November 2, 2005 Sony showed an interesting new take on the car audio market at the SEMA show which opened yesterday in Las Vegas - an AM/FM CD/MP3 receiver capable of storing up to 500 tracks and receiving music directly from a computer. The new receiver has 1GB of flash memory and a USB port engineered into the faceplate. When the faceplate is removed from the receiver and connected to a Windows PC, it is recognised as an external drive. With the provided USB cable, users can quickly transfer and save MP3 and WMA files to the faceplate.
The Xplod MEX-1GP (Giga Panel) model also supports playback of CD-R/RW discs, including those recorded with content purchased from Sony's CONNECT online music store. As it has ATRAC3/3plus playback capability, it can play compressed music files burned onto a CD.
"Our Giga Panel receiver is designed for car audio enthusiasts who crave technology not available in a factory system," said Andrew Sivori, Sony's director of marketing for mobile electronics. "We've created a way for music fans to have large, personalized collections of songs in their vehicles without the hassle of scattered CDs or MP3 players."
The new receiver is finished in high-gloss black with a 13-segment LCD display for simple navigation of track and title information. The screen displays album, artist and track name when playing downloaded music files. Users can shuffle or repeat tracks, albums or personalized groups through controls on the faceplate or with the supplied remote control.
The MEX-1GP unit has a built-in 208-watt power amplifier and a three-band equalizer enabling clear, rich sound. The selectable rear/subwoofer preamp outputs, controls the frequency and output level of an external amplifier.
It comes supplied with a wireless remote control and will be available in February for about US$350.