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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please dont' flame me, I have looked and looked and I only see a few things specific to USB MP3 players and Head Units. I read that a company called Dual has a HU that works with non IPOD devices and shows the ID tags. Do any of you know of other HU's that can do that? I would like to hook my player up via USB (so it can charge) and see what is playing on the HU. In a perfect world I could control the player through the HU or remote, but I suspect that is a pipe dream. Other than the Dual player I don't see any. Does anyone have any other ideas? Anybody heard of a Dual XDMR7710 CD/MP3/WMA Receiver? Ideas appriciated.

-mb
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
update

Today I found out that Kenwood also makes a player that displays the tags. It also talks to you if you install the included software on your Creative device.
KDCX590 - One line display - $270
KDCX790 - three line display - $395
Remote included
 

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Easy boss. I think you read some of that wrong. I have the DPX-701 with USB, and it's actually more limited than you think. I'm shopping around for a hard drive for it and the options are few.
The software that comes with the HU is the PhatNoise Media Manager. It goes on your PC, not you mp3 device. The software uses aac encoding in order for voice prompts to be created and the HU to be able to read it as well as some of the proper files it copies on to your device so the HU can see read the prompts. Next, what you don't find out, unfortunately, until you get the HU and read the manual (i.e., download manual from Crutchfield before you purchase!) you find out that only flash drives with no more than 30gb will work, period. This isn't a plug/play usb port. The reasons behind this is first, the device must be a flash drive formated in FAT. Anything larger than that is formated in NTFS and you cannot re-format to FAT, I've tried, it's just not possible (windows does not support it). I tried everything with my 512mb thumb drive and it worked like a charm.
Next, you have to be sure that your device can run on 500ma. I'm sure your device can, but it's not enough to charge it from the HU, that's just enough power to run it as the external device. Most external devices need 650ma, and the USB port on the Kenwood HU's don't put out that much.
All this comes from much frustration in trying to get my 100gb external drive to work with my HU.
If you have any other questions, let me know. I'll be happy to help
 

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I have the KDC-X590. Great HU even without the USB support. I also have a 20GB Creative Zen MP3 player. There are lots of issues here to be aware with the USB support.

Most important is that the USB port on your Creative player is most likely not a UMS (Universal Mass Storage) device which the Kenwood units require, but instead is probably a MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) device. UMS devices don't require any special drivers, whereas MTP is only natively supported in WinXP (plus a backported driver for Win98/ME.) Creative likely did this so they didn't have to continue to develop UMS drivers in their device firmware, now they just implement the client code directly from MS and let them worry about OS driver support/development. Plug you're player into the USB port of a PC running Win98/ME (that doesn't have the Creative SW installed) and if the player shows up as a "removable disk", then its a UMS device and could likely be used with a Kenwood HU. My Zen is an MTP device but I think some of the older Creative players are UMS devices. Ironically, the iPOD is a UMS device, but most new HUs choose to integrate the native control protocol/interface. (I briefly considered trading my Zen for an iPOD but decided against it.)

I'm using it with a 256MB flash drive. Initially had problems when XP formatted it as FAT32 (files would corrupt and display would read "NA FILE") but after changing the format to FAT16 its been trouble-free. Not sure why the utility did that since FAT32 can't really be used under 512MB. As long as you meet the requirements for files/folders (15K/4K) you should be able to use any size UMS device, but beware that large devices and/or complicated directory structures will cause startup times to be several minutes or more. It also true that XP won't format any partition larger than 32GB as FAT32 but there are freeware utilities available that do this. Kenwood claims support for both FAT16 and FAT32 and others are using large portable USB drives so it should work.

If you want to use a drive you do need to get one that has an external power supply as the startup current required by most 2.5" drives is over 1000mA and the USB port on the Kenwood can only supply 500mA. 1.8" drives meet this requirement but are expensive ($200 or more) so I haven't picked one up yet, I'm waiting for prices to fall and will probably try to pick up a 40GB unit. For now I shelled out the $20 for the aux-in (RCA) adapter which I plug into the headphone jack on my Zen.

I can highly recommend the KDC-X590 - great SQ, nice features, even matches the OEM blue/red dash lighting in my 03 B5.5. I got it at Crutchfield with all required adapters and hardware included free of charge (even free shipping!) Upgrading your HU is the best money you can spend on your audio system. (If you decide to upgrade be sure to see the "Aftermarket HU Installation" thread here which is well written and illustrated every step of the way - it saved me several mistakes I would have made along the way.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well dang

Looks like I made a classic mistake and listened to the salesman. They said it would work... I guess I need to cancel that installation appointment, or at least get them to hook up MY player to the HU on the display rack and test it. :(

so what about the Dual unit? Crutchfield sells something that is "plays for sure" compatable.

from Crutchfield
Add the EAUSB20 Media Player Link to your compatible Dual stereo, and you'll get more than just a USB input — you get a connection that allows you to control your portable music player right from the stereo. You'll be able to select your MP3 and WMA tracks, access playlists, fast forward, rewind, and display track and album information up on the stereo's faceplate. Best of all, the EAUSB20 will even charge the battery in your compatible player while it's connected.

It's all thanks to PlaysForSure, a new connection format that allows you to control select portable music players with a car stereo. In addition to playback control, the EAUSB20 lets you record directly onto your MP3 player from your car stereo. Compatible with Dual's XDMP680, XDMR6850, and XDMR7710 stereos. (Will not work with the iPod.) Warranty: 1 year.
 

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byrdz1 - Great catch!!! I don't think that was available several months ago when I bought my Kenwood. So Dual has created an external DAC with integrated USB and MTP ("Plays for sure") protocol support. Based on the pic it looks like it probably uses the analog CD changer connector like most other solutions (including my aux-in connector on the Kenwood.) I would definitely check your particular player first, though as R36 suggests.

If you go with that model, please let me know how it works out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And it continues...

OK, so the Kenwood decks don't work. As I was told in threads above, (sigh) it can't see the player. But not goot at taking no for an answer I tried again. Alpine makes one, I have not laid hands on the thing yet, but for those who care, here it is:

Alpine KCA-620M USB Adapter
From Crutchfield
Travel in style with your portable player and the KCA-620M USB adapter from Alpine. This adapter connects from the changer port on your Alpine stereo to the USB connection on your portable, allowing you to manage your portable's playback with the controls on your compatible Alpine stereo. "Quick Search" allows you to zip through your songs to find the music you want, and you'll even be able to play back tunes from a USB thumb drive. Warranty: 1 year.

From MSFT
The KCA-620M is a hide-away box that utilizes a standard USB connector to connect to any digital audio player or mass-storage devices such as thumb drives and portable hard drives that use USB. This unit enables playback of subscription and download music purchased from the growing variety of PlaysForSure music services online.

The KCA-620M provides basic playback of MP3 and WMA files through the Alpine head unit, displays song tag information on the head unit’s screen, and charges the portable device while the user drives and listens. An advanced Quick Search function – which allows for search by playlist, artist, album or genre – is accessible when the music is purchased from a PlaysForSure online store and played on a supported digital audio player.


I have one on order, will let you know when I get it
 
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