A few questions unanswered - MP3


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Jul 9, 2009
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My last car had a multi-changer but with the A4 I'm back to a single slot which is driving me mad.

I'm not bothered about the changer now and want to use my MP3 (non Ipod, I'm poor) or USB.

A few things I haven't found 100% answers for on here though so someone might clarify for me.

1) From what I've seen the offerings from xcarlink\Dension have some strange way of arranging on tracks from USB or can only show it as 6 CDs and 99 tracks. Is this right, can I only have 594 tracks then?
2) The dension one appears to carry a significant premium over the xcarlink (why do I type xcarling everytime?). Is the Ipod connectivity the only advantage?

Any comments would be welcome.

I believe the regular iPod suffers the same CD1-CD6 issue on the folders and you don't get track names on the head unit.

I think the only way to get full integration inc track names is via something like an Alpine KCE 425i... but then you're talking £400 (or £250-odd if you want to fit it yourself).... but then that's primarilly to enable the video, so you'd be paying a lot extra for something that you'd never properly use...

If you don't mind keeping the iPod visible and using that for the controls, then either a £10 3.5mm audio jack to radio adapter will do the job (but lose some sound quality) or a audio line-in (about £30-£40 normally) that you can run from the back of the unit either into out onto the dash (next to the gear lever) or into one of the cubby holes: I know of glove-box and glasses tray (next to your right knee) installs... apparently the A4 Tiptronic will allow you to wedge an iPod (regular sized one, I think) next to teh gear lever and I've seen some people get one of those mobile phone holders with their iPod clipped into it.... not very stealth, but fairly effective.

It's an A4, but which year/model (B5, B6, B7)?

Which head unit? (Concert, Copncert2?) I'll check, but I thought you could still add an AUX line in into the back of them.

If it's just that you can't jsutify the expense of an iPod, but wouldn;t mind spending the money if it offered a lot more, then how about a 2nd hand RNS-E (satnav)... apparently £450 inc fitting at some places, might need to add 1DIN to 2DIN cage cost, etc... but I've sure those can be had for <£400 and then a bit of work... that would give you sat nav, PLUS 2 x SD card slots for up to 8Gb MP3's and a much smarter, cleaner looking interior!
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Yes it's a limitation of the Audi HU not a failing of the integration devices. The only way to get an AUX in is to fool the HU into thinking it has a changer attached, thus the limitation of 6 discs and 99 tracks per disc and lack of track names.
Personally I'd swap the HU for a Becker GP which will give you everything you need out of the box along with mp3 CD support and superior sound quality as well as looking totally stock.
Thanks for the replies.

Its a B7 A4 and it's a concert2(edit). I'll get round to a sig at some point as I always forget the most useful info

I see. So regardless of the medium I was playing the music from I'd always be stuck with same amount of tracks.

I'd considered the RNS-E but didn't think it looked all that good. However, just watched a video online and it looks quite decent. The chew of moving the Aircon controls put me off tbh.

I'd also considered a new aftermarket HU put having read a few posts looked like it might also be a hassle. Something like the need to run wires to the rear speakers.

I think I'll look more into the RNS-E

I can always listen to the engine for now
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You had a look @ Phatbox?

I'd never heard of these. A quick look on the website shows it as discontiuned though plenty on ebay.

Looks like it might be an option. Doesn't seem to suffer from the 6x99 track limit so they say.

Will have a closer look I think. Thanks Xmay
That's because you control it directly via voice prompts rather than through the HU
phatbox always an option... although I hear the voice interface is a bit clunky once you start tryign to use it properly... would be more tempted by an Alpine integration and an iPod (albeit very expensive) which seems very good indeed.

From what little I've seen of them, APIC headunits are awesome, but after my last car went very non-OEM all-over, I want to keep this one all-Audi (even if not all A4 B6)... plus you lose the DIS / steering integration with those APIC units and after spanking a fortune on an Audi R8 steering wheel (still the best £800-odd quid I've ever spent!!), I want to be able to use every button forever..... hence the voice control upgrades, etc....

rear speaker wire should be fine unless you're massively amping it and uprating the speakers too?
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I'd also considered a new aftermarket HU put having read a few posts looked like it might also be a hassle. Something like the need to run wires to the rear speakers.
It's only a hassle with most aftermarket HU's. Both Becker and Blaupunkt use the non standard wiring connectors which are identical to the stock Audi wiring, so they are pretty much plug & play. The only niggle is that you have to move one wire on one of the connectors. You'll just need a fascia plate and an antenna amp adapter (about £9 each) and you're sorted.
Sorry for the thread revival.

Been thinking about a phatbox for a few years. Recently my head unit has been struggling with CDs and is looking a little worn and two of my mates have been badgering me to get an ipod compatible upgrade and to just forget going down the phatbox road.

I stubbled accross this thread and loved the Becker the first time I saw it. :wub:

Andy, I'm thinking of the 7992 (together with the ipod interface) - you're right the colour & design look spot-on for an A3 - but I'm not to sure what fascia plate I'd need - so I was hoping A-S.nets resident ICE expert could offer some advice about installing this kit!! :doctor:

Many thanks in advance :respekt: