Apple iPod versus PhatNoise

I’ve been wanting to purchase a PhatNoise digital music player for a long time. I like that how well it can integrate with an OEM headunit and I really want to be able to listen to my entire music collection during my 45-minute commute to work without messing with Discs. However, I’ve held off purchasing one because they have yet to add the ability to play WMA protected songs; I saw no hope of them every playing iTunes FairPlay protected songs.

However, I’ve changed my mind. Goodbye PhatNoise, I never really knew ya. I’ve read of multiple companies (Blitz Safe, Soundgate, Precision Interface Electronics (PIE) / Monster Cable, Kenwood, Apline, BMW and several other OEMs) releasing products that allow an iPod to connect to and directly interface with the vehicle audio system. Kenwood, who is a partner with PhatNoise and sells a rebranded unit called the Muisc Keg, was the biggest surprise. So my new plan is to buy an iPod and the OEM interface cable from Blitz Safe. This is a cheaper option than the PhatNoise box and it can play DRM-protected files. I’ll probably start buying songs from Real unless MusicMatch offers the capability to play songs on an iPod. I was ready to give my money to PhatNoise, but they waited too long to take it. Integrating the iPod into vehicles is going to put a hurt on PhatNoise and will force them to finally make changes customers have been requesting.

Written by in: Automotive,Home Theater | Tags: | Last updated on: 2014-May-27 |


  • BMW Apple Hater says:

    Have to laugh that you’re bashing a company that doesn’t support the rotten DRM that the media companies are shoving down our throats, happily supported by Apple and Microsquash.

    I just bought a Zune because a hack is out to kill DRM, and MSoft doesn’t seem to give a rip even though they will sell DRM bugged music via their Zune service. Apple on the other hand, has the collective media machine’s hand up their arse.

    I have Phatnoise installed in my 740iL with 120GB of music without a single DRM bugged song.

  • Carlton Bale says:

    Just an update, I do have a PhatNoise installed in my car; the voice interface is great. The Kenwood music keg version has a great text readout on the head unit. However, PhatNoise hasn’t released a new retail product in years now. I think their products will probably be discontinued before long. It’s hard to support a company that has virtually disappeared.

    It don’t think it is a great idea to support a company just because they don’t support DRM. If every device flawlessly supported every type of DRM, it would be transparent to the user. Foolproof access to legitimate music is the ultimate goal. Ripping purchased CDs to lossless, DRM-free formats is my solution. Breaking the encryption of Microsoft DRM is reinforcing the problem here; people shouldn’t purchase music with DRM applied in the first place. And I think it is unfortunate that users are breaking the encryption on music that they have rented (i.e. not purchased).

    With all of the iPod car adapters available, the RockBox project that adds a ton of features (including voice prompts and FLAC support) to iPods, and portability between cars, I see no future for PhatNoise (DRM or not). It was a great product but never caught on.

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