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TMO at Macworld - Harman/Kardon Annnounces Drive+Play 2

by , 4:00 PM EST, January 11th, 2007

San Francisco, CA -- It was the summer of 2005 when Harman/Kardon announced the Drive+Play at the last Macworld Boston in July. The idea behind the product blew us away at the show, but after living with it for a while, we more or less panned it in our review a few months later. The product, which is a really slick idea for playing an iPod through a car stereo, had some strange quirks and wasn't upgradeable.

Enter the Drive+Play 2, which H/K is starting to hype at both Macworld in San Francisco and CES in Las Vegas. It's a revamped product that addresses some of our greatest complaints with the first iteration. Most importantly, it has a USB connection that can be used to upgrade the product's firmware, so H/K can change menus, features, and bugs as new iPods (and the iPhone) come to market. The D+P2 also promises a wireless controller knob and larger color screen.

The new D+P will also include technologies for automatic song selection. One feature will play more or fewer songs in the vein of a song that the user highlights. Another subdivides your iPod's music library into "channels," allowing you to listen to your own country music radio out of your own iPod.

Harman/Kardon's renovated Drive+Play.

Some users will be happy to know that D+P 2 can also work with adapters for both bluetooth and satellite radio. It's also designed to work with Microsoft's Zune and other non-iPod MP3 players.

The Drive+Play 2 is slated to ship this spring, with a price tag of $399.95. The original Drive+Play's price has been reduced to $100. At press time, the Drive+Play website had not been updated with info about the new model.

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