Learning never exhausts the mind
Home >  Technology > Reviews > Alpine iDA-X100 – In Car iPod Radio

Published 10th May 2008 by

I was looking for an in-car music device where I could change the music I am listening to quickly without hunting down one of many scratched CDs. The solution had to be some kind of digital music management system, either a USB device or a Hard Drive unit, so I set about looking on various websites and forums until I found the Alpine iDA-X100.

Now that I have my iPod all set-up how I want it (no thanks to iTunes!) I set about installing my new Alpine iDA-X100.

I was looking for a solution that didn't involve 30+ CD's rattling around in the glove box getting scratched up. I was looking for a solution that meant that I could change what I am listening to quickly without hunting down a particular CD. It was obvious that the solution had to be some kind of digital music management system, either a USB device or a Hard Drive unit, so I set about looking on various websites and forums until I found the Alpine iDA-X100. Looks great and easy to use, I did a bit more research into the unit and everybody is giving it praise. Only one problem - I didn't have an iPod! After some net trawling, I managed to get the Alpine and a new iPod Nano 8GB delivered for around £330.

The radio itself features a large control dial on the front which functions in the same way as the iPod wheel, as well as a few buttons on the front. The right-hand side of the unit is dominated by a large colour TFT display used for showing track information and album art.

Once the unit was installed I quickly plugged in my iPod, which the unit found immediately and presented me with a list of the music on it. Using the front wheel (double-action encoder) to scroll and pressing it into select made changing the albums lightning fast. The unit also sounds amazing, clear and undistorted bass with crisp and sharp trebles.

I also tested the unit with a standard USB memory stick (thumb drive) and the unit functions exactly the same as when the iPod is connected except that you do not get album art through a USB stick. Album/Track navigation is just as quick.

So if you are looking for a similar in-car media solution then I can fully recommend the Alpine iDA-X100 iPod USB Digital Media Receiver.

7 thoughts on “Alpine iDA-X100 – In Car iPod Radio
  • 8th April 2020 at 1:11 pm

    What a great article to share. A great contribution especially for someone looking forward to buying a car subwoofer, amplifier and enclosure. If anybody wants to install a new one, this is the most effective share, that will be very helpful for the best choice. Thanks a lot for the post.

  • 17th March 2009 at 12:00 am

    Just had the Alpine iDA-X100 installed and have found out that it will not work with hard drives that are NTFS paritioned. I tried on my 300 gig hard drive to set up a FAT32 parition of 32 gig (I think the MS limit for FAT32) and tried it and the Alpine still does not recognize it.

    The unit works fine with thumb drives. Has any out there figured out hard drive size limitations for this Alpine?

    • 20th March 2009 at 12:00 am

      Hi Fred, I think the drive is VERY picky about what it will read. My iPod has been locking up, freezing, disconnecting and causing so much headache recently I have been using USB stick again, except it won't read a drive it did a few months ago!

      From what I can tell, it must be FAT32 and have only ONE partition. The drive must contain only .mp3 file and folders (no .jpg, .ini, playlists or Windows Media Player files).

  • 21st January 2009 at 12:00 am

    What is the maximum capacity of external HD that can be used with the iDA-X100?

    • 24th January 2009 at 12:00 am

      Hi Graham, I'm not sure on the maximum capacity of the hard drive. I have used it with an 8GB usb flash drive without any problems, however I just plug my ipod into the back and leave it there. I'm sure I have a spare HDD some place, I'll see if I can dig it out and hook it up sometime.

  • 4th December 2008 at 12:00 am

    i have a CDA-9884 from alpine and want to replace it with a iDA-X100 but don't want to pay for the installation. Because i have already a some what new alpine would it be essayer to replace???

  • 25th November 2008 at 12:00 am

    Hello Tim, thanks for the quick review and congratulations for the great site. I'm also looking to get one of these IDA-X100 units, but I would use it mainly with USB and external HD (I don't have an ipod). Besides not showing the album art while using it with these storage types, can the folders be navigated using the % fuction or how do you navigate large collections with subfolders? My collection is about 15K songs is grouped by Artist/Year/Album, so for example if I wanted to fast scroll to letter "M" and listen to Moby (which would be in the middle of the artists contaning "M") how would this work? Also is the search function only available with the ipod or does it work with HD and USB drives as well? My guess is that the unit would have to index all files and save it somewhere (so it does not have to do it everytime you start the car), but this could also take a while for large collection. Thanks in advance.


Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are mandatory.

We respect your privacy, and will not make your email public. Hashed email address may be checked against Gravatar service to retrieve avatars. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.