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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just installed the VAIS Tech AIC-100i iPod Interface in my 2005 Package 4 Prius with the standard single disc radio with XM. I do not have the JBL Radio or the 6 disc CD Changer. My iPod is a 3G 15 Gig.

I'm happy to report the iPod interface works perfectly, even with XM radio! The sound quality and volume is excellent.

Installation is the same as XM radio or iPod2Car, it connects to the CD Changer port.
It will only see playlists, but I created 11 and it saw each of them as discs.
The first line of text on the radio that is listed as Disc is the playlist name and the second like track will be either the artist name or song name. You can switch between these by selecting the DiscScan button.

The up and down buttons on the steering will with switch to the next track in the playlist, if it is the last song, it will switch to the next Disc/Playlist.

It is possible to put the interface into "simple mode" which won't display any track information, but the iPod is controlable from the iPod interface.

There is another set of audio inputs on the AIC-100i. By selecting the mode on the steering wheel and cycling through the first time the MD Changer is selected it will be the iPod. The second time will be the line input.

I took pictures but won’t be able to post them until Friday, sorry.

Bob
 

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The Dirty Details

Congrats! After having wasted the last 24 hours of my life on the ipod2car, I'm very jealous.

May I ask, did you purchase the unit directly from the manufacturer, or is there a cheaper source?

Also, can you not just make a playlist with all your songs in it (to get around the playlist issue), or does iTunes have a cap on playlist length?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: The Dirty Details

hybrideyes said:
Congrats! After having wasted the last 24 hours of my life on the ipod2car, I'm very jealous.

May I ask, did you purchase the unit directly from the manufacturer, or is there a cheaper source?

Also, can you not just make a playlist with all your songs in it (to get around the playlist issue), or does iTunes have a cap on playlist length?
I bought it from VAIS Tech. iTunes doesn't limit the amount of songs in a playlist, but the head unit appears to have a limit of 99 tracks it will see on any one CD. There can be more songs in a playlist, the head unit will only see 99 of them.

I tried the iPod2Car first, it didn't work with XM radio, so that was a deal breaker for me, plus even disconnecting XM and flipping the 6 pin, the volume still wasn't right.

Bob
 

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Oh this is great to hear. I had just seen that they are offering the unit for the Prius and I am considering one. It is great to hear that it works before spending that much money.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
fmva said:
Oh this is great to hear. I had just seen that they are offering the unit for the Prius and I am considering one. It is great to hear that it works before spending that much money.
The only compromise is that it will only play playlists. I think this has less to do with the interface and just a limitation with the radio. For me, 12 playlists with 99 tracks a playlist is fantastic! I used the iTunes Smart Playlist feature to create them. It is very powerful and really not a bad compromise.
It will only play 99 tracks in a playlist. If I try to select track 100, it goes back to track 1. But I understand VAIS is going to make a version that can handle 99 playlists!

While I'm here, I should add that selecting the Disc Scan button switches between the song title, artist name and album title.

I think this is the answer for people with the 6 Disc changer. The AIC-100i can emulate either the CD Changer or MiniDisc Changer. I set it up both ways, but since I don't have a changer it acted almost identical in both modes. The iPod2Car is setup to only emulate a CD Changer.

I drove to work today and can't tell you how well it works. The sound quality is superb!

Bob
 

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Playlists

My understanding of the iPod adapter scene is as follows.... Since Toyota gave us a CD changer port and not an aux port, our iPod adapters all have to pretend to be CD changers. In order to completely work, the adapter has to "take over" the iPod, which prevents you from using the iPod's buttons and requires you to use playlists instead. The adapters that let you use the iPod controls do not completely work (i.e. you have to give up some features, or some features work inconsistently).

It looks from VAIS' site that you can use the iPod controls instead of the playlists if you're willing to give up the text on screen, but I'm not sure what else you might give up. Personally, I know the song within the first few notes, so the text isn't critical to me. Also, I guess in order to really make use of the text screen with the nav option, you'd want to turn off the feature that automatically brings you back to the map screen after a few seconds of idle on another screen. This may be undesirable for some people.

I have an iPod mini that only holds 1,000 songs to begin with, so 12 playlists of 99 songs is not a dealbreaker for me. $369 for an adapter for my $199 iPod might be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Playlists

hybrideyes said:
My understanding of the iPod adapter scene is as follows.... Since Toyota gave us a CD changer port and not an aux port, our iPod adapters all have to pretend to be CD changers. In order to completely work, the adapter has to "take over" the iPod, which prevents you from using the iPod's buttons and requires you to use playlists instead. The adapters that let you use the iPod controls do not completely work (i.e. you have to give up some features, or some features work inconsistently).

