MSN Direct


Curious as to what other C580 or Nuvi 680 users think so far about the MSN direct functionality? I-10 has been shut down since the 13th of April and MSN direct isn't picking it up.

See also


I have noticed that it is very accurate for the main routes, mainly interstates. However, secondaries has been an issue. Sometimes they have them, but not very often.

MSN Direct

I have been using MSN direct for about one month and it seems to be hit or miss with traffic issues, but then again I don't commute everyday so I don't have as good an idea as someone who may use it everyday.

One interesting note about MSN Direct and my Nuvi 680 I just discovered today. I was travelling from Maryland to south western Virginia early this morning during the heavy rain storm. When I was in Northern Virginia (around Prince William County) I noticed an icon on the map screen I had not seen before. It was a cloud with a few lightning bolts through it. I touched the icon and a screen opened with a list of areas that were under a flood watch by the National Weather Service! Pretty cool! This feature is not mentioned in my instruction book nor have I seen it mentioned here or any other web site. Of course you could select any one of the locations and get detailed information such as time of the warning, area etc.

This could be a life saver if you were in an unfamiliar area and there was a tornado or other sever weather about to decend upon you!

Hope this info is helpful or at least interesting. The longer I have this Nuvi the more impressed I am with its capabilities. I think I would have to rate it as my favorite tech toy!


Officer I'm sorry I was going the wrong way on that one-way street but my GPS told me to turn left ... Oh, I'm still getting a ticket, okay then the GPS will see ya in court!

Thats Cool

That WX feature is pretty sweet. I didn't see that either in the manual or in use (Course I'm out here in Phoenix - I could do the Phoenix weather guys job)

I was thinking the whole interstate not being open thing would have made it onto the MSN service. Oh well- I noticed the movie times were spot on. Got to have priorities!

Flood Watch

My MSN coverage area does not include my hometown of Indiana Pa but when I go closer to Pittsburgh it picks up..........a few weeks ago I had the little Icon for Flood Watch...........yes pretty cool if they could just expand their coverage area a bit..........Dave

Doesn't seem that different from the TMC traffic service

jamahosky wrote:

I have noticed that it is very accurate for the main routes, mainly interstates. However, secondaries has been an issue. Sometimes they have them, but not very often.

This is also a good description of the TMC FM Traffic service for my Nuvi 350.

I think the technology behind these traffic services isn't up to par yet. It helps me about 2% of the time. Probably wouldn't pay for the service...

MSN Direct

I just purchased the Nuvi 680 and activated the MSN Direct service. I live in Los Angeles County and have fairly good coverage for my part of So. Cal. It is good to see the traffic before I leave home. Because I am a native to this area, I am not dependent on the routes presented by the Nuvi. I expect the routing would be more useful when I go to other areas. It is interesting to see the weather, movies and gas prices. I do notice that movie information isn't always complete as my usual theatre was not listed last night. I noticed that yahoo did not have that information either. I am starting to think both yahoo and MSN Direct use the same information source as the Nuvi and Yahoo Maps didn't have a street in Moreno Valley that has been around over 3 years.

Hope this helps.

Heng5 Nuvi 680 & 285WT

Garmin, MSN Direct & Yahoo have something in common


The traffic on MSN Direct comes from, a Navteq company. Navteq provides map & POI data for Yahoo maps, and Garmin devices as well.

You can report the missing road to navetq at:

You can also report new POIs you find in reality that don't exist in your GPSr, as well as things that are on your GPSr and not there in reality at the same web site.

*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

I have this same problem

I have this same problem with the movies, seems like once in a while the movies in my area get listed, otherwise, I have movies about 10 miles away.. The rest of the MSN icons work fine.

NickJr Nuvi 3597LMT

Great info

Thanks for the link

MSN Direct Connection Problem

My MSN Direct is no longer working on my Nuvi. It happened a little while after MSN sent me an email indicating they were updating the service in various locations, including Los Angeles County. Now when I press on the MSN Direct icons for any of the 4 areas (Traffic, Weather, Gas Prices or Movies), I get the message that the unit is connecting. I have tried to call MSN Direct and they "re-activated" my service with no change. A second call has recommended resetting both the power cord and Nuvi, again without success. The second call also mentioned that it may be a hardware problem. I am getting ready to call Garmin now.
Update: Garmin is going to replace the power cord, which has the MSN Direct antenna in it. Just sent it off to Garmin by way of UPS, with postage paid. Should get replacement within a week or so. Will update after getting the replacement.

Heng5 Nuvi 680 & 285WT

Heng5 A new cord didn't fix


A new cord didn't fix my problem, I also live in LA county, my whole unit is back at Garmin right now.

