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ackmondual

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Original poster
Dec 23, 2014
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AFAIK, my options include but not limited to...
1) Use a FM tuner (cigarette plug)
I've used these before decade back. Plugs into the cigarette lighter. Other end you can preset a few channels, and tune those frequencies onto the radio itself. Negatives are you lose connection every now and then, and if you turn pause or turn off the iPod Classic for too long, it reverts to radio (caught me by surprise when it was loud!).

2) 30-pin connecter to USB cable
I'm told if a car has Car Play, this should work. It should be just "plug and play", with minimal set up, and not require you to jump through hoops every time you'd like to connect to the car.

3) audio line. Both ends 3.5mm + 3.5-to-USB-A adaptor, plugs into car's USB port
#2 may be superior assuming it's "plug and play enough".

New vehicle will likely NOT have a 3.5mm jack (I miss that :( )

Any other options I'm missing?
 
Last edited:

philden

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2010
87
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If you do have a 3.5mm socket in your car, you'll get the best quality with a 30 pin to USB+3.5mm cable from the dock connector.
There are several bluetooth adapters that will plug in to the dock connector, or some people have modified their ipods to include an internal bluetooth adapter.
 

hwojtek

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Jan 26, 2008
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Poznan, Poland
2) 30-pin connecter to USB cable
I'm told if a car has Car Play, this should work. It should be just "plug and play", with minimal set up, and not require you to jump through hoops every time you'd like to connect to the car.
The only way to properly connect the iPod Classic is to hook it up to USB in the car. Does not need to have CarPlay, most cars are compatible with the iPod itself and show the playlists, artists, albums, songs etc views.

Some manufacturers (Kia, Hyundai) use a combined USB+minijack audio → 30-pin cable. Works exactly the same, it's just that it's not the car who does the digital to analog sound conversion, but the iPod itself. You can not tell the difference in the car anyway.

However, you may encounter problems if the car only has USB-C ports. And obviously do not connect the iPod to a charging-only USB-A port.

And no, you do not want to have iPod attached to your car stereo in a way that forces you to use the actual iPod to search for songs.
 

ackmondual

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Dec 23, 2014
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Some manufacturers (Kia, Hyundai) use a combined USB+minijack audio → 30-pin cable. Works exactly the same, it's just that it's not the car who does the digital to analog sound conversion, but the iPod itself. You can not tell the difference in the car anyway.
Oh, so this sounds like a better alternative to #3. No need for a USB_A to 3.5mm adaptor

However, you may encounter problems if the car only has USB-C ports. And obviously do not connect the iPod to a charging-only USB-A port.
This won't transfer data, but any other harm in this?
And no, you do not want to have iPod attached to your car stereo in a way that forces you to use the actual iPod to search for songs.
Hmm, I was fine using the iPod Classic to navigate for music. If you mean actual searching by inputting letters into a search text box, then def. agree with that. Were you implying that we should have the option to navigate the iPod's contents on the car's display?
 

ackmondual

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Dec 23, 2014
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If you do have a 3.5mm socket in your car, you'll get the best quality with a 30 pin to USB+3.5mm cable from the dock connector.
Did you mean "if I do NOT have a 3.5mm"? If I had a 3.5mm jack on the console, I can just use a single, 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable (from the Ipod's 3.5mm jack directly into the car)

There are several bluetooth adapters that will plug in to the dock connector, or some people have modified their ipods to include an internal bluetooth adapter.
For now, I don't want to bother with having to mod an iPod to add bluetooth.

Yeah, the car will most likely have Bluetooth for sure. I just didn't know older devices like iPod Classics that didn't come with that could be adapted to such a functionality!
 

philden

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2010
87
23
Did you mean "if I do NOT have a 3.5mm"? If I had a 3.5mm jack on the console, I can just use a single, 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable (from the Ipod's 3.5mm jack directly into the car)
No, I did mean "if you do". You'll get better quality, line out, from the dock connector compared to using the headphone output.
For now, I don't want to bother with having to mod an iPod to add bluetooth.

Yeah, the car will most likely have Bluetooth for sure. I just didn't know older devices like iPod Classics that didn't come with that could be adapted to such a functionality!
I have a Motorola Bluetooth dock adapter, and the Kokkia ones seem to be well regarded.
 
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hwojtek

macrumors 68020
Jan 26, 2008
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This won't transfer data, but any other harm in this?

It will charge the iPod properly, but that's about it, no sound, obviously ;)

Hmm, I was fine using the iPod Classic to navigate for music. If you mean actual searching by inputting letters into a search text box, then def. agree with that. Were you implying that we should have the option to navigate the iPod's contents on the car's display?

If the iPod hooks up via USB to the car headunit, the HU will allow browsing and using car buttons (preferably steering wheel controls) to control music. The classic interface is way more distracting than a smartphone and I find it dangerous to use the iPod interface while driving.
 
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crobcary

macrumors newbie
May 13, 2019
24
20
Atlanta, GA
It will charge the iPod properly, but that's about it, no sound, obviously ;)



If the iPod hooks up via USB to the car headunit, the HU will allow browsing and using car buttons (preferably steering wheel controls) to control music. The classic interface is way more distracting than a smartphone and I find it dangerous to use the iPod interface while driving.
Newer-model vehicles seem to be breaking compatibility with browsing on iPod Classics. I discovered this when I purchased my MINI Countryman 2021 (wherein the interactive stack is reskinned BMW iDrive, once famously compatible with iPods thanks to the jogwheel) and could no longer browse/select tracks via the headunit. Basically, I can initiate playback on the iPod Classic (7th-gen, final generation) and immediately plug it in, but can't browse/initiate playback after plugging in. My searching around this issue seems to yield that 1) I am not alone in this; several recent models have the same issue and 2) it's due to some Apple iPod/iPhone USB connectivity revision…the older version belonging to the iPod and the newer powering connection between Lightning-based(?) iOS devices.
 

hwojtek

macrumors 68020
Jan 26, 2008
2,165
1,184
Poznan, Poland
Newer-model vehicles seem to be breaking compatibility with browsing on iPod Classics. I discovered this when I purchased my MINI Countryman 2021 (wherein the interactive stack is reskinned BMW iDrive, once famously compatible with iPods thanks to the jogwheel) and could no longer browse/select tracks via the headunit.
That's a bummer, since my 2020 Cooper worked just fine...
 

crobcary

macrumors newbie
May 13, 2019
24
20
Atlanta, GA
That's a bummer, since my 2020 Cooper worked just fine...

I tried both Apple’s 30-pin and a Belkin cable I had laying around with the USB-A port in the front. No dice. Audio, no browsing. The only thing I haven’t tried is using the USB-C port in the center console with an adapter. When I was searching around, it looked like similar forum posts around the Internet were from folks who purchased cars in the last two years and spanned MINI, BMW, and Ford IIRC.
 

Jonny0607

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2022
1
0
Just decided to give my iPod classic 160GB the kiss of life and utilise it in my 2019 Mini Cooper. When i connect, the device appears as an available option on the screen, but it fails to connect when selected. I'm not the most Techie of individuals so does anyone have a fix I could try please?.. I'm using the original 30 pin cable with a usb directly into the Mini (which has apple play)
 
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