Car: Mk VII Golf GTI
Join Date: 24th March 2007
Thanked 47 Times in 43 Posts
Honda Ipod Connector Review
I took the plunge last week, and bought the much maligned Honda Ipod connector from Holdcroft Honda (Cheers Gareth)
I had read all the comments about how limited it was, but going in with my eyes open and knowing the supposed limitations I was happy to go down this particular route of connecting my Ipod into the car.
It would have cost me £225 (I think) to have had it fitted when I bought the car, but thought that was too much, so waited a bit and bought and fitted it myself for £129.99.
I fitted the kit yesterday, and Iím going to work on a how-to in case anyone else is interested. Much of the required work is the same as for fitting a connects2 box, except the glove box & radio needs to come out as the Ipod box thingy gets mounted on the back of the glovebox.
So, dismantled much of the dash yesterday, fitted the kit, and put it all back together. Was away for a longish drive today, so tried the Ipod connection out.
As you probably know the Ipod connector needs 7 playlists made up in Itunes, which then work as discs 1 Ė 7 of the CD changer type functionality. One thing I had not read before was that although the names of the playlist need to be Honda1, Honda2 etc, you can add extra characters in the playlist name which the Ipod kit ignores. For example I have Honda1_New_Albums, Honda2_Favourites, Honda3_Rock etc. This makes it easier to identify the particular playlists, and possibly their content when using Itunes, or the Ipod itself when out of the car.
Disc 8 of the virtual CD changer randomly plays any track from the Ipod (I have over 5,000 songs to pick from)
Disc 9 plays whatever was last playing before the Ipod was connected, so this gives some useful extra functionality. If you want to listen to a particular album, or non-Honda named playlist you can disconnect the Ipod, select it using the Ipod menus and then reconnect the Ipod. Upon first connecting the Ipod it defaults to Disc 9 which is Ďresumeí and this has another benefit which Iíll come on to later.
So, Iíve kind of grouped my songs into playlists loosely by genre. The channel +/- button on the steering wheel will skip tracks forward/backward and a long press will skip playlists. This functionality works on all the 9 playlists. (Except you canít skip back to the previous song in the Disc 8 random playlist) The volume +/- controls also work (obviously) Disc 8 by default is set to random play (any song), but you can use the RDM button on the head unit to turn shuffle off.
One slight annoyance is that you can leave the Ipod in the car, hidden in the centre console cubby, connected up, and when the radio comes on and you press CD/AUX to switch to the Ipod input, the Ipod starts up. Unfortunately, when you switch the car off, or the radio off, the Ipod stays on and you need to unplug it to switch it off as all the Ipod controls are locked when connected to the car. One thing, which is handy, is that if you are playing e.g. the Honda2 playlist and you stop the car, switch it off and unplug the Ipod I thought it would forget where it was in the playlist. Not so. Upon reconnecting the Ipod, it goes into Ďresumeí mode and now shows CD9 on the display and continues playing where it left off, even mid-song. I didnít expect that, which was a bonus. I assume that this doesnít work if you played other songs off the Ipod when it was out of the car as I think the resume functionality is probably Ipod based rather than the Ipod adapter doing it.
The other functionality that it has is the RDM & SCAN buttons on the headunit work to toggle the shuffle on/off and to scan the first 10 seconds of each track in the playlist until you find the one you want. This goes some way to mitigating the lack of ID3 tag information being displayed on the radio display.
The playlist also arenít limited to 99 tracks, just that the display is and starts again from 01. Some of the playlists Iíve created have a couple of hundred songs in them so being able to use a big playlist like this on long journeys is great.
All in all Iím pleased with the extra functionality Iíve got, and the ability to play music from my Ipod in the car. Whilst the Macally FMCup transmitter I used before was pretty good, the sound quality from the hard-wired connection is much better. Not having the ID3 tags displayed on the headunit isnít a huge issue, and If I want to see the tags I can still use the MP3 cdís Iíve burnt. The display on the head unit isnít any different to what you get if you play a normal audio CD Ė just a track number and (now) a CD number.