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Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:11 pm
by Ohmie
I can't really comment on OS suggestions for the LEAF, but I do have quite a strong opinion on the ipod controls.

Ipod controls on the LEAF are VERY DISAPPOINTING!

I'm surprised this hasn't been noted already. The system is extremely primitive. If you switch over to AUX with your ipod connected, it automatically starts playing the first track listed in alphabetical order. This list of tracks includes podcasts, and other non-music with audio (videos, etc.). Believe me, if you use your ipod in the LEAF you are going to get VERY SICK of that first song!!

Why? Because it plays every time you connect to the ipod and continues to play as you try to find the menu, and then continue to click through to what you want to play (e.g., podcast). And there is no quick, easy way to scroll. So if you want to play tunes that start with anything past 'P' its going to take a while to get to them! And podcasts get interspersed with song tracks, so the list is especially long. You can't control anything from the ipod itself, it is locked out; you are forced to use the Nissan system. It will take a minimum of four or five screen touches to get going, while the first track plays.

Once you get what you want to start playing, the Nissan ipod control system continues to be disappointing. The total length of each track is not presented (so, e.g., you will have no idea how long a downloaded podcast might play for). There is no shuffle songs option. It seems every time I plug in my ipod, I find something else to grumble about.

Which is really too bad. I have become accustomed to getting news, entertainment, etc. from my ipod in the car and to some degree, rely on it. So much so that I'll probably continue to use the ipod in the LEAF (despite the significant annoyances!). I'd have thought Nissan would have been able to handle this; most are going to be disappointed with this feature of the car. I hope they improve it asap! It is fairly maddening.

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:27 pm
by evnow
Nissan uses Clarion for their audio & bluetooth system.

BTW, you mean USB connection for iPod - not AUX, right ?

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:16 pm
by GeekEV
I don't like the USB iPod controls either. What particularly annoys me is that they lock out the controls on the iPod/iPhone so I can't use my own controls (FlickTunes). So I'll be sticking with a separate car kit and use the aux jack...

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:04 am
by LeafTalk
Does it work any better over Bluetooth on an iPhone?

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:10 am
by jkirkebo
MrZorg wrote:I don't like the USB iPod controls either. What particularly annoys me is that they lock out the controls on the iPod/iPhone so I can't use my own controls (FlickTunes). So I'll be sticking with a separate car kit and use the aux jack...
Yeah, that would be usesless to me too, since I mostly use Spotify. But since there is a regular aux jack that should be ok...

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:04 am
by GeekEV
LeafTalk wrote:Does it work any better over Bluetooth on an iPhone?
The Bluetooth interface is even worse (not sure if that's the radio's fault or the iPhone's). All you get is play, pause, previous, next. No display, nothing.

Speaking of Bluetooth, I found an annoying problem that I hope I can help others avoid. I use a car kit with dock connector line out with my iPhone 4 connected to the aux jack. I've found that if I plug in my iPhone before the Bluetooth has connected, the iPhone will see the Bluetooth audio and switch output to that, and then I get no sound over the aux jack (the radio, of course, remains on aux not Bluetooth). The solution to this is to wait until the Bluetooth is connected before plugging in your iPhone car kit. Or you can manually switch the audio output back to the dock connector (if you're using the iPod app), but that's a hassle. It's easier just to wait.

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:57 am
by Ohmie
Perhaps this goes without saying, I don't know ... but I should probably clarify nonetheless:

Overall, I absolutely love the car. It is AWESOME! As much as you might rely on the USB (like me), I wouldn't let this area of weakness keep anyone from buying the LEAF. I'm really, really enjoying the car. It is so secure, smooth, smart, efficient, tight, quiet, quick, convenient, clean, cool, etc., etc.!

My message was mostly directed to Nissan, as something they should investigate, where there is clearly some room for improvement. I wonder if they can upload an updated USB control system for current users? Seems like it would be pretty straightforward, once made available... there's even a card slot behind the nav screen for uploads, etc.

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:56 pm
by GeekEV
+1 me too

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:36 pm
by DaveinOlyWA
The Prius works pretty much the same way. Don't know if I should beyelling at the phone manufacturers or the bluetooth developers

Re: Ipod controls... TORTUROUS!

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:56 pm
by blorg
In my Murano I have the [overly expensive] ipod adapter kit that ties in with the sat radio device. I've found a few tricks, might help if the Leaf is designed the same way.

I've noticed that if you don't have anything already queued up on the ipod, then yes, it starts at the first track on the entire device. But if you have a playlist already selected, it will continue playing wherever it left off.

The one really annoying issue is that if you have your ipod on shuffle, when you connect it to the system it switches back to non-shuffle. EVERY TIME you connect it, or every time you restart the vehicle. As a work-around, I have found that it plays in the order of the playlist as it was displayed in iTunes when the iPod did its last sync. So, before you sync your ipod, make sure your playlist is shuffled, and sort by the "Play Order" (first column on the playlist). Then sync your ipod, start playing the first listed song on that playlist, THEN connect it to the vehicle. Now just don't touch, you'll be playing your "pre-randomized" playlist. Once I had that set up, all I ever use is the forward/backwards track buttons.

AGAIN, this is for my MURANO, not sure if the Leaf behaves the same way. Would be nice if someone could try it out and report back to see if it's the case.