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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?
 (Entry last updated on May 4th, 2008)


The team that brought us the empeg/Rio Car player is no longer together and they are working at many different companies now. Some of them worked on portable players for a while, for Rio and for other companies. Hugo, the founder, is actually in Cupertino working for Apple at the time of this writing.

In the past, Rio had sought partnerships with OEM customers in order to bring their technology to the car. A prototype of an OEM car player which was the Mark 3 concept was shown at the Visteon booth at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It was basically the Rio Central with a color screen, redesigned as an in-dash player. Whether a product like this ever sees actual production is entirely up to Visteon. We are told that car manufacturers are glacially slow to move on such products, and that design may not see the light of day.

But {company} is doing a hard disk in-car player with {features} better than the Rio?

That's nice. Let's see how many units they actually sell. But at the time of this writing, in-dash hard disk players were still very expensive to manufacture (even for giants like Sony), and therefore difficult to sell in profitable quantities.

For a while, the only commercially successful hard disk car players had been the trunk-mounted CD-changer-type units such as the Kenwood/Phatnoise and the Neo. Major props to those guys for hitting that market segment accurately for their time. But that's not the same thing as the empeg Car/Rio Car, those units are much simpler in many ways.

·  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? 
·  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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