I have known this for a long time and, in a way, have learned to live with the realization of this shortcoming.
This morning I collected my car from the service workshop; I took advantage of the lengthy stop to have it fitted with the iPod interface who will finally allow me to do away with CD-swapping on long trips; I will not complain he about the ri-di-cu-lous price tag for an accessory I superficially called “a bit of wire plus the Apple tax”: I knew about it and decided to go ahead of my own mind, so no regrets.
But, Mercedes and Apple, are you perhaps making a point of seeing how much you can piss off a customer before he will switch brands?
1) Why is this thing so big?
I mean, I have owned and used a myriad of iPod accessories, and none is even remotely as bulky as this item; this means its installation options are limited. Not sure the physical size has to do anything with functionality – hell, all it does is hook another music source to the in-dash music system, right? (one would think, but more later)
2) why would a Mercedes-designed accessory not take into account the car it may be installed on?
My car has a perfect recess under the right armrest for housing my iPod safely out of sight or car burglars, except the supplied cable (you’ll love this) ISN’T LONG ENOUGH to get there.
3) integration? what integration??
This car comes with a €3,000+ sound system with a fair degree of bells&whistles; but when it comes to integrating this additional source, the process is so dumb it baffled even the guy who installed it. Navigation is not done through the big display, but from steering wheel remapped dials and buttons; the info feedback is slight to be complimentary. All in all, it feels like a wholly new additional sound system with its own amplifier is being fitted, as there is no trace of my iPod in the peripheral list (yes that’s the one boasting a 9GB hard disk and a PCMCIA card slot, so, I should not really be surprised, should I?)
4) the software, oh, the software!
I will accept that Mercedes is primarily a hardware company; I will accept that they write no software, except the bits that keep the engine going; I will accept that they have no idea about user interfaces; I will accept that, to the best of my knowledge, the sound system is done by Bosch, but isn’t someone at Apple (who is primarily a software company, checks out what these people do? Probably not, they’re busying cashing their check…
With all this said, why do I keep giving money to these people? Because I’m a sucker, that’s why!