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Topic # 138450 4-Jan-2014 21:39
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Hi there, I have 40GB of music FLAC files – about 1700 songs in 170 directories.   I currently have a 2 DIN AVN Eclipse Unit in a Japanese import of a Ford Focus variant called a C-Max.  It has a paddle wheel on the steering wheel which I quite like.  The AVN unit has not got any way of playing MP3 songs other than burning my own discs - there is no USB slot, nor is there a 3.5 plug.

I want to replace the Eclipse with a new head unit that can play good quality MP3 music from a USB stick  I would also like to be able to take calls over my cellphone in the car, so Bluetooth is desirable but not essential.   I do not need / want a cd player or a dvd player or  a nav unit. What is essential is the ability to find the music on the USB stick while I am driving.

I am concerned about my ability to find songs when I have say 7-800 of them on 16 GB data stick.  So the ideal for me would be a mechless unit that can play music from a 16 GB or 32GB data stick, where the music can be quickly found on a decent screen. So I wondered if a 2 DIN unit would be easier to use than a 1 DIN unit. 

I did look at the DVD player units with 7 inch screens because I quite liked the idea of a reversing camera and having a touch screen but they seemed to be much more expensive starting at about $600. I’m happy to pay $300 plus installation costs though to get what I want. I looked at the Sony DSXS300 Bluetooth Digital Music Receiver with Tune Tray and Double USB.  I really liked the DSXS300 because I really liked the idea of a tray where I could tuck away the USB stick.  

It also has very good reviews and it has bluetooth and it integrates to the steering wheel - except that people on Amazon say that the control knob to find songs can be very fiddly, so it seems to have a problem exactly where I have my biggest worry!

Can I have advice please on the best way to easily play music from a USB stick in a car head unit?  Are the 2 DIN units just easier to use than the one DIN units?  I cannot be the first person to want to do this - all the head units I saw seemed to have part of what I wanted 

Thanks Peter

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  Reply # 963515 8-Jan-2014 20:28
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For anyone who is interested I purchased a Sony XAV63 unit. I discarded the bluetooth and the paddle. The paddle would have cost me an extra $300 and the bluetooth an extra $200.

For those who are interested, I did some googling and learned that while the unit has some problems if all the fucntions are turned on, if the equalizer and the background image are turned off it has plenty of grunt to handle a USB. In my case that was a USB with 730 songs recorded at LAME -1 (260 -odd bits) using VBR. The USB was a Cruzer Fit. This is despite warnings from Sony about playing files with over 196 bits. The initial load time is 3-5 seconds and the unit pages down very rapidly - just like a PC

So I am very happy with this unit and also the service from Abtec in Petone. Hope this help somebody

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  Reply # 976071 28-Jan-2014 17:28
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How much did it cost you all up?


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  Reply # 976254 28-Jan-2014 21:29
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$300 for the head unit and $80 for the labour from Abtec in Lower Hutt.  They were very easy to deal with.  Also, I needed a program to help me copy the songs to the USB.  this sounds easy but actually was really hard to find  -finally I found a program "SmartCopy 1.0"  by a bloke called Simon Booth which is just perfect.  It lets you save all the file copy choices that you have made so that you can just play around with the entries you already have.  It's great, it's free and it's legal.

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  Reply # 976256 28-Jan-2014 21:32
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And one other detail.  The ripping programme that I use DBPowerAmp will put a JPEG of the album cover in the directory that contains the album that has been ripped.  Then the Sony unit has an undocumented feature in that it will actually display the album art on the head unit!  Also if you hold down the listing arrows it will advance very quickly through the listing.  Very nice function - absolutely nowhere in the manual!  I found both features completely by accident 

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  Reply # 976266 28-Jan-2014 21:36
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And finally one last item - I now have about 1100 songs on the USB stick, with no apparent reduction of load time.   

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