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Old 10-22-2011, 02:27 PM
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New Member With Head Unit Questions

Hi. Pretty close to pulling the trigger on a 2012 Limited and I have a few questions I couldn't find answered here. Apologies if I missed some answers, I did in fact try the search function. Anyway, was wondering if anyone had answers to the following:

1. Is the only difference between the 430N and the 730N the ability to use voice command for navigation? Also, is the voice command any good overall for all functions, phone (iPhone 4), nav, music etc.?

2. Does either the 430N or the 730N bypass the cheapo DAC in an iPod? I know that some aftermarket head units will (Sony, JVC) but do either of these?

3. When importing via the USB port to the HDD will folder and file structures remain "organized"? I have an Audi Q5 that will for some reason "unorganize" already organized folders when copying...very annoying. Just becomes a big mess, hoping this isn't the case with these head units.

4. Can the USB port be used only to import files to the HDD or can I access and play files off of an external USB HDD/flash drive through the head unit?

Thanks very much and apologies again if some of this has been covered before, I really did search for a while.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:11 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

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Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
Hi. Pretty close to pulling the trigger on a 2012 Limited and I have a few questions I couldn't find answered here. Apologies if I missed some answers, I did in fact try the search function. Anyway, was wondering if anyone had answers to the following:

1. Is the only difference between the 430N and the 730N the ability to use voice command for navigation? Also, is the voice command any good overall for all functions, phone (iPhone 4), nav, music etc.?

2. Does either the 430N or the 730N bypass the cheapo DAC in an iPod? I know that some aftermarket head units will (Sony, JVC) but do either of these?

3. When importing via the USB port to the HDD will folder and file structures remain "organized"? I have an Audi Q5 that will for some reason "unorganize" already organized folders when copying...very annoying. Just becomes a big mess, hoping this isn't the case with these head units.

4. Can the USB port be used only to import files to the HDD or can I access and play files off of an external USB HDD/flash drive through the head unit?

Thanks very much and apologies again if some of this has been covered before, I really did search for a while.
1) The 730N nav also has dead reckoning (limited nav capability without a GPS signal), the ability to split screen audio/nav, and the nav setup is done by Harmon International, not Garmin. The voice command is surprisingly good for some things (phone commands, nav), but can be limited in other areas. If you want to enter destinations while moving, voice command is the only way to do it short of using something that will unlock the various capabilities from the manufacturer standard settings.

2) No clue.

3) The internal HD has really poor file handling capabilities. You set up playlists according to folder; one folder for playlist X, one for playlist Y, etc. If you want song 1 in X and Y, it has to be on there twice, once in each folder. You can't really nest folders nor change the file structure once imported (have to delete the folder and load it again), but it will preserve the structure you import. IMO, the internal HD is only a backup to using an iPod or other player, not a replacement for it.

4) The USB port on the faceplate of the head unit can only be used to upload files onto the HD. The USB port in the console (430N, 730N RHR... the exception is the 730N RER, which hasn't been in production for some months now) can be used to play music off a thumb drive. I don't think anybody has had much success using a large external hard drive, but a regular flash drive should work.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:18 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

The 430 uses the much better Garmin Navigation and features, but most of the other functions work better on the 730N in my opinion. The 730 voice control of the navigation and hands free phone works pretty good. I don't think iPod control is a strong suit for either radio, the 730N is not very effective. Bluetooth streaming is decent. The dead reckoning doesn't work that great in real life, unless you spend most of your time in tunnels. These are subjective areas, and opinions will vary. I notice the performance/quirks of the 730N vary from radio to radio, where the 430 operation seems to be consistent, and works well with its latest firmware update. Hamon Becker makes the 730N where I think mitsubishi makes the 430N.

The hard drive is great for ripping your CDs directly onto, but is clumsy otherwise. I read on another dodge forum where someone hooked up a 300 GB USB HD for music. I believe the music navigation was not intuitive enough, and he just went back to an iPod.

Depending on the model, you may have no choice but the 730N.

