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:
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:
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.