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Harman/Kardon Introduces Drive + Play

BOSTON -- Audio product firm Harman/Kardon has released the Drive + Play, an integrated iPod docking station designed for automative installation and use. The Drive + Play, which will sell for a suggested retail price of $199.95 and be available through retailers as of September, 2005, installs both into a center console as well as the dashboard and features a swiveling backlit LCD screen capable of displaying five lines of text that can be set to any of three viewing positions.

A small, five-button navigational unit which installs into the center console, includes play/pause, forward backward and iPod menu function buttons as well as the familiar rotating dial around the perimeter of the unit with a center button functioning as the "enter" command. The Drive + Play also features a wireless FM modulator that can broadcast along five default frequencies as well as a user-definable frequency. Standard 3.5 millimeter input and output jacks allow for external broadcasting as well as input of other audio signals into the vehicle's audio system.

The Drive + Play also charges the iPod unit when docked and shuts itself off when not in use.

When asked as to plans for its future product line, Harmon/Kardon representative John Milan indicated that the firm will be gearing more towards 2.1-standard audio systems as well as iPod-compatible accessories. Citing a lack of interest in the high-end 5.1 standard and "significant cost increase" of gearing hardware toward this specification, the hardware will stay at the 2.1 standard for the foreseeable future.

Harman/Kardon's Drive + Play System

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