Laptop Audio to Car Radio
As many, I have desired better volume from my laptop for the spoken driving instructions. I have just upgraded my car stereo and plan to run the laptop audio into it.

I have two inputs available. One is a 3.5mm plug and I know I can get in through it with no trouble. The other is a USB port. The instructions say that it will read music off of a thumb drive, or it will receive from an IPOD/IPAD and charge it, as well.

So, I wonder if the laptop could go in through the USB. I don't mind giving it a try, but I am concerned about damaging something. I don't know that there would be any particular advantage to using the USB port. If I could power the laptop off the USB port, I could drop the inverter. So, what do you think?

Not all USB ports put out adequate power to run devices. I doubt that any would power a laptop. There are devices which convert RCA-jack-out to USB-in but I don't know why you would want to go that route if you can simply use a 3.5mm jack.
I am not aware of any laptops that could be powered by the 5V 500ma output of a standard USB connection. Most require 15-19 volts at up to 2 amps to run and the power must be provided to the power jack specifically for that purpose. An iPod is designed, as are many recent phones and some cameras to derive power with a cord which terminates in a USB connector. They generally have an internal battery around 3.7v

Athhough the radio obviously has some method of monitoring the USB connector for a digital audio signal, the same is not true for a laptop. You would need special software and possibly hardware to put that audio signal onto the USB connection to transfer it to the radio.

Does the stereo also support Bluetooth audio? My new car has this, and I can stream music from my iPhone through the car stereo. Not sure if laptops are capable of that without special software, but if the unit supports Bluetooth it would be worth investigating since it wouldn't involve any wires.
It would seem to me that your car radio accepts BT from your iPhone that it should accept BT transmitted by a laptop. If your laptop is not already BT-equipped, it is no big deal to purchase a small BT USB dongle that will come with enabling software.
The USB port on the car radio would be for playing audio files from a thumb drive. Use the 3.5mm port.
As always, I can count on you guys for the best information. Thanks to all of you!

I forgot about USB only supplying 5v.

Yep, going in the 3.5mm jack is easy... Just didn't know if there was an advantage unknown to me in using the USB port.

Nope, no Bluetooth on the radio. I do have a dongle for the laptop. I noticed that Bluetooth is not offered as an option on the various brands of radios until all the other options have been added to the radio... and added to the price. Good marketing, considering USB is likely the most desired option... But, it was more than I wanted to spend.

Okay, all I should need is a double male ended 3.5mm cable... Thanks, again, for your wonderful help!
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