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#23484 - 09/12/2000 01:38 Empeg competition - PhatNoise
hussein
stranger

Registered: 30/11/2000
Posts: 72
Looks like Empeg has some competition. I think the Empeg is still way cooler (the custom display helps plus Empeg is its own unit meaning it can do more) but this is not a bad alternative. I wish they had built their own headunit so they could give you a custom experience like Empeg, but I think this is good competition, nevertheless. Maybe in the process everyone's products will get better - PhatNoise already has better industrial design.

Marketing fluff below

What happened when a bunch of electrical-engineering students at UCLA got totally frustrated about the limited options they faced when they wanted to bring digital audio from their computers into their cars? Well, two guys took the matter into their own hands and converted their apartment into a working lab and the company PhatNoise was born. Their premier system includes the PhatBox, a portable plug-and-play unit controlled by your car stereo's source unit. It plays music stored on the PhatCart, a palm-sized cartridge that stores the equivalent of 100 albums. The PhatBox can be installed into systems in places where a CD changer might go. ($499; 310-785-0397; www.phatnoise.com)


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#23485 - 09/12/2000 02:23 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: hussein]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
I think that if you have the money, there is no equal to the empeg. I have owned the neo35 and although it lacks quality construction, I think it is a better alternative than the PhatNoise system and it's less expensive.

However, I think that car manufacturers could use this thing as an alternative to a cd changer.

-Rob
-----
12GB MK2 Blue 090000736 (6166 in the queue)
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-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#23486 - 09/12/2000 07:17 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: hussein]
jwickis
addict

Registered: 24/08/2000
Posts: 658
Loc: India
Phatnoise is one I looked at also, different approach than Empeg however doesn't seem as sophisticated. Phatnoise was supposed to come out late summer but as of a week ago you still couldn't get one, they have almost missed the boat as far as I'm concerned.

#090000695 Mk2 BLUE 12Gig

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#23487 - 09/12/2000 08:42 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: hussein]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
We already did a CD-bus based changer, which we shipped (a limited number to an OEM) in August 1999. These have been shown extensively worldwide.

Of course, the empeg-car is a flagship product; we believe it offers many advantages over CD-bus based units. That's not to say they don't fill a niche, but I'm certain we could do a better job than Phatnoise on a CD-bus box ;)

Hugo



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#23488 - 09/12/2000 09:33 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: altman]
silvercas
member

Registered: 23/10/2000
Posts: 159
hmmm I used to follow that phatbox. but just decided to go with the empeg. I really needed an in dash solution. Welp, after looking at this thing it seems pretty neat. Though it seems that its price has come up. Its now 549 + any accesorries. Heck, I would just save my money and get the empeg if you have room in your dash.


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#23489 - 09/12/2000 19:53 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: hussein]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK
The problem with Phatnoise is that it relies on the UI of a head unit that was never intended to accommodate such a huge volume of music. We're very familiar with these issues as we designed a similar product almost two years ago (I think there are some prototype photos on the geek site).

It could be argued that the UI on some of the head unit products isn't much better, but I'd have thought that even the Neo would be more useful. The Phatnoise may come into its own for cases where there is absolutely no possibility of fitting a new head unit, though.

Rob



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#23490 - 10/12/2000 10:53 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: rob]
jwickis
addict

Registered: 24/08/2000
Posts: 658
Loc: India
Personally I don't like the memory stick players just another thing to lose and not know what's on them. I still have VHS tapes that have never been titled and have no idea what's on them. More clutter is what I see.

#090000695 Mk2 BLUE 12Gig

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#23491 - 10/12/2000 18:15 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: jwickis]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK
These are all (Phatnoise & Neo 35) hard drive based products. The Phatnoise connects to a standard head unit via a CD changer bus, and thus has a very restricted UI. The Neo doesn't have that excuse

Rob



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#23492 - 10/12/2000 18:39 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: rob]
jwickis
addict

Registered: 24/08/2000
Posts: 658
Loc: India
Ummm....it uses a cart & cart reader I was mistaken in saying memory stick. They say the cart holds 1000 MP3's (at my bitrates probably more like 4-500). You still have something that has to be loaded and carried one of the things I like Empeg over any other system.

#695 Mk2 BLUE 12Gig

Ask and I may tell you

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#23493 - 04/01/2001 02:47 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: robricc]
Captain_Chaos
member

Registered: 18/11/2000
Posts: 126
Loc: Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Can you reassure me why I paid about four times what a Neo 35 would cost with comparable hard disk space (i have a 40 GB empeg II)? Of course the empeg has advantages like a fancy graphical UI and a fancy graphical management tool, but to me those advantages are not worth nearly as much as the price difference between my empeg and a Neo 35.

