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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Freeway Congestion Makes Me Want to Buy a New GROM-HDR1 of HD Radio® Dongle

I was driving to work one morning, during a nasty traffic jam, and began wandering through my radio stations. I was really irritated and all I wanted was to listen to a little classical or jazz to calm me down.

I would have to explain my tardiness to my supervisor. This morning I was going to be a little over an hour late. Since I wasn’t the only one in my department who commuted to work, I was sure I wouldn’t be the only one late at least. That brought me some peace of mind. But really it still made me twitch.

The radio stations weren’t getting proper reception where I was currently “parked” on the freeway. My IPhone was dead, so I didn’t bother trying to access something that way. I decided to turn off the stereo and listen to my thoughts instead.

I began thinking about my audio system and the idea of connected cars. I read something online the night before, and it seemed to beam back into my thoughts at that moment.

Connected cars are basically vehicles that have access to internet-based technology. Any time you access music on your phone and listen to it on your car stereo via a USB or AUX connection you are driving a “Connected Car.” Also, if you have an infotainment system included with your car audio system, you are driving a “Connected Car.” GROM Audio specifically develops car kits to better and seamlessly access your hand-held device to GROM’S car.

So regardless, I was sitting there in the slow moving traffic and thinking about connected cars. I read last night that GROM Audio created a new attachment for their car systems, specifically designed to enhance radio availability by 300%. Well, maybe that is a little overboard; however, I was impressed how the device would “extend the value” of their car kits.

This device, called GROM-HDR1, is an HD Radio tuning gadget that plugs directly into your GROM Audio car kit. Using HD Radio® Technology, the device provides static-free, clear audio from FM stations and adds access to more than 2,000 HD Radio stations; along with HD2, HD3, and HD4 channels broadcast by any of those stations.

The HD Radio tech was developed by iBiquity Digital, who partnered with GROM Audio to develop this extended value add-on to GROM’s car kits.

Considering that I was limited to my local classical and jazz stations, which I love by the way, I could additionally access similar stations all over the globe. Plus, I would not have to worry about local reception!

I think what really excited me was having more choices and better sound performance. It was nice being able to access some radio through my IPhone, but usually it was a challenge getting to where I needed to be on my phone—not to mention driving at the same time! This new device would integrate seamlessly into my car stereo system, making it a lot safer to use with better quality.

After thinking about all this for a few minutes, I considered my next opportunity to order GROM-HDR1. The article mentioned it was on sale for $74.99 from $89.99.

I decided to try my radio again. The jazz station was able to get through, at least for a while. I scan the traffic around me and noticed there had been no movement! I leaned back in my seat and listen to a trumpeter wandered through a loose melody.

-- Post submitted by Rudy M --

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Join us on the Playlist Tour through the History of Popular Music in the 20th Century till Now

At GROM Audio, we really love music. That is what has driven us to develop car kits to access hand-held devices to your car stereo system more efficiently and safely. It is also why we developed smart-phone apps like the AALinQ Music Player, a safe and driver-centric app designed for you to listen to your favorite artists while on the road.

GROM believes that one fun way to experience music safely while driving is creating playlists. These lists of songs you generate are an easy way to listen what you want to hear while on the road without having to make changes while driving.

This why we have recently started to create some of our own playlist at SoundCloud for your enjoyment!

We welcome you to join us as we dig deeper into the history of 20th century pop music . We decided to create the series of the playlists that will cover the development and progression of popular music in the 20th century.

Here is what to look forward to:

·       October Playlist: 1920s & 1930s
Featuring the emergence of 20th Century Blues, the Dominance of Jazz and the Romanticism of Show-Tunes
·       November Playlist: 1940s & 1950s
Featuring Jazz as the Mainstream Sound of America, the Rise of the Blues, and the Birth of Rock & Roll
·       December Playlist: 1960s & 1970s
Featuring Blues Inspiring Mainstream American music, the Rise of Rock & Roll, and Emergence of Soul/R&B
·       January Playlist: 1980s
Featuring the Birth of Rap/HipHop, Rock & Roll Hairbands, Modern Jazz, R&B Mainstream dominance
·       February Playlist:  1990s & 2000s
Featuring the Mainstream Appeal of Rap/HipHop, the Rise of an Alternative Sound to Rock & Roll, and Jazz in the New Millennium

For the month of October, we have collected a great introduction to the wonderful world 20s and 30s hot dance bands and musicians.  The big band era which dominated the 1930s music scene incorporate jazz into a more palatable format but did so while integrating other forms popular music in their sets.  The 1930s Jazz became the mainstream music particularly with young people on the campuses of American colleges and high schools.  Slowly but surely, Jazz became the mainstream music for all ages. 

Louis Armstrong, the most influential Jazz musician, began his individual music career in the 1920th. 

Swing and Charleston are widely danced across America and outside of US. The Charleston was first composed by James P. Johnson, and hold its popularity for an entire decade. Swing Era started around 1935 and held its popularity until the late 1940th. The swing was later revived in the other forms such as gypsy swing, swinging pop and others. Swing style is incorporated in the works of several 21st century musicians.

Blues became a part of the popular American music in the 1920th. The classic female Blues singers of that times include Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. In the 1930th the pure form of Blues was replaced by so-called Swing Blues.

Please enjoy the first playlist of 20th century; Classy Vintage Music of the 1920s & 30s!

Keep reading GROM’s blog page or check out our Facebook and/or Twitter  for the next playlist!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

20th Century Music: An American Odyssey

Music has always been a center piece of every nation, but a nation of immigrants had to grow into its own musical identity. How can America take traditions spanning from Europe to Africa and emerge with its own distinct sound? The 20th century became the era that American music came of age.

