Apple iPod exec discusses iPod car integration | iLounge News


Apple iPod exec discusses iPod car integration

Bob Borchers, senior director of iPod worldwide product marketing, recently spoke with CNET UK’s Crave about iPod integration in automobiles. Borchers reportedly said Apple wants consumers to move from third-party iPod auto accessories to iPod-enabled automobiles with more advanced factory integration. Crave reports: “Borchers explained how Apple wants to steer consumers away from the inelegant mess of cassette adaptors and wires, which is currently the most popular way to rig an iPod into your car stereo. Apple itself has no interest in producing a car stereo, says Borchers, but is working with third parties to improve iPod integration in new cars… Borchers sees add-ons as passé. What Apple really wants you to buy is a car that’s designed from the ground up to interface with the iPod.”

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What’s so complicated about a car stereo with an Auxilliary In port? Seeems like the best solution to me…!

Posted by ahMEmon on July 17, 2006 at 4:50 PM (CDT)


“What Apple really wants you to buy is a car that’s designed from the ground up to interface with the iPod”

OK great! Now which car should I choose to accessorize with my ipod? Something in the $55,000 to $75,000 range should do it.

Posted by Big ED on July 17, 2006 at 5:17 PM (CDT)


With an auxiliary In port, worry you still have charging/power supply to consider. If you use a lighter adapter, it’s another cord. Also there is still the distraction of changing tracks, or fast forwarding etc. I think he’s talking something along the lines of an integrated iPod interface like the one that use the CD changer port on your car radio. It recharges the iPod and lets you control the iPod with radio controls - skip backward or forward a track, and change the volume. The cost of a system like that ranges from $110 to $200. I’ve have two systems in my cars, and don’t want to go back the aux input or FM adapter.

Posted by EdAudMan on July 17, 2006 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


We just bought a new honda element, and it comes with the aux in port, and they offer the integrated ipod kit for only $200, plus another $200 to install….  How much did I pay for my ipod again?

Posted by ludite on July 17, 2006 at 6:00 PM (CDT)


FM adapter: sound quality sucks
Aux-In port: good sound quality, but cant change tracks or control volume (works just like a cassette adapter)
Cassette adapter: ” ” ” (same as above) messy wires, and who has a cassette player in their cars nowadays?
Best solution i was able to find: $150 and then another $50 to install). works like a charm, great sound. i can control my ipod with my steering wheel’s stereo controls.
you can see the track/album/artist info if your car stereo has RDS capability.

Posted by LFCali on July 17, 2006 at 6:05 PM (CDT)


What’s so complicated about a car stereo with an Auxilliary In port? Seeems like the best solution to me…!

I COMPLETLY AGREE! An aux in-port is enough for good sound quality and the easiest solution to me.

EdAudMan ...Also there is still the distraction of changing tracks, or fast forwarding etc…

In my case and most people, I don’t need to change tracks nor fastforward songs. I believe songs in my Ipod are what I want to listen to.


Posted by MLo on July 17, 2006 at 6:05 PM (CDT)


Does anyone know the difference between getting a car designed from the ground up for iPod, compared to a 3rd party direct connect adapter? I got a BMW about a year ago with the BMW iPod connection and did not like it one bit.

After a lot of research and phone calls I ended up at and the BMW adapter they had (I think it was neo something) was a LOT better than the factory BMW one.

Posted by Jason Loop on July 17, 2006 at 8:21 PM (CDT)


After posting I looked back into the whole ipod car thing for my honda and found another link,

The link in my last post has great service and know these products inside out, but this site has the same kind of stuff a lot cheaper (I have no idea how they are though, never ordered from them)


Posted by Jason Loop on July 17, 2006 at 8:32 PM (CDT)


Peripheral products are available at your local Best Buy etc.  They have been in this business - ie. adapting to factory equipment   - for decades. 
Aux in. on a receiver is the only way in my opinion to feed your car audio the ipod signal.  The low level clean signal can then be amplified by your receiver without the induced noise from the ipod op amps.  FM modulation just depletes an already sub-par source ie. mp3.
Peripheral makes adapters to connect to most after market units with CD control capacity - anything 5 years old or newer.  I used one at $39.00 for my Sirius kenwood receiver and its crystal clear.  I dont really see the need to use the radio controls to change playlists etc given the ipods ease of use in that area. 

Aux In / CD changer YES!
FM Modulation NO NO NO!
53K BMW with ipod integration from the Factory YES!

Posted by AlienAgenda on July 17, 2006 at 10:16 PM (CDT)


Jason, I seem to be one of those “lucky” few who have a car radio that can’t use the straight-in adapters.  I have a 2005 Buick Lacrosse with factory radio.  There are several companies that purport to have units that are compatible with every factory stereo but that isn’t true.  When you dig down deep and read the fine, fine print, you’ll see that none of these units work if your factory radio has built-in XM radio.  I wish I had known THAT before I chose the radio for the car.  The only good thing is that it’s a company car and I’ll get a new one in about 7 months.  Maybe by then, someone will build a car around the ipod, as the article states.  If they do, I hope they don’t use proprietary parts you can only get from Apple and on which only Apple technicians can work and which will be obsolete every few months.  I also hope the car companies don’t keep shrinking the cars as much as they’re shrinking the ipod.  At 6’4” tall, I barely fit in most cars as it is!

