Can anyone answer this question? (why Garmin discontinued MP3 players?)

 

Hi everybody,

Does anyone know, or can anyone tell me why Garmin decided to discontinue incorporating MP3 players, in their GPS units?

Thanks,

Tailspin

--
Sullivan's Law: Murphy was an optimist!
Page 1>>

Don't know but

Don't know but I sure did like the mp3 on my Nuvi 750. My Nuvi 2450 doesn't have it.

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

Licensing fees?

The theory I hear booted around is a savings to Garmin by not paying licensing fees for mp3 ability.

No one knows with absolute

No one knows with absolute certainty, however this was brought up last week. My suspicion is that Garmin didn't wish to pay Fraunhofer to license the mp3 codec and thus pulled mp3 from all their future units. Garmin can't use the LAME encoder because LAME is officially only available in source code form. To create a binary would open Garmin up to litigation from Fraunhofer since LAME uses parts of the mp3 codec in the source code.

If an mp3 codec existed that didn't infringe upon Fraunhofer's mp3 patent, Garmin would use it. They use Ogg Vorbis without a problem in their devices.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

useless

Because most people already have a player in the vehicle.

Well, it makes it difficult

Well, it makes it difficult to have voice alerts for things like red light cameras. I was able to use my existing voices after converting them to .wav files with Audacity. There is an additional program you have to add to the poi loader directory, I think it was called sox.exe. I had to do some Google searching to find a copy of it and the explanation of the need to use wav files.

No Difficult

Actually, once you have sox.exe included in your POI Loader folder, it's not any more difficult to use WAV files than MP3's. None of the Garmin's I've owned have supporte MP3s, so I am quite accustomed to using files. It's really the same either way.

It does minimize the cost of

It does minimize the cost of selling their navigation units.

I still use my 350 because it still plays mp3's, though.

Fred

Really?

lazyhusband wrote:

Because most people already have a player in the vehicle.

I have two vehicles neither of which has an mp3 player. One, an 11 yr old Mercury, will play cassette tapes while the other, a 5 yr old Toyota, plays CDs. Neither has an audio input either.

My Nuvi 750 plays mp3 files just fine but when it quits working, I won't replace it with another Garmin unless Garmin puts the mp3 player back in their products.

no upgrade

And because of the no MP3 player I will not be upgrading to a new GPS. I will keep my 765s.

295w

Is the 295 the last garmin to have MP3?

--
1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

660

This is why I keep my 660 and why I paid to have it fixed when the touchscreen went bad. I use the heck out of the mp3 player. grin grin grin grin

--
Tampa, FL - Garmin nüvi 660 (Software Ver 4.90), 2019.20 CN NA NT maps | Magellan Meridian Gold

maybe they felt it was too

maybe they felt it was too distracting for the drivers to change songs while looking at there gps while taking a call on there bluetooth during there game of super punch out. Oh sorry i forgot to mention the least important of them all keeping theres eyes on the road.

--
A GPS can take you where You want to go but never where you WANT to be.

Like about mp3

What I liked about my Nuvi 750 MP3 player was getting the tours and information about our trip. I never used the walking tours I have on the trip but used them a lot before my trips to learn about the area. Do miss that part of the GPS!!

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

I never...

listened to them anyway, even all the ones I added, there are just too many other things to do while driving. In the end, they took up too much space for my ever dwindling 3XX's.

--
"Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight, make me a child again, just for tonight."

Can't get the right wav file on Mac.

nrbovee wrote:

Well, it makes it difficult to have voice alerts for things like red light cameras. I was able to use my existing voices after converting them to .wav files with Audacity. There is an additional program you have to add to the poi loader directory, I think it was called sox.exe. I had to do some Google searching to find a copy of it and the explanation of the need to use wav files.

I keep being told I need a 16 something when I load the WAV files and I do not see how to do it. The damn things keep going thru iTunes when I download them from the converter and I'm guessing that's why they won't play. I hate iTunes anyway but I'm afraid to remove it from the machine. sox doesn't work on Mac.

--
NUVI 660, Late 2012 iMac, Macbook 2.1 Fall 2008, iPhone6 , Nuvi 3790, iPad2

Makes me hesitant to

Makes me hesitant to "upgrade"

lifetime map update

Now, I have to think of buying lifetime map update for my Nuvi770. It has MP3 playing capability.

My 660

Gary A wrote:

This is why I keep my 660 and why I paid to have it fixed when the touchscreen went bad. I use the heck out of the mp3 player. grin grin grin grin

+1

Exactly my reason for buying and continuing to use my 660 (with a new battery!)

--
Nuvi 660

Save time and money. Thats

Save time and money. Thats one less thing for them to worry about.

I've used the mp3 player on

I've used the mp3 player on my 760 for music, red light etc. alerts and walking and driving tourguides.

I can't see myself buying another unit without the capability, particularly as smartphones now seem to be capable of all of the above.

unless someone..

Unless there's someone who works in Garmins strategy room, we'll never know why they canceled the mp3 feature to there units.

nüvi 760

When my nüvi 760 was "lost" (or stolen) I replaced it with another 760 even though it's an older model unit. I use my 760 to listen to audio books from audible.com while traveling for work. It can turn a boring 5-hour drive into a trip where I'm getting paid to listen to my book. smile

The 760 does everything I need in an automotive GPS and none of the newer units provide the ability to play .mp3 files or the .aud files from audible.com

I'm sure Garmin has their reasons for no longer providing that type of option but I'll stick with my old 760. If it dies on me I'll be looking around for another one just like it if at all possible.

--
GPSMAP 76CSx - nüvi 760 - nüvi 200 - GPSMAP 78S

Pause Music/Audiobook For Driving Directions

One of the things I like about having my GPS play my MP3s is that it will pause the music when it needs to tell me something. Granted, it can be a bit jarring to be singing along with the tune and have Susan suddenly jump in with "After 2 km, keep left", but at least I hear her. Otherwise I'd have to turn the music down and then tap the GPS screen to have her repeat the instructions.

the reason why (my guess)

lazyhusband wrote:

Because most people already have a player in the vehicle.

It's just speculation, as others have said, not being in on it or having an official statement to refer to, but I'm thinking it was this factor PLUS the licensing issue (perhaps) PLUS the very competitive market for portable MP3 players PLUS lack of interest. I know, some people here are very interested, but if enough people don't care to drive the market, it becomes an expendable feature in the quest to cut manufacturing costs.

I have a Nuvi 360 and never even tried the MP3 feature. I have an iPod for MP3s I prefer to use anyway. Now many cars have built-in audio systems with a flash card port or AUX port.

--
JMoo On

Oh, Yeah

LennyD51 wrote:
Gary A wrote:

This is why I keep my 660 and why I paid to have it fixed when the touchscreen went bad. I use the heck out of the mp3 player. grin grin grin grin

+1

Exactly my reason for buying and continuing to use my 660 (with a new battery!)

I forgot, before the touchscreen went bad I had also replaced the battery which had stopped holding a charge. Love my 660! grin grin grin (with the mp3 player) wink

--
Tampa, FL - Garmin nüvi 660 (Software Ver 4.90), 2019.20 CN NA NT maps | Magellan Meridian Gold

I am holiding on to my nuvi 760 for this reason

I've grown accustomed to the feature of listening to music and have it get muted automatically when directions are being presented.

Would really miss this feature if I had to get another unit.

--
Nuvi 760 Nuvi 2598 LMT Nuvi 3597 LMT Garmin Streetpilot Onboard for iPhone

MP3 Player

I've listened to it rarely. Most of the stations over the FM are static-filled, and it sounds like hell. Too bad my 775 didn't get the 87.9 FM my in-dash does. It'd be quiet as a church!

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

I'll never give up my 8-track

smile

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

Many but not all...

dagarmin wrote:
lazyhusband wrote:

Because most people already have a player in the vehicle.

Now many cars have built-in audio systems with a flash card port or AUX port.

But not all. I drive buses that still have VHS players in them. Flash/USB ports are only in the last couple of years. Only one of my three personal vehicles have them, none of the buses I drive do.

Auto mute

cagpsfan wrote:

I've grown accustomed to the feature of listening to music and have it get muted automatically when directions are being presented.

Would really miss this feature if I had to get another unit.

Yep, that feature is GREAT. It works with the audible book player as well. It not only interrupts the book but the playback starts back up a few seconds from where it was interrupted so you can catch the part just before the interruption so your book flow is seamless.

The only bad part is that the POI files from here, while they do interrupt the music or the book, don't step back to where it was before. Whatever was being read on the book or played on the music is simply missed when the "Now approaching a red light camera" message (or whatever other POI message you have) is played.

--
GPSMAP 76CSx - nüvi 760 - nüvi 200 - GPSMAP 78S

the reason

why

in another thread some one said they contacted garmin about it and said the reason it was dropped was that it wasn't used very much, I doubt it but that is what was said.

same either way

Sixeye wrote:

Actually, once you have sox.exe included in your POI Loader folder, it's not any more difficult to use WAV files than MP3's. None of the Garmin's I've owned have supporte MP3s, so I am quite accustomed to using files. It's really the same either way.

It is not the same at all. Wavs are much larger and if using many different announcements for different POIs can take a lot of memory. Given that some people can't even install all of the latest larger map files, this is a serious issue. And, of course, it means that you can't pop in a mp3 SD or microSD card and listen to music.

I am amazed

Frovingslosh wrote:
Sixeye wrote:

Actually, once you have sox.exe included in your POI Loader folder, it's not any more difficult to use WAV files than MP3's. None of the Garmin's I've owned have supporte MP3s, so I am quite accustomed to using files. It's really the same either way.

It is not the same at all. Wavs are much larger and if using many different announcements for different POIs can take a lot of memory. Given that some people can't even install all of the latest larger map files, this is a serious issue. And, of course, it means that you can't pop in a mp3 SD or microSD card and listen to music.

A load of a one entry poi file with a wav file where the folder on the PC was 112kb produced a gpi file of 226kb

A load of a one entry poi file with a mp3 file (changed by Audacity for the wav file above to a mp3 file) where the folder on the PC was 43kb produced a gpi file of 43kb.

Would someone else try this and post the results?

Not surprising

Wav's are about 8-10x the size of MP3's.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

My guess is....

How much money does Garmin save by not including an MP3 player? Also to be considered is of all Garmin users what percentage actually need an mp3 player for music?
Like any software, if Garmin has to pay for it they likely balance cost with amount of their customer base who need/want that feature and my guess Garmin has determined it is a rather low priority among all Garmin users overall.
Personally I would never listen to music on a Garmin. Would be like throwing out my car stereo and replacing it with a $3 battery operated radio and I don't listen to audio books on a regular basis. With so many portable players available nowadays I would buy one or just use my car stereo which has a usb port and link for my ipod.

I guess

camerabob wrote:

I'll never give up my 8-track:-)

I guess the next thing your gonna tell us. is that you still use 78's. laugh out loud

--
nüvi®3580LMT,nüvi®2598LMT| We do not live in Igloo's, and do not all ride to work on snow mobiles.

good old days

I don't mind go back to 8-track or cassette as long as gas price goes back to 78 cents per gallon.
We did survive without GPS in our old days.

On my Victrola...

wink

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

Lossless vs lossy

Juggernaut wrote:

Wav's are about 8-10x the size of MP3's.

However the size of the WAV can be reduced without an appreciable loss in sound quality. For example, I downsampled my 3.5 second Rest Area alert ("Attention. There is a rest area ahead.") from stereo to mono. Created using the AT&T voice synthesis site that we have listed here on the site, the Rest Area alert file came out by default (IIRC) as Stereo, 44.1KHz 32-bit. I changed that in Audacity to Mono, 16KHz 32-bit, providing a decent balance between file size and clarity, with the end result being 100K in size. I could have reduced the file size even further, but at such a tiny file size the sound quality would be absolutely awful.

In general though, you are absolutely correct about the WAV file being 8 to 10 times larger than MP3s. However you are comparing a lossless format with a lossy one, and all things being equal the lossless format is always going to sound better than a lossy one.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

.

Quite true, Strephon, and thanks for bringing that up.

On our units, the speaker, and sound quality (even over FM), won't make an appreciable difference IMO. Putting POI's on a card, wav's or mp3's make little difference in size anymore.

I merely mentioned that for the folks that still load to their units.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

My friend, I still load my

My friend, I still load my POIs to my unit. I don't particularly like seeing a prompt asking me to install the POIs every time I boot. grin

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

.

