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iPod Car Integration Reality Check at Apple Expo 176

An anonymous reader writes "At the last Apple special event, Steve Jobs was almost bragging about the fact that 70% of new cars sold in the U.S. this year had (optional!) iPod 'integration' available ... Obviously, he didn't talk about the rest of the world. But most of all, what Steve didn't tell us is how crappy the existing "integration" solutions actually are! Here is a review of actual iPod car integration solutions showcased Apple Expo 2006 Paris. Some of the nicest cars (like the Audi TT for example) don't necessarily have the best iPod interfaces."
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iPod Car Integration Reality Check at Apple Expo

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  • by natural1 ( 741392 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @04:33PM (#16190719)
    My new 06 Rabbit has iPod integration...and it sucks. Only 6 playlists and you can't see any of the song info on the stereo, plus you can't access songs any way except to click through them one at a time. So much for the click-wheel. It would've been nice to have steering wheel mounted controls too... I know it's an entry level car, but c'mon - it's supposed to be German engineering! I guess the Germans don't like music?
  • It could be worse... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by The Dalex ( 996138 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @04:39PM (#16190847)
    I'm busy looking for any good solution for my iPod and my 2000 Acura 3.2TL. The tape or FM adapters have poor, inconsistent quality, and my CD player stopped playing burned CDs (it seems to only like 640MB discs and I can't seem to find them anymore). Crutchfield says if I replace the CD player, my factory sub stops working. They have an iPod adapter that plugs into the CD Changer input on the factory stereo, but to install it, I need to remove my console and gearshift! So, in conclusion, any sort of direct-input auxiliary connection for an iPod is better than nothing, bad reviews aside. It could be worse!
  • Go Bluetooth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:12PM (#16191407) Homepage Journal
    I see the high-end TomTom navigator intends to have a bluetooth connection to car stereo by 4Q 2006. It'll be interesting to see how that works out... &Category=0&Lid=4 []

  • by larryj ( 84367 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:42PM (#16191907)
    I have the same setup in my '06 Touareg. It has it's limitations (as the parent pointed out), but it's not too bad. I like that the iPod is hidden in the glove box, but don't like not being able to navigate to anything I want to listen to. I've learned to use my iTunes playlists more. I just rename my playlists to change what's available in the car. I prefix the 6 I want with the numbers 1 through 6. That forces them to the top of the playlist menu and makes those 6 available in the car.

    I've also found that if you start playing something, pause it and then connect the iPod in the car, you can continue to listen to what was paused. It's not much, but it helps when you have a specific artist or album in mind while on the go.

    I thought that the "on the go" playlist was going to save me. My plan was to just add stuff to the OTG list in an effort to gain more flexibility. Unfortunately the OTG playlist always becomes the last playlist on my 4th gen iPod. I even tried prefixing everything else with a 'z' but OTG is always at the bottom.

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @06:11PM (#16192277) Homepage Journal
    My 05 Murano does not have a specific kit from Nissan for it but I use the XTerra's kit.

    It plugs into an extra coupling on the Satellite connection. From there it goes to a "magic box" which has a standard docking cable attachment.

    My iPod charges and plays while hooked up. While the stereo controls are not intuitive, forum help was great, I can select ANY playlist I want. I can skip forward and back with the steering wheel controls and control the volume as well. To change playlist I have to use the far selection button on the Bose 6CD In-dash player. I can select playlist, artist, etc - just as if I were using the iPod directly. Selecting "Enter" is one of the buttons on the left. Scrolling between artists/playlists takes a second to response but can be done with the tuning nob.

    Not the best but from it sounds like its far better than most setups. I get the full quality of playback as its sourced from the dock connector.

    This works with or without the fancy Navigation screen. Non-navigation equipped Murano's have an Orange LED screen that displays text just fine.

    One day they might even have a real unit for my specific model and year. I have not used the 6CD player since I hooked up the iPod. It cost around 190 and I got it from []
  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday September 25, 2006 @09:43PM (#16194329)
    While the new trend towards mobile-phone-esque "docking cradles" is a distinct improvement from the "poke a cable out in the glovebox and plug the ipod in there" of early efforts, it still sucks.

    I want a head unit that I stick the ipod unit into like a cassette tape.

    *That* would be "iPod integration".

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"