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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I was just on the phone to my dealer thinking about ordering the 2005 Prius when I hit a major stumbling block; I listen to:

1) An iPod with a cassette adaptor and more importantly

2) Books on TAPE from local libraries

My CDs go to the computer, then to the basement in a big box, and I never see them again. Now, in our 2003 Prius, I have a tape deck, but the 2004 doesn't have a Tape Deck as standard equipment. In order for me to listen to Books on TAPE, I have to actually get a $1900.00 package that includes a 6-CD changer (which will never be used, not even once), and a tape deck, plus a bundle of extra air-bags and a built-in garage door opener.

So, 2004 owners and tech. gurus, is there a place I can plug into an auxiliary line-input in one of these puppies? Many third-party auto systems now have a "line-in", is there a way to just swap-out the existing system with something third-party with a line in? I can't believe I might have to increase the cost of my vehicle by that much because Toyota thought people wouldn't want a basic tape-deck. I can always go with an FM "converter" for the iPod (a pain, but doable), but the books on tape thing is a real deal-breaker...
 

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I asked a similar question in re: putting in a CD changer after market, and this is the response - hope this helps:

"The factory radio has an available connector on the backside for adding an additional component. This is the connector that the XM radio uses, but may alternatively be used for a second factory CD changer. The connector and interface itself for this dedicated connector would require that you add in a Toyota module if you want to take advantage of the seemless integration with the Multi-Function Display, wheel controls, auto-muting, etc.

Accessing the backside of the radio can be done by removing all four A/C vents, the top and bottom dash sections surrounding the steering wheel, the accessory tray under the radio, and the MFD. It sounds overwhelming, but it mostly just tedious. The cabling should be run as Jon (PriusXM) recommends, which is behind the glove box, down the passenger side behind the trim panel and then front to rear in the cable channel under the door thresholds."
 

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I had a similar problem several years ago with my motor home sound system. I solved it an about ten minutes when I found a small FM dashtop transmitter which accepted an eighth inch stereo plug from tape players and other auxilliary equipment. The small telescopic antenna on the device extended about two inches and had a range of about ten feet. It broadcast a high quality FM signal to the center of FM Band No. 1 of the receiver in my motor home or any of my other vehicles. It was powered by two AAA cells which always lasted several months. I was quite pleased with the device and it may still be found in places like Long's Drugs or Radio Shack. Whatshisname
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Trying to avoid FM input method

Well, yeah, I'm aware of the FM transmitters, but I'm trying to avoid that route for a couple reasons. 1) The never seem to sound as good as a decent tape adaptor does, and 2) If you drive very far you tend to run into areas where you have to find an "empty" channel again, and that's getting harder to do.

Thanks for the input! I have a feeling my Prius is going to cost me an extra $1900.00 bucks.
 

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Panjandrum said:
Well, I was just on the phone to my dealer thinking about ordering the 2005 Prius when I hit a major stumbling block; I listen to:

1) An iPod with a cassette adaptor and more importantly

2) Books on TAPE from local libraries
Denison offers an iPod adapter kit that goes to an aux line in at the back of the stereo and then you get a little mounting clip to hold the iPod. You should have all controls of the iPod through the screen or on the steering wheel.

They're currently out of stock, but they expect them in by April ... long before your 2005 will be in. No work if they'll be compatible with the '05, but they are with the 04 which bodes well.

As for using that line in with a tape player, I believe it would work, but you'd have to use the controls on the tape player to control it.

read about it here:
http://www.densionusa.com/icelink/icelink_details.htm

order or add yourself to waitlist here:
http://densionusa.com/merchant/merchant ... =IA_Toyota

Coastal Electronic Technologies is also working on a solution for hard drive players and will post it here:
http://www.coastaletech.com/04prius.htm
 

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cybele said:
Panjandrum said:
Well, I was just on the phone to my dealer thinking about ordering the 2005 Prius when I hit a major stumbling block; I listen to:

1) An iPod with a cassette adaptor and more importantly

2) Books on TAPE from local libraries
Denison offers an iPod adapter kit that goes to an aux line in at the back of the stereo and then you get a little mounting clip to hold the iPod. You should have all controls of the iPod through the screen or on the steering wheel.

They're currently out of stock, but they expect them in by April ... long before your 2005 will be in. No work if they'll be compatible with the '05, but they are with the 04 which bodes well.

As for using that line in with a tape player, I believe it would work, but you'd have to use the controls on the tape player to control it.

read about it here:
http://www.densionusa.com/icelink/icelink_details.htm

order or add yourself to waitlist here:
http://densionusa.com/merchant/merchant ... =IA_Toyota

Coastal Electronic Technologies is also working on a solution for hard drive players and will post it here:
http://www.coastaletech.com/04prius.htm
Yep, I saw the ICELink at MacWorld in January and it's nice. $200 for the unit and about $20 for the additional cable required for the 2004 Prius. It will work with all iPods.

