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Thread: Need Music, Carputer or Stereo Deck?

  1. #1
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    Need Music, Carputer or Stereo Deck?

    I'm stuck in the search of some way to have all/most of my music in my car.

    I've been directed here as you guys are pretty knowledgable about these things. Anyways, I'm looking for a car stereo deck that will accept an external hard drive. Many of these have a 10,000 file limit, a select few have 65,000 file limit. I'm looking for something that can support atleast 250GB of music if not more if/when my media library reaches that amount. I have been hinted on a few details I am missing such as these HU's (head units) can't power the hard drives so i'll have to find an external enclosure with a 12v input. Right now my determining factor would be how much media can be indexed and easily accessed. So I have been told that a carputer may be the way to go. I don't think I need all the extra junk that a carputer involves though. Feel free to treat me as a complete newbie as I know that I have many gaps in my knowledge. THat's what I am here for, to learn. Just keep in mind, budget is a big factor.

  2. #2
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shill View Post
    I have been hinted on a few details I am missing such as these HU's (head units) can't power the hard drives so i'll have to find an external enclosure with a 12v input.
    There's no need for looking at specifically 12v, no matter what enclosure you get, you'll still require a DC to DC adapter, or an inverter. You can get a small 5v for a laptop or a 12v 3.5" enclosure. Car power is an unregulated 12v, which *could* damage a 12v enclosure with a spike and kill your entire collection in a flash.

    Not many of us use head units that will accept USB drives here, might not be too many people commenting on that.

    You might be a perfect candidate for a netbook carPC install. My suggestion would be to look at all the completed projects and figure out what all you think you're going to need/want. Then come back with a game plan and we can go from there.
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  3. #3
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    i disagree with tidder--if you really aren't all that crazy about the idea of a carpc, then don't do it.

    carpc's are a computer hobby, if you aren't all that interested in computers, or another hobby, it will quickly get frustrating fast..

    if the only reason you are interested in carpc's is the amount of music you can carry, i would recommend slimming down your music collection to a hu-usable size.

    i built a carpc kind of for a large music collection(mostly for audio processing), but i have slimmed down my in-car music to about 40gigs-- it is honestly more then i can remember i have..

  4. #4
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    That was my first thought as well, but after re-reading the OP's post a few times, I came to the conclusion that the boat load of music in the car was the end goal, with the means to get there as the question.

    To the OP, this really could go either way. You could do the research and end up with a full-featured (read expensive) HU that has quirks that you absolutely hate, or you could end up with a CarPC that you're constantly having to tweak and fix. Either way, if the end result is to have a load of music available at the drop of a hat, you're in for fun ride.

    I would think if cost and featureless are the key elements, a netbook may be the perfect solution. 8.9" eeePCs are going on ebay for around $150 these days. Fab one into the dash, spend $50 or so on a good startup/shutdown controller, and the bulk of the machine is done without a lot of extra, useless features. Add a touchscreen kit for $70 and viola, it's a carPC.
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  5. #5
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    ok, so i agree with tidder, and i need to read slower..

    so, Shill, how much music(both songs, and gb capacity) do you currently have?

  6. #6
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    Cumulatively I'd say I have approx 600-700GB. But after calculating the amount that I can fit on an external 250GB. I feel that 250GB is plenty for the car. I can always pull it out of the car and swap files in a matter of minutes if needed. I am a nerd, I love building my computers. You are right, it will turn into a big project and i'll be tinkering until it is near perfect. Not another hobby I quite want to pick up at the moment. A Head Unit is quick, simple and cheap (considering all the money i'd feel I had to spend on a carputer) If I needed a computer in the car, i'd be more than happy settling with a laptop in the passenger seat.

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    Here is a novel idea...

    You said that you are not really convinced that you want an autopc...so, don't do it. Your right about the capacity limits on the head units...so, start thinking outside the box! Buy a reasonable head unit with a USB input and buy 10 8GB USB thumb-drives...organize them in a thumb-drive case and ta-dah! WHEN you fill up the 80GB of space, WOW, buy more thumb-drives. I say "WOW" because 80GB is a TON of MP3's...you WILL FORGET A LOT of the music on your drives, believe me! One day you will want to hear "this song" and you will go to put it on the appropriate thumb-drive and come to find that it is already on there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkhorse972 View Post
    You said that you are not really convinced that you want an autopc...so, don't do it. Your right about the capacity limits on the head units...so, start thinking outside the box! Buy a reasonable head unit with a USB input and buy 10 8GB USB thumb-drives...organize them in a thumb-drive case and ta-dah! WHEN you fill up the 80GB of space, WOW, buy more thumb-drives. I say "WOW" because 80GB is a TON of MP3's...you WILL FORGET A LOT of the music on your drives, believe me! One day you will want to hear "this song" and you will go to put it on the appropriate thumb-drive and come to find that it is already on there.
    If I had to go that route, i'd build a puter. That is an aweful big waste of money when I could just buy a dvd unit and burn myself 10 DL DVDs. The whole point of this would be for convenience, not having to switch disks or drives while driving.

  9. #9
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    How about just using an mp3 player, plugged into the Aux In on your headunit? The UI on the mp3 player will be better than that on the head unit anyway.

    You can get a 160GB iPod Classic, or another brand of mp3 player that has more capacity.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shill View Post
    If I had to go that route, i'd build a puter. That is an aweful big waste of money when I could just buy a dvd unit and burn myself 10 DL DVDs. The whole point of this would be for convenience, not having to switch disks or drives while driving.
    I can't say that I agree...you can get 8GB thumb drives for $4/ea! that's $40...I don't see how it is possible to buy/build a computer for that! You could also purchase, say a Kenwood, unit that has the USB on the front and then you would not have to look at it while changing the drive while driving.

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