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When a new car lists "iPod Jack" in its feature list, you never know just how much of a feature that really is. Sometimes it just means your iPod will play and charge while plugged in to the car stereo, but forget about changing artists or choosing a new playlist unless you fish it out of whatever oddly-shaped hole that's been left for it. And retrofitting for a lot of cars means an expensive stay at the electronics store, or wires that cross from here to there.

Toyota has just released an iPod integration retrofit kit that will make your new auxiliary input look like it came straight from the factory. And it will give you full control of all iPod functions from either the head unit or the steering wheel. Click Read to check out the full press release.

[Source: Toyota]

Press Release: Toyota iPod Integration Kit

No more earpieces, no more fiddling with the clickwheel as you drive, no more fumbling on the floor to search for your wayward player: Toyota has come up with a perfect integration system that links Apple's iPod directly to your car's audio system. The iPod Integration Kit, available now, provides a simple and discreet connection in the glovebox. Simply plug in the iPod and a direct link is formed between the player and the audio system, letting you select and play tracks using the controls on the audio head unit or (where fitted) the controls on the steering wheel. Functions such as random play, scan, fast-forward, rewind and song or playlist repeat are all made possible.

On systems with CD text read-out, the playlist and selected track titles are shown, while on all units, the play list, track number and elapsed time are displayed. And there's no risk of the music being cut short by a failing battery, as the adapter will charge up the iPod if the level runs low.

The unit is simple to install and has been developed with approval from Apple, earning it the Made for iPod certification of quality. Its location in the glovebox also keeps your iPod out of sight from prying eyes.

The iPod Integration Kit is compatible with all current generation iPod models that have an Apple dock connector. It will also work with many earlier generation versions, although in a few cases some functions may not be accessible. It can be used in any current Toyota or Lexus model, apart from Aygo. It is not currently available for LCVs.

The cost is £150, including owner's manual and VAT, but not including fitting (approximately one hour).

Source: Toyota

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      A few thoughts...
      1. Yes, it's Apple only--but Apple's got about 75% of the music player market, so it's a good place to start. USB would, of course, be better for the Zen owners out there (and the handful of Zune newbies).
      2. This is a UK press release (check the price point and reference to the Aygo), yet it shows a left-hand-drive interior. US availability...?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Vaistech has had an interface for iPod integration in Lexus/Toyota cars for a few years. Nice that Toyota is finally catching up. The vaistech box also comes with an extra set of RCA inputs for a second audio device.

      It really works great.
      • 7 Years Ago
      iPod's aren't the only mp3 player. What about the Creative Zen players? The Zen Vision:M is a better player than the iPod. Line-In is fine because it will work with any mp3 player. iPod's unfairly dominate the market and so Creative gets no recognition and has lost money.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Line in doesn't charge your MP3 player, nor does it allow you to control the player without taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the steering wheel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Forget this iPod only, proprietary, closed system. Give me a real Sync like interface. Why should I have to buy into the Apple monopoly?
      • 7 Years Ago
      again my head unit has a usb port and honestly its the way to go, and inexpensive and no stupid software/converting - song info is displayed on screen, and on the same usb is pictures doc, applications etc

      less is more guys
      • 7 Years Ago
      why not just have a usb slot that takes Flash drives??? I bought my g/f a pioneer deck w/ usb slot and ipod connectivity. She picked up a 4 gig usb drive and now she doesn't ever use the ipod in the car.

      4 gig usb flash = $35
      and you don't have to use itunes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree. My X-Type has the Audio Connectivity Module from Jaguar that allows me to use my iPod and and USB connected drive. I have a Seagate 40GB that has almost all my MP3 collection.

        There is no need to make it only iPod compatible. I don't like any accessory that I have to think about for one second when I get in or out of my car. Did I being my iPod? Did I remember to unplug and take it with me? yata yata yata.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's good to be king, eh Apple?
      • 7 Years Ago
      M - get over yourself

      Its not so much just connecting to the headunit for sound, thats easy. I want all the info from the Ipod displayed on the screen and the ability to use the audio controls on the steering wheel or headunit. I want to NOT see the iPod or the wires. Stuff the thing in the glove box out of site like a old school CD changer.

      I had an Ice>Link for my VW but now I have a nissan and cant find a good solution that doesnt cost $200+. Thats sucks. I dont know why all car makers dont make solutions for the iPod. That stupid Aux in jack on the FRONT of the headunit is freaking stupid (better than FM Mod though).
      I see it as the same as sirrius or XM capatability---offer it as an option. Have a zune solution as well for the 12 people that bought it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @PacMan: I think you missed M's point. M is complaining about Toyota's iPod-only integration. Seeing as though a company RIGHT NOW (most 2008 models across Ford brands) is offering a product that does what he is thinking, I don't think that his complaints are unreasonable.

        IMO, Ford Sync >>> Toyota's "new" system. Sync supports iPod, Zune, PlaysForSure, and USB mass storage (ie: every single device capable of storing music) devices and it uses USB (again, all of them) to charge your player and pull all the track information (irrespective of brand). Also, it includes phone BT integration and there are voice controls for everything. I'm not sure if connected players will go into the glove box or not , but at that point, who cares? You can get all of this stuff in a FOCUS all the way up the line to their Lincoln's.

        OTOH, I think that this is just Toyota bringing the tech directly from their Scion line to their Toyota line and that's it. It probably saves them a lot of money. *shrug*
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is probably similar to the iPod option in Toyota's Scion lineup. I've got one and it works well, although they could have made it a bit easier to use. There are two things that really bug me:
      1. The dial on the head unit that also functions as a joystick has a very light touch and you can easily push it when you meant to turn it, which will mess up whatever you were trying to select.
      2. To scroll through playlists or songs, you have to turn the dial, and turn it, and turn it, and turn it. And when you get to the end, it doesn't automatically wrap around to the beginning again, instead you have to go through the same amount of tedious dial turning, but in the other direction.

      Comment to m: I am not aware of an open standard for communicating with MP3 players, nor does it seem like they all use the same shape of connector with the same signals. Until and unless that happens, auto manufacturers have to decide whether to support a 'proprietary' format like iPod, vs. not supporting anything at all. Since iPods are the most popular MP3 player, most people won't be pissed off - and people who don't have an iPod may decide to buy one, just to use it in the car. That's what I did and I consider it a worthwhile investment.

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