No iPod Interface No Big Problem

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by pcoll, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. pcoll

    pcoll New Member

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    Have a Prius II, I didn't want to pay the extra for the Nav package or the iPod interface accessory, but found a very cheap alternative to use and charge my iPod touch:

    for $5 I bought a cable that connects headphone port of iPod to aux jack in the center console and for another $15 I bought a charger that plugs into the 12V outlet next to the aux jack

    you can only navigate directly on the iPod, but I just set up a playlist, turn on the ipod and I'm on my way...:)
     
  2. mgb4tim

    mgb4tim Noob

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    that's how I used it in my old caddy for years, I just haven't found my cable yet. Gotta buy a new one.

    However, I've heard that the streaming bluetooth and iPod interface have a greater sound quality, but until I hear it for myself, I'll wait on spending the $$. I might wait for the USB interface, that way I can use my kid's MP3 player, or a simple thumb drive.
     
  3. rstark18

    rstark18 Member

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    I'm not impressed with the Bluetooth streaming, see this thread:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii-2010-prius-audio-electronics/65947-bluetooth-audio-problem.html
    I'm also not impressed with the USB interface, see this thread:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii-2010-prius-main-forum/66511-usb-safety-connect-almost-here.html
    For now I'm using something similar to this (but mine is a Griffin and doesn't have the remote):
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...-iphone-3gs-adapter-toyotas-ipod-adapter.html

    Still looking for options!
     
  4. direstraits71

    direstraits71 Member

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    A hardwired connection will always be better than a wireless one, assuming they go to the same place in the amplifying device.
     
  5. rstark18

    rstark18 Member

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    My problem with the Bluetooth streaming isn't actually a quality issue. It is a bug either in Apple or Toyota's implementation. If I do a hard reset on the iPhone the first minute or two of playback sounds very good. After I change settings on the head unit (for example change to the map screen) the sound quality degrades tremendously.

    My only other problem that I could probably live with is when playing podcasts. If I'm in the middle of playing a poodcast and turn the car off, next time I start the car the podcast starts from the begining. Again this might be an Apple issue. I'm going to post a question on the Apple forum right now.
     
  6. accordingly

    accordingly Member

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    The feature you are looking for is called a 'bookmark'. Hope that helps in your search. Sorry I can't tell you if the iPod will do it but I assume if it's not there there's a upgraded firmware or hack that will allow it since it's a very common feature.
     
  7. rstark18

    rstark18 Member

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  8. Tojo

    Tojo New Member

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    I bought this cable last year for my ipod touch and am very happy with it.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CS8R46/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

    It allows you to use a single connection to the ipod to provide both power and the pass-through connection to the AUX in connector.
     
  9. ilusnforc

    ilusnforc Member

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  10. jangell2

    jangell2 Junior Member

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    I was thinking of getting a nano and I've never had an ipod. I suppose it's no different whether it's a nano or another ipod.

    After you've got it hooked up, how would the mechanics work. You start the car, then you start the ipod each time you start the car? Or would the ipd start automatically because you had been using the previous time? It's probably the former.

    That would make it more inconvenient to use than, say, a CD which will resume where it left off without intervention, correct?
     
  11. mgb4tim

    mgb4tim Noob

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  12. jangell2

    jangell2 Junior Member

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    Does this cable work with the current Nano? Also, anyone have any comments on my previous question about operating the ipod in the car?

    BTW, I had to delete the link from the quote since I don't have enough posts yet.
     
  13. jangell2

    jangell2 Junior Member

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    Just a bump to see if there are any ideas on my questions above about the cable and how a nano would work?
     
  14. Salsawonder

    Salsawonder New Member

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    I don't have a nano, I have the Sansa Fuse but the cable that can be used simply goes into the earphone jack and then to the aux jack in the car, $10-15 at BestBuy.
     
  15. jangell2

    jangell2 Junior Member

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    What I'm really wondering is what happens when the car is turned on and off? Earlier it was stated that with the suggested cables, the iPod would shut off when the care was turned off, but it was not stated what whould happen when the care is turned on. Will the iPod (or other mp3 player) turn on and play automatically or does it have to be started up each time?
     
  16. SCJoe

    SCJoe New Member

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    jangell2,

    First off, it looks like that cable will not work with the current Nano. I assume that from a comment from the Amazon link that says it won't work with an iPhone 3G. Also, even if it did work, it woudn't turn your iPod on automatically.

    With the latest generation of Apple devices (which consumers call "iPhone 3G", "iPhone 3GS", "iPod Touch 2G", and "iPod Nano 4G"), Apple has changed their charging scheme, and these new devices no longer work with some older chargers (in particular, these devices can no longer accept power from the Firewire pins, and have to take it from the USB pins). If you find a device that will work with an "iPhone 3G", it'll work (i.e. charge) with the latest Nano.


