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jfalk
2012-03-08, 14:46
I just bought a 2010 Mercedes Benz. The multimedia system in the car has a PCMCIA slot which will take a 32GB card with an adapter. The system works OK, I guess, complete with display,but I don't see any obvious reason that Mercedes couldn't install some version of squeezecenter in the car.

The Mercedes system: (a) takes only MP3s (b) has a 4,000 track limit (c) has a 255 file folder limit, including subfolders (this is a ridiculous limitation and causes almost all the relevant problems) and (d) doesn't read tags: it just displays the folder and filename on the screen.

So I've made this work by using artist folders (with a misc folder for artists without many tracks) and then using mp3tag to make the filename [first letter of album name]-[track no]-[song name]-[album name]. This at least puts the files in the right order, and although the album name (and sometimes the song title) is almost invariably cut off I can sort of make it work. But it makes me realize how spoiled Slim Devices have made me.

And when you think how close this is to being useful -- it reads a 32GB card; it plays music; it allows you to select music by twirling a dial and move between folders by punching the dial, and it has a display -- just a little more software and --- oh, well.

pski
2012-03-08, 14:50
I just bought a 2010 Mercedes Benz. The multimedia system in the car has a PCMCIA slot which will take a 32GB card with an adapter. The system works OK, I guess, complete with display,but I don't see any obvious reason that Mercedes couldn't install some version of squeezecenter in the car.

The Mercedes system: (a) takes only MP3s (b) has a 4,000 track limit (c) has a 255 file folder limit, including subfolders (this is a ridiculous limitation and causes almost all the relevant problems) and (d) doesn't read tags: it just displays the folder and filename on the screen.

So I've made this work by using artist folders (with a misc folder for artists without many tracks) and then using mp3tag to make the filename [first letter of album name]-[track no]-[song name]-[album name]. This at least puts the files in the right order, and although the album name (and sometimes the song title) is almost invariably cut off I can sort of make it work. But it makes me realize how spoiled Slim Devices have made me.

And when you think how close this is to being useful -- it reads a 32GB card; it plays music; it allows you to select music by twirling a dial and move between folders by punching the dial, and it has a display -- just a little more software and --- oh, well.

Sounds like you'd be better off with a Pioneer head unit attached to a USB HD. (Mine's an 80GB.)

P

garym
2012-03-08, 14:54
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=80255&highlight=touch+car
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=93228&highlight=touch+car

maggior
2012-03-08, 15:07
Does the car have iPod integration? Our cars (2010 Volvo XC 70 and 2012 Volvo S60) have a usb port which can accept an iPod or a usb storage device (thumb drive, etc).

The usb storage capability is much like what you've said you have in your car. The iPod integration though uses the tags and has the advantage of providing gapless playback since the iPod provides that. I had an 80 GB iPod I didn't really use any more, so I've dedicated it to my car. For my wife's car, I bought a used one on the Amazon marketplace for a little over $100. I only need to remove them to add music occasionally. It's worked out great!

Getting a squeezebox to work in a car is an interesting technical challenge, but I think it's a bit of overkill. FLAC would be nice in the car, but honestly, high quality LAME mp3 files are more than sufficient.

If your car supports iPod integration and you aren't fiercely anti-Apple, that would be my suggestion.

garym
2012-03-08, 15:09
If your car supports iPod integration and you aren't fiercely anti-Apple, that would be my suggestion.

agree, I use old ipods and or what's on my iphone in my cars...

garym
2012-03-08, 15:10
If your car supports iPod integration and you aren't fiercely anti-Apple, that would be my suggestion.

agree, I use old ipods and or what's on my iphone in my cars...
edit: and frankly now days mostly listen to siriusXM in the car....

Recoveryone
2012-03-08, 20:09
Most aftermarket HU have the ability to playback high level ACC and Mp3's along with being able to stream Bluetooth which allows you to listen to LastFm, Pandora and the music files on your phone. I justed ordered the Pioneer DEH P9400BH for my car. Along with HD radio.

maggior
2012-03-08, 20:14
Most aftermarket HU have the ability to playback high level ACC and Mp3's along with being able to stream Bluetooth which allows you to listen to LastFm, Pandora and the music files on your phone. I justed ordered the Pioneer DEH P9400BH for my car. Along with HD radio.

If only my cars would allow for an aftermarket stereo. They are OK - I could certainly do worse...I just don't like having no choice.

RonM
2012-03-08, 21:28
This not really a reply to the OP, but there are full fledged computers that are built for use in places like cars, and which support LMS. The FitPC line, for instance, is the size of a cigarette pack, no moving parts (except the hd) and is widely used in robotics and, yes, vehicles. Also more conventional environments. I use one as my dedicated music server, running LMS and holding all of my many thousands of mostly lossless tracks (500gb hd). Extremely robust build quality.

It is not hard to conceptualize a car system centered on a Fit, with perhaps an old Receiver in play, output to a power amp or even into the aux input of the existing car stereo. You would need something to control the system, a smartphone for instance. An interesting hobbyist project.

See www.fit-pc.com

Ron

jfalk
2012-03-09, 07:39
Thanks to all for interesting ideas.
pski suggests a different head unit... sure, but integrated into the screen I already have and use for GPS, backup monitor, etc?
Yes, the car has iPod integration, but I am in fact an Applephobe, though I grant that the solution would probably work, and work better than what I have now. Of course, I'd have to reach into the glovebox to turn it on and I'd have to remember to turn it off,right?
I like RonM's idea a lot, especially since I currently use a Linux-powered dedicated Guruplug at home to run squeezecenter. The real question (beyond wiring it up correctly) is whether boot-up on car startup would be too slow.
I should add that I wasn't really trying to think about getting a SB to work -- that does sound a little too difficult. i was thinking that LMS software could easily power the sysem I already have instead of the clearly slapped-together solution they provide.

maggior
2012-03-09, 07:47
Of course, I'd have to reach into the glovebox to turn it on and I'd have to remember to turn it off,right?

No, you don't. The iPod will stop playing on its own and will turn itself off in time. It quickly will go into sleep mode. The connection in my car is in the storage compartment in the center console. I drop it in there and forget about it until I have to pull it out to update the music on it.

The idea of installing a PC in the car with the associated wiring is an interesting geek endeavor and would certainly work. However, the iPod solution would give you equally good fidelity with a much simpler solution.

froth
2012-03-12, 16:50
Could something like iPeng with playback be used on your iphone where you just plug the output of the iphone into an input into the deck? Then as long as you have the ability to connect to your LMS from outside your network you could do some streaming?

JJZolx
2012-03-12, 17:10
Thanks to all for interesting ideas.
pski suggests a different head unit... sure, but integrated into the screen I already have and use for GPS, backup monitor, etc?

Yes. Although it depends on what software you're running and what kind of computer. If it's a factory installed system, then it's hard to say.

See: http://www.mp3car.com

ganzbaf
2012-03-13, 06:17
The Mercedes system: (a) takes only MP3s (b) has a 4,000 track limit (c) has a 255 file folder limit, including subfolders (this is a ridiculous limitation and causes almost all the relevant problems) and (d) doesn't read tags: it just displays the folder and filename on the screen.

What car are you talking about?

I am just asking because I have a similar system that can read tags. I do not use the PCMCIA slot but a hdd that is connected via USB.

jfalk
2012-03-14, 14:50
2010 GLK (although the same system is in all current Mercedes, I believe). There is an alternative system which reads CDs and creates an up to 6GB database using Gracenote tags. This system is, for many reasons, no good for me.

I'm still looking into the USB system which I thought was not really navigable on-screen. It's really the same system the IPod uses -- just with a different connector. But it's how you send commands to the player that matters....

socistep
2012-03-15, 03:20
Audio in the car is one area which I still have to rely on apple unfortunately (and occasionally cd)

I have a ford focus and installed a Kenwood head unit, it has a direct connection for iPod/iPhone so I can control on the stereo itself, mainly I use spotify on my old iphone 3G whilst listening as it has all 'new music' on, I had to jailbreak and install 'Music controls' app to be able to fully use the spotify app with the stereo but it works very well, I then occasionally use an ipod which has 'Top Rated' tracks on and obviously more capacity to store them - thats mainly when my girlfriend is in the car and she doesn't like my music!

I'm mainly an Android user so I'm hoping that in time there will be head units that come out which will support my Android phone and tablet and cut down on the number of devices I need to use!

Dogberry2
2012-03-18, 11:16
I have the SYNC system in my Ford Taurus. Didn't know what SYNC was at the time I bought the car, but it works really well. I have 500GB Iomega USB HD in it, with somewhere around 10K tracks copied from my home system. It's voice-controlled; I just say, for example, "play album 'Head Hunters'" and the albums starts playing immediately. It also handles playlists; I have about 40 or 50 set up. The system doesn't handle FLAC, which is what my SB system in the house uses, but I have always maintained a duplicate of my library on MP3 for use in portable devices, or ease of sending a track to someone, so I use the MP3 copies in the car's HD. The SYNC system isn't as feature-filled as the home SB system, but it's pretty good for in the car, and the voice control aspect makes it really easy.