At the moment I am working in Bedford and living in Milton Keynes. This means I have a drive of around 30-45 minutes every morning and evening. I would try to rotate my CDs but inevitably I just left the same five in there and got sick of them over the two months I have been working in bedford. Radio wasn’t really a viable alternative either. I hate commercial radio, Radio 1 is far too hip and Radio 2 seems to be playing Alisha Keys – New York every time I turn it on. So I decided to buy myself a stereo with Bluetooth so I can stream music from my iPhone 3G using the A2DP protocol which was included in iPhone OS 3.0.
I ended up going for the Sony MEX-BT2700. This was mainly due to price as I managed to pick it up for a reasonable £106.00 including next day delivery. I installed it on Saturday and went to pick up Jordan from the station. To my horror the audio was awful. The stream would stutter constantly and there was what can only be described as a loud farting sound accompanying the music. I was not happy.
Like any self respecting geek I headed to my iMac to investigate the issue. It turns out that the iPhone has a problem with Bluetooth audio whilst in power-saving deep sleep. I assume that it drastically reduces power to the Bluetooth antenna when the display sleeps as wireless transmission is one of the major power draws on modern smart phones. It seems fairly un-smart for such an advanced piece of technology to not override this setting when connected to a Bluetooth audio device where bandwidth is paramount. It would be interesting to test this with Jordan’s iPhone 3GS and see if the issue has carried across considering the 3GS was designed with OS 3.0 in mind and the 3G wasn’t. Whilst this was a rather annoying issue, at least it was easily solvable. All I have done is disabled automatic sleeping and and now music plays perfectly. Of course this is a fairly huge power drain (quite ironic considering this seems to be the fault of Apple’s weird power saving ideas) seeing as one of the other main power draws on a smart phone is the large touch screen. I just need to remember to sleep it manually when not using it and I might invest in a car charger and another USB lead to plug into my work computer.
Other than this issue the stereo is working nicely. The extra power brings a noticeable improvement in sound quality although it’s still fairly rubbish due to the card board speakers they put in Fiat Pandas. Thankfully there are some high quality, beefy speakers lying around the house that are just waiting for a non-rainy weekend to be fitted. Also, I am a little confused as to why I would need a remote control for it but hey ho.
I am enjoying being able to get back to listening to podcasts on my way to work. This was something I missed hugely about taking the tube/train to work whilst in London.