In other words: why does the empeg cost so much more? Is the construction and quality of the components really so much better that it justifies four times the price of a Neo 35?


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#23494 - 04/01/2001 04:40 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Captain_Chaos]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
In a word, yes.

For starters: the 40Gb neo uses a 3.5" drive. These are not designed for use in mobile environments and are much more likely to fail. The 40Gb empeg mk2 uses 2x20Gb 2.5" drives (you can't get 40Gb 2.5" ones) each of which is significantly more expensive than the 40gb drive in the neo.

The neo has very limited playlist and random support - for example, it can't do proper randomisation across all tunes on the disk (it doesn't have the ram to do this). The empeg, on the other hand, does do proper random shuffle/unshuffle, remembers the random playlist across poweroffs, and in 1.1 will even do things like shuffle biased towards tracks you've not heard recently (which no jukebox anywhere that I know of does). As for playlists, the empeg has hierarchical playlists & linking, the neo has limited size flat playlists.

Synchronisation on the empeg can be done via USB & Ethernet (some people even do wireless ethernet syncs); with the neo's PC bay, you have to power off your PC to load new tunes. They now have a USB bay (extra cost) which at least means you don't have to power it off.

The empeg's sound output is 4 ch (neo 2ch) with better output voltage and s/n than the neo - plus full parametric EQ too. The empeg has line in, which can then be processed by the EQ if required. The empeg has carphone mute, lights-on dimming, and a PSU which is happy with "normal" car power (unlike the neo which, at least in the first units, ran 12v 3.5" discs from about 10-11v and as such didn't work with many of them).

The empeg is smaller, and uses more advanced electronics - leading to more expensive construction and components. The neo is so deep it won't fit into most car's dashboards at all. We also provide industry-standard connections for power, etc in our wiring loom.

The empeg can be upgraded to play new audio formats - WAV and WMA, for example, are in 1.1. The Neo35 cannot support anything apart from MP2/MP3, as it uses a custom MP3 decoder chip. The empeg also supports things like VBR better (and even better in 1.1).

The neo isn't a bad solution, but it's a bare minimum solution. This BBS and its users show that many many people value the extra functionality highly. We also continue to support older models - the mk1 will run 1.1 too, for example. There are a lot more features coming which I can't mention, but I seriously doubt you'll be sorry you bought an empeg - many people who have bought Neo35's later upgraded to empegs; obviously they couldn't live with the Neo's shortcomings.

Hugo



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#23495 - 04/01/2001 05:27 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: altman]
teemcbee
addict

Registered: 04/02/2000
Posts: 687
Anyone else who dares to ask?

....and in 1.1 will even do things like shuffle biased towards tracks...
As you're talking about 1.1 - when will we get it?!

As I haven't read every post in the last time and my memory is a bit corrupt... will there be a possibility to configure the player to start up with the last selected visual in the car?

TeeMcBee
Got my Mk2! # 080000143
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TeeMcBee
[orange]Mk2, # 080000143, 40+30 GB, Tuner, Peugeot stalk hookup</font color=orange>

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#23496 - 04/01/2001 06:50 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: teemcbee]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
1.1 will come out when it's gone through testing; it hasn't gone out to testers yet. That's not to say there's piles of work to do on it, I've been running it for at least 3 months - just that there have been holdups.

No, we will not allow the player to start up with a visual in-car (and the reasons why have been discussed to death). If you really want this, I seem to remember someone did a kernel patch which basically held down the bottom button on powerup and so switched back to visual mode.

Hugo



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#23497 - 04/01/2001 07:04 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: altman]
teemcbee
addict

Registered: 04/02/2000
Posts: 687
No, we will not allow the player to start up with a visual in-car (and the reasons why have been discussed to death)

Yeah, I know. But I didn't know how they ended up...

If you really want this, I seem to remember someone did a kernel patch which basically held down the bottom button on powerup and so switched back to visual mode.

Yep, I know this, too. But I don't want to wait and upload a new, patched kernel every time a new version comes out...
Well - seems it doesn't help and I'll have to keep on pressing the bottom button every time...


