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Alpine iDA-X001 Review (iPod car audio player)
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:25 am    Post subject: Alpine iDA-X001 Review (iPod car audio player) Reply with quote



I purchased a Alpine iDA-X001 "digital media receiver" today for my vehicle. Basically it is a car stereo that is incapable of playing regular audio CD's. This unit is made specifically for playing music from your iPod. It supports lossless audio, AAC and MP3 formats.

If you want to view all the features you can find them here.

In my opinion this is a fantastic product. Similar to Apple products it just works. It's easy to navigate, yet it is full featured. There isn't a bunch of crap that you don't need. The display looks fantastic. It unit itself, has a very nice look. It doesn't have a bunch of annoying useless bling, or things flying around and flashing. The unit accesses info from the iPod very quickly. The screen displays album art.

The removable faceplate is unique, in that the portion that gets removed is only half the size of the unit. The screen remains fixed to the deck. This is really cool in that the removable portion is tiny, it looks really cool on it's own.

The iDA-X001 is a very very, nice unit and I think it is very reasonable at $420 CDN.

I tried a Kenwood model that was the same price yesterday I took it back I hated everything about it. Slow, difficult to navigate, lacked important features, has a bunch of crap features etc. It was as though using it to control an iPod was an afterthought.

This Alpine unit is a winner. It's as though Apple helped design/engineer this product. This product was made 100% specifically to work with an iPod and it shows.

I doubt I will give it a long term review because my initial impression of the unit is so good. It does exactly what I expected and interfacing with the unit is natural. There is no need to read the manual other than for some fine tuning of preferences.

There is only one thing that about this deck that will take a little getting used to and that has to do with the buttons. Often I found myself pressing the control wheel button, instead of the enter button (which is right next to it) to try to execute an action. This may be something I can change in preferences, if not I will certainly get used to it, but its the only thing that doesn't come natural (to me). This may be because I am so used to the iPod controls.

I give this unit a 9/10 based on my initial impression and it may get a 10/10 if I can customize it a little. I'll read the instructions now Smile.

p.s. It sounds good too Smile
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TyPod
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks very nice. Alpine always looks like a great car audio brand. When I can drive, I'll definitely look for something like this nice product.
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magic33
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: hello Reply with quote

hey, I have the alpine ida-x001 and for some reason when i plug in the usb port it well only play bass.. No volume just my subs. Does anyone know if you have to have aftermarket speakers? If anyone knows something let me know.. My e-mail is tbrenny33@verizon.net..

Thanks
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DellWRX
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks this was a great help, I have one coming in the mail and after research I still have some questions that you may be able to answer if you can please,

1. Do I need to purchase the extra (KCE-422i) cable for it to work with my iPod mini?
2. Is this hard to install with the harness?
3. Does it make a difference which iPod you have? (I may need to upgrade)

Any help would be greatly appreciated,
Thanks!
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DellWRX wrote:
Thanks this was a great help, I have one coming in the mail and after research I still have some questions that you may be able to answer if you can please,

1. Do I need to purchase the extra (KCE-422i) cable for it to work with my iPod mini?
2. Is this hard to install with the harness?
3. Does it make a difference which iPod you have? (I may need to upgrade)

Any help would be greatly appreciated,
Thanks!


1. Yes I'm quite sure you will need the full speed cable

* The unit can be used with the following iPod versions.
Fourth generation iPod: Ver. 3.1.1
Fifth generation iPod: Ver. 1.1.2
iPod photo: Ver. 1.2.1
iPod mini: Ver. 1.4.1
iPod nano: Ver. 1.2

* The unit cannot be used with software versions earlier than “2006- 06-28”. For details about “iPod Software Update,” refer to the iPod Instruction Manual.

Check out the user manual online.

I'm using the full speed cable with a V4 iPod. The cable you are linking to looks really long and expensive. My cable came for free with the deck purchase from Visions Electronics. I think it retailed for $20-$30 CDN and it is about 6 feet long.

2. It's dead simple to install. If you have ever installed a car stereo its the same. The harness is easy to install as well, just push it in the hole and bend the tabs.

