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long term storage of a hard drive

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Carl Spock, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    I have a car stereo that is sourced from wav files on an iPod. Since these CD quality files are so large compared to mp3s, size becomes an issue. I've been using an iPod Touch but I've wanted a iPod Classic because of its 160 GB hard drive. The last couple of days, with Apple's introduction of the new Touch, I get the feeling the the Classic is going away. It isn't in the email I got from Apple showing off the new iPod lineup. The iPod Classic is down to $228.99 on Amazon. Its design is old. My gut says it's history.

    Another issue is the 30 pin plug. My system requires it. Without going into details, let me just say the new iPhone plug wouldn't work for me. I imagine we will see it spread to new pieces from Apple.

    If I want to keep this car stereo for a while, I need a working iPod Classic or Touch, with the preferred piece the Classic.

    I'm thinking on buying a second Classic and keeping it on the shelf. It might come in handy in seven years when the first one breaks.

    So the question becomes, how do I store it? Do I:

    1) Keep it sealed in the box, new?

    2) Take it out, load up some music onto it, and play it for a couple of hundred hours? This would get me through any initial failures. It would also allow for the mechanism to break in and seat, and for any lubrication to work in.

    3) If I do play it, should I pull it out a couple of times a year and spin it up for an hour or two? Mechanical systems like to be used and can go bad just sitting around. Should I keep the Classic limber?

    Any other considerations more than keeping it in a cool, dry place?

    What can I expect for the lifespan of a hard drive in storage?

    How would you store a hard drive?
  2. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

    Jul 27, 2010
    I would be more worried about the battery failing and not working even if plugged into the cable which of course you would be doing as its also the audio output cable. Not to mention will your stereo be working that long. Im saying that knowing my last stereo that is over 10 years old is installed in a friends car and still working fine. Only reason I upgraded was to get bluetooth for hands free phone.

    Does the stereo you have not have AUX input? Seems like that many years in the future you would be able to plug in a device that would have many times more storage on it.

    But to answer the question I have hooked up hard drives that haven't been used for over 10 years and they all spun right up and was able to recover the data. They were not kept in any special manner other than in a box on a shelf.
  3. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    ^ Your last paragraph is the answer I was looking for.

    Yes, the stereo has an AUX jack but that's analog. We've figured out a way to get a 16 bit/44.1k digital stream out of an iPod Touch or Classic (or an iPad or iPhone 4g for that matter). Staying in the digital realm, we apply the crossovers, 3rd octave equalization and time alignment to the signal. We only go to analog just before the power amps. We can A/B the analog and digital feeds and the difference is dramatic. The digital signal sounds significantly better.

    It turns out doing this is extremely difficult to accomplish if you want to keep control of the iPod on the deck in the dash. We've figured it out and looking through the trade websites, we can't find anybody else who can prove they've done it, too. It took us, a team of three talented car stereo veterans, six months before we could consistently make this work on both Alpine and Kenwood decks.

    Now that we've figured out the engineering, I don't want to lose it, hence my reliance on having a working iPod Classic in seven years.
  4. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    I would be fairly certain that adapters will be coming out for the plug conversions. There are tens of thousands of head units out there with the proprietary apple cable and I can't see the manufacturers stating they have to buy a new head unit to use the new iPod they bought. This of course is for the head units that have the cable built in and not as a detachable cable which could be swapped out.
  5. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    As I understand it, the new Apple pin configuration doesn't have analog audio and video out. You can get analog audio through the headphone jack. I am reading trade articles about limited compatibility with existing car stereos. Here's an article from T.W.I.C.E. about problems with the iPhone 5 and Pioneer car stereos.

    Beyond that, I'm leery about adaptor cables. The solution we've discovered is very finicky, at least in my car with an Alpine deck (another guy is on the Kenwood quest). One of our stumbling blocks were extension cables. I needed a 30 pin extension so I could easily plug in the iPod. Beyond finding extension cables where all 30 pins were working - a rarity - it made a difference if the extension was before or after the Apple A/V adaptor in the system. It shouldn't have but it did. It worked one way and not the other. With experience like this, the added complexity of another adaptor might be my downfall.

    I've also learned the ins and outs of the 30 pin cable. It has some capabilities I need that I'm not sure would remain with an adapter.
  6. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Laurel, MD
    I wouldn't worry about it. In seven years, all cars will probably come equipped with bluetooth (or its successor), and also microSD (or smaller) slots for cards with capacities measured in terabytes. They will all also be able to sync with the cloud, where you have unlimited free lifetime storage. Furthermore, they will be thought activated. All you have to do is hum a few bars of a song you heard once, and the car will download it from the cloud and play it for you, automatically charging a few cents royalty payment to your credit card.

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