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A new era for car audio... Help me with integration PLEASE! Tks!

john gilmour

iPF Noob
Oct 25, 2012
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I'm trying to reduce accidents.

Causes of accidents-

1. Falling Asleep.

2. Trying to use a tiny iPod screen in a car.

3. Trying to use the horrible OEM iPod interfaces in a car.

4. Having too many devices in the car vying for your attention away from the road.

5. Trying to fiddle with navigation apps while driving.

6. Trying to use the annoying radio buttons in your OEM stereo.

7. Constant radio station surfing because the iPod is too difficult to use in low light.


1. Pull over and sleep...no other solution.

2-7. Use an iPad

Ok, so I have certain goals for this project.

1. I want to use a high quality external D/A converter in the car. Which can either be connected to the iPad or connected to a computer controlled by the iPad. Specifically I want to play 24bit 192kHz files....as well as everything between down to 16bit 44.1 kHz files (redbook CD) all files will be in Apple lossless to save space without sacrificing sound quality. (SQ)...I do not use Pandora or Spotify or Rhapsody because the bit rate does not sound as good.

2. I want to use the navigation app WAZE (Social networking for traffic... AND AND while playing music)

3. I would like to use the McIntosh API skin in the car (looks super cool and is easy to use because one screen has album art, songs, and playlists on it)..and it is a mostly dark screen making it safer for night driving. (Note putting your iPad in night mode ..color reversal.. makes album art almost impossible to recognize.

4. I want to maintain 3g/4G connectivity for GPS while playing music from an external drive (which can be connected to iPad or a computer)


OK using Ipad for music alone is amazing.... limitations are storage space and hi- rez files

here come the bugs.

1.If I use try to use the "REMOTE" app to control and external Mac using Channld.com pure music...(which allows for easy midid switching of sample rates for hi-rez files).. then I need a wi-fi connection....and IF ipad sees a wi-fi connection and joins it..iPad assumes there is internet...and kills the 3g/4g connection and I loose navigation.

2. If I use the McIntosh API (This is Mcintosh the maker of metered amplifiers..not MacIntosh) then the 30 Pin dock connector stops sending audio in analog with iPad 2...though I am about to get an iPad 4. This forces me to use the Headphone output which has iPads lower quality amplifier in line and negates the possibility for external D/A conversion.

3. I can not use Channld.com 's pure music application DIRECTLY with iPad, and must have a computer using Pure Music feeding a External DAC such as Apogee Mac Mini.

4. I intend to use an Apogee Mini DAC (Because it can work with any voltage between 6-16 volts making it ideal for car audio) Apogee mini DAC has the following outputs XLR balanced (I intend to use these with an XLR to RCA conversion as my McIntosh car amp has RCA inputs..and I also get double the output voltage from the Mini DAC when I do this..reducingthe amount of noise relative to signal , Stereo mini unbalanced,

Apogee Mini DAC has the following inputs----->. S/PDIF Coaxial (will use with nakamichi CD changer) and Optical (will use with Airport express, as well as AES/EBU will use with iPad 4 and lightning connector with some sort of conversion to AES/EBU

and Firewire 400 for connection to my laptop (this is desirable over USB because the external drive would be on a different bus
(or I could trade my Apogee Mini DAC firewire for USB ). THE CCK will not recognize the Apogee Mini DAC with USB module. Nor has Apogee made any IOS compatible devices.

5. If I stream music over wi-fi to an airport express in the car the hi-rez files of anything higher than 24 bit 48kHz will be downsampled to 24/ 48kHz or worse. So wi-fi streaming is only good for redbook CD files.

6. 64GB iPad does not hold enough music... so if I use a seagate satellite 500Gb drive (Still small) it will broadcast wi-fi and again knock out my Navigation.

So in one scenario using ipad alone with a hi-rez converter... my music is severely limited.

Using the REMOTE app over wi-fi kills my navigation... though if i have an iphone with me I could use it for navigation but if the sound comes out of another ipad I won't hear it over the system and I would miss a turn.


Possible solution:

1. find a way to run REMOTE (or some other itunes controller) using bluetooth.

2. subscribe to external 3g/4g modem and wireless router (But that would stream hi-rez over the 3g/4g network and gobble bandwidth and possibly stutter or drop in bad reception areas) Sprint has an unlimited plan ....but lack luster coverage.

3. Put a kebob skewer through my ears so sound is no longer important

4. use ALO audio new lightning compatible headphone amp with built in DAC algorithm solo... (not sure about the sound quality though)

any thoughts??
Particularly using home sharing with iPad to get it all done or tricking ipad to allowing the use of both wi-fi and GPS at same time.

john gilmour

iPF Noob
Oct 25, 2012
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The plan to use Pure Music (a 32 bit upsampler which outputs 24 bit 192 with automatic bit and sample rate switching) requires a computer. So the thoughts were...until Apples newest releases yesterday was to use a 11" MacBook Air and a henge dock docking station sleeve. The sleeve was to mounted under the center armrest and the computer would dock. MacBook Air has very fast boot times and could be left in sleep mode for extended periods + an added benefit is ai would always have a fully charged ultra portable computer ready to take with me.

One issue was the lack of real storage space (256 gb or less) I have a 500GB SSD which would give me more... as I could house iTunes on that alone (remmeber that hi-rez files like 24/192 require 4x the space)

Bus powered drives would be favored.

It all sounds great until you find that iPad can only connect to 3G/4G OR wi-fi and NOT both at once. The iPad seems to switch between them.

The only dual network wireless combos that work BOTH at once seem to be bluetooth + either 3G/4G OR 802.11 wi-fi


I also considered using iPad as a touch screen only Using VNC and a program called Screen recycler. But there is way too much latency and set up configuration is a PITA. To do every time you start your car. Yes, I could do Macros with Automator...but still the end result is laggy. And a throughly downgraded experience.

I also considered using a touch screen other than iPad and the Newest 2.5gHz QUAD CORE Mac Mini server $999 . This has a couple of advantages... faster speed than all Macbook Pro's and macbook airs with a whooping 2TB of storage on two drives. BUT........ iTunes can only point to a single drive for it's library . So it is really only 1 TB unless I wanted to toggle back and forth between 2 libraries (hassle with duplicates and certainly a distraction while driving). The fusion drive offers a good solution....because it is more storage as a hybrid SSD and HDD at 256gb + 1TB . The Mac mini is fairly portable and there is a mechanized auto dock available that lets it load like a video cassette.

BUT of course you have the same dual network problems.


I considered using a Seagate go flex satellite drive or a G-force drive but I have the same network issues.


One last option would be a CCK + USB hub (powered) + DAC + external HDD for iPad.... but I wonder about the speed???Any ideas???

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