Pioneer sees USB as the way to MP3

Pioneer launches two stereo head units with USB ports

Kevin Massy
Pioneer's USB-enabled DEH-P6900UB Pioneer

Pioneer is following Ford and Microsoft in its adoption of USB ports for the playback of digital audio in the car. Here at CES, Pioneer is debuting the snappily named DEH-P6900UB and DEH-P690UB, two new stereo head units that come with built-in USB jacks for hooking up portable media players or thumbdrives.

When connected via USB, media players, such as iPods and Zunes, can be controlled entirely via the head unit, giving drivers high-speed control over their digital media, including content subject to iTunes (Fairplay) and Windows Media digital rights management. As well as a built-in USB port, both head units can support MP3 and WMA discs. They will both ship in February with price tags of $260.