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2009 forester accessories
actually, first the good stuff:
1) i've never had much luck with the fm transmitters for the ipod, and the tape adapter i use with the old car is good, but acts up in cold weather. so, it's nice to be able to connect via the dock connector port and have that take care both of the music output and charge the ipod.
2) as a result of above the ipod can be out of the way.
3) we have the audio controls on the steering wheel, and it is cool to be able to change songs (within the current playlist) using those buttons.
4) i like that when you switch to radio or cd, the ipod gets paused automatically.
so, what's the bad?
1) there's a bit of a lag between pressing the buttons on the stereo (or steering wheel) and the function being executed.
2) the text display on the stereo is limited. you can either show the title of the song being played, or the name of the album and the band/musician, but not all at once.
3) the ipod control interface on the stereo is not very intuitive. you have to learn an entirely different way of navigating your ipod than the ipod's own structure. i think it is going to take me a good while to get comfortable with it. this by itself would not be so bad except that:
4) while connected to the interface the ipod's own controls are completely disabled. so you can't pick up the ipod to quickly scroll to a different playlist or whatever--you'd have to disconnect it first.
on the whole, i think if i'd known then what i know now, i would not have paid the extra $300 (cost + install for it--i would have spent that money on a new ipod!). the convenience issues are trumped by the limited control interface. i think connecting it to the aux jack should be enough for most people. plus that way you don't block the satellite radio (though it is highly, highly unlikely that we would ever get satellite).
i'm not telling my wife this, however....