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Using an iPod with 2018 Infotainment

Old 05-11-2018, 11:51 AM
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Using an iPod with 2018 Infotainment

I have a 2018 Hybrid Advance and generally use an iPod Touch (Gen 6) to listen to music. When connected by USB (for the best sound), the infotainment system does not allow browsing the contents of the iPod by Playlist, Artist, Album, etc. There is a browse button in the upper right corner just below the Audio Menu button, but the browse button is grayed out, and if you touch it a message comes up, "This function is unavailable while the list is being compiled." In a two-hour experiment, the list was never compiled. Not being able to browse the content by categories means just listening to music one track at a time, and going back or forwards one track at a time. Since I have about 6300 tracks on this iPod, this is unusable. Oddly, if the iPod is connected only by bluetooth, the browse function works fine, but the sound quality is badly degraded on these 320 KBPS files. In addition, only my Android phone or the iPod can be connected at one time, and I need my phone.

I've posted about this issue for anyone using an iPod with a 2018. I've had the car to the dealer, and they recognize the problem, and are trying to communicate with Acura to rectify the problem with a software update. I hope anyone having the problem will also contact Acura to spur them to attend to the problem.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:52 PM
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I'll see what outcome I get from my Ipod and will get back to you
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bmoua15 View Post
I'll see what outcome I get from my Ipod and will get back to you
Thanks, yes, please let us know.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wallyo View Post
Thanks, yes, please let us know.
Just plugged in my Ipod touch (1,2,3 gen, not sure) but it works fine for me with the search features on my Hybrid. I haven't updated the software on the Ipod touch in ages so that could be a factor?
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bmoua15 View Post
Just plugged in my Ipod touch (1,2,3 gen, not sure) but it works fine for me with the search features on my Hybrid. I haven't updated the software on the Ipod touch in ages so that could be a factor?
Bmoua15, thank you for doing this. Is your car a 2018 or 2017? If it's a 2018 (with the new infotainment), it means that the issue is my 6 gen iPod, which was first released in July, 2015. Since that's two or three years before release of the 2018 infotainment, you'd think Acura would have accounted for it in developing the software, but one never knows. If yours is a 2017, I'd say it's a bug in the 2018 software. Please let me know the year of your car. Incidentally, when I first spoke with Acura tech support about the problem, the first thing they told me to do was to update the iPod software to the latest version, which I did. Many thanks again for your help.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:45 PM
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I'm experiencing the same issue. I have a 2018 TLX with Tech Package. Initially I plugged in an old 16GB iPod Nano (5th gen) and it worked fine. The Browse feature was available, full browsing by first letter when stopped/parked; and page up/down browsing when car is moving. Last week I purchased a 128GB iPod Touch (latest gen), filled it with about 50GB of music, plugged it in and no Browse feature (greyed-out). I get the same message if I hit the Browse "function not available while compiling list". But it never becomes available. Yesterday I deleted 99% of what was on the iPod Touch, leaving just 2 albums...same deal, no browse and same error message, even after 45 minutes of driving. I also tried the voice commands but that just brings up music I have auto-recorded to the built in HDD. So yes it looks like the infotainment system is not updated for the latest iPod (even though it's 3 yrs old). And yes I have updated to the current iOS software. Wondering if Acura will release a firmware update we can do by using a USB thumb drive....probably wishful thinking.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by njdreamer View Post
I'm experiencing the same issue. I have a 2018 TLX with Tech Package. Initially I plugged in an old 16GB iPod Nano (5th gen) and it worked fine. The Browse feature was available, full browsing by first letter when stopped/parked; and page up/down browsing when car is moving. Last week I purchased a 128GB iPod Touch (latest gen), filled it with about 50GB of music, plugged it in and no Browse feature (greyed-out). I get the same message if I hit the Browse "function not available while compiling list". But it never becomes available. Yesterday I deleted 99% of what was on the iPod Touch, leaving just 2 albums...same deal, no browse and same error message, even after 45 minutes of driving. I also tried the voice commands but that just brings up music I have auto-recorded to the built in HDD. So yes it looks like the infotainment system is not updated for the latest iPod (even though it's 3 yrs old). And yes I have updated to the current iOS software. Wondering if Acura will release a firmware update we can do by using a USB thumb drive....probably wishful thinking.
njdreamer, I've been doing some work on this with help from a Google coder I know. It is definitely the gen-6 iPod that doesn't work on the 2018 Acura system. I am now using a gen-4 that I bought on Amazon and it works fine. It is only available up to 64 gb, but I have about 6400 tracks on it in AAC M4A VBR 500 files, which is a good file quality, and 6400 tracks is quite a lot of music. I am also going to try a gen-5 Touch (also from Amazon, and also limited to 64 gb), and my Google friend says it will also probably work with Acura's software glitch. The problem is not in the gen-6 iPod but in Acura's system, because I have three of the gen-6 128 gb units and use them in a 2008 BMW 750, a 2017 BMW X3 and a 2016 Subaru Outback, where they work fine.

