Car stereo integration - Why is Apple the only game in town?

I was recently in the market for a new headunit for my car, and was looking for something to use one of my many Sansas with.  I went to a lot of different car audio stores, asked about a variety of decks, in particular the ones with USB inputs.

When I questioned salespeople whether or not the USB inputs will work with my Sandisk MP3 player, and got a blank stare, as if Apple is the only company capable of making MP3 players.

Sandisk, I implore upon you, please get on the ball!  I think 3rd party support is the key to Apple’s success, and as the #2 DAP maker, Sandisk is in a position to really make things happen!

Create a truly OPEN standard, and open it up to car audio manufacturer’s, periferal manufacturer’s, and especially OTHER device makers.  

i second that

I agree.  It shouldn’t be hard to do the dock-thing as well or better than crApple.

If the Music is added Via MSC mode and the Player is connected in MSC it should work. Also note that Sansas are set up to work with Ford Sync as well.

SHOULD BE WHINING TO THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE DOCKS AND CAR INTEGRATION.

Although most cars nowadays have the AUX-IN jack which, imo, is just as good.

Aux-in jack doesn’t let you control the mp3 player with the headunit controls or read song/folder info on the HU’s lcd.

Are we that lazy that we can’t run our MP3 players anymore?  

Sound quality is good. All I care about. 

Buy a Ford/Mercury/Lincoln.

Problem solved.

Otherwise… get an Apple. 

It’s not a matter of being lazy.  If I have a few hundred songs on my mp3 player and I want to skip to a particular song it’s much safer to be able to use the headunit controls.  Also, I don’t want to buy an Apple.

Put The Music in the Root Menu. Set the player to MSC mode and try that.

I don’t see how it’s any safer futzing with a radio. 

Futzing with a radio = #1 cause of car accidents.

Get a **bleep** Ford!  Synch is exactly what you are looking for. Not open source but it works with nearly every player on the market. And works via voice commands.

It is really cool. I would almost buy a Ford just for that… if they made a car I actually like. lol