is set to bring to market a device called ICE-Link that provides a way for iPod users to connect their devices directly into their car’s audio system. It connects to the car’s head unit and uses the CD changer control as an interface. As a result, ICE-Link allows users to control fast forward and rewind functions on the iPod directly from their car stereo buttons or wheel-mounted controls, if available.
The ICE-Link for third-generation (dock connector-equipped) iPods is set to ship in the United States by the end of next week, according to a Dension spokesman contacted by MacCentral earlier today. The unit is available in two configurations: One is designed to work with factory-installed CD changer systems, the other is designed to work with aftermarket head units manufactured by Sony. The ICE-Link for factory-installed CD changers carries a suggested retail price of US$199, the Sony-compatible interface costs $149.
Dension recommends professional installation if you’re not comfortable working on your auto’s audio wiring, but the Dension spokesman who talked with MacCentral indicated that the job should be able to be done anywhere that installs car audio, and shouldn’t take more than a half an hour to accomplish.
Because the ICE-Link connects in place of your existing CD changer, your CD changer is no longer operational once it’s connected. Presumably, you will have already ripped your CDs to your iPod by the time you install the ICE-Link, however.
Dension USA also makes a version of the ICE-Link that works with first and second-generation iPods (equipped with FireWire interfaces). That “Classic” ICE-Link will be available in the United States within two weeks, according to Dension USA, and will be priced the same — $199 for factory CD changers, $149 for Sony systems.
The ICE-Link also charges the iPod as it’s playing — through the dock connector on third-generation iPods and through the FireWire interface on the first and second-generation models.
The company also sells as an option the
ProClip, an iPod holder that works using a bracket that mounts to the dashboard without damaging it.
More information about the
is available from Dension USA’s Web site.