Need veteran enthusiasts suggestions. (Long.... Sorry)
First of all my name is Stephen. I am not a newbie to computers or mp3's as I've been using computers since the days of the TI-99/4a, Commodore 64's and Apple II's.
I've also been playing with mp3's since just before Napster debuted.
I had one of the FIRST portable mp3 players. Can't remember the name. It was a kit, came with a black plastic case similar to a zip drive or external hard drive case, a 2x16 monochrome lcd and membrane buttons on top.
Cost me a few hundred and was a beast to use but it worked. After that I tried to put a computer in the car to play mp3's. It had a tiny 9" monitor and used WinAMP. It worked but was more hassle than convenient.
Then I was able to get my hands on an Empeg Mark 1 and absolutely loved it. Cost an arm and a leg but I didn't care. And about a year after came across a Mark 2 just before SonicBlue bought them out.
Kind of wish I still had them. They were great machines.
But anyways here's where I am today.
I have a 96 Lincoln Mark VIII with a factory cassette player and 10 disc changer in the trunk (which doesn't work).
I want a infotainment system in the car.
I don't have a lot of $ to work with (who does these days) but these are the things I want to be able to do with it.
video player (movies and tv)
music player (mp3's and radio)
OBDII readout and performance monitoring
streaming music and video from net or collection at home
back up cam
satellite radio (either through own receiver or through net)
ability to run lots of apps ( either native or emulated)
I know there are a few solutions and all have pro's and con's.
The easiest approach I suppose would be one of those chinese multimedia double din systems.
The ARE pretty cheap sometimes on eBay but can't do everything I want.
There is the iPad approach which I do like and though I HATE proprietary systems the iOS is smooth
and has TONS of apps. I know. I have an iPhone 3g.
But Apple hardware IS expensive. Especially to mod and install in a car.
I've tried Android and like that it is open but the software available compared to the iOS is pitiful.
Then there is the carputer approach.
I love this idea as I have a laptop that would donate itself to this function.
The expandability possibilities are boundless but I don't like the startup time.
And though Centrafuse looks promising there doesn't look to be a lot of apps available for it.
I want a simple interface like Centrafuse or Apple's iOS and have lots of apps for it which
shouldn't be too difficult running on a Windows platform.
Would also like to display the Lincoln logo when it starts as well but that's a side thought.
Forgot to mention I am a bit of an electronics hacker/experimenter so hacking things together
for this is another reason to consider this option.
I also have an 8" touchscreen for this option about 3-4 years ago but is to big for the double-din opening.
Maybe someone has a use for it that could trade? Maybe for a smaller touchscreen?
Anyway, what ideas/suggestions do the vets of this community have for me?
Anything will be helpful.