The Carmen Car Audio Player (Black)

The Carmen Car Audio Player (Black)

  • Includes everything you need to record up to 45 hours of music and enjoy it in your car. 2 GB audio player with built-in FM transmitter. Includes free PC/Mac recording software. Includes AUX cable.
  • Computer Requirements: Minimum total system RAM of 256 MB or higher, Intel or compatible CPU recommended, Mac: OSX 1.5 (Leopard), or above, PC: Windows XP (SP3), or above, Requires JAVA SE 6 or higher, Cable or DSL Internet connection (or faster)

Record FREE Music From Thousands of Stations. Carmen’s exclusive, easy-to-use software makes downloading and storing your favorite programming quick and fun. Select the type of programming you want to hear. Choose from music, sports, talk, news and lots more! Connect Carmen to your computer with the included USB cable and let it find hours of your favorite programming for you automatically. Connect the Carmen to your computer with the included USB cable. Double click on the Carmen application

List Price: $ 59.99

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3 Responses to The Carmen Car Audio Player (Black)

  1. Red Sox are due says:
    25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Carmen by Livio car audio player – nice concept, but forget easy listening in the car., August 13, 2010
    By 
    Red Sox are due (Connecticut) –
    This review is from: The Carmen Car Audio Player (Black) (Electronics)

    The Carmen Car Audio Player has some nice features but actual in-car usage didn’t work for me. Since that’s the whole idea, it is being returned.

    Background: I like to listen to audio books while driving. I have an older Toyota Corolla with a cassette player. Many newer books are on CD but enough are still on cassette that I am not ready to change the car radio/cassette player. I figured out a way to listen to CD’s using a portable CD player connected to a wireless transmitter from IRiver (good reviews and pricing for IRiver on Amazon). It works pretty well and while not as easy as an in-dash CD, it’s not hard. The main problem is that the portable goes through batteries quickly. I rotate 3 sets of rechargeable batteries and one audio book of 10 CDs goes through 6-8 battery changes. A power socket adapter for the CD Player causes too much static with the IRiver. Also occasionally I listen outside the car. so I mused out loud about getting a MP3 instead, easier to carry than the CD player and no batteries.

    My wife overheard and thought this Carmen audio player might help. i’ve only had it a week. Its a neat-looking combination wireless transmitter and audio player in one. At home, loading music and other files onto it is no problem, but in the car it is very hard to use.

    I realized after opening that it is really designed for Internet radio in cars not equipped for satellite radio. But it can also do MP3 files. So I decide to try it. Actually, the software that connects to Internet radio that is on the Carmen player is pretty neat and very easy to use. It’s a cinch to find radio stations of the type you want, listen to them on the computer and save them to the Carmen in real time for later playback. It much like a DVR for car radio. You have to use your own software to load other music or books, its own software is just for radio downloads.

    I managed to load the car audio books and some music onto the Carmen using standard Windows Media Player or ITunes without much trouble. But then the gotcha kicks in. In the car you can’t see the screen in normal lighting. After plugging it in, nothing happened, despite twisting the Carmen on its hinge at different angles, pushing into the socket firmly, nothing, or so I thought. I tested the socket with my IRiver and it was fine. I gave it up as a product failure, but then glimpsed words and numbers on the small screen when I drove under an overpass. Ah Ha. In darker areas, you can see backlit blue radio frequency numbers, music or book titles and tracks. It’s very small but readable. But in normal daylight, even cloudy days, it is absolutely, totally unreadable, much worse than a digital camera LCD in sunlight. You can’t see so you can’t change music or book chapters or radio station saved files or radio station freqencies unless you drive at night or in deep shade. You also can’t lock in a favorite unused radio frequency for playback; you have to reset the frequency each time by holding in the change button until you find your desired frequency. That’s a pain.

    I’m stubborn, so I determined to listen anyway. Unfortunately, the static that accompanied the spoken words and especially music on different unused radio frequencies was too high for comfort. Radio station recording were a little better but not much. My IRiver is much superior as a wireless transmitter. I’ll go back to my CD player. Maybe I’ll try a regular MP3 player with the wireless transmitter.

    So in summary, getting music and radio and audio books into the Carmen audio player is essy, but actually listening to them in the car ia a flop. It’s going back.

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  2. J. Howard says:
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Fun gadget, fills a niche, works well., August 26, 2010
    By 
    J. Howard (NC, USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Carmen Car Audio Player (Black) (Electronics)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    I like it! Currently I’ve got an iPod nano with a couple thousand songs connected to a USB cable in my glove compartment, and I regularly update podcasts onto my iPod shuffle which I plug into my aux outlet. But oddly enough, this Carmen radio fits another niche: it records and plays internet radio stations. I’d forgotten how many great internet stations there are. I recorded half a day of a German blues station called Blues Club, which specializes in great electric blues guitar music. When’s the last time I heard “In the White Room” by Cream? Today I recorded half a day of a NY college alternative station… who knows what that will have!

    Of course there is public domain software that can record internet radio music and even chop it up into discrete songs, and I could load them onto my iPod, but this Carmen radio is very convenient for browsing the stations and recording and playing them. It has 2GB storage, twice as much as my iPod shuffle. Also, every 30 days it looks for a new update of the software and installs it automatically. It has an FM transmitter as well as a cable output. I have an aux input in my car, so that’s what I use. I don’t know how good the FM transmitter is.

    On the down side, the software doesn’t recognize song boundaries, so it records 15 minute chunks as discrete files, and you can switch from file to file. You can fast-forward through a song you don’t like, but it’s silent while fast-forwarding, so you can’t tell when to stop (unlike the iPod). Also, it doesn’t record the song information, so it can’t show you what song is playing (like the iPod). Those would be nice things for a newer version of the code.

    There’s a separate remote control. I don’t know why you need a remote for a device that’s plugged into your cigarette lighter; is that so the kids in the back seat can control it? It seems to work OK, but I may lose it. Fortunately there are buttons on the Carmen radio itself.

    Somehow I corrupted the software when learning how to use it, and was getting a software error. I wrote to tech support, and then called them, but no response right away. So I downloaded the latest software update and copied it into the device, and it solved my problem. Tech support wrote me the next morning and suggested the same thing.

    All in all, it’s a fun gadget and seems to work well.

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  3. bluraven says:
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Great but not perfect, February 20, 2011
    By 
    Amazon Verified Purchase(http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/191-1142735-7286530', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Carmen Car Audio Player (Black) (Electronics)

    The Livio Carmen excels at making it super easy to record your favorite internet radio stations and play them back in your car, but there are a few problems that keep it from being perfect that I hope Livio can solve in a future software upgrade or maybe in a new model of the device. The biggest problems are that when listening to the recordings every 30 seconds to 1 minute there is a skip in the song of a few milliseconds. Yes, milliseconds, it’s probably not going to be noticeable to most people and when listening to most genres of music, but for me, I have a critical ear and I listen to dance music which is very fast paced up beat style of music. If I hear just one beat skipped over, it’s rather jarring to me and sticks out like a sore thumb in the song. Another problem is when the recording software is slicing the tracks into 15 minute blocks as it’s being recorded, it loses what sounds like a good 20 to 30 seconds of the song if the 15 minute mark happens to come along in the middle of a song you will loose a good chunk of the song, which is also really jarring. There is a few seconds of silence in-between as it seeks and starting playing the next recorded track too. Now, I thought it might be a good idea to raise the recording time slices from 15 minutes to say an hour, but that idea is fowled by the fact that when the Carmen get’s turned off and back on (you leaving your vehicle and coming back to it) it will not remember where in the 15 min or hour long track you were at and will start it from the beginning. So I would love to see gap-less playback, with no beat skipped, and have the Livio remember to the second where I was at in my listening when it’s powered off. If they could resolve those issues, it would be just perfect. I would even be willing to buy the next model if they can’t be solved in the software and would require new hardware. On a positive note, I can’t say enough how simple the device is to use and that specific part of the experience of using it, they have exceeded my expectations. The FM Tramsmitter also works very well (a tip for people who plan to use it for the transmitter: Try to find an unused frequency that is in-between two other unused frequencies to get the best quality sound with the least amount of interference). All in all, with the listening experience issues I mentioned, Livio has let me down.

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