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there is no direct interface for ANY external mp3 player. Mazda offers an accessory for the IPOD ONLY. Your options for an external MP3 player:

Auxmod http://www.sylfex.com/products/AuxMod/
FM Transmitter
FM Modulator

You can find plenty of threads if you will search.
 

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That's not quite accurate Zorminster. The only integrated methods available are for the ipod since they comprise about 80% of of the Mp3 market, however there are several other ipod options beyond the OEM one.

aknbad23, there are multiple options for standard audio inputs that work with all years of Mz3's. You can get one of those audio inputs and use it to get the signal into your stereo, however you won't be able to control the Mp3 player with the stereo controls. I use the AuxMod basic with both my palm pilot, and my wife's Zen Vision:M with no problems at all.

Click the link in my sig. for more info. on all the audio input options. If you have more questions just continue them in that thread. :D

:closed:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
[quote author=icspots link=topic=65940.msg1130238#msg1130238 date=1167794109]
That's not quite accurate Zorminster. The only integrated methods available are for the ipod since they comprise about 80% of of the Mp3 market, however there are several other ipod options beyond the OEM one.

aknbad23, there are multiple options for standard audio inputs that work with all years of Mz3's. You can get one of those audio inputs and use it to get the signal into your stereo, however you won't be able to control the Mp3 player with the stereo controls. I use the AuxMod basic with both my palm pilot, and my wife's Zen Vision:M with no problems at all.

Click the link in my sig. for more info. on all the audio input options. If you have more questions just continue them in that thread. :D

:closed:
[/quote]

How is the sound quality? Can I control the volume on the HD with that device? Also, will the Zen charge through this wire?? :?
 

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spots- i didn't say that OEM was the only IPOD integration, i said IPOD was the only OEM integration. Distinct difference ;p I didn't elaborate cause I didnt think he'd care (being that he dosn't have an IPOD)

There are currently no integration methods that will allow you to charge a creative MP3 player. My little brother actually just got a newer (video capable 30gb) model of the zen touch, and they've changed how it hooks up for charging. There may be coming integrations, but I would REALLY doubt it. As it is, you've gotta charge it inside and then take it out to the car.

For sound quality- i use an FM transmitter and would give it about a 3.5 / 5 It depends on station, mp3 player volume (too high and it distorts, i think this is what you will find with all mp3 player integrations though)

Obviously, the auxmod seems like it would give the best sound quality. Since your concerned with charging- think of it not being able to as a bonus. As a result of it not charging through your car, you won't have ground loop isolation problems from it.
 

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Would the AudioLink USB be able to interface with a Zen? I know the AudioLink will play mp3s off of any USB mass storage device--with file and folder selection via your stock HU and steering wheel controls--but I'm not sure which, if any, Creative players might work like this.


That said, I have an AuxMod basic, and if you're looking for the simplest way to add an audio input, that's the way to go. All you get is a 1/8" stereo jack input--nothing fancy--but install is a piece of cake, and it works quite well. The price is on par with a quality FM transmitter ($60), so there was no question in my mind which was the better option.
 

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[quote author=aknbad23 link=topic=65940.msg1130388#msg1130388 date=1167797165]
How is the sound quality? Can I control the volume on the HD with that device? Also, will the Zen charge through this wire?? :?
[/quote]

The sound quality is as good or bad as the quality of your Mp3's. If you have crappy ones then you'll hear every bit of crap, and if they're good...... I'd give good quality Mp3's and the AuxMod a 5/5. Think of using the AuxMod (or the PIE, or the peripherals unit) as plugging a set of headphones into your Mp3 player, except in this case the car's stereo is becoming your headphones. You still have to control all of your songs, etc. through the Mp3 player, and the only thing you can control through the HU is the volume. The zen will not charge this way as it's only an audio input (headphones don't charge the player, do they?). If you want to charge it then it's just a matter of getting a car charger and hooking that up, however like Zorminster said you'll then need a ground loop isolator to avoid alternator whine... they run about $17 from crutchfield. If you do go that way then you can splice into the cigarette lighter power from behind the panel and run the wire out somewhere else, that way you still have access to your lighter plug for other things, and there are fewer wires around.

I'm not sure how your creative player is, but the vision:M has a little piece that plugs into the bottom and that has power/USB/output plugs on it. If you have that then you could get a spare plug piece and one of the A/V plugs and just leave the power & A/V wires plugged into in. Then all you'd have to do is plug the whole thing into the player. Just a thought.

[quote author=Zorminster link=topic=65940.msg1130409#msg1130409 date=1167798195]
spots- i didn't say that OEM was the only IPOD integration, i said IPOD was the only OEM integration. Distinct difference ;p I didn't elaborate cause I didnt think he'd care (being that he dosn't have an IPOD)
[/quote]

My apologies. Let us just leave it at there only being ANY integration methods for ipod.

[quote author=dmention7 link=topic=65940.msg1130445#msg1130445 date=1167799746]
Would the AudioLink USB be able to interface with a Zen? I know the AudioLink will play mp3s off of any USB mass storage device--with file and folder selection via your stock HU and steering wheel controls--but I'm not sure which, if any, Creative players might work like this.
[/quote]

I've actually thought about this, but haven't played with my wife's Vision:M enough to know if you can hook it up that way. I don't know what you'd have to do in the way of rearranging songs/folders/playlists, but if it did work that would be pretty cool. Realistically I don't feel much of a lack with it not being integrated as we have about 15gb of 30gb filled up and just put it on random. We have multiple playlists set up and those keep us pretty happy, and on the rare occasion we want to find a specific song it's easy enough to scroll through and pick it.. especially if you have a passenger at the time.
 

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Without carefully reading the responses i'll adress the question to the audiolink and interfacing as it would with a flash drive:

I don't think it would work. It may, but im doubtful. I assume most of the Creative players operate in teh same way: My zen touch uses special software to load data onto the player. Now, the interesting thing about it is that the player is basically like a partioned hard-drive. It has one partition for Music, and one for Data. You can't play music from the data partition. That's why i dont think the audiolink would work- I would be afraid it tries to access the data partition, which can't be controlled by the player; as opposed to accessing the Music partition.
 

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My gf's Nano is basically treated like a mass storage device when I plug it into her laptop. Sure it comes with Creative's media software, but if you wanted, you can just drag and drop files into it from windows file manager. In fact, I seem to recall this being one of the features that many reviewers like about the Zen line--no special software was needed to transfer music/files (unlike my old samsung player). Now, perhaps this has changed for some newer creative players, or ones that are oriented as more than just media players.

I would suggest looking more carefully at how your Zen interfaces with your PC. If you can just plug it in and copy files onto it without any special software, then I would assume it would work with the audiolink. Although, it would probably be best to contact the manufacturer, as they most likely have a list of compatible and non-compatible devices.
 
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