AUX in Honda Ipod Connector Review - Civinfo
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 24th February 2008, 17:38 Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 24th February 2008, 17:53
 
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Pretty good review- a How To would be great- I would like to install an ipod connection, but haven't yet decided which one. I'm also slightly confused anout exactly how much of the dash you need to take apart (and a bit scared!)
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 10:40
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Hi BigP,

I fitted the DICE iPod kit, it cost about £80 from a guy on Ebay (I'll rummage out the name of the company if you like). Installation is a bit of a nightmare, but you can find a guide on this site. In essence, you've got to remove the plastics from under the steering wheel, centre console (& armrest) and above the stereo before you can even get the stereo out.

If you're ham-fisted, I'd say don't even consider doing this job as the plastics aren't overly robust. However, if you've had experience on removing trim on other cars and you're careful it's not too bad a job and will most likely take you an hour and a half.

I'm really glad I fitted the kit. I even think the sound quality is better than the CD player!
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 11:55
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I have just bought one of these of ebay so a 'HowTo' would be great
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 12:11
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BTW, does this come with fitting instructions ?
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 12:46
 
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I have to agree with your review 100%. Being able to properly control the ipod via the steering wheel and keep it charged is worth money to me. It works better than the Pioneer ipod solution I had in my last car, except for the lack of ID3 tags. Even then, the Pioneer would only display the first 8 characters!
I don't know why people knock the Honda kit so much.

One really handy feature I found with it was smart playlists in iTunes. I have my Honda5 playlist set up to contain podcasts (I listen to lots of them). Every time I sync the ipod with the PC it updates that playlist with any new podcast episodes and puts ths most recent ones first.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 15:31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmcqueen View Post
BTW, does this come with fitting instructions ?

the genuine honda kit does.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 17:59
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I think there'a already a how-to somewhere else on the site. I think that Pottsy did it. Have a look on the how to's section. Good luck with the install!
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 25th February 2008, 20:54 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St3ph3n View Post
One really handy feature I found with it was smart playlists in iTunes. I have my Honda5 playlist set up to contain podcasts (I listen to lots of them). Every time I sync the ipod with the PC it updates that playlist with any new podcast episodes and puts ths most recent ones first.
St3ph3n - Thanks for idea about the smart playlists. I kept meaning to subscribe to some podcasts, but because I didn't use my iPod that much I never got round to it.

However, now that my iPod is going to be almost permanently in the car, I've set it up to download some podcasts.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 1st March 2008, 10:12
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Hi - good review thanks. I'm picking my Civic up on wednesday and have ordered one of these fitted - I'm not really confident enought to remove the dash on my new car.

Not sure whether you'd noticed this with Smartplaylists - but they can be based on other playlists - so if you have other ones you just select in the dropdown "playlist is". This is really handy and gives you a really easy way of changing what the honda list is.

The other thing I'm going to try when I get the car is: in iTunes you can but the playlists into folders, so possibly you'll be able to move the Honda ones to a folder and thus out of the root of playlist folder itself.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 7th March 2008, 22:28 Thread Starter
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As an addendum to my original review at the start of this thread.

This particular comment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjr View Post
snip..
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.
isn't quite true.....

I've discovered after playing with the connection for a week or two, that if you slide the 'hold' switch on the top of the iPod across before plugging it in that the iPod comes on with the car, and then switches off after a couple of minutes when the car/radio is turned off - so I no longer have to unplug it and manually switch the iPod off.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 7th March 2008, 23:11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjr View Post
As an addendum to my original review at the start of this thread.

This particular comment...



isn't quite true.....

I've discovered after playing with the connection for a week or two, that if you slide the 'hold' switch on the top of the iPod across before plugging it in that the iPod comes on with the car, and then switches off after a couple of minutes when the car/radio is turned off - so I no longer have to unplug it and manually switch the iPod off.
That's good to know. I listen to audiobooks quite a lot when I'm on long journeys, I've often just turned the radio off at service stations and found I've missed quite a lot of the story when restarting.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 9th March 2008, 01:08
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Where is the RDM button? I read about this in the Ipod adaptor manual but can't see it. I only collected the car today, so still finding my way round the car, but can't see the RDM button anywhere.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 9th March 2008, 10:08 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunt View Post
Where is the RDM button? I read about this in the Ipod adaptor manual but can't see it. I only collected the car today, so still finding my way round the car, but can't see the RDM button anywhere.
The RDM, SCAN and RPT buttons are all on the left hand side of the head unit , just below the cd slot.

Radio Buttons.JPG

Last edited by pjr; 9th March 2008 at 11:29. Reason: Added picture
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 9th March 2008, 12:13
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Should have said mine is the EX with Satnav. I can's see RDM on there.

Maybe I don't have it?
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 9th March 2008, 13:21 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunt View Post
Should have said mine is the EX with Satnav. I can's see RDM on there.

Maybe I don't have it?
Ah yes, that makes a difference!

You do still have a random function though. From the manual....

Press the 'AUDIO' button

Push down the selector on the interface dial. Turn the interface dial to select 'TRACK RANDOM'. Press ENT on the interface dial, and 'RANDOM' should display.

Repeat this process to turn it off.

This doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as I don't have satnav, but this process looks like it will do it. I would give you the page number in the manual, but it will be different as my manual is specific to the Type S/R
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 11th March 2008, 12:33
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjr View Post
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. T
I have found on my 8gb Nano at least , If i turn off the engine ipod stops playing and after a few mins will actually turn itself off just fine. (& continue from where i left off when i start the engine)


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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 11th March 2008, 12:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewster View Post
I have found on my 8gb Nano at least , If i turn off the engine ipod stops playing and after a few mins will actually turn itself off just fine. (& continue from where i left off when i start the engine)


Drewster
I have never turned my ipod (30Gb 5th Gen) off when I stop the engine. It must power off as when ever I get it out of the car, the battery is still full.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 11th March 2008, 13:19
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Seems like the random option on an EX applies to the CD only. So presumably no random play of playlists on an EX?
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 11th March 2008, 13:20 Thread Starter
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Yes, I corrected my original thoughts in a subsequent post.....

http://www.civinfo.com/forum/ipods-m...tml#post155202

My 5G 30Gb Video iPod only switches off if the hold switch on the top of the iPod is slid across. If I don't slide the hold switch across, the iPod stays switched on, and gradually flattens the (iPod) battery.
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