I took a trip to Spain a couple of weeks ago and took all my favorite music with me. Before that would have meant a CD case full of music, a CD player and a pair of noise-reducing headphones. Not anymore, my little iPod® Nano allows me to download all my favorite music. This means I don’t have to carry all the CDs and I can copy only the songs I like from that CD to my iPod®.
Apple has come out with an iPod® that carries video and car suppliers are clamoring to make video-compatible units for the car. What do you need to have an iPod®-video compatible carrier in your car? First, you have to have the right iPod®. Only the 30 gig or 80 gigs iPod®S will work, according to an Apple representative I called on their 800 number. She quoted me $249 for the 30 gigs and $349 for 80 gigs. The 30 gig holds 40 hours of video or 7500 songs (avg. 4 minutes per song). You can watch a video 3.5 hours before recharging. The Apple representative said the 80 gig holds 100 hours of video and you can watch the video for 6.5 hours before a recharge is needed.
Enter Aftermarket magicians
According to Pioneer Electronics, the navigation market is expected to increase by 163 percent in 2007. will continue to lead the in-dash category with the AVIC-D3, a new product that combines features of navigation, entertainment, and connectivity for maximum consumer appeal.
The full-featured route guidance system offers nearly 11 million points of interest, XM NavTraffic® integration, voice prompting and telephone number search. For entertainment, the AVIC-D3 offers MP3, WMA, AAC, DivX® and DVD-video disc playback. It also provides iPod®® Direct connection for fast and easy control of iPod® audio and video players and expanded Bluetooth® capabilities for hands-free cellular phone conversations and wireless audio streaming. With iPod® videos and podcasts, viewing is just as simple with controls directly overlaid onto the screen.
Clarion has an iPod®-video compatible unit that runs for about $1,000. According to Jaed Arzadon, spokesperson for Pioneer, the AVIC-D3 price has not been announced, but “it will be substantially less than our last model, with more attributes.” If you go online there are already websites listing the AVIC-D3 for sale for around $900, which Arzadon says is amazing, “since we haven’t even built the unit yet or finalized price.”
Bottom line skinny recommendations
So what is the bottom line price for one of these units? First, get the 80 gigs for $349. In for a penny, in for a pound. Once you’ve started investing in this stuff you’re going to want to add more videos and you’re going to want the one with the long-lasting battery.
I was quoted $150 to install the Pioneer in my Lexus – of course, that would mean giving up my cassette player in my car.
New car/Old cars can both play
If you have a DVD entertainment system and NAV system already installed in your center console and it has the AV ports (you know, the red, white and yellow cord hanging from your stereo system) you will need the cord to connect your iPod® to the compatible console. That will run you $19.95. So, for the newer cars that have a DVD, you get away with about $360 and 100 videos stored in a unit smaller than a cellphone.
For folks who have older cars, or didn’t get the NAV system you can expect to pay another $1,000 for the unit.
Safety first Mom, All-in-one best
According to NHTSA, (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,) navigational and crash avoidance systems are intended to make driving safer by allowing drivers to travel to unfamiliar locations without flipping through printed maps and by alerting drivers of potential crash hazards, yet two in five (39%) drivers feel that use of such systems actually makes driving more dangerous.
Just like at home, if you have one remote that integrates all your systems, you spend less time looking for the remotes, more time watching your movie.
While in your vehicle a centralized access point reduces driver distraction looking for the individual units, i.e. DVD remote controller, Bluetooth cell phone and or Blackberry/PDAs with a bonus of a Navigational system included.