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The ideal PDA for motorists!
  [vote for,

I love music, I listen to music all day, I've got hundreds of CDs and I want to be able to choose between most of them at any point. Hence MP3 is ideal for me - I just rip the lot and I'm ready to go.

So, I then buy an iPod and a cradle to connect it to my car stereo, and I'm go, right? Well, I could, but that's pretty crude. I've not got extensible software or really proper control. For example, I've got a great (though sadly now unavailable) plugin on my desktop PC that gives me a random jukebox weighted around my preferences. Ideal for a long journey where I just want nice tunes the whole way. For that, I need a PDA with an MP3 player sized hard drive (no microdrives for me, I want at least 30GB!) and a plugin for its media player.

Then think about it a little more. I do a reasonable number of long journeys, frequently in the name of my employer to places I've never been before. I'm a prime user for GPS and navigation software. Another thing that can be done (relatively) cheaply, simply and well with the PDA.

So, what we have here is a standard touch screen upright PDA but with two non-standard accessories: 1. A large hard drive 2. A GPS receiver

Onto the hard drive I load my music, which the media player then handles. The GPS navigates me to my destination, and automatically drops the volume when it needs to speak. And the whole thing plugs into the car stereo in much the same way as an iPod on a cradle does.

We end up with a premium PDA that's a great gadget, has a clear market to road warriors and does the standard computer thing of giving you a one box solution to something that was previously more complex. Sell it at a premium price and watch the orders roll in...

eftpotrm, Jul 20 2005

Lowrance iWAY 500C: http://www.thegpsst...rance-iway-500c.asp
It's both a GPS and a music player for about $700. [Amos Kito, Jul 20 2005]

PDA? http://www.oqo.com
Here it is... [zigness, Jul 21 2005]

Palm's LifeDrive http://www.palm.com...emanagers/lifedrive
Get a Lifedrive and buy eight 4GB memory cards :) More realistically, get an external USB or Wifi harddrive. [Axl, May 01 2006]


       Why not just have your car 802.11g-enabled? That way it could download new tunes onto its hard drive when parked outside your house.
hippo, Jul 20 2005

       If I make the car 802.11g enabled, I've still got to have an MP3 player, large HDD and GPS system in there somehow! They're not standard features in most cars in the UK :-) Plus a decent percentage of the road warriors who would use this will fly to meetings and hire cars, so something bolted to the car isn't a great idea.   

       Hence the idea of building it all into the PDA that you can carry around. If you want to make the PDA WiFi enabled, go for it.
eftpotrm, Jul 20 2005

       Basically, this has been done with OQO. See link.
zigness, Jul 21 2005

       Lowrance won't do anything else or have great flexibility and has a small drive, OQO seems hardware overkill (no way I need that much processor speed) but too small a drive, plus it'd be pretty much roll it yourself with external GPS and so on.
eftpotrm, Jul 21 2005

       Your zigness, you should fix that link. (Needs the http:// stuff in front.)
DrCurry, Jul 21 2005

       Check this - Use a PDA with USB host capabilities (the new windows mobile 5.0 now supports USB 2.0 if your pda has it) and then hook that to a USB hard drive. You can mod a car cradle and build in the power jack and usb jack so it just slides in and is good to go. Use a PDA with built in wi-fi and hook up a GPS via bluetooth, an SDIO slot, or compactflash slot and now you have a complete touchscreen interface for an in car mp3, video, photo, and GPS device that supports album art with windows media player 10 mobile, and it supports WMA-DRM so you can play music from sites like napster. It's everything you're looking for and when you leave the car you take it with you. It doesn't make a great portable MP3 player in this case because you leave the hard drive in the car, but I believe that gets you everything you want, and all for under $250.   

       I'm setting up my system like this using a Toshiba E400. Minimum requirement for WMP10 is Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, and the E400 has a free upgrade to 2003 SE, USB host, and SDIO slot, and a seperate power jack rather than just charging through one custom plug - important to allow me to hook my PDA to power while also hooking the hard drive into the USB port without having to custom wire my own cord.
bowgy4, Dec 01 2005


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