$40K iPod Car Integration Kit

You’ve got to hand it to Apple; they do PR better than any other tech company. They promise the ultimate sound experience for the ultimate driving machine. For the price of a BMW, I should be able to choose from a selection of portable media players the dealer wants to throw in when I drive away from the showroom floor. On the surface, integrating a media player of any kind with a car stereo system seems like big news. If the integration looks like the demo in the commercial, this is barely better than just plugging the iPod in.

Sure, you can choose from one of five BMW playlists customized by you for your driving pleasure. When the display on the car stereo tells you the current track is TR 07, as the commercial indicates; I say BFD (Big Fat Deal, of course). Integration means the metadata attached to the song gets passed to the car stereo system. Buttons built into the steering wheel don’t really make this better; the iPod’s remote could have accomplished the same thing, with very little intrusion.

If this is the perfect marriage of design and technology, I eagerly anticipate the divorce. On the other hand, if someone wants to throw in a BMW with my next $300 portable media player, I’ll be happy to consider switching.