    About iPods (except the Shuffle) in general, they have two plugs in them -- an audio jack and a data port. The audio jack is a 3.5mm stereo jack that only carries audio (duh :)). This is the jack that you usually plug your headphones into.

    The second jack is the data port. This jack allows transmition of audio, data, and power (it's the long-ish plug shown on the end of the cable in the Amazon link). This is the jack you use to connect the iPod with a computer, or dock.

    There are usually two ways to connect an iPod to a car stereo. The linked cable seems to be a hybrid of the two, more about that later.

    1) Audio only. In this case, you run a cable from the iPod's audio jack to the car stereo's aux/line in jack. In the Prius' case, there is an AUX jack in the compartment between the front seats. Using this method leaves you with two potential problems:

    a) The iPod will have no supplied power and will have to run off of its battery. If you want to charge the iPod while it's in your car, you'll have to provide power through a separate charger.

    b) You will have two separate functioning volume controls -- one on the iPod, and one on your car stereo. This can make it inconvenient to find a pleasant volume, and can degrade audio quality to a degree.

    If you use an audio only connection, you will have to control the iPod manually -- that is, by using the controls on the iPod. In particular, you'll have to manually turn the iPod on, pause it when you're done (if you pause an iPod, it'll turn itself off after a few minutes, and remember the playback position -- it's the most common way people turn an iPod "off").

    2) Full integration. In this case, a connection is made between the iPod's data port and the car stereo. This allows the car stereo to completely control the iPod, receive its audio, and supply it power -- all with one cable.

    With a full integration connection, you'll never have to touch the iPod. It'll turn on when the iPod is selected as your car stereo's source (and the car is on), and it'll pause itself (and go to sleep) when the car is shut off, or you switch your car stereo's source to something else (e.g. radio, CD).

    A full integration kit is the only way I know of to automatically turn an iPod on when it should be turned on.


    The linked cable seems to be a hybrid of the two, in that it supplies power and audio (with an extra cable, since it only has a jack), and will turn the iPod off, but not on. In addition, it doesn't allow you to control the iPod's functions, like selecting playlists, skipping songs, etc. Usually, this kind of setup is done using two items -- a charger and a separate audio cable.
     
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  17. jangell2

    jangell2 Junior Member

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    Well thank you for your excellent answer even if it wasn't what I wanted to read:)

    I think the option for us is to wait a few months to let the aftermarket catchup with the new Prius and maybe we'll find a new receiver to do what we want. We are handicapped by the fact we have a II which doesn't have the nav system.

    It would be nice to have a receiver that would:
    -Be Bluetooth phone ready
    -Have both aux and usb in. Usb to accept a thumbdrive with mp3's
    -Play Audible files (we like to listen to audio books)
    -Control an ipod or other mp3 device thru the receiver
    -Be able to put these connections in the center console

    I earlier had looked at Crutchfield and they had a million receivers that would fit, but each one required user modification (the user had to fabricate his own wiring harness, I believe). That even makes me leary to have an installer do it.

    I also have to wonder how any receiver would look in the Prius with the way the receiver has a phsycal slope to it, sitting there in the dash.
     
  18. eric0531

    eric0531 New Member

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    Kensington's LiquidAUX will charge the iPod and send a line level out to the aux jack. It will pause the iPod when the car is turned off (and then the iPod shuts down shortly afterwards) and it also comes with a little wireless remote that can attach to the steering wheel so you can start playback as needed. You can get them for about $45 off Amazon.
     
  19. SCJoe

    SCJoe New Member

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    Great, I have even more news you don't want to hear! :eek:

    As far as I know, any aftermarket head unit will require modifications to the wiring harness. That is, no aftermarket deck will have the Prius wiring "jacks". On the good side, this means that any experienced installer will have modified a harness dozens, if not hundreds, of times (plus, it's pretty easy).

    The rest of the requirements are easy to fill, but you might want to consider how important the USB port is in addition to an iPod connection. I have a feeling that adding that third connection is going to really limit your choices in head units.


    Yeah, me, too. I'm going to guess that third-party mounting kits will have sloped trim, but will have the head unit mounted horizontally. Not sure how that will look.
     
  20. jangell2

    jangell2 Junior Member

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    I had installed a receiver into our Honda CRV a while back and Crutchfield had been able to supply the required harness. I guess they can't do that yet because the 2010 is so new.

    You're right, if I've got the iPod connection, the USB is superfluous.

    That's what I thought. This will lead to a recessed look. Not sure I'd want that.
     
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