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Kevin Massy, CNET Car Tech editor LIVE!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 1, 2007 6:44 PM PDT

Car stereo live chat event with CNET associate editor Kevin Massy, starts Thursday August 16th at 11 a.m. to noon Pacific / 2 p.m to 3 p.m Eastern. Where Kevin, will be answering your car stereos and in-car media questions, ranging anything from in-car iPod connectivity to HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, and more! Get your question ready and see you at the event!

Click here for upcoming Ask the Editors Live events and past transcripts of events.

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Bring on your questions!
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 3:50 AM PDT

Hi there--we're just about to go live with today's Live Chat on the subject of car stereos and in-car media. Please submit your questions using this dialog box, and I'll do my best to answer them.
Thanks,
Kevin

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Media card slots in car stereos
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 16, 2007 3:58 AM PDT

A member e-mailed me this question to present to you. He was unable to make the event because of work, but didn't want to miss out on this opportunity. So here it is:

I always wanted to know if future in-car stereos will ever have media card slots. I know everyone else is all hyped about having a plug or cable for their iPod, or HDRadio, but what about a simple media card slot built into the head unit? That would be awesome. Just drag and drop your favorite mp3 files onto a 2GB SD card and cruise! If I don't get a chance to chime in on the chat, could you inquire??? I'd be most grateful. Thanks.

From CNET member: gnassif

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Media card slots
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:04 AM PDT

Hey gnassif--

Thanks for your question. As it happens, a number of aftermarket car stereo manufacturers are already offering models with SD card slots, although these systems are still few and far between. Examples of SD-card compatible stereos we've seen include the Jensen MP6612i (http://reviews.cnet.com/Jensen_MP6612i/4505-6729_7-32559218.html) and the Clarion DFZ675MC (http://reviews.cnet.com/Clarion_DFZ675MC/4505-6729_7-31853380.html). Some Audi models also offer SD card-compatible factory-installed stereos

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Bluetooth
by Advanced Optics / August 16, 2007 4:07 AM PDT

I need bluetooth profiles such as A2DP and AVRCP for my cell phone to listen to music using my car's bluetooth stereo system. The RAZR 2 V9M from Alltel has these capabilities, but would Alltel possibly lock these bluetooth profiles? If so, Why?

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Bluetooth profiles
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Bluetooth

The Bluetooth profiles A2DP (which allows audio streaming via Bluetooth) and AVRCP (which allows you to control the streamed music using your stereo head unit controls) are standards that should be usable from any phone that has them. As Bluetooth is a short-wave radio signal, I can't see any way that Alltel could (or would) lock them.

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Update my Toyota Avalon XLS 1996
by jeffkomori / August 16, 2007 4:18 AM PDT

Okay, I want to put in a GPS / Bluetooth / DVD/CD, you know, the works into my Avalon. The factory installed stereo is a cassette & 12 disc CD changer (in trunk).

What are my options?

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Toyota Avalon update
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:25 AM PDT

Depending on the configuration of the 1996 Avalon's dashboard, you have a number of options. If the car has a standard DIN (2") or double DIN (4") slot, then there are a number of all-in-one GPS/ DVD/Bluetooth options. The benchmark for these devices is the Pioneer AVIC-Z1 (http://reviews.cnet.com/car-gps-navigation/pioneer-avic-z-1/4505-3430_7-31636311.html), but there are other options, including the Panasonic Strada CN-NVD905U (http://reviews.cnet.com/car-gps-navigation/panasonic-strada-cn-nvd905u/4505-3430_7-32450650.html), the Pioneer AVIC-D3 (http://reviews.cnet.com/car-gps-navigation/pioneer-avic-d3/4505-3430_7-32319805-2.html) or the Alpine AVN5500 (http://reviews.cnet.com/car-audio/eclipse-avn5510-cd-dvd/4505-3425_7-32400486.html). If you want a portable navigation system thrown in, you might want to try the Alpine AVN 2210p

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What IPOD car Stereo
by tonyramosjr / August 16, 2007 4:19 AM PDT

What IPOD car stereo offers the best and most intuitive interface? I am looking for something that will allow me to search exactly as if I was using my IPOD.

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iPod car stereos
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:30 AM PDT
In reply to: What IPOD car Stereo

Lots of manufacturers are trying to give drivers this iPod experience through their car stereos: we recently did a round-up of best car stereos for iPod (http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-3425_7-6580784.html). Since we published this feature, we've seen another couple of good iPod-compatible stereos: the JVC KDPDR30 (http://reviews.cnet.com/satellite-radio-tuners/jvc-kd-pdr30-cd/4514-7873_7-32400290.html) and the Jensen MP6612i (http://reviews.cnet.com/Jensen_MP6612i/4505-6729_7-32559218.html)
We also recently put together a video on how to iPod your car (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11198_7-6212328-10.html) .

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USB
by alexdesignz / August 16, 2007 4:20 AM PDT

Wondering if more stereos will have usb ports for flash drives or MP3 players

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USB
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:33 AM PDT
In reply to: USB
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XM Satellite
by 1baddoggy / August 16, 2007 4:21 AM PDT

I'm considering getting XM Radio in my vehicle. I currently have an XM "Ready" Sony head unit that plays mp3 discs. I'm wondering, is satellite worth it? I've heard from several people that it cuts out a lot. What's your take on it?

