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Marc Sherman
2005-04-14, 10:16
This is rather off-topic, but hopefully someone here can suggest
something helpful...

Does anyone make a decent car MP3 player any more? There used to be a
bunch of them on the market, but it looks like they've all disappeared.
Something like an in-dash controller, with a trunk-based HD, would be
ideal for me, I think. Are those on the market anywhere?

Thanks,
- Marc

Mark Gillespie
2005-04-14, 10:29
Marc,

I've just bought myself an Omnifi DMP1

http://www.omnifimedia.com/products/omnifi_details.jsp?productId=12541

I haven't installed it yet but I have been geeky enough to bring a battery
in off my car and listen to it on my home stereo.

It seems to be a great bit of kit apart from it has only got a 20GB disk.
I reckon it will only be a laptop hard disk though so it will probably
upgrade ok. Of course it might not be...I haven't got round to taking it
apart yet.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Marc Sherman
Sent: 14 April 2005 18:16
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: [slim] Car players?

This is rather off-topic, but hopefully someone here can suggest
something helpful...

Does anyone make a decent car MP3 player any more? There used to be a
bunch of them on the market, but it looks like they've all disappeared.
Something like an in-dash controller, with a trunk-based HD, would be
ideal for me, I think. Are those on the market anywhere?

Thanks,
- Marc

Michael Haan
2005-04-14, 10:36
I've been thinking about this one: http://www.phatnoise.com/products/digitalmediaplayers/index.php









>From: Marc Sherman <msherman (AT) projectile (DOT) ca>



>Reply-To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>



>To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>



>Subject: [slim] Car players?



>Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 13:16:08 -0400



>



>This is rather off-topic, but hopefully someone here can suggest



>something helpful...



>



>Does anyone make a decent car MP3 player any more?  There used to be



>a bunch of them on the market, but it looks like they've all



>disappeared.  Something like an in-dash controller, with a



>trunk-based HD, would be ideal for me, I think.  Are those on the



>market anywhere?



>



>Thanks,



>- Marc



>_______________________________________________



>Discuss mailing list



>Discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com



>http://lists.slimdevices.com/lists/listinfo/discuss

hubner
2005-04-14, 10:39
Michael Haan wrote:
> I've been thinking about this one:
> http://www.phatnoise.com/products/digitalmediaplayers/index.php

Dension (of Ice Link fame - ipod connector for cars) has a range of
products: http://www.dension.com/allproducts.htm

/Johan

Aaron Zinck
2005-04-14, 10:55
> I've just bought myself an Omnifi DMP1
>
> http://www.omnifimedia.com/products/omnifi_details.jsp?productId=12541
>
> I haven't installed it yet but I have been geeky enough to bring a battery
> in off my car and listen to it on my home stereo.
>
> It seems to be a great bit of kit apart from it has only got a 20GB disk.
> I reckon it will only be a laptop hard disk though so it will probably
> upgrade ok. Of course it might not be...I haven't got round to taking it
> apart yet.


I've had a DMP1 for a few months now and have been quite happy with it (esp.
considering the price I found it for: $117!).

Overall it's a pretty good machine but there are a few issues that one ought
to be aware of (listed in order of egregiousness):

1. There are no fast-forward or rewind controls, just skip forward and skip
back (this is mainly a problem when you're listening to audio books or other
long tracks)

2. It has a tendency to lock up when you quickly execute transport controls
backwards then forwards (once you get used to it this isn't such a big deal,
just be slow and gentle with it). Overall the device is fairly slow and
sluggish.

3. The software it comes with (simplecenter) is a beast of a java app,
completely devoid of features and options, and is terrible about updating
its tag database when changes are made. Sometimes it takes moving files out
of your music folder then back in for it to recognize changes. It also has
a 10,000 song limit (which is thankfully defeatable via a hack you can find
on the very useful omnifi forum on yahoo). There are some other pieces of
software which people are trying to develop to replace simplecenter but I
haven't found any that are really useful yet.

4. It's not nearly as flexible as a squeezebox when it comes to on-the-fly
playlist creation. There's a crude and awkward way to create a 20-song
custom playlist in the car, but you're pretty much limited to playing saved
playlists, or entire genres, or an entire album, or an entire artist's
work--and no combination of the above.

5. The only info available about a currently playing track is track title
and artist. This feels so limiting after being spoiled by my squeezebox.

6. I use the wireless adapter to sync from my computer in the middle of the
night and whenever a wireless sync occurs the "resume" position is lost so
that when I turn my car back on I have to queue up my music again.


Despite those shortcomings, I still find it incredibly enjoyable to have my
entire music collection available to me in my car. FYI, the hard-drive is
simple a laptop drive and can be upgraded--there are sites out there that
provide detailed instructions on how to do this. People have even had
success adding an external usb drive to the setup (the car's hard-drive
enclosure has a couple of usb ports on it). While there seems to be no more
development on this product from the manufacturer they at least still do
answer the phone on their support line and I was impressed how helpful they
were when I called them.

