This review also covers the Denver CAU-420 car stereo, since they seem to be identical in function. The CAU-415 has a detachable front panel, and the CAU-420 does not.
This car stereo has no CD-player. It has an RDS radio and three inputs - audio in for your iPod, a USB input and an SD slot.
I will describe the way the MP3 player works, which is what I was looking for before I bought the player and didn’t find:
If you have an SD-card in the slot, the player will start up when you start the car, otherwise it’ll wait until you press the on button. Even if you have a card, if you leave it depressed in the slot, the player won’t start automatically.
It accepts SD micro in an adapter.
So far I’ve tried multiple USB sticks and a few MP3 players. It’s played every one of them, except one Sansa Clip. The player in the store accepted it, but not the one in my car. I’m guessing the battery was shot, and that’s why it didn’t play. It just got stuck on USB play, and didn’t start playing.
Although this player reads the ID3 tags (I assume, or it might be ID2 for all I know), it doesn’t navigate by them. It indexes the songs on the player in a number system. There are two buttons that will advance by 5 or 10 songs, and forward and back buttons advancing or going back one song. That’s sum total of navigation possibilities, as far as I can tell.
So with this player, there’s no point creating well thought out systems that will play by genre. If you need to switch music depending on your mood, gather together old USB sticks, simple MP3 players and small or cheap SD cards, and upload different “moods” to them, and switch them according to your mood.
A 2 gigabyte or bigger stick or card might drive you crazy, unless all of the music is your favorite stuff. There’s no way to quickly get to what you want unless you take the time to press skip 10 songs repeatedly, or switch the media out.
But the player has a good reputation. Owners tend to like it for what it is: Low cost, no frills, dependable, OK but not good sound. My take on it so far, only using stock door speakers that came with the car - it sounds good enough for me if the sound quality on the file is good, but if the recording isn’t too good, it’s almost unbearably tinny.