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Peugeot gets a hard drive

Gone are the days of searching for CDs in your car... music will be on a hard drive in cars like the Peugeot 207.

Over the years, the motoring industry has been slow to latch on to changes in technology – from AM radio to eight-track, to cassettes, digital CDs and now computer files.

There are three approaches to computer files. The easiest, cheapest and most prevalent is to play these files burnt on to a CD.

Then there is the auxiliary headphone jack to play an MP3 player, or full compatibility through a USB port.

The third is to fit a hard drive which can directly download and store your music from a computer or CDs.

Chrysler does it and now Peugeot is introducing its RT4 Multi Media System in the Peugeot 207.

Peugeot Automobiles Australia public and customer relations manager Mathew McAuley said they had not yet been advised when it would be available in Australia.

He said it could be several months before it was fitted in 207s here.

The system uses a 30GB hard drive to store up to 180 hours of music tracks downloaded from your computer or CDs.

Hard drives are a lot more expensive than an auxiliary jack or even USB connectivity, but they are claimed to have better audio quality and more functionality.

It also includes a satellite navigation system, which is also claimed to be much faster at processing a route because it doesn't have to access CD ROM-based mapping information.

Being inbuilt, the RT4 system is also less prone to theft which plagues iPods and portable sat nav units left in cars.

The RT4 system has evolved from the original Peugeot RT3 system launched in 2002 but uses the next generation technology with the use of a special disk designed to operate in a car environment.

It also features an integrated hands-free GSM mobile phone including voice activation.

And you can still use your iPod or portable MP3 player via external RCA/auxiliary sockets, rather than inferior quality mini jacks as used with headphones.