Video: Alpine iDA-X200 digital media receiver
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Robert and Ken, Crutchfield car stereo experts, illustrate some of the cool features of Alpine's iDA-X200 digital media receiver.
Ken: Hi, I'm Ken. This is Robert.
Ken: I've got a nice piece from Alpine for us to look at today. This is their iDA-X200. And let's put it through its paces. I'm sure there's a disc there, why don't you slap it in there.
Robert: Ok. Here's our test disc. Um I'm not seeing a button here. How do I get the disc in?
Ken: Ah — gotcha. It's a digital media receiver. There's no slot for CD, DVD, or anything like that.
Robert: Ok, new technology you're throwing at me here. Digital media receivers...we're getting more and more of those these days. That means your music has to come from something other than DVD or CD.
Ken: Right. It could be USB input, you know a thumb drive, a little hard disk drive, or — popular choice — the iPod.
Robert: iPod — which is what we have hooked up right now.
Ken: Yeah. It hooks right up to their USB connection. Now the neat thing about an iPod, aside from how much stuff you can put on one, is how easy it is to find what you've got there. And Alpine's done a really nice job in setting this up so it's easy to find some tunes.
Robert: Ok, well, let's kick it in.
Ken: Well I'll show you what we do. Let's change our source to iPod. There we go — USB connection. Now just like your click wheel, let's hit enter. There you go. Now we're going to search. We've got the usual suspects: shuffle...
Robert: Shuffle — everybody's favorite.
Ken: ...playlists, artists, albums. Let's look for an album.
Robert: I see it's scrolling through, two line display.
Ken: And let's go down through there and .... Hey, Abbey Road. Great album. Let's look for a song.
Robert: Ok, we're in the folder, the album, we can search by song.
Ken: Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Robert: Kick it on.
Robert:...starts right up. Not bad. That's pretty fast.
Ken: Yeah, and here's a nice feature too. Let's say you decide you want to listen to a different playlist, album, artist, just go back with this back button. Now we're back on song search. Now we're back to album. Now we're back to where we started.
Robert: We can go right through, so we don't have to start from the top of the search tree.
Ken: Right. Alpine deserves some credit for coming up with a really nice, easy to use interface, and it's a distinctive look, too, a big knob right in the middle.
Robert: Yeah, well we'll come back to that in a moment, but this was a USB connection so it works with USB input.
Ken: Yeah, say you don't have an iPod or you can't borrow your son's iPod, well you just grab your USB, load it up with some music, plug it in. It's going to operate much the same way. You can look through folders for music.
Robert: Alright. And then tell us what other options are available with regard to this iPod connection.
Ken: Well it's got the AM/FM tuner. You can also add on optional Bluetooth adapter, so you can use it for your phone. But mainly it's just a really nice iPod interface. There's actually three Alpine models based around this. This is the middle of the line. The iDA-X300 doesn't have the USB input.
Robert: So it requires Alpine's iPod adapter in order to pick it up.
Ken: Which comes free with it, so you're not losing too much.
Robert: Can't lose there.
Ken: And then the iDA-X100 substitutes this display here with one that looks a lot like your Alpine's [iPod's] display. It'll show album art and things like that.
Robert: Ok, full color, easy to read text.
Ken: Full color, of course, yeah. Really a nice line-up of pieces at every price range.
Robert: And they really are iPod-centric. That's the customer Alpine's looking for, so if you're an iPod person, check out these. This one, again, is the iDA-X200 from Alpine.