By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Alpine is jumping on the Apple iPod bandwagon, introducing an interface that enables Alpine car CD receivers to link to an iPod and display the iPod song title and artist information on the Alpine screen.
With the iPod Ready Interface Kits, users can also control the iPod through the Alpine radio controls. The kit will work with approximately nine new Alpine head units and it is expected to ship this summer.
Stephen Witt, Alpine marketing VP, said that products that interface with portable digital audio players will become the trend in car audio head units. He claimed that consumers want the flexibility to keep their music with them and to play it back anywhere. The current in-dash fixed hard drive format with which the industry is experimenting, may not be the ultimate direction of the market, he said.
"Is it a fixed device in the car that people want or a portable device? All indications are this kind of solution will be better than the fixed in-dash devices," Witt said.
There are an estimated 2 million iPod users at present. Alpine's iPod Ready Interface Kit will work with all second-generation iPods and above.
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