I’m not a fan of radio whether it be commercial radio on its endless loop of commercial and same 20 songs, or satellite radio that harasses owners of new cars to subscribe. In the car, I prefer to listen to my own music, podcasts or audio books. For the last 20 years the best way to do that has been an iPod plugged directly into my car. Initially it was my iPod Mini which served me well and even survived being hacked and upgraded. That iPod was replaced by an iPod Nano. When the iPod Touch it the market I thought it would be the perfect melding of iPod and Wi-Fi updated content. Unfortunately the iPod Touch was not designed to handle heat. Left in the car the display would go black with a heat warning. The sent me back to the iPod Nano.
The key advantage of a hard wired iPod over say BlueTooth connected device is that it would immediately start playing with the engine start. If I were listening to spoken word content, it would pick up right were I left off. The iPod Nano never complained about the heat. And since it was not my phone, I did not need to plug it in or remember to unplug it when I got to my destination.
Along comes CarPlay. Finally a car audio experience close to what I want. I say close because there are two major issues with the current implementation from my point of view. The first issue is the lack of Waze navigation support. Whether that is caused by Apple or Google, I don’t care. I just know that It’s the best GPS app on the market and I want to be able to use it in my car with CarPlay. The second issue is the delay between startup of the car and when the iPhone gets connected. I understand why the 10 minutes of silence has become such a popular song on iTunes. Anything to not to have to listen to babble of the radio while CarPlay connects. Personally I tune to a blank spot in the dial as I would prefer to hear static than radio. I look forward to when my XM trial ends so that I can use that for dead air. I made the mistake of not opting out when I bought my new car. Now they’ve got me. I’m being targeted with email and mail to get me to sign up for pay radio.
While I’m happy with my car and AirPlay, I wanted to use my old iPod Nano for an upcoming road trip. I pulled it out of storage and charged it up. I plugged it into my car and it immediately caused the iPod to reboot. When the screen came back the iPod was in recovery mode. I brought it back in the house and plugged it into iTunes to be restored factory fresh. I repeated the experiment with the same results. A quick google found that I was not alone. My fancy infotainment system does not work with iPod Nano (6th Generation). I am curious about the 7th generation with the Lightning connector. Maybe it will work.