As I've mentioned, my car stereo became mostly dead last night
. The CD player died, forcing me to rely on the iPod for in-car music, which was unwieldy and frankly just didn't sound that good (mostly because the jack kept coming loose). Well, this will not stand. This aggression will not stand, man! I marched over to the store and surveyed my options, armed with a copy of Space Out
to check the CD-Text options and an mp3 CD of The Fellowship of the Ring
to confirm that the player handled all the funky characters. I ended up settling on a name I definitely trust, Pioneer, whose D-704 laserdisc player has been and remains a cornerstone of my home theater.
Well, there it is then. It plays mp3 CDs (WMA and AAC as well, but who cares?) and was iPod ready. There is a two line display for the id3 tag information and CD-Text (and it ironically shows more CD-Text fields than the Sony) and the remote control has the jog shuttle on it.
I wasn't looking for an iPod-ready stereo, but as soon as I started surveying my options that became a priority. I'm glad that I did; the iPod now can be jacked directly into the stereo, and is controlled from the head unit (the iPod cannot be controlled from the player anymore, and the screen displays the Pioneer logo, battery information and the time); the jog shuttle acts in a manner similar to the pad on the iPod, with the same search systems... with the exception of turning the knob, which always only controls the volume (except in the control menu screens). Playback through the iPod is gapless, and the iPod will charge while it's plugged in. I also attached the cord for the auxiliary input just to have it... in case I need it for... um... something.
Raz and I ended up installing it ourselves, which turned out to not be quite the chore that I thought it might be; we managed to do it fairly quickly. After we had done so, I made a rather startling discovery: the speakers in the car are not
, in fact, blown, but that something within the Sony head unit was causing the overloading. What this basically means is that I can pretty much crank the stereo again.
I'm considering getting a big subwoofer so the next time one of those guidos drives by blasting hip-hop, I can counter it properly with Conan the Barbarian
or Reign of Fire
or Capricorn One
or Blade 2
in 3-D tonight. More on that later.