DAC is not advertised, which probably means neither radio uses its own DAC for the iPod... but it is difficult to confirm that kind of info. Those with highly sensitive ears are not liking the speakers regardless.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:06 AM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

Thanks for both the reply's so far, very appreciated. I wish I could get a definitive answer from Jeep as to the DAC but when I called it was obvious this was a question way out of their scripted info responses zone.

My understanding is that one could not hook up any type of USB device for playback directly from that device other than an iPod. From what I've been able to learn is that the USB port is used solely for importing to the units HDD, is there a way around this? Would love to be able to play directly from a large capacity USB HDD or flash drive.

Thanks, really appreciate the responses.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

You may be able to dig more detail out of this site, covers 730N

http://www.mofv.com/mygig/

Drives may work on the center console port only. The USB port on the radio is different.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:03 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

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Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
Thanks for both the reply's so far, very appreciated. I wish I could get a definitive answer from Jeep as to the DAC but when I called it was obvious this was a question way out of their scripted info responses zone.

My understanding is that one could not hook up any type of USB device for playback directly from that device other than an iPod. From what I've been able to learn is that the USB port is used solely for importing to the units HDD, is there a way around this? Would love to be able to play directly from a large capacity USB HDD or flash drive.

Thanks, really appreciate the responses.
Both USB plugs (arm rest and front panel) will play off a thumb drive. The USB in the arm rest is specifically designed to play an ipod, and thus playing off a USB drive acts weird. I made a thread questioning that here. (click)

While I have not played music from a hard drive, you can easily play directly from a USB drive via the front panel USB port. I'm not a techie, so I'm not sure if the 430N would recognize the difference between a hard drive and usb memory stick.

I'm not working today, and i have a hard drive with 40+ gb of music on it - if you have a specific question i'd be glad to try to help out.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:10 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
2. Does either the 430N or the 730N bypass the cheapo DAC in an iPod? I know that some aftermarket head units will (Sony, JVC) but do either of these?
Yes when you use the USB connection. The music is sent in digital form over USB and the head unit converts it to analog. (If you use the AUX IN connection, that's analog and uses the iPod's DAC.)

With the 430N, you must connect to the USB port in the console between the front seats. The USB port in the head unit's faceplate is only for USB drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
3. When importing via the USB port to the HDD will folder and file structures remain "organized"? I have an Audi Q5 that will for some reason "unorganize" already organized folders when copying...very annoying. Just becomes a big mess, hoping this isn't the case with these head units.
It will remain "organized" if the metadata in the individual files is correct. I suspect that's what's going on with your Audi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
4. Can the USB port be used only to import files to the HDD or can I access and play files off of an external USB HDD/flash drive through the head unit?
You can play files off a USB drive connected to either port of the 430N. That's what I use to play podcasts instead of an iPod. I've heard the same is true for the 730N but I've never seen one.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:59 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200RT-P View Post
Both USB plugs (arm rest and front panel) will play off a thumb drive. The USB in the arm rest is specifically designed to play an ipod, and thus playing off a USB drive acts weird. I made a thread questioning that here. (click)

While I have not played music from a hard drive, you can easily play directly from a USB drive via the front panel USB port. I'm not a techie, so I'm not sure if the 430N would recognize the difference between a hard drive and usb memory stick.

I'm not working today, and i have a hard drive with 40+ gb of music on it - if you have a specific question i'd be glad to try to help out.
1200RT-P,

Thanks for the offer, I'd love to take you up on it! Here are my main concerns:

1. Does the head unit have a file maximum that it will read? On many of these units, stock or aftermarket you can indeed hookup a large external flash or HD drive. Problem is some limit the amount of files to something like 2500, 3000, 4000 or 5000. My collection is in excess of 9000 files so I'd love to get a definitive answer as to whether the head unit will see more than say 4000 files. 4000 is where my Audi Q5 hits the limit wall.

2. One other test I would also like to get a 100% definitive answer to is whether the head units DAC is indeed handling the D/A conversion and not the iPod.

Thanks 1200 RT-P, I look forward to your results!
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:08 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

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Originally Posted by Andrew Klossner View Post
Yes when you use the USB connection. The music is sent in digital form over USB and the head unit converts it to analog. (If you use the AUX IN connection, that's analog and uses the iPod's DAC.)

