I was getting tired of burning CD’s and who uses discs these days? When I bought my car years ago, it didn’t come with a dock connector to interface with my iPhone. After some searching I managed to find a device from GTA Car Kits that connects to the back of the stock head unit. Most stock radio’s from a few years back will have a port on the back for a CD changer. I was lucky to have such a port in my car. All this unit does is “pretend” to be a CD changer.
Installation was pretty simple. You don’t have to splice/solder any wires! Prior to installing this device, I had never taken apart anything on my car. There was a video on how to install it in various vehicles and surprisingly, it looked too easy. The trim in my centre console came off without a hitch. I took out the 4 screws and voila, I had access to the stock radio. I turned it around and sure enough there was an empty port that was waiting for this adapter. I plugged her in and tested it. Everything worked like it should. When you turn on the ignition, it’ll start playing where you left off to the exact second. When a call comes in, the music mutes. While connected to the dock connector, your iDevice will also charge.
Operation is rather simple. Like I mentioned before, the stock radio sees it as a CD changer. This adapter has two modes for controlling your iDevice from your car stereo, Hybrid and Playlist mode. In Hybrid mode, you can select the song/playlist you want to play via your iPod/iPhone. You can also use the buttons on your stereo to advance tracks. Hybrid mode is activated when you are in Disc 1.
In Playlist mode, every playlist on your iPod/iPhone becomes a “virtual” CD. You can’t choose songs from your iDevice. You must use your stereo to advance tracks. Playlist mode is activated when you are in Disc 2-99. If you recall, “Disc 1” is reserved for Hybrid mode. Disc 2 is Playlist 1 on your iPod/iPhone, Disc 3 is Playlist 2, etc. You can reference up to 99 playlists. It does seem a bit clunkly but remember that the stock deck really doesn’t know anything about iDevices. It was made to work with a CD changer.
My favourite mode is Hybrid since you have more control over the playlist and song selection. Playlist mode is used primarily if you want to hide your iPod in the glove box and out of sight, sorta like how a CD changer works. Usually, it’s stored in the trunk and never seen.
So for about $100, this adapter is a nice addition to any car. You can now charge your iPhone and play music from it.