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  • Complete Newbie Question.

    Okay, I see the button. I could probably even my question. However, I feel it is probably pretty unique and needs some GOOD advice. So without further ado, here is my question.

    I'm in the process of slowly making my '85 Mazda RX-7 a little more creature comfortable. It has no audio system what so ever. What it does have is a double DIN whole in the dash where I could put a head unit. The problem is, I don't want to purchase a head unit for a CD player or stereo I won't ever be using. So, I came up with an idea for putting in an MP3 player with a touch screen to control it. It would suit my needs for music perfectly, and look cool in the process. So, I was wondering....

    Is there any way to buy a portable MP3 players (i.e. creative, archos ready made unit) and get a touch screen to control it? That being said, I know there is a way to power the unit off the cars battery through an AC/DC inverter. I would suppose you could then output the music to an amplifier and then run that to the cars speakers. Mounting the equipment isn't that much of a concern. My biggest question is getting a touch screen to directly interact with the factory MP3 unit. I don't know if that would be a cheaper or easier solution to building a full fledged computer to play MP3 music on. I don't need video or any other capabilities at this moment.

    Thanks for all your input, and if this project works well, I'll find a way to incorpaorate a system like this into both my wifes minivan and my Mustang.
    Import or Domestic -- Their both fun!

    1996 Ford Mustang
    2000 Cobra motor conversion
    1985 Mazda RX-7
    daily beater, well beaten

  • #2
    Originally posted by DomesticImport
    Is there any way to buy a portable MP3 players (i.e. creative, archos ready made unit) and get a touch screen to control it?
    Not likely.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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    • #3
      I was worried that would likely be the answer.
      Import or Domestic -- Their both fun!

      1996 Ford Mustang
      2000 Cobra motor conversion
      1985 Mazda RX-7
      daily beater, well beaten

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah, think about it...you're asking for a product that uses a $200 touchscreen to control a $100 mp3 player. I'm not aware of any ready made products for that.

        Just getting the touchscreen to display buttons or song info on it would require some kind of OS, whether embedded or whatever, so it would be a little weird if someone sold something like that.

        On the other hand, I do believe there are some headunits that come with screens that let you do what you're asking. Pioneer makes some that play mp3 CD's.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
        Want to:
        -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
        -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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        • #5
          I thought that what I was hoping to do would be impossible, but was thinking that maybe somebody had devised a way to do that. I'm trying to avoid a headunit, as I'm not looking for CD or radio capabilites and don't want to pay for anything I'm not going to use. I simply desire to have touch screen control of a MP3 player with hard drive storage! I think I'm just going to have to build one myself, and there seems to be plenty of information about that here!

          Thanks, again.
          Import or Domestic -- Their both fun!

          1996 Ford Mustang
          2000 Cobra motor conversion
          1985 Mazda RX-7
          daily beater, well beaten

          Comment


          • #6
            I think it would be cheaper and easier to build a real PC.
            Pick up an old 500MHz PC with mATX board (pretty cheap ~$100 maybe) and get your touchscreen and a Morex 60W PSU.

            the Morex could power a Celeron mobo and 3.5" HD, right??
            My first carPC!
            MP3/CD player
            Celeron 633MHz - 10GB Seagate - 64MB PC100 - Win XP

            Soon to actually find its way into the car!

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah go for the PC in the car... MUch nicer option.

              It just seems SO pointless to control a portable MP3 player (which you would run DC-DC no DC-AC-DC) off a touchscreen.

              Er, if you wanted you could build a PC, write a touchscreen interface, and then run out a parellel relay controller to the ripped-apart portable MP3 player wired to each of the buttons. But that would be very very very pointless
              Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
              Car PC Status: Complete - Undergoing Software Redevelopment

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              • #8
                Okay, so a full on computer it is. (Which will end up more then what I was hoping to spend, but seems required!!!) In that case, what are the minimum requirements for hardware/OS to allow for 2 hard drives (Not certain I'll need that many, but like to plan ahead.) and the ability to run WinAmp or other MP3 player via a touch screen. Since I've a '85 RX-7, the location of the computer will end up in one of the storage bins!
                Import or Domestic -- Their both fun!