With the 430N, you must connect to the USB port in the console between the front seats. The USB port in the head unit's faceplate is only for USB drives.

It will remain "organized" if the metadata in the individual files is correct. I suspect that's what's going on with your Audi.

You can play files off a USB drive connected to either port of the 430N. That's what I use to play podcasts instead of an iPod. I've heard the same is true for the 730N but I've never seen one.
Andrew,

Thanks for the great responses. In regards to:

1. Not to second guess you at all but are you 100% sure the DAC in the head unit handle the D/A conversion? I was always under the impression this would always be the case with an iPod (and I'm a 24 year professional audio engineer!) as I ASSUMED the signal MUST be travelling digitally to the head unit over USB. I was shocked when I found out that 90% of head units take the analog signal, not the digital. Anyway, I'm sure you're correct, I'm just trying to be doubly sure.

2. As far as the metadata goes you're probably correct on that one as well. The odd thing is, if I copy my music to a USB HD drive or a USB flash drive my music copies perfectly as it should. Folders stay organized, all nicey nice. But when I import to my Audi MMI it becomes just a mess. I was hoping it would just copy the main music folder and retain all the file structures and hierarchy but no such luck. Confused as to why the USB drives copy so cleanly but the Audi MMI does such a messy butcher job.

Thanks very much for your help!

Rob
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:00 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

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Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
Not to second guess you at all but are you 100% sure the DAC in the head unit handle the D/A conversion?
Yes I am. I've been designing USB devices for a decade or so and can bore you to tears with details, but it comes down to this: the USB cable contains four wires (plus, sometimes a shield ground.) The four wires are power, ground, differential data plus, and differential data minus. Those differential data lines can only be used to send digital data (in one direction at a time); there is no way to put an analog signal in there without radically distorting how USB works and, at the very least, losing the ability to control the iPod from the head end.

The iPod connector has many more signals, including analog audio. But when you use an iPod-to-USB connector, the only wires in the cable are the four described above.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:46 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

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Originally Posted by Andrew Klossner View Post
Yes I am. I've been designing USB devices for a decade or so and can bore you to tears with details, but it comes down to this: the USB cable contains four wires (plus, sometimes a shield ground.) The four wires are power, ground, differential data plus, and differential data minus. Those differential data lines can only be used to send digital data (in one direction at a time); there is no way to put an analog signal in there without radically distorting how USB works and, at the very least, losing the ability to control the iPod from the head end.

The iPod connector has many more signals, including analog audio. But when you use an iPod-to-USB connector, the only wires in the cable are the four described above.
Fantastic! Awesome Andrew, thanks very much. I knew I shouldn't have second guessed you! I guess the GC head units all the use of a standard iPod cable then and not a proprietary one like in my Audi, which does pull the audio from the iPod via analog.

So now I would be the one to assume something: Would it be safe to say then that any head unit (factory or aftermarket) that has a USB in for digital media playback would be using the units DAC then? Still not sure if I'm going to go factory with the GC or aftermarket.

Would you happen to know if I would lose any functionality or info if I lost the stock head unit and went aftermarket in terms of the drivers info display?

Thanks again Andrew!

Rob
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:35 PM
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Re: New Member With Head Unit Questions

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Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
I guess the GC head units all the use of a standard iPod cable then and not a proprietary one like in my Audi, which does pull the audio from the iPod via analog.
There is an old head unit for the GC that uses a custom iPod cable instead of an iPod-to-USB cable. But the 430 RHB and the 730 RHR do not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
Would it be safe to say then that any head unit (factory or aftermarket) that has a USB in for digital media playback would be using the units DAC then?
If it's the same "type A" USB connector that you see on a computer, then yes, it's strictly digital in and therefore the DAC must be done inside the head unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tridentnyc View Post
Would you happen to know if I would lose any functionality or info if I lost the stock head unit and went aftermarket in terms of the drivers info display?
I don't know. Chrysler used the new high-speed CAN bus in the GC. I don't know enough about the bus protocols to say whether they've been standardized.
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