I would add a related problem here, the Acura "Song by Voice" capability, which doesn't work with either the gen-4 or gen-6 iPods, which is shame because it would be very useful in finding albums, artists, etc. when there is so much music connected to the Acura system. When Voice\Audio is selected, all the Song by Voice options are grayed out, except for those relating to the radio or XM. Scrolling through the Playlists I've created (102) is a nuisance using the touch screen, and forget about scrolling through all the tracks within a given playlist. (And while I'm at, I might as well mention that text message/email function is completely dysfunctional with Droid2, Pixel and Pixel2 phones.)

In several episodes talking with Acura Tech Support (888-528-7876) and Acura Client Relations (800-382-2238) , I've pretty much sorted out Acura's position: they make a record of the problems discussed, but they have no intention of doing anything about it until a certain number of complaints about the specific issue is reached. So it might be helpful if you and others took the time to contact them. I think my 2018 Hybrid is a terrific car, but this carelessness with the infotainment system seems completely inexcusable. Even the owner of my dealership and the service manager, who have tried to help with the problems, seem disgusted with Acura.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:06 PM
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Thanks very much. I will voice my displeasure at the phone numbers you've provided.
I'll look into picking up a 4th gen Touch, let us know if the 5th gen works as well.
I'm gonna hold onto the 128GB iPod, hopefully can use in my next car.
Sucks because I really like having the touchscreen for audio and upper screen for nav, etc.
Oh and using a USB thumb drive with music is just as bad. Terrible file system layout, no artist, genre, etc.
Android Auto is also a pain, it's fine if you're stopped/parked but once you start moving you can't browse for music.
And the Google Voice feature doesn't allow you to play music stored locally on the phone.
All of these different sources and I'm back to playlists or playing only one album at a time. Wish there was one option that worked the way I want.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by njdreamer View Post
Thanks very much. I will voice my displeasure at the phone numbers you've provided.
I'll look into picking up a 4th gen Touch, let us know if the 5th gen works as well.
I'm gonna hold onto the 128GB iPod, hopefully can use in my next car.
Sucks because I really like having the touchscreen for audio and upper screen for nav, etc.
Oh and using a USB thumb drive with music is just as bad. Terrible file system layout, no artist, genre, etc.
Android Auto is also a pain, it's fine if you're stopped/parked but once you start moving you can't browse for music.
And the Google Voice feature doesn't allow you to play music stored locally on the phone.
All of these different sources and I'm back to playlists or playing only one album at a time. Wish there was one option that worked the way I want.
njdreamer, it sounds like we've been on the same track--I've tried the USB stick and Android Auto, and had the same experiences you've had. Though Acura says that up to a 256 gb stick can be used, the car, in fact, only recognizes about the first 10% of what's on the stick, another software glitch. And yes, the nested-folder screen presentation of the stick data is terrible and almost useless. On the iPods, I'd prefer the gen-5 if it works, simply because it's newer and will probably last longer. This Thursday or Friday I'll have time to check the gen-5 on the car, and I'll make another post. And thank you for calling Acura--I hope you'll go through all the problems, including Song by Voice, which is a real shame.

In Acura's favor, I have to say that the navigation function is very useful and easy to use, and I appreciate that. A useful tip on this if you haven't discovered it: if you're in the full map view, you can touch the NAV button and it will go to a split screen showing a graphic, along with distance and other info for the next turn on half of the screen. If you touch the NAV button again, it lists the routing chronologically by road, and then another touch takes you back to the full map view. I like to drive with the NAV voice off, and this makes it easy to do in unfamiliar areas. The turn instruction in the MID (in the instrument cluster) often appears too late, giving you little time to change lanes for an exit, etc. Acura seems to have put most of their effort into the NAV. I too like the two-screen arrangement, but the bottom one has to have competent software.

Last edited by wallyo; 06-06-2018 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:06 PM
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Update: like the gen-6, the gen-5 iPod does *not* work with the 2018 infotainment system, because it doesn't allow browsing the contents of the iPod. The gen-4 and earlier iPods use Apple's traditional 30-pin connectors, while the gen-5 and 6 went to the Lightening connector. Since the no-browsing problem only occurs when connecting to the car by USB (and not by bluetooth, which allows browsing), I'd guess that the connector is the problem. The Lightening connector was introduced in 2012, and I guess the Acura engineers just haven't had time to catch up .

Last edited by wallyo; 06-07-2018 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:12 PM
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Good to know, thanks for the update!
I haven't had any luck connecting my 6th gen iPod via Bluetooth, but I'd like to see if I can do that and still have a Hands Free phone connection.
I doubt it, probably one or the other. Oh well, I think I may look around for a 4th Gen iPod like you have.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by njdreamer View Post
Good to know, thanks for the update!
I haven't had any luck connecting my 6th gen iPod via Bluetooth, but I'd like to see if I can do that and still have a Hands Free phone connection.
I doubt it, probably one or the other. Oh well, I think I may look around for a 4th Gen iPod like you have.
njdreamer, I've already tried it. You cannot simultaneously connect both the iPod and the phone by Bluetooth, it's one or the other. For an experiment, I had no problem connecting the iPod by Bluetooth, and the browse function did work with that, though the sound quality is very obviously degraded. If you need your phone in the car, I'd just go for the gen-4 at this point. I was told this morning by the manager at my Acura dealer that the engineering department at Acura (really Honda) is aware of all the problems we're having (though the Song by Voice was not mentioned), and has been in communication with Apple, but that they have not arrived at an "agreement" about how to resolve the problem. It's all quite bizarre, but it's clear that when Acura updated the 2018 system to accommodate the Apple Car Play, they didn't pay much attention to anything else in the system that works with another kind of Apple product.

One thing I would certainly try, which I haven't yet done myself, is to try an Apple "Lightening to 30-Pin Adapter." The adapter male (Lightening) end would go into the iPod, and the other (female) end would accept a 30-pin USB cable. Perhaps the adapter "converts" the iPod output to 30-pin code format. It occurs to me that this may be the reason the gen-6 iPod works in my 2008 BMW, which was released before the lightening connector even existed. I had to do it that way because the connection to the car was done with a 30-pin connector installed in the glove box. Please let us know if you try that and it works.

Last edited by wallyo; 06-07-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:31 PM
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I've tried the Lightening to 30-pin adapter on gen-5 and gen-6 iPods to see if that would allow the Browse function. The answer is essentially no. It worked on the 64 gb gen-5, but it took almost 10 minutes before the Browse was available. On the 128 gb gen-6, I waited a half hour and it never worked. So my suggestion would be to stick with the 64 gb gen-4 units, which allow the Browse almost as soon as you plug them in.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:31 PM
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Thanks for the update. I was going to get one of those adapters too.

My not-so-eloquent workaround: Turn on Wifi Hotspot on phone (iPod connects to phone thru Wifi). Keep iPod on little tray above USB port. Use Siri on iPod to choose playlist, album, artist, etc.
It works and shouldn't use much data for Siri to play music.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by njdreamer View Post
Thanks for the update. I was going to get one of those adapters too.

