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Old 06-28-2019, 12:56 AM   #1
haertig
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Audiobook via smartphone in the car

For an upcoming roadtrip, I wanted to be able to play audiobooks from my smartphone connected to the car stereo. That's easy to do, plenty of apps for that, but the physical mounting of the smartphone so that I could safely play/pause was a concern. There are plenty of car mounts for smartphones - to the dash, to the air conditioning vents, to the cigarette lighter, to the drink holders - suction cup, adhesive, clips - but I found NONE of these satisfactory. I don't trust adhesives or suction cups. The holders I tried wobbled around too.

Well, Walmart to the rescue. For only $4.88! I bought one of their el-cheapo phone holders that is designed to go around your neck:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tzumi-Fle...ount/683331112

I put the loop part of the holder, the part that would normally go around your neck, under the fold-down center console in my Ford F-150 truck. It wedged under there tightly. That alone was about 80% of what I wanted. But I wanted a tad more rigidity so that the phone wouldn't move at all if I pressed on the screen. So I took a piece of rope I had laying around and threw an adjustable loop around the Walmart holder and my trucks console. Tied down like this, it is very rigid and stable. Much better than the wobbly normal car mounts. 100% of what I wanted. And it only cost $4.88. It would be easier and probably better to use a Fastex buckle strap (like you'd use to attach your sleeping bag to your backpack) than the roping rig that I tied, but I didn't want to go dig up one of those straps tonight. Plus, I like to tie knots and loops and things!
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:49 AM   #2
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The downside to this mounting is that you take your eyes off the road to look at the screen longer. That's why people generally attach the phone on the dash or next to the steering wheel, to minimize the amount of time where there eyes are not on the road.
Of course, just listening to audiobooks this isn't a huge problem.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Of course, just listening to audiobooks this isn't a huge problem.
We missed an exit on Cincinnati 71 South while caught up in an audio book. We stopped listening while driving.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:46 AM   #4
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The downside to this mounting is that you take your eyes off the road to look at the screen longer.
During thus upcoming trip there will be a passenger too, and the mount can easily be swiveled around so the phone is facing the passenger, not the driver. In the picture I had it pointed at the driver, for whatever reason (or non-reason).

My plan is to use the Smart Audiobook Player app. We can choose the book and get things set up before putting the car into motion. This app has an option where you can simplify the controls to "tap the screen to pause, tap the screen to start again". Since you can tap (almost) anywhere using this mode, if we just go for the center of the screen area we'll be good. That shouldn't require anyone to take their eyes off the road.

But if I find that it does, I plan to revert back to my current method for audiobooks. I use a Sansa player clipped to my shirt pocket with a long cord that plugs from its headphone jack to my car aux audio input. I can find the pause/play button by memory and feel.

My plan is NOT to be one of those idiots you see driving down the road with their eyes on their phone. There are way too many of those moronic nitwits on the road already. I wish Darwin would take some of them out (without taking out the nearby conscientious drivers at the same time).
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Deskisamess View Post
We missed an exit on Cincinnati 71 South while caught up in an audio book. We stopped listening while driving.
I ran out of gas once on a long drive; I left with only a half a tank thinking that I'd fill up earlier than I normally do but I was so engrossed in the book I completely forgot. Very embarrasing.

(The book was the dramatization of The Lord of the Rings done by the BBC. This happened the year or several months before the first movie was due out.)
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Old 06-28-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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I'd also be concerned about taking your eyes off the road. I can't even look at something on the side of the road without drifting in that direction.

I'm not a fan of jabbering at computers and cars but my Honda car has that feature. You can control the a/c, audio, etc. by talking to it, which I've never used. It also has buttons on the steering wheel for controlling the audio; volume and next/previous track.

So what about an app for the phone that you can talk to that would pause it?
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:51 PM   #7
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I just got back from my trip. 2700 miles roundtrip (Denver to the west Puget Sound area) while towing a trailer.

You all were 100% right about taking your eyes off the road! You definitely don't do that. I was thinking that the app I had would prevent that, with it's tap to pause, tap to play operation. HOWEVER, smartphones go to sleep and lock their screens. Once I saw that happen, I abandoned even trying to use it while driving. The Smartphone became a 100% passenger-operated device (except for voice commands that I gave it). Do not touch while driving! Especially when towing a trailer - those require so much more attention and precision than just driving a car. I found that even LISTENING to an audiobook was too much distraction once I got out to the skinny lane, hilly and tightly winding roads on the peninsula.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:35 PM   #8
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I just got back from my trip. 2700 miles roundtrip (Denver to the west Puget Sound area) while towing a trailer.

You all were 100% right about taking your eyes off the road! You definitely don't do that. I was thinking that the app I had would prevent that, with it's tap to pause, tap to play operation. HOWEVER, smartphones go to sleep and lock their screens. Once I saw that happen, I abandoned even trying to use it while driving. The Smartphone became a 100% passenger-operated device (except for voice commands that I gave it). Do not touch while driving! Especially when towing a trailer - those require so much more attention and precision than just driving a car. I found that even LISTENING to an audiobook was too much distraction once I got out to the skinny lane, hilly and tightly winding roads on the peninsula.
That's why I switched to CarPlay. All the controls are on the dash, and on my car, I can pause it and restart it via a button on the steering wheel. It works fine for my usage. I've never found listening to stuff particular distracting unless I was in the absolute worse weather conditions when I needed absolute concentration.
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