TeeMcBee
Got my Mk2! # 080000143
_________________________
TeeMcBee
[orange]Mk2, # 080000143, 40+30 GB, Tuner, Peugeot stalk hookup</font color=orange>

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#23498 - 05/01/2001 11:10 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: altman]
jbauer
veteran

Registered: 08/05/2000
Posts: 1429
Loc: San Francisco, CA
While I'm really excited to use/see the new features in 1.1, I'm glad that empeg is as thorough as they are about making sure the software is solid enough to send to the masses. Kudos empeg! MSFT, you hear that?

- Jon


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#23499 - 05/01/2001 14:18 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: jbauer]
silvercas
member

Registered: 23/10/2000
Posts: 159
PHATNOISE and the NEO, heck NOTHING has ANYTHING on EMPEG. For anyone questioning their purchase and if its within, whatever the return period from EMPEG is, just return it. EMPEG is the leader in this market. Thats what you pay the dollars. You get the STANDARDS.


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#23500 - 09/01/2001 09:24 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: altman]
Captain_Chaos
member

Registered: 18/11/2000
Posts: 126
Loc: Amersfoort, The Netherlands
OK, you've reassured me... :-)

I wasn't having second thoughts or anything, I love my empeg. I was just curious about the price difference which seemed so large.

Does anyone actually have any experience with how long a 3.5" desktop harddisk in a Neo 35 lasts on cobble roads?


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#23501 - 10/01/2001 15:34 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Captain_Chaos]
mcomb
pooh-bah

Registered: 31/08/1999
Posts: 1649
Loc: San Carlos, CA
Well, I had a five or six year old (pull from a 486) 3.5 inch HD in a MP Shuttle with no real padding for about 6 months in a Jeep Wrangler which makes pretty much everything feel like a cobbled road. Does that count :-)

Of course I was prepared to sacrifice the hard drive to the MP3 gods. The drive still works fine, the MP Shuttle got upgraded to an empeg.

-Mike

_________________________
EmpMenuX - ext3 filesystem - Empeg iTunes integration

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#23502 - 15/01/2001 22:18 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: hussein]
Rex_Oah
new poster

Registered: 15/01/2001
Posts: 13
you guyz area all gunna be sory when the phatnoize comes out. its gonna be better then the empeg cuz you can use the sames steteo you already got, and its gona be cheaper. Man I been reading this bbs and dont hear nothing but ppl complaning about bugz on the empeg here.

_________________________
Not Really Rex Oah

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#23503 - 15/01/2001 22:58 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Rex_Oah]
Terminator
old hand

Registered: 12/01/2000
Posts: 1079
Loc: Dallas, TX
LOL


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#23504 - 16/01/2001 05:29 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Rex_Oah]
jstrain
enthusiast

Registered: 18/08/1999
Posts: 202
Loc: philadelphia pa
dosen't this board have a spell checker feature? i also have noticed that every post on the board deals with "bugz". even the forums like ICE and general are really bug report forums in disguise.

come on. the empeg always has been and will continue to be far superior to the phatnoise.

jeremy

12 gig, green...

Edited by jstrain on 16/01/01 12:34 PM.

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12 gig, green...

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#23505 - 16/01/2001 10:32 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Rex_Oah]
Smoker_Man
member

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 165
Loc: Calgary, CANADA
bwahahahahahahahahahaha - *sigh* - bwahahahahahahahaha


He is a funny guy!
Dude, the "bugz" u r talking l33t about are crap, the empeg is by FAR the best product I have bought to date, I realised today that I havent listened to the radio in about 5 months (since I have had my Empeg).
CD's are so 20'th century, mp3's are the way to go, if you love mp3's like I do, then the Empeg makes sense. Yeah, it's expensive, yeah you need another (somewhat) expensive amp to run it, but you know what - it kicks arse on any car audio product out there!

so there...
How about them apples?
Neener neener, I like linux (cant really use it, but that is a different story), I like mp3's, and yes, I have the cash to drop on a fantastic product when I see one.

Smoker_Man
#080000449 MkII - 36Gb Blue
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#23506 - 16/01/2001 11:11 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: jstrain]
Rex_Oah
new poster

Registered: 15/01/2001
Posts: 13
No way man tha Phat is gunna be Phat!!! besides I could build an mp3 playre myslef for less money!!!!!!!!

Rex
_________________________
Not Really Rex Oah

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#23507 - 16/01/2001 11:29 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Rex_Oah]
Jazzwire
addict

Registered: 09/06/1999
Posts: 483
Loc: Guernsey
In reply to:

No way man tha Phat is gunna be Phat!!! besides I could build an mp3 playre myslef for less money!!!!!!!!



