Happy 10th Anniversary!

I was on the way to a ref meeting a few weeks ago and was fumbling on my in-car MP3 player when I suddenly realised that i own and operate this piece of hardware since 10 years!

Happy anniversary, dear DMP3A :-)

the letters DMP3 may be not as easily readable as they used to be, the case may have some scratches, bumps and bruises... but this little device is still offering reliable services after 10 years :)

So i'm digging deep into my mind to bring up the circumstances which led to the decision to buy this thing:

During the nineties and the very early naughties I was mostly listening to Music on MiniDiscs.
When I got my first car at the end of 2001 (a blue metallic BMW 316i compact, which I took over from my boss (who's wife expected her first child and thus he switched to a BMW 323d station wagon) I could get my hands on a cheap second hand car stereo that came with a MiniDisc slot.

So I was driving around happily with my car listening to tunes on my discs, even though I knew already that MP3 players will take over in the long run.

At the end of 2001 Apple released the first iPod with a storage capacity of 5 gigs for 400 USD.
For me this was no option... 5GB were not enough for me, I was (and still am) fond of directory browsing (something the iPod did not offer [i may be wrong on this one...]) and I wanted to have a decent solution to hook it up to my stereo, not a connection with a cassette adapter or whatnot :-)

one year later there was a practical solution especially designed for car use available: The Dension DMP3.

A friend of mine had a Dension installed in his car already and when he demonstrated it to me, I was excited about it immediately. It had everything I was looking for, plus some more which let the eyes of every geek sparkle with joy:

  • regular 3.5" hd based
  • sold with or without HD yay
  • changing the HD does not void the varranty YAY!!!
  • the player comes with an centronix interface that connects with a HD mobile rack for fast file transfer via IDE Bus YA.... ok, as we have USB 2.0/3.0 today, this is appearing as a bit silly
  • along with the player came a so called "carhost" in which you slide the player in when using it in the car.
    The car host is hooked up with the cars electric system and stereo making it easy to connect or disconnect the player.
    This carhost came in three flavours: 'normal' carhost, carhost-a (for alpine head units with M-BUS interface) and carhost-s (for sony head units with unilink interface).

    With the Alpine and Sony units, connecting the player is as easy as plugging in the (included) cable. Ok, three more cables had to be hooked up to permanent 12V from the battery, 12V (ignition) and GND which are available in a a standard car stereo ISO plug anyway...

    The solution worked. and it worked nicely. at the beginning I wondered how long the HD will survive, as a car on a road is not exactly a HD friendly environment, but whenever I replaced a HD it was for capacity reasons and not because it went faulty.

    About one year ago I replaced it with a Laptop HD making the player lighter and drawing less ampère.

    In 2006 I sold the BMW and bought a Volvo V40. The DMP3 was moved and installed in the new car, of course :)

    The Sony MiniDisc car stereo is gone since a while now, but the DMP3 remains :)

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