In the meantime, I got the iTrip at $35 and while it does have the FM sound quality issues, it supports ALL FM frequencies instead of only 4 like most devices.

I will likely purchase the ICELink when it is in stock.

And if you don't know about it already, check out audible.com for inexpensive audio books. They have a subscription rate of $20 per month for 2 books per month from their entire collection, including unabridged titles. Audible is compatible with the iPod.
 

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Panjandrum said:
Well, I was just on the phone to my dealer thinking about ordering the 2005 Prius when I hit a major stumbling block; I listen to:

1) An iPod with a cassette adaptor and more importantly

2) Books on TAPE from local libraries

My CDs go to the computer, then to the basement in a big box, and I never see them again. Now, in our 2003 Prius, I have a tape deck, but the 2004 doesn't have a Tape Deck as standard equipment. In order for me to listen to Books on TAPE, I have to actually get a $1900.00 package that includes a 6-CD changer (which will never be used, not even once), and a tape deck, plus a bundle of extra air-bags and a built-in garage door opener.

So, 2004 owners and tech. gurus, is there a place I can plug into an auxiliary line-input in one of these puppies? Many third-party auto systems now have a "line-in", is there a way to just swap-out the existing system with something third-party with a line in? I can't believe I might have to increase the cost of my vehicle by that much because Toyota thought people wouldn't want a basic tape-deck. I can always go with an FM "converter" for the iPod (a pain, but doable), but the books on tape thing is a real deal-breaker...
And the other solution I have used for Books on Tape real tapes is to convert them to MP3 and put them on my iPod. It is a pain because you have to record the tapes at 1X speed, but I have found that I can just do this in the background with the sound off on my computer and it just takes a long time. The benefit is that I don't have to mess with tapes in the car.

Send me a private message if you want to know more about how to do this on a Mac.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ahhhh!

That ICELink product looks pretty nice. That might be the way to go. I'll have to find out if I can use it with a cassette "walkman" also. The only problem is, when my iPod dies, and Apple has changed the model, there is a good chance the ICELink will have to be replaced with a new model also. I shy away from all these expenses because, hey, I'm cheap! :)

I've done the audio-tape to MP3 thing before, but it's just too time consuming! Doing music vinyl/tape to AIFF/MP3 takes long enough, I usually average something like 4 hours of work to get a single hour of MP3 music. With books on tape I don't have to separate the tracks, but it's still a major pain. I even have an old OS9 setup running SoundJam so I can directly from line-in to MP3, thus skipping the whole AIFF step (can't separate tracks this way however), but it's all turned out to be simply more time that I can afford to spend on music or books. I do the 2-book a month Audible thing also (a GREAT service, IMHO), but all too often they don't have what I want, and the libraries have a ratio of something like 10-to-1 in terms of books-on-tape to books-on-CD.

Frankly, I find it extremely annoying that Toyota can't provide me with an inexpensive tape player for the car, it seems like a tremendous oversight. I'm going to talk to the dealer about it and see what the dealer can do "aftermarket". I can't believe there isn't some simple solution to this problem.
 

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Re: Ahhhh!

Panjandrum said:
The only problem is, when my iPod dies, and Apple has changed the model, there is a good chance the ICELink will have to be replaced with a new model also. I shy away from all these expenses because, hey, I'm cheap!
I'd definitely check with your dealer and any other reputable car stereo place. You should be able to get a cassette deck for the lower compartment, I belive it's a standard DIN slot.

As for the iPod dying, the audio in is standard and you should be able to plug anything with a standard audio jack in there, including a regular cassette player. You will not be able to control the fast forward, etc through the steering wheel, but you'll still have control over the volume. You were expressing that $1900 was a lot for a cassette deck ... this was simply a less expensive solution, certainly not the only one and probably not even the cheapest.

While these concerns about getting audio contgent into the car annoying, I find the good mileage and low emissions to far outweigh any other shortcomings of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ahhhhh...

After speaking with the dealer (and taking my first test drive of the 04', nice), I'm not as worried as I was. Apparently it should be relatively easy to get a 3rd party tape deck installed in the lower bay since audio-system in the Prius is relatively standard across the Toyota line. That makes me feel a lot better!
 

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Re: Ahhhhh...

Panjandrum said:
After speaking with the dealer (and taking my first test drive of the 04', nice), I'm not as worried as I was. Apparently it should be relatively easy to get a 3rd party tape deck installed in the lower bay since audio-system in the Prius is relatively standard across the Toyota line. That makes me feel a lot better!
Panjandrum,
I'm not looking to move you back to feeling worse, but take what the dealer told you with an ocean of salt. Toyota may indeed look for standardization across their lines (a logical conclusion) but you might want to check with a major car audio installation company in your area. They could tell you exactly what, if anything, they've done with the new Prius that would suit your needs.
It is a nice car.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 
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