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Old 07-15-2008, 03:40 PM   #1
aurific
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Default MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

I'm looking for a USB adapter modification on my Saturn that will allow me to play music off of a USB THUMB DRIVE. Has anybody else done this that can help me out? I've been searching and searching and haven't found much.

My head unit has 2 Auxiliary but I want to use one for a USB THUMB DRIVE.

I believe this is the cleanest and best way to play music through a car. MP3 player adapters are crap in my opinion and USB drives are the only way to go.

Can anybody shed light on this for me? It's been hell researching.

In case you need more information, it's a 2008 Saturn Aura with the standard sound system. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

I was unware of there being 2 aux inputs. You have aux input, that means either a 3.5mm mini or rca inputs. The HU has to read and convert whatever is on the drive. If your HU does not have the firmware to read USB it cannot be done. MP3 adapters, like FM modulators? I use the A/V out, not headphone, on my Zen and use the 3.5mm mini patch cable into the aux no worse for sound then a mp3 encoded disc, which is not any different then a USB drive in this case.

Oh, I just remembered. GM has a PAL(personal audio link) that will allow control of an Ipod from the stereo itself. Here's a link of someone who has it plus a discussion. Other then the Ipod I don't think it has much use. Short search for GM PAL.

http://www.chevyhhr.net/forums/showthread.php?t=12882

OK more searching, Crutchfield is great! $200, but it uses a separate controller, I'm not sure if our radios have RDS. I paid less then $200 for my 30gb Zen and patch cable.

http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Produ...adapter&tp=422
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Last edited by metgol; 07-15-2008 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by metgol View Post
OK more searching, Crutchfield is great! $200, but it uses a separate controller, I'm not sure if our radios have RDS. I paid less then $200 for my 30gb Zen and patch cable.

http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Produ...adapter&tp=422
Most Auras have RDS - I think any radio that plays mp3 discs or has XM radio has RDS. If you hit the 'i' button in the top left and you get a display of anything other than the CD track you're on, then you've got RDS. It'll display song names and artists on anything that encodes them - includes some FM stations, all XM stations, and CDs that are encoded with ID3 tags.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

The aux input takes an analog audio signal. USB thumb drives have no way to convert the data files to audio.

What you need is an MP3 player or iPod. Put the music files on it, and it will output the audio.

There are some aftermarket head units that have a USB drive built into them. There might be some sort of MP3 player that accepts thumb drives, but I'm not aware of one.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

My Clarion head unit has both an analog stereo aux input and a USB port. So I can connect either way. I usually wind up connecting my MP3 player to the aux input. Surprisingly, the sound quality is better via the aux input than via the USB port. The controls on the MP3 player are more "natural" than those on the head unit, and you have an actual screen on the player to view to select artists, albums, whatever. Plugging in either a thumbdrive or the MP3 player via the USB port, the head unit controls the action. The only controls are to go forward/back one song, or forward/back one album, and since a head unit has a very limited display, it only shows the album name in a scrolling line. There's no way for it to show a "menu" of artists/albums/etc. the way the screen on an MP3 player does. But since the head unit display is much larger than the MP3 player display, it is less distracting for the driver; same goes for the controls. And one advantage to using a thumbdrive in the USB port is that a thumbdrive has no battery to worry about.

(BTW, "MP3 player or iPod" is redundant. An iPod is just another [mediocre, proprietary interface] MP3 player, like its competitors.)
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
The controls on the MP3 player are more "natural" than those on the head unit, and you have an actual screen on the player to view to select artists, albums, whatever. The only controls are to go forward/back one song, or forward/back one album, and since a head unit has a very limited display, it only shows the album name in a scrolling line. There's no way for it to show a "menu" of artists/albums/etc. the way the screen on an MP3 player does.
I don't know if you've seen the latest head units, but there is a lot of functionality to them. By having native MP3 support, my head unit is able to read MP3 structures from a disc that contain multiple folders. I don't have to mention much to know that the head unit has more than enough functionality to read data off of a USB drive connected to the AUX port, so all I need is my head unit to see the USB drive no differently than an inserted CD.

If you guys are absolutely positive that there is no way this can be achieved, then tell me the best alternative you can suggest.

I'm going to guess connecting an MP3 player through the AUX port? But then I'll have to use the MP3 player to manipulate the tracks whether it be fast forwarding, track seeking, or folder seeking. I want to be able to do everything through my built-in head unit.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

I dont know about the quality, but this looks promising:

http://www.oeradio.com/product_manufactuer.html
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

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I dont know about the quality, but this looks promising:

http://www.oeradio.com/product_manufactuer.html
Until you see the prices. That top GM one is at $1500 retail or MSRP, I'm not sure I found it in a Sky forum. $1500, I think I'll go buy a pioneer.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazie View Post
Most Auras have RDS - I think any radio that plays mp3 discs or has XM radio has RDS. If you hit the 'i' button in the top left and you get a display of anything other than the CD track you're on, then you've got RDS. It'll display song names and artists on anything that encodes them - includes some FM stations, all XM stations, and CDs that are encoded with ID3 tags.
I was thinking RDS was something else. Good to know!
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

I just installed a Clarion DUZ385SAT.

I can connect via the aux or usb port. I have full control of the content on my thumb drive via the radio controls.

I also have full control over the content on my iPod via the radio controls.


As the rest of the fans have commented, I noticed a big improvement in the sound over the stock radio.

For about $200.00 I have great reception (the reason behind replacing the radio), great sound and some great features.

Last edited by hoob; 07-18-2008 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: MP3 USB Adapters? HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aurific View Post
I don't know if you've seen the latest head units, but there is a lot of functionality to them. By having native MP3 support, my head unit is able to read MP3 structures from a disc that contain multiple folders. I don't have to mention much to know that the head unit has more than enough functionality to read data off of a USB drive connected to the AUX port, so all I need is my head unit to see the USB drive no differently than an inserted CD.

If you guys are absolutely positive that there is no way this can be achieved, then tell me the best alternative you can suggest.

I'm going to guess connecting an MP3 player through the AUX port? But then I'll have to use the MP3 player to manipulate the tracks whether it be fast forwarding, track seeking, or folder seeking. I want to be able to do everything through my built-in head unit.
While the head unit may understand MP3, that isn't the issue. Aux Input is simply an audio signal..i.e. R-Channel, L-Channel, Ground (3 conductors). Where as USB is a different protocol all together (4 conductors, but i don't remember what the channels are for specifically) What the other guys are saying is correct, that using the AUX Input will not work unless you have some device that interprets the files and outputs an audio signal (MP3 player or something). And i highly doubt there is a way to get the H/U to recognize a seperate device..... this isn't as simple as splicing some wires in the back. It would require reprogramming the H/U at a minimum.

Like someone else said, best thing is use a CD, or get GM to install the IPod adapter (assuming you have an Ipod)
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