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875 hours of entertainment: Mercedes-Benz B-Class offers intelligent iPod® integration

875 hours of entertainment: Mercedes-Benz B-Class offers intelligent iPod® integration

  • Full integration of the iPod® in Mercedes vehicles for the first time

  • Store up to 15,000 songs in the glove compartment

  • Easy to use via multifunction steering wheel

  • Mixed Tape: free music download from Mercedes-Benz

In conjunction with the market launch of the new B-Class in June, Mercedes-Benz is also about to take (auto-)mobile entertainment onto a new level. The iPod® Interface Kit, developed by Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH, will enable Mercedes-Benz to fully integrate the Apple iPod® with the in-car audio system and, in turn, provide direct access to up to 15,000 stored tracks or 875 hours of non-stop entertainment. The interface integrated in the glove compartment turns the compact Sports Tourer into a veritable audio archive on wheels, while ensuring the device could not be simpler to use. An interface allows the MP3 player to be connected up to the iPod® Interface Kit in an instant, and then linked up automatically to the audio system. Operating the unit is just as user-friendly: the driver navigates around the iPod® menu using the buttons on the standard-fit multifunction steering wheel. The central display on the dashboard provides the driver with all the relevant information. At the same time, this solution also promotes safety, since the driver’s hands stay firmly on the steering wheel and he can remain focused on the road ahead.

Shortly after the Europe-wide launch in the B-Class, the iPod® Interface Kit will also be available from July for the current A-Class, C-Class, E-Class and M-Class models as well as for the CLK-Class, CLS-Class and SLK-Class model series. The price in Germany is EUR 183 plus fitting. The user-friendly system will also be available for forthcoming new models such as the R-Class.

Contents of up to 1,000 CDs in the glove compartment

The intelligent system is compatible with all current Apple MP3 players, such as iPod® (Generation 3 or higher), iPod® mini, iPod® photo and iPod® U2. From May, the accessory will be available for the B-Class from all Mercedes-Benz sales outlets. Depending on the iPod® model, the Mercedes-Benz driver can access up to 60 gigabytes of storage via the Interface Kit – sufficient for 15,000 MP3 songs. It would take up to five standard trolley cases to store what is the equivalent content on just under 1,000 CDs. While the spacious boot in the B-Class will easily accommodate this extra complement of luggage, it is much easier to store your own music collection in the glove compartment by using the iPod® Interface Kit.

Fast installation thanks to plug-and-play

Connecting up the vehicle and iPod® could not be simpler thanks to plug-and-play technology . Once a specialist workshop has fitted the adapter kit, there is no need to install any other hardware or software. As soon as the iPod® is connected up to the interface port in the glove compartment, the vehicle’s onboard electronics communicate with the iPod via the interface. Simply press a button on the car radio to switch it on: the ‘AUX’ button on those models with a navigation system (Audio 50 APS and COMAND), and the ‘CDC’ button for the Audio 5 CD and Audio 20 CD radio models. A particular advantage of the Mercedes-Benz system: other devices such as a CD changer are not affected because the iPod® Interface Kit is connected to the audio system via a separate interface. The navigation system and other functions controlled directly via the head unit can still be used as normal.

All the music functions operated via multifunction steering wheel

All the music functions on the MP3 player can be accessed via the multifunction steering wheel. The driver can navigate using the buttons on the steering wheel through the playlists, scroll up through the menu, set the volume, fast-forward or rewind, skip or repeat a track. The multifunction display on the dashboard indicates for example the song title and artist as well as the play mode of the MP3 player.

Chose your tracks or let the system chose for you: your personal playlist

Drivers can either choose tracks themselves or leave it to the MP3 player to select tracks at random. The iPod® shuffle function, your 'virtual disk jockey’, selects songs and puts together a surprising mixture of tunes from your personal music collection in the glove compartment. And, of course, you can also store and play talking books, language courses or stories and fairytales for children for those longer journeys.

Power from the glove compartment

The iPod® Interface Kit offers Mercedes-Benz drivers another advantage: the MP3 player battery automatically recharges using the vehicle’s electrical system as soon as the player is connected up. However, power is only supplied to the unit when the ignition is on. If you take the iPod® out of the glove compartment after a long journey, the battery is fully charged, offering up to 18 hours of entertainment.

Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape: the service for music insiders

Mercedes-Benz offers free Mixed Tape music downloads on the internet as an additional service for MP3 owners. Every eight weeks, 15 specially selected songs are made available at www.mercedes-benz.com/mixedtape previously unknown artists are also showcased. To date – with the sixth compilation already available – there have been more than 7.8 million downloads. Over 90,000 hits on the search engine "Google" are further testimony to the tremendous popularity of this service and the growing fan community on the internet. Mercedes-Benz is using Mixed Tape to promote musical talent on its international internet platform.

The songs can be accessed using data streaming or downloaded, and they can be burned onto a CD-ROM free of charge or copied to an MP3 player. The music download service also offers a wealth of additional functions such as a cover or title generator, an e-mail newsletter with details of each compilation and an eCard facility.