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I recently purchased a new creative zen 30 gb video/mp3 player and was desperatly searching for a way to play it through my car speakers. I tried the FM modulator technique; but the sound quality was horrible. After searching on the net, I ran into www.carlinkdirect.com. They sell a device (Xcarlink) which is made for the Mazda 3 and connects directly into the external CD changer port (at the back of your head unit). The device has a USB input and an auxilliary input; meaning, you can either plug in anything you use headphones for OR you can plug in a USB key loaded with mp3s. I thought this was the best idea ever since USB keys these days contain very large capacities as well as are very tiny/portable.

I purchased Xcarlink for 124.99 CAN (tax and shipping included); it arrived within 3 days and I hooked it up in my car within 5 minutes. The hard part was running the wire (not that hard). Anyways, I had a good experience with this new company and would like to share this with you guys; and hopefully find some better places to where/how mount this thing.

Matt
2005 Mazda 3 GS Sedan
 

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The Xcarlink is the same device as the audiolink offered by therpmstore.com, just rebranded.

Question for you. Are you using it to play your vision:M through the USB jack, or are you using a USB flash drive? I ask because my wife has a creative zen vision:M as well and we're curious as to whether or not you can set it up to work that way through the USB.

Incidentally check out the audio input link in my signature for all of the available input, and integration methods. ;)
 

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Thanks for the link; do you know of any links that show you how to run wires through the glove box/ash try?

as for connecting your zen through USB; you can do it for sure if you allocate part of it as a removable disk and store MP3s there; that way itll act as a flash drive.

Im currently just playing the zen through the aux port and use the USB input with flash drives.
 

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I have two places in mind:

1) Id like to run the wires to the top part of the armrest compartment so that I could just lift up that lid and plug in my media.

2) ashtray
 

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Ashtray is easy as you can just run the wire into the back of the compt. next to where the lightbulb is without drilling any holes.... assuming of course that you remove the insert. ;)

For the upper armrest you'd be cutting some holes for things because the console doesn't have the built in holes of the 2007 model. Plus you probably want to be able to get to it incase you want to use the other jack on the audiolink, or if you want to be in the mode that you're using the ipod controls. I also don't know how long the cable is.
 

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[quote author=NightRiderMZ3 link=topic=68051.msg1277502#msg1277502 date=1174351919]
what about the auxmod basic and a headphone cable extender from radioshack? Seems pretty easy to me :)
[/quote]

Depending on what device you have, and what degree of integration you want then it is pretty easy. There was one guy on here that had a bunch of SD cards lying around so he got the USB audiolink and a USB SD reader and just uses that instead of investing a whole bunch of money into a Mp3 player when he already has money invested in another storage medium.
 

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bringing this back from the dead,
but it seems the new audio link USB from therpmstore.com now has BOTH USB and SD reader built-in.
http://www.therpmstore.com/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=141

now if only it reads MP3 ID3 tags and display it on the HU LCD like the Axxess ipod integration, i'd be sold !!!

I've had this in mind for so long, even with my previous car, but now with SD cards being so cheap, like $10 - $15 for each 2gb SD card if you shop around. Theoretically, the Audiolink can take up to about a 3gb SD card...and here's the math of that: Each mp3 song averages about 5mb, and 1024mb = 1 GB, so a 2gb card can hold about 400 songs, and Audiolink's maximum of 594 songs takes up about 3gb's. Although the Audiolink can read up to 594 songs on each card (99 songs per "CD" times six "CD"), it's more feasible to just carry a few 2gb SD cards and and hot swap them :)

but i'll wait for the day Audiolink comes out with ID3 tags display capability or the day Axxess comes out with a USB/SD option with ID3 tags display :)
or does it already exist? anyone know?
 

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this is mine, I have the older one without a SD reader built in.

in order for steering wheel controls to work, songs must be put into folders labeled CD1, CD2, CD3 etc

if you have all songs in one folder, wheel controls will not work, so dunno if your zen will still play if you change song folder name to CD1
 

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I suggest you to run it through the bottom panel, closer to the feet area...
If you look at it there's actually quite a big gap that allows you to slip a cable through easily... I use the auxmod and an audio cable extension, ran it through the bottom panel, through the cracks of my steering wheel... hardly visible.

(I hate having mods visible bcoz people break into cars and try to steal stuff if they see it)
 
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