Kevin O. Lepard
2005-04-14, 11:01
If you aren't wedded to the idea of a hard-drive based in-car player,
a CD-RW players that handles MP3's works really well. An iPod
connected to the car stereo also works well and has the advantage of
being removable so you can take the iPod with you.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard
kolepard (AT) charter (DOT) net

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

jmpage2
2005-04-14, 11:04
I have a Phatnoise Phatbox in my Audi A4. The primary advantage of the Phatbox is that in supported cars it integrates directly into the factory stereo so no rip-out and replace is needed. Your car still has a stock "factory" appearance and all navigation is done via TTS voice tags through the factory controls.

The main beef that I have with Phatnoise is that they refuse to allow users to upgrade the hard disk in their DMS cartridge going so far as to re-write data in the hard drive with an encrypted key, preventing any user from doing their own upgrades. They charge something like $400 for an 80GB DMS which is ridiculous IMO.

The unit does work well though, I've had mine since the product was originally released 3.5 yrs ago and it's worked great. Their music management software leaves a lot to be desired but once you have the bulk of your music loaded very little needs to be done anyways.

Mark Gillespie
2005-04-14, 11:47
Have you got any idea what the maximum sized hard disk you can replace the
original with?

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Aaron Zinck
Sent: 14 April 2005 18:56
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: Re: [slim] Car players?

> I've just bought myself an Omnifi DMP1
>
> http://www.omnifimedia.com/products/omnifi_details.jsp?productId=12541
>
> I haven't installed it yet but I have been geeky enough to bring a battery
> in off my car and listen to it on my home stereo.
>
> It seems to be a great bit of kit apart from it has only got a 20GB disk.
> I reckon it will only be a laptop hard disk though so it will probably
> upgrade ok. Of course it might not be...I haven't got round to taking it
> apart yet.


I've had a DMP1 for a few months now and have been quite happy with it (esp.
considering the price I found it for: $117!).

Overall it's a pretty good machine but there are a few issues that one ought
to be aware of (listed in order of egregiousness):

1. There are no fast-forward or rewind controls, just skip forward and skip
back (this is mainly a problem when you're listening to audio books or other
long tracks)

2. It has a tendency to lock up when you quickly execute transport controls
backwards then forwards (once you get used to it this isn't such a big deal,
just be slow and gentle with it). Overall the device is fairly slow and
sluggish.

3. The software it comes with (simplecenter) is a beast of a java app,
completely devoid of features and options, and is terrible about updating
its tag database when changes are made. Sometimes it takes moving files out
of your music folder then back in for it to recognize changes. It also has
a 10,000 song limit (which is thankfully defeatable via a hack you can find
on the very useful omnifi forum on yahoo). There are some other pieces of
software which people are trying to develop to replace simplecenter but I
haven't found any that are really useful yet.

4. It's not nearly as flexible as a squeezebox when it comes to on-the-fly
playlist creation. There's a crude and awkward way to create a 20-song
custom playlist in the car, but you're pretty much limited to playing saved
playlists, or entire genres, or an entire album, or an entire artist's
work--and no combination of the above.

5. The only info available about a currently playing track is track title
and artist. This feels so limiting after being spoiled by my squeezebox.

6. I use the wireless adapter to sync from my computer in the middle of the
night and whenever a wireless sync occurs the "resume" position is lost so
that when I turn my car back on I have to queue up my music again.


Despite those shortcomings, I still find it incredibly enjoyable to have my
entire music collection available to me in my car. FYI, the hard-drive is
simple a laptop drive and can be upgraded--there are sites out there that
provide detailed instructions on how to do this. People have even had
success adding an external usb drive to the setup (the car's hard-drive
enclosure has a couple of usb ports on it). While there seems to be no more
development on this product from the manufacturer they at least still do
answer the phone on their support line and I was impressed how helpful they
were when I called them.

Aaron Zinck
2005-04-14, 12:02
> Have you got any idea what the maximum sized hard disk you can replace the
> original with?


No I don't, though I know folks have used 80 gig drives, so at least that
big.

Here's a good resource for you:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/omnifi/

and this one, too:
http://members.cox.net/techfire/omnifi/

Mark Gillespie
2005-04-14, 15:01
Thanks for those links.
I have already found a 100GB disk that should fit it :)

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Aaron Zinck
Sent: 14 April 2005 20:02
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: Re: [slim] Car players?

> Have you got any idea what the maximum sized hard disk you can replace the
> original with?


No I don't, though I know folks have used 80 gig drives, so at least that
big.

