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.”

« BTI developing iPod Auto/Air Power Adapter, more

ZVOX announces all-in-one-box audio system »

Related Stories



the 9835 has 3 lines of info, unless you drive at night, then theres only 1.

Posted by goose in los angeles on October 4, 2004 at 11:22 AM (CDT)



What do you mean, if “you drive at night, then there’s only 1”, what happen to the display at night?


Posted by n0nsense on October 4, 2004 at 12:55 PM (CDT)


the two other lines probably fade away as the result of the lights being turned on and the dimmer being activated…just a hunch.

Posted by just_asking on October 4, 2004 at 2:16 PM (CDT)



Posted by goose in los angeles on October 5, 2004 at 11:38 AM (CDT)


Just got it.  The scrolling comments are correct - it’s slow - you are basically down to playing a smallish (dozens) set of playlists.  No way you’re going to scroll through even 5gig of music in traffic with this thing.

And the 255 limit is in the small print in the manual - this is probably why one of the first reviews on this list had his artist list stop at “C”.

Sound is great.  Will probably keep it, particularly since I got an Alpine head unit with XM radio built in.  But it aint the lovely solution we were all hoping for. 

My advice: wait if you can until somebody gets it just right and cheaper.

Posted by Joe on October 5, 2004 at 9:12 PM (CDT)


Can you explain exactly what the 255 limit is?  I have a 40 GB that’s almost filled up and don’t have an Alpine stereo.
If this is any good, I’d be willing to upgrade to get it.  But you guys are making me worried.

Posted by JD on October 7, 2004 at 8:32 AM (CDT)


I’m in the minority here as an Alpine user first and a iPod user second.  I have the 9827 with a changer and have benefited from the mp3 ability in both for a while.  Having picked up an iPod recently, I decided to get the attachment which also required me to buy an expansion kit to allow both the changer and iPod adapter to work.  Even after paying 250 instead of 100 I’m happy with the solution. 

The scrolling will bother all iPod owners but I haven’t seen anything in automotive sound that comes close to replicating the UI that excels so much on the iPod.  I’m comfortable with setting up multiple playlists and searching that way, as searching mp3’s on most HU’s is more confusing anyway.

I think that the quality of sound is worthwhile for me but have one question for the other few satisfied owners.  I’m finding that the bass is overly emphasized.  With my other mp3 files I use the media expander and it sounds great.  What settings have you found with the iPod that have best replicated good sound.  My files are mp3’s at 192, and even after lowering the bass and sub to 0, I still feel that there’s more to gain to best replicate the appropriate level of sound.

Thanks in advance and I hope the appropriate solution for everyone else comes along that makes it easier to have iPod on the road.

Posted by tredad on October 7, 2004 at 10:14 PM (CDT)


Goose has done a masterful job listing the headaches.  Anyone thinking of installing this needs to read all he has written. The only thing I can add is that the device seems to set the iPod to repeat a track if you use a certain search path.  I can’t recall the exact path that makes it repeat, but if I search an artist it plays one song and then won’t play other songs of that artist.  It just repeats the first one it found.  Maybe it’s user error.  Despite the shuffle issue and tediousness of scrolling around, I am getting by pretty good by using more playlists or just selecting what I want to hear on the iPod before connecting to the interface.  No biggie to me, but I respect the standards people like Goose are trying to hold.

Posted by Brad on October 18, 2004 at 12:00 PM (CDT)


Has anyone found out how to make the 420i cable function along with the standard iPod dock?  I jumped through some pretty big hoops to integrate the dock into my console just to find out it isn’t compatable with the Alpine cable. 

Has anyone found a hack/ wiring diagram to help work around this problem?

Posted by Joe D on October 18, 2004 at 2:58 PM (CDT)


By the way…

If you do decide to go the 420i Alpine route there is an older (‘03) head unit that is compatible (although not listed in the 420i booklet).  It is the KCA-9807, which is packed with features and a whole lot cheaper than the ‘04 models! 

Might make the whole thing a little more economical for one of you.

Posted by Joe D on October 19, 2004 at 10:53 AM (CDT)


Does anyone know if you can adjust song ratings from the head unit control the way you can from the iPod? I’m in the process of ranking all my songs (1-5 stars) and it takes forever, so being able to do it from the car through the head unit on long trips would be nice. Thx.

