I have a tool in my 2002 Ford that prepares me for any gadget I may one day want to use in my car: a USB port.
Built into the faceplate of my Father's Day gift, an aftermarket car stereo made by JVC, I can plug an iPod, or a thumb drive filled with MP3 files, directly into the USB port. The songs play through the car stereo, and I can control the volume and song selection directly through the unit, not the iPod.
When my iPod is plugged in, the car stereo charges the music player as it plays. And the song information scrolls across the stereo's screen, telling me the artist, song name and album title.
Playing an iPod is the obvious use for my JVC KD-G720. But the possibilities with a USB port in a car seem limitless. With this technology, I could power up a DVD player, a laptop or a mobile phone. And perhaps one day a USB-based Wi-Fi setup could turn my Ford into a rolling hot spot.
Those uses aren't listed in the manual now, but it's not a huge leap in engineering at this point.
My car stereo can do other neat stuff, too. It can receive satellite radio from XM or Sirius, spin CDs (in WMA and MP3 formats if I burn the discs myself) and, yes, play terrestrial radio stations.
It even comes with a remote control. (I thought a remote was silly, but it is actually very useful for skipping to the next song, switching to the radio and pumping up the volume while keeping my eyes on the road, not the stereo.)
How does my car stereo sound? It's just like playing a CD, far superior in quality to the various schemes of iPod adapters I once used in the car.
The cost: Roughly $200, not including installation.
Compare that with likely $20,000 or more for a car, what Ford and GM are selling as the ultimate iPod accessory
. Their hope is that consumers will jump for joy about this audio feature in many 2007 models and rush out to the local dealer to buy a car because you can bring your iPod along for the ride.
Source : BY ERIC BENDEROFFMcCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE