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iPod / Car MP3 Questions

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by TheDufster, May 23, 2005.

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  1. TheDufster

    TheDufster
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    I want to be able to play my MP3 library that I have on my laptop at home, in my car. Approx 30+GB of music in total.

    I have considered buying a multi-stacking CD player that can play MP3 CDs but that would mean copying my collection to CD – a bit cumbersome especially everytime I add tracks and albums to my collection.

    I have also thought about an iPod with a car docking cradle. However, I don’t know anything about these and have some basic questions:
    1) Is it correct that an iPod doesn’t use folders?
    2) Does an iPod pick up on the MP3 tags for the album names? Otherwise how do you choose to play a particular album by an artist? Do you have to create a playlist for each album?
    3) If I bought a 20GB iPod, how does it sync with my PC if I have more than 20GB worth of music? Is there a 40GB iPod available? It’s just that I have seen some on the internet but apple.com doesn’t seem to suggest that one exists.
    4) What are the iPod car-cradle devices like? I assume I can keep the iPod charged and also route the sound through my car stereo using one of those FM transmitters (although I have heard these are actually illegal?!?!)

    Ideally what I want is some sort of device that I can easily sync with my PC, but it needs to be cost effective. The iPod seems like a reasonable solution but I need the above questions answering first.

    What other hard-drive based music systems are available for the car?

    Hope someone can help.
     
  2. mick's cat

    mick's cat
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    OK, in order:

    1 the iPod stores music in folders under artist name, then under album name. You set these all up in the free iTunes application. It's the mp3 tags that sort the folder accordingly. By default, this is automatically done by iTunes, but you can opt for this not to happen (though I don't know why you would do this). You can also setup playlists within iTunes, of selected tracks/albums and so on. When you dock the iPod to your computer, iTunes automatically by default (although again you can turn this off) transfers tracks/albums/artists/ playlists to the iPod

    2 yes, the iPod allows you to locate music from these mp3 tags, by artist, album, trackname, or playlist, quite simply with the clickwheel control. You can also select tracks/albums/artists to put into a playlist on-the-go (ie, as you use the iPod, without your computer)

    3 several ways: (a) you can turn off the automatic syncing from your iTunes library, so that you only update the music you want manually (b) use automatic syncing only with playlists (c) take music you don't want on the iPod out of the iTunes library. There are other third-party solutions too, like utilities to allow several iTunes libraries to co-exist.

    There are larger iPod variants though - the iPod photo is available in 30Gb and 60Gb forms.

    4 I have the CarDock FM, which is an integrated cradle/FM transmitter/iPod charger and I can thoroughly recommend it. Yes, however, FM transmitters are illegal to use in the UK, so I only use it when I'm out of the country, of course...

    Also, it's worth bearing in mind, that an increasing range of cars these days are factory-equipped with in-built iPod connections, and you can now buy several head-units or head-unit adapters with iPod connections.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. TheDufster

    TheDufster
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    Thanks, appreciate the quick reply – that gives me a good insight in to how the iPod works. Only basic things, but it can make all the difference to find out in advance!
     
  4. mick's cat

    mick's cat
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    Basically, as long as all your mp3s have good tags, iTunes will work with them out of the box. There are third-party utilities that'll look on the Internet cddb to locate missing tags too (iTunes used to do it, but Apple took the facility out last year, as a nod to DRM).
     
  5. Ken

    Ken
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    You can get a FM Modulator from a car audio store; it connects between the aerial and your car radio, and is tuned to a specific frequency, which you pick up in the radio. The best way of getting decent sound IMO.

    Ken
     
  6. simon100

    simon100
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    I recently got a new car and instead of purchasing a 10cd changer for £400 (Honda prices!) I bought a 40gb iPod photo for £269 and have just loaded all my CD's on it.
    As previous posts have said you can search by Album/Artist/Track etc and create your own playlists, a bit like filling the CD changer with your 10 favourite CD's for a long journey and/or programming them to play at random.
    Get a decent iPod holder, Brodit are good, that doesn't require you to put holes in your dash.
    http://www.brodit.com/frameset.htm
    http://www.siocommunications.co.uk/Shopping/index.php?cat_id=17

    There is a thread for more links to equipment on another thread:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211903

    I have an iTrip and am reasonably happy with it, but would like to hard wire to my head unit, but so far no one does anything for the current Accord. FM modulator is a possibility but I am not doing that until I have run out of options with the CD changer route.
     

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