The sounds of Jazz, Blues, Country Western, Rock & Roll, Soul, R & B, Disco, and Hip Hop all emerged in the U.S. in the 20th Century. From Louis Armstrong to Elvis Presley to Otis Redding to Ella Fitzgerald to Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys to Jay-Z, American music gave birth to a nation of brilliant artists, evoking these new music styles to express the America identity.

Louis Armstrong represented Jazz better than most of his contemporaries. Making a name for himself in the 1920’s, he was known as an “inventive” trumpet player whose improvised solo work and distinct gravelling singing was highly influential in the early Jazz scene.

Elvis Presley defined Rock & Roll as young, wild, and confrontational towards social norms. Mixing Blues and Country influences, he was able to take blues and country tracks and make them hits. From Arthur Crudup’s “That’s Alright Mama” to Big Mamma Thorton’s “Hound Dog,” he refined Black Blues’ music into mainstream White Pop songs.

Alicia Augello Cook, more commonly known as Alicia Keys, is a contemporary R & B artist who combines her talents as an accomplished pianist and songwriter to craft music that complements contemporary Hip Hop sounds while infusing classical piano with R&B, soul, and jazz. She cites a diversity of many great R & B artists such as Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, and Donny Hathaway.

Jay Z defined success in rap music. He is one of the most successful music artists in America. Exposed to his parent’s collection of soul artist like Marvin Gaye, Jay Z created a sound that has been described as a mastery of flow. Whether slow or fast, he blends spoken word to verse to create a style that is made up of fast rhymes and vocal deliveries.

These are some examples of some of the artist who were influenced and influence American Music. All of them helped inspire what music should song like in the U.S. The 20th Century became the defining moment for music in America. One can only imagine how this music will continue to evolve and change into the next century and beyond.

Please enjoy the playlist from the  U.S. in the 20th Century @ https://soundcloud.com/treamwith/sets/the-20th-century-became-the

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Improve Driver Safety with Your SmartPhone

Whether commuting or on a road trip, your phone is always there while you drive, ready to interrupt your concentration and encourage distracted driving risks. The overabundance of apps available to smart-phones and other hand-held device are a nest of colorful diversions. Now there is a trend in app design focused on the driver and providing the opposite to the common scenario so far.

However, there are apps available to transform your Smartphone into Car Mode.

Their purpose could be described as providing information with easy visual clarity and offering an interface that relies on a minimum amount of attention and effort from the user. Some of the key function for many of these kinds of apps are:
·        Voice control
·        Odometer/Speedometer/etc.
·        Weather
·        Music/Radio
·        Google Maps Integration
·        GPS Navigation

A key ingredient to ensure the quality of these apps is their layout design as displayed on your smart phone. One of the biggest mistakes many of these apps make is that they cram too much information on a single screen. Here’s a straightforward hint about finding a quality dashboard car mode app: if you can’t figure out quickly what’s displayed on the app’s screen, then it failed.

The point of these apps is to make things simple for you to glance at while you’re driving. If there is too much happening at once, what’s the point of using such an app in the first place?

Another important ingredient is interface enhancement. Usually, the enhancement is offered via two methods: voice activation and swipe controls/large buttons. Again, what can cause these apps to fail in their purpose is an over-abundance of information on any given screen. You cannot navigate through these apps if you cannot find what you’re looking for quickly. After all, you’re driving your car while doing all this!

Voice activation solves many of these issues, but many times these features don’t function correctly and become more work than using your smart-phone normally, It always important to do your research before deciding on one of these kinds of apps.

Overall, dashboard car mode apps are a great idea and may provide a resource to increase your driving safety, instead creating unsafe disruptions. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

AALINQ Car App: Three Music Players in One for The Driver

GROM’s new car app is designed to offer music safely for drivers. With it’s with large fonts and easy swipe controls, it is designed for drivers who need to focus on the road and less on the phone. This is one aspect of this new app. 

Another is it is designed to play music. Specifically, it is three music apps in one.

On its most basic level, AALinQ plays music on your phone. It does so in the most straightforward manner. AALinQ’s interface is designed for you as the driver. It’s quick and simple. It gets you to your music quickly as you navigate through traffic.

On another level, AALinQ synchs with your online account on Google Play. This service offered by Google allows you to upload all the music on your computer library (up to 50,000 songs!), then play that library from your phone (or computer). Instead of streaming music from some internet station, you can stream your music from Google Music’s internet site. You can have your music without loading it on your phone (or other hand-held device.) The best part is you may never know the difference between either option since they are both service offered from one app—AALinQ!

On a more deferent level, AALinQ offers TuneIn’s content through its platform. TuneIn is an app (and website) that offers around 100,000 live radio stations in 230 countries & territories and around 4 million podcasts. Through AALinQ, you can access all this content through the driver-safe and easy-to-use AALinQ platform. You can save a favorite station to listen to during your commute and, exclusively through AALinQ, you can record live broadcasts for repeat listening later. This extraordinary partnership between GROM and TuneIn offers AALinQ users a great source of radio variety and the ability to save content to be heard over and over again—like a DVR for internet radio.

Most music play apps are designed to do one thing well. AALinQ, in a sense, is also designed to do one thing well—offer a platform to listen to music safely on your phone as you drive. To do this and provide a variety of sources of music, AALinQ additionally will access music content on your phone or Google Play account, or radio stations through TuneIn.

AALinQ app offers all these resources not just for the variety of content, but also to listen to that content through a safe driver-designed interface.

Please visit AALinQ page at http://gromaudio.com/aalinq/index.html. Download available on Google Play

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Keyboard of Soft and Loud

A Short History of Piano

Around the beginning of the 1700s, a man named Bartolomeo Cristofori; an expert harpsichord maker employed by Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany; created an instrument he called the “un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte” (a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud). Eventually the instrument enquired names like “pianoforte” or “fortepiano.” Over the last century or two, it simply became known as a “piano.”

