Head units that will play FLAC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-11-2007, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Title says it all.

Wanting to update the head unit in my truck. Don't want to carry CD's around but want full CD quality sound. I already have all my collection ripped to FLAC on a PC for use with my SqeezeBox.

Thanks in advance.

Bryan

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post #2 of 10 Old 01-19-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape View Post

Title says it all.

Wanting to update the head unit in my truck. Don't want to carry CD's around but want full CD quality sound. I already have all my collection ripped to FLAC on a PC for use with my SqeezeBox.

Thanks in advance.

Bryan


Off Hand, only my Kenwood Music Keg does FLAC. If you find others, post them.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-21-2007, 07:21 AM
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How much disk space do you need? iPods go up to 80 gigs and have their own lossless format (Apple lossless). It can hold about 300 CD's in lossless format. Many head units work with them. You'd have to rerip, but otherwise...
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-31-2007, 04:15 PM
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There are a variety of double-din computer based head units that will play FLAC but no single-DIN units that I'm aware of...
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-09-2007, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Great - will look into those suggested.

I want to stay with FLAC since that's what I have on my PC for my Squeezebox. I don't want to have to do a conversion when I go to the car on a disk - or - not have to store everything twice.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-15-2007, 08:48 AM
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I have a similar question here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=819411

It appears the Music Keg is no longer available.

Greg, do you have any links to the computer based head units? Are they the DIY option or are they retail?

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-15-2007, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I have a similar question here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=819411

It appears the Music Keg is no longer available.

Greg, do you have any links to the computer based head units? Are they the DIY option or are they retail?

The DIY front is the cheapest, but here is a retail computer based unit.

There are others out there as well that are bound to be cheaper. Here's one on ebay. (take out dashes in e-b-a-y) Just google carputer or car computer as well.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-20-2007, 01:59 PM
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well as it happens i spent quite a bit of time this weekend researching the car computer and i can share what i found out. now be advised, i have not done this yet...so work from there.

there appears to be 2 types. you can get the din models which are (on the face of it) a swap out. im based in ireland, so i am not sure about the US wiring, but there is an iso wiring module here that basically swaps the current wiring to fit in the back of the din models. this appears to be the simplest way but you pay a hefty price and you will need 2 din slots....one for the pc and one for the motorised screen, unless u are going to fit a screen into the dash permanently. from the models i have seen the head units are a bit 'back to the future'. think 1980's head units ie.e they are not pretty. also and a small point i have not met one yet that has a security feature. that is something i would need to consider also.

the second type are ones you could actually build yourself or buy. they use the mobile or laptop mobos, some are up to core 2 duo. i have seen some macs also where people have used the mac mini. typically these type of units are under a seat or in the boot, you just need to make sure, like all pc's they have air flow. the disks typically are 2.5 inch models so you could go up to what ever a 2.5 max is...i seem to recall 160gb or thereabouts but either way it is a lot. if you have space there is nothing to stop using a 3.5 inh drive and slapping a 750 in there! if you do build it yourself you need to consider the dc variability from the battery..there are some cards/modules you can get that level this out and they dont appear to be too expensive. the motorised screen dins are on a well known auction site and some other websites floating around and if you choose to put a touchscreen model as most appear to be you can dispense for the most part with the mouse and keyboard. all you need is a vga connector on the screen and it will work. strangely i have not seen a hdmi port yet, then again maybe it isnt that strange.

some benefits
altho initially it may be a bit of a pain to either build or install, every one of the sites i read that performed this all recommended that you put a usb hub in the glove compartment or somewhere easily accessible. this gives you the ability to add on a lot of cheap peripherals. for example. to add a bluetooth module to an alpine was a couple of hundred dollars (i was looking at this originally)but you can pick up a bluetooth usb stick very cheaply and a mic. all of a sudden adding gps and the cheaper pc based gps software is available, along with pretty much anything you can think of, wireless usb lan, usb radio, usb surround sound etc etc... i think this is where it could work out cheaper as typically this type of accessories are quite expensive on the normal head unit but here you are looking at pc prices and the wide variety of software. you can also go dts on the usb sound cards...i read a few sites where drivers have a 7.1 surround systme in their car.

i think i will go the car computer eventually. personally altho i have built a few pc's in my time, i think i will buy one of the kits as i dont know enuf about the battery and standby options for faster booting. however that is just me..

since you want flac, this would appear to be an option for you and since you could have your car as a wireless client to your network, Syncing your music after the initial load will be a bit easier.

remember tho...you need a OS license unless u want to go linux, and indeed there are a few linux distros in this area. on the xp front, there is a lot of apps out there for ease of use and nighttime configs etc.

if anyone has actually done this, feel free to slug me with the reality rather then the sales pitches!
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-20-2007, 02:43 PM
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Just a little update on my search. I looked at the "carputer" option, in fact, I've had a bit of a desire to do that for a long time. But it really seems to me like they're only worth it if you want to go "all out" and have it do everything, music, movies, GPS, etc. If you want something like a full-up navigation system, like the retail units that are thousands of dollars.

I don't spend enough time in my car to care (much) about that, all I care about is music, and GPS/Nav would be cool, but definitely not must have. Further, it was looking to me like bare minimum the carputer option would be about $700, about $400 for the PC and another $300 or so for the touchscreen, plus all the work to get it working like I want. All for just listenning to music, generally just on my drive back and forth to work, and around town.

So I went back and looked at what was really important, that being to be able to listen to my music without messing with CDs, and with that and the ~$700 pricetag (for a carputer) in mind, I went off and did some more investigating, and I found a head unit I really like the looks of:
Eclipse CD7100


The specific features that appeal to me are the USB connection so I can connect up a large flash drive, or hopefully even a USB HDD full of my music, and access it directly from the deck. Of course there are a few other things that make it really cool (to me ):
GPS/Nav - Very cool, being able to see GPS position, speed, direction, speed sensitive volume.
Crossovers
Time Alignement
7 - band parametric EQ or you can get the microphone record the reponse of your car upload it to the EiSERV website and get a custom filter to download to the unit to correct for the car.

Only downside is that it doesn't support lossless audio (other than CDs), but being practical about it, the car is far from a critical listenning environment, and maxed-out WMA should be fine.

At the moment I'm just waiting to get my hand on one to see how I like the interaction before I order/buy one.

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-21-2007, 01:12 AM
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looks really cool head unit...and the usb port is excellent...

let us know how u get on....
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