Last post on Jul 01, 2008 at 7:21 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
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Subaru Forester, Entertainment System, SUV
#1 of 10 2009 forester accessories
Jun 11, 2008 (5:50 pm)
so, we got the ipod interface installed. or maybe i should say, i got it installed. it is a cool thing in principle but i'm not sure i quite like it, and am now wishing i'd waited to read more about it before springing for it (but it was easier to get the install added in with the price and pay it over 5 years, plus i couldn't wait). but here's why i'm having a mild case of buyer's remorse:
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....
#2 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [arnabc]
Jun 14, 2008 (9:07 pm)
Have you found that your ipod interface works as it is described in the owner's manual? We have the interface in our '09 Forester also, and it does not seem to function as the manual suggests. For example the knob on the right does nothing. It's supposed to scroll through playlists, I think. Also, there is a maddening lag in the display. Frequently the display doesn't work at all. Has your experience been any better than ours?
I agree with you that the interface is not intuitive. I could live with that clumsiness, but we feel that our interface is practically intolerable.
Also, have you experimented with the CSS setting on the stereo? Ours sounds awful on the rear speakers. I'm just about to convince myself that something is wrong with our stereo head unit.
All of this aside, we love the car!
Thanks for your post and any reply.
#3 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [parkco]
Jun 15, 2008 (2:53 pm)
i think for the knob to scroll through playlists you have to have selected playlist mode. but i have not actually had the time yet to fully play around with this thing, so i could be wrong.
i will say that i haven't noticed any problems with the display, other than the default problem that i noted: i think it should display song title and artist together; instead it displays song title by itself, and artist and album title together on the next screen. but that's a design flaw, not an operating flaw.
another bug i'm experiencing: when i attach the ipod and then turn the car on, it flashes a "empty" message at me on the stereo display. the ipod display correctly shows the subaru icon and its own controls are disabled as is supposed to happen, but the stereo controls don't seem to do anything. i have to disconnect the ipod, choose playlist and start playing a song, and then if i turn the car on with a song already playing, it works perfectly.
all in all, this thing works really well if you pick a playlist ahead of time, set it up and go. if you try to navigate between playlists or sort by artist etc. on the fly it will be very frustrating.
but i really like the fact that the unit turns the ipod off when you turn the car off, and pauses it when you switch to radio--using the tape adapter in the other car i would constantly forget to turn the ipod off when getting out of the car at home, and it would usually be 3 or 4 hours before i'd remember to go retrieve it, and if it was on a long playlist the battery would be significantly drained. i just wish the ipod controls weren't disabled by the unit. if i could navigate the ipod directly, and just use this as a built-in charger/connector, along with the pause/stop, and next/previous song controls it would be perfect.
and no, have not played with the css settings either. you're right about the stereo not sounding very good. our 8 year old camry has better sound. that's pretty lame. but other than that, we love it too!
#4 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [arnabc]
Jun 18, 2008 (7:53 am)
Thanks for sharing.
I think we'll just use the aux input, like you suggested.
Wife wanted the interface but I talked her out of it when I saw the price. Her iPod shuffle only cost $79, so it seems crazy to pay that much for an interface.
#5 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [arnabc]
Jun 26, 2008 (7:02 am)
i have actually got used to the ipod interface now and it is bothering me far less than it did two weeks ago. i still think the interface could be far more intuitive, and that it would be better if it didn't disable the ipod's own controls, but i'm not finding it as difficult to use. you have to adjust to the lag in the controls, and once you do it's fine. and the convenience of the one connector charge and output, and the auto-pause/switch-off when you switch to radio or turn the car off makes up for it.
for the person who'd asked earlier: once you've selected a playlist, turning the knob on the right scrolls you through that playlist. to scroll through playlists themselves you have to press the button for playlist selection mode and then use the up/down arrow buttons.
#6 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [arnabc]
Jun 26, 2008 (8:38 am)
I found out something new last week. Ours is the 6-disc player. Subaru of America told me that the ipod interface is not compatible with this stereo head. Sure enough, we reread the documentation, and it lists the X and Xpremium as compatible with the ipod interface. We're working through the process of addressing this problem. Thanks for your comments.
#7 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [parkco]
Jun 30, 2008 (8:36 am)
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but is it true that the i-pod interface is not compatible if you have the satellite radio installed?
I just picked up my new 2009 Forrester Limited on Saturday, and the dealer could not, for the life of him, figure out how to make the i-pod interface work. I have both the Sirius and the i-pod interface installed, and neither functions properly. The Sirius will not hold a signal or stay on a selected channel, and when I try to play the i-pod, it plays over the Sirius, meaning that I hear both.
The dealer is supposedly going to call Subaru today and find out how to fix the problem. But if the problem is that Sirius and the i-pod interface aren't compatible, then they'd better take out the i-pod interface and give me back all of the money that I paid to purchase and install it!!
#8 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [bethv114]
Jun 30, 2008 (9:18 am)
As I understand it, the iPod interface and the Satellite option cannot happen in the same car. Also, if you have the six-disc player, the iPod interface is incompatible. It works, but not well at all. I recall that the installation literature said that the iPod interface is not compatible with the Satellite option. Good luck!
#9 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [bethv114]
Jun 30, 2008 (10:34 am)
I've talked with SOA Customer Service about the availability of the iPod interface for the Limited. I was told that the SOA Engineers are working on the problem and that an interface for the Limited will be available in the next month or so, first for Dealer installation and later for "port" Installation. The labor for installation at the Dealer is more than the port labor charge.
Don't if this "fix" will also work with satellite radio. You might want to ask SOA.
#10 of 10 Re: 2009 forester accessories [bethv114]
Jul 01, 2008 (7:21 am)
the ipod interface cannot coexist with the satellite radio. it says so on the manual, and it is pathetic that your dealer did not know this. you absolutely should get your money back. for the price of the install and the interface you could have bought a new ipod!