Possible new feature proposal - Input please.
If you are like me, you like to carry a digital camera while you are out exploring in your Jeep. After all, the Jeep will carry you to some very scenic locations. Once in a while you might fill up your camera's memory card. If you don't have another card with you, then you have to stop shooting until you can transfer the photos to a computer. If only you had a portable storage device which would temporarily hold your photos, then you could erase the memory card and keep shooting...
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee (and other Chrysler vehicles) can be equipped with either the Media Center 430, 430N or 730N, all of which offer plenty of user accessible hard drive storage space. Any of these radios will read and transfer JPEG photo files directly from a camera to the hard drive through the USB port *. They will even allow you to view the photos. They will NOT allow you to recover photos from the hard drive at a later time. JPEG files can be deleted, but not copied back on to a memory stick. The hard drive acts as a one way device. This is unfortunate and should be rectified by the addition of a feature which allows you to transfer JPEG picture files from the hard drive to the USB port.
The radio's hardware supports two way file transfer. The dealer's StarSCAN tool will allow the backup of the entire drive via the USB port. The problem is that the end user software interface has no provision to copy files from the hard drive. One should not have to buy a StarSCAN tool to do this.
We are all cognizant of copyright infringement issues regarding music files. However, there are no such copyright considerations when dealing with photos you take with your own camera. Moreover, the radios already "know" the difference between the various music file formats and JPEG picture files. It should be a relatively simple matter to provide end user software that would allow the transfer of files other than music files to a USB memory stick. Legal issues should not be an impediment to implementing this feature.
Of course you could always buy a portable backup device for your camera (or simply remember to bring along additional memory cards). Why should you have to when your Media Center is already equipped with a hard drive, USB port and viewing screen? All that is missing is a little bit of software to allow the recovery of your photos.
If you use the iPod integration feature of your radio for music storage and playback, then the hard drive space contained in the radios becomes redundant. Your ability to utilize the hardware you paid for is limited by the inability to recover any stored files .
It is likely possible for Chrysler to implement a "transfer pictures to USB" feature via a software update for existing customers, as well as providing the feature in new vehicles. This feature could enhance Chrysler's brand names and differentiate them in the marketplace. Customer satisfaction in the important infotainment area may increase and help promote sales. Many people own digital cameras. It is difficult to imagine a downside to this feature.
Do you think Chrysler should consider adding the ability to recover picture files stored on the existing Media Center hard drives? Would you make use of this feature? Would you be satisfied with JPEG file transfer only, or would you like the ability to deal with other types of files as well? In what context? Thank you for your consideration and response.
* Tested using a Nikon D200 in mass storage mode connected to the in-dash USB port with the Nikon USB cable. Most consumer cameras should work this way.