EX GT bought over the ES because of the supposedly better audio system, but I am decidedly unimpressed. Is anyone else let down by the implicit promise of a 'premium' audio system?
Some of my gripes...
The system is based on MS CE so that immediately ties down the formats that can be played. MP3 is not a true standalone audio format (it was taken from the dvd specification after someone mistakenly published the details of the codec). AAC on the other hand is, but I can't get any AAC files to play on it and I've transcoded using different software and operating systems. The WMA format is pretty much useless - its purely a legacy of the OS.
There is no control over the quality of the files ripped to the HDD and it isn't even entirely clear which format is being used.
No gapless playback. MP3 files do not support gapless playback (workarounds are usually coded), but AAC files should.
Out of date Gracenote database (Q3 2011) and no means of updating it. Alpine offer downloadable updates for some of the American cars but not European. The Gracenote website hails the licensing deal with Honda saying users will be able to update using their mobile phone connections. No such thing!
Bugs in writing tags. The artist tag is never written correctly.
Playing files from a usb stick plays them in node order and not file order!
Inability to copy ripped tracks from USB (or CD/DVD for that matter) to HDD. The only way to get music on the HDD is to use the disc. All my music is in FLAC format on a server so it is easy to transcode to other formats but this isn't an option.
No album art.
Audio settings are limited to bass and treble.
There are other systems in much cheaper cars out there that offer so much more so it doesn't feel particularly 'premium' to me..
I really don't think anyone in Honda has appraised the system. I think they just threw a load of money at Alpine and said 'make us a premium audio system' and Alpine have done the absolute minimum. Amstrad could have done better.
Phew, rant over I think.