Alpine climbs the iPod integration mountain

So far Apple has taken a two-pronged approach to the automotive market, doing high-profile direct deals with manufacturers such as Ford, GM and BMW while leaving the aftermarket integration to the dominant players there. With awkward user interfaces and limited playlist access, early attempts were crude (as my former barbershop chorus director is fond of saying).

Aftermarket head units have come a long way, though. CrunchGear has a nice rundown of the Alpine IDA-X001 with its miniature iPod-like graphical display, which makes it appear as if the iPod has conquered car audio almost as handily as its destroyed the boombox market with the bazillion speaker docks available for it (OK, just a few zillion, but really who’s counting?). At $450, it’s a big step up from your average dashboard light show, but it also supports HDRadio, so buy it and do your part to help XM and Sirius show that the satellite radio industry has some formidable competition.

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