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Thread: Looking for a truly simple Mp3 carputer project

  1. #1
    Newbie Porter's Avatar
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    Looking for a truly simple Mp3 carputer project

    I have a great head unit with an auxiliary input, I'm looking for a very focused Mp3 player source project based around a DIN form factor, to go in the lower half of my double-din opening.


    I'd like to figure out a way to set up the following:

    • Single-chassis DIN mount carputer
    • Mp3 playback is the only format requirement
    • DIN faceplate display (simple text) with simple button or knob navigation
    • RCA or mini-jack LINE OUT to head unit
    • Auto boot/shutdown with ignition


    A removable HD would be nice but not 100% necessary
    USB storage media interface would be nice but not 100% necessary
    DC-DC power supply would be nice but not 100% necessary

    Does anyone know of a project or existing product that would meet these requirements?

    Thanks!

    Porter

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    Why not just get an MP3 player and connect it to the head unit if thats at all possible.

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    Newbie Porter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexdiamond20 View Post
    Why not just get an MP3 player and connect it to the head unit if thats at all possible.
    That's a good suggestion... but I am already doing that with a Creative Zen Micro:Photo.

    My major gripes with that setup are usability and sound quality. Having a hard-drive based MP3 player sticking up obtrusively near the shifter with a cable sticking out of it is inconvenient, and the sound quality out of a headphone jack (through a volume control) is not the best. Also, the unit has to be manually turned on and off and removed from the car on a regular basis for recharging. If this thing had a real line-out jack I would probably just continue doing what I'm doing, but Mp3 players that have a true line-out seem to be both very rare and/or very expensive.

    Having an in-dash carputer dedicated for Mp3 seems like it would be the best thing, other than paying $$Texas for a high capacity iPod (baaaaa) and a good dock solution. My other thought was to use an iAudio M3 with the wired remote mounted on the dash, but again they're well over $300 and I still have the manual on/off and upgradability problem.


    Other (discontinued) projects and products similar to what I'm looking for include the Empeg (later "Rio Car"), the SSI Neo Car, the Dension DMP3, and the YAMPP. None of those are available any longer.

    I'm wondering if anyone has a "current" project based around available hardware and firmware. I've been looking at some of the single-board computers from WinSystems and scratching my head trying to figure out how one would rig up a front panel interface.


    Any thoughts or suggestions (no matter how crazy) would be greatly appreciated!! If I'm just asking for a world of pain, tell me so.

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    Low Bitrate jbraddoc's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Newbie Porter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbraddoc View Post
    The PhatNoise doesn't seem to have a head-end controller of any kind, it's designed to work with a factory stereo or a Kenwood deck that specifically supports it via the CD Changer interface.

    Unless I'm missing something about the PhatNoise? If it had a head end controller, like a wired remote panel, that would be awesome.

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    The PhatNoise box works like a CD Changer. How much simpler could it be?

  7. #7
    Newbie Porter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indemnity83 View Post
    The PhatNoise box works like a CD Changer. How much simpler could it be?
    There's no way to plug it into my Eclipse CD8443, as far as I know. I don't think it has an Eclipse-type CD changer interface.

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    Why not replace your head unit with a Kenwood then?

    It will still probably be cheaper than a whole computer.

  9. #9
    Newbie Porter's Avatar
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    I really appreciate your help, guys... but come on. The PhatBox alone is $700!! Now you're saying I should buy a Kenwood head unit to have the privelige of attaching one to the car? It sounds like an effective solution, but that's way higher than I'm looking to spend for ICE.


    Does anybody have any suggestions of an actual standalone Mp3 solution of some kind?

    Hell, all it has to have is storage of some kind, a stereo line-out, a "brain", and a control panel that fits (in some fashion) a DIN opening.

    I'm even open to solutions that involve a portable player (line-out required) and a remote LCD interface that I could mount. Does anyone have any ideas?

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate rijndael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porter View Post
    I really appreciate your help, guys... but come on. The PhatBox alone is $700!! Now you're saying I should buy a Kenwood head unit to have the privelige of attaching one to the car? It sounds like an effective solution, but that's way higher than I'm looking to spend for ICE.


    Does anybody have any suggestions of an actual standalone Mp3 solution of some kind?

    Hell, all it has to have is storage of some kind, a stereo line-out, a "brain", and a control panel that fits (in some fashion) a DIN opening.

    I'm even open to solutions that involve a portable player (line-out required) and a remote LCD interface that I could mount. Does anyone have any ideas?
    what you could try is dbPowerAMP...its software, but if you get your computer in your car, with all the music you want (in any format..it will even play FLAC and ALC)...you dont even have to install a screen. the player starts up automatically when the comp starts, and all you will need is a wireless keyboard to skip songs you dont want to listen to...no screen needed.

    so once you get the install complete of the computer, install that payer, and you're good to go...
    Trouble deciding on car speakers? Clicky Clicky
    Speakers: DLS Ultimate Iridium 6.3 Link
    Subwoofer: removed
    Amplifier#1 (Front Stage): DLS Ultimate A4
    Amplifier#2 (Sub) removed
    Carputer: Removed for tablet install

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