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    Thread: Lightning to 30-pin or Lightning to USB for VW MDI with iPhone 5?

    1. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 04:56 PM #1
      Folks,

      I have an iPhone 5 with lightning interface, and I'm weighing my option re: connecting with VW's MDI.

      I realise that VW has USB MDI cables, and I could use this with a lightning-to-USB cable, but I understand that Apple's Lightning-to-30-pin adapter contains a DAC. Since none of the Lightning to USB cables I've seen are claimed to incorporate a DAC, would I be giving up any features (e.g. track listing on the radio display) if I swapped my existing 30-pin MDI cable for VW's USB cable?

      Is anyone using the USB cable with an iPhone 5?

      Does anyone know if there's some sort of flash update for the radio to go with the USB cable?

      I ask because I can't figure out a way to incoporate the Apple Lightning-to-30-pin adapter without having great clumps of (white) connectors in my passenger compartment.

      Thanks,
      cjl

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      05-11-2013 04:57 PM #2
      Replying to follow. I have the same issue. Hence why I've kept my iphone 4 but it's dying lol

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      05-11-2013 05:08 PM #3
      Just buy an iPod classic and leave it in the glovebox.

      Who wants to lean over and hook/unhook their phone every time they get in and out of the car?

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    6. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 05:17 PM #4
      Anyone?

    7. Member CJetta821's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 05:59 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
      Just buy an iPod classic and leave it in the glovebox.

      Who wants to lean over and hook/unhook their phone every time they get in and out of the car?
      Ya kno, that's not a bad idea lol
      2012 Jetta SE with Conv. and Sunroof
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    8. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 06:06 PM #6
      Thanks guys, but I want to use my phone.

      Anyone know anything about lightning-to-MDI via USB, vs 30-pin?

    9. Member mvthree's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 08:01 PM #7
      Just get an iPhone 30 pin to lighting adapter that's what I have and it costs me like 25 bucks I haven't had a single problem with it

    10. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 08:13 PM #8
      Yes, but like I said, I dont want to have the white adapter in the passenger compartment. It's going to be rattling around inside my console (my dock is to the right of the tray at the bottom of the console.)

      Once more, back to my original post, does anyone know what functions are available from the radio when an iphone 5 is attached via USB/MDI? Are any lost versus using the 30-pin adapter? And in wither case, I'll be attaching an iPhone 5 with Lightning interface.

      Thanks!

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      05-11-2013 08:25 PM #9
      The MDI cable, when used with an Apple lightning adapter, retains all normal functionality.
      I've never tested/used the MDI USB cable with any Apple device, so I'm not sure if there are any differences, or lost functions.

      Why do you have your MDI connection in the middle of the console? Retrofit?
      Quote Originally Posted by Rigby
      Hamboning will save your life someday

    12. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 08:37 PM #10
      No it's in the glovebox. I'm going to run the cable in there. Right now I just have a charger and I'm streaming music via bluetooth.,

      I understand that the lightning-to-30-pin adapter works, and I'd buy one, but the longest is 0.2 M, or fewer than 8 in, which will put the plug right over the console.

      If Apple made a lightning extension (they don't) I'd buy it, run that into the glovebox, and put the lighting-to-30-pin adapter in there. Since that's not possible, I wonder if I'd lose functions switching over to the USB-MDI cable, since Apple does make lighting-to-USB cables of sufficient length.

      I can't use an aftermarket lightning extension (in case someone is getting ready to suggest that) becasue the plugs on the ones I've seen are too large for my dock

      So...

      Once more, does anyone know if there's any difference in radio function between UBS-MDI and 30-pin-MDI with an iPhone 5 as I asked in my origianl post?

      Thanks.

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      05-11-2013 08:47 PM #11
      Still, I don't understand the issue you've got with just plugging the adapter into the OEM MDI cable, plugging in your phone, closing the glovebox and letting life go on.

      What's all this about some dock, or cables being in the way of your console?
      Quote Originally Posted by Rigby
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    14. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 08:54 PM #12
      The phone sits in a dock to the right of the console.

      I want to plug it into the MDI interface.

      I don't want to put the phone in the glovebox.

      I can't use and don't want to buy an iPod.

      I would prefer to avoid having the lightning-to-30-pin adapter out in the passenger compartment, because there's no easy way for me to secure the cable and plug without drilling holes or affixing adhesive, etc. I'm not really looking for answers to any of that anyway, or for suggestions mounting/storing/connecting my phone.

      All I want to know is - does anyone know if there is a difference between the radio function when attaching an iPhone to the MDI interface, via either lightning-to-30-pin-to-MDI or lighting-to-USB-to-MDI?

      Thanks again.

    15. Junior Member RaMMiT's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 09:11 PM #13
      I'm sorry ..I don't have the answer to your specific question, although if my car weren't in service I could test it out for you as I have both the old iPhone 30-pin connector to MDI, the 30-pin to lightning adapter, which I know you said you don't want to use, and I also have the USB-to-MDI. So I could test each configuration for you when I get my car back.

      But my question is.. why not just go with Bluetooth?? It works FLAWLESSLY. In fact, these cars have literally the best bluetooth integration of pretty much any car I've seen, including in my parents 2012 e92 M3, and my dad's 997 Turbo. Sooo... why wouldn't you just connect over bluetooth, and then have some type of charging cradle to handle the charging (which I imagine is part of why you're so insistent on going with the MDI route).

