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car stereo recommendations
Old 04-06-2014, 05:48 AM   #1
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car stereo recommendations

I'm in the market for a new car stereo and am not up-to-date on the current technologies available. My current stereo just has a radio and CD player. I'd like one with a radio, CD player, and something I can connect my iPod to. Ideally, I'd like something that will charge up my iPod while using it AND where I can navigate the controls on the radio dashboard, without having to scroll using the iPod (which seems dangerous to me). Also, since I take my iPod with me, I want to be easily able to remove it from the car and take it with me. I've been in cars with friends where you can just hook up the iPod to a radio and it will play, but it does not charge it and you need to use the iPod to navigate playlists, etc.

If I get one with a USB input, will that do the trick? What other features should I ask about?
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
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I have a newer Pioneer deck in my FJ Cruiser that can do all of that, plus has Bluetooth so you can play music from the iPod/iPhone without a cable if you want. Most new decks will have all of this technology.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:35 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with all the new models or what tech is current, but here's an idea (that I have seen in the past):

Forget the iPod, and just store your music on a USB thumb drive. Some radios will allow you to just plug in the thumb drive, and the radio (and maybe through steering wheel controls) is used to pick the songs. The iPod's screen and wheel and everything except the flash memory is superfluous for this use.

You can get a 32GB thumb drive for ~ $20.

And FYI, just having a USB port does not mean that it will allow control of the iPod, you need to check that for the radio you are looking at. USB connectivity, and taking control of the unit are two different things. Though I suspect it's pretty common these days.

-ERD50
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Forget the iPod, and just store your music on a USB thumb drive.

-ERD50

Thanks and I do have some questions about this. Won't I lose the playlists on my iPod if I do this? And suppose I have 25 albums on my iPod and I want to play one of them. How would I chose the album to play?
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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Thanks and I do have some questions about this. Won't I lose the playlists on my iPod if I do this? And suppose I have 25 albums on my iPod and I want to play one of them. How would I chose the album to play?
Depends on the radio. I know there are some easy ways to create playlist files that are read by many players, I've done it before but forget the details. Look for refs to ".pla", ".pls" or ".m3u" files.

Most players of this type will allow you to scroll to an album (all the songs will be in a folder, under that album name"). And usually, you can create your own folders, and group songs that way. But that is less 'efficient' if you want some songs in multiple play lists, you'll end up with multiple copies. But if you don't duplicate many and/or have plenty of free space, that is simple and straightforward.

-ERD50
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity, I just went to the Crutchfield site, they seem to have a pretty nice way to drill down for radios that fit your vehicle, and you can filter for most of the things you want.

There were plenty if radios in the ~$70-$200 range for our CRV-EX. Oddly, an adapter to be able to use the steering wheel controls was also ~ $70.

But they had lots of options there.


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Old 04-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #7
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Thanks. I'll check it out.
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