New Nuvi 680 Cord

Thanks for your response. I will see if I have the same experience and report back.
I just called 2 weeks after I sent the cord in. The item is on backorder and is expected to come in next week. Since I am headed out for a trip next week, Garmin will send me another Nuvi car charger cord w/o the MSN Direct antenna so I will have power for my trip.
Update: Received the car power cord but as of today, June 24th no new power cord/antenna has been received. Hope this will not be a long saga if the replacement doesn't work. Zaferde, did you get your nuvi 680 replaced?
Just received the new charger/antenna and activated it this morning (7/2). Will be connecting it shortly and will see if it works.
7/2 afternoon - After a 30 minute trip with the antenna/charger plugged in, the MSN Direct information is starting to become available. The traffic information weather info is available with gasoline prices available without names of the stations. The movie information is not available yet.

Heng5 Nuvi 680 & 285WT

nuvi 680

I noticed the same about I_10 in Phoenix, that it is not picking up the traffic change, well putlicized. Also Movies in Tucson don't show up, but ones in Phoenix, show up in Tucson. Hope it improves, but so far, not worth the price difference.


How often is the MSN Direct

How often is the MSN Direct content updated? I have gas prices that are days old... and as you know gas prices fluctuate quite frequently these days!

Nuvi 680 w/MSN Direct active for 3 days now and...

and I get no reception, sometimes, but most of the time I do. Works pretty well if I am in motion, sometimes. I am still trying to figure out the trick to making it work all the time. Seems to activate traffic first, weather, then gas prices. I really don't need movies, especially since the big theater near me is not even listed and the rest are 10 miles away. Weather is just a few cities away, and kinda neat. Maybe if I could turn off movies, the other 3 would work better. Maybe.
I still like it. Will I renew? Maybe. I hope the new Clear Channel competition will make MSN try harder.

Frank (Nuvi 2497LMT, 2455LMT, 765LMT,680,StreetPilot 2720)

MSN just isn't worth the money!

MSN simply isn't worth the investment. The FM traffic is (at least) equally as good, the gas prices are out of date and the movie times are hit and miss.

DO NOT PURCHASE!!! I have a MSN Direct watch, it is a novelty, and is fun, but I wouldn't trust it with traffic. The MSN staff is not supportive and they don't know what they are doing.

If you want traffic reports, buy the Nuvi 660, a much better investment and cheaper subscription rates as well.

Reporting POI

Reporting POI errors does nothing. POI files are a paid for advertisement sold by Navteq. This information comes from Navteq, so it is good.

The only way to get a new POI in the unit is to have the store, restaraunt or whatever pay to be put in hte POI list. Reporting them is a waste of time.

On the other hand

hautedawg wrote:

Reporting POI errors does nothing. POI files are a paid for advertisement sold by Navteq. This information comes from Navteq, so it is good.

The only way to get a new POI in the unit is to have the store, restaurant or whatever pay to be put in hte POI list. Reporting them is a waste of time.

While I agree they won't add new pois, I think it is a different matter to correct ones that are in error, i.e. no longer in existence, or the wrong coordinates.

More important is to report road errors or omissions.

Garmin StreetPilot c530, Mapsource

I really like it

It is fairly accurate on traffic where I live, although it is predominantly on interstates. The weather feature is awesome, and even notes flash flood/thunderstorm warnings and you can get a map of the affected areas. The movie times/theaters is accurate in my area.

One thing I did note about the gas prices is that it lists the mid-grade prices, not the lowest price fuel. I am not sure if that is area specific or not.

Garmin StreetPilot c580 | Garmin StreetPilot c330 | Garmin Edge 205

MSN on Nuvi 680

It states that if you keep it plugged in, it will keep updating the MSN content. My cig adapter stays powered on when turning off the ignition, so I end up turning the unit off at the power switch. Everytime you turn it back on it says it is trying to download the data!
Any suggestions?

MSN in NE Tenn

I got my 680 as a replacement of my old SP2720. Activated MSN as it is free for one year. Here in the NE TENN Tri-cities area I do get any traffic reports (compared to Chicago where I am from, there are no traffic jams except during the 2 Bristol race season weekends). I do get gas prices which is seem right on, movie listings which I have not verified and weather report which seems standard.

Allan Barnett - Garmin nüvi 885T/765T/Pharos GPS (bluetooth) w/MS Maps on PPC

MSN Direct Gas Prices

In my area the gas prices are usually mostly accurate on my c580. My beef is that I can't change the gasoline grade (I use diesel) contrary to what my "boxed" manual says. I noticed that the manual I downloaded from Garmin, which I presume has been updated, does NOT indicate the grade can be changed from regular. Bummer.

