One of the nice things about being a consultant is that you get to drive a company car. Ok , its something we NEED to do our jobs, driving to clients and so forth. But it does make for some interesting experiences, driving a different car every couple of months (or years). I have been driving a BMW 1 series for the last nine months and I was pretty pleased with it. I’m not somebody who judges a car by how ‘cool’ it is, but rather by ‘how functional’ it is. I spend over two hours a day in the car , and these last three years those two hours have been filled with listening to podcasts. Not always easy as podcasts are on my Ipod and I HATE having to drive with earbuds in my ears. You can’t hear the sound of the engine, the wires get cobbled up .. stuff like that. I used an adapted Logitech MM50 a few years ago when the car I had did not have a LINE IN function in the radio. I hooked up the MM50 tot the cigaret lighter (it used 12v) and played podcasts that way. In the "beamer" i had a line in function and a gps built into the car, so that was pretty easy. Plug in the ipod, and i was good to go.
However the (temporary) car I’m driving right now does not have either : No line-in jack and no GPS. So the whole "entertainment / navigation " issue is (once again) rearing its ugly head. I would like to have both the ability to listen to podcasts and know where i’m going without having to install 4 seperate devices. The first solution I could go for is using my smartphone (HTC 710) togheter with a bleutooth GPS module for GPS navigation. But the interface is just not that good , the screen is too small , there is no touchscreen , the speed of the device isn’t fantastic .. I mean : it comes down to the fact that it "CAN" do all the GPS things (it can even act as a podcast player if I wanted it to) but its just not practical.
My question is : How do I solve this one with minimal hassle. Do I go for an all-in-one solution in playing podcasts and doing GPS (using some kind of smartphone or even a computer) or do I go for something different (exteral speakers / gps etc) It’s not always easy. It has to be simple ,portable , movable and easy to operate. Time to go to the drawing board.