View Poll Results: Would you buy one?

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  • Yes cool idea!!

    12 63.16%
  • Yes but only if it was available for less then $25

    7 36.84%
  • No I prefer using my ipod manually/with an existing headunit

    0 0%
  • No I don't even own an iPod.

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Thread: iPod and iPhone support for all carPCs

  1. #1
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    iPod and iPhone support for all carPCs

    Gauging interest in a custom iPod/iPhone connector cable for carPCs. As many of you know, all the major headunits have special cables that allow them to control an ipod, playback songs (even protected ones) and browse your music collection. If theres interest this product would do exactly the same thing. It would feature RCA cables for left and right channel audio, a USB connector for power/charging and a serial connection for data transfer. There would also be a freely available library for interfacing with the iPod and plugins made available for all the major front ends.

    Note: This would be configured as an automotive accessory connector so when power is turned off the device turns off and locks (could be useful for iPad installs).

    So....whos interested?

  2. #2
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    this might be stupid question, but how is this different than say connecting your ipod to a front end like centrafuse via USB cable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Punky View Post
    this might be stupid question, but how is this different than say connecting your ipod to a front end like centrafuse via USB cable?
    It depends on the ipod... iPod classics when connected will show up as a removable storage drive in cf and you can play only non-drm protected files. CF doesn't have any support for reading iPod tag info, playlists or pictures. For iPod nano, shuffle, touch or the iPhone, connecting your iPod won't do anything unless iTunes is installed and even then I don't know of any windows front ends that can playback music from your iPod using iTunes.

    Long story short, Apple doesn't let you play music over USB...they have a proprietary protocol that has been licensed to no one. This cable takes the route that all the major headunits use...using the iPod accessory protocol and streaming music over the docks audio output. This allows access to iTunes tag info, library reading and playback of even DRM protected music without any software or OS requirements.

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    Doesn't this cable already exist as the Apple audio/video cable? It has the dock connector, USB and audio/video RCA's on it. The software would be the missing part, I believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Doesn't this cable already exist as the Apple audio/video cable? It has the dock connector, USB and audio/video RCA's on it. The software would be the missing part, I believe.
    Nope...completely different.

    The iPod universal connector has three interfaces...a serial accessory interface, usb and firewire. The USB and fireware protocols are proprietary, licensed to no one by Apple, and even if you use the interface library from iTunes (illegally) can only give you access to the actual file system, with no way to decode protected files or playback any files.

    This cable would connect to the iTunes Serial Accessory Bus allowing you to control playback and easily access the internal library. It would also feature the correct resistors and connections to be detected as an auto accessory adapter and allow rapid charging through the USB port.

    More Info:
    http://pinouts.ru/PortableDevices/ipod_pinout.shtml
    http://www.adriangame.co.uk/ipod-acc-pro.html

  6. #6
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    If I understand correctly my front-end would display the songs and videos on my iPod/iPhone and I would be able to play/skip/whatever songs using my front-end? Yes cool idea.

    1. What would be the approximate cost? Ballpark figure.

    2. What iPod/iPhone models would be supported?

    3. What would be included in the final product?

    4. What would be the carputer requirements? Hardware and software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vat2010 View Post
    1. What would be the approximate cost? Ballpark figure.
    $25-30 maybe a little cheaper if theres enough interest

    Quote Originally Posted by vat2010 View Post
    2. What iPod/iPhone models would be supported?
    All iPod and iPhone models although the amount of remote control available depends on the model. Very early iPods do not allow library browsing just control and currently playing song info.

    Quote Originally Posted by vat2010 View Post
    3. What would be included in the final product?
    Just the cable:
    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    It would feature RCA cables for left and right channel audio, a USB connector for power/charging and a serial connection for data transfer.
    Quote Originally Posted by vat2010 View Post
    4. What would be the carputer requirements? Hardware and software.
    Requires an open serial port or an open USB port with a serial adapter-thats it.

  8. #8
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    I like this idea, I started building something like this myself (had the hardware working but didn't get very far with the software). How quick is it at browsing large libraries? Some head units can be a bit slow, and when I was building mine and getting data back using a terminal program it looked like speed could be an issue.

    After that experiment, I was going to use the Sharepod Library (http://www.getsharepod.com/) as this seemed easier - no protected file playback still, but has access to the rest as far I can see? How does OM currently do iPod support?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    I like this idea, I started building something like this myself (had the hardware working but didn't get very far with the software). How quick is it at browsing large libraries? Some head units can be a bit slow, and when I was building mine and getting data back using a terminal program it looked like speed could be an issue.
    I just got the hardware yesterday so i'll probably be digging into it later in the week. From the first look, it looks like you can do baud rate escalation so iPhones and later generation iPods can communicate pretty fast. I would bet the reason headunits can be pretty slow is because they search the iPod in real time. I would asynchronously index the library locally so that after a minute or two of being plugged in, everything would be instant.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    After that experiment, I was going to use the Sharepod Library (http://www.getsharepod.com/) as this seemed easier - no protected file playback still, but has access to the rest as far I can see? How does OM currently do iPod support?
    We use an ipod library I wrote from scratch:
    NEW PLUGIN: iPod Support

    Protected file playback really isn't possible over USB unless you pipe the files through iTunes and have it all setup but that just causes a load of issues. iPod touch and iPhone thats not even an option though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    I just got the hardware yesterday so i'll probably be digging into it later in the week. From the first look, it looks like you can do baud rate escalation so iPhones and later generation iPods can communicate pretty fast. I would bet the reason headunits can be pretty slow is because they search the iPod in real time. I would asynchronously index the library locally so that after a minute or two of being plugged in, everything would be instant.
    Ah, that seems like it would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    Protected file playback really isn't possible over USB unless you pipe the files through iTunes and have it all setup but that just causes a load of issues. iPod touch and iPhone thats not even an option though.
    Yeah, I was never expecting protected file playback, doesn't bother me as I don't have any DRMd files. I do use a Touch though, and Sharepod works with that, so I assume the library does too - from the OM thread, am I reading correctly in that they must be illegally using an Apple Library to do that?

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