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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just swapped a defective IceLink Plus for a DICE unit. Tom at EAS referred me to Dension USA, who told me that there were no more IceLinks. First, they tried to charge me $99 for the replacement DICE "upgrade" from IceLink. After a slight protest, they dropped that idea.

I got the DICE today and plugged it in. Is this for real? No ability to browse playlists and albums? Just a useless "ALBUM" or "PLAYLIST" display? Or better yet, "CD2-33" and the like? I see other messages on the forum about this. Are these guys kidding? Is this supposed to be better than an AUX input? If so, how?

When I plug the iPod in, playback starts automatically from the beginning of the first playlist on the iPod each time.

The ability to select one of the first five playlists quickly from the changer disk select buttons is gone.

OK, I'm frustrated, especially after the defective IceLink cost me $300 at the dealer to diagnose non-existent problems with my instrument cluster and computer after the dashboard and various controls went nuts. Now the replacement unit looks like a MAJOR step backwards in terms of functionality.

Am I missing something?

Chris "frustrated in Akron"
 

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Well, I think it's all in what you're used to. My DICE has a small audio artifact that is introduced as the text scrolls on the radio display. A very faint ticking sound is heard as each letter of text is revealed on the display... mostly on songs with quiet instrumental intros. On louder songs it is completely lost and sounds fantastic. Do I hope that they can fix this in a future revision, yes!

I never tried the ICE link but if I got used to the DICE, then switched to the ICE link I'd probably be annoyed that I could only choose from the 5 playlists since you can navigate unlimited playlists from the DICE by hitting disc 2, then track forward or backward.

Unless you had a complete pixel for pixel replication of your iPod screen, there will ALWAYS be some sort of compromise. IMHO the DICE is a great solution. Does it completely negate the need to pick up the iPod once in a while? No.

I've gotten creative and renamed some of my most-used playlists in iTunes so they have a number in front of them like "1-All favorites" "2-U2 hits", etc. That way when I want to change to another playlist I don't necessarily need to 'navigate' and find a particular one, I have all of my favorites easily accesible, just change playlists and listen for a second.

If I'm wanting something very specific its still a ton easier just to pick up the iPod and use the click wheel.

Someday somebody is going to make an actual iPod click wheel that will be mounted in the car's steering wheel and a heads up display that is identical to the iPod - that would be the ticket I think!

Anyways, don't give up on the DICE just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you saying that you can browse playlists on your DICE and see something useful like "2-U2 hits" on your radio display? I see "CD2-01", "CD2-02", etc. Not useful at all. The IceLink allowed browsing with text for playlist, artist, or album. The 1-5 buttons were handy shortcuts to the first five playlists. Like you, I got cute with the naming of my favorites to take advantage of this feature.

But on my DICE unit, the only time I ever see useful text is in the "disc1" mode.
 

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topher18 said:
The IceLink allowed browsing with text for playlist, artist, or album.
It did? I thought the only text was from the ID3 tag associated with that track currently selected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
editwizard said:
I never tried the ICE link but if I got used to the DICE, then switched to the ICE link I'd probably be annoyed that I could only choose from the 5 playlists since you can navigate unlimited playlists from the DICE by hitting disc 2, then track forward or backward.
On the IceLink Plus, one could navigate through all the playlists with the names of the playlists showing on the radio display. It was a little slow (no slower than the DICE, though), but it avoided the need to pull out the iPod and look farther away from the road to find something.

I'm just dumbfounded that this DICE device is being sold as an upgrade to the IceLink. It's functionality is only a subset of that of the IceLink.
 

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topher18 said:
On the IceLink Plus, one could navigate through all the playlists with the names of the playlists showing on the radio display. It was a little slow (no slower than the DICE, though), but it avoided the need to pull out the iPod and look farther away from the road to find something.

