For the first time ever, I went into the automotive electronics aftermarket, and had a Kenwood Excelon Music Keg Digital Media Storage – KHD-CX910 installed. 20G of music storage in my car, whoopee!
But this is clearly a first generation product. I have a big VGA quality kenwood touch screen in the car, but I can’t browse an artist or disc list. I can just see the name of the current artist or current song — how lame is that! I can’t type in an artist name or song name and search to that — all I can do is play the next disc or the previous disc. Sucko. The only way to really use it is to just let the system do random play across your entire collection. Which is nice but it could be so much better.
Also the whole experience of plugging in aftermarket electronics is kind of a disaster. The good folks at Innovative Audio did the best they could. But the wiring harnesses in modern cars are a proprietary mess — subsystem signals are all entangled in undocumented ways on shared harnesses, so that I can’t replace my receiver head without destroying my Onstar connection or my trip computer behaviour. I hear Mercedes is even worse, they use optical cable for the wiring harness, so there is no ability to attach in at all. It sure seems like the car companies are missing an opportunity here.