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rio car dot org FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Category: Main -> Basic questions about the car player and the company
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·  What is the difference between the empeg Car and the Rio Car? 
·  Has the Rio Car been discontinued? 
·  Where can I buy one? 
·  Will there ever be a car player Mark 3? 
·  What came in the box with the Rio Car player? 
·  What are the basic specifications of the player? 
·  How does the Rio Car compare to other car MP3 players on the market? 
·  How is the music organized on the player? Is it easy to find a given tune? 
·  Do I need to know Linux to use the Rio Car player? 
·  How are the hard disks going to hold up to the vibration of a car? 
·  Can I use the Rio Car player in an audio competition? 
·  Why were laptop drives used? Desktop drives are cheaper. 
·  Why doesn't it play MP3 CD-R discs? 
·  Why doesn't it have a removable faceplate? Why must the whole unit be pulled from the dash? 
·  Why only 10BaseT ethernet? Why didn't you put 100BaseT on the Mark 2 player? 
·  Do I need a separate amplifier, or will the Rio Car drive my speakers directly? 
·  How do I put music onto the player? Do I need to bring a laptop into the car? 
·  What operating systems are supported? 
·  What kind of music files will it play? Will it play VQF/AAC/MPEG4/OGG/MP3Pro, etc.? 
·  Does the player work with iTunes? 
·  Does the player support audio books? 
·  Does the tuner support XM radio or Sirius radio? 
·  What RDS features does the tuner support? 
·  What parts of the software are open-source? 
·  I want to start encoding my CD collection for use on the Rio Car now! Is there anything I need to keep in mind? 

·  What is the largest disk drive I can put in the player?
 (Entry last updated on January 24th, 2008)

For all practical purposes, there is no limit. You can install pretty much any two laptop IDE drives you like.

The largest configuration sold by Sonic|blue was 60gb, consisting of both available drive bays filled with 30gb laptop disk drives.

If you are good with tools and electronics, you can install your own laptop disk drives. Complete instructions for doing this are here.

The player's disk space is only limited by the capacity of available laptop IDE disk drives, and newer, bigger laptop disk drives are coming out all the time. At the time of this writing, there were laptop IDE drives available as big as 160gb. There is room in the player's case for two of these drives, bringing the total potential capacity to 320gb. Some users have actually done this, so it isn't just theoretical.

Although there is no specific limit to the size of the disk drives you can install, there are some other limitations you might run into:

  • Laptop drives over a certain size are likely to be manufactured as SATA drives instead of IDE drives. At the time of this writing, there was not a way to install a SATA drive into the player.

  • Laptop drives over about 60 gigabytes each will cause the disk builder image to crash, requiring extra steps in the installation process. Not difficult to work around, but it makes the job slightly more tedious because it requires extra steps. These steps are outlined in the instructions.

  • Laptop drives over about 128 gigabytes each will require a special altered version of the kernel in order to work properly. This is also outlined in the instructions.

  • The player has a limited amount of RAM for caching the database of songs. Players with too many songs on the hard disk (between 10,000 and 20,000 depending on the amount of data in their tags) will hit the database size limit and will have trouble indexing the entire player contents all at once. This can be worked around by manually rebuilding the database when you add new music, and dividing the music up into smaller sub-playlists and playing only those on playback. There are also other tricks you can do that can increase those limitations, discussed in detail here.


·  What do all the buttons do? 
·  What does the serial number represent? 
·  How do I upgrade my software? 
·  How can I get a replacement blue lens? The official Rio add-on lens kits don't have blue. 
·  What is the 'Security' slot on the back of the player for? 
·  If my player is stolen, is there anything I can do? 
·  If I purchase a player second-hand, will the one-year warranty still be honored? 
·  How do I get support or repairs? 


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