My not-so-eloquent workaround: Turn on Wifi Hotspot on phone (iPod connects to phone thru Wifi). Keep iPod on little tray above USB port. Use Siri on iPod to choose playlist, album, artist, etc.
It works and shouldn't use much data for Siri to play music.
Yes, as you say, not so elegant, but it works. I don't have an iPhone, and don't have a wifi hotspot on my phone--so I'm just using the gen-4 iPod. I bought four of them on Amazon so I have a lifetime supply of backups, figuring they'd just get progressively harder to get, might get broken or stolen, etc. It works beautifully, though unlike your Siri, the Acura voice commands are all grayed out except for Sirius and FM.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:07 PM
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Interesting. We have a 2018 RDX and the gen-6 iPod filled with 110GB works great with it. Yesterday I took home a loaner MDX so I plugged in the iPod just to see how well it worked in there just in case we trade up to MDX in the near future and the Browse feature didn't work and got the same error message. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread to see if Acura ever fixes this. As crazy at it may sound, this is a show stopper for us.
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MHarnois View Post
Interesting. We have a 2018 RDX and the gen-6 iPod filled with 110GB works great with it. Yesterday I took home a loaner MDX so I plugged in the iPod just to see how well it worked in there just in case we trade up to MDX in the near future and the Browse feature didn't work and got the same error message. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread to see if Acura ever fixes this. As crazy at it may sound, this is a show stopper for us.
It doesn't sound crazy to me, as I am myself a musician, and listening to music is what makes long drives tolerable, even an opportunity because of the music. I've managed to make this problem tolerable by using a generation-4 iPod touch that went out of production in 2013, but it's limited to 56gb, unlike the generation-6. I'm sorry to say that my feeling from talking to several people several times is that Acura has no interest whatsoever in fixing this problem, or fixing other serious problems in the system. These other ones include the Song by Voice feature and the text and email. As much as I love the 2018 hybrid, I would be very leery about buying another Honda product. In the 50 or so cars I've owned in my lifetime (I'm 71), I have never owned a car that had completely disabled features that are described in the owner's manual as functional. So I'm sorry to say that I'd suggest you stay away from the MDX. If they do actually do something about this, I will make a post here and send them some flowers.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:37 PM
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The MDX's infotainment system for some reason always seems like to the lean development line, as if they think we don't care about this aspect of the vehicle because Honda thinks most MDX owners are too old to care.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:12 PM
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Iím surprised how many of you use iPods. I would have thought everyone would just have an iPhone instead of carrying two devices
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:25 PM
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Oh cmon you know the Apple community is really kinda old school lol

JK! (ok not really zing!)
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by p07r0457 View Post
Iím surprised how many of you use iPods. I would have thought everyone would just have an iPhone instead of carrying two devices
I don't carry two devices, the iPod is permanently installed and mounted in the car in a completely hidden location. You'd have to know where it was to find it. I never even see it. I use a Pixel 2 phone, which I think is a much better phone than the Apple phones I've used. Unfortunately, the iPod is now the standard interface for portable music in cars. Many years ago, Microsoft made a much better player called the Zune, but no car manufacturers ever picked up the interface. To this day, BMW is still acting as if the Apple were the only phone in the world, which is one of the two reasons I eliminated the X5 from my list before buying the Acura. (The other is that BMW still does not have LKAS in the X5.) . As a little reminder, something like 80% of the phones in the world are Android,
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wallyo View Post
As a little reminder, something like 80% of the phones in the world are Android,
Yes, but the overwhelming majority of phones that make up that statistic are bargain-basement junk units. They're not all Samsung Galaxy S9s. Apple only has higher-end units, and as such is not trying to compete on absolute market share.

As for auto manufacturers giving Apple more support, I think there are reasons for that.

1. Apple provides much better support to the auto manufacturers. For example, Honda redesigned the Gold Wing motorcycle for 2018 (it's awesome). The new Gold Wing is the first motorcycle to include Apple CarPlay. Honda said they wanted to include Android Auto, but Google was difficult to work with, and ultimately they couldn't get the support they needed to add Android Auto to a motorcycle.