This keyboard of soft and loud would eventually eclipse the harpsichord as the favorite keyboard instrument in Europe and eventually would become one of the most recognizable instruments in the world. Not only would it would be recognized as a favorite instrument of classical music, but it would be synonymous with Jazz, Blues, Folk, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rock.

In the late 1700s, composers were already beginning to create compositions that included the piano. Mozart most famously composed his piano concertos throughout his life. He eventually composed 27pieces for piano and orchestra before his death.

The piano became the signature instruments of 18th century composers. Pianist became the heroes of the music world. Frederic Chopin, a pianist from Poland, entranced the aristocracy of Europe and tutored many of their children. Franz Lizt, pianist from Hungary, composed solo piano performances that had women crying and flowers drenching the stages he play upon.

In America during the turn of the 20th century, piano musicians like Scott Joplin and “Jelly Roll” Morton would eventual begin composing and playing a kind of American music that started out as Ragtime and would eventually become Jazz. Morton, a New Orleans musician, would especially bring Jazz into the world. Fusing together blues and ragtime, he created "Jelly Roll Blues,” in 1915, in what is sometimes considered the first jazz piece published.

Later, Blues artists would begin create their own version of piano music. Memphis Slim in 1947 would write "Every Day I Have the Blues.” Meanwhile, Fats Domino in 1955 would have a Top Ten hit with "Ain't That A Shame,” helping bring piano blues into the mainstream.

The Piano would increasingly become present in other popular forms. Rock stars, Blues artists, Singer-Songwriters, R&B Performers, and Hip-Hop Composers would all feature many songs with piano. Artist from Marvin Gaye to Bob Dylan would compose and perform with piano; while artist like Elton John and Fiona Apple would be recognized as writing and performing as piano musician stars.

It is hard today to listen to any music without piano in it. By perusing your music device, you could select any track and probably hear a little piano in the recording. In around three hundred years, piano has evolved from a new variation of the harpsichord to becoming a signature instrument of many forms music heard and performed throughout the world.

Please listen and enjoy the relaxing piano music at; https://soundcloud.com/treamwith/sets/playlist-instrumental-piano

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Join us at Cars and Caffeine in San Jose, Ca

Cars and Caffeine – Club Auto Sports free car meet-up is one of the best established in Silicon Valley. GROM Audio will be there and will bring their latest innovations, including new devices such as the V-Line infotainment upgrade kit and the HD Radio Dongle.

Taking place on Saturday August 8th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the show will be at Club Auto Sport Event Center, 521 Charcot Avenue, San Jose CA 95131.

Meeting eight times a year in the back parking lot, this event is the premier wake-you-up Club Auto Sport gathering. See fast cars and funny mods! Bring your family and/or bring your buddies. This is a great space to see wild cars and meet their electric owners.

Visit GROM's booth and learn more about our new HD Radio Dongle. The HD Radio Dongle is a device that upgrades some of GROM’s car kits and allows access to over 2,000 radio stations in crystal clear sound! Come say hi. We’ll tell you all about it, win fun prizes and much more!

The Club Auto Sport Event Center is an amazing space designed for car owners and more! This event is their chance to help build community among car owners. This is their fourth year hosting this free event! Check out this video to see what it’s like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGTtKuuLik

Monday, July 27, 2015

See New Car Tech Devices from GROM at the 2015 SPOCOM

The NorCAl edition of SPOCOM consumer and trade show is coming to San Jose and GROM Audio will be there!

Taking place on Saturday August 1st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m[RTS1] ., the show will be at Club Auto Sport Event, Center 521 Charcot Avenue, San Jose CA 95131.

Visit GROM’s table and learn more about our latest innovation QRadio, HD Radio Dongle that allows users access to over 2,000 radio stations in crystal clear sound!

SPOCOM is the nation’s largest automotive consumer exhibit, featuring over 75 of the industry’s top brands, media, and event promoters. More than 350 of the nation’s top show cars competing for top spot in this event! The cars are guaranteed to be as unique as they are insane.

This is an eye candy with a twist!

GROM Audio invites you to see what cars can be all about while learning how GROM contributes to its latest car innovation!

Follow this link to learn more about SPOCOM: www.spocomusa.com/2010/01/27/event-info-2015-spocom-norcal-tour/

Look for GROM’s table at the event to win a prize and learn more about our latest car kits!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Soundtrack across the Summer Highway

Rolling tires against dry valley asphalt with hot summer air rushing over your windshield, you once again are making that great journey across the central valley of California, an extended odyssey in your car to meet with friends in Clear Lake or head to Disneyland with the family. Your summer roadtrip has begun.

You’ve already been released from your work schedule and have suspended all errands and chores. You and your partner are resetting your life for this journey. Wherever the destination may lead, you are now focused on the journey itself, without the usual stop and go of everyday commuter traffic. This road is long with few stops and greatly reduced traffic.

Conversation entangles you and your partner’s journey with topics about the destination, lunch, work, family, and other matters. Eventually you both discover a quiet moment where you can mutually absorb the trek’s narrative. Watching the rolling hills and small communities you pass, you eventually ask your partner to find something to listen while you drive.

Instead of focusing on your car stereo, your partner does something different. They pull out their smart phone and turn on its Bluetooth antenna, connecting their phone to your stereo via your GROM Audio car-kit. They browse their music collection for something special—something that suits the journey that both of you are on. They find nothing.

They turn their attention to an app on their phone called TuneIn, a service that offers radio stations broadcasting through the world. They look at their list of stations they follow. Unfortunately, most of these stations only serve their interest during the work week. They don’t offer anything to this journey.

They decide to look at another app. This time they chose Pandora, a service offering music based on songs or artist you select. They don’t find anything there that appeals to this journey; however, they make a new station based on a song they have heard for a while but seems to fit the trip, “Life is a Highway.” Light and an energetic, this song creates a Pandora station full of buoyant songs that bring energy to the road, as your trip creeps past the first hour

The music plays on your stereo via your copy of GROM Audio’s GROM-BT3 car kit. This car kit, along with many others offered by GROM Audio, provides access from your hand-held device (smart phone, mp3 player, etc.) to your car stereo system. Access is provided either by Bluetooth, USB cable, or aux cable. Some models offer voice activation and/or access to steering wheel controls.

GROM Audio is focused on making your mobile devices more assessable to your car, while greatly improving the safety of your driving experience.

The second hour of your trip is pleasantly enhanced through your partner’s music selection; however, traffic is coming to a major jam several miles up the road. Because your car is connect to your partner’s smart phone via GROM’s car kit, you receive an alert through a traffic app your partner installed on their phone. This app announces the traffic alert and offers an alternative route through your car’s stereo system.

Soon, you quickly avoid the traffic jam while discovering a new road on your journey.

And finally, enjoy GROM’’s Summer Play List @ https://soundcloud.com/treamwith/sets/summer

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Music as a source of inspiration and evolution

Music at GROM is central is to the creation of their cars kits. Music affects our moods and the direction of our thinking. As drivers, it can sooth our anxieties while driving through rush hour traffic. During long dull drives, music can excite and reinvigorate us.

Music wears many faces and can seem drastically different depending on the artists, musicians, arrangements, and songwriting. From full orchestra symphonies to three-piece punk bands, music creates different atmospheres and arouses different responses from us. A DJ and rapper can have a significantly different response from an audience than a four-piece acoustic, folk group. Likewise, different audiences and personalities are attracted to these varying visions of what music can materialize as for its listeners.

GROM understands that a large medley of artists and listeners enjoy music while driving. Its customers are a diverse mosaic of audiophiles. That is why GROM has developed a new vision of one of its classic car kits.

The Auxiliary Interface GROM-IPD3 was developed primarily for customers who connect their hand-held devices to their stereo through auxiliary 3.5 connections. This classic kit provided clear, high quality sound through these basic connections. As time passed and technology developed, GROM realized that so have its customers understanding of music technology. This is why GROM is preparing to release GROM-IPD4, the next generation of this classic kit, with new features to bring greater value to its customers.

GROM-IDP4 features full USB port integration for Android phones and iPhones via USB cables. USB offers a higher quality sound, along with stereo assimilation. You can control your hand-held devices (e.g. Android and iPhone/iPod) through your car-stereo and have all information available from your hand-held device displayed through your stereo console.

GROM-IDP4 additionally offers 2 extension ports for the Bluetooth Dongle and AUX 3.5mm phone jack connection. Bluetooth Dongle makes it possible to use a Bluetooth connection to operate your smartphone via its wireless antenna. This allows not only for wireless music streaming through integrated car stereo controls, but also hands-free phone calls too!

The infinite visions of what music can be are astonishing. It is amazing to see how music continues to evolve and sprout new branches of ingenuity and originality. GROM feels the same can be said with the technology of music listening. This technology not only enhances the experience of listening to music while driving, but also ensures the safety of the driver—such as Bluetooth voice activation that allows drivers to keep their attention on the road while selecting music.

GROM will continue to search and develop new ways for their customers to listen to music while they drive. The evolution of music constantly inspires them to continue to redevelop their car kits.

The IDP4 will be available for shipping on July 15th.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Short Blues History

The origins of blues are not unlike the origins of life. For many years it was recorded only by memory, and relayed only live, and in person. The Blues were born in the North Mississippi Delta following the Civil War. Influenced by African roots, field hollers, ballads, church music and rhythmic dance tunes called jump-ups evolved into a music for a singer who would engage in call-and-response with his guitar. He would sing a line, and the guitar would answer.

From the crossroads of Highways 61 and 49, and the platform of the Clarksdale Railway Station, the blues headed north to Beale Street in Memphis. The blues have strongly influenced almost all popular music including jazz, country, and rock and roll and continues to help shape music worldwide

The Blues... it's 12-bar, bent-note melody is the anthem of a race, bonding itself together with cries of shared self victimization. Bad luck and trouble are always present in the Blues, and always the result of others, pressing upon unfortunate and down trodden poor souls, yearning to be free from life's' troubles. Relentless rhythms repeat the chants of sorrow, and the pity of a lost soul many times over. This is the Blues.

The blues form was first popularized about 1911-14 by the black composer W.C. Handy (1873-1958). However, the poetic and musical form of the blues first crystallized around 1910 and gained popularity through the publication of Handy's "Memphis Blues" (1912) and "St. Louis Blues" (1914). Instrumental blues had been recorded as early as 1913. During the twenties, the blues became a national craze. Mamie Smith recorded the first vocal blues song, 'Crazy Blues' in 1920. The Blues influence on jazz brought it into the mainstream and made possible the records of blues singers like Bessie Smith and later, in the thirties, Billie Holiday

The Blues are the essence of the African American laborer, whose spirit is wed to these songs, reflecting his inner soul to all who will listen. Rhythm and Blues, is the cornerstone of all forms of African American music.

Many of Memphis' best Blues artists left the city at the time, when Mayor "Boss" Crump shut down Beale Street to stop the prostitution, gambling, and cocaine trades, effectively eliminating the musicians, and entertainers' jobs, as these businesses closed their doors. The Blues migrated to Chicago, where it became electrified, and Detroit.

In northern cities like Chicago and Detroit, during the later forties and early fifties, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, and Elmore James among others, played what was basically Mississippi Delta blues, backed by bass, drums, piano and occasionally harmonica, and began scoring national hits with blues songs. At about the same time, T-Bone Walker in Houston and B.B. King in Memphis were pioneering a style of guitar playing that combined jazz technique with the blues tonality and repertoire.

Meanwhile, back in Memphis, B.B. King invented the concept of lead guitar, now standard in today's Rock bands. Bukka White (cousin to B.B. King), Leadbelly, and Son House, left Country Blues to create the sounds most of us think of today as traditional unamplified Blues.

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Wyonnie Harris, and Big Mama Thorton wrote and preformed the songs that would make a young Elvis Presley world renown.

In the early nineteen-sixties, the urban bluesmen were "discovered" by young white American and European musicians. Many of these blues-based bands like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, Canned Heat, and Fleetwood Mac, brought the blues to young white audiences, something the black blues artists had been unable to do in America except through the purloined white cross-over covers of black rhythm and blues songs. Since the sixties, rock has undergone several blues revivals. Some rock guitarists, such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen have used the blues as a foundation for offshoot styles. While the originators like John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins and B.B. King--and their heirs Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and later Eric Clapton and the late Roy Buchanan, among many others, continued to make fantastic music in the blues tradition. The latest generation of blues players like Robert Cray and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others, as well as gracing the blues tradition with their incredible technicality, has drawn a new generation listeners to the blues.

Enjoy this month's playlist from GROM, Blues... Ya!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Solution to Distracted Driving

In a new post from CEoutlook - a blog covering news in the car audio, video, and navigation industry - the author provides some very insightful and alarming numbers concerning distracted driving.  “Distracted driving is the cause of 10 percent of fatal car crashes in the U.S.” the blog, which was founded in mid-2010 by veteran electronics reporter Amy Gilroy, states. 
This figure is also cited by Wired magazine in its article, “Oh Look, More Evidence Humans Shouldn’t Be Driving.” The CEoutlook blog post goes on to say that distracted driving has “killed more than 3,330 people in the US in 2012.”

These very grim statements underline how serious a hazard distract driving is for the public.

Distracted Driving, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is exactly what it seems to be: driving while focusing on something else and not paying attention. Avoiding distraction is something that can be very hard to do for many commuters, especially when sitting in traffic.

GROM Audio has followed this topic for quite a while and has earnestly sought a solution to this very urgent problem, especially since many of its customers spend a good portion of their time commuting.

“On average, those who live near cities have a 25.8 minute commute,” as stated in the CEoutlook post, “That’s 10 hours a month, more than a full work day.”
Sitting in traffic is never fun and on a work-day basis the urge to invest your attention on some kind of distraction is powerful. Music can be a relaxing and stimulating past-time while driving in commuter traffic; however, focusing your attention on your hand-held device while you find something to listen to is both dangerous and consequential.

GROM Audio’s car kits allow drivers to listen to music through their hand-held device (Smart phones, IPods, etc.) via existing car stereo system. In addition, we have added additional features that allow hand-held to devices to be accessed through steering-wheel controls and voice activation.

Because many Americans are spending more hours on the road commuting, the opportunity for distracted driving has increased.

The dangers are well documented. Using your phone to read your email or browsing your web is an obvious hazard while driving, as is browsing your hand-held device to find something to listen to while sitting on the freeway.

The best solution to distracted driving is giving almost all of your attention to the road and next to nothing on everything else. Until self-driving cars are a practical reality, in-car commuters have a full-time position driving safely to and from work.

GROM is on board to ensure that in-car entertainment and communication is safer by developing safe and convenient solutions.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Deals and Wheels on the Memorial Day Weekend

“Memorial Day is the day dedicated to honoring all of those who have sacrificed their lives in service of this great nation. As we commemorate them this Memorial Day weekend, let's not forget the history and let’s take a moment to reflect on the brave sacrifices of those who have given their lives for this great nation.”

During this coming Memorial Day weekend, many people like to get out of town for a quick trip, which includes driving. GROM has already realized this opportunity for road adventures, which is why it is promoting an amazing deal right now!

GROM is offering 20% off GROM-BT3 and GROM-USB3 car kits. The sale is happening until May 28. Use the code to get the discount: REMEMBER. Go to the following link to shop right now: GromAudio.com

Are you planning a road trip?

Road trips are a create opportunity to travel across the local geography, relax, and explore. They can be spontaneous and surprising. They can allow us to drop our structured work lives, while stimulating our intuitive desire for adventure and exploration.

If you’re like a lot of us at GROM Audio, this includes creating playlists.
Playlists are a great opportunity to stretch our creative ingenuity with our music collection. From creating simple playlists like Memorial Day Road trip 2015 to something more involved like Power Ballads across the Desert, it is a great time to really add something extra to the journey.
How do you create playlists? What kind of playlists do you create?
GROM Audio car kits help you enhance this experience by allowing you to connect your favorite mp3 player through your car stereo and use it through the car stereo controls.

If you’re getting stumped with ideas for a playlist or are not sure if your tastes will go over well with your travel partners, you can also delve into internet radio websites like 8tracks.com.

This site actually allows users to upload their favorite playlist from their computer. Users can also search through a maddening variety of uploaded playlists from any mix of genres you could imagine. You can also search via category tags. For instance, you could do a search for playlists that include Classic Rock, Hip/Hop, and Jazz. There are playlist that include those genres!

Once again, GROM Audio allows you to route any smart phone or tablet computer through your car stereo system and use those controls to operate your devices.

Interested in adding enhanced and safer functionality with your handheld device inside your car? Go to GROM Audio’s website now to take advantage our 20% sale.

It’s only happening until May 28th! The discount code is REMEMBER.

