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Subject: Recommend an MP3 player for my car rss

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Michael Rumaley
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I understand it is now possible to have a radio installed in my car which has a USB port. Then, from the comfort of my desktop computer, I can convert CD tracks to MP3 files, copy them to a thumb drive, and carry said drive to the car. Once the drive is plugged into the USB port in the car, I can see my chosen folder and file names displayed on my dash board, listen to the tracks, and even use shuffle and repeat functions.

I have actually owned hand-held devices that did some of what I wanted, but eventually overwhelmed me with their stupidity. So, before I have something stupid installed in my dashboard, does any of the following functionality exist, and how can I tell if any specific available model has such features?

1. Will it recognize subfolders? Can I create a folder named beatles, in which there are folders named pepper, revolver, white, etc., then navigate to beatles and play tracks in random order, and later navigate to pepper and play tracks in the proper order?

2. Can I listen to the beginning of an audio book, then listen to some shuffled music, then return to the book, and have the device will remember where we were? (If I have to listen to chapter 1 more than once, I might call Ishmael something other than Ishmael.) Would using multiple thumb drives make this easier or harder?

3. Will files with the same name in different folders be recognized, or will I spend my desktop time renaming things to she_came_in_through_joe_cocker’s_window.mp3, she_came_in_through_paul_mccartney’s_window.mp3, etc.?

4. If I select the random function, will the tracks be heard in a different random order each time?

5. What unforeseen irritations await me? If I load up a thumb drive on a machine running M$ Windows and stick said drive into a receptacle on my dash board, will I have to stop every 20 minutes to turn the car off and turn it back on again?

Thanks for sharing
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My guess is the answer to some of these questions will depend on which media player you will be using.

I can answer the random question for iTunes. Yes, they will be in a different order each time.
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Dave Kudzma
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1. I have an Infinity system in my car. It recognized subfolders. I'm not sure what a friend of mine has, but his will not. You'll need to go some where you can try them live.

2. I'm going to say that I doubt it on this point.

3. See point 1.

4. Mine will. I have never considered asking others about this functionality.

5. Windows should have nothing to do with it. Normally stereos want a FAT32 formatted drive. Otherwise, as long as points 1 and 3 work on the system you choose, it should be smooth sailing.
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I have an iPod and a USB port in my car. With that in mind:

1. Yes.

2. Yes, but you have to save an audiobook to the audiobooks folder. If you save it as a standard MP3, then it will play it like it's a song, and it won't remember where you stopped.

3. If you use iTunes with an iPod, it will default to renaming and organizing your files as you add them to iTunes. And unless you're particular about how precise the titling is (e.g., you prefer the song title to read "From Here to Eternity" instead of "From Here To Eternity"), you won't have to rename anything.

4. Yep. Though I'm curious to know how the shuffle function works on an iPod. It seems to pull a lot of songs from the same region of the iPod and shuffle them up, so I can hear a lot by the samba same ("samba"? Really, iPad?) few artists in chunks.

5. I don't think you're being serious here, but I use Windows and have had no trouble with my iPod in my car.

All that being said, though, a lot of what you'll be able to do with the connection depends on the stereo. I have a 2013 car, so it has a lot of bells and whistles in the stereo (including Bluetooth for the iPod). If you can test the stereo/MP3 combo before making any purchases, that would be best.
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I use a Sansa Clip Zip 8GB for my car. It was cheap and does what I want it do to. It also comes with a coupon for free songs. I downloaded Mp3tag software (free) to edit the mp3 tags to make the songs display better on player's screen.

1. I have no idea, probably.
2. Yes, it remember where you left off.
3. I believe so.
4. I believe so.
5. Checking out reviews is the best way to answer this.
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Michael Edwards
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My vote would be to get one with an aux jack, and just use your preferred portable audio device's interface - almost always better than the jacked up sh*t the car will have.
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Chanfan wrote:
My vote would be to get one with an aux jack, and just use your preferred portable audio device's interface - almost always better than the jacked up sh*t the car will have.

Having used an aux jack for two years and then upgrading to the USB port, I have to say that the USB port is much more convenient. Being able to control the device from the stereo is a lot better than fumbling with it while it's connected to something by a wire, while also trying to control a ton of metal hurtling through space at a high rate of speed.
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Michael Rumaley
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Some of the responses were helpful, and a few were mildly amusing. The way the process has been going, what I really needed was some hearty guffaws, like these:

PhygLeGuy wrote:
5. What unforeseen irritations await me?
Verkisto wrote:
5. I don't think you're being serious here
Perhaps most folks who ask for recommendations love unforeseen irritations, but I seriously don’t.

PhygLeGuy wrote:
I have actually owned hand-held devices that did some of what I wanted, but eventually overwhelmed me with their stupidity
Chanfan wrote:
just use your preferred portable audio device
This was not taken personally. I’m sure Chanfan wishes for everyone to be overwhelmed by stupidity. It probably builds character, or something.

Best advice:
locusshifter wrote:
You'll need to go some where you can try them live.

Like a retail store? Great idea back in the Twentieth Century. Oh well, like the kid in Slumdog Millionaire who really wanted the movie star’s autograph, sometimes you’ve just got to ignore the stench and dive in. First thing I saw was a wall full of car radios, each with piece of cardboard bragging about how many colors the device will flash at me. And here I thought a radio was something to be listened to while I watch the traffic through my windshield. Progress was made, some of it might even be considered forward progress.

Thanks to everyone for reminding me just how much I suck at asking questions.
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col_w
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I bought a Sony stereo a few years back. I didn't find out until a while later that there was a limit to how many files it could handle, and I was only able to play my collection up to M.
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