I've had a real bear of a time trying to get something that will work with my music collection in my car PC. I've got a laptop running Windows 2000 in my car. 7" Touchscreen in the dash, audio from the laptop runs to the head unit aux in. No keyboard/mouse.
My music collection is in iTunes - I use it at home, I have 2 iPods, and it's staying on the laptop. 1/3 of my music is MP3, 1/3 is AAC (M4A), 1/3 is iTunes Music store stuff (M4P).
I've got the plugin for winamp that can read M4P files - they play fine (though no vis support unfortunately). But I just can't find any media management software that will put a nice, usable in-car front-end on it. Winamp's normal skins mostly stink for car use - finding music is a pain.
I tried MediaEngine, but it doesn't read the M4P "ID3" tags properly, so the files are all jumbled. If I could make it use filenames, it would be a little easier... The built-in keyboard search is great, but as far as I can tell, it takes forever to get from playing one song all the way back up the list to the top in order to start a new search - not good while driving. Is there an easier way to get around without having to scroll through the lists? Any way to "customize" the tags?
I tried Media Car, but it won't play my iTunes files - even though standalone winamp has no trouble.
I tried karmador, but couldn't get anything to work well.
All I really want is a nice skin for winamp. It needs big buttons, a nice legible font in the media library, and ideally, an on-screen keyboard that's better than windows' built in one - the buttons are too small. I'm having no luck. iTunes' own interface is great, other than the small font size and lack of on-screen keyboard for quick searching.
So who else uses iTunes media, and what have you gotten to work well in your carPC?
I think CPUFX has a good idea, just convert to other format, I know it could be pain but not much pain.
Also, how is your winamp setup, Media Car has its own copy of winamp, make sure that the plug in you installed is known to the winamp that Media Car is using, I had issues before and turned out that every thing installed went to the basic winamp folder not to the one came with Media Car, so I had to copy (replicate) the entire winamp folder over the one that came with MC.
Does tunebite convert the protected M4p's? That is, the ones you buy from the iTunes music store?
I've had similar problems to Serendipity finding a player for all types of music I have. The only one that plays everything is iTunes. Frodoplayer will play most of my stuff but on occasion will choke on one or another of the mp3's and of course it doesn't play any of the music I've purchased from the iTunes music store. Centrafuse is similar.
The only option I've been able to implement is to burn the purchased music to CD then rip it to mp3. That's more work than I'd like to do, but I've been successful with it. Still, it will occasionally not play some of the mp3's.
If there was an option to have iTunes as the player instead of directX or winamp... but that's probably too much to ask just to solve my issue.
[Edit] I looked up tunebite on the web and it does convert iTunes music. Looks like you basically play the music and it records it digitally in the format you want. Looks like I've got about 12 hours or music to convert. I may give it a try.
In the winamp forums you can find plugins for winamp that will play both AAC and Apple Lossless. However, they need to be put on the plugins folder of the winamp mediacar uses.I tried Media Car, but it won't play my iTunes files - even though standalone winamp has no trouble.
Hymn will remove the DRM of iTunes music store files.
Believe it or not tunebites is the only easy to use flawless program I have found. You open up tunebytes set it to automatic with the button on the interface and then just play all your songs in your Itunes purchased folder and tunebite will have them converted to mp3 or Ogg(linux users) from the original encrypted m4p format
If your real slick use a wireless card in your car and just shoot them out to the vehicle or pull them down while your sitting in the driveway. Another usefull program for that is foldershare and it is free up to like 2000 files shared on several machines. Folder share is what I used before I switched to running linux and just using a command line to get my files from the house. Folder share basically keeps all files duplicated throughout a network of home or office machines. So when you make changes in the house machine and you boot up the car computer it will login and download any new files you have to offer!
I have used all the programs I have mentioned and would not refere to them if they were not free or could not be had for free.
I subscribe to the Audible audio book club, they also have a protected format which wont work on anything other then their software and a few specific MP3 players. What I do I I convert them to MP3 format using the program: Total Recorder, now this program is not free software but I wanted to toss out the info becuase i know that it works for my needs.