For anyone with a LARGE mp3 collection...
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This is a discussion on For anyone with a LARGE mp3 collection... within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; I've been trying to sort out a way to store 100+ GBs of mp3's in my WRX. And I think ...

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    For anyone with a LARGE mp3 collection...

    I've been trying to sort out a way to store 100+ GBs of mp3's in my WRX. And I think I've come up with something that will work and be relatively cost effective. First things first, I'm not looking to just hook up an iPod or other mp3 player as they become outdated as soon as you leave the store with them. I am looking for something that will be easily upgraded as digital music advances. I've got a Kenwood DDX-8017 headunit, so the easiest thing to do would be to get the Kenwood Music keg. But, the largest they come in is 10 GB. Other companies make similar products with a larger capacity (not to mention price), but they wouldn't work with the touchscreen on my HU. So enough of the problem, here's the solution...

    The older model of the Music Keg (KHD-C710) uses a 2.5" hard drive, which is identical to a standard laptop hard drive. After disassembling the cartridge, any lager capacity 2.5" HDD should fit right in. With the proper formatting, the music keg wouldn't be able to tell that the drive has been swapped. The new drive would need to be in FAT32 format, and partitioned. The first partition would hold the system files, which you can copy from the old drive. And the second partition would be for the mp3s.

    The total cost of this would only be around $400, provided that all the mp3's are legit (wink). It just seems too good to be true. I'm not sure if all this will work, but I can't see why it wouldn't. Has anyone done anything like this or have any other ideas on how to get a massive amount of mp3s accessible through a Kenwood HU?

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    Registered User DJSHADOW7's Avatar
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    Sounds pretty interesting.

    Damnnnnn 100+ GB!? i thought i had a good amount with 20gb.
    ...If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first.

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    keep in mind that the music keg MAY not recognize a larger drive. I'm not familiar with how they work, but often a device will only be designed for, and can only handle a certain sized drive.

    If i were you, I would consider building a small car pc. However, this is no small project and generally involves replacing your head unit with a custom controller. www.mp3car.com for more.

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    Registered User Dr_Evil's Avatar
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    I'd say you've got a 50/50 chance of it working. You'd probably want to get a couple of IDE adapters and put them into a normal PC and run Ghost to clone the drive to the new one. There's lots of devices around that will accept this (ReplayTV, TiVo, etc), but many of them have limitations in the hardware that won't allow you to change the drive size. I presume it's so that if they sell a 40Gb model (for example) you'd have to buy it from them instead of just upgrading your own drive.

    I'd think it would be worth a try...you can always return or ebay the drive if it doesn't work.

    I'd be interested to know if it does work, I've got about 600Gb of MP3, and while I don't need all of them in my car, 100Gb would be nice.
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    Registered User E-Wrex's Avatar
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    Some dude put a pc in his STi on bimmervibe.com, I can't link it because their website is down. You could, in theory, just put in like a 220 gig hd, and run Itunes. But it was pretty rad, set up a screen in the dash, like you would for a DVD player, and rigged a remote to control it. If I do anything as far as entertainment, Im going to go this route, because it is by far the most cost effective thing you could do. You can get a bare-bones mini-PC for like 300 bucks, a 220 gig for like 100 and change, the screen for a hundred and change, and any other accessories you would want. You can get a GPS card for cheap, and get decent wuaio output with a Audigy from sound blaster, and I bet all in all be under less than a thousand minus speakers for a DVD player/CD/mp3/GPS unit/Tuning computer/etc... Not to mention you can run all types of formats of media. Oh, and wireless lan? The possibilities are pretty endless.
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    Registered User blarg's Avatar
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    I just got a PocketPC @400 mhz. I found a HD enclosure that only requires 12V (most require 12V and 5V, and have a proprietary AC adaptor, but you CAN find ones that only require 12V). I put the HD in the glovebox, and ran power and a USB host adaptor from my PDA. Now I have GPS and an MP3 player with a 300 GB hard drive. Due to the older OS on my PDA (Windows CE2002) I had to partition my HD into 30 GB FAT32 partitions, but it works just fine. Newer PDA's will let you run NTFS partitions of whatever size you want. Also, because of the built-in wifi, when I pull into my garage, the PDA will connect to my wireless network, and update itself. I also have access to the HD (as long as I leave the power on) so I can add new music wirelessly without taking it out of the car.
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    Registered User wrxtuner2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaWRX05
    First things first, I'm not looking to just hook up an iPod or other mp3 player as they become outdated as soon as you leave the store with them.

    I have a 30G ipod photo, it took awhile to figure out an easy way to hook it up but i finally found it. I just bought a CD player that includes the thing to be able to hook it up to older car that don't have CD players trough the tape player. Then i ditched the CD player and just hooked the cord that comes from the tape into my ipod. You just selelct the tape option on your car to make it play. This makes it very easy for me because i can just unplg the ipod if i want to listen to it somewhere besides in the car. I assume that this would work with all mp3 players that use a standard headphone connection.

    I know you don't want to do this but I thought some other people might.

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    Installed

    I finally got around to doing this, and it worked. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The install was easy, I used Ghost to take an image of the hard drive that the Music Keg came with, and copied that image to the new drive. Then I just swapped the two. I used a 2.5" 120 GB drive as the replacement, and there were no issues.

    The biggest problem though is how the files are managed. Since the Music Keg connects through the CD Changer input on the head unit, you can't store files with multiple levels of sub folders. You are forced to store everything in "discs". That means that if you make a disc for each band you have, all tracks by that one band will be stored in that one massive folder. You can sort the files any way you want (by track #, album, alpha...), but that poses another problem. You can't display all the track names, and then just select the song you want. You have to hit "next song" untill you find the one you want. You can imagine how much of a hassle this is when you've got 120 GB in there.

    All in all, this isn't a bad piece of gear if you're only looking to store indivual CDs on it. But if you plan on using it to manage a huge mp3 collection, you're in for some headaches.

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    Registered User Dr_Evil's Avatar
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    Sounds like that confirms my suspicion...the Apline head unit with the iPod is the way to go.

    Thanks!
    Black 2006 WRX Sedan

    Snorkus-deleted with K&N drop-in
    Defi-Link Boost, EGT, Oil Temp - Gruppe-S CF dash pod
    TurboXS Turbo-back
    That's it so far!

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