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Alpine Car Media Player

alpine-ida-x001.jpg

I installed an Alpine iDA-X001 media player in my work van about 6 months or so ago and until recently, have not tried it for playing music directly from my BlackBerry Curve.

Although I have it running through about 1200 watts of amplifiers, subwoofers and speakers, I’m not going to do a review of sound quality as I will leave that to the numerous audio websites and forums.

The head unit comes with 2 connection cables. One for an iPod connection and the other with a USB port in which you can plug a USB to Mini-USB cable into. (Both these cables can be connected at the same time and run through your dashboard at time of install)

The Alpine iDA-X001 is a digital media player only (as well as an AM/FM radio) and doesn’t include a CD player of any sort. The controls are not un-similar to those on a Classic Apple iPod with a dial acting the same as the ‘ClickWheel’.

My main source of music was coming from my Apple iPhone and this works very well with integration  between the 2 seamless. The BlackBerry however, is a little different in the way it operates on the High Res Alpine screen.

high-res_display.jpg 

With the Apple iPhone, you get all your ‘Albums’, ‘Genre’, ‘Artists’ and recent playlists. But with the BlackBerry you get none of these privileges. Just a list of the songs you have stored on your media card. That’s about it. They play fine on the Alpine unit and you can zip through your song list using the Alpine control wheel but unless you are the type why just likes to hit the ‘Shuffle’ icon then this can be a real pain in the butt. It’s not a fault of Alpine or of BlackBerry.

This unit is primarily designed for use with an Apple iPod and with that it works just fine. But if you want/need to use it with a BlackBerry it will get the job done with just a whole heap less features…

8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. What you described is how a standard flash drive works–which is exactly what the blackberry was to the Alpine. Blackberries cannot play music through the USB port; they will however connect to anything that looks like a computer and offer the mass storage to it.

    Are your music files stored all in the music folder or do you have them organized into subfolders?

    I play music from my Blackberry in my car every day. I connect the auxilary input jack in the car stero from the headphone jack in the blackberry and this combination plays my 320kbps MP3s very nicely. Of course I do need to control the music from the blackberry and control the volume from the stereo.

  2. Hi BlackBerry Beard,
    I totally agree with you, the BlackBerry is only being used as a storage platform.
    You can control the file selection from the Alpine head unit that is what makes it different from others.
    And, yes I have all my music on my Curve sorted into Albums but the unit does not recognize the album, just the song.
    KR
    Greg Myers

  3. Ditch the blackberry and get an iPhone. Not only is the iPhone a far better and trendsetting music player (it’s an iPod) it’s also a far better phone and a phenomenally better internet browser. There is no comparison to a blackberry, except that the iPhone makes the blackberry look extremely primitive.

  4. I don’t agree the iPhone is a “far better phone” than a Blackberry, but to each his own! I guess if you’re in an area where ATT provides best cellular coverage one could argue, but since you can’t use an iPhone on CDMA and CDMA has “far better” coverage here where I live, I’ll take my Blackberry as a “far better phone” over an iPhone any day.

    I’m guessing an iPod Touch would integrate as well as the article indicates an iPhone does?

    It would be nice there was a head unit that could connect to a BB via Bluetooth and control the music via A/V Remote Control.

    Does the BB recharge when connected to this Alpine like this? At least if it isn’t an ideally integrated solution if it eliminated the need for a car charger that would be a plus.

  5. Greg,
    Just following up. Do you have your music sorted in multiple subfolders by album AND the metatags on each file identifying the appropriate album? If you have both set appropriately and still have this issue then the Alpine is lacking. If you want a great free MP3 tag editor you can go to http://www.mp3tag.de. Even though the website is in German the product is in English (if I remember correctly you select the language upon installation).

  6. Thanks for the feedback guys and girls. I didn’t intend to start an iPhone vs BlackBerry debate here.(I will save that for when the BlackBerry 9000 and the iPhone 2.0 gets released)
    And thanks heaps Blackberry Beard. I’m really busy this week but will be sure to check out what you have written next week when I have a bit of free time. I will let you know how it goes…
    Kindest Regards,
    Greg Myers

  7. Thanks for the feedback guys and girls. I didn’t intend to start an iPhone vs BlackBerry debate. I will save that for when the BlackBerry 9000 and the iPhone 2.0 get released.
    And thankyou BlackBerry Beard, I am a fairly busy this week but next week should have some breathing space and will go through the link you have posted above.
    I will let you know…
    Kind Regards,
    Greg Myers

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