So after scouring Ebay for months one has at last come up for sale. No photos or anything I took the plung at the stupid price they wanted. Would it be worth it? And I guess some of you are thinking what the hell is it? Well its a Phatnoise, or to some a Phatbox. Either way they are the same thing.
Well now you know what it is. What does it do?
The PhatBox is a digital music player that can interface with a few car stereos. Inparticular VW and Audi unit and thus Skoda and Seat too. It can play unprotected WMA, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and AAC (with optional AAC plugin). The PhatBox emulates a 6 CD Changer so it is fully controlled through the existing disc and track buttons on your head unit. Feedback is provided in the form of text to speech announcements through a system called SSA (Simple Stereo Architecture). This allows you to browse by playlist, album, artist, or genre and skip through discs by first-letter. Each P/A/A/G appears as a disc and each songs within the selected category appears as a track. Kenwood also branded the Kenwood-compatible PhatBox as the Kenwood Music Keg.
After all that its like an old old Ipod that replaces your 6 CD changer and can store a maximum of 30,000 songs across 9999 simulated discs. That would be if the storage device was big enough to hold that many of them. So they came out around 2000 and since 2007 are no longer supported. Which is a pain.
Anyway mine was a full kit coming with: DMS storage cartridge 20GB!, Phatanoise unit, lead to connect it to the existing CD changer cable, DMS cradle and software. Obviously running windows 7 this is a bit worrying. But the Phatnoise media software installed and it did install the cradle automatically. So that was a nice surprise.
Here is the DMS cartridge in the cradle. Red light on and no green light. Anyway boot it up told the software to look for the music network server and it spent about 8 hours looking through it!
Anyway to the car and in the boot. Out with the 6 CD changer.
And in with the Phatbix. Now all the instructions say it will not fit in a VW Passat without modifications to the cupboard door. Well in my Skoda superb it fitted right in where the CD player was and
Even whent he cartridge is in
The door shuts fine. Can't believe it. So lets turn the system on now its in the back.
Oh my god it works Endless music.Well nearly. Only 20Gb's worth actually.
So its goodbye to all these CD floating around the carboot. And now I have this working it will be time to Phathack the unit to a 160GB DMS. First I need a PATA 120GB2.5 laptop harddrive to put in the cartridge and then some down right dirty file moving to be done following the following web sites: