Acura IPOD Music Link and TTS--Horrible! Don't waste your money.

I had the Acura Music Link Cable installed on my 2006 Acura RL. What a disappointment. Do not waste your money on this. It is horrible.
The system was installed on Friday, January 13 (a bad sign), for $450
and I spent over 20 hours over the weekend trying to get the Acura software to work on my computer and to understand the manual. Only from the manual on the disk did I learn that it only works with 4th generation or newer IPODS. So I innvested another $300 in a brand new IPOD. Still the system did not work well. I installed, uninstalled and tried on several different computers. Finally, I took the car back to the dealer today, Monday, January 16, 2005..
They could not get the system to work using my IPOD. However, they demonstrated the unit with their Acura provided Nano IPOD, configured by Acura. Even that unit worked only part of the time, and the installer had as much difficulty as I did trying to understand the manual.
As near as I can tell, when this system is working the way it is designed, it is still horrible. The sound is great, and if all you want to do is shift up and down from a shuffle of songs and control the sound from the audio controls, you will be happy. However, if you want to actually search for songs, albums or genre, you will be very unhappy. When connected to the system, your IPOD controls are disabled. So the only control is from the Acura controls. They only work with voice (hard to understand Microsoft Mary or Michael or Michelle). If you can figure out which buttons to push, which is very difficult, the sytem will start to read you the alphabet, i.e., A, B, C, D, E, etc. If you remember the exact name of the album or artist (was that first or last name?), and press the button when that letter is stated, it will start playing the first album or artist that begins with that letter. You wait a second and press the button again, and if you are lucky, it will read the name of the album or song to you. Let's see, 30 gig drive, 5,000 songs, 500 albums, 35 genres....so I guess it could take quite a long time to finally stumble over the one you are looking for.
This is horrible.
I am waiting to hear from the Regonal Acura distributor about getting my money back. I wouldn't waste yours. Somehow this just doesn't sound like the Acura press release that caused me to buy this unit. That press release reads: "Acura today unveiled the Acura Music Link IPod(R) adaptor, which allows seamless integration between iPod and Acura audio systems. .... Acura Music Link allows drivers to select their music by artist, album, genre and play list through the standard controls on the audio system head unit. Additionaly, the Acura Music Link adaptor will be the first to include test-to-speech capabilities or VoiceID, when searching through the iPod music library with the audio system controls." Nothing I have observed comes even remotely close to that representation.
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Thanks for posting your experience. Let us know how the rep treats you. MZ

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I was treated extremely fairly. Acura thanked me for my comments, indicating that they were taking steps to make sure that new purchasers of the IPOD Music Link would have the unit's capabilities clearly explained to them. They then fully refunded the equipment and installations charges I paid, and did not ask for the return of the equipment. They indicated that the manual, which identifies how the system works, but which is currently available only from the disk that comes with the unit, will be made available before purchase. They indicated that this is a newly introduced item, first becoming available on January 3, 2006, and that I was one of the first users. They indicated in a way that appeared very sincere to me that they appreciated my comments and expectations from their news release, and were taking this action in response to it. This was offered from them without my asking for it.
I am still disappointed that there is not a better mechanism for integrating the IPOD into the incredible Acura sound system.
However, consistent with what other Acura owners have told me, Acura certainly went way beyond what anyone should expect in resolving this matter--and they did so promptly, courtesously, and without being asked.
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Here is a link to a very thorough, and in my view unbiased review of the Honda/Acura iPod music link and TTS.
http://www.nuxx.net/hondamusiclink.html
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My story is excactly the same as FBennett! I purchased a 2006 RL with Musiclink. I listen to audiobooks in my car (or I used to listen to audiobooks in my car!) The Acura musiclink is absolutely horrible. I went out and purchased a new 5th gen Ipod to try to get the system to work. It is as bad and worse than described in this thread. Fbennett, who did you speak with and how do I reach that person? I want my money back. I appreciate your reponse.
Thanks,
Stephen
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