Then go ahead and do so...
I bet you can't put a player together that will fit in a single din slot and match the empeg's features...

Let me guess... You'd get a PC motherboard, soundsblaster live, mains inverter and bang it together in the trunk... Yawn, heard it all before...

Speaking of Phat Noise,
  • Anything shipping yet??? Been about to ship for a while, yes?
  • Can you take your dms cart out of your phatbox and play your tunes on a home stereo? Doesn't look like it to me.
  • Check out this http://www.iomega.com/peerless/index.html. Looks quite like the dms cart. Maybe Phatnoise have sold some tech to Iomega?

I'm not slagging off the Phatbox, but until I see a shipping product, I'm not "gunna" be convinced by any of your arguments...

Jazz
(List 112, Mk2 12 gig #40. Mk1 4 gig #30. Mk3 1.6 16v)
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Jazz (List 112, Mk2 42 gig #40. Mk1 4 gig #30. Mk3 1.6 16v)

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#23508 - 16/01/2001 11:42 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Jazzwire]
Smoker_Man
member

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 165
Loc: Calgary, CANADA
box in the trunk...lol

Did you see MaximimLinux's article for a "Car mp3 player"?
The call it the Route66, and is basically uses a 1u rackmount server (in the trunk), running fancy MySQL for the database, XMMS (i think) and a serial line to a VFD mounted in the dash. Not bad, considering PenguinComputing has a 1u rackmount unit for about a $1K US.

save yourself the headache and lost life productivity and buy an Empeg, to well, use it right out of the box!

PS I dont have the links available offhand, but I am sure MaximumLinux Magazine has a webpage, it is published 6-7 time a year, so the website should have the article for some time.

WTF is a PhatNoise (noize?) and why is was a given such a stupid name?
(Let me tell you a story about a lowered Jeep Grand Cherokee, with PHAT! emblazoned on the rear window, now that guy was cool (and 16years old, who got the cherokee from his folks as a grad present!)

Smoker_Man
#080000449 MkII - 36Gb Blue
_________________________
2x160Gb MkII Lighted Buttons 080000449

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#23509 - 16/01/2001 13:38 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Rex_Oah]
fvgestel
old hand

Registered: 12/08/2000
Posts: 702
Loc: Netherlands
I have read the phatnoise BBS and noticed some bugzz on pioneer head units. Strange...; there's only about 10 posts on the BBS and the product hasn't even been launched yet...

Frank van Gestel
_________________________
Frank van Gestel

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#23510 - 16/01/2001 13:38 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Rex_Oah]
silvercas
member

Registered: 23/10/2000
Posts: 159
hmmm I have to chime in again. The EMPEG is an EXCELLENT and the ONLY in-dash solution IN MY EYES... I've tried the kenwood cd mp3 and its limited! the phatnoise is a great clone of an empeg ( i wonder what photnosie's inspiration is, hmm maybe they got an EMPEG) that is meant for your TRUNK.

BTW- I can use my EMPEG with my current stereo.

Lastly WHY do you post idioic msg about the EMPEG.. I think you do it because

a. you never have seen one, used one or touched one. if you did you wouldnt be mocking it

b. your jealous

so save your time KID!


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#23511 - 16/01/2001 13:47 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: silvercas]
Smoker_Man
member

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 165
Loc: Calgary, CANADA
In reply to:

so save your time KID!




I feel the same, however I was a little reseverd in my dissin' (ha lol)

I would've gone along the lines of;
97 civic hatchback driving (nothing wrong with them)
slammed with shiney rims (ok now it starts to get bad)
stickers and "sponsor" logos everywhere (now a really crappy car)
an absurdly large spoiler (must I say more?)
or shall I point you to the rice boy racer???

I wont go any further, I cant type I am laughing far too hard!



Smoker_Man
#080000449 MkII - 36Gb Blue
_________________________
2x160Gb MkII Lighted Buttons 080000449

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#23512 - 16/01/2001 13:53 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: Smoker_Man]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30578
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oh my god, that riceboy page is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. It should go hand-in hand with Mullets Galore.

___________
Tony Fabris
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Tony Fabris

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#23513 - 16/01/2001 14:10 Re: Empeg competition - PhatNoise [Re: tfabris]
Smoker_Man
member

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 165
Loc: Calgary, CANADA
Oh dear, now those are some bad hair days! lol

I once had that issue in my life, but now I am follicly challenged , on purpose!

Smoker_Man
#080000449 MkII - 36Gb Blue
_________________________
2x160Gb MkII Lighted Buttons 080000449

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