3. It does make a difference which iPod you have. See the above list. One thing I know for sure is the 5th gen iPods will allow you display cover art on the Alpine. For this to happen they have to be hooked up through the USB cable.


I recommend you take a look at the manual. The unit comes with a USB cable so you could give your existing iPod a try with it, but likely you will need the high speed cable. I'd personally put the money towards a new iPod with lots of storage space. I'm sure you will get tons of use out of it and it would be nice to leave it in the car more often rather than having to disconnect it and bring it into the house just to refresh your library.


Last edited by Bandit Bill on Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: hello Reply with quote

magic33 wrote:
hey, I have the alpine ida-x001 and for some reason when i plug in the usb port it well only play bass.. No volume just my subs. Does anyone know if you have to have aftermarket speakers? If anyone knows something let me know.. My e-mail is tbrenny33@verizon.net..

Thanks


It might be your iPod not supporting the USB, see my other post.
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DellWRX
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It says that this head unit supports the iPod Nano version 1.2

I have a Black 8GB iPod Nano 1.1.3 (second generation)

Will this work??
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DellWRX wrote:
It says that this head unit supports the iPod Nano version 1.2

I have a Black 8GB iPod Nano 1.1.3 (second generation)

Will this work??


I'd say yes and no. I have the forth gen iPod 3.1.1 which is on the list. I had to format it to Windows FAT 32 first though. This kind of sucks because now I can update the firmware on the iPod through my Mac because it will only update Mac formatted iPods. Anyhow what I'm getting at is the Alpine deck will read anything formatted FAT 32 even memory sticks so you should at least be able to read from the iPod but I assume you'll have crappy functionality like you won't get playlists and all the other good stuff the deck was designed to do. Try to upgrade your iPod through iTunes update. See what happens.

All I can say is this deck is awesome. You'll drive your friends nuts with jealousy. I like this unit enough that I recommend going out and buying a 5th gen iPod just to make the thing work. Now I know that's lots of money and a 6th gen may come out soon (by Christmas). I'm just expressing how much I like this product.

I recommend you take your iPod to a car audio shop that has the Alpine Deck and try it out or just call or email Alpine. They are a good company and should give you great service.


Last edited by Bandit Bill on Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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castaway
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent review! I don't follow the world of car stereos much, but this model from Alpine looks brilliant. The clock almost has a widget look about it. And the functionality for music along with the screen just look wicked cool. Out of curiosity, what was the Kenwood model that you returned?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

castaway wrote:
Out of curiosity, what was the Kenwood model that you returned?


To be honest I can't remember. That thing pissed me so bad and wasted so much of my time I'm not going to look it up. I took the time to do a MUCH better than professional install. I then fiddled with it for a few hours trying to figure the thing out. It was $450CDN and a piece of junk. If the store wouldn't have taken it back it never would have went back in my car.

Thank you Alpine for making a product the way it should be.
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devo
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a nice looking receiver. Do have any pictures of it installed?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

devo wrote:
That is a nice looking receiver. Do have any pictures of it installed?


You guys are always making me work Wink Smile

I'll go snap on right now for you Devo.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here it is


Everyone comments on the cool retro clock.

You can change wall papers and change the buttons to red as well. I don't like the red it's too intense and bling for my taste. Plus my car already has enough red Smile

There are 3 different preference settings for levels of brightness that the display will automatically dim to when you turn your headlights on.
I keep it at the lowest setting. This photo was taken with the headlight off, so that's the normal setting for daytime driving.

The preferences are very easy to set-up. I haven't bothered installing my own wallpaper yet.
Likely there will be all sorts of hacks downloads etc for this deck in the future but that's not my thing I like to keep it simple.

The cable below is the speed connect cable for the iPod. You can do a more permanent install for the iPod but I take it out all the time and use it in multiple vehicles. Eventually I'll set it up in the trunk.
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devo
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that looks great! The screen looks very crisp and bright. It also looks like you have a nice place to store you iPod down in there. You may not be totally happy with it there, but it could be worse. I like your gear shift too. Did you install new speakers as well?
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TyPod
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is SWEET lookin'! Shocked
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