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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After a couple of weeks with Sensus in its current form, I agree many people who describe the UI and the touchscreen itself is actually pretty great and responsive. I just wish the audio interface with my phone worked a little more predictably. Hopefully Apple CarPlay integration will address this.

Anway, here are some impressions I have had. Feel free to add, or dispute, or explain how I'm experiencing user error. ;-)

I have an iPhone 6 running the latest released version of iOS, and that's the main music source I am using in the car -- sometimes via Bluetooth, and most of the time plugged into the USB port in the center console with a Lightning cable (so it charges AND connects to the car).

I have an Inscription with the B&W audio, also, which factors into a couple of the observations.

  • My phone doesn't always automatically connect. Sometimes it connects when I start the car, and then a few seconds later, it disconnects, so no phone is connected. Not sure why. Doesn't always happen. I do think in the latest version of iOS, the car/phone connectivity has gotten WORSE. This was kind of a problem in my Lexus RX, too, but not as much or as often.
  • I have a vast music library, and iTunes Match turned on, so basically my car sees my entire music library from my phone. When i'm using the "iPod" audio source and my phone is connected via USB, there's a gigantic list of artists and no way to quickly jump to a specific part of the alphabet. I'd expect that there'd be a list of the letters of the alphabet down the left edge of the screen like there is with phone contacts, and you could touch a letter to jump to that part of the alphabet. So far, all I can figure out how to do is scroll manually, starting from A. Not workable. NOTE: I recently discovered that up at the very top left of the screen when you are seeing the list of music by artists, there's a tiny arrow to the left and if you can hit it just right, you get a "search" box to come up, where you can input an artist to search for. See if you can get to that.
  • Using voice recognition to play music works really well -- surprisingly well, actually. But only after the phone has been connected for 5-10 minutes and the voice recognition system has analyzed all the track meta-data. Every time you connect the phone or restart the car. If you try a command to "Play Duran Duran" before this is done, the car just keeps prompting you to try again, three times, then either stops, or tells you with an error message that the track data is still being analyzed. Once that has happens, though, you can say "Play Duran Duran Hungry Like the Wolf" or whatever and it will start playing it, pretty quickly, even streaming over the phone's data connection. That feels like the future. Would be great if the library data were somehow more persistent, although I know that would create other problems, maybe.
  • There are differences in how the audio sounds when connected via Bluetooth vs. USB. I don't know if the Bluetooth decreases audio quality due to some kind of compression, but wow, there's a HUGE difference in any music if I switch back and forth. SO MUCH better with the USB. And the B&W stereo kicks some serious a**. I'm no audiophile, and I'm the first to admit when I can't distinguish between things that more sophisticated people can, but wow, the stereo blows me away. I used to listen to podcasts on the way to and from work, and I always want to listen to music now because the sound is THAT awesome. It's a waste with just podcasts! ;-)
  • The B&W with the rattle from the door pockets -- I took delivery two weeks ago on an XC90 that was manufactured back in June, and I'm not sure what, if anything, might have been done about the rattle at the port. I almost never hear a rattle from the door pockets, and if I do listen to something with a lot of bass, it's only very faint, to me, but I have heard a bit of that from the drivers's side door, nothing from the passenger side that I can hear.
  • Album art -- You see a message at the top of the Sensus sometimes that tells you it's accessing the Gracenote database for track info, I think, and presumably album art is retrieved by Sensus over the car's data connection, not from your phone. If you have the album art on your phone (and I have put in a lot of time trying to get my album art squared away) it would make more sense to send the art to the car from the phone... but maybe that's how it is actually working and it's just not consistently successful at sending album art to the Sensus? It works most of the time, but not all of the time.
  • I really do like how the Sensus allows you to switch around between various audio sources, and particular destinations within those audio sources, so easily.
  • Like I said in another thread, for some reason I was able to download the TuneIn app, and created an account on TuneIn, and still haven't really seen the app work. It's not obvious to me whether it tries to use the car's built-in modem to stream the audio, or whether it could use the data connection from my phone if I turned the car modem off, and I have tried both, but neither have I gotten to work, other than seeing the library of available stations. Lots of other people in the US report not even seeing TuneIn as an available option to download... not sure about the background story there.

