LOS ANGELES - Audi and Volkswagen dealers in the United States this month will begin offering an optional digital media player on all their new vehicles.
The PhatNoise Digital Car Audio System, or PhatBox, manufactured by PhatNoise Inc. of Los Angeles, is a digital music player that will be installed by the dealer. Record company EMI Recorded Music will preload tracks onto the player.
The PhatBox, which has a suggested retail price of $795, has a 20-gigabyte hard drive that can store as many as 500 CDs.
The system includes the PhatNoise Music Manager software and a USB 2.0 cradle for music transfer from PCs or audio CDs onto a portable digital media storage cartridge. The cartridge then is inserted into the trunk-mounted player for access to music tracks.