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Discussion Starter #1
On an 09 OB with the stock Harmon Kardon sound system, is there any way to add in a USB or SD card input for playing mp3 files? I know I can play mp3 CDs and this is what I do, but the 700mb limit of CD/RW discs just isn't enough space. Plus, no matter how carefully you burn them, CDRW discs are notoriously unreliable and nearly always become unplayable after just a few months in the car. I know there is an ipod/iphone adapter for this system but I haven't seen any other way in. Is there any way to make this work?

Just to clarify: I want to send mp3 data directly to the head unit so I have full playback control and id tags on the screen, just like I get with CD data discs with mp3 files. I know I can use the AUX input or an FM transmitter, but I do not want to do this.

Sorry if this has been answered before but a search of this forum didn't turn any results I could find. :rolleyes:
 

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Yes!! By swapping to an aftermarket unit! I know it's not what you want but it's probably the best option. The only other way would be to get the iPod adapter and that might not work exactly as you wish. The FM transmitter won't work great, and you loose the ability to get any info. If there is anyone with another option is SVXdc. He does sell an RCA input adapter that is available for some Subies, but that still doesn't get you your information.

Personally I would look into an aftermarket solution. I know that it won't look as good as the factory but it may be better in the long run since you would get an iPod option and you wouldn't have the issue with the CD's anymore.
 

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Yes!! By swapping to an aftermarket unit! I know it's not what you want but it's probably the best option. The only other way would be to get the iPod adapter and that might not work exactly as you wish. The FM transmitter won't work great, and you loose the ability to get any info. If there is anyone with another option is SVXdc. He does sell an RCA input adapter that is available for some Subies, but that still doesn't get you your information.

Personally I would look into an aftermarket solution. I know that it won't look as good as the factory but it may be better in the long run since you would get an iPod option and you wouldn't have the issue with the CD's anymore.
Seconded. I know a lot of people don't like the idea of aftermarket, but you get SO much more bang for your buck. I had a Clarion CZ509 in my last car - $150 new, probably cheaper now. It plays MP3s off CDs, has AUX input, USB input for iPod or a thumb drive, and even Bluetooth A2DP and handsfree calling. It'll just work, but trying to shoehorn something into a factory setup will never really be as nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes!! By swapping to an aftermarket unit! I know it's not what you want but it's probably the best option. The only other way would be to get the iPod adapter and that might not work exactly as you wish. The FM transmitter won't work great, and you loose the ability to get any info. If there is anyone with another option is SVXdc. He does sell an RCA input adapter that is available for some Subies, but that still doesn't get you your information.

Personally I would look into an aftermarket solution. I know that it won't look as good as the factory but it may be better in the long run since you would get an iPod option and you wouldn't have the issue with the CD's anymore.
If I pull the stock head unit, would an aftermarket head unit be able to hook up to my stock Harmon-Kardon Premium sound system? Mine has a black box bolted in under the passenger seat. Guessing it's an amp for the sub-woofer but not sure. Would probably have to have the right harness adapter to make it all work.

I know from the reading the manual for the ipod adapter that it DOES send the mp3 data straight to the system and it does display the tag info. Was thinking maybe the wiring could be hacked into to splice in a usb or SD card reader where the ipod was supposed to go. But the cost of the ipod unit is about $150 so about the same as a decent low-end head unit with an SD card slot. The dash adapter can be had for as little as $20
Car Toys - Metra 998901 Subaru Legacy / Outback (excluding Outback Sport) 2005-2006 Turbo Pocket Kit

So that leave the question of compatibility with the HK.

Here is the info on the Subaru ipod unit: Subaru iPod Interface
 

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Check crutchfield.com. They might have an adaptor you're looking for. I would personally go after market. Since you have an amp you'll probably need a harness to use it with an after market had unit.
 

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Look for something like a Soundfly. You put SD cards in it, and it transmits to the car stereo by bluetooth or FM if you're desperate. I'm pretty sure they support AVRCP so you can control it from the car's buttons and get metadata display.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Look for something like a Soundfly. You put SD cards in it, and it transmits to the car stereo by bluetooth or FM if you're desperate. I'm pretty sure they support AVRCP so you can control it from the car's buttons and get metadata display.
Thanks for the suggestion but this thing only displays the info on it's OWN screen and you have to use a little remote it comes with to control the playback, not the car's buttons. I could accomplish the same thing this does by plugging the headphone jack on my smartphone (or any portable mp3 player) into the AUX jack.
 

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That's a drag. I know sony used to make a 'walkman' that would do what you wanted, but being sony, it didn't accept SD cards, just one of the 84 varieties of sony media cards. And they don't make it anymore.

It's a whole other can of worms, but maybe you could find an old android phone that takes SD cards and use it as the bridge without activating any cellular service on it?

I got an aftermarket head unit, haven't looked back. Even the cheap ones are miles ahead of what the automakers are including in cars these days.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's a drag. I know sony used to make a 'walkman' that would do what you wanted, but being sony, it didn't accept SD cards, just one of the 84 varieties of sony media cards. And they don't make it anymore.

It's a whole other can of worms, but maybe you could find an old android phone that takes SD cards and use it as the bridge without activating any cellular service on it?

I got an aftermarket head unit, haven't looked back. Even the cheap ones are miles ahead of what the automakers are including in cars these days.

Good luck!
Yeah, I went the aftermarket route on my last car, a 97 Volvo. But that car didn't have a stock head unit that can ALREADY read mp3 data like the 2009 HK system can. If I was a little more savvy with reading schematics and using a soldering iron, I'd break it open myself and figure out how the CD player and the ipod unit are getting the data to the right place and splice in a card reader myself! ****, should have paid more attention back in shop class! :D
 

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In general the aftermarket will interface with the OEM stuff, one way or other. I have a Limited that has the "black box" amp under the passenger seat that accepts the low level inputs from the RCA's of the radio just fine. I'm not intimately familiar with the 3rd gen but I would guess that there is a way to adapt a radio. Before we bought our 4th gen we looked at a 3rd gen and the only issue I saw was the models with dual zone A/C needed a JDM kit to get things to work properly. I don't remember anything particular about the wiring. I would stop by your local specialty shop and see what you can find out.
 
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