Let your journey begin with GROM Audio!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

IPD Garage Sale Was Deal

We at GROM Audio would like to report that IPD’s annual car show and swap meet event, the IPD Garage Sale, was a blast!

It was a fun afternoon with some sizzling selections of vintage Volvo vehicles. There was plenty of food and laughter. So many Volvo owners showed their love for each and their amazing Volvo’s!

We had a great time seeing old faces from previous year and meeting new Volvo lovers this years. We especially appreciated the warm welcome that IPD gave us. We always enjoy IPD’s enthusiasm and hospitality. Plus, they put on an awesome show!

Since 1963, IPD has been serving Volvo owners, providing the best in parts and services to their customers. GROM Audio has been a long term partner with Ipd, offering our car kits to Volvo owners.

We also loved to meet many Volvo lovers who were also passionate about GROM car kits. Our car kits offer a safe way of listening to music from your favorite hand-held device by connecting them through your car stereo system.

For cars not featured in the main parking lot, the Show N' Shine had a really great selection of superior Volvo’s. Show N' Shine is the area of the event where Volvo enthusiasts/owners can park their vehicles next to their compatriots, making it easy for everyone to admire and/or show-off their rides. All money raised from the Show N' Shine was donated to Nursingale Organization in Portland Oregon!

Take a look at some of the photos we took while at the event and join us next year in Portland for the 2016 IPD Garage Sale.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Join GROM for “Cars & Croissants,” the Santana Row Exotic Cars Show

On Saturday May 23, from 9am to 12pm, Cars and Croissants will take place at Santana Row in San Jose.

This exotic car show, hosted by 100|OCT, features some of the weirdest and more creative car designs in the South Bay. The level of eye candy on display will only be challenged by the awesome power featured in these performance vehicles.

GROM Audio will be there. Come by and grab goodies and participate on free giveaways with GROM and see some amazing vehicles. Learn more about our car kits while enjoying the latest and greatest in performance vehicles and the coolest creations in exotic cars. This event is free.

The exotic car show will feature automobiles like the Bentley Motors GT3R. A curvy big car, the GT3R has all the elegance of a modern luxury car with sleek performance vehicle power. There will also be vehicles like the McLaren SLR, a performance car that looks something like a spaceship with four wheeles and a million dollar paint job.

Cars and Croissants will have cars and croissants—of course—as well as coffee for everyone. The car show is hosted by Cocola of Santana Row. This is a perfect way to have a light brunch on Saturday, while filling up your senses with these incredible cars. 

GROM Audio will be offering prizes at their booth along demonstrating some of latest ideas they have for their car kits, including Blue Tooth and voice activation functionality. Learn more at our website: www.gromaudio.com

Cars and Croissants is a monthly meet for exotics and performance cars on the fourth Saturday of the month, from March to December, from 9am to 12pm.

Please come by and join the fun at the GROM’s booth!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Join us at the Biggest Volvo Event in Oregon

The annual IPD Garage Sale has become the number one event in the Volvo community around Portland, Oregon.  Some considered it the biggest Volvo gathering in the West Coast for the year.

GROM Audio is planning on being there! We will have a booth and offer prizes to people who drop to say hi.

Taking place on Saturday May 16th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the show will be at 11744 NE Ainsworth Circle Portland, Oregon 97220

In addition to supporting the Volvo community and event, GROM will offering prizes and demonstrating are new ideas, from our innovative integration of mobile technology along with voice activation technology.

This event has been described as one of the largest Volvo gatherings throughout Oregon for the year.

There will be a car show in the main lot that will feature some of the most amazing Volvo restorations and modifications in the Volvo community. There will also be a “Show N’ Shine,” which is where everyday Volvo owners have an opportunity to park their Volvo’s and show them off to everyone at the event.

More importantly, the is hosting a Swap Meet. This is an excellent opportunity for Volvo owners to sell some of their old parts, which might have been lying around the garage, or buy something they couldn’t find elsewhere.   

GROM Audio’s car kits support Volvo models from 1994 to present. 

We proudly offer enhancements, via our car kits, for Volvo stereos. Learn more at our website: www.gromaudio.com

David Douglas High School will offer food at the event. You can enjoy your favorite outdoor foods and non-alcoholic beverages while supporting the David Douglas High School Cheer Squad.

Shilo Inn - Portland Airport is offering special rates for Volvo enthusiasts out of town with special rates.

For more information about the event, check out the following link: http://www.ipdusa.com/blogs/398/2015-garage-sale

Look for us at the event to win a prize and learn more about our latest car kits!

Monday, May 11, 2015

GROM Audio Forum: a New Channel in Our Car Audio Experience

Here at GROM Audio, we are passionate about our music, our car kits, and offering superior service for our customers. We are also passionate about the exciting innovations in connected car technology.

We aim to enhance car infotainment systems by offering hand-held device integration through our car kits. These innovations not only provide an exceptional listening experience, but also offer services like GPS navigation, along with other connected car features.

We know our customers share this passion. This is why GROM Audio wants to encourage a community amongst our customers.

For this reason, GROM Audio has just released a forum page on our website! This next development will be a fundamental step towards fostering community amongst our customers.
As you may be aware, forums are an excellent space to discuss products, network with other customers, offer suggestions and advice, and ask questions. Forums are also a method to search for answers to questions and problems that have already been discussed.
As always, GROM Audio also offers channels for our customers to ask questions directly to us through our contact page, along with our FAQ page with answers to key questions about our car kits.
We invite you to explore our new forum page. We have several sections to discuss various topics including GROM Products, GROM Software, and Miscellaneous & Others. We also have a Welcome section that includes topics for “Announcements,” “How it Works” (GROM products), and “Install help and questions.”
At GROM, we are committed to provide as many channels of communication available for support, information, and community amongst our customers. Our new forum page is the newest part of this commitment.
We hope that this new channel becomes an important part of our audio car kit experience. Thank you for being part of this experience!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Infotainment: Successes and Challenges

In reviewing the 10 best car infotainment systems, AutoGuide gave high marks for Ford for its MyFord Touch system. Specifically, they praised the voice activation feature, saying that it “practically makes every function of the infotainment system accessible to you without having to take your hands off the steering wheel or your eyes off the road.”