It looks from VAIS' site that you can use the iPod controls instead of the playlists if you're willing to give up the text on screen, but I'm not sure what else you might give up. Personally, I know the song within the first few notes, so the text isn't critical to me. Also, I guess in order to really make use of the text screen with the nav option, you'd want to turn off the feature that automatically brings you back to the map screen after a few seconds of idle on another screen. This may be undesirable for some people.

I have an iPod mini that only holds 1,000 songs to begin with, so 12 playlists of 99 songs is not a dealbreaker for me. $369 for an adapter for my $199 iPod might be.
Our radio can understand either a CD Changer or MD Changer.
Check this out:
http://www.cesium.com/Prius/mdchanger/

Since the VAIS can be either, this gives us the option to have a CD Changer. It also works with the XM radio, which I have. For $200, the iPod2Car doesn't work with either, has no text display, charges the iPod when the car is off, doesn't start back up when the car is started and has poor volume.

There is a simple mode that the VAIS can work in. Maybe they will come out with an inexpensive version that only does this.

The VAIS can display an amazing number of characters, far more then the XM Radio. I plan on doing a test to see how many it can handle.

Bob
 

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ipod...

I've installed the ipod2car for my 20 gig 4th gen iPod and it works great! 'Course, I'd love to have text on the Prius screen. I've an AM 2004 that had the add-on changer. Pulled that out and plugged in the ipod2car (put the changer in sig other's '05 AM).

My ipod2car shuts off and starts charging when I power the car down, then starts up where it left off when I power back up, no problems.
Steering wheel controls change tracks (as does the radio seek buttons). All controls work on the iPod, just as if it were in my living room or on the deck or where ever.
I can select any playlist or just shuffle all songs, etc. It shuts off when I choose the in-dash CD (disc button on radio) or FM or AM.
It starts up where it left off when I choose it again (again, the disc button on radio).

The ONLY thing I have a problem with is using the mode button on the steering wheel to change to CD or FM or AM.
The ipod seems to not want to turn off, or else it goes into pause mode when using the steering wheel 'mode' button. And I've had slight glitches when the iPod is unplugged from the car, then uploaded with even more songs, then plugged back into car. Seems to take a couple of button togglings (disc button) to make it work normally.

For $170 vs. $350 plus, I'll take it. But, wow, the text on the Prius screen would rock!

Anyone know of a good iPod bracket mount for Prius? So far mine is in the little cubby below the radio, all hidden and such, but for travel time it'd be nice to have it on the dash somewhere.

Sorry so long-winded here, sheesh. I just love Prius and iPod, together at last!
 

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installation

I posted this a couple days ago, but something apparently went wrong with the site. ANYHOW, my question was regarding installation of the VAIS unit. For those of us not particularly handy, what does it entail putting one in? I don't really want to spend the money I'd save by having it professionally installed.

Any insights would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: installation

marlowe7 said:
I posted this a couple days ago, but something apparently went wrong with the site. ANYHOW, my question was regarding installation of the VAIS unit. For those of us not particularly handy, what does it entail putting one in? I don't really want to spend the money I'd save by having it professionally installed.
I believe it was answered in this thread:
http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=5784

Bob
 

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Re: Pictures are Up

BobR said:
BobR said:
http://homepage.mac.com/brusso/PriusRadio/PhotoAlbum23.html
I added a picture of the simple mode:
http://homepage.mac.com/brusso/PriusRad ... bum24.html
Hi Bob!

Can you (or anyone) tell me how to switch to simple mode?

[EDIT] Found it from Bob over on priuschat!
To enter into simple mode the Scan button must be pressed eight times, this will be followed by a beep.
Thanks Bob!
[/EDIT]
 

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tech question on VAIS ipod thingy

I keep losing playlists. I put a book on it, and listened to part yesterday, but today the interface thingy cannot find the book. Sigh. And on the OTHER one I was listening to, I must have reset the "where I listened up to" thingy (maybe by switching playlists?), and it started the book over!

Anyone know how to 'fast forward' within a track on a playlist? :( I just cannot keep starting over with each book every day!!
 

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Re: tech question on VAIS ipod thingy

Sanny said:
I keep losing playlists. I put a book on it, and listened to part yesterday, but today the interface thingy cannot find the book. Sigh. And on the OTHER one I was listening to, I must have reset the "where I listened up to" thingy (maybe by switching playlists?), and it started the book over!

Anyone know how to 'fast forward' within a track on a playlist? :( I just cannot keep starting over with each book every day!!
Ok, so I found someone asked the same question here: http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.ph ... c&start=90 and BobR (my iPod hero) says it's possible to fast forward. But where's the fast forward control? I couldn't find it. :( Everything I touched switched tracks or playlists.

I feel so inept... sigh.
 
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