Oh the where are we heading thread, let me join in.
I had my set up for years now, been through two setups and still I find this hobby delightful. It does have it's issues but as the years went by the user base on this site decline due to more stable items out there but on the other hand it also declines because of the tech in newer cars were attracting people with ready to go items. Even the after market stuff these days can compare. This place came into existence for many reasons, playing mp3's and videos on the go was made a point in this thread and that's why I joined in, plus the wow factor too. Where are we headed? Like all things in life, it's an uncertainty. How do we get more people into this niche hobby? It's all uncertain. The founders for this site which I think is rob ...might wake up tomorrow and say F it....close up shop. Who knows
Originally Posted by chris350
This was on my mind too about a month ago.
It seems that most of the devs for plugs and skins at mp3car have vanished. And not much support either if any. (1 exception,... Enforcer) Thanks man :)
And there seems to be only two free FEs now that get actively updated when needed, RR and Driveline.
Thanks to Mitch and Clockwork. :)
No more FreeICE I guess?? To bad, I was really beginning to like this FE. Pity. :(
I been building many reliable systems for myself and others since the Frodo Player/MediaCar FE days (before RR) and enjoyed every build.
My most recent setup in my show ride has been rock solid for sometime now, about 3+ years and counting...... (minus the Bluetooth phone) can never get the phone to work right.
This setup needs a dedicated carpc for sound reinforcement software, RTA etc. A tablet just will not do. This will not change.
I may switch to W8.1 from W7 I don't know,...will see.
So I can have a useable bug free working phone.
And as for hands free (voice control)
What happened to DFX Voice???
I can never get it to do what I can do with RRVoice. I been using RRVoice instead which IMHO works much better.
Now there is a new kid on the block,...CORTANA. :)
Again, will see.
And...I may also go with the mini W8.1 8"tablet route for my everyday vehicle when it's released soon.
Sounds like a cool tab.
(Lets just hope it's Atom based and not a Arm CPU. So I can run x86 programs too).
Then I can switch between RR, Driveline and metro apps like skype, Cortana, GPS of choice, music apps of choice etc.,,, and will finally have a working phone too.
I wish I can help out a little more around here on mp3car, but real life always seems to raise it's ugly head.
The writing is on the wall I think gentlemen, It's just a matter of time IMHO.
If Rob does shut shop, which I hope not,,,
It's been a really nice long ride being part of Mp3car forum.
Very informative, I sure learned a lot here.
This site will be missed for sure.
In a few more years we'll be just like HAM radio operators. Yeah, there will still be a few of us doing what we love with the CarPC stuff, but the rest of the world won't even remember we exist anymore. OEM equipment is getting very good. My 2010 Hyundai can take a 500gb hdd and play back my entire MP3 collection. My android phone with Google Maps navigates better than iGuidance ever did. My Nexus 10 tethered to my phone gives me on-the-go desktop-caliber browsing wherever I have service.
IMO we're already there. In the past few months I've seen posts drop down to maybe a dozen a day, sometimes less. We are truly now a small hobbyist community.
As far as Rob pulling the plug, I don't see that happening anytime soon. I believe he's still on the front line of technology; the stuff going on here at mp3car is probably only 10% of his business activites, if that. Innovative Technology is his consulting business, and word is it's big. I don't see him pulling the plug on mp3car unless he's closing up ALL the shops for good. I'm sure this is a fun hobby for him just as much as it is for us.
You guys make me want to stock up on spares like DC-DC converters, Joycon's, Mitch's cables and interfaces, and other stuff that would disappear first. I just got into the hobby, and am having a good time with it. I like messing around with computers, and when everything is running too well, I'm not having the fun I want to be having.
DC to DC will always be a necessity I think, at least for quite a few years. Price may spike as demand drops but there is always an industrial sector that needs these things.
If he stops, I'm sure with enough harassment MitchJS would make more cables. ;) He loves the community, and his cables, waaaay too much to just leave us all high and dry.
But if history has taught me anything about CarPC's, it's this: If someone stops making/doing something, someone else will start. There are plenty of smart people that still frequent these forums. Yeah, we'll lose some extremely talented/smart people along the way (*cough* OldSpark *cough*) but we'll continue on for the fun of the hobby.
Really though, I see it regressing back no further than when I first got into this hobby 15 years ago, and we did just fine back then. :rolleyes:
There are so many interesting thoughts and opinions in this thread, I can't possibly address all of them in a single post, so I'll just add my two cents.
I don't think the Car PC idea will die any time soon. PCs are always ahead of in-car systems. MP3s worked on PCs before they worked in cars. Navigation worked on PCs before it worked in cars. Etc. But I think there are now some new options. A true PC vs a tablet/phone vs a head-unit. Head-units will always be behind. A true PC in a car requires someone to build a PC or integrate an existing PC into a car, whereas a tablet/phone isn't something you just build from parts, so it's a closed hardware system. The PC is the only way to build a truly custom CarPC. And really, customization is what this hobby is about. Some people want to customize the UI, some people want to customize the functionality, and some people want to customize every aspect of the system. Cars are something that we want to show off.
On a side note, I think that this whole hobby could change significantly when smartphones running Windows on an x86 CPU become commonplace. Android has done a lot of great things for portable devices, but I think an environment that can run standard Windows apps will open up new options. Imagine being able to run your front-end on your phone and have it all work as well as it does on a full PC.
The CarPC hobby has always been a niche. There are probably more people engaging in Furry-sex than running Car PCs. But I think part of the reason we are into this hobby is for the challenge. We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. I've worked on DriveLine for 7 years now. I only have a couple programs that I've actively maintained and improved for longer than that. Even now, I'm working on something difficult for DriveLine and I don't know if I'll be able to pull it off. I'll probably put hundreds of hours into it, just to see if I can make it work. Hell, I've even got some ideas for CF that I might spend some time on.
Another random thought. I don't think the name of this site is dated at all. I think music playback is still the most important requirement of a CarPC. You can buy a car without a nav system, but you can't buy a car without a radio. Whether you're playing back OGG, FLAC, or some other format, I think the term "MP3" has become ubiquitous with "digital music files".
As for the connected car, I think it's great. But not everyone is going to have internet all the time. And unlimited data isn't an option on every carrier. I would never rely on the internet for my music. Maybe I'm getting old. I'm not on social media, I don't stream my music or TV shows, etc. I think Pandora is neat, but these days, data-storage is cheap, and I like being able to skim through my collection or playlist and listen to an album. If anything, the car should be able to connect/tether to a device that does have an internet connection when available. USB-tether does the job for me, but WiFi-tethering is an option as well.
Anyway, I've got enough ideas to keep me busy with this hobby for a long time still. From where I'm standing, things are just about to get interesting.
^^^ that's a post I like to read (other than the furry sex part... :))
I have been paying attention to DL's progress, sounds like there's more to come! Fantastic!
I cant plug my scanner or two way radio into my new Ford as delivered and reprogram it or download data. I cant hack into free Wifi close to a mile away with it either.
When I finally get things set up the way I want, I will have remote wifi cameras in my horse trailer... no need to run wires. Yes, you can buy wireless stuff now that will do that, but not as good and not as cheap.
One's own system gives flexibility to add "weird crap" that isn't likely to come from a factory that way.
Go ClockWork! Go Driveline!
Tell us where you are standing man, for us to stand there too......!
Originally Posted by ClockWorK
There is something else too. A donate button would help a lot of people here and also the community..