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Advice please, i've a few hundred £ to spend

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by N3LLY, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. N3LLY
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    N3LLY New Member

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    [Dec 28, 2005]
    Hello guys, i've been thinking about getting some kind of in car mp3 device for awhile as i'm sick of swapping cd's all the time. I currently have a Bose stereo concert II and NO cd changer (in the glove nor boot).

    The Phatnoise looks like a safe easy option, but i've heard of ipod's/denison link and all sorts of other stuff /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    Could anyone give me a lil advice as to what would be the "best option", I know it will be mostly down to my preference at the end of the day but I thought i'd hear some feedback from you guys first. Thanks muchos
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  3. easytease
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    easytease cheesypeas

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    [Dec 28, 2005]
    it depends on if you want to be able to take your mp3collection else where/betweencars. if so go for the denison link and ipod. this is expensive, but its the most popular choice i think
    #2
  4. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Dec 28, 2005]
    the choice is a really difficult one to decide.

    Phatnoise Pro's:
    permanent stealth installation.
    Audi sell and install them as OEM equipment.
    easiest to install, providing that the cd changer cable is already installed.
    can be the cheapest option (unless you already own an ipod)

    Phatnoise cons:
    American bint reads out the tags (can be changed, but takes a fair bit of work to get it perfect, plus can cost you)
    requires third party software to arrange mp3's on cartridge
    not seen any linux phatbox software
    some people repord engine whine coming through in the audio on some phatboxes.
    requires special dock cradle for use on pc - which itself needs a mains power supply.

    ICE-Link Pro's:
    depending on mounting, you can read the MP3 tags.
    you can use your ipod.. (okay, okay...)
    you can remove the ipod when not in use, so you can protect it from the hot/cold.
    if you already use an ipod/itunes, then you dont need any further work to change your playlists or music library.
    linux ipod software available
    you can remove the ipod at your destination, and still use it as a portable mp3 player, or harddrive.
    charges your ipod too, if you want it too.

    Ice-link cons:
    cradle is on display and visible.
    third party software required (but more likely to be updated with time, and also greater compatability)
    unless you do a stealth glovebox install, its not going to look OEM.
    You can't zip through tracks instantly.

    also, unless you've got the latest generation of AUDI headunits, your not going to get headunit or DIS MP3 tag info either, which is a major downer.

    in real life operation, the 4gb of an ipod mini is more than enough for me. For me this equates to roughly 48 hours of music, which is enough for about a month of listening.

    for me it was 50/50. in the end i plumped for the dension as the missus could already use itunes, and to be honest, i couldnt bear the hassle of explaining how to use the phatbox software. If she can sort her own music for the car, bonus.

    #3
  5. tracer
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    tracer '96 a4 1.8 se

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    [Dec 28, 2005]
    have you ruled out an mp3 head unit?? i have found it to be a very good solution. i bought one of the original kenwood mp3 ones and its been great. only thing is its slightly slow to change tracks sometimes, maybe this is cured in latest models.

    at least 12 albums per cd and now there are some which accept dvdrs i believe.

    would be very simple to fit
    #4
  6. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 28, 2005]
    Yes you're far better off getting a decent head unit as any add ons will be seriously compromised by the limitations of the Concert.
    I opted for the Blaupunkt DAB Woodstock as it uses the stock Audi wiring so no adapters needed, its DAB, and it takes both MP3 CD's and MP3 SD cards, displaying both track and album name (sub folder for each album), as well as a record & live rewind feature.
    The sound is also a drastic improvement.
    At £250 it was a bargain, OK so it can't hold your entire CD library, but that is just too much choice for me anyway. I also use Easy CD ripper, which does a web lookup on all the track/album names so everything gets titled automatically.
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  7. mwarrey
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    mwarrey Member

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    [Dec 28, 2005]
    Get a phatnoise !, I would say the choice is fairly easy. I was so impressed I bought 2, one for my S4 and one for my wifes A4. Easy to install (if you already have the cd changer lead in place) easy to use and easy to get your music onto.

    I have had no issues with engine noise ? never heard of that before ?. Changing the voice prompts is easy and as for track announcement, I believe this is possible but how annoying would that get after a while ?.

    One other advantage over the ipod v phatnoise debate is that you don't have to take it in and out of the car all the time, which has got to be a bit of a pain, especially on those occasions when you forget to take it out to the car with you or suddenly release that you have left it in the car for the last hour in a public car park.

    I know there are limitations with the Audi concert head units but tbh if you are on a tight budget it is the best way to go.
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  8. trekbiker
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    trekbiker Member

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    [Dec 29, 2005]
    i have had Phatnoise in for about 2 months. i have had amny software issues, and find it very fustrating getting music onto it. my PC never seems to recognise the contents of the DMS cartridge. just this morning, the PC crashed and i'm about to check in the car(becuase once again the PC can't 'see' it) to see if i have just lost about 60 albums from my cartridge /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/soap.gif

    just checked, its not been wiped but yet again i can't upload any more discs
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  9. mwarrey
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    mwarrey Member

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    [Dec 29, 2005]
    Sounds like more of an issue with your pc than the Phatbox. There is also a firmware upgrade you can do on the DMS cartridge together with a dms doctor utility that may help.

    Lots of help available here also:-

    phathack

    Have you tried using the Phatnoise CD manager (can be downloaded from the web site) it is so simple to use, couldn't be much easier.
    #8
  10. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Dec 29, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I have had no issues with engine noise ? never heard of that before

    [/ QUOTE ]

    http://forums.clubtouareg.com/ftopic2212.html
    http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1270806

    there used to be loads on this subject on the official phatbox forum, but they decided to close down their forums.

    the problem problem appears to be with the grounding on some cars. Unfortunately, you won't know if your car is affected unless you give it a go.


    this may help with the DMS not being recognised:

    http://vwnavi.com/vwnavi/forums/showthread.php?mode=hybrid&t=2168

    and just be glad that u dont use an american navi head unit:

    http://4130-products.com/step/Phatbox/
    #9
  11. trekbiker
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    trekbiker Member

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    [Dec 29, 2005]
    thanks guys. i'm not the most IT literate, so i've prob got something set up wrong anyway! its annoying though when i did have it working all fine at one point!

    i have tried downloading the software off their sites too!
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  12. N3LLY
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    N3LLY New Member

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    [Jan 1, 2006]
    Hm.. thanks for the feedback so far guys, it's really appreciated!!

    I'd like to keep everything as factory standard as possible... that pretty much rules out changing the head unit (also leaves me the option of retro fitting sat nav at a later date).

    Leaning towards the Phatnoise set up atmo but it seems alot of folks are having issues with it... compatibilty/software and otherwise!

    Gonna sleep on it... cheers guys!
    #11
  13. rasA4
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    rasA4 Four Rings Mafia Specialist

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    [Jan 1, 2006]
    i can recommend the phatnoise, you mentioned you dont have a cd changer in the boot. do you have the cd changer lead pre run?
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  14. N3LLY
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    N3LLY New Member

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    [Jan 4, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    i can recommend the phatnoise, you mentioned you dont have a cd changer in the boot. do you have the cd changer lead pre run?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hm.. i've no idea? How do I go about checking if I have/haven't? Cheers mate!
    #13
  15. easytease
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    easytease cheesypeas

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    [Jan 4, 2006]
    remove the trim panel on the passenger side of the boot
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