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iPod for 2003 with Bose but no XM


Full Member
Aug 10, 2002
I am sure an answer is buried somewhere, but after a bunch of searches I haven't come up with a straight answer.  So here is yet another "best iPod adapter" post.

I have a 2003 Av with the Bose 6 CD changer, but no XM.

I want:

1.  To control the iPod through my steering wheel and radio controls.
2.  To have the display show the song and artist.
3.  I'd like to be able to play playlists as well as having direct control of the iPod.

Who is really happy with their iPod adapter?  And what did you install?
I just cheated and ordered the iConnect by SmartPark from JPCustoms.  Jason was very helpful in answering all of my questions including the Neucleus, which he does not sell, and the USASpec, which he sold at one time.  With free shipping it was about the same price as the Neucleus.
I could not make the iConnect work in my truck.  But Jason at JPustoms worked with me, and ultimately we agreed that I would be able to return it and get a less sophisticated product, but one that would actually work.  And Jason is not charging a restocking charge even though I am going to a less expensive unit, and is refunding the price difference.

So here's my story.  I bought the newest version of an iConnect from JP Customs for my 2003 Av with the 6 CD changer.  It turns out that it didn't work on my Avalanche, although they do work on the newer radios. My problems were:

1.  I could not select playlists.  The only way I could get a playlist was to unplug the iPod, turn off the truck and the radio, select a playlist on the iPod itself, plug the iPod back in, and turn on the radio.  Then I was stuck in that particular playlist.
2.  Once in a playlist I was stuck in that playlist unless I went through the process listed above in section 1.
3.  If I just wanted to listen to songs not in playlist mode I had to go through the process in section 1 except I would select anything other than a playlist on the iPod.

But as it works out there are what I consider to be severe limitations on iPod listening in non playlist mode, which is my preferred iPod mode.  (By the way, these limitations appear to exist in all of the iPod adapters that supposed control the iPod through the radio controls on the older 2006 and earlier radios.)  So here goes:

4.  When listening to the iPod in non playlist mode the only search capability is to scroll through songs alphabetically.  You cannot select artist, album, or genre.  If I wanted to listen to, for example a led Zeppelin album, I would have to set that album up as a playlist on the computer before my trip.
5.  And while the radio does display names of songs, artists, and the like,it does not scroll.  So if a song has a long name you only see the first few letters.

The iConnect factory didn't have an answer and suggested that possibly the proper fix would be to exchange my unit for an iConnect with an earlier software version.  That's when Jason and I decided that perhaps the iConnect was a poor choice for the 6CD changer radios.

So what did we do?  Well the exchange is not made, and won't be for about 10 days.  Jason is supplying the iPac-OEM adapter ($111 vs. $219).  Most control will be done on the iPod, but I will have the full iPod capabilities.  I will have the ability to scroll the songs one at a time via the steering wheel or radio search buttons.  And I lose the pretty cool feature of seeing song information on the radio.

Knowing what I know now I would not have bought the iConnect even if it accessed playlists properly.  It's inherent inability, at least in the earlier radios, to work in non playlist mode, makes it an undesireable option for me.  If anyone ever develops a "control the iPod through the radio" adapter in the future that gives full iPod control I will seriosly consider buying it.

Just let me ad d that Jason was most helpful through this process.  I truly believe that the problems were with the iConnect and earlier radios.  If you have a 2007 radio it will probably be a great choice.
I was finally able to get my iConnect to work in my 2003 Av with the Bose 6 CD changer, but no XM.  In the end I had to figure out a proper sequence of button pushing.  It was not the method the iConnect folks told me to use, nor was it the method Jason at JPCustoms suggested after the first method didn't work.

Originally I was told that the iConnect would select playlists by pressing the preset buttons 1 through 6, and that I would only be able to play music on playlists, not all of the music stored on the iPod.

Later Jason told me to try pressing the P-TYPE button, select a playlist by rotating the TUNE knob, and then press the P-TYPE button again to lock in the new playlist.  Well that appeared to change the playlist, but the original playlist continued to play.

What did work....    Was a variation of what Jason suggested.  What I have to do is press the P-TYPE button, select a playlist by rotating the TUNE knob, press the SEARCH UP or SEARCH DOWN buttons, and then press the P-TYPE button again to lock in the new playlist.  The extra step in bold is what worked.  In every case the music starts playing from the beginning of the playlist.  And there appears to be no limit to the number of playlists.  (Originally I was told I could only access 6 playlists.)

So I am thinking of keeping the iConnect despite the problems.  I shouldn't have had to figure out how to switch playlists myself.  It is $100 more than the LockPick, but Green04 says the song names aren't displayed on his head unit, and my iConnect does display song names.  I now works, even if it is a bit cumbersome.  Who knows how well something else would work.

Hope my story helps someone.  I would suggest that if you don't already have an iConnect I'd recommend that you try one of JPCustoms newer offerings.
Actually I just found out by accident yesterday that the LockPick does display the Artist and Song title. By pressing in the button on the dial that tunes in radio stations it will briefly show the info and go back to show the song number being played. This was a very happy discovery.

Also playing playlists is the same as the above mentioned Iconnect  only you have to just press the P-type button and then tune the dial knob to select the playlist and then just press the Search forward button and it starts to play from the beginning of the chosen playlist.

It would have been nice if the instructions included would have mentioned this stuff as is only explains functions for the newer Nav system radios. HELLO LOCKPICK...... there are alot of older 6 cd radios out there, you guys are ignoring a larger market.

I've now seen both the Iconnect and Lockpick units and they appear almost identical in looks. The supplied wiring harness is exactly the same. I'd bet both units are made by the same factory, but one is $100 less. Both have useless manuals for the older radios.

I am glad the LockPick works and I'm glad I bought it. I routed the wires under the cupholder tray and the Ipod is safely out of view in that unused space below it.
By pressing in the button on the dial that tunes in radio stations it will briefly show the info and go back to show the song number being played.

If the Lockpick is like the iConnect, and we both think it is, you can change what is displayed on your 6 CD changer radio. 

Keep pressing the TUNE button until you see on the display the information you want.  You can choose song, artist, album, or song number.  Once the display is displaying the information you want press the TUNE button and hold it in until the radio beeps.  Now the radio will always show that information as the default display mode.