Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 01/25/05 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook

Alpine iPod Adapter

Take your iPod on the road with the KCA 420i By Stephen Schleicher

Take a look at any good electronics store and you are bound to find a number of different ways to listen to your iPod while driving in your car.  Ive tried several methods, but none have been better than the Alpine KCA-420i iPod adapter.

I recently installed a new stereo system into my Jeep Liberty and one of the options available for my system was an adapter that connects any iPod to the stereo directly, and allows you to control the device from the stereo itself.  This allows you to hide the iPod in a glove compartment or under a seat so it is out of the way and keeps your dashboard clean and uncluttered.

The Good
Because the cable that connects your iPod to the adapter (and then your stereo) is essentially the same as those provided by Apple, you not only can you control the device for the Alpine head unit, the iPod will also charge itself when not in use.  This means you will never have to worry about your iPod dying on you as you rock out to your favorite song.


The connecter is just like the dock connector plugs that ship with your iPod.

Once your iPod is connected, you can close the glove compartment and your iPod is out of sight and out of mind.

Another good point about this adapter is if you are listening to a song on your way to the car, the instant you plug the iPod into the adapter and turn on your car, you pick right up where you left off.  This means you dont have to scroll through menu after menu to get back where you left off.

It will take some time to get used to the navigation scheme of the Alpine system, but once you have it down it is easy to get through your menus.  On the head unit, you press the number one preset to access the playlist search, the number two preset to do an artist search, and the number three preset to access the album search.  There are also options to search for a particular song, but I dont use this option as I have nearly 30 gigs of songs on my iPod and searching for just that one song in this way is impossible.

The CD-9820XM head unit was used in this review.

Depending on your Alpine model, you can also set the iPod to do a shuffle mix of your songs, repeat a song, playlist or album or even do a quick search that will rapidly jump through each song in a selected folder.

As with the other features on the Alpine line, you can also use the text button to display album, artist, song title, or other included data.  This can also be a drawback as I explain below.

If you have an IVA-D300, the screen is very different but essentially allows you to do the same thing as the face plate head units.

Most of the Alpine units that support the KCA-420i also have a MX (MediaXpander) feature that boosts the entire dynamic range of XM satellite radio and MP3s making your ripped iPod tunes sound as good as the original recording. I was really blown away the first time I turned this feature on and played back an iTunes song that I thought sounded great to begin with.

 

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Related Keywords:alpine, ipod, adapter, car, stereo, apple, kca-420i, schleicher, jeep liberty

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