Originally Posted by IDvsEGO
For playing MP3s, not all the other stuff that a PC can do since OP didnt express interest in them, what advantage does a PC offer over a double din stereo with 6-7" screen and USB hard drive? so far capacity is the only one you have mentioned that isn't subjective (interface is subjective). capacity isnt an advantage as I have shown since both setups would allow for this
When researching this for myself about 2 years ago (looking into doing a carPC vs. high end head unit) i could not find head unit that made an actual library of your media. They all relied on either requiring you to browser folders, or they scanned the entire drive every time you turned the head unit on. The problem with this is scannign 80+gb of files every time you turn on the head unit means you can't play any music off the HD for about 20 minutes. The next problem being most would only ready 2,000-3,000 files before quitting...meaning the rest of your library was inaccesible.
An aftermarket head unit that made a bonafide databse of your media library on the external drive and ready from it (or even used internal storage) would be awesome, but none exists that I can find. I'm not sure if they ahve one with an integrated hard drive at this point that is aftermarket?
Some factory head units are now doing this though. My Jeep GC has a 30GB hard drive in it with a genuine media library. The interface isn't the best, and it really only has about 11GB for media but I have read many have success at putting in a larger 80gb drive and using a tool like DD or other bit-for-bit drive cloning tool to upgrade it. However, these head units alone sell for something like $1,200...much more expensive than a full on carputer.