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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm in Best Buy because I have a $75 gift card burning a whole in my pocket. I get pissed off because I see my 6 month old TV for $1000 less. oh well. Check out the car stereo section and see 2 headunits with usb slots.:Yikes: I've been waiting for this for a while. now, there only seems to be a few with this feature. I want one, but an aprehensive about first generation. The lack of additional features, will HD be standard a week after my purchase, etc.

Any thoughts?

btw...
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-S6gWsgvZFZ4/cgi-bin/ProdGroup.asp?search=usb&osp=&skipvs=T&g=300
 

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what do you want to use it for?

I'm big on this concept but wanted to use an external harddrive so I could play wav files. I'm not convinced those Kenwoods can take the load of an external harddrive, but will work fine with USB keys and such. Alpine will, any year now, release a USB adapter for their new headunits, but most of their headunits will suck for browsing and the adapter is too expensive. I think kenwood has come up with the best solution for now in this department.
 

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It is true that if I try anything above say 20-40gb I'll need to figure out the power issue. I currently have a 100gb external but the usb on the HU is 150mA shy of being able to power it. It's initially designed for thumb drive kind of stuff and I've heard rumors that non-iPods can hook up to it as well.
Until I work out the power issue, I'm just plugging it into my inverter which has it's own power switch as well.
 

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I have the Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X590 USB single DIN unit. I didn't specifically buy for the USB port, but it met all my other requirements so this was just gravy. As it turns out, I love it!

There are lots of issues to be aware of, though. MP3 files on my 256M flash drive kept getting corrupted and the display would read "NA FILE" all the time, turned out it was the (Windows default) FAT32 formatting - no problems after switching to FAT. (FAT32 shouldn't really be used below 4GB and definitely not below 512MB.) Also, the USB port isn't powerful enough to spin up most portable drives, except the 1.8" units and those are pretty expensive. I've also read reports that it takes minutes to initialize at startup with >20GB drives, longer if you have complex directories or voice prompts configured so this could mean you might even get where you're going before the music is ready to play. Then there's the whole temperature issue. I'd love to have 40G of tunes at my fingertips but I just don't want to be bothered toting the thing in/out of the car all the time considering the interior temps in New England routinely range from -10 to 150 degrees - not exactly hospitable to electronics and drive bearings. Finally, there's the interface. Any device you connect has to be a USB Mass Storage device. This means some devices (like my Creative Zen Sleek which is a MTP=Media Transfer Protocol device) don't work even though they have native USB ports. So I just use the aux-in adapter and headphone jack on it for now.

But that said, the thing is great and I love it. For now I'll probably just get a bigger flash drive and live with it until the 1.8" USB HDDs become much less expensive or I trade in my Sleek for a portable MP3 unit which is a UMS device.
 

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Ah, you just touched on every issue I was too lazy to get into. And now all of you know why i've been frequenting mp3car.com so much...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have an ipod. I do have approx 40 gigs on my computer at home. I keep a 2 gig flash drive on my key ring. transport songs back from home and work. being flexible enough to not hope I have "x" cd in the car. Mainly looking at these HU's for playing off the flash drive, but curious about what else can be done.
 
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