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Discussion Starter #1
in my current car i have a stereo that reads cdrw's and has a line-in for using my notebook computer as a monstrous jukebox. i might be interested in installing this stereo in a prius. is there a reasonable way to install a new stereo?

i saw that kenwood mp3 kit that seems to install the stereo in a lower compartment and wires it into the lcd. i don't care about the lcd control.

if the factory stereo plays cdr/cdrws, then my best bet is probably to just use a tape adapter, but i do like having the line-in instead.

do i have any other options? what are current experiences?

i'm still trying to decide if i want a prius and when i want to get it. i'm absolutely in love with the idea of this car! :)

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Discussion Starter #2
John,

I think the kit you saw was a Jensen-based, not Kenwood based, but
that's not really important.

Playing CDs at all is a factory *option*, but I honestly don't know if
they play CDR/CDRW; someone else can surely answer that question.

There is no trivial way to get a line-in capability with the Prius stereo;
the minimum requires identifying the unit as a Toyota device with a little
communication on the IEbus at every start-up, and also sening keep-alive
notices, none of which is trivial.

You can install another head-unit and take over the speaker connections.
This would render the existing radio (and all its controls including the
volume knob) non-functional, and is also incompatible with the factory
NAV should you have that. If you take this path you'll have all of the
features offered by the other head unit, which you'll have to control
on its own front panel (or IR remote if provided). If done right, you'll
still have the dash clock, but some have had stereo stores disable
their clock when installing an alternative head unit.

Another option is to use an RF modulator and tune signals through the
Prius radio, or as you mentioned, the fake cassette adapter approach.

Good luck, and get the Prius; you won't regret it.

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Discussion Starter #3
i've only test driven once, and have other wise been looking at pictures of the dash. how does it break the nav? can you not control it any longer, or is it an issue with hearing the nav? (does it have audio prompts or something?) i don't know anything about alot of the feature yet, but i know i'll want it.

can you not get cd and tape together? is that why you are suggesting the rf modulator? my experience with those has been that they are a complete waste if you're actually going to be moving! :)

does the head unit install into that compartment normally, or did that take some structural modifications?

i'm not really all that interested in ``customizing'' the car. i did way too much of that with my old car, so i want to try to stay as close to factory as i can. i'm a software nut, not a hardware nut so much. :)

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Discussion Starter #4
The NAV system provides audio directions through the front left speaker.
If you connect the speakers to a different head unit - you won't get the
audio directions. The rest of the NAV system should continue to function.

All Prius have cassette tape players and AM/FM radios. To that you can
add a factory CD player or 6 disc changer, or my MP3 player solution. If
you simply put in another head unit and take over the speakers, you'll
lose the built-in tape player.

The compartment behind the little door is designed to hold a single
DIN audio device; the factory CD and changer have this form factor.
There is no modification to the car structure to place a single DIN
device there, but they are mounted with special brackets. Any third
party head-unit you might buy would not come with these brackets
(except that my product does come with these). But you can buy them
from a Toyota Parts dealer.

You can see what the dash area looks like when the fascia is removed
in some of the images here: <http://mywebpages.comcast.net/install.html>

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Discussion Starter #5
The Prius comes standard with the AM/FM radio (6 AM presets, 12 FM presets, and an FM RDS search), clock, and integrated tape player.

There is a storage compartment just under the radio. This compartment is filled with the Toyota 1-CD player or the Toyota 6-CD changer if you choose one of those options. (Although, there's reports of European Prius owners getting Toyota 6+ changers mounted under the passenger seat (where the NAV option goes) or in the trunk/boot ...) Harry's MP3 player Jenson also goes into this slot.

To my knowledge, CD-RWs do not play in either of the Toyota 1CD or 6CD units. MP3s do not play in either of the Toyota units. Most CDRs should be ok on the Toyota players.

(When I bought my 2001, the 6-CD changer wasn't even available yet, so I got the 1-CD player (not that I use it, but my husband does). My mother loves the 6-CD changer that she has in her 2002. I do like the price/options that Harry's MP3 unit gives, but I'm not about to upgrade with the little use my current 1-CD player gets (I listen to NPR mostly). Sorry Harry.)

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