2009 Audi A4 Avant: iPod Interface
March 06, 2009
I've had my 30GB iPod hooked up to our long-term A4 Avant for the past week or so. It works quite well. The attribute I like most (and this is inherent with any good integration system) is better safety. As you likely know, holding and fiddling with an MP3 player hooked up to a normal auxiliary input jack can be a major distraction.
This is greatly reduced with iPod integration, as you can control the iPod directly through the car and see songs on the main display rather than the iPod's.
Specific details about our A4's integration follow after the jump.
The connection cable is in the glovebox. There's a slide-out tray that you can use to store the iPod, but since I've got a rubbery case and bulky belt clip on mine, I've just been putting it in the larger adjacent slot to the right, which is fine.
The A4 detects my iPod quickly and displays the iPod in a very similar fashion -- Artist, Album, Playlist, Podcast and so forth are all represented via folders.
To navigate, you can use the MMI wheel. Spinning it clockwise moves down the iPod list and spinning it counterclockwise moves up the list. Pressing down on the wheel selects whatever is highlighted on the screen by the little white dot. Currently playing tracks are displayed in a callout box with artist, album and song information. To back out of a folder, you can scroll up to the top to find the back folder symbol, or you can click the "return" button below the MMI knob.
You can also use the scroll wheel on the steering wheel to move up and down through an iPod list. When you do so, the gauge cluster display switches from its normal trip computer mode to show the list of songs that you're moving up or down in.
Overall, the Audi A4's integration is very easy to use. There are only two minor things I don't like. One, it's hard to find the random/repeat functions through the interface. Two: for podcasts, the Audi displays them alphabetically, which is counter to my iPod's chronological listing. As such, finding my newest podcasts has been difficult.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor