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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed my integration kit today, so I thought I'd offer my first thoughts on it.

First some background - I have an '06 R/T with NAV and VES systems, so if I wanted to listen to my iPod I had to use the VES AUX jack in the rear-facing DVD player which "overrides" the DVD output when there is a signal on the AUX jack. I didn't renew my 1 year free Sirius subscription, so I didn't mind losing SAT (a requirement of the integration kit). I have a 30GB video iPod almost full - probably 600 CDs worth of music.

Why I bought this
1. If I want to listen to my iPod, my daughter can't watch a movie on the DVD player, although she can select radio.

2. When the music gets too low (signal, not volume) the VES cannot "sense" an input signal and cuts back to the DVD output. Today that was Lemony Snicket. It stays that way until the VES once again senses a loud enough level, then cuts back to the iPod. Impossible to listen to anything but heavy metal or rap. It's criminal what this does to Dark Side of the Moon.

So I ordered #82209617AC from Wyckoff. About $197 including shipping.

First, the good news...
1. Installation was super easy. I did it in 30 min during my lunch break today. Disconnect the battery, take the radio bezel off, disconnect the radio, insert and connect the adapter, drill through the glove box, run through the wires and you're all set.

2. Now my daughter can watch a dvd, listen to a CD, listen to radio, anything regardless of what I do with my iPod

3. My music doesn't cut out anymore. These two benefits alone were worth the price of admission.

4. The iPod now charges while the car is on. I can't count the number of times I got out to the car, iPod in hand, only to discover that it had no charge when I tried to plugging it in.

5. I have to say, it's pretty cool to see my music information on the NAV screen and be able to use my radio and steering wheel controls to perform simple functions... BUT...

The BAD news...
1. Navigation is a PITA. While not difficult to understand how to navigate using the radio controls, the lag between selecting a mode (browse, play, shuffle, etc) and having the system actually respond is not the 5 seconds in the manual, it's close to 10 seconds. If you're used to the immediate response from the iPod, you're not going to like the adapter. This is made worse by...

2. When you stop/start your car, or change to CD or radio, you lose your SAT presets. An example for why this matters: SAT Channel 200 is used to tell the iPod to go into "Shuffle" or "Regular" mode. I immediately set channel 200 to preset 6 so that I could just hit the button when I wanted to switch between the 2. I also set Channel 106 (I think that's what it was) for "Browse Albums". I figured this would make life easier for the functions I do most often.
Wrong
The second I changed mode or stopped/started the car, those presets are gone. This means that I have to use the tuning knob to go to these channels to perform those functions... every time. If you're on Channel 1 (the current CD or playlist), and want to change, you need to use the tuning knob to scroll through everything else to get to channel 106 to select a new CD. It's worse if you think you can use the steering controls - do you really want to hit that > button over 100 times to get to "Browse Albums"?? If you're standing still.. thats fine... but its a PITA when you're rolling.

3. While people talk about using your steeling controls for this, keep in mind that the only effective use of the steering controls are for "Next Track/Previous Track" or volume. Anything more complicated that that, selecting another CD or playlist, for example, you're much better off using the radio controls.

4. If you're listening to something and decide to select something else to listen to, the music stops playing until you're done selecting the new album or song. Try doing this on your iPod, it keeps playing no matter what you do until you actually tell it to stop playing or start playing something else. This is made worse by the awful lag trying to select something to play.

5. Once you select a function, like Browse Albums, and wait the 10 seconds, it loads the first 100 CDs on your iPod, alphabetically, and will display the name of the first one.... BUT if you don't respond in time, by scrolling through to find the one you want, or telling it to load the next 100, it will automatically assume you want that first one to play and start playing with. More than once I've gone to browse through my library, and the had to focus on the traffic, and suddenly Aerosmith starts playing.

SO, overall...
+ Being able to play the iPod independently of the VES is HUGE. Combined with the fact that my music doesn't cut out anymore, it's definitely an improvement. The on-screen info and charging capability are great bonuses.

- But the navigation could not have been designed any worse, I'm convinced of that. The response lag is bad enough, the music stopping while you navigate the menus is just dumb, and the loss of the presets eliminates the only hope you have of overcoming the nightmare menu navigation.

I don't regret buying it, but it is far short of even a decent solution to something that you would think is a no-brainer in today's automobile industry.

Thanks for you attention, I hope I've helped some of you decide on this.
CD
 

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How well does it work on just shuffle? I currently have a Belkin FM transmitter and 99% of the time I just have it on shuffle and when I dont want the song that is on I hit next. Rarely search for songs. I want the integration so I get better sound and the use of the sterring wheel controls. In your opinion would it be good for that?

Squiggs
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How well does it work on just shuffle? I currently have a Belkin FM transmitter and 99% of the time I just have it on shuffle and when I dont want the song that is on I hit next. Rarely search for songs. I want the integration so I get better sound and the use of the sterring wheel controls. In your opinion would it be good for that?

Squiggs
The sound quality alone makes it worthwhile to get. If you just do shuffle the steering wheel controls are great, just hit the ^ button to go to the next random song. The problem is going to be that everytime you turn the car on, you'll have to go to SAT channel 200 to turn shuffle on. It always goes back to normal when you shut down.
 

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interesting
 

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I have it in my car and have learned to navigate through it. It is not perfect but I think it is the best thing currently available to integrate the ipod in to our LX cars..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is this true even if I do not or never had SAT radio?
It probably depends on what radio you have. If it's SAT enabled, even if you don't subscribe, it probably works the same.

I have it in my car and have learned to navigate through it. It is not perfect but I think it is the best thing currently available to integrate the ipod in to our LX cars..
I agree. Once you get used to it, it's workable. And it is the best available solution with the current setup.
 
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