Alpine ships Interface Adapter for iPod | iLounge News


Alpine ships Interface Adapter for iPod

“Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., the industry-leading manufacturer of high performance mobile electronics, has shipped its highly anticipated interface adapter that enables consumers to control and enjoy their iPod or iPod mini music library from their in-vehicle sound system.  The Alpine Interface Adapter for iPod (model KCA-420i) enables users to experience superior sound and control of their iPod music using any of Alpine’s 2004 Ai-NET in-dash head units.  The KCA-420i is now available from authorized Alpine dealers for $100.”

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For those of you who have installed it…

Who’d you set it up? (ie. where do you have the cable coming out of? whered you put the small external box? stuff like that…)

Posted by Ted on September 30, 2004 at 7:49 AM (CDT)


I have it connected to my IVA-D300 touchscreen and it works—but there’s a problem. It doesn’t see the whole list of artists. It stops at C. Plus, the navigation takes some getting used to, but generally the Alpine headunits tend to have a bit of a learning curve. Anyhow, if you have a D300 and it shipped before June, go to your nearest Alpine dealer to get a firmware update CD. I will be working on mine to see if I can get it to work and see all the artists.

Posted by SPtheALIEN on September 30, 2004 at 1:13 PM (CDT)



I’m thinking about getting the IVA-D300 with the ipod adapter.  Is there like a scroll bar on the screen which I can use to scroll by dragging my finger over it?  Can I select songs by touching them on the screen?

Second thing, I think your list stops at ‘C’ because the current alpine head uints can only display a certian number of songs at once.

Posted by chiman on September 30, 2004 at 1:32 PM (CDT)


i dont understand these polite reviews. ive had this thing in my car for a week, and it just BLOWS! the slow scrolling was mentioned but totaly understated. it would literaly take 30 minutes to get thru the artist list, forget the songs list that might take a week. sounds great! ya so what, so will any other line level input. user interface is totaly complicated and confusing. what wasnt mentioned in the review is that when you set the head unit to mix (shuffle) it resets itself everytime you turn off the car. so you have to go thru the process of shuffling EVERY TIME! i already took it out of the car. so if you know anybody who wants a slightly used alpine 9835 head unit and ipod adapter take mine please! so i can buy a real stereo

Posted by goose on October 1, 2004 at 1:37 AM (CDT)


Have to say I’m with goose on this one. Although it is very useful in that I can now stash away the iPod inthe glovebox the only songs I am playing at the moment are the first few playlists.

I have contacted Alpine regarding my problems and have a good A4 page of usability issues with it so it will be interesting to see the response.

Posted by Rob Convery on October 1, 2004 at 7:50 AM (CDT)


Glad to see people (i.e. goose and Rob) giving their unbiased opinions b/c now I might have to reconsider the Alpine/iPod interface…

goose and/or Rob are they any more pros/cons to Alpine’s interface?

Posted by just_asking on October 1, 2004 at 9:00 AM (CDT)


Have had the interface for a couple of days and am very happy with it.  I have an IVA-D900.  The scrolling is very very slow but, for me, tolerable.  There is just nothing else out there that comes close to this.

Posted by Lex on October 1, 2004 at 10:06 AM (CDT)


Well i can tell you i have my ipod full (20gb) and i have no problems.
its not slow, it goes thru the playlist and songs files really fast, maybe your adapter is defective. I have a alpine head unit that is somewhat old (2years) and it works great.

Posted by hb on October 1, 2004 at 11:55 AM (CDT)


Maybe we need to define “slow” and “really fast.”  I have 150 artists in my ipod, and when I do an artist search on the alpine ipod interface, it takes me about 90 seconds to scroll from the first to the last—a little over a half second per list item.  This is using the 9827 head unit, which has a single line display.  In contrast, the ipod itself scrolls all the way through my artist list in 5 seconds.  Is your alpine interface closer to the ipod or to my alpine interface in scroll speed?

Posted by sbono13 on October 1, 2004 at 2:25 PM (CDT)


i have
681 artists
536 albums
7858 songs

if i scroll for about 30 seconds im still on the A’s
also i figured it would show the contacts, it does not, so if i have to look up a number… out comes the ipod.
also when i am scrolling i can see three lines in the list, but at night when i turn on the headlights, the head units auto-dimming feature cuts out two of them leaving only the middle one. this is a $550.00 head unit folks it should just work better. i no longer care about the info displayed on the head unit, especially since i have to look at the ipod for some of the info anyways. i already bought a denison ice-link and ill prob install this weekend. i think the problem is that when scrolling the head unit has to retreive the info and then display it, wheras if you have the ipod handy you get the info in “real time” so if you like yours, more pwer to you, mine is already out, boxed up, and replaced.

Posted by goose in los angeles on October 1, 2004 at 3:53 PM (CDT)


I just spent 700 dollars to install that into my car and it is a complicated system to use. Unfortunetly, you have to use the Alpine deck to find your music and it sucks. If you have a 40G with alot of music on there you are in for a real headache! You have to put all the music that you want to listen to in your playlists or it isn’t worth it. For some stupid reason you cannot use your clickwheel.

Posted by drew on October 1, 2004 at 4:13 PM (CDT)


I think i found a workaround if you want an IceLink-like interaction with the iPod:

I noticed with the Alpine adpater, you can select and play a playlist/album prior to plugging in the ipod, and that is where the Alpine HU will start playing once it syncs up (takes like 5 seconds). For those who rarely switch playlists while in traffic, this is a potential workaround for the slow scrolling of the Alpine interface itself—you could select a playlist or album prior to starting your road trip, but still retain control of volume and tracks (FF/Rew) from the head unit, along with on-screen display.

Posted by sbono13 on October 1, 2004 at 5:35 PM (CDT)


Thanks to everyone for the real-world examples.

I’ve got about 10,600 aongs on my iPod, and it sounds like Alpine’s user interface has some serious issues when it comes to dealing with a lot of artists/songs.

Most troubling issues:

1) It takes me a while to get through my artist list using my iPod, nevermind having to go through the Alpine—or trying to get through the song list.

And it’s going to get even worse when I get a 60gb drive iPod (when those come out or I put Toshiba’s upcoming 60gb in my current iPod).

2) Is it true you have to reset the shuffle every time you turn the car off (as goose mentioned above)?

90% of the time I just leave my iPod on shuffle —if Alpine requires you to reset the shuffle every time you restart the car….

Right now I’m using a SiK Imp through an auxiliary input in my head unit. I’ll try to test my iPod out at an Alpine dealer and see how it goes, but for now, I think I’ll stick with the Imp until Alpine irons out the bugs.

Are you listening, Alpine?

Posted by JoeS in Austin on October 1, 2004 at 8:55 PM (CDT)


yes its true.every time you start the car. not only that, but getting it to shuffle is a convoluded series of silly steps. another flaw is that when it is set to mix, you cant search at all, you have to turn the mix feature off in order to search. this isnt a mistake, they say so right in the manual. as i always leave my ipod on shuffle too, it was my first clue that i was gonna hate this contraption.

Posted by goose in los angeles on October 1, 2004 at 11:59 PM (CDT)


an interesting email sent to my installer,

Want to tell you about a unique CD deck we have on the market. We traveled around the country gathering feedback from mobile audio enthusiasts. The idea was simple, ask people what they want and then give it to them. The result is our DEH-P8MP, a deck that insists on being noticed.

Standing Out In a Crowd
As you can see from the graphic above the DEH-P8MP with its single rotary dial and deep blue dot-matrix OEL display looks unlike anything else you will see in stores.

Primed for Downloaded Music
Not just looks, this unit is tailored for those that download music. The 7-way rotary commander (dial) has the ability to easily search through files and folders of MP3, WMA and WAV music. In addition, there is a new Bit Media eXpander (BMX) that gives your MP3, WMA and WAV files richer sound quality by bringing back some of the lost harmonics of the music that were lost in compression.

iPod™ Adapter Ready
Not only is it built with downloaded music in mind but this deck will also work the Pioneer iPod™ Adapter (CD-IB100) we will be introducing this spring.

More Power and Cleaner Sound
The DEH-P8MP delivers a full 60 watts x 4 channels. That extra power will make your music cleaner and crisper with less distortion.

Read more about the DEH-P8MP

Find a dealer near you that purchased the DEH-P8MP

iPod™ is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

Posted by goose in los angeles on October 2, 2004 at 12:10 AM (CDT)


Has anyone been able to figure out a way to use the ipod mini dock with the KCA-420i?  When I plug the connector into the dock and then dock the ipod nothing happens.

Posted by JF on October 2, 2004 at 10:06 AM (CDT)


Hey Goose
Thanks for the info on the Alpine and Pioneer.

I just came across the following review.

Among other things, it reveals that the Alpine/KCA-420i can browse only the first 255 songs of any particular playlist/artist/album.

Posted by JoeS in Austin on October 2, 2004 at 6:26 PM (CDT)


How many lines of information does the 9835 or 9833 have?
I currently have the 9825 and it only has one line of information.


Posted by BobR on October 3, 2004 at 8:30 AM (CDT)


i have to agree with the negative reviews regarding the UI on this one.  i love being able to store my ipod in the glove compartment, and the sound quality is great, but there’s just no way that i’ll be able to deal with this interface.  i’m looking into the ice>link, but it’s going to requre me to replace the alpine AiNET headunit and get something else.  does anyone use ice>link?  any recommendations for a compatible headunit for under $300?

Posted by jason on October 3, 2004 at 12:41 PM (CDT)


Whoever is considering the alpine interface should just find a cheap headunit that has a aux input (or a head unit that would let you convert a port into a aux input) and buy a mini to aux input wire for your ipod. This is what I did and I couldn’t be happier. All I need now is some type of car clip for the ipod and a charger, although placing my ipod on my sticky pad works fine as well.

Posted by xer0 on October 4, 2004 at 7:16 AM (CDT)

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