a large music collection(mostly for audio processing), but i have slimmed down my in-car music to about 40gigs-- it is honestly more then i can remember i have..
      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


      next project? subaru brz
      carpc undecided

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      • #4
        That was my first thought as well, but after re-reading the OP's post a few times, I came to the conclusion that the boat load of music in the car was the end goal, with the means to get there as the question.

        To the OP, this really could go either way. You could do the research and end up with a full-featured (read expensive) HU that has quirks that you absolutely hate, or you could end up with a CarPC that you're constantly having to tweak and fix. Either way, if the end result is to have a load of music available at the drop of a hat, you're in for fun ride.

        I would think if cost and featureless are the key elements, a netbook may be the perfect solution. 8.9" eeePCs are going on ebay for around $150 these days. Fab one into the dash, spend $50 or so on a good startup/shutdown controller, and the bulk of the machine is done without a lot of extra, useless features. Add a touchscreen kit for $70 and viola, it's a carPC.
        Tidder

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        • #5
          ok, so i agree with tidder, and i need to read slower..

          so, Shill, how much music(both songs, and gb capacity) do you currently have?
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided

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          • #6
            Cumulatively I'd say I have approx 600-700GB. But after calculating the amount that I can fit on an external 250GB. I feel that 250GB is plenty for the car. I can always pull it out of the car and swap files in a matter of minutes if needed. I am a nerd, I love building my computers. You are right, it will turn into a big project and i'll be tinkering until it is near perfect. Not another hobby I quite want to pick up at the moment. A Head Unit is quick, simple and cheap (considering all the money i'd feel I had to spend on a carputer) If I needed a computer in the car, i'd be more than happy settling with a laptop in the passenger seat.

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            • #7
              Here is a novel idea...

              You said that you are not really convinced that you want an autopc...so, don't do it. Your right about the capacity limits on the head units...so, start thinking outside the box! Buy a reasonable head unit with a USB input and buy 10 8GB USB thumb-drives...organize them in a thumb-drive case and ta-dah! WHEN you fill up the 80GB of space, WOW, buy more thumb-drives. I say "WOW" because 80GB is a TON of MP3's...you WILL FORGET A LOT of the music on your drives, believe me! One day you will want to hear "this song" and you will go to put it on the appropriate thumb-drive and come to find that it is already on there.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Darkhorse972 View Post
                You said that you are not really convinced that you want an autopc...so, don't do it. Your right about the capacity limits on the head units...so, start thinking outside the box! Buy a reasonable head unit with a USB input and buy 10 8GB USB thumb-drives...organize them in a thumb-drive case and ta-dah! WHEN you fill up the 80GB of space, WOW, buy more thumb-drives. I say "WOW" because 80GB is a TON of MP3's...you WILL FORGET A LOT of the music on your drives, believe me! One day you will want to hear "this song" and you will go to put it on the appropriate thumb-drive and come to find that it is already on there.
                If I had to go that route, i'd build a puter. That is an aweful big waste of money when I could just buy a dvd unit and burn myself 10 DL DVDs. The whole point of this would be for convenience, not having to switch disks or drives while driving.

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                • #9
                  How about just using an mp3 player, plugged into the Aux In on your headunit? The UI on the mp3 player will be better than that on the head unit anyway.

                  You can get a 160GB iPod Classic, or another brand of mp3 player that has more capacity.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shill View Post
                    If I had to go that route, i'd build a puter. That is an aweful big waste of money when I could just buy a dvd unit and burn myself 10 DL DVDs. The whole point of this would be for convenience, not having to switch disks or drives while driving.
                    I can't say that I agree...you can get 8GB thumb drives for $4/ea! that's $40...I don't see how it is possible to buy/build a computer for that! You could also purchase, say a Kenwood, unit that has the USB on the front and then you would not have to look at it while changing the drive while driving.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Darkhorse972 View Post
                      I can't say that I agree...you can get 8GB thumb drives for $4/ea! that's $40...I don't see how it is possible to buy/build a computer for that! You could also purchase, say a Kenwood, unit that has the USB on the front and then you would not have to look at it while changing the drive while driving.
                      Where are you getting your thumb drives from? For a low quality thumb drive, cheapest I can find is about $10. I recently purchased an 8GB kingston for $15 on sale after searching for a good deal for a week. My math says $15 is $150. Either way, i could just buy DL DVDs, a 10 pack for $15 and install a DVD unit for much cheaper. Both ways still require switching mediums while driving and finding a place to store them in the car while a 1din HU will replace my current stereo and an external drive will tuck up neatly behind the dash.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kross View Post
                        How about just using an mp3 player, plugged into the Aux In on your headunit? The UI on the mp3 player will be better than that on the head unit anyway.

                        You can get a 160GB iPod Classic, or another brand of mp3 player that has more capacity.
                        I was unaware that they made ipods of that size. That may be something to look into. Do I need to control it from the ipod, or can I tuck it up in the dash? What about power? will the Ipod on/off/charge itself with the deck?

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                        • #13
                          If you're looking to go the iPod route, score yourself an older 80gb iPod video. These can be upgraded to 240gb, and they actually handle it quite nicely.

                          HUs with iPod hookups will usually charge the iPod, yes. Some HUs tote "iPod compatibility" which in reality is really just an aux jack to plug the iPod into. These types of HUs will of course not charge the iPod. HUs that can control an iPod will probably cost more than one that's generically iPod compatible.

                          However, IMO iPods suck. They flatten the sound of my music. I've never liked the way the music sounds coming out of my iPod, even FLAC with Rockbox. My FLAC files sound much more rich and full using a PC vs an iPod. Might be something to consider, read some reviews about. I've tried both my video and a newer Classic, they both sound like flat crud to me.
                          Tidder

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tidder View Post
                            HUs with iPod hookups will usually charge the iPod, yes. Some HUs tote "iPod compatibility" which in reality is really just an aux jack to plug the iPod into. These types of HUs will of course not charge the iPod. HUs that can control an iPod will probably cost more than one that's generically iPod compatible.
                            Not really.
                            Because the iPod brand is so insanely popular, you can get a HU w/ iPod controls for a very reasonable price. Crutchfield has quality HUs w/ iPod controls as low as $109.99.

                            Some connect to the USB port. Some connect to an AUX jack. Some use a proprietary cable.
                            Lots of options.
                            Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                            How about the Wiki?



                            Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                            • #15
                              Who asked you?

                              All I'm saying is that if it sports iPod control ability vs Aux in, they try to weasel a bit more money out of you for that "luxury". I can't speak for all decks, just the ones I've looked at... pioneer and the premier line.
                              Tidder

                              Try RevFE
                              The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


                              I Wish I could ban people

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