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XM radio
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:34 AM PDT
In reply to: XM Satellite

XM-ready just means that your stereo can be used to play XM radio with the use of an add-on module. In my experience, XM radio is pretty consistent, and I much prefer it to Sirius when it comes to the navigability of its channels.

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Improving a FM transmission for Monster iCarplay
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 16, 2007 4:21 AM PDT

I bought a Monster iCarPlay Wireless Plus FM transmitter for my iPod and living the San Francisco bay area it's difficult to get a good clean channel to allow the transmitter to work efficiently.

Are there any special ways/techniques for using this thing to improve signal strength to my FM radio, so that I don't have to constantly switch to different frequency to get a good transmission? I really hate to resort to disconnecting my antennae?

Thanks!
-Lee

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FM transmission for iPod
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:38 AM PDT

FM transmitters are the lowest-tech way of connecting your iPod to your stereo, but they are getting better. While researching my recent iPod your car feature (URL below) I found this interesting hack for the iTrip transmitter, which might work with your iCarPlay: http://www.surfbits.com/?p=526

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Voice activated stereos
by rinehartt CNET staff / August 16, 2007 4:23 AM PDT

Are there any good voice activated car stereos out there?

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Voice-activated stereos
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:41 AM PDT

Voice activation has to date been mainly used for GPS navigation. The best voice-activated systems by far are found in Honda/ Acura factory installed systems. The Pioneer AVIC-Z1 (and the recently released AVIC-Z2) are the only aftermarket systems we've seen with voice activation, but Ford's upcoming Sync (http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9757676-7.html) application will allow drivers to control songs via voice command

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Affordable Nav+Stereo+iPod head unit
by MsCyra / August 16, 2007 4:26 AM PDT

I have an Toyota SUV with a Double Size DIN opening for my factory stereo.

What I would really like is a single device that incorporates Navigation, A reasonable Stereo and can also function as an iPod head unit.

Can you make a recommedation on an affordable unit?

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Affordable all-in-one unit
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:43 AM PDT

Hey MsCyra--I just had a similar question about a Toyota Avalon (see below). My recommendation for a system with the features that you are looking for would be the Pioneer AVIC-Z1 or the Eclipse AVN5500--both have now been updated and so you might be able to pick them up for a bargain price

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What is the LAW?
by tonyramosjr / August 16, 2007 4:28 AM PDT

What is the law in California for use of a Phone inside a car while driving? I sometimes use the integrated bluetooth that came installed with the car but it has some call and voice quality problems and so many times I just put my Treo to my ear instead. Just want to make sure I am not breaking the law.

Thanks

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hands-free calling
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: What is the LAW?

I'm not 100 percent sure on this, but as it stands, I think that calling on a cell phone is still permitted in California until some time in 2008, when it will be made illegal. Obviously, it is always safer to use a hands-free interface for making calls when driving

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Incomplete Downloads from Wireless Router
by lyingfriar / August 16, 2007 4:31 AM PDT

From time to time, when downloading big files, the download gets interrupted and I have to download the file again and again until it completes it. Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?

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Best GPS system?
by whizkid454 / August 16, 2007 4:34 AM PDT

I am trying to figure out which would be the easiest to use and is accurate plus is reasonably priced (~$500-600). I have looked at the Garmin Nuvis and the seem to be really highly rated. I have also seen some new GPS systems that look promising. It needs to have a large screen (>3.5") since I have large fingers. What would you recommend that fits me best? I will probably be buying around Christmas. Do you have a personal favorite? Thanks!

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Best gps system
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Best GPS system?
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MP3 Player use in car
by lyingfriar / August 16, 2007 4:36 AM PDT

I use my MP3 in my car by use of a tape cassette adapter. The sound quality is better than the 6-disk in my trunk, but the speakers are emitting less than desirable quality sound. For example, when I listen to "Get Together" by Madonna, one part of the song sounds full of static. I have adjusted the bass/treble on my car stereo and adjusted the EQ on my MP3 (by the way, it's an Insignia 2GB Video). Should I replace the speakers and get nicer ones or is it something I can control?

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MP3 cassette adapter
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: MP3 Player use in car

This doesn't sound like its a problem with your speakers--the static is probably a result of the tape adapter's reproduction of your MP3 player's output. You can test this by listening to a different source (eg radio) in your car to see if you get the same distortion. If not, I suggest you change your means of connection between the MP3 player and the car (for some tips, see here: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11198_7-6212328-1.html)

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Note to lyingfriar in regards to your question
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 16, 2007 4:39 AM PDT

Hi there lyingfriar,

The topic of this live event is car stereos.

Please post your question in the CNET forums to get some insight to your Wireless router issue. We have many helpful and knowledgeable members and moderators who can help you out.

I would recommend posting your question in the Networking & wireless forum here:

http://forums.cnet.com/5204-7589_102-0.html?forumID=62

Good luck!
-Lee
CNET Community

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Mass storage for the car
by MoussePad / August 16, 2007 4:42 AM PDT

Are there any systems that enable you to bring your whole mp3 collection with you in the car, that would integrate with the factory head unit, or an aftermarket?

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Mass storage
by kevinmassy / August 16, 2007 4:59 AM PDT
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about other "ask the editors"
by Gabwert / August 16, 2007 4:53 AM PDT

when is MP3 players going to be on again? I have some major questions that need answering!

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