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Intravee II + Alpine KCA-420i : iPhone 5 - Spotify streaming + iPod player

I suggest L322 owners who posess the Intravee II + discontinued Alpine KCA-420i "iPod Interface" unit have compelling reasons to hold on to that combo.

I tested now how it would work to hook up the iPhone5 to the 30-pin iPhone/iPad/iPod connector. Apple is selling an adapter that convert between the old 30-pin and the new "Lightning" connector type. That adapter can be considere heavily priced given its small dimensions but allegedly it contains protocol conversion logic that do clever stuff. I had previously used an iPhone 3GS with this setup so it was possible to navigate the iPhone built in "iPod Player" (the regular iPhone music player app) from Range Rover steering wheel buttons and this worked fine with excellent audio. It had remained a bit vauge in forums if the Lightning/30-pin adapter would make it possible to hook up the iPhone5 and control it the same way using the Intravee/KCA-420i combo. But I can testify it works.

To my surprise I also found when running the Spotify music app on iPhone5 it responds in the same way as the iPod app and I can navigate my Spotify playlist from the L322 steering wheel to have access to the vast treasure of streamed Spotify music inventory while driving. This can come as a cost for streaming data from the Internet but it is possible to download those songs to local storage that you have an interest in playing more than once.

The Intravee II in itself is these days offering more configuration features than most L322 owners will have the nerve to explore. That unit is an "iBus processor" with AI-Net connector that enable it both to implement new iBus functionality as well as communicating with Alpine Ai-Net automotive audio components. An example of new functionality is the Intravee II can be configured to map some little used steering wheel or navigator display button to an action such as folding mirrors or show the engine temperature or remaining fuel. The Intravee II is popular among BMW owners who enjoy customizing their instrumentation to display more or less useful data mapped to favorite instrument panel buttons. I found one particular BMW forum member is developing the Intravee II source code further and the most recent release was July 2013.

I'll update this post with some links to useful material later tonight.

I tried this with the MkIV navigator, I will swap in the original MkIII nav this weekend (the one with that wonderful british female voice that I swear by) and see if it can display the song tags equally well there. From what I read in the manual for the latest Intravee II code it looks like it cold work.
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