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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Has Alpine worked out the song display kinks?  I am about to get the IVA-D300 with the touchscreen.  It is awesome that you can control the ipod with the screen.  Hopefully Alpine can work out the kinks.

Posted by MLWings on November 27, 2004 at 2:29 PM (CST)


MLWings, I have the IVA-D300 headunit with the 420i, and I really have to say I can’t recommend them together.  The sound is great, but that is really the only positive thing I can say.  If I didn’t have a quite expense custom installation, I’d return them.  There are several features that work on other head units, but not this one.  Download the manual from Alpine & read it with a fine-tooth comb before you buy, and decide if those features are ones you want to pay $1600 and not get.  I mention the manual, because that is the only place you’ll see what is unique about this headunit with the 420i - none of the marketing materials mention it.
Oh, and if you think the interface is confusing on the other headunits, it’s worse on the D300 - I could go on, but the details would be pages.

Posted by mwilgar on December 3, 2004 at 11:41 AM (CST)


I just had one installed last weekend, with a 9831 head unit. I do agree with most of what is said here, but I do stick by my purchase. The scrolling I am not so worried about - I have set up smart playlists which I have put a * at the beginning of the name so they appear at the top of the list. I have heard that the BMW interface only allows certain playlists to be used in-car, so this is a similar solution.

The main advantage for me is that the iPod is stowed away out of sight. This is a great plus as when people drive past they can’t see my iPod on view. I have had my car broken into once before (hence buying the new system!) and knowing me, on the one instance I leave the iPod in the car, at least it’s out of view!

My main problem at the moment is that the level coming through the Ai-NET adapter from the iPod is about 5 “volume levels” higher than the CD and Radio outputs! This means that any music on my iPod that is “maxed out” in dynamics distorts badly, even with the volume of the 9831 turned down low. I have experimented by burning a CD from iTunes of the offending tunes, and playing them back-to-back from the iPod and the CD player… The CD sounds fine and I can turn it up loud with no distortion, whereas the output from the iPod is distorted even at low levels :( does anyone reckon I have a dodgy adapter or is there a switch or something somewhere I should know about?


Posted by Jowie in London on January 20, 2005 at 12:18 PM (CST)


I’m surprised that iPodLounge hasn’t done one of their in-depth reviews on the KCA-420i yet.  While this unit does have a lot of limitations, they don’t bother me as much as it’s general operational “quirkyness”.  In my case, I always leave my iPod connected to the unit. 

I’ve found that after abut 36 idle hours (when the iPod goes into “deep sleep” mode), the KCA-420i will not wake it up the next time the HU is turned on.  I have to manually push the center button on the click wheel to get it to wake up (probably any buton push would do, though).  In some cases, I need to physically disconnect/reconnect the dock connector cable to get the iPod to respond again.  I’ve called Apline tech support at this issue, but that just results in the prepared-text answer of “it’s an Ipod problem”.  Since there’s no way to upgrade the firmware on the KCA-420i (a major limitation IMHO), to a large extent Alpine is correct.  With this box you are at Apple’s mercy that they’ll include any Alpine-suggested fixes in a future iPod updater.

Posted by Bob Bracalente on June 12, 2005 at 10:27 AM (CDT)


To Bob Bracalente:
  You are exactly right! I have the KCA-420i in conjunction with Alpine head unit 9851. I have tried a 30gb photo, 4gb mini and now I’m using a 4gb nano. All three have the same behavior. Mine doesn’t even take the time required for Deep Sleep(36hrs) Photo & Mini or the “hibernation”(12hr), in the case of the Nano, to not be recognized by the Alpine system. The KCA-420i Manual says(and it right) when the car ignition is turned on, the KCA-420i should power up the iPod. Doesn’t matter if you turn on the head unit, it should power it up immediately. When it does not, the KCA-420i will not recognize as being connected. There must be human intervention for recognition to occur at that point. From my experience, the center button is the only one that works - short of a disconnect and re-connect. I have replaced my original KCA-420i with another and found it’s a model wide problem. I knew, without even trying, each party(Alpine & Apple) would point fingers at each other. In his most recent keynote, Steve Jobs touted all the connectivity options for iPod in the automobile. They are using it as a tool to market iPod’s. Alpine it trying to ride the iPod train by creating pieces for it. So I say to both of them, DON’T GIVE ME WE DON’T SUPPORT 3RD PARTY EQUIPMENT OR IT’S THE OTHER GUY’S FAULT. GET TOGETHER & FIX IT!

Posted by Tim Whitfield on October 27, 2005 at 2:41 PM (CDT)


I Have an Alpine 9831 Connected with the interface, I Just have 1500 Songs and the stereo just displays songs names from A to S, and when I keep scrolling jumps to A Again , Can you help me please????

Posted by JCarci on November 28, 2005 at 10:56 AM (CST)

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