Best iPod in-car solution?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by cwright, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. cwright macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Why aren't there any good iPod car interfaces? I can't find any that really seem to work as they should. I had high hopes for Honda's new iPod Music Link, but according to this review ( it is nowhere near what you'd expect.

    Why can't anyone make an iPod adapter that literally puts the same iPod interface onto one of those 6.5" screens (navigation screens) in your car? I don't see why this is so difficult–and I would definitely be willing to pay a premium for it.

    I've found several units that allow you to control the iPod with the car stereo controls, but they don't show you the interface or the current track info on-screen.

    The best thing I can find so far is the Harmon Kardon Drive + Play adapter ( but reviews are saying that it's interface is somewhat slow, especially with 30gb of music. Plus I would prefer something more integrated into the existing sound system rather than a separate screen.

    Does anyone know if what I'm looking for exists? I'm researching new cars to buy but I refuse to buy anything that doesnt support good iPod connectivity :)
  2. Orge macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2004
    IMHO Alpine produce the best integrated solution, for the moment. However, this will mean replacing your manufacturers stereo with an aftermarket item. In particular, keep an eye out for the recent "full speed" product range which should provide a snappier experience. Many of the alternative solutions have been built on "cd changer" connectivity and this is why functionality can be limited.

    At the other end of the spectrum, it may be worth considering products such as the itrip which are cost effective, even if they're not quite as "neat".

    Bear in mind that this is an emerging application and it might be a while before the perfect solution is available.

    These links may be useful, if you haven't seen them before:

  3. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    I have an Alpine iPod deck in my car. It was $199 for the deck and another $99 for the iPod adaptor. Usually your iPod is stored in your glove compartment.


    Pretty snappy interface, with scrolling song name/artist across deck screen. Unfortunately, scrolling through large lists of music can be pretty time consuming - so it is best to make intelligently-designed playlists before hooking up the ipod. The iPod is, of course, charged while hooked up.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with the purchase. Of course, buying a deck with a line-in (in the front) is a cheaper solution which allows you to use the ipod's own interface. There are more wires to deal with, however, as you also have to charge your ipod going this route.
  4. mkubal macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    I'm not sure what your price range for a new car is, but I recently had the Mercedes iPod integration installed in my year(ish) old c230. I can't compare it to the other integration systems, but I really like it. There is no scroll wheel so the ability to move around quickly in the menus is lacking. Other than that it's fairly easy to access your music. The only difference between the iPod and the MB interface is that you only get one line of text at a time. It doesn't bother me at all because I just leave it on shuffle all the time and skip songs I don't want to hear. Works well for me, but if you need to do alot of navigating in the menus you'd be frustrated with it.

    If you want to see how the MB systems works:

  5. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    What about the Harmon/Kardon Drive+Play? I've heard good things about it, and if its as good as people say it is it's worth the $200.
  6. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Sounds like you're really pining for something like a Mac mini in your car. :)

  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I searched high and low for a solution like you want but didn't find it. Ended up with XM Satellite Radio in my new car. I figured I'd take the 6 months free and go back to a cassette adapter for my iPod (you can keep the Griffin FM transmitter). I love XMSR and rarely use my iPod in my car anymore. XM in the car, iPod at work.
  8. razorme macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2002
    Calgary, AB
    I got a Denison iPod connection kit for my 2006 Honda Ody... it doesn't show any info on the display, but the stereo buttons work for skipping songs and it sounds absolutely great!
  9. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Now that looks really cool. Probably a little pricy though :)

    Thanks to Orge for the tip on Alpine's Full Speed adapter. That looks pretty cool. Has it been released yet? And has anyone actually used it yet?
  10. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a


    Dec 3, 2002
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    i just installed the Pioneer DEH-P6800MP with the CD-IB100 iPod Interface and I''m loving it. I like the way Pioneer decks look and function much more than Alpine. There are a couple downsides to the iPod interface. The biggest thing is that scrolling through lists needs to be a bit quicker. My only other real complaint is that if you scroll through the menu and select something and then exit the menu, you then have to start back at the beginning of the list again... it really needs to remember where you were in the list. But other than those two little quirks I've been loving it and am very glad I took a chance on it.
  11. dan-o-mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY

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