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An iPod competitor for nostalgia lovers
The RetroPod is a portable music player that is targeted at those who want to use their player in the car, but find current solutions for this inconvenient. It is particularly attractive to owners of antique cars.
It is simply a hard-drive based MP3 player built into the form factor of the now-obsolete
Eight Track Tape cartridge. (For the young and those outside the US, this was a very popular car audio tape format in the 1960s and 1970s, see first link).
Where the tape was exposed are connectors for power and sound. LCD display and buttons for portable use are attractively recessed into the sides of the cartridge, where they remain hidden when plugged in. On the edge of the cartridge that remains exposed is an authentic sticker for some oldies act to act as anti-theft camouflage.
An authentic-looking "player" for your car dashboard is available, into which this cartridge plugs when on the road. Included is a hidden "lock" switch to secure the cartridge into the dash, consult with your installer on an optimal place to hide this in your vehicle.
In addition, a docking station is available that fits right into a drive bay on your home PC, for loading songs onto the unit.
Also available is a hi fi component for your stereo rack so you can plug your portable in there for home use.
* No cables needed ever, except maybe for earphones
* CD quality sound insured by direct connection
* 8 Track form factor allows gigabytes of capacity
* Presents a less tempting target to thieves (who wants to steal a 30 year old tape deck?)
* Looks authentic in your restored 1971 Buick
* Makes a great conversation piece
8 Track Heaven
Everything you ever wanted to know about 8 Track cartridges. [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
Audio-cassette-like Mp3 player for car's tape deck [Tiger Lily, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
Crappy looking electronics
A related anti-theft approach for portables, by [futurebird] [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
Car Stereo Adapter
Alternative approach to the cable problem on the road, by [fogfreak] [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
RetroPod baked (sort of)
Jul 1 2004: They took the same name, but baked a slightly different idea: putting an actual Apple iPod in the case of an old Sony Walkman. [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]
||That is similar, but there are two problems with that implementation.
First, because of the small form factor of the cassette cartridge, they can only fit 32 Megabytes of flash memory on it. An iPod (and a RetroPod, because of the large size of 8 Track cartridges) can store 30 or 60 GIGAbytes. Thats the difference between having a few albums and having your entire music collection on the road.
The second problem with the RomeMP3 is it is designed to work in your existing cassette deck. As anyone who has used a cassette adapter for their car knows, there is a relatively severe loss of sound quality by going that route. The RetroPod would plug directly into your sound system, for CD quality sound.