Hi, this will be my first post on this forum, and hopefully it will end up benefitting all those who read it.
I currently keep all my music in lossless formats, ALAC because of iTunes, and I've been trying to figure out the best way to get this music integrated wit my car stereo system. I spent time and money getting all the components for the system, so hopefully it makes since that I would want to play back the highest quality source material I can. After much research, I determined the best way to do this was by using a hard drive. I bought a Pioneer DEH-P3100UB head unit because at the time (2008) it was one of the few models that incorporated USB, AUX, and Compact Disc. I was able to make use of a 500GB 2.5" hard drive I already owned, so I formatted it to FAT.
This is where my issues begin...
After formatting it, I was able to connect the drive using two usb connections, a data to the head unit, and power to the car power port. I had to convert all my music to WAV because the head unit only supports WAV as a lossless format. I also discovered I had to create a 200GB partition on the hard drive because the head unit doesn't support anything over 200GB. Luckily, I was able to get away with a 250GB partition. Next, I noticed after copying all my music to this drive that only part of it was showing up. I read the manual, and sure enough, the head unit only supports 500 folders! While that may seem like a lot, if you have a folder for each band, each album, and each compilation, it end up not being all that much. The final thing that caused issues was that I had to rely on the navigation from the head unit to scroll through and select the tracks or albums I wanted to play. This gets very tiring when everything is alphabetized and it takes constantly cranking the dial to get to what you want, especially since there is not way to search for anything by name, year, letter, etc.
I have been making do with this setup for a while now, but I just want to know if there is a better way to do this?
I looked into possibly getting a Rasberry Pi board and installing XBMC on it, then connecting my hard drive and running the audio over the AUX 3.5mm port on the head unit, or even somehow replacing the need for the head unit all together if there was a way to get the Raspberry Pi to send a signal over RCA cables.
If your not familiar with Raspberry Pi, here is a link with info: http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs
Please let me know if anyone else is having this issue, has found another way to solve it, or has made use of a completely different setup.
If your interested, here are the components in my car stereo system:
Pioneer DEH-P3100UB head unit
4 Infinity Kappa 63.9i 3-way speakers - 75 watt RMS, 225 watt peak
1 Infinity Kappa Five 5 channel amplifier - 75 watts RMS x 4 + 300 watt RMS x 1, 1,200 peak
1 Infinity Kappa 120.9W 12" subwoofer (in custom sealed enclosure) - 350 watt RMS, 1,400 peak
ANL fuse and 4 gauge Power and ground cable from knukonceptz.com
12 gauge speaker wire and RCA cables from monoprice.com
Everything is set at 2 ohms