2. Apple users, despite being a smaller overall market share, are MUCH more profitable. The average iPhone user actually buys apps. The average Android user will not.

3. Apple has a smaller eco system, with (relatively) well defined product life cycles and APIs. As a hardware integrator, it is much easier to support Apple devices. Android, on the other hand, is extremely fragmented, with little standardization.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by p07r0457 View Post
Yes, but the overwhelming majority of phones that make up that statistic are bargain-basement junk units. They're not all Samsung Galaxy S9s. Apple only has higher-end units, and as such is not trying to compete on absolute market share.

As for auto manufacturers giving Apple more support, I think there are reasons for that.

1. Apple provides much better support to the auto manufacturers. For example, Honda redesigned the Gold Wing motorcycle for 2018 (it's awesome). The new Gold Wing is the first motorcycle to include Apple CarPlay. Honda said they wanted to include Android Auto, but Google was difficult to work with, and ultimately they couldn't get the support they needed to add Android Auto to a motorcycle.

2. Apple users, despite being a smaller overall market share, are MUCH more profitable. The average iPhone user actually buys apps. The average Android user will not.

3. Apple has a smaller eco system, with (relatively) well defined product life cycles and APIs. As a hardware integrator, it is much easier to support Apple devices. Android, on the other hand, is extremely fragmented, with little standardization.
Well, in the current case, Apple and Honda aren't doing so well coordinating things: the iPod units made after 2013 don't work on the MDX 2018. As for the rest of your statistics, I have no idea. It seems to me that there are a lot of pretty good Android phones around.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by p07r0457 View Post
Iím surprised how many of you use iPods. I would have thought everyone would just have an iPhone instead of carrying two devices
I don't carry the iPod. It's permanently installed in the car. It is by the way the only Apple product I own and I purchased it after trying and being disappointed with the USB flash drive integration. And my Adroid phone doesn't have 128 GB of free space remaining on it.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:21 PM
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I just bought a second car for around-town use, a Mini Cooper 2-door hardtop, for $22785, including state sales tax. So it cost a hair over one-third the cost of my 2018 Hybrid with taxes. I love the MDX Hybrid, admire most of the technology, and am grateful for the thoughtfulness shown in so much of the engineering and functionality. But guess what I found in this bottom-of-the-line-Mini: with it's 6.5 inch infotainment screen: it works with any iPod, and makes track selection a breeze. And the email and text messaging work perfectly, and the voice commands are as good as my Pixel2 phone. I apologize, but the comparison sent me back to my rant about how Acura/Honda built a car as generally good as this and so neglected the functioning of the infotainment system on procedures that are detailed in the owners manual but do not work at all.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:41 PM
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GOOD NEWS, for once! The song by voice has suddenly started working, so I can now select an artist or playlist (or song, etc.) on the gen-4 iPod by name, and it often finds the right one, but shows a list of possibilities if the command is ambiguous or has multiple possibilities. And by voice I can then scroll through the entire list of tracks in the artist's folder or a playlist, advancing the list by just saying "next." The response to commands is a little slow, but really not too bad! I'm grateful, and I hope it keep's working. I don't know how to explain the sudden change, as nothing in settings menus was changed.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:21 AM
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Update on the good news: when I first started the car today, all the iPod-related functions were grayed out in the Song by Voice and I thought it had conked out, but it started to work a few minutes later. I think that the car is reloading all the iPod data each time the car is started and the voice commands are grayed out until that's done. Once it's working, it's very useful. The voice command structure is very defined and here's one example: AUDIO\ LIST PLAYLIST BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTOS\ NEXT (to scroll through all the tracks within the playlist six at a time)\ 2 (or another number, 1-6, to select the track to play first). It's a lot easier and safer to do this rather than use the touch screen to scroll through playlists and tracks, and I'm very happy with it.

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Old 07-10-2018, 09:42 PM
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my wife wanted a simple RDX, she is happy with her 17 base model, she only listens to a couple of channels on XM radio unless we are on a road trip
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