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Apple's iPod for Mercedes-Benz
In May 2005, the Apple iPod Interface Kit will be integrated in its passenger cars. Mercedes-Benz is set to become the first car manufacturer to integrate the Apple iPod. The user-friendly system, developed by Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH, will be introduced in the European market initially for the new B-Class. By July, it will be available for the A-Class, C-Class, E-Class, M-Class, CLK-Class, CLS-Class and SLK-Class model series, and will be available later in the year for the new R Class.
Operating the intelligent iPod Interface Kit is just as easy as navigating through the iPod's menus and selects items such as "Playlist", "Artist", or "Album" using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel. The volume is controlled in the same way while the central display on the dashboard indicates the song title or whichever menu item has been selected and provides details about the files saved on the MP3 player. The driver keeps his or her hands on the steering wheel and does not need to look away from the traffic situation ahead. It helps ensure that the driver's attention is not diverted from the road.
Another advantage of the iPod Interface Kit is that the vehicle and the MP3 player are linked up "plug and play"-style. The user has only to is connect the iPod to the specially provided interface in the glove compartment. Configuration is automatic.
The Mercedes-Benz system is compatible with the iPod from Generation 3, the iPod mini, the iPod photo and the iPod U2. The mobile MP3 players can store and play up to 10,000 songs.
Mercedes-Benz sales partners in Germany offers the iPod Interface Kit at a price of � 183 plus installation costs.
Mercedes-Benz also 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 as a compilation at www.mercedes-benz.com/mixedtape. The songs can be accessed using data streaming or downloaded in the usual download way, and they can be burned onto a CD-ROM free of charge or transferred to an MP3 player - either individually or as a complete album.
Up-and-coming musicians submit their songs online and are rated by Mercedes' music panel. Every artist or band whose song makes the final cut is profiled online in an illustrated feature. The result is "Mixed Tape" music.The download service also offers additional functions such as a cover or title generator, an e-mail newsletter with details of each compilation and an eCard facility.
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