Car Stereos with USB ports
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I recently bought an in-dash CD deck for my car which has a USB port for plugging in my iPod to play tunes from its library. But whenever I do, it plays the same list of random songs every time. The songs aren’t members of any certain playlist. It’s a seemingly random selection from my library, but it’s always the same ones. I’m unable to override this no matter what I do. Any suggestions on how I can play the playlists I want through the stereo?
A: Unless a car stereo’s USB port feature is accompanied with an explicit mention of iPod compatibility, you can - unfortunately - be sure it will be nearly useless to iPod users. Decks offering generic USB compatibility with music players work by searching the devices’ file structure for compatible tracks. Here’s the catch: even the best of these players, which organize the identified tracks according to the folders they’re stored in, will not be useful with iPods. This is because all iPods store tracks in random locations spread across 20 or so folders. A specially-crafted database created behind the scenes by iTunes instructs the iPod on how to access and organize these tracks.
In short, it’s bad news for you and your CD deck. If your deck supports an auxiliary input, you can simply use an audio cable from your iPod’s headphone jack or a line-out adapter to feed analog audio to your car’s system.
For other readers, know that in-dash decks certainly do exist which have the ability to read the iPod’s database, and therefore correctly navigate its listing of Artists, Albums, Playlists, and more. We’ve covered a high-end example here, but cheaper options exist with full iPod database-browsing capabilities, both as full stereo-replacement decks and as adapters that work with factory stereos in many new cars. Check the list of manufacturers at Apple’s iPod-Car Integration web page.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app