I'm just dumbfounded that this DICE device is being sold as an upgrade to the IceLink. It's functionality is only a subset of that of the IceLink.
It's a major upgrade. The DICE performs all of the core functions of the ice>Link Plus:

- Steering wheel control
- Text Display
- iPod Charging
- CD Quality Audio

The DICE takes it 2 steps further and included an integrated AUX port and left the iPod Clickwheel unlocked to allow the best search tool of all - the iPod itself. Even with the ice>Link, it required numerous button commands to get to a specific artist or album.

Keeping things simple allows for a more stable system (something that was questionable on the ice>Link as time progressed). DICE is working on adding more features to the kit, but the #1 priority is keeping the iPod Clickwheel unlocked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
tom @ eas said:
It's a major upgrade. The DICE performs all of the core functions of the ice>Link Plus:

- Steering wheel control
- Text Display
- iPod Charging
- CD Quality Audio
I guess that "major upgrade" is in the eye of the beholder. Your list is accurate, but not complete IMO. The loss of the ability to browse playlists, artists, and albums is a big deal, at least to me! I've seen others complain about this on the forum, so I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Heck, DICE Electronics support can't even tell me how it's supposed to work, much less whether what I'm seeing is correct or something is wrong.

tom @ eas said:
The DICE takes it 2 steps further and included an integrated AUX port and left the iPod Clickwheel unlocked to allow the best search tool of all - the iPod itself. Even with the ice>Link, it required numerous button commands to get to a specific artist or album.
Ah, but at least you could get there on the IceLink! It's a good thing that DICE frees up the iPod controls, because that's the only way to browse now. I'd consider that a feature if it added to functionality rather than compensated for missing functionality.

Frankly, I liked being able to tuck the iPod away while it was plugged into the IceLink. And it's a lot easier to glance at the radio display while driving than it is to shift focus to a 1.5" screen on an iPod --- 40 year old eyes here :).

tom @ eas said:
Keeping things simple allows for a more stable system (something that was questionable on the ice>Link as time progressed). DICE is working on adding more features to the kit, but the #1 priority is keeping the iPod Clickwheel unlocked.
Too bad the firmware is no longer field upgradable. Another missing feature on this major upgrade.
 

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topher18 said:
I guess that "major upgrade" is in the eye of the beholder. Your list is accurate, but not complete IMO. The loss of the ability to browse playlists, artists, and albums is a big deal, at least to me! I've seen others complain about this on the forum, so I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Heck, DICE Electronics support can't even tell me how it's supposed to work, much less whether what I'm seeing is correct or something is wrong.
Contact me directly if you should ever need assistance on the DICE, I'd be happy to assist if needed.

topher18 said:
Ah, but at least you could get there on the IceLink! It's a good thing that DICE frees up the iPod controls, because that's the only way to browse now. I'd consider that a feature if it added to functionality rather than compensated for missing functionality.

Frankly, I liked being able to tuck the iPod away while it was plugged into the IceLink. And it's a lot easier to glance at the radio display while driving than it is to shift focus to a 1.5" screen on an iPod --- 40 year old eyes here :).

Too bad the firmware is no longer field upgradable. Another missing feature on this major upgrade.
DICE is standing by their decision on this, the ice>Link Plus modules were very unstable during the upgrade process, sometimes locking up and requiring the module to be replaced. We can simply send out a replacement module if desired so that you are not without music and the entire process is quick and painless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tom, thanks for the offer of future help. I bought the original IceLink Plus from you. I appreciate your presence in the forums.
 

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I would have to agree. I had a iceLink in both my 530 and my X5. I liked the simplicty in how it operates, my wife could use it easily. Recently the iceLink in the X5 caused 4 hours of work to isolate it at the delaer, fortunatley I did not have to pay. Dension, after several huge screw-ups, shipped my a DICE. I must say, I am not as impressed with it, I really missing the quick and easy switching of playlists that the iceLink has. When you press 2 and then track up, it should really list the name of the playlist. The re-INIT process every time you plug it in is silly, especially that it defaults to the first playlist.

To top it all off, Dension does not treat it's Canadian customers very well...took two replacements and one month to get a working replacement.
 
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