Recently my MP3 player packed up in the car.  It was a TraxData Neo mStation hard disk based MP3 player, which has served me well for the past 9 years and 3 hard disks.  One thing I liked about it was the fact it was hard disk based (IDE) so upgrading to high capacity was easy, and the fact it just browsed the disk directly – no indexing or building of a database of the metadata was required.  I guess it does look a bit 80’s with it’s monochrome display, and this is how it finally died, with a green screen of death 🙁 So I needed something that is new, modern, going to be future proof and have lots of functions and useless features I would never use, but the few critical features a car radio should provide which work well.  So here it is, my installation notes of a Parrot Asteroid BMW E46 install.

So I wanted (needed) another MP3 player for the car as my commute is hellishly boring and radio reception is non-existent to patch at best.  At first I was seeking another product similar – hard disk based with a control that could be mounted in the dash, but I was unable to find anything.  I then started considering changing out the standard BMW Business CD headunit, as mine has had the same CLSM breakbeat hardcore CD stuck in it for about 4 years now, and all of the head units are either heavily iPod based, just have a single 3.5mm jack input for aux, or use USB/SD card for playing other media, but most have small limits in terms of supported storage.

I considered just using the line in, but all I could really find in terms of players were portable MP3 players which have small buttons and screens, and are highly knickable if left mounted to the dash.  Then I came across the Parrot Asteroid – a head unit running Android.  This has to be worth a look.  So I bit the bullet and ordered one. I spent last weekend fitting it and removing the old cabling for the mStation – not so much fun outside at +2 C.  I also rigged up a 500GB self powered USB drive (Intenso).

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