Autowhine on Autoblognik with J.O. Urnosaur:

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Hyundai's AM-FM radio doesn't live up to the hype

I haven't seen automakers take to new technology this quickly since Edsel Ford insisted all new models come with optional hi-fi phonographs and an eight-record set of the vocal tracks to "Birth of a Nation," which I still have and listen to often. A great example of this is the 2011 Hyundai Elantra, with its new AM-FM radio. It's a promise of a new tomorrow, but is the technology where our expectations are?


To test out this newfangled tech I spun the wheel on my brand new wireless rotary phoned, reached out to the local fleet manager to give me the fanciest car and he handed over an Elantra. Normally, I won't drive a Korean car — on account of the war — but I hear they'll be selling more and more of these cars here so I thought I'd give it a shot and jumped into the little thing with my trusty dog Buster, who is the more tech savvy of the two of us.

My friends in the industry, whom I dine with as often as they'll pick up the check at Andiamo's, tell me that the Elantra is roughly comparable to a new Buick Regal or Lincoln MKZ, which explains why it seems so roomy, attractive, and luxurious when compared to them. I was curious how, then Hyundai could price a car so low, but then these same friends explained the car's price was in Koreabucks, which are worth about $3 a piece.

Miraculously, there were somewhere between four-hundred and five-hundred buttons on the dash. Or at least that's what it felt like. How am I supposed to use such a system?

First, I pressed the "ENTER" button when I entered. Nothing happened. Then I put my finger on the "SAT" button when I sat down. Nothing happened. It was a remarkably bad start.

Sick of trying to push all these buttons, I hunted the dash for the dial, so I could tune in my favorite AM radio program "Chester Provingdon's Review" which offers a nice blend of lute-playing, hog commodity prices, and forward-thinking commentary on the gold standard. Alas. There was only one dial and every time I'd spin it cold air would fly into my face.

That's no the radio, that's a travesty!

Rather than miss old Chester spin yarns about his wily Filipino housekeeper Mr. Flippy, I pulled out my transistor radio. Alas, I'd forgotten my darn earphones. I thought I'd be okay because I found a cord that looked similar to the thin piece of black wire I use to get the tiny voices into my head, so I shoved it into the transistor. It worked!


I snagged the other end and shoved it directly into my ear… just call me Mr Digital!

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Something didn't sound right and there was far more bleeding than I'd anticipated. I removed a hanky and swept up what blood there was and deposited into a bag for safekeeping (waste not, want not). But alas! Another good turn. I noticed there was a similar-sized hole on the dashboard. I removed the cord from my hearing hole and shoved it into the dash. It also fit.

Now, I'm fairly cutting edge, but I'm no Nikola Tesla. I understood there was a button somewhere I'd be able to use to hear sound but what was it? Tune didn't seem right. This isn't a piano. Just then my trusty dog Buster hit the AUX button with his nose.


"This AUX to work, I thought." And it did!

The sound wasn't as clear as I'd hoped, probably on account of all the blood, but I heard the entire program sitting there in my driveway. It was ok. Not as good as the trusty AM-FM on the Ranger I'd just reviewed, but still a full, loud, round sound.


Downsides? With the auto-locks I was trapped in the car for 16 hours and was forced to eat Buster.


Off topic, slightly-

In other news— Breaking- (from Crains Business)


Ted 'Golden Voice' Williams has been hired by General Motors to voice the company's new Attentive Services System (ASS). At a press conference in Detroit on Friday, Mr. Williams spoke a series of informational phrases that car owners haven't heard in decades, "Your door is ajar, Your lights are on and Please, fasten your seat belt." GM Vice President of Technology, Dr. Vinnie Boombatz said, "Our ASS will really outshine the competition." The advanced system will initially be available on Cadillacs and filter down to other GM brands within two years.

Boombatz also stated that Williams' voice will be integrated into all Onstar communications by year's end.