Infotainment Systems are those little computer screens and buttons on the dashboard between the driver and passenger side of your car. Usually they provide electronic mapping and GPS direction information for drivers, along with offering connectivity to internet radio, mp3, and other entertainment features for everyone riding in the vehicle. This fusion of information and entertainment has led to the creation of the term “infotainment.”

Most automakers offer infotainment systems in their latest models. Each system, though having the same basic design, are none the less different from another. They offer different features and providing varying quality on different elements of the overall design of an infotainment system.
The value of MyFord Touch voice activation system is in the ease of use—the user doesn’t have touch anything or take his eyes off the road to use it. As a driver, this can be the most important feature to look for when evaluating infotainment systems.

Another example would be BMW’s iDrive system. The infotainment screen offers high-resolution visuals, 1280×480 pixels, along with 3D maps and sliding animations. The controls for the system are accessed through a small knob with surrounding buttons located by the gear shift for ease of use.
There are also challenges that many of these systems face, among them are slow response to user commands and system errors.

Looking at MyFord Touch again, although the voice activation feature is well regarded; it is also plagued with malfunctions and errors, leading to negative feedback and complaints from owners. Kia’s infotainment system, UVO, has also developed a reputation, according to AutoGuide, as “frustratingly slow to respond.”

Another problem for driver’s with these systems are interfaces that can be complicated and confusing for the driver.

Infiniti’s InTouch system; which is well regarded because of features that allow drivers to access email, social media, and Google apps; has a dual screen system where one display is controlled via a touch-screen, while the other is controlled via a knob. This has been cited as both confusing and distracting.

Likewise, Mazda’s Connect system, which has very positive marks for its interface that includes both a touch-screen and knob setup, unfortunately also it has complaints for some of its basic functions that have been cited as needlessly complicated in light of other automaker systems.

At GROM Audio, we are constantly looking at these details in infotainment systems.

The successes and challenges in those systems can also be reflected in our car audio kits. The ability to enhance driver information and entertainment services are a both new and constantly evolving form of technology. This is the case both in onboard infotainment systems or external hand-held device, made more accessible through GROM’s car kits.

GROM Audio is committed to continually studying this emerging technology to create car kits that offer the best and safest experience for our customers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Connected Car and How It will Change Our Future on the Road

In a recent Hollywood Action film, one of the movie’s heroes is attacked in his SUV by three phony police cars. Luckily, his truck was a highly advanced, armored super-vehicle. The SUV’s on-board computer gave him play-by-play damage updates as the bad guys tried to break into his vehicle and eliminate him. Soon, the hero was able to race away. As he did, the SUV’s computer began informing him about alarming changes in his physical, vital signs… like blood pressure.

With the bad guys right on its tail, the SUV’s computer became aware of a traffic jam from GPS data and informed the hero, who requested an alternate route. The computer told the hero where to go and soon he was able to not only evade oncoming traffic but also his deadly pursuers.

This scene isn’t only a sensational vision of a car’s connected potential, but the future of a typical car’s on-board connected services.

The term “connect car” is slowly moving into the public’s vocabulary. “Connected Car” can be defined as any vehicle that contains devices that connect to other devices within the vehicle’s system, networks, and services outside the car. This includes plug-in devices like mp3 players and smartphones. It also includes online services such as GPS navigation, traffic updates, and regional directories (local business information and so forth).

Envision your next vehicle not only providing mapping and navigation services, but also alerts on changing traffic conditions with alternate routes. Furthermore, consider your next vehicle alerting you to low fuel levels and providing suggestions for local gas stations, along with directions.
The coming generation of vehicles will also provide information about restaurants, stores, and services. Love road trips? Wouldn’t it be great to let your vehicle tell you the best places to get gas, grab lunch, or make sightseeing side-trips? These are also innovations that are being developed for future connected cars.

One can only speculate on advances to entertainment services or your car’s ability to interact with your smartphone or other handheld technologies, from Pandora to your own music library.
At GROM Audio, we are excited about all these future innovations and are constantly looking for ways for our car kits to contribute. Currently, GROM is working with Bluetooth technology to allow our customer’s cars to connect with their handheld devices wirelessly. GROM is also working to develop “hands-free” options, permitting users to safely use their handheld devices through voice activation and other safer options.

GROMAudio has been founded on the concept of the connected car and continually is seeking to be leaders in this area of car technology growth. Whatever Hollywood has envisioned for their heroes, GROM is also working to provide solutions and advantages for their customers

Monday, March 30, 2015

Miracles in Technology

It’s remarkable to contemplate how much our phones can accomplish these days.

Just perusing your Smartphone, you can use a map application to not only find your present location, but also find out what kind of businesses are close by.

One can then use a GPS feature to provide block by block navigation to the location. 

There are also apps on Smartphones that allow one to watch Netflix films or YouTube videos. One is able to peruse local news, social media, and email. Not only can one listen to any local radio station, but also any radio station throughout the world. More importantly, one can store and access music or listen to internet radio apps such as Pandora or 8Track.

All of this is available to the owner by just pulling out their Smartphone from their pocket. They are able to access nearly an unlimited source of knowledge and media content from devices that fit comfortably within their palms. This is one of the miracles of our era; however, there are other remarkable technologies emerging.

