Audio jacks in cars are becoming fairly standard as new cars roll off the production lines, and DVD systems - either for navigation or back-seat entertainment are becoming available, at least as optional upgradse, as well, but even with all this nifty new technology becoming the norm, plugging in your mp3 player still involves at least one cord - or a wireless tuner if your car pre-dates the addition of the input jacks. Chrysler, however, has changed all that, with it's new MyGig system. The system was introduced on the 2007 Chrysler Sebring, and soon thereafter it made appearances on the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Wrangler as well. You can expect to see it offered a bit more widely on 2008 model year cars. But what is MyGig? Put simply, it's a 20 GB hard drive embedded in the dashboard.
Part of the disc space is dedicated to the navigational system (it only uses about a gig) but the rest is all yours. Here, then, are five neat things you can do with MyGig: Play CDs and DVDs. The latter play only on the optional rear seat display, unless the car is in "park," in which case you can watch on the 6.
5 inch LCD screen, which also includes touch screen and voice activation technology. In addition, you can rip your music CD's to the hard drive - no more carting around discs only to have them end up scratched, or lost, or in broken cases. Upload music files from a flash drive, and store them on the hard drive, via the USB jack. There's no downloading capability, and this only works with flash-based memory keys, but its still a convenient way to have your own music available while you drive.
Upload pictures. Yes, really, pictures. Up to eight images can be stored for use as wallpaper on the console-mounted LCD screen. Play tunes from your iPod or Zen Vision M or any other mp3 player that uses a standard audio jack.
Sadly, there's still a cord required - and you can't use the USB jack with music players, or transfer songs from them to the hard drive, but at least you CAN play your own music over the harmon/kardon speaker system. Listen to Sirius satellite radio. It's no longer a separate system, but a chip embedded in the in-dash radio. MyGig also allows for Bluetooth integration with cell phones for hands-free dialing, and while there are no dedicated iPod controls, there is integration for the navigational system and general audio controls. Chrysler estimates that the on-board hard drive will hold about 1600 songs (mp3 or wma) as well as the Gracenote song information look-up software that comes pre-loaded.
If you have yet to join the mp3 cult, never fear. A standard AM/FM radio is still part of the system.
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