Pioneer DEH-P4000UB manual override only for certain Ipods?

Portables A/V

Portables A/V
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Pioneer DEH-P4000UB manual override only for certain Ipods?

  • Hello all! This post was inspired by a discussion on another thread, so forgive any repetition. Am thinking of getting the 4000UB but wanted to confirm something strange I read in the manual, in case any of you have this deck and can speak from experience. I'm fine with the idea of using just a regular front aux input for my Ipod, but once I saw that there are many similarly priced decks that offer both front aux AND direct-control (via USB or other means), I figured it'd be nice to have direct control as an option to play with, if only for occasional charging purposes. Then I read that the 4000UB is even better than most decks that offer full Ipod control because it has a "passenger control mode" that allows use of the Ipod's controls while it's hooked up. This seemed like the perfect perk -- if for some reason I didn't like the deck's control of the Ipod, I could still use the Ipod's controls AND charge the unit AND get a slightly better sound-quality connection than I would through the front aux. But then I took a peek at the 4000's manual and I saw the strangest little sidenote: apparently, this "passenger control mode" is only for Nanos. Knowing that electronics manuals often have mistakes in them, I couldn't believe that Pioneer would be so perverse as to give this feature to only certain Ipod users, particularly when it would be most useful to NON-Nano users (i.e., those like me with 80gig Ipods that have big libraries and functions like search).

    So that's my question: can anyone confirm whether it's really true that you can't switch to manual override on the 4000UB with non-Nano Ipods? And if so, what's your experience with the deck's Ipod control, particularly with big libraries (e.g., 8,000+ songs)? I still might get this deck even if I get bad answers to all of the above, since it still has the front aux (which is what I wanted in the first place) and is a Pioneer. But it'd be a shame to let the USB features go to waste, and it seems kinda silly to get a more expensive deck designed for that very purpose when all I need is something simpler (the Pioneer DEH-P3900 is a strong candidate, though I'm iffy on whether the temperamental volume knob would drive me nuts or not, given all the reviewers who say that adjusting volume while driving often results in a source switch:-).

    Actually, in thinking about it again just now, I reckon the 4000's Nano exemption might make sense in a way -- the Nanos are the only Ipods without display screens, right? I could see how it would be different from a technical standpoint to give control back to a unit without a display vs. one with a display....Though I'm a technical/computer ignoramus, so what the heck do I know? I just think it sucks that only some Ipod users can benefit from what would be an awesome "passenger control" feature.

    Thoughts anyone? (on the "passenger control" issue and on the 4000UB in general, as both a receiver and an Ipod controller....I'd welcome any opinions on the 3900 too, and on another Ipod-controlling deck I'm considering, the JVC KD-PDR30)

  • Hmmm,

    It's not something I've run into before where they limit the ability to a specific type and generation of iPod. I have several different types of iPods available and I am going to get one of these units and test this out.

    I'll post back with my findings as soon as possible.


  • Ok, I've finished my testing and here is what I've found.

    The 2nd generation Nano allowed you to switch to Ipod control mode with no trouble as stated in the manual.

    The iPod Touch also worked.

    The 5th generation worked until I updated it with the latest software. After doing that, you could not select iPod control mode.

    The iPod Classic 80G allowed you to switch to the iPod control mode.

    No other iPods would allow iPod control.

    Based on this, I think the only "guarantee" is that the 2nd generation Nano is going to work. Other models may work but software updates by Apple through iTunes could potentially kill that particular function.


  • Man, that makes the discrepancy even stranger--as I speculated before, I thought it might be an "Ipod-with-screen vs. Ipod-without-screen" issue, so it's pretty dang weird for a seemingly simple feature like that to vary so much between so many different kinds of Ipod, especially after a seemingly harmless software update. In any case, thanks SO much for your detailed breakdown! Honestly, I ended up buying the 4000 anyway, but I haven't gotten a chance to test that feature with my own Ipod yet (80G video). If by chance the feature works with my Ipod, I'll post it here for the record.

    Take care!