Keep it plugged in

I am not sure if everyone is aware, but the MSN direct info only updates while the power chord is plugged in (even if the unit is off). You should always have up to date info as long as you keep it plugged in. It may take a good part of the day to fully update all of the MSN Direct info, so if you are constantly unplugging the unit, you may never have complete up to date info. I am not sure if that is part of the problem some of you are running into or not, but thought I would mention it just in case.

Magellan Maestro 4250, T-Mobile G1 with Google Maps, iPaq with TomTom, and a Tapwave Zodiac with TomTom and Mapopolis


Keeping the unit on is part of the problem I'm running into. My car doesn't keep the power on the 12 outlets when the ignition switch is switched off. I leave the mount / cord in the car but take the Nuvi with me because a stolen GPS is not better then having MSN.

I've figured out that the theater I use is almost never listed and if it is it is only has one or two movie listed out of the 16 playing. It's because I can't keep it on long enough to update. I may install an un-switched power outlet directly from the battery (with proper fuse) to solve this issue. But the design really sucks from a functional perspective if you ask me!

I posted a detailed post about the traffic issues I'm having with MSN in another post on this site at (FM Traffic). From other feedback I've read, I would say the other traffic service is no better or worse then MSN so if the 660 and 680 cost the same I say it depends on your area coverage and if you value the extra MSN content.

My Nuvi 680 is over a month old now and MSN is Not Bad

Where I live in the SF Bay area MSN works a lot of the time, but it seems when I really need it, it is not ready. MSN needs more or stronger transmitters. They talk about "shadows", but a 22 mile shadow on the interstate is too big. Too many gaps in the signals. I am not far from a major freeway and in the center of their coverage area. Not anywhere near as good as it could be. I have no use for the movie times. Weather is nice, but the default city is not representative of my area. I need to reselect the best city every time. Gas prices are nice when they work.
I contacted MSN to ask questions to better determine if I should consider renewing my subscription. No real answers and no information from my call. I found no press releases with promising information. Nothing that makes me want to renew. From what I have read, it seems we all need a service that works and it is not available yet. Eleven more free months to go on MSN.

Frank (Nuvi 2497LMT, 2455LMT, 765LMT,680,StreetPilot 2720)

MSN on the Nuvi 680

During my trip from Toronto to Minneapolis I found the MSN service mostly unavailable. It clicked in for about an hour as I passed through the Chicago area but frankly for most of the trip it was not helpful. I tried the gas price feature everytime I wanted gas but there was no info available. Once I got within a few miles of Minneapolis the traffic and gas price features appeared. MSN needs to do something about availability along major highways etc.

MSN Direct

I have had my Nuvi 680 long enough that my extended subscription has expired. I went onto the MSN Direct website to see about renewal and saw that it is almost $50./year. As I was considering my use of the service over the year plus, I began to reconsider the purchase. First, the traffic is interesting but, I have rarely gotten off the freeway as the Nuvi directed me to do (in L.A. area) to take my chances on the streets. Today, as I was ready to head into the San Fernando Valley, I took a quick look at the L.A. Times traffic site for a preview. I buy gasoline at Costco, which is not reported on MSN Direct. When I want to see a movie, I refer to the newspaper or internet for schedules. The weather is interesting but, I have not seen much additional benefit. Soooo, I have decided not to renew my subscription for now.


Heng5 Nuvi 680 & 285WT

Wait a min,....

Dont they still have a life time subcription? They use to if I remember.. In fact I had to re-activate my msn cause I did not use it in a while.. And they Still offered a life time subsription .. dont remember the amount but..

oh well anyone know what I am talking about.. Been working almost 22 hrs, trhen went out with a few frinds.. love my BUD..\\


Bobkz - Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD/2455LMT/C530/C580- "Pain Is Fear Leaving The Body - Semper Fidelis"

Nuvi 360 and MSN

Can I get MSN on the Nuvi 360? I have been considering the FM traffic antenna for my 360, but may consider MSN as well. Anyone have any info?


eh20814, your Nuvi 360 does not support MSN Direct

It is however, compatible with FM traffic.

You can walk a horse to water, but a pencil has to be led.

Lifetime = 3 years

bobkz wrote:

Dont they still have a life time subcription? They use to if I remember.. In fact I had to re-activate my msn cause I did not use it in a while.. And they Still offered a life time subsription .. dont remember the amount but..

Microsoft's definition of "lifetime service" for $129.95 is guaranteed for 3 years; the guarantee expires on 12/31/11.

Sounds more like a car tire warranty.

MSN Direct - Opinion

I am mixed on this. I live in Kansas City and recently drove to St Louis. The 200+ miles between those cities do not get MSN service but when I entered StL it took at least a couple of hours to get gas prices and trafic updates. Ditto on the return trip.

Gas prices are frequently out of date.

I cannot get all my stock tickers to be recognized.

Some major construction zones are not picked up.

Some traffic delays are phantom.

So far, it has really not helped me yet...I did somehow get a one year free trial instad of a 30 day at least i am not paying for this so far.


MSN direct

I find the signal comes and goes even in NYC when I reactivate it it will work for a bit then it kind of drops off... come to think of it it could be every time I upgrade teh software on my c580 that this happens
any one else notice teh same?

I've come to the conclusion

I've come to the conclusion (at least for me) that the MSN service is a waste of money.

I live in a strong signal coverage area (Cleveland, Ohio), yet the traffic advisories are worthless. fx...coming home tonight on a major interstate, I drove right into a major, miles-long traffic backup that took me 45 minutes to get out of, so obviously the congestion started well before I arrived. 45 minutes later I managed to get myself out of that mess, and STILL hadn't received my 1st alert. Conversly, many times traffic alerts will show, yet the road is clear as can be.

The gas price alerts are worthless also. A lot of stations aren't listed and some that are listed display data that is several days old. For the remaining stations that display today's prices, that data is probably outdated 2 hours after it's posted, because of the volatile oil market. Case in point....a family member confirmed to me this morning that 2 local stations were selling gas for $3.54@gallon. By the time I got there 3 hours later, both stations were selling for $3.75@ gallon. And yet, as I sat in front of both those stations, MSN was telling me that today's price is $3.54.

The 2 biggest sources of data MSN can provide to me (gas + traffic) are totally unreliable so, to me, that makes them useless. It's not worth $50@ year for MSN to tell me if the sun is shining or not.

Maybe it is just overpriced...

The 1 year freebie expired on my Nuvi 680 a month ago. I have no plans to renew it, although, if it were cheaper, I probably would.

You are correct. It does not work that well for the $$$ they want. Maybe if they make it better...

Frank (Nuvi 2497LMT, 2455LMT, 765LMT,680,StreetPilot 2720)

I have been using MSN with

I have been using MSN with my Nuvi 680 in Chicago for about four months. It has been very accurate and up to date so far.

One thing we get here that I have not seen traveling out of the area is to-the-minute travel times on highways, they appear to be tied in to the DOT traffic management loops... it displays minute delays that are almost spot-on with the travel times put up on the electronic message boards.

I also used it in "bus" mode while pulling a travel trailer, and it interrupted the route and detoured me around a narrow construction zone near Grand Rapids Michigan.

Seems a lot of people are complaining about spotty coverage... maybe we have the benefit of tall buildings to transmit from and flat terrain to not block the signal.

I also have the MSN Direct

I also have the MSN Direct with my NUVI 680 and I added the extra 6 months for $10- so for 18 months for $10 was OK. However, I am retired and don't really use it- and will not renew it when it expires.

NUVI 680, NUVI 5000, MS S&T,

MSN Direct in Atlanta

I Have used MSN Direct in Atlanta for about 3 months. I find that major interstates have good coverage and alerts are pretty quick to update. I drive 70 miles round trip per day so the traffic updates are important to me...

I also notice that major roads outside of the interstates get coverage but as others have indicated not as much or as quick as interstates...

Surface roads that are not major are not really covered...

Of the other services, I have used the gas prices only 2 or 3 times and as long as they are updated that day, seem to be accurate. News, Stocks etc... I have used as well, but seldom...

Having said that, I have found the MSN service to be worth the subscription and just renewed for 1 year... Hopefully it will get better with time...

jb in Atlanta

What coverage area in Chicago?

genesis760 wrote:

I have been using MSN with my Nuvi 680 in Chicago for about four months. It has been very accurate and up to date so far.

I'm using MSN in the western suburbs and find that the coverage drops off not too far west of I-294 in Oak Brook. This is about half of the coverage area as shown on the MSN Direct web site. I can't tell if this is just a poor reception area or if this is just how it is with MSN in Chicago.

Toronto Coverage

I've been using it for a couple of weeks and it seems to get the same results as our local radio station 680 AM, albeit about 10-45 minutes after the accident happens.

Mind you the MSN site says that Toronto has limited coverage, but it seems to be good so far.

Roleplaying Canuck Gamer with: Nuvi 760 & 2595 LMT (Map Ver.: 2019.30) 2012 RAM 1500 4x4 Big Horn Quad

FM Traffic?

Is FM traffic the same as the clear channel traffic that you need to buy the gm 20 receiver? How effective is that service, epseically in the DC area?


GDBxxx MSN Direct Receiver Firmware Update

Changes from version 2.50 to version 2.80:
Reduced signal acquisition time. Available via Webupdater

NickJr Nuvi 3597LMT