Posted by Jim Roth-Roffy on July 17, 2006 at 10:42 PM (CDT)


What we really need is a head unit that has a large slot in the face where the entire iPod is inserted.  The iPod could remain inside the head unit, out of sight.

Posted by Galley on July 17, 2006 at 10:59 PM (CDT)


Galley, just like that. Just have an iPod-slot instead of cassette. Might look a bit like 8track, but so what.

Posted by Bad Beaver on July 18, 2006 at 5:21 AM (CDT)


Of course Apple would love to have car makers build in integrated iPod adapters - yet another lock-in that strengthens Apple’s position.  I would urge auto makers to support an open DAP interface, which will allow total integration with any DAP.  We already have a big precedence for this approach with cell phones.  Most upmarket automakers sell integration kits for your cell phone from any manufacturer, so the consumer can choose his own phone.

Any monopoly is bad for the consumer.

Posted by kokketiel on July 18, 2006 at 9:38 AM (CDT)


If Apple wants car manufactuers to integrate iPod connectivity, they should also get the manufacturers to ensure that the integration lives up to Apple’s standards. I recently purchased the Honda Music Link (also works with Acura vehicles) and found it to be pretty unusable. This opinion is pretty widely shared.

If you’d like to read my review of the Honda / Acura Music Link, take a look here:

Also, Google around a bit… My opinion on this device isn’t unique.


Posted by Steve Vigneau on July 18, 2006 at 10:49 AM (CDT)


This is a bad idea.  Effectively Apple is letting a bunch of yahoos take over their primary function which is interface design.  The Alpine interface is retarded & it disables the ipod controls for no good reason.  Using the ipod controls is paramount.  There are cd-changer controls now that keep the ipod functional but allow track back-forward from the deck & charge.  That’s pretty near good.  Additionally they should allow mapping of the presets to playlists & info display.

The perfect thing would be a thin & BIGGER version of the ipod interface, that is a scrollwheel & a bigger display permanently mounted on the dash that you could use to control your ipod when it was plugged in to the car.  That would be rad but would probably have to come from apple unless they let an accessory maker duplicate the ipod interface.

Posted by Daniel on July 18, 2006 at 2:06 PM (CDT)


“What Apple really wants you to buy is a car that’s designed from the ground up to interface with the iPod.”

Gee, Apple - How does it feel to want?

The whole reason that consumers buy third-party iPod auto accessories is that it is much cheaper than buying a brand spankin’ new car.  Not everyone has deep pockets like King Jobs and can afford to buy whatever your little heart desires.

Posted by Mr. Anderson on July 18, 2006 at 9:59 PM (CDT)


I recently installed the iPod interface from USA Spec ($130) in my 2004 Acura TL and it works and sounds great. There are two mode - Direct and Playlist. Both allow me to control the iPod from the steering wheel (change songs/playlists) and again, the sound quality is VERY good. (I am a recording engineer and have very ciritcal ears.) Prior to this interface I was using a cassette adaptor and hated it. Also, with the USA Spec interface I did not lose any use of the 6-disc in dash CD changer, cassette, XM, or AM/FM.

As far as ground up is concerned - Acura and Honda offer their own OEM method of connecting the iPod. It is $400+ and isn’t very good. Also, if you have deeper pockets and want the iPod screen to come up on your navigation LCD, look into the Alpine Vehicle HUB.

Posted by Dave The Wave on August 3, 2006 at 8:49 PM (CDT)


Aux ports are fine, but there are people who don’t want to (or can’t) make alterations to their car stereos.
It would look kinda funny to have a JBL/Alpine faceplate sticking out like a sore thumb in a Mercedes or Lexus.

The problem with the 3rd party integration kit is that most if not all of them DISABLE the CD player/changer function. I want my options expanded, not limited!
I still need the use of a CD changer even if I have an ipod hooked up.

Which is why I paid $300 for the ipod adapter and another $300 for the installation to the overcharging bastards at Mercedes to install the factory ipod adaptor. Now I can control my ipod with the steering controls and view the song details on the screen.

My slightly older (‘99) Lexus ran into a problem. There are no 3rd party integration kits that allows the integration of the ipod while keeping the CD changer function alive. Except for the SoundGate. I need to do more research but I believe this device does exactly what I want. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Although I may not need this if I replace this car.

It seems like Japanese auto makers (especially Toyota) do not have ipod adaptors in their models. I believe they’re coming soon though.

My mind was pretty much made up for my next vehicle which might replace the trusty old Lexus, but I’m having second thoughts because it seems that Audi doesn’t have an ipod adaptor for the model I want…

Posted by Crazy J on September 7, 2006 at 1:58 PM (CDT)


I purchased the USA-Spec ipod interface for my Infiniti J30.  It works best for me in direct mode, as the Playlist mode is limited to audio files only (I have video files I want to listen to the audio of, in additional to music).  The only thing I notice and worry about is the ipod gets hot while plugged in.  I’m concerned about the battery staying on a constant charge with this system, as somehow the charging doesn’t seem to be as regulated as it is with the dock hooked to my stereo/TV at home.  Anyone have any idea if it is possible for a system to charge the battery in an ipod too long?  Is the charging regulated by the ipod or the charger?

Posted by rtm on October 25, 2006 at 7:16 AM (CDT)

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