Both my units ask once. I hit Skip, and I'm good 'til the next POI update.

Nonetheless, thanks again for the input!

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

I have a 1300LM. It doesn't

I have a 1300LM. It doesn't have the check box that says "Don't ask me again" so I would be stuck watching the POI install prompt each and every single time I booted, if I didn't install to the internal memory.

My 200W doesn't have this issue. It has the check box. grin

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

figured it out

Maybe someone at Garmin figured it out that MP3s have nothing to do with designing a GPS. Now if they would only replace some of the useful features some of the older units had. Just my opinion.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

I will 2nd that

Don B wrote:

Maybe someone at Garmin figured it out that MP3s have nothing to do with designing a GPS. Now if they would only replace some of the useful features some of the older units had. Just my opinion.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

Another Feature Missing

Although off topic, it is somewhat related.
Garmin has also decided to remove the output jack on their newer units. Both my 660 and 765T have them, my 2460LMT does not.

Many of the newer cars have an auxiliary input jack, my 2008 Honda has one.
I don't use MP3 files on my Garmin’s, but those who do can use the Garmin to play MP3’s through their car radio using this feature if their vehicles radio has an input jack.

I used the jack primarily for increasing the sound levels on my 660 and 756T. Even at 100% volume I sometimes had difficulty hearing the commands, especially in city traffic where noise levels were higher. I must say the 2460LMT sound level has improved significantly and I hear it with no problem.

By adding the jack Garmin is not facing any licensing fees so how much is really being saved by omitting it.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT 2 Units

costs

It's all about costs. Even installing audio jack outlet is raising production costs, as it is crating additional steps to be done during manufacturing. If you minimize number of operations needed to make product cost goes down. So it is main reason that new devices are missing more and more futures, connectors, outlets etc.

With high density electronics it is often easier to make wireless connection than built into unit audio jack outlet. I will not be surprised if new unit very soon will have only USB outlet and maybe some connection for TMC receiver.

I don't know either

I don't know why Garmin dropped it and I think that you guys have probably mentioned at least most of the reasons. I have 3 that play MP3s and do not forsee upgrading until something changes. My two vehicles have aux ports but not USB inputs. If they had USBs, I might put my music on a flash drive and listen that way. But they do not. So I plug a nuvi into the aux port using the headphone output. That lets me hear my phone calls through the car speakers (all three, 760, 765t, and 885t have bluetooth). I also hear the music through the car speakers and the sound quality is the same as any other MP3 player. The nuvi screen is nice for picking a playlist. I am not nearly as big on music as my kids but I have about 4GB of songs - around 800 - on my three nuvis.

I want GPSs with both MP3 and headphone output so I can set them up this way. I bring one when traveling and set up this way in rental cars. I also use remote microphones which is another feature new nuvis lack.

I bought a 765t partially as a spare - it was only a little over $100. I expect to use my nuvis until I get vehicles with better in-car mp3 (or wav) playback capability. I think car manufacturers are behind the times. The CD player in my BMW (2 years old) is not working right now. MP3 playback has to cost a lot less and is much more convenient than CDs. My SUV has a 6 CD changer that works fine (5 year old Suzuki) but gets used very little. My nuvis hold about 80 CDs.

Jim

In the end the presence or

In the end the presence or absence of a MP3 player is a personal preference. As someone who enjoys listening to music I would rather NOT have a built-in MP3 player in my GPS receiver. Guaranteed, a nüvi with a built-in MP3 player is going to sound worse than most dedicated players and would have worse battery life if not connected to external power. The only advantage the nüvi with player has is convenience: one less piece of electronics to carry from home into the car.

Given that 16GB MP3 players exist that are as small as a pack of gum, are incredibly thin, get 20 hours on a single charge, and have better sound quality (Sony NWZ-S545), is it any surprise that Garmin eliminated the feature from the nüvi?

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

MP3 Player

How do I listen to that Sony mp3 player in the car - earbuds?

And yes, by having a GPS with a built-in mp3 player means I only have one widget to keep track of.

Like you stated, personal preference.

--
Tampa, FL - Garmin nüvi 660 (Software Ver 4.90), 2019.20 CN NA NT maps | Magellan Meridian Gold
Page 1>>