Here's a good resource for you:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/omnifi/

and this one, too:
http://members.cox.net/techfire/omnifi/

Apteryx
2005-04-14, 21:42
I also have a Phatbox, mine running against a Kenwood H/U. Has performed flawlessly for the last 18 months including a migration from Sony firmware and H/U.

Marc Sherman
2005-04-15, 07:27
Aaron Zinck wrote:
>
> 3. The software it comes with (simplecenter) is a beast of a java app,
> completely devoid of features and options, and is terrible about updating
> its tag database when changes are made. Sometimes it takes moving files out
> of your music folder then back in for it to recognize changes. It also has
> a 10,000 song limit (which is thankfully defeatable via a hack you can find
> on the very useful omnifi forum on yahoo). There are some other pieces of
> software which people are trying to develop to replace simplecenter but I
> haven't found any that are really useful yet.
>
> 6. I use the wireless adapter to sync from my computer in the middle of the
> night and whenever a wireless sync occurs the "resume" position is lost so
> that when I turn my car back on I have to queue up my music again.

A couple questions about this -- is the simplecenter software a server
like slimserver, or is it a client that you can fire up only when you
want to update the contents of the car's hd? I keep a pretty tight
reign on my mp3 collection, so I don't mind much if the synch with the
car HD is a bit of an involved process. But given that my slimserver is
on a linux box, which exports my mp3 collection to my windows boxes over
samba, I'd need to be able to run the simplecenter either a> on my linux
box (which is console only, no x installed) or b> on a windows client
with read-only access to the mp3 library.

How was the install? Did you do it yourself, or did you have it done?

- Marc

Aaron Zinck
2005-04-15, 08:39
> A couple questions about this -- is the simplecenter software a server
> like slimserver, or is it a client that you can fire up only when you
> want to update the contents of the car's hd? I keep a pretty tight
> reign on my mp3 collection, so I don't mind much if the synch with the
> car HD is a bit of an involved process. But given that my slimserver is
> on a linux box, which exports my mp3 collection to my windows boxes over
> samba, I'd need to be able to run the simplecenter either a> on my linux
> box (which is console only, no x installed) or b> on a windows client
> with read-only access to the mp3 library.

Simplecenter supports both the DMP1 (omnifi's mobile device) and the DMS1
(omnifi's home-audio squeezebox-like device). It provides server
functionality for the DMS1 (which has no built-in hard drive), but when used
with the DMP1 it's simply something that tracks your mp3 collection and
allows you to sync the hard drive. Since I use the wireless sync capability
of the DMP1 I leave it running at all times, but if you're only going to
manually sync your setup you could certainly only fire it up only whenever
you want to sync. The sync with the HD really isn't an involved process at
all--it's quite simple really--the only thing "involved" about it is getting
Simplecenter to accurately reflect what's in your music collection. It's
terrible about picking up changes to your collection--it picks up new stuff
just fine, but if you change tags or delete things, forget it. And despite
being written in Java, I don't think it'll run on your linux box--seems like
I remember the requirements specifying windows.

> How was the install? Did you do it yourself, or did you have it done?

I did the install myself and it was a piece of cake. I had an empty
single-din space under my head unit that I used. I had to build a little
mounting bracket to hold it since the screws weren't really in the right
place to screw into my my console. It's nice that the power, audio, and
control cables are all integrated into the single cable run back to the
hard-drive unit.

Marc Sherman
2005-04-15, 13:07
Aaron Zinck wrote:
>
> I've had a DMP1 for a few months now and have been quite happy with it (esp.
> considering the price I found it for: $117!).

One more question, Aaron, if you don't mind.

The specs page for this device lists:
Operating Temperature: 5C to 55C

Where do you live? Have you ever had a problem using the player in the
winter?

- Marc

Aaron Zinck
2005-04-15, 13:27
> The specs page for this device lists:
> Operating Temperature: 5C to 55C
>
> Where do you live? Have you ever had a problem using the player in the
> winter?

Haha, no real trouble in the winter for me--I live in Gainesville, Florida
(USA). One cold (cold for us at least, maybe ~40 degrees, it was probably
close to freezing that night) morning I got in my car to go to work and for
about the first minute or so the player displayed a message that the
temperature was out of operating range and it wouldn't let me use the
system. After about a minute I glanced down and saw that the message was
gone and the unit had booted and I was able to use it normally. I'm still
waiting to see if I'm going to have any issues in the summertime--it hasn't
gotten real hot here yet.

You'll notice that one of those links I posted earlier specifies how to
bypass the temp sensor so that the player doesn't cut out on you (though, of
course, this may lead to a *real* failure if using it outside the
recommended range is truly dangerous for the unit).

Aaron Zinck
2005-04-15, 13:32
> (USA). One cold (cold for us at least, maybe ~40 degrees, it was probably
> close to freezing that night) morning I got in my car to go to work and
for

40 degrees Fahrenheit