                1996 Ford Mustang
                2000 Cobra motor conversion
                1985 Mazda RX-7
                daily beater, well beaten

                Comment


                • #9
                  DomesticImport,
                  I was also looking for something very similiar to what you described to install in my car. I was going to build a pc, but then I realized that I dont need all the extra stuff.. i.e. gps, dvd, etc, etc. and just wanted to be able to have my portable mp3 player displayed on a much bigger clear, easy to use screen or touchscreen.

                  Essentially I was looking for a portable mp3 player with a big screen and easy controls, i.e. touchscreen, or a mp3 player that can output to a screen. I did some research and found many devices that fit the profile, some better than others.

                  For example the one that really fits the profile is the AIVX and AIVX mini, it is perfect with both Video and Audio Output and a remote! Its cheap too! The other products listed would work but are mostly portable media players with their own built in screens that can output video to tv and some monitor's also you would probably have to output to a head unit. Also I thought that a simple PDA could be used, mounted onto the dash, because it can output sound, and it uses a stylus, some may even use touchscreen. So check out the Aivx and these others:

                  AIVX
                  AIVX Mini

                  PMP's:
                  montego portable
                  DVX-POD
                  http://reviews.designtechnica.com/firstlook52.html
                  iRiver 20 GB Portable Media Player, PMP-120
                  iRiver PMC-120
                  creative zen
                  Mustek 40 GB Portable Media Player / Recorder (PVR-H140)
                  macvision mc1007 7" screen
                  APEX Digital 20 GB E2go Portable Media Player, MP-2000
                  NHJ MPM-202 personal media player
                  Samsung YH-999 20GB Portable Media Center with 3.5- Inch TFT LCD Screen
                  PMP 730 Portable Personal Media Player with 7 LCD TFT Screen

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                  • #10
                    A lot of these mp3 players have simple wired remotes (usually optinal extra), then you could mount it in your dash. And if you could figure out a way to replace the standard display with a larger display, with similar characteristics, but just larger fonts and install that in your dash.

                    And since most of these hard disk mp3 players work through the IDE interface, there a possibilty to replace the small expensive hard disk with a standard cheap hard disk.
                    Mostly just ideas haven't found anyone do anything like this, well except for some people upgrading their hard disk to the 6GB 1" drives.

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                    • #11
                      It's not quite what you are looking for, but some of the Alpine headunits can control and read track info from an iPod with the correct adapter.

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                      • #12
                        The AIVX is awesome...

                        The more I look at it the cooler the aivx seems to be. The major difference between the AIVX 3.5 and AIVX 2.5 (mini) is that the 3.5 has s-video output and support for really big hard drives (like 200 gb), while the 2.5 does not have s-video, but does have a built in FM-transmitter and is limited to an 80gb hard drive (still plenty of space). Check out this link:

                        AVIX DivX Mini 2.5"

                        You dont even need a monitor to listen to music with this thing! You can just hit the music button on your remote and Bam, your mp3's are playing in your car. Then if you buy a monitor you can additionally watch movies, look at photos, etc.... There are some pictures of its built-in interface on the above website if you scroll all the way down to the bottom. The thing has like 8 diffenent combinations of hooking up your video/audio. You could take it in the house and hook it up to your tv, share photos, then hook it up to your computer, add more music, then back to the car. It even has options like a cigarette lighter power cord and an external infrared reciever for the remote, so you could store the actually box in your trunk and still use the remote up front! I really think I am going to get one of these for my car. I would love to build a pc for my car, but just dont have the time these days so for now I think i will probably go with this simple and cost effective alternative.

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                        • #13
                          I have an Iriver hd340 mp3 player and it has a line out can i just plug it in to a car amp?

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                          • #14
                            No, I can hook up a computer to my panisonic dvd player though, its just aux cables though...

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                            • #15
                              I got tired of waiting for this to come out and decided to got the PC route. http://www.airlinktek.com/english/prod_mg350.htm
                              Car-mada-puter Epia MII12000, 40gig HD, 512mb ram, Morex 3688 case, M1-atx and XP Pro.

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