One other thing, unrelated to Audio... Does anyone else see the Seat Adjustment screen appear randomly, usually within the first minute or so after starting the car? It appears nearly every time, unbidden by me (that I know of) and hangs out for a few seconds before it disappears. I'm not touching any seat controls at the time that I know of, and it doesn't seem to happen after the first minute or so from turning the car on.
 

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I noticed that often when I am playing music from Spotify over bluetooth and then stop the car when I re-enter it the music playing will be from the music stored on the actual device...not sure if thats from iOS or from the car buts annoying. Our Audi is able to correctly resume from Spotify rather than from the iPhone stored music.


PS - I'm in Portland too but still have not seen another XC90 on the road!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We'll have to drive by each other sometime, because me, either!!


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I plug my phone into the USB it usually (but not always) defaults to playing the first track on the phone alphabetically, so always the same song. It usually forgets what I was listening to before...


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Do I need to join a club or something to get pdx in front of my screen name? :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You just have to live here. PDX is the airport code for Portland


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I'm putting JFK in front of mines then!
 

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One other thing, unrelated to Audio... Does anyone else see the Seat Adjustment screen appear randomly, usually within the first minute or so after starting the car? It appears nearly every time, unbidden by me (that I know of) and hangs out for a few seconds before it disappears. I'm not touching any seat controls at the time that I know of, and it doesn't seem to happen after the first minute or so from turning the car on.
Yes this happens to me regularly.
 

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[*]I have a vast music library, and iTunes Match turned on, so basically my car sees my entire music library from my phone. When i'm using the "iPod" audio source and my phone is connected via USB, there's a gigantic list of artists and no way to quickly jump to a specific part of the alphabet. I'd expect that there'd be a list of the letters of the alphabet down the left edge of the screen like there is with phone contacts, and you could touch a letter to jump to that part of the alphabet. So far, all I can figure out how to do is scroll manually, starting from A. Not workable.
+1, that is sofar my only major complain about the sensus ipod interface!! I hope it will be fixed in the november update
 

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[*] Album art -- You see a message at the top of the Sensus sometimes that tells you it's accessing the Gracenote database for track info, I think, and presumably album art is retrieved by Sensus over the car's data connection, not from your phone. If you have the album art on your phone (and I have put in a lot of time trying to get my album art squared away) it would make more sense to send the art to the car from the phone... but maybe that's how it is actually working and it's just not consistently successful at sending album art to the Sensus? It works most of the time, but not all of the time.
If I remember correctly a version of the gracenote database is already preinstalled in the Sensus hard disk and it will be updated (if you allow it via a preference) when you are online...
 

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a little annoying thing I've discovered is that if you use the possibility to have multiple phones connected to the car (my own for calls, my kids one for music) when you do the switch for music from mine to theirs Sensus loses the preferred numbers list.

And still related to the phone, I'd like to see the pics defined in the phone, there is a placeholder for the pics and it was shown working in the ads ...
 

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I have an iPhone 6s running the latest released version of iOS, and that's the main music source I am using in the car -- sometimes via Bluetooth, and most of the time plugged into the USB port in the center console with a Lightning cable (so it charges AND connects to the car).
Do you work for Apple or one of the carriers? You already have the 6s when it hasn't come out yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oops. I meant to say 6. I have 6s on the brain. Sorry. I'll go back and edit that.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just amended my original post. Last night, I spent a bit of time looking at it, and if you touch the VERY TOP LEFT of the screen, there's a tiny search icon there, partly hidden behind the "scroll left" arrow next to the word "artists" -- if you can hit the right spot, you get a search window that lets you input what you are searching for, and it works. Just tiny, and partially hidden.
 

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  • There are differences in how the audio sounds when connected via Bluetooth vs. USB. I don't know if the Bluetooth decreases audio quality due to some kind of compression, but wow, there's a HUGE difference in any music if I switch back and forth. SO MUCH better with the USB.
You are correct. Bluetooth compresses audio and reduces quality. It's not as bad as it was a couple of years ago, but still worse than a wired connection.
 
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