      Don't get me wrong; I too have searched in vain for a good cradle solution for these cars and I'm STILL searching. I haven't found anything that really meets my demands for a convenient place to mount the phone, no blockage of the screen, and the ability to rotate the cradle from portratit to landscape for things like GPS, etc. My car has GPS, but I still prefer Waze.. that app is just amazing. Anyways.. thoughts?? Why not Bluetooth?

    16. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 09:24 PM #14
      Thank you, thank you.

      Three reasons I'd like to do it - (1) I'll see the titles on the radio, insteadof "BLUETOOTH AUDIO," (2) I will be able to use the steering wheel controls and (3) I suspect (though I haven't verified) that the audio quality suffers at the bluetooth bitrate, and would be improved with a direct connection.

      Thanks again for not suggesting I try something different.

      I think I'll roll the dice and buy the USB-MDI cable. I'll report my results here when I'm done.

    17. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 09:34 PM #15
      By the way, check out Ford's system when you can. It has VW's beat, in my opinion. Has voice-to-text, text-to-voice, and voice commands for iPod.

      On the other hand, it's more difficult to configure and the menus are a pain to navigate.

      No MDI interface though! Just 1/8" stereo in.
      Last edited by Chris Leger; 05-11-2013 at 09:39 PM.

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      05-11-2013 09:53 PM #16
      I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.

      There really isn't a good reason to need to use a cradle in these cars since they have bluetooth, just leave the phone in your pocket and let the bluetooth do it's job and take the calls over the stereo. Shouldn't need to look at the phone for texts, since you shouldn't be texting while driving.

      Either buy an iPod and stick it in the glove box forever and let bluetooth do what it's supposed to, or just get the adapter for the phone and deal with plugging/unplugging it in the glovebox every time you want to get in/out of the car.

      Neither my key (since I've got KESSY) nor my phone ever come out of my pocket, nor does my glovebox ever open. Music is always at the ready, phone calls are always seamless, wouldn't have it any other way; VW seemed to do a pretty good job with this, not sure why you would try to add complexity or change things from that.


      I must be missing something.

    19. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 09:59 PM #17
      No, I'm trying to simplify. There are plenty of reasons not to keep the phone in my pocket.

      Use your imiagination.

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      05-11-2013 10:06 PM #18
      GPS I guess is the only other reason I could think of, but you may as well just print off paper directions if not willing to splurge for an SEL w/nav.

      I think you are up a creek and will have to suck it up with the white adapter in the passenger compartment if you are set on what you want to do.

    21. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 10:10 PM #19
      Once again, unless you know the answer to my question (and it appears you don't) then these thoughts of yours are impertinent.

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      05-11-2013 10:19 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Leger View Post
      Once again, unless you know the answer to my question (and it appears you don't) then these thoughts of yours are impertinent.
      Whatever man, I told you you probably don't have any way around what you are asking about, which more or less confirms your suspicion/answers your question regarding the issue.

      But since I'm not telling you the answer you want to hear, you are starting to act like a jackass, so good luck drilling holes in your dashboard.

      FYI you did a piss-poor job explaining what you were trying to do in the first place and confused more than one poster. Rule #1, if you want a good answer, it helps to ask a good question.

      EDIT: also if you want to use GPS, you sure as hell don't need to have it hooked up to the MDI cable, which also confirms that what you are trying to do is stupid, overly complex, and pointless.
      Last edited by puma1552; 05-11-2013 at 10:21 PM.

    23. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 10:24 PM #21
      Calm down.

      Try for a moment to set aside everything you think you know, go back and read my original question, and see if I asked anything about drills, iPods, you, your car, your keys, etc.

    24. Member mvthree's Avatar
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      05-11-2013 11:34 PM #22
      I'm very confused.. You're asking about a USB to Mdi connector and you don't want to use the 30 pin to lightining because it's white/ apparently rattles? Can you just state what exactly you are asking it's really unclear

    25. Junior Member Chris Leger's Avatar
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      05-12-2013 03:26 AM #23
      Sure.

      "I understand that Apple's Lightning-to-30-pin adapter contains a DAC. Since none of the Lightning to USB cables I've seen are claimed to incorporate a DAC, would I be giving up any features (e.g. track listing on the radio display) if I swapped my existing 30-pin MDI cable for VW's USB cable?

      Is anyone using the USB cable with an iPhone 5?

      Does anyone know if there's some sort of flash update for the radio to go with the USB cable?"

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      07-15-2013 01:10 AM #24
      Perhaps this would work:

      Amazon, and I suppose other retailers, sells a 30-pin extender cable that you could connect to the MDI to 30-pin cable for length, and then cap that off with the 30-pin to lightning adapter. This would allow you to run a cable through the glove box and still mount it to the right of the console.

      Cheers

    27. Member whalemingo's Avatar
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      07-15-2013 03:13 AM #25
      Chris,

      I apologize for our school system no longer focusing on reading comprehension. I for one don't have any experience with the MDI-to-USB connectors as I still use a 30 pin. Maybe what you should do to find out is go to the dealership and ask if they either know the answer or if they will let you plug one of the short glove box ones in to find out about any lost features. I don't think you should have any issues with feature loss since VW has been offering a USB cable as an alternative for a while. I'm sure a dealership would help you out, your best best would be someone in the service department. Once you figure it out order the one you need to get the length you want.

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