Consider some of the features now available to car consumers. We have cars that work on fuel cells and provide a substantial increase in the value of a tank of gas, which greatly reduces a driver’s need to refuel their vehicles. There are on-board systems that not only provide GPS navigational utilities, but also cameras that allow drivers to see what is going on in the rear of their vehicles. There are also driving features to allow vehicles to self-park themselves and voice activation features to access a vehicle’s various functions through spoken commands.

Here at GROM Audio, we are excited by these emerging technologies and what may come next. In fact, we’re constantly working to participate and bring together the innovations developing around us.

One can look at our car kits as a new technology that bridges both these innovations, providing our customer’s access to use both Smartphone and car technologies in unison, enhancing our customer’s driving experience while creating an environment of greater safety for everyone.

In the last several years, where awareness of the dangers of distracted driving is becoming extremely relevant, GROM car kits are being continually refined to improve our customer’s safety. Whether it is steering-wheel activation or voice command features available in newer cars, our kits allow safe integration through all hand held devices - Smartphones, mp3 players, or tablet computers.

Here at GROM Audio are continually amazed at the remarkable technologies being developed and are working to become a relevant part of this revolution.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Motivation of Melodies: the Power of Music in Our Lives

If you’re like many people who use GROM’s car kits, you’re passionate about music, especially while you’re driving. You many even question, like us, what motivates your passion for music and, more importantly, how does music affect your life.

We wanted to know too and decided to find out. What we discovered was both remarkable and exciting!  We discovered that music is motivational and inspiring. It can influence our behavior and set the tone of our emotions.

According to a Halfords survey on playing music while driving, nine out of ten drivers felt that listening to music affected their mood and actions while they drove. 15% said their music choice inspired them to go faster and 5% said they became more aggressive, while 27% said soothing music helped calm them.

In fact, researchers over last several years have found many attributes to the value of music in our lives. Music can help us alleviate melancholy and stress.

These moods commonly affect many drivers whiling sitting in gridlock. A lot of people can relate to sitting in their vehicle in slow moving traffic, aggravated and feeling depleted.

Do you remember a time like this and found yourself turning to your stereo to pep-up and feel better?

Music can improve our cognitive performance and our ability to perform under pressure. Driving requires a lot of our focus and attention. It can be tempting to drift into our thoughts and daydream. At times like these, music could you help us reassert our focus back on our driving and help us become present.

Have you ever created a playlist to help you study or to get you through a long road trip? How many Pandora stations do you listen specifically to help you focus while in a sticky commute?

Here at GROM, we try to be aware of the benefits and risks with listening to music on Smartphones or MP3 players. We hope to facilitate safe listening with safe driving. The benefits of music can be outstanding and play a role in our driving lives; however, without safe technology like GROM car kits, we may be at risk.

This why GROM is constantly working to achieve the optimal design for safe usage and enjoyment from your smart devices. Thank you for being a passionate and consciousness customer!


Calm down dear drivers - listen to the music. (2011, May 13). Retrieved from Easier Cars:http://www.easier.com/89070-calm-down-dear-drivers-listen-music.html

McCraty, MA, R., Barrios-Chopin, PhD., B., Atkinson, M., & Tomasino, BA, D. (1998, January). Retrieved from HartFocus: www.hartfocus.nl/UserFiles/Image/Music_Mood_Effects.pdf

Monday, March 2, 2015

Learning to Drive without Texting

Cell phone usage while driving is far too common and very dangerous. Some state and local government agencies have made the use of a cell phone while driving illegal for obvious reasons.

If you really need to?  Perhaps consider hands free devices such as voice prompt through Bluetooth technology.

Learning to Drive without Texting - Written by a customer of GROM Audio 

I have done it even though I’ve said to myself and others that I wouldn’t. I’ve done it right in the middle of heavy traffic getting off the Bay Bridge and in my own neighborhood. I’ve responded to or sent a text to someone while driving.

In the last several years, America society has become more aware of the dangers and recklessness of texting and driving. Research has proven the dangers. Laws have been passed and violators have been penalized.

It has given me a lot think about while sitting in traffic on the bridge.

These days it is important for me to be more aware of what I am doing while driving, not just texting but general distraction while operating my car. This usually involves not just texting, but playing music on my phone or iPod. I find meandering through songs a soothing action while sitting in traffic, I just needed a way to do it safely.

The simplest solution I’ve found to texting while in my car is to park somewhere safe then text. It doesn’t usually take that long; however, there are times when I am competing with getting to my destination on time and sending an important text message. 

Also, the parking alternative is completely useless when I’m on a bridge or the freeway, which more often than not is where I am.
I’ve recently had more success in meeting both needs after buying and installing a GROM Audio car kit, specifically, the GROM-BT3: Bluetooth Hands Free and Audio Car Kit.

Though I’m not able solve the texting issue; this device, which provides integration between my car stereo and my Android phone, has voice activation features that are helpful in other situations. 

I can answer and start phone calls through voice activation prompts, a strong substitute to texting/driving. In addition, I use voice activation through the car kit to play music stored on my phone or listen to something through Pandora.

Technology has always grabbed my attention, as with a lot of people. It’s also made my life and the lives of many others more efficient and fun. Unfortunately, there seems to be two sides to every facet of life. 

Technology is no different. If I am not conscious of my relationship with my phone while operating a car, I could lead others and myself into trouble. I don’t want that.

By practicing safe behaviors, like pulling over before texting, or incorporating safe technology, like investing in GROM Bluetooth Hands Free and Audio Car Kit, I have been able to change my actions for the safety others and myself.

And, I almost forgot, sometimes I just take the public transportation instead. Either way, I’ve come a long way from text on the Bay Bridge.