A good place to start: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advfaq.php
Hi everyone, this my first post here and would appreciate some insight into what I want to do.
I am thinking to take my first venture into building a carputer. Being an audiophile, I have had some experience building conventional car stereos. I was about to rip out all the factory equipment in my 2006 Mustang and replace it with all aftermarket. Then comes the light bulb.
Lets try something different. Since I couldn't find a HU that I absolutely love, how about instead, use my mac mini (since we all love Mac's) as a glorified jukebox and put a double din size LCD screen in place of the HU.
Sounds all good but the problem is, I have no idea how to do this as well as a few questions I would like answered to help steer me towards this crazy idea.
1. As I stated above, I am an audiophile. I love to listen to music in my vehicles in the highest quality that I can get for a given budget. I know with a conventional stereo build I can achieve this, but how will the quality of audio be coming from a CPU?
2. Will I be able to install amps to power my speakers and have similar if not the same benefits/freedoms of using an aftermarket HU?
3. Controls? I don't care to ride around with my wireless keyboard and mouse. That's just not a safe thing to do.
4. Would I be able to have the mini power on/off with the car without hurting the CPU? What I am looking for here is to have the CPU go into sleep mode when the car is off.
5. I'm not rich. I buy nice things but I like to keep them nice. Would installing my Mac in the Mustang result in a shorter lifespan?
I believe i can achieve for around $500 (the max I was willing to pay for a HU) since I think I already have most of the things I need. The Mac, amps, and speakers. The only thing I can think of that I'm missing is a LCD screen (around $300) and the necessary stuff for wiring (around $100).
If I'm on the right track, let me know. If not, can someone put me on the path to carputer heaven?
5. While my Mac has lasted several years in the car, there is no doubt that a car environment is greater wear and tear on a vehicle. Heat, cold, and vibration shorten the lifespan of a computer not intended to be put in a car. If that scares you, you shouldn't do it.
i don't know much about macs, or the software available for them, but i do know a couple of audio things
1. the audio quality depends entirely on what bitrate you have saved all your music at-- if you ripped everything at 64bps, it is going to sound like junk no matter what you use. if you took care to rip everything at at least 192bps, i don't think that it should sound any worse than any comparable head unit.
2. this is where it can get as easy or as complex as you want-- you could either use the crossovers on the amps for a simple setup, or you could go full active, using audio software and a soundcard, and have the computer control what amp gets what signal... there are many options here, and none of them are less 'correct' then others...
3. after looking at the faq's, go by the mac section near the bottom of the forum-- there is stome stuff (front ends) that should fix that, but i still don't think it is a good idea to leave the house without a keyboard...