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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through March 18, 2009 » are Best Ipod Interface? « Previous Next »
By mxboarder7 (tige22ityper) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 7:27 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I am getting mixed reviews on what is the best Ipod interface for my wife's rig. She has an Escalade with factory nav and I want to add an Ipod/Iphone interface so she can run the Ipod through the touchscreen and use the steering wheel controls. I know there are a few companies that make an interface that is essentially plug and play. Any thoughts on what is the best route?

Thanks in advance!!

By Ryan Norris (chucktronics) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 10:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
There are several brands to choose from for shure . I typically use the Peripheral product for my personal and business.lock pick is another company i use to unlock the video portion of your dvd and allow many other useful features,they make interfaces also.
make certain how the interfaces work and how intuitive they are as that will play a role in how satisfied you may feel.

By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 10:06 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'll throw in my 2 cents but am no means the last word. I need to do this to another car so am eager to see other posts.

I bought a DICE for my 2003 BMW. It interfaces with the head unit, showing the songs on it and lets you scroll through the menus from the head unit. However, the DICE has a little switch that lets you either control the iPod from the head unit or from the iPod itself. I choose to control the iPod menu from the iPod itself. I really like this feature - here's why:

I've always thought that using the head unit was a pain in the ass, both in the car and on the boat. The issue is that you have to learn how to navigate with the head unit which is often not easy and different for each unit and different (obviously) from the iPod which is SO simple. I could care less that my song is listed on the head unit.

Secondly, in my BMW, controlling from the head unit takes FOREVER. The DICE hooks into the car system through the CD exchanger. It takes 2-3 seconds to show the new song or next level of the menu. This is way, way too long. Who wants to use the head unit when it takes a minute or two just to get to the song/album you want to hear? Using the iPod itself, I can do it in seconds.

Wish my boat worked the same way... I'm going to have to look into changing that.

By "G" (grant_west) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:10 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
My buddy has the Lockpick Ipod Interface on his 07 Esclade. He said he hate's it. He said he had them remove it and now he just hooks the 3.5mm headphone hack into RCA's threw the rear. (That's how I run My'n) not because its the best or anything just cause I havent got around to doing it (lazy). I mostly listen to XM. So with that said here is my advice.
I tryed to find it but, I had no luck. I found a cable last month It looked so awesome. Super nice RCA's Left Right and Video. And then it had a Power and Ground to charge your I pod. It used a Apple docking plug. It was grey and looked way over built and super nice. I wish I could find it. Im sure some one might find it after I finish
posting. I havent tryed the Harmon Kardon Drive + Play but heard good things that said IMO you don't want to try and mess with a Intergration system. They all FAIL. Nothing is easyer and faster IMO than moving threw your the was it was made.
WHY pay for and install a aftermarket system that dosen't let you or make's it more complicated to scroll threw your I pod. I don't get it? All you need is a QUALITY docking cable that gives you rca's and power and ground so you can charge and thats it! DONE. I or your don't need all the BS that all the aftermarket Ipod interfaces have or make you go threw to simply get to a song. I hate it when I get to have to "Learn" how to play my Ipod on someones system. Why can't you just plug it in and let the thing play. Why is it you have to go threw Brand X's riger-ra-more to get your Ipod to play a song when you can simply buy a $10 cable and plug it into your system (if it has AUX imputs) and your golden. Yea it sucks going threw the head phone jack.

So in a long way of answering your question MXboarder: I would get a cable like this:
and hook it up to your factory AUX imput's and hook up power and ground and your all good.
TIP: Find a cable that used a QUALITY docking plug. like the kind Monster cable uses. The kind that I posted in the link is a POS. They work good at first but then they start to crap out and give an bad signal. Look for the pimped out grey cable I was talking about. Im on a quest to find it now

By "G" (grant_west) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
By David (detonate69) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 11:29 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The best IPod interface is the IPod itself. I have yet to find an interface that doesn't completely Lag and suck.
By John Bauer (jonyb) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I've sold several of the Peripheral pxamg's to customers of mine. Most of them have like it so far. The only drawback is that it does not charge the iphone. It will charge normal ipods, but not the iphone. You can select to either control it through the OEM radio, or control it through the click wheel on the ipod. It also has an aux. input and an HD radio input.

I could be wrong, but I dont believe they make a Dension Dice unit for GM's.

By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:32 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm with Grant West and plan to buy that cable for the second car (have to check into if the car head unit has RCA aux connectors first). Had I known about that cable, I wouldn't have wasted the $170 on the Dice unit for the BMW.
By John Bauer (jonyb) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 1:49 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
What car is it Andy? Most cars don't have RCA connectors, but have headphone aux inputs. That's the mostly newer cars though, and they don't control through the head unit or charge. You have to charge them separately and control through the click wheel.
By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 1:53 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

I WANT to control through the ipod click wheel. The car is a 2000 Toyota Camry. I have a feeling you're right about the RCA connectors but was going to pull the unit out to see. If it doesn't have it, is a $150 integration kit the only way to connect & charge at the same time?

By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 2:07 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sorry for the jack, guys. John, this is the stereo in the car.

Someone should come up with non-integration iPod hook ups that will connect with the stereo and charge that sells for around $50. They would sell a ton of them. The $150+/- kits are a rip off for what they are/do.

