Road Gear: April

Sirius Travel Link

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ARE WE THERE YET? WHO CARES! Satellite radio has added much-needed musical variety to dull, daily commutes and long drives. The Sirius Travel Link service promises to pipe even more into a car's cockpit. You can shop prices at the pump for more than 120,000 gas stations sorted by cost and distance, scan a scalable weather map, and scope sports scores and schedules for your favorite NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA teams.

YOUR SHOWING OF SHOWS The service also lists movie theaters in a given vicinity, sorts them by distance or alphabetically, and displays movie titles, ratings, start times, and running times. Travel Link will be available this summer in select Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles equipped with a navigation system, and it will come with a free 6-month trial subscription. Price: $6.99 a month (with a regular Sirius subscription of $12.95 a month) •, 888-GET-SIRIUS

Alpine IVA-W505 head unit

A CLASS ACT If you want the ultimate multimedia head unit, Alpine's IVA-W505 packs a lot into a double-DIN opening. The DVD/MP3/AAC/WMA/DivX receiver sports a full-frontal 7-inch WVGA touchscreen monitor with two selectable user interfaces. An onboard USB port allows you to directly jack in iPods (5 or 6G classics and 1 to 3G nanos), MP3 players using MTP protocol, or USB thumb drives, while Alpine's optional Full Speed Connection cable is available for touch and previous-gen iPods.

PLEASE, SIR, iWANT SOME MORE The W505 will display iPod video content and album artwork. It also employs HD Radio's new iTunes Tagging technology, which lets you "tag" a song you hear and later download it from iTunes when Alpine's add-on HD tuner is attached. The head is Bluetooth-ready for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming with the addition of a separate interface. Price: $1,100 •, 310-326-8000

Pioneer AVIC-F500BT navigation system

NEVER SAY "NAV" AGAIN The biggest buzz at Pioneer's CES car-stereo display was over the AVIC-F500BT, a "hybrid" portable navigation system designed to plug into a stock sound system's aux jack. Not only is it a full-featured nav system with mapping data for the entire U.S. and Canada, MSN Direct traffic and data services, and a 5.8-inch screen, but it's also a media "gateway" with a USB port for connecting an iPod.

GADGET'S GOT A VOICEBOX The F500BT is the first aftermarket product to control a phone or an iPod using VoiceBox - a speech-recognition technology that Pioneer claims can decipher commands even in the noisiest environments. Price: $NA •, 800-PIONEER