Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Listening To Music In A Toyota Alphard

The head unit in the NFL model come with DVD player as well as a 30GB hard disk storage for playing recorded CD tracks.

To access to the DVD player, you'll need to press the "EJECT" button at the bottom left of the head unit. It will display the following screen for you to select which option you need.

Toyota Alphard HU Eject Screen
When you touch the "DISC" image on the LCD, it will flip open the LCD panel for you to have access to the DVD slot as shown below.

Toyota Alphard HU LCD Opened
If there is already a disc inside the DVD slot, touching the "DISC" image will eject that disc.

Once you inserted your CD/DVD into the DVD slot, you'll press the same "EJECT" button (now labelled CLOSE when view from the flip-opened position - see red circle) to close the LCD panel.

In this post, I will cover the music playing function of the DVD player while the future post I will cover the video function of the DVD player.

If you inserted a music CD into the DVD player, it will automatically start playing the music as well as automatically store (a configurable option) the CD tracks into the 30GB hard disk (if this CD has not been recorded before). The tracks from the CD are stored into the hard disk in the background while you play the tracks on the CD.

You know that the tracks on the CD are being stored 1st time into the hard disk by looking at the phrase "REC FAST" displayed at the top of the play time of the current track as shown below.

Toyota Alphard CD Recording
If you touch the "TRACK LIST" button at the top right on the LCD screen, it will take you to the TRACK LIST screen (see photo below) and you'll noticed that each track that has been stored hard disk will have the word "HDD" on the top left of each track title.

Toyota Alphard HU CD Recording in Progress
Once all the tracks on the CD has been stored, you can play the tracks again from the hard disk directly instead of inserting the same CD. Of course if you choose to, you can still play the CD track directly from the disc. To know whether the track is played from the CD or from the HDD, just looked at the title at the top left corner of the screen whether it is showing DVD or HDD (as shown below)

Toyota Alphard CD In Play
The time it take to store the tracks varied depending on the contents in your CD. It is advisable to play the CD long enough for the store operation to complete otherwise not all tracks will be stored into the hard disk. However, if you do stop the car while the recording is in progress, the next time when you play the same CD again, it will continue the recording from where it left off.

In the DVD play mode screen (see the 3rd photo from the top), there are a few buttons at the bottom right that you can "touch" to configure how the tracks are played. You can elect to repeat (RPT) a particular track, randomly (RAND) play a track or scan all track (SCAN). You can also control whether the CD tracks will be recorded automatically into the hard disk by touching the "設定" button. It will bring you to the following screen where you can opt to either automatically record (AUTO) or manually (SELECT) record the tracks.

Toyota Alphard CD Auto Recording
BTW, the button at the top right of each screen is the return/cancel (戻る) button. Touch it to return to the previous screen.

In the next post, I'll describe in further details how to operate the HDD functions.


  1. hi Nighto Chan, i'm Edwin from Indonesia. sorry for my bad english. i want to ask that near the dvd slot there is some kind of a firewire port. Can i use this port to copy or delete music from notebook? how? i have tried to connect the firewire port to my notebook using standard firