My car doesn’t have inbuilt Bluetooth, however it does have an Auxiliary Input hidden away in the storage compartment between the two front seats, along with a 12 volt power socket (cigarette lighter). In the last few days, I’ve been putting it to good use, and have become quite the fan of the BlackBerry Music Gateway. You can get it for US $49.95 from the usual places online.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway connects by Bluetooth to my BlackBerry Z10, so that I can stream my music playlists wirelessly from my Z10 to my car radio.
I’ve been kind of lazy with burning new CD’s for my car, and am often too lazy to switch CD’s, and end up hearing the same songs way too often. I do however have many gigabytes of music and playlists stored on my BlackBerry Z10.
The ease of use factors heavily influences my opinion on this device. Once the device is paired with your phone, you can just forget that it’s even in your car. I just leave the thing plugged in all the time. When I start my car, the Music Gateway turns on with it, and will automatically establish a Bluetooth connection to my phone.
The other main concern I went into this with, was how much of a battery hit my Z10 would take when this is in use. I put it to the test, and started a playlist on a 45 minute drive. At the end of the drive, I removed my Z10 from the hands-free cradle on my windscreen. Like any high battery usage application, I was expecting my Z10 to be quite hot … although it wasn’t. It felt normal, as if the Z10 wasn’t doing anything at all. Better yet, I couldn’t see any noticeable drop in battery capacity.
I gave it an even harder test. I had to drive up to the NSW Central Coast, which is about an hour and a half from Sydney. I set out with a fully charged battery, and pressed play on my music. I also made a couple of short-ish phone calls on the drive. At the end, my battery was only marginally less charged. The best way I could describe it (as the screenshot function doesn’t seem to include the battery and signal bars), is ‘one increment’ down. If battery life was a concern, I could always just plug my Z10 into the other 12 volt adapter, on the center console of my car.
I found that on my trip, I’d be using the BlackBerry Music Gateway as just another radio station. If a song came up that I didn’t really feel like listening to, I’d just flick around the FM radio stations, and flick back to the AUX input for my Z10 playlist, mostly just letting it play out. I could also skip songs by a short press and hold of the volume up key on the Z10, so as not having to (password) unlock the Z10.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway isn’t exclusively for use in your car. You could plug it into any stereo, and just be walking around the place, controlling the music from your phone. You’d just plug in a standard Micro-USB power adapter and an audio cable, and you’re good to go.
Although I haven’t done so, it would be interesting to try using either the Q10 or Z10 Battery Charger Bundle as the power source. You could just take this thing anywhere, it’s so small. Take over the music duties at a party, without having to leave your phone on a dock and out of your possession. You’d probably want to use the Q10 charger bundle, as the Q10 has a bigger battery than the Z10. I have no idea what sort of battery life you’d get from this.
I’m really loving the BlackBerry Z10. I’m finding new uses for it all the time, and glad that I found out about the BlackBerry Music Gateway.