Connecting and Apple iPod or iPhone to your car stereo should be a simple task… Namely use an appropriate 3.5mm connector to RCA type to the AUX on the stereo. (Generic example – as shown above).  Many standard or OEM car systems have one these days.  This means that you will be able to get at least sound.  However you still control the songs from the iPod or portable MP3 player itself.

There are 2 choices:
Option 1. iPod photo AV cable. AUS$29 (eg. any 3.5mm composite cable)
Option 2. Apple Composite AV cable. AUS$79.00 (Apple ‘Universal’ connector.)

Option 1 is only recommended if your car stereo system is an older model (Note recommended for the Sony XAV). The sound quality is not the best and reveals any short falls in the sound processor on the iPod or MP3 music player that you have connected. The video quality won’t be as good either. However this connector will work with any portable MP3 player with a 3.5mm socket.

Option 2.  The Apple Composite AV cable works with all models and transmits audio and video.
For newly installed stereo systems with or without an in built iPod controller this is really the only option.  Car stereo system with an inbuilt iPod controller will fail as soon as Apple releases a new software upgrade for that particular device. Blame Apple for this problem not the car stereo manufacturer. This model connects to the Apple connector on all its devices including the iPad. The composite cables bypass the controller which means you have to control the music from the iPod/iPhone/iPad.

The stereo’s iPod controller will inevitably fail until Apple decides on its own standard regardless of stereo manufacturer: For example See the iPOD confusion if you get inbuilt iPod connectivity from the Kenwood website The problem with the Kenwood chart is that it does not even cover the iPod Classic – the most current model! More to the point iPhone 3G and the latest iTouch won’t work.

See which iPod cable you need if you want video and music by RCA composite cable

This problem effects all stereo manufacturers and accessory makers who have fully inbuilt iPod  adapter/controller. It is not the fault of the stereo manufacturer.

Even if you get a modular stereo like the one I bought, while it may work for current iPods but  may not work for new or future models.
Sony XAV-W1 and the iPod In the case of main new aftermarket audio visual bias stereos including the Sony system there are numerous ways to connect an iPod or any other potable MP3 player.  

The standard method of using a 3.5mm headphone socket to composite outputs (red, white, yellow) will ONLY work to output audio for the iPod.  (Option 1 – see left side)

IF you want video and audio you need the Apple Composite AV cable. (Option 2)

For my Sony I used both connectors: AUX 1 for the standard 3.5mm composite cable and AUX 2 for the dedicated Apple ‘Universal’ connector.  (Option 2) I used both so that I can plug other portable devices to the Sony as well the the iPod. Either method however still means you can not  control the iPod from the head unit or charge the battery but at least you can hear and/or see the output.  Since the battery lasts for hours and my playlists cater for the tunes I’m not too fussed.

As for sound quality, using the Apple Composite AV cable has noticeably better sound quality than the other cable.
One more thing! 

When using the Apple AV cable you need to tell the iPod to output a video signal!
How to output iPod video signal? – Simple

Main Menu -> Videos -> Settings -> TV Out.  

Standard stereo (Toyota – Fujitsu Ten and the iPod/iPhone)

There is not much I can’t say much about the features of the standard Fujitsu Ten stereo that comes with the car since I didn’t do any research on the subject. I was never going to keep it.   Needless to say I’m sure it can be done due to the additional connectors at the back.

See the next part for more on the stereo upgrade including replacing the standard speakers.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado stereo upgrade – Part 1
Toyota LandCruiser Prado stereo upgrade – Part 2
Toyota LandCruiser Prado stereo upgrade – Part 3
Toyota LandCruiser Prado stereo upgrade – Part 4 – iPod/iPhone/iPad connectivity
Toyota LandCruiser Prado stereo upgrade – Part 5 – Speakers
Toyota LandCruiser Prado stereo upgrade – Part 6 – Conclusion