(Message edited by ottog1979 on January 14, 2009)

(Message edited by ottog1979 on January 14, 2009)

By Jarrod Corby (showmedonttellme) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 2:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
X2(or 3?) on getting a cable. I have one in the boat that plugs directly into RCA outs behind the deck and then goes in the bottom of the ipod/iphone(where the battery goes). It just hangs out of the glovebox by the stereo. It rocks, no lag. Plus I bought a new head unit so i can control the iPod from the deck its sweet!! I would't get the headphone-out plug, you lose sound quality.
By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 2:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sorry, the pic:


By Stanfield (stanfield) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 2:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
In the boat I have a cable like what grant posted a link to with a line driver in line since i've got a 15ish ft rca cable run from the drivers side to the glove box. IMO it is the best way hook an ipod up, keep it charged, etc...It also helps that its cheap.

I have the stupid harmon kardon drive+play thing in my commuter car and it is a POS. I'm just waiting for a free hour or two to rip it out and replace it with what I have in the boat.

(Message edited by Stanfield on January 14, 2009)

By Stanfield (stanfield) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 2:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
By mxboarder7 (tige22ityper) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 6:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for all the info! I have that Clarion controller on my head unit in my boat and always go back to just running the ipod through regular RCA's and controlling it manually.......maybe I should go that route in the rig.

One more ignorant (and lazy for not searching the net first) Escalades already have an aux out with their factory nav systems? I had it in the local shop (which was great in figuring out another issue with an amp issue) and should have just had them install the above cable at the same time. One of the guys mentioned the interface to control it through the nav and steering wheel as an option and it was intriguing.......How long till just about every car that rolls off the line has a plug in for Ipods, MP3s, etc?

By Dan (dppaneig) on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 8:46 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Ipods should be able to slide into the deck like old school cassette tapes
By John Bauer (jonyb) on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 4:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Andy, here's what you need:
By "G" (grant_west) on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 9:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Dan: Here ya go

By John Bauer (jonyb) on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 10:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Stanfield, I wouldn't buy anything from sonic. I've got a bad history with them. Cliff notes: Bought an amp made by a company they're not a dealer for, it didn't have serial numbers, it was dead on arrival, they claimed it would take 2 months to get the amp back, and it would be refurbished. Then shipping issues on another product I bought that they never shipped and never updated me about them not having it in stock. Then it took another 3 weeks to get my money back.
By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 12:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

At $89, that looks like the deal. But..."Requires vehicle specific harness (sold separately)."

Am I reading this right?

By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 1:06 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm going to need the specific harness $20, then a charger too for the 4th G Nano, not available until spring but likely another $20-40. We're up to $130 to $150. Bummer.

Anyone know how often (or on Toyota specifically) car stereo head units have auxiliary RCA connectors?

By John Bauer (jonyb) on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 2:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The harness is $10, and the other piece is a little cheaper. Email me if you want it and I'll get a price....

Here's the thing though, if you have the newest Nano, then you can't use this piece and have a separate charger. The Peripheral piece has the large plug and that also doubles as the charging port. Go to the main page from that link, put in "2000 Toyota Camry" in teh vehicle boxes. There's an auxiliary input adaptor that you could use that goes through the headphone adaptor on the ipod.

By Dan C (pwningjr) on Friday, January 16, 2009 - 7:47 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

The best setup there IMO would be just a cassette adapter. They can be had for ~$15 at walmart etc.

By Roddyrod (wakeslife) on Friday, January 16, 2009 - 9:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
+1 for the cassette adapter. The one in my sister's car works 10 times better than my 80 dollar state of the art iTrip.
By Andy G. (ottog1979) on Saturday, January 17, 2009 - 10:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I use a cassette adapter in the Yukon. Works just great (except for charging). The BMW head unit doesn't have cassette so hence the need for the interface. For now, I'm going with the cassette adapter for the Toyota and calling it a day.
By bzmillerboy (bzmillerboy) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 7:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
USA Spec is the only (by "only" i mean by far the best) way to hook up your iPod in your car (with factory head unit).

By Gene Williams (gene3x) on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 1:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Vaistech is actually pretty good (similar to USASPEC) and allows you to play video from your ipod on the screen that your Navigation uses.

By Scott Legge (w00taz) on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 2:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I use the sony ipod adapter in the boat, but it has aux RCA's in the back that the ipod box plugs into. It charges and controls the ipod. I enjoy it on all ipods except my old one that isnt solid state its laggy browsing and REALLY laggy if the disk needs to spin up.

In my truck I have a Precision Interface Electronics GM12-AUXv2. It was a total waste of money for 2 months because the documentation that came with it was complete garbage. I use the stock head unit because I DESPISE the look of aftermarket headunits. I have one cable coming out of the bottom of the dash into my belkin ipod charger and the charger passes the line level to the deck. The interface is great and I retained my XM functionality on the stock unit. I couldn't be happier. One wire to the ipod (click wheel interface) and one wire up in the dash.

By Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis) on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 3:28 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have an Alpine radio in one of my cars with the Ipod interface. There are good and bad things about it.

Good things:
1) The Ipod can hide in the glove box, out of sight.
2) The Ipod is always being charged.
3) The Ipod turns on/off with the radio
4) The connection to the radio is through a shielded cable, no interference from cell phones.
5) I can see what song is playing at a glance, even in the dark.

Not so good things:
Like others have said, the user interface portion sucks.
Scrolling through long lists takes forever! If you are trying to select a playlist it isn't bad, assuming you don't have hundreds of playlists. Trying to find an artist or a song by name is painful.


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