Over the year’s I’ve used several different methods to connect my music to my car stereo. The BlackBerry Music Gateway is the latest.
In the beginning, it was simple. I wrote my MP3’s to a CD and inserted in to the CD player.
This really limited the amount of music you could have in the car at one time. Moving to a multi-disc player helped, but if you wanted to add a new track, you were re-writing CD’s.
When I picked up my Zune HD, I moved to using a physical connection between the Zune and the car. This worked well, but was kind of a pain and when Microsoft killed the Zune and brought out Windows Phone 7, the writing was on the wall.
For the first little while I used the cable to connect my HD7, but that quickly became a pain to have to connect the phone each time I got in the car. I found a Bluetooth receiver that solved the problem but created a second one. The receiver included a battery to allow you to use it without a power adapter for a while. This meant it couldn’t really tell when to connect to the phone and you had to hit a button to get it to connect. Kind of a pain, but better than having to connect a cable each time. One advantage of the battery was that once the phone connected, it stayed connected, so if you walked away from the car with the phone (like stopping in to a bank or something), it remained connected.
When I picked up my 8X last year, the Bluetooth receiver I had didn’t work with the new phone. I picked a new receiver from a different manufacturer, but was the same as the old one in that it had a battery. It worked well, but had two additional issues; first you had to hold the connect button for 5 seconds and two it had a weird bug that after each song a small “pop” could be heard, like it was reconnecting each time.
Obviously I was looking for a better unit but I couldn’t find one that didn’t have the battery.
While browsing for an extra set of headphone’s for the 8X, I found the BlackBerry Music Gateway. Taking a quick look at the spec’s didn’t reveal a battery and knowing BlackBerry wouldn’t make a crappy product (we won’t talk about the Storm 😉 I decided to give it a try.
First off, it comes with everything you need, power adapter, USB cable and Audio cables. Next, it has none of the above issues. It works flawlessly. Connects to the phone as soon as it get’s power (probably twice as fast as the other receivers) and no popping between songs. The only ‘issue’ I’ve found so far is that in comparison to the other receivers it’s output is a little lower, so you have to turn the car stereo up in comparison.
Other than that, I highly recommend it. It’s a couple of dollars more than the other units, but it’s a quality device and worth it.