Posted by J-Train on October 20, 2004 at 1:09 PM (CDT)


Does anyone know if you can adjust song ratings from the head unit control the way you can from the iPod? I’m in the process of ranking all my songs (1-5 stars) and it takes forever, so being able to do it from the car through the head unit on long trips would be nice. Thx.

Posted by J-Train on October 20, 2004 at 1:10 PM (CDT)


As a remedy to the scrolling:
What if you created playlists for each letter of the alphabet, for each artist.

So the “A” playlist would contain Audioslave, Aerosmith, Etc.

Would this work out?

Posted by gg on October 28, 2004 at 5:34 AM (CDT)


I just returned my nerw Alpine sytem, which included the worthless POS iPod interface. What a freaking waste of my time!!!

Originally Alpine said you needed to install the firmware from on or after 4/28/04. Then they said you needed to have an iPod made after that dtae!

They now tell me that you must have a click wheel iPod!

There are many other reasons as stated above…

Alpine realeased this beofore it was ready.

From what I have read on the net… their damned head units aren’t ready for the concept either!

Save your money…


By KAH on Oct 09, 04 6:36 pm


Oh dear,

Not only can I not type…

I forgot to mention that it did not work with either of my two 3G iPods!!

I like the radio… but having bought it all as a package deal with a discount… Alpine did not deserve the sale.

Kudos to the folks at Crutchfield though….
Their kit and customer service is great stuff.


By KAH on Oct 09, 04 6:44 pm

Posted by KAH on October 31, 2004 at 2:50 PM (CST)


I’ve had 420i with a D300 touchscreen for a week now, and I really have to agree with Goose, et al above.  This is NOT a product that is ready for primetime.  I somehow doubt it will ever be, based on the other comments here.  The user interface is so unworkable I would consider it actually dangerous to operate in traffic (much more so than, say, playing a DVD while driving - with a DVD, at least you could keep your attention on the road where it belongs & have the movie in the background - this thing INSISTS you give it your full attention to operate it).
I’d also consider it to have a lot of bugs:
Brad, you’re not suffering from “user error

Posted by mwilgar on November 3, 2004 at 6:56 AM (CST)


I dont know why you guys are complaining so much. I have been a huge alpine customer (one may say fanatic) for about 4 years. Their headunits are top of the line. I had my old one for amost 3 years untill I replaced it with the new CDA 9835. This thing is amazing. One of the best part about it is that there is an interface adaptor for it to hookup to the ipod. I just bought my ipod on saturday and the connectability was a huge reason for me to go ahead and get one. Quit complaining you guys, this is a seamless connection, no loss of sound quality. Its a hell of alot better than a crappy fm modulator. for crying out loud quit being so critical

Posted by krazynate on November 3, 2004 at 9:00 PM (CST)


Official answer:
Yes, the CDA-9807 Alpine head unit (2003) works with the 420i ipod adapter. I bought it two days ago and have been using it.

The same good and bad points apply. Overall, I’m pleased, but wished it was a little faster in scrolling and the selection and shuffling process was a bit more intuitive.

thanks to those who helped me decide to buy it.

Posted by jnull on November 8, 2004 at 9:48 AM (CST)


Just installed the 420i and a new Alpine 9826.  Yeah… it’s kind of a crummy interface… but I’m still happy with it because my main goal was a better audio connection to the stereo system.

Another semi-easy workaround that I’ve been using… is the find whatever I want on the iPod first…before plugging it into the system…. start it… then pause it…. then connect it.  It starts playing from the pause point.  From that point… you’re already in whatever playlist, album or artist ‘folder’ you need to be in for the interface.

Posted by pdjennings on November 8, 2004 at 10:03 AM (CST)


Found another bug - it turns on the “Sound Check” gets turned on when the ipod is connected.  Geeze guys, between that and the “Repeat All”... it’s nice of Alpine to decide for me the way I REALLY want those set, but, shucks, don’t you suppose Apple put those settings in the menu for a reason?  Like figuring the user had the right to decide. 

Alpine, don’t mess with my iPod! 

And if you do feel you have to, then at least put it back the way it was when I gave it to you!

Posted by mwilgar on November 23, 2004 at 7:08 AM (CST)


Has Alpine fixed the displaying all the songs problem?  I am about to get the IVA-D300 with the touch screen.  It is awesome that you can control the iPod with the touch screen.  It sounds to me that Alpine needs to work out some of the kinks though.

Posted by MLWings on November 27, 2004 at 2:26 PM (CST)

Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy