Will Laptop work as 'in car' entertainment centre?

  Sethhaniel 10:50 07 Jan 2005

IBM Thinkpad 390e 233mhz 3.3gig 64mb ram- project if feasible is to aquire 'usb external soundcard' - connect to Laptop and using 'cassette type' link (from portable cd player) - link it to car cassette player - then using winamp play my mp3's while travelling long distances -

-- possible downfalls --
before I invest in external soundcard - and knowing that laptop which runs for 3.5 hours on battery - goes into standby after 5 minutes of unattended use - would winamp when playing overide the 'standby' mode and give me uninteruppted music

Any thoughts ;)

  TomJerry 11:00 07 Jan 2005

for standby, very easy to get around, just go into power management in control panel and set it never turn off even idle

an external sound card cost around £50, but a 512MB mp3/wma player will cost about the same, if you use wma format (good quality at low bit rate), 512MB can take about 8 CDs.

£54.99 Ebuyer 512mb MP3 Player with LCD Display, FM Radio and Digital Voice recording click here

If you have a lot of music, you can get a 20GB HDD mp3 player. S-Media GP2000 20GB MP3/WMA Player USB2 with FM Radio, Line In and SD/MMC Card Reader £117.49 click here

  DrScott 11:08 07 Jan 2005

I think in most laptops you can set the power management to force the computer to stay on all the time ... well you can in mine :)

Seems like a very complicated setup, and not sure how stable all the connections will be on the road. Plus your battery life may well be shorter if the PC is actually running all the time, though MP3s don't use up that much processing power.

Why not buy an MP3 HD player? The iPod is just one of many, and there a few v good value ones cheaper then Apple's baby :)

  vaughan007 11:23 07 Jan 2005

Why not just buy an in care entertainment centre?

When compared to laptops they are not more expensive and it will work better!...and your passengers can watch DVD's.

  Sethhaniel 11:24 07 Jan 2005

but think the settings for battery use where unchangable set at 5 minutes - and when plugged in indefinite -
thoughts that as the laptop will be going with me on these journeys may as well utilise it -
it may not need external soundcard - as it says it has sound system working OK 'PCI Multimedia Audio' but when I try to run media player comes up with error - maybe just needs external speakers attached ???

  TomJerry 11:24 07 Jan 2005

you can get a nice one for £100

  Sethhaniel 11:39 07 Jan 2005

to use what I already have - and when my 'lotto ticket' comes up get something new ;)

  drcmunro 15:16 07 Jan 2005

Have you got a headphone socket on your laptop - if so you could plug your cassette link into this - has worked for me.

The external soundcard option is intruiging, although i'll warn you that my creative audigy 2nx usb soundcard (which is otherwise excellent) requires mains electricity.

  Sethhaniel 13:26 08 Jan 2005

re-installed sound drivers from IBM and a bit of tweaking reveals that sound card and speakers present and working -
CD was playing but Winamp wasn't -now all working - and i've found that the power of after 5mins can be adjusted also -

So at the moment a happy bunny
so ticked

  Sethhaniel 08:14 10 Jan 2005

Using Cassette type connector from headphone socket to car cassette player - works fine -
So problem solved at no expense ;)

  Sethhaniel 13:24 31 Jan 2005

Connected as above - set winamp playing through folder of tracks and set off on 185 mile journey taking three hours and ten mimutes - no need to change cd or cassette so uninteruppted music all the way - plus 40% battery life still on laptop on arrival at destination - and use as a computer for what it was intended ;) -recharged for return journey ;)

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