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! Guide ! Connecting An Ipod Or Mp3 Player To The Mk7 Fiesta


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#1 DanGull

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:36 PM

I have unpinned the Ford Y Cable topic written by JAR as, having read it again today, there are a few key pieces of information which are wrong.

So - here is my version of the topic, I hope it's a little clearer.

Connecting an iPod or MP3 Player to the MK7 Fiesta

There are two different setups which need to be taken into account. One for those of us with the USB port and one for those without it.

For Fiestas with no USB port

You will have a single Line in/AUX port just in front of the gear stick. This port takes a 3.5mm jack (commonly referred to as a headphone jack) such as this:

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To connect an MP3 player or iPod to this port, you will need a 3.5mm jack - to 3.5mm jack lead such as this:

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Connect one end to the Line in/AUX port in the car and the other the headphones output (or you can use Line Out if the player has one) of the MP3 player

The MP3 player/iPod will be controlled in the same way as if you were listening to it through headphones - as you've essentially turned your Fiesta into a giant pair of headphones.

Importantly - the MP3 player/iPod will not charge and no track information will be displayed on the car's screen. Also, you cannot use the stereo/steering wheel controls to skip tracks. The volume controls will work, but this is only controlling the volume of the stereo itself. I suggest you set the volume of the MP3 player iPod at 50% and then crank up the car's volume - the battery life of the MP3 player/iPod will be better than if you have it set at 100% all the time and distortion is a possibility if you have it so high.

For Fiestas with the USB Port

There is a myth that only the official Ford Y cable can be used with the MK7 Fiesta. This is not the case.

The Y cable looks like this:

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It can be purchased from (among other places) FOC Partner - Ford Parts Centre or your dealer. Here is the link for Ford Parts Centre:

Y Cable on Ford Parts Centre

It is for use with Dock Connector iPods (3rd generation onwards) and consists of an Apple dock connector jack at one end with a USB jack and 3.5mm jack at the ends of the 'Y'.

There are a few disadvantages of the Y cable:

1) It's very flimsy. If you try and twist it so that the iPod is in the position that it's shown in the Fiesta brochure, it could well break. Mine is less than 6 months old and already showing signs of wear.

2) It's an odd length. The only realistic place you can keep the iPod is in the first cupholder, which interferes with the handbrake.

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So here is my alternative:

After reading JAR's thread, I was intrigued as to how Ford had managed to get only their cable to work - simple fact, they haven't. I have tested official Apple cables, Kensington Cables, Cambridge Audio cables and they all work fine.

I currently use an official Apple branded dock connector jack - USB jack cable and an unbranded 3.5mm jack - 3.5mm jack cable (for no other reason than they're both quite long).

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The dock connector connects to the bottom of the iPod (I use a 5G Video 30gig iPod) and the USB jack at the other end plugs into the car's USB port. The 3.5mm jacks at either end of the other lead plug into the car's Line in/AUX port and the headphone socket of the iPod.

You MUST use both leads of you want data to be displayed on the car's screen and to have full control through the stereo and steering wheel.

I have run the leads under the driver's seat and then velcro'd the iPod to the underside of the driver's seat. It's very neat, the iPod is always ready (yet out of sight of thieves) and the handbrake is unimpeded.

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A Note for iPhone Users

As of 19/2/10 there is a major flaw with the iPhone which has stopped me from using it as an audio player in the car. The iPhone has the 'option' of Bluetooth audio - but it is flawed. If the iPhone is connected to a Bluetooth device (ie for handsfree calling) it will automatically disable its dock connector and play any audio through the Bluetooth feature. The dock connector can be selected again, but it needs to be done every time you start the car. If you want reliable playback through cabled means, you'll have to turn off the phone's Bluetooth and lose your handsfree calling. My advice for iPhone users, is use the iPhone as your phone but keep an iPod or memory stick in the car for music. Even when you do this - the iPhone will STILL try to play through the Bluetooth audio feature - running down your battery. This has been noted by thousands of users, so hopefully Apple will fix it in a future software update.

Connecting 'Non-iPod' MP3 players via USB

I only own iPods, therefore I have been unable to test to see whether other brands of MP3 player can be connected by USB - they can certainly be connected by 3.5mm jack. I would be grateful if someone could please let me know if they have any success here.

I will happily add to or change this topic if anybody has anything to add or wants anything clarifying - but I hope that clears some things up.

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#2 Steven Dark

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:03 PM

A note on the iPhone if you have bluetooth and no USB.

If you are using your iPhone to play music via the stereo, and are fed up with having to click to change to headphones rather than bluetooth, i've found a simple way. Basically all you have to do wait until the phone has synced up with the cars bluetooth, and then it starts playing music (but you cant hear it as you dont have usb - and A2DP doesnt work unless you have the usb) so when its playing then just plug in your 3.5mm Jack in and the iPhone changes the output to that rather than the bluetooth.

My guess is that this will also work with the Dock Connector

Hope thats of some help and makes sense.

#3 Maffoo

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:00 AM

Nicely written guide, I'm sure this will clear up a lot of confusion :)

#4 Spence

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:39 PM

Hi, newbie here...

Just picked up my new Fiesta Zetec last week (a 59-plate ex-demo), and when I attach my iPod using the apple connector and separate aux cable, I can see everything on the dashboard display, but even with all volume controls as loud as they'll go, I only get minimum sound from the stereo. It's fine for CDs/radio etc, just problematic with the iPod.

