Sunday, August 29, 2010

An update on my car stereo

It's been a year since I bought my fancy car stereo. I wanted to mention that I've ended up not using most of the fancy features.
  • The built-in MP3 player had issues with my 1000-song / 100 album / 4 GB music collection:
    • It took a long time to scan the USB storage each time the radio turned on.
    • It was difficult to navigate the album and song lists.
    • Chinese characters were not supported.
    • It took a long time to "continue" a paused item, especially a long item like a podcast.
  • The bluetooth pairing only worked with one phone at a time, which was awkward in a two-driver family.
Here's how I use it now:
  • I connect my phone using both the radio's USB (so the phone is being charged) and mini stereo plugs.
  • I use the phone's built-in music player.
  • I have the radio set to AUX to play the music from the stereo input plug.
It's a little bit cluttered, because of the two cables, but it gets the job done. The phone's music player UI is so much better than the radio's UI.

In effect I have reduced the car stereo to serving as a volume control, an amplifier, and a USB charger.