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New ‘Virtual CD Changer’ Debuted For Car

Rosen Entertainment introduced what may be the first “virtual CD changer” in a car radio, under its A/V-navigation line of factory replacement radios.

The new factory look-alike radio includes a feature that records, in real time, up to five CDs in five different memory slots, so users can access their CD music from memory. A sixth slot lets users rip individual songs from different CDs for storage. Users can record over any CD recorded earlier.

Steve Weimar, sales and marketing VP of Rosen, said the feature stands out because the CDs can be recorded as you listen. In addition, many of these radios are purchased to add in-dash navigation to a car system, but the CD changer capability may be lost in the process. The “virtual CD changer” restores that function.

The virtual CD changer also allows random shuffle across the entire range of songs in memory.

In 90 to 120 days, a second update will allow the virtual CD player to rip CDs in 15 to 20 minutes instead of in real time, and will permit users to label the virtual CDs through a pop-up on screen keyboard with touchscreen control, said Rosen.

Rosen’s new A/V-navigation radios also include an 800 by 480 screen with four times the pixel count of the current Rosen factory look-alike models, said Rosen.

The first of the new radios will be designed for 10 Volkswagen models and then roll out for additional car models, including the Toyota Venza, and Honda Accord.

The new systems will also include improved stereo Bluetooth, an improved iPod interface and a faster GPS processor than the current Rosen models. The units jump to 11 million points of interest from 5 million. The navigation portion of the radios include maps of the full U.S. and Canada that are stored on an SD card, as well as text-to-speech pronunciation of street names for upcoming turns.