Anyone else experienced this? Is it likely to be a software/firmware issue?

#5 Maffoo

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:14 PM

Have you tried turning your iPod volume up before connecting?

#6 Spence

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:13 PM

Have you tried turning your iPod volume up before connecting?


Yup. Weirdly, the iPod works fine volume-wise just plugged in via Aux (but obviously that doesn't give full control from the stereo), and a normal USB stick also works fine, but when the iPod's in via aux and Apple cable the volume is totally screwed.

HOWEVER.... just tried it with the iPod in an Apple dock, connected via Apple lead and aux, and it works fine... So it needed the dock (pre-amp)? Surely it shouldn't? Weird... Still, not bothered about how it works as long as it works!

#7 boggyb68

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for the guide, Dan, really useful.

I have USB on my Mk7 Titanium and use the iPod usb lead and a standard Audio lead in the line in input and it works fine. I haven't tried the iPhone for music, and after reading the above I don't think I will for now.. :)

I have a Creative Zen Jukebox which I'll be trying in the next day or so, so will report back.

Cheers

Simon
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#8 welshie_miles

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:20 PM

I only own iPods, therefore I have been unable to test to see whether other brands of MP3 player can be connected by USB - they can certainly be connected by 3.5mm jack. I would be grateful if someone could please let me know if they have any success here.


Ok, from my experience using a Nokia XpressMusic 5800, I can confirm that with the USB lead you just plug it in and can navigate your phone's SD memory card via the Ford interface. So you just choose the directory you want to play and bingo.

I have also recently tried Simon's idea of playing music over bluetooth which I didn't think was supposed to work outside of Iphones, though perhaps updating my phone's firmware may have helped massively. Simply turning on bluetooth and waiting for the phone and car to pair up, then pressing AUX on the dash till you get bluetooth, puts the phone in audio mode. This morning I didn't even have to press play, it just carried on with what the phone played last! I'd recommend turning off some of the equaliser settings in your phone as essentially the car becomes the headset and won't sound as nice with them on.

In addition, if you use your phone as sat nav, which I've recently done with Nokia OVI Maps 3 (which is free for every map in the world!), the kind lady also talks over the speakers over your music, but the music will jitter as the phone is trying to do two things at once :( I've also noticed playing music over bluetooth makes the odd funny noise, but it's not too bad, and is easily outweighed by not having to use any cables in my opinion.

Lastly, the excellent thing with bluetooth I noticed by mistake, when I wanted to skip forward a track I pressed the forward button on the steering wheel. When the track changed I thought hang on, that shouldn't have worked! Turns out not only is the Fiesta a large headset but it has the forward / back functionality working via music over bluetooth too! When you get to the end of your album, pressing forward again will take you to your next one.

The only thing you can't do with my phone is navigate the directory a la USB, but only a small gripe as the phone is right in fornt of me on the sat nav stand! I can just push a couple of buttons and change album.

Hope this helps :)

#9 Rogue_Shadow

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:16 PM

Hey Guys

I recently used my Official ipod cable and a Belkin Line in cable on my MK7 Fiesta.
However Does anyone else have static /background noise during or when nothing is playing.
Ive only tried it once the other day and there was a distinctive "hiss" noise coming from the line in.
Its a shame the fiesta cant play the ipod through the USB like my previous headunit, the quality would be so much better.
That's my little rant over :rolleyes:

#10 boggyb68

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:52 PM

Have now finally tried my Creative Zen Extra Jukebox in the Fez, and it works fine as a line in component, and the USB does charge it, but it cannot be controlled by any of the car function buttons, only on the Zen itself.. so I just loaded a playlist and let it go... when I tried to use the steering wheel remote controls it just said on the display "usb product not compatible".. sound quality was good though...

B.

#11 Maffoo

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:59 PM

I think iPods are the only MP3 players that the steering wheel controls will work with, right?

Or will Zens, iRivers, Zunes etc work too?

#12 boggyb68

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:25 PM

I think iPods are the only MP3 players that the steering wheel controls will work with, right?

Or will Zens, iRivers, Zunes etc work too?


You're probably right Maffoo, though as my Zen is 5 years old I would have thought newer players might be ok.

Also I was wrong in my post, the Zen does not charge in the car, so I have taken out the usb lead and just use the line in...

B.

#13 Nav

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 03:22 PM

So the usb would work with any pen drive like usb stick? <_<

#14 Squeeze-Bob

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:34 PM

So the usb would work with any pen drive like usb stick? <_<


I'm using an 8gb USB stick - cheap and it works a treat!!!
One caveat though a standard stick I found is a tad too long and sometimes you can clip it when going for the hand brake.
With the fear of breaking the USB port I got one of these http://www.currys.co...PNY City/0_0_0/
It’s TINY compared to a standard stick. (I can upload comparison photos if any-one is interested). Now I just leave it plugged in all the time as it’s so discrete.
Other cool thing is the stereo remembers which track was last playing and just resumes even if you take the stick out and put it back in.

#15 zgalf

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:17 PM

Can anyone help me with this problem. I'm using the Ford y cable to connect my ipod to my Fiesta Zetec s which i bought two days ago. I can see on the car display screen all the songs, albums etc but i can't get any sound at all despite the fact the sound is fine with Radio,Cd and phone! What am i doing wrong as i'm stumped with this problem! I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks. :(

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