01-19-2009 09:26 AM
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01-20-2009 12:19 AM
Here are the differences:
Aux - not digital sound, doesn't charge iPod, can't control iPod on the stereo.
USB - not only can use iPod, but other USB storage devices (thumb drive, portable hard drives). Usually gives you full control of the player on the unit and can charge the unit. Some units have a USB jack in the front of the unit.
iPod direct hook up - similar to USB but only for iPod. Only found from the back of any unit that needs to be run out from somewhere else.
Best thing to do with the units that do USB is take your iPod with you and plug them into the units that have front USB jacks and see the controls.
Keep in mind, this around the time that new models start to come out, so you may want to wait for a month or so to see the new units that will be available. A lot of the new units that will be coming out will be less expensive for USB and/or iPod controls.
Hope this helps.
01-21-2009 12:02 PM
The USB interface doesn't actually control the iPod, it just reads files from the iPod and plays them on its own.
Also, not all USB headunits support the iPod due to the way it stores files (with "obfuscated" file names and a separate database of what file is what).
Aux jack is the easiest and "most compatible" connection, as it will let you connect another device if you decide to use it, like an XM receiver, a telephone, or other audio source. Of course, with an aux jack you will also need a separate charger for the iPod.
01-22-2009 09:00 PM
Actually, most new (2008 and up) in dash units have gone to USB for iPod control. The UBS is not not strictly for storage devices, but full iPod control now.
For the 2009 models, most are integrating the iPhone through the USB jack, giving the user the ability to use their 3G iPhones without issue.