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  #1  
Old 06-23-2012, 04:44 PM
humnyar humnyar is offline
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Lightbulb Best player for driving?

Hi all

I'm looking for some advice on an mp3 player that I will using mainly in the car. I quite liked my ipod shuffle with floola but it filled up too quick and it was ipod!, then I moved on to a rockboxed sansa which I like but I find difficult to see on such a small screen and difficult to navigate quickly whilst stuck in traffic.

Also if i don't know what the song is I have to take my eyes away from the road and squint at the screen and wait for the title to scroll along, which is why I'd like track announcment, like apple's Voiceover.

my ideal dream mp3 player would have -

  • track announcment
  • usb3 transfer
  • easy playlist creation on pc (had trouble getting clip+ to run playlists in msc)
  • easy playlist editor on mp3 player itself
  • nice display big enough to show whole track name at once
  • voice control
  • easy to rate song on device
  • easy to delete song on device
  • windows explorer drag and drop
  • 32gb storage either on hdd, or minisd
I recently bought an SGP 5.0 after looking at many reviews (it was Which's top-rated mp3 player) which I thought would tick nearly all the boxes above using the following android gadgets -

Tune Announcer (for track announcment)

Player Pro (for voice control and easy playlist creation, rating system and ability to delete song on device etc)


However the Tune Announcer doesn't seem to work on my SGP 5.0 and neith does IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ which I downloaded for a nicer voice but it wouldn't let me change from the default Pico TTS (this problem experienced by someone else here).

Also I don't think the voice recognition will work when I'm out of Wifi range? I haven't actually tried this yet, but I think it needs to send the voice to the server?

I'm probably going to return the SGP 5.0 as, apart from some apps not working, anyway it seems a bit too big, so I'll stick with the clip+ for a bit.

If anyone can suggest way to fix above issues or another player (probly android? I was thinking maybe just get a phone like HTC Desire, or Samsung Galaxy S2 as apps are more likely to work)

sorry I kno I'm asking a lot, but any thoughts, suggestions, help or ideas would be much appreciated!

Last edited by humnyar; 06-23-2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: made title more descriptive
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:01 PM
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I'd suspect the best player for driving would be none. The best integration you're probably going to get is to use an i-pod, or a regular usb device, and navigate via the head unit.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:56 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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I vote getting an iPod. I plan on swapping the player my car has for an iPod compatible Sony soon,...and the head unit will control my iPod while I have it hidden in a special compartment. It'll do pretty much everything needed, and the sq will be as good as it's amp and my cars speakers can produce. I will eventually upgrade to better speakers though,...

But, for the record, there's no shame in using an iPod if it's the best for a particular job. And when it comes to integration & simplicity it still can't be beat. I wish my Sony Walkman would do the trick,...no such luck.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:52 PM
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for the original request, I dont know many that have track announcement. that doesnt mean it doesnt exist it just means I dont know any because its an uncommon request. If you have a player with a 5" screen and you cant navigate it then you are using the wrong music app. try google music or my favorite, power amp. big album art in either orientation and you can change tracks with swipes. Poweramp lets you adjust font sizes and stuff too.

If we are diverging from the OPs original request I say get a CD player with a USB port and a 32 or 64gb flash drive. But unless its a double din unit the screen isnt going to be a lot bigger than an mp3 player. That applies to units with ipod control too. I still have to do it at stops on my single din unit. If you have the right car you can get a JVC double din with usb and ipod controls with a 6" touchscreen for about $300. its a good unit, I had one in a past car and plan on putting one in my current when I can save up the scratch. I had a 120gb hard drive in my glove box and had all my mp3s and some movies stored on it for the kids. mine had av outs too in case you want to run a second display to the back seat. I have been looking for a good high capacity player for the car with a good display and easy interface for a while. they all end up being a couple hundred bucks at least. I would rather go $300 and do the real deal integration of the double din/HDD combo. just a little tip if you go that route...format the storage device as fat32.

edit - reputable source to order from...

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/viewc...ice_asc&page=3

Last edited by IDvsEGO; 06-23-2012 at 09:03 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2012, 02:00 PM
humnyar humnyar is offline
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Thanks for the advice, wow you can get some pretty sweet car radios these days, I'll look into that.

However I'd rather be able to to take the player with me. I did really like the SGP 5.0, I think with a dashboard mount would be good, but I just thought if I'm going to spend that much on something that's almost like a smartphone but doesn't have all the functionality, I might as well get a smartphone, like the S2, then at least I can use it as a satnav and portable web browser as well.
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2012, 03:28 PM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humnyar View Post
Thanks for the advice, wow you can get some pretty sweet car radios these days, I'll look into that.

However I'd rather be able to to take the player with me. I did really like the SGP 5.0, I think with a dashboard mount would be good, but I just thought if I'm going to spend that much on something that's almost like a smartphone but doesn't have all the functionality, I might as well get a smartphone, like the S2, then at least I can use it as a satnav and portable web browser as well.
well a smartphone will cost you a crap ton on a month to month basis. i just have a clip zip that i clip to the metal flap that goes above the ash tray. works great. i know you said you want something with voice announcing the track but is that really necessary? do you really have songs on your mp3 player that you don't recognize by hearing them? or at least be able to tell who the artist is? and if you do how important is it that you know the title right away when you can make a mental note to look up when you get home? what i do is just put my player on shuffle mode and just hit the next button until i find a song i want. don't even need to take my eyes off the road to do so. i wouldn't reccomend anything with a touchscreen for driving unless you want to just load up a playlist and listen to it straight through. my reccomendaton would be to get something with physical controls that you can sit next to you while driving and just hit the next button without taking your eyes off the road. i think a clip+ would be great for that purpose.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:03 PM
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IDvsEGO IDvsEGO is offline
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using your smartphone as a primary source in your car kinda sucks in reality though. been doing it for months and I just burned a bunch of mp3 discs because for short drives its a hassle to connect and disconnect. plus getting a call means you either have to use bluetooth or disconnect your phone to answer. If you do decide to get a smartphone, the s2 doesn't have a great rep as a media player like the original galaxy s series did. also my captivate is really low on the volume output even with the voodoo mod and poweramp.

as for the last post about the voice announce...I regularly put music I am unfamiliar with on my player. Typically I dump several entirely new albums on there and put it on shuffle. I make note of the ones I really like by adding them to playlists. I can do this just fine with my captivate without voice announce though. all I have to do to advance a track is swipe with my finger anywhere on the large album art. I can easily do it without taking my eyes off the road. to load new stuff is a bit tougher so I save it for the stops. same as any player or same as swapping CDs really. You shouldnt do any of that while driving.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:47 PM
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I agree with IDvsEGO on a couple of points. Plugging and unplugging anything routinely is a pain in the butt. (I had an alpine crap its' cd drive and it had an aux in, but I only lasted about two weeks turning on my mp3 player manually). The car stereo market has evolved far enough that you can use semi-disposable media and leave your portable player/phone out of the mix (imo). If you lose an sd card or a usb drive, you're not going to be heart broken.

Leaving the device in the car is not a good idea either, at least where I live.

I could use a voice announce for albums, but by song would drive me nuts.

I'm still unapologetic about the road safety thing though. Most head units are at least high up enough in the dash that you can actually see it and out at the same time, whereas I see boatloads of people staring at their devices at angles that they don't have a prayer of seeing anything in front of them.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2012, 08:30 PM
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no reason to be apologetic...I am actually taking your point farther and saying that navigating the tracks/folder still isnt safe on a small head unit. it should be done on a full screen or at a stop.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:28 AM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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If I was you I'd mount the 5.0 on the dashboard and get a cigarette lighter adaptor so you can plug it in and have the screen set to always on while plugged in. That way you can swype to the next song quickly without having to turn on the screen again.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamia88 View Post
If I was you I'd mount the 5.0 on the dashboard and get a cigarette lighter adaptor so you can plug it in and have the screen set to always on while plugged in. That way you can swype to the next song quickly without having to turn on the screen again.
poweramp has a setting that leaves the screen on while playing music, that way you dont have to mess with the device settings each time or set it to be on anytime it is charging. Not sure about other players.
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2012, 07:07 AM
humnyar humnyar is offline
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I generally do what IDvsEgO said, I load several new albums or compilations on and listen to them for the first time in the car, then if I hear a really bad track I want to delete it or rate it one star, or a good one I want to rate it five stars so I can find it in future and it goes to my top-rated list.

I'm a bit of a critic like that, although eventually I end up with a whole player of only kickass tunes!
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2012, 11:49 AM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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In a car? The best player is a computer. It never made much sense to me using a DAP with limited storage and limited user interface in a car, although I know some people use them for everything, including in their home stereos.

http://www.mp3car.com
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:08 PM
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been there, done that. Not cost effective at all. Most of the interfaces for car use were even more limited than a DAP. You cant just browse the OS interface because of screen size limitations. screen glare is a pain in the butt to deal with. The specialty hardware like a PSU that switches with your ignition on a delay so you dont reboot your PC when turning off the engine and switching over to ACC and the isntallation costs alone make it cost prohibitve for the meager beneift you gain. Dont get me wrong, it was a cool project and there is more specific hardware out now than when I did it, but still...with the advancement of car stereo systems the car PC is going the way of the dedicated HTPC...a niche tweeker market that has no cost benefit.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:20 PM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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Cost is relative. It may not be worth it to you, but it may easily be worth it to someone else. I did see the word "best" in the thread subject rather than "cheap". The benefit of having over 3000 albums available to me is far from meager.

I have no problems seeing the screen in my car, but I suppose it depends somewhat on positioning, and, of course, the quality of the screen. And I find the interface on a 7" or 8" diagonal screen to be better than most anything I've found on a DAP.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:51 PM
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best is relative too. often cost is included in evaluation of best. Like with the clip players.

screen has tons to do with positioning and install. if you have a recessed area that is designed to hold such a screen then it is better. I have seen many installs where people substituted a carPC screen for there factory nav. works great.

as for your comments about storage, you face the same storage limitations on modern car stereos as your PC. my current Pioneer and past JVC could take any usb travel drive as long as it was fat32 formatted. tons of formatting tools will do fat32 in large formats. I had the 120gb laying around so I used that but I have done up to 160. that houses my entire MP3 collection whic consists of 27, 885 files. and its is infinitely easier to support than a full fledged PC. I am not saying a pc isn't a cool device...but for the mass public (and specifically the OP) it is kind of like using a swiss army knife to spread butter. A car PC is cool when you can integrate other features like bluetooth, wifi for streaming apps, etc. even gps dongles are out there.

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

Last edited by IDvsEGO; 06-25-2012 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:22 PM
Carson Dyle Carson Dyle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDvsEGO View Post
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
Yes, I would say interface, subjective, though it may be. It's probably the most important thing -- to me, anyway. But if you can get by with a basic player with a more primitive interface than the typical DAP, a car stereo that can accept USB storage may be just the ticket.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:29 PM
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Agreed, the entry level units do have a very basic interface, but a lot of that is by design to make them simple to operate in a moving vehicle. They are getting better on the higher end stuff now that interest by the general public is rising. Album art is supported on some models now and I suspect will be common soon. That is honestly my biggest complaint about them, lack of album art. For some reason that is a big deal to me. like a lot of DAPs they are real picky about tagging
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:06 PM
humnyar humnyar is offline
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Are there many car stereos that allow you to rate songs or play m3u playlists?
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:54 PM
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Most support playing playlist but not creating. Not sure about ratings. I haven't looked into this latest crop of app oriented players yet.
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