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Thread: How does mac in car work? (software)

  1. #1
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    How does mac in car work? (software)

    Basically, I was going to get a mac mini for my car, but due to the lack of sound cards available for it I have gone for a different approach.

    Basically I'm going to install mac os x onto a Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L motherboard with a pentium 4 630 CPU. The PSU that I will use is the 250W M4-ATX.

    What I need to know is, will my PSU automatically turn on/off my computer. My thoughts are that it will turn on ok, but won't turn off as Mac OS gives an option when the power button s pressed to shutdown or cancel. The 'hard off' will then kick in after 1 minute and shut of all power to the computer, which can't be good.

    Also, what front end do you guys use? I really want to use front row as it 'talks' to itunes, i.e. playlists etc. But the problem that I am facing is controlling it as I don't have a keyboard in my car. The only thing that I can think of at the moment is controlling it via my iPhone wirelessly. But I would prefer to use my liliput touch screen :S.

    Also, any other tips on how to get the most out of my project will be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    JM

  2. #2
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    Tell me something, why do you need a sound card? Do you have an aftermarket amp or a stock amp?

    If so, just use a 3.5mm splitter, then two 3.5mm to RCA outputs. Then just use a line driver to up the voltage going to the amp.

    You don't have to have a sound card....

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    yeah, i have a mini and am using the stock sound card and everything sounds good to me. you might get some marginally better sound with an aftermarket sound card. that being said there are several aftermarket usb soundcards that will work with OS X and the mini. you may do just fine with a hackintosh but there may be several problems that you will continue to run into since OS X is engineered to run on very specific hardware.

    That being said, the issue with the psu startup/shutdown shouldn't be much of a problem. i don't know what psu you are using, but the carnetix p1900 (what most of us mac users here use in our setup) does a very simple startup/shutdown mechanic. All it does is splice into the motherboard in between the power button and sends a quick break in the connection (same thing the button does) to simulate a button push. On a stock mini when you hit the power button while the mini is running it while try to put it to sleep. You can set it up to automatically shutdown but that is not the default. In that last chance if you find that it will not go to sleep, you can tweak os x to go into hibernation instead of sleep. This would be good if you know that the power is going to get killed to the mini. the startup time is longer than if the mini just went to sleep, but significantly shorter than if you have to boot the machine.

    good luck with the install either way you decide to go.
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  4. #4
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    I may have ordered all the stuff to build my hackintosh just after I posted :S. And I do know about the problems in OS X86 as I'm running one right now :P.

    Also, all of the forums that I have read about sound cards, everyone that has bought one has noticed an amazing difference. Now, I don't know if they just can't admit that it was a waste of money, but I do know that there are a lot more choice of PC's. I just like the mac os :P.

    Thanks for the reply natedawgg, that's put the powering on/off situation to rest =).

    Just need to know about front ends and other essential apps that I should know about =)

  5. #5
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    A couple of choices for front ends:

    1. ICE3. One of the most popular user developed FE's.
    2. AMP or AMPXM. Older, no longer developed but usable. AMPXM can be controlled using a Griffin powermate. In fact, that's all that you can use (okay, you can use a keyboard). Also not been updated in a while.
    3. NAS Air - Runs on Adobe AIR for cross platform crunchy goodness.
    4. Front Row - You already know about this.
    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

  6. #6
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    Do any of these use the iTunes playlists like front row does?

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    Amp and AmpXM do. I am not sure about NAS Air. I don't think ICE3 does. At least not the version I'm running.

    However, ICE3 includes a couple of good features like a dimmer, coverflow and so forth.

    NAS Air also looks nice although I've had trouble getting it to run on my older machines so haven't had a chance to get a nice test of it.
    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

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    NAS Air also looks nice although I've had trouble getting it to run on my older machines so haven't had a chance to get a nice test of it.
    bugbyte: can you shoot me a pm with the problems you are having on the older hardware? I don't any older hardware to test on so i would like to hear what problems you are having to try and get them resolved. thanks
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

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    Constant Bitrate Project07MACry's Avatar
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    Hmm, I find this thread to be quite informative. Thanks to all who have contributed...

    @ jellymonster: Aside from the FE software, you'll might want to consider whether you want to run GPS on your computer, and whether you'll use it for basic stuff (internet, productivity, etc.) On my mini, I am using VirtualBox, a PC emulator, so that I can use iGuidance as my GPS. There is a Mac counterpart, but based on info I've received, nothing comes close to iGuidance. I'm not sure how it will work for a Hackintosh, but that is something you might want to consider if you wanna use GPS software...
    Also, if you are not using a head unit or factory radio, you'll definitely want to look into a radio/satellite add-on. Just thought I'd mention that...

    @ Bugbyte & Natedawgg: I am officially in the market for FE software. Whether it works with iGuidance doesn't matter, as long as it is effective. I guess what i wanna know is between NAS Air and Ice3, which one works better. If I could try both of them, that probably would work for me. But I figure I get your opinions before I buy. Thanks much...

  10. #10
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    No need to buy. Both are free. Install them both and enjoy!

    @Natedawgg - I retract my statement! Version 2.0 works as advertised. The problem I'd had was that I couldn't get it to recognize my music library path. I would set it but it just wouldn't take. I just tried the new version and it works nice. BTW-love the GPS screen for it! THAT'S what I've been envisioning for a long time!
    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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