Community Notes


Article from Issue 73/2006

In recent years, new features have begun to appear in car stereos. These days it is not hard to find a car audio system with mp3 playback, iPod integration, and a lot more. But it hasn’t been long since the notion of playing mp3 files in a car was quite novel. In fact, when it first hit the scene in 1999, the Linux-based Empeg was the world’s first mass produced in-car mp3 player. Remembering the Empeg The Empeg car player was a radical departure for car audio. To begin with, the Empeg was not a regular CD player; nor did it have a built-in radio receiver or a means for interfacing with an iPod. What the Empeg did offer was a sizable internal hard drive that was able to hold a vast library of music at a time when hard drive mp3 players were essentially unknown. The system, which was built on a custom-designed embedded Linux platform, was designed by Empeg engineers in their Cambridge offices and later hacked by members of the owner community.

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