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Old 28th October 2007, 03:02   #1
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Default Why are hard-drive stereos not popular?

Now I don't even know whether there are any "hard-drive" (hdd) car-stereos made by mainstream manufacturers, but there seem to be a few references on Google. And these hits mostly stand document of the failures of hdd stereos in gaining momentum. IMHO hdd stereos seem to be ideal for both the average user / iPod user who has several thousand songs in 128kbps mp3s, as well as "audiophiles" who with this system would be able to get the same utility of iPods / DAPs (i.e. having all their music at their fingertips) but at the same time keeping their music in lossless formats (e.g. FLAC). The only disadvantage I can think of is that conventional hdds are vulnerable to bumps and 'shock' - (but then how do carputers function well?)

My aim behind this thread is twofold:
  1. To get a better idea as to why CDs have not become totally redundant in the car audio scene, and why hdd stereos haven't gained popularity.
  2. To find out whether there are any hdd stereos available.
I would really appreciate your input!!
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Old 28th October 2007, 04:07   #2
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1. Reliability. The kinda shocks and temperatures that cars are prone to, HDD will go kaput before we play it all once.

2. Ability to upload data. We would have to link it to a device. We will need a USB media to upload songs and it would take forever (impractical)

3. CDs are portable. What i however wonder is why dont they make small DVDs that can hold 600 MB and put a whole goddamned CD audio in it instead of making full size CDs
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Old 28th October 2007, 08:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkatesh.C View Post
1. Reliability. The kinda shocks and temperatures that cars are prone to, HDD will go kaput before we play it all once.

2. Ability to upload data. We would have to link it to a device. We will need a USB media to upload songs and it would take forever (impractical)

3. CDs are portable. What i however wonder is why dont they make small DVDs that can hold 600 MB and put a whole goddamned CD audio in it instead of making full size CDs
Reliability may not be such an issue. See HDDs of laptops and ipods.

Upload - easiest IMO would be wifi. Just park in your basement and connect to your home network

MP3 DVDs make a lot of sense.
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Old 28th October 2007, 08:38   #4
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Well when players like the Alpine HDA 5460 did become available, they were priced as high as $999 for the 16GB model. Basically iPod killed the HDD HU star
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Old 28th October 2007, 09:44   #5
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Think about this. YOu buy a HU and it lasts you for about 5 to 6 years. But look at HDD progress. 5 years from now we will all have 5 TB drives the size of out fingernails.

I think manufacturers are far better off creating USB and SD support technology on their HUs. I mean we have 2GB Micro SDs that cost a song. Very very soon the 8GB micro card will be ready.
My Brother in Law runs his 40GB laptop-drive-in-a-casing off his Pioneer 7950. Now you get 160GB mini drives. Unbeatable vfm!

Why would you, as a consumer, invest in a car HU HDD?
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Old 28th October 2007, 10:12   #6
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To add to what Gunbir and Sam said, if you use an iPod/external HDD, you're not stuck with using it just in the car. The device you use can contain your entire music collection, and you can use it anywhere: One device to rule them all.

Use your iPod at home, undock it and use it in the car, then use it in the office, then listen to it in the gym when you're working out, and so on and so forth.

You need to manage only one device. You need to update only one device with music. And when it goes kaput, you need to replace only one device.
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Old 28th October 2007, 10:41   #7
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Panasonic & Blaupunkt make units that can play DVD MP3. I am sure there must be others.
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Old 28th October 2007, 10:50   #8
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JVC was one of the first to start the capability of reading a data DVD. I think they coined the term Giga MP3.

But that has no relevance to the topic - Hard Drive based HUs.
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Old 28th October 2007, 11:13   #9
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Even Pioneer came out with a similiar thing, It had a wonderful feature to record from the same CD you are playing and Your CD's are recognized by the pre-installed Gracenote CDDB database and the names are filled automatically. It also had a Sony memory stick slot to play music directly from it. This HU was way ahead from the units available in that time. Was available for approx 35-40k at that time.


Pioneer Electronics - Sound. Vision. Soul

My close friend had this HU all the features were same to the DEH-P9400MP which I had and they were the best sound HU I had ever owned of pioneer till now.
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Old 28th October 2007, 22:39   #10
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Dr.Saab, IMHO, IPods do not undergo the level of shocks a car will undergo. Most of IPod shocks are absorbed by human body and a miniscule portion of it reaches the Ipods (unless we drop it when playing). However a car is a source of constant vibrations and extreme temparatures which is totally unfriendly to hard drives.
Technically Hard Drives (moving ones) are still impractical for cars. Line Sam said Flash based storages are the future. Sandisk has a 32Gb flash card

however hooking it up is still as impractical as it can get. Wi-fi will require that your car setero is on a powered and standby mode to connect to a wireless network in your apartment in say 8th floor. .. Things are not going to work.
There should be a quicker way. that should be PnP (Plug N Play ) flash based hard drives. Then we are talking business

Last edited by Venkatesh.C : 28th October 2007 at 22:40.
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Old 29th October 2007, 01:06   #11
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Well technologically speaking, I don't think it's too out-of-the-box to have a HU with a removable (hence upgradable) hdd. That way you can take it out and connect to your computer at home via USB. And yes, as others have mentioned, flash storage is an upcoming avenue to pursue this kind of thing.
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Old 29th October 2007, 01:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Think about this. YOu buy a HU and it lasts you for about 5 to 6 years. But look at HDD progress. 5 years from now we will all have 5 TB drives the size of out fingernails.

I think manufacturers are far better off creating USB and SD support technology on their HUs. I mean we have 2GB Micro SDs that cost a song. Very very soon the 8GB micro card will be ready.
My Brother in Law runs his 40GB laptop-drive-in-a-casing off his Pioneer 7950. Now you get 160GB mini drives. Unbeatable vfm!

Why would you, as a consumer, invest in a car HU HDD?
True, technology is fickle. But it also means that in 5 years from now CDs could be obsolete (or even DVDs for that matter). So what would you do then? Upgrade, right?

As a consumer I would think investing in a HDD HU would be advantageous in terms of having all your music in one place (possibly in lossless formats), as opposed to investing in a car stereo and an iPod (which also means using lossy formats). (This of course assumes that HDD HUs would be around the same price as regular CD HUs).
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Old 29th October 2007, 09:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vebmetal View Post
As a consumer I would think investing in a HDD HU would be advantageous in terms of having all your music in one place (possibly in lossless formats), as opposed to investing in a car stereo and an iPod (which also means using lossy formats). (This of course assumes that HDD HUs would be around the same price as regular CD HUs).
2 incorrect assumptions here.

1. HDD= lossless, iPod =Lossy. - The choice is yours, whether you use an iPod or an HDD, to rip your music from original CDs in lossy or lossless. The iPod will also handle most lossless formats with ease.

2. HDD HU price = CD HU price - impossible, no matter how many years from now.
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Old 29th October 2007, 09:41   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkatesh.C View Post
However a car is a source of constant vibrations and extreme temparatures which is totally unfriendly to hard drives.
my wife leaves her ipod in the car. in the glove comaprtment. permantantly connected to her HU. She has a regular CD changer too so she can choose between a multiple of sources (FM, CD, Ipod, or Changer). Never had a problem with her ipod (it is a 4th gen ipod photo with barely 3MB of free space left) harddisk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
The iPod will also handle most lossless formats with ease.
HDD HU price = CD HU price - impossible
with 160GB ipods lossless on ipod even for large collections (400+ CDs) has become a reality however I never say impossible (solid state "hard disks" might make this possible).
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Old 29th October 2007, 10:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
my wife leaves her ipod in the car. in the glove comaprtment. permantantly connected to her HU. She has a regular CD changer too so she can choose between a multiple of sources (FM, CD, Ipod, or Changer). Never had a problem with her ipod (it is a 4th gen ipod photo with barely 3MB of free space left) harddisk.
. Your missus is lucky sir. I guess leaving it in cars that get to spend a good time of their day parked in the sun is not a healthy thing for an IPod right?
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