Car Makers Get Clue

Apple Teams Up With Ford, GM & Mazda To Deliver iPod Integration
About damn time.

What is the deal with car stereo manufacturers putting all kinds of lame cruft on their stereos and making people pay an extra $100-$150 to plug their iPod in? Somebody at Kenwood, Alpine and/or Sony needs a memo. Stat.

(Via Apple Hot News.)

August 3, 2006 Link

  • Sally

    Okay now this is the kind of geekiness I can get into.

  • Fox


    Hey, I saw something that you may or may not have seen, but would probably enjoy.

  • Eight Hour Lunch

    Yeah, a certain PR guy sent me a link to this today. My only question: Does this mean I’ll have to send my car back to the manufacturer when the battery dies?

  • jon deal

    Heard a thing on NPR quoting a survey of iPod owners who use some sort of gizmo to listen to their iPod on their car stereo and the survey said that 60% of those would consider iPod connectivity when choosing their next car.

    ( know that’s a convoluted sentence, but it’s late)

    Anyway, iPod integration is definitely a must for the next car that make its way into the Deal Family Compound.

  • Vika Zafrin

    Yeah, Honda’s already done this. Having just had to buy another car after ours was totaled in March, my love and I bought the Music Link, dealer-instaleld behind the dashboard, the connector sticking out into the inside of the glove compartment.

    It’s not perfect; the controls are a bit screwy and inconsistent. But it mostly does the job.

  • hmb1974

    Okay, that’s incredibly annoying since I bought a 2006 Mazda 6 a year ago and an ipod nano a few months ago. I hate that I can’t use the buttons on the steering wheel to control the ipod like I can for a CD. I hope they offer a retro fit — I’d gladly pay!

  • minxlj


    We were told last week that Honda don’t have any iPod-ready systems for our Accord, and although 3rd-party versions can be fitted (the Harman Kardon system was our choice) it will invalidate the warranty on the entire sat nav and sound system…to the tune of ?5,000!

    Ouch. So we’re sticking with our iTrip for the time being. Sob…

  • minxlj

    Forgot to add, the British model Honda Accord is different to the US one, so the one listed at Apple isn’t available for our car.

  • Stu mark talks about their iPod integration, including a dock to charge and provide control through the stereo. Dig it.

  • rivetergirl

    No more FM modulators, no more cassette adapters. Yea!

  • Lynnster, yeah

    Forgive me for changing the subject momentarily, but note to self: never take a big gulp of coffee while beginning to read any sentence on Heather’s blog with the word “clogs” in it.

    Fortunately the choking spell did not require a 911 call and I was eventually able to finish my paroxysms of laughter in relative peace.

    The athletic socks, the clogs – oh, the picture…

  • blurb

    Lynnster, I’ve worn socks with the clogs once. For comic effect. So yeah. Plus, my socks aren’t as high as she says. Totally not as high.

  • dcsteve72

    I just recently upgraded the stock radio in my Jeep to a new Alpine system with iPod connectivity. How I lived without this I have no clue.

    I think that it’s great that automakers are finally catching up to the game and just installing the connections. Before long, it’ll be standard equipment on all cars.

  • Trish

    Vika, I’m very likely going to be getting a Honda Accord in the next couple weeks, and was excited about the Music Link option until I started reading reviews about it. How “screwy and inconsistent” are we talking about? Do you wish you’d gone with something else?


  • pupkick

    this is a terrible idea. a) it knocks out the use of other, possibly better/preferable/etc players and b) all we really want, is a front aux jack that any player/laptop/etc can be plugged into. 98% of mp3 player owners dont give a crap if it hides in some stupid bay hidden in the dash, as long as it connects and plays. controls built into the dash/wheel are great and all, but that just means there should be a basic standard for “play-pause-stop-next-previous”.

  • Cat

    Delurking to say that South Korea is ages ahead of the U.S. car market in this regard. The new Kia Pride we just leased here (was the Kia Rio in the States, it’s still produced here but no longer marketed in the U.S.) has a jack that you can plug *any* mp3 player into by buying the appropriate cable to go with your player (works with iPod, Samsung, etc.) The steering wheel has buttons for on/off, volume, etc. A bonus: a separate jack for your cellphone. It runs your calls through the car stereo speakers, amplifies the phone’s mic, and also automatically shuts off the music when you get a call. No adapters, no FM transmitters, just plugging in a $5 cable we bought at a local electronics store. Ditto for the phone. Over here, ‘geek’=normal.

  • gordon

    ok, I love Apple computers (own a iBook G4, my sixth Apple computer) and I want an iPod…however, when GM and other automakers spend their time on something useful? Like a car THAT GETS BETTER GAS MILEAGE.

  • Vika Zafrin


    I don’t wish I’d gone with anything else, because this way at least Honda is responsible for fixing whatever goes wrong. It’s screwy and inconsistent in terms of what sequence of buttons must get pressed in order for the ipod to do what you want it to do. This varies, and sometimes seems like voodoo to me.

    One of the problems is that the car we bought (a Fit) only started selling in the States in April, and they didn’t have a Music Link manual for it yet. Maybe by now they’ve gotten one; I should check it out at the dealer’s.

  • Trish

    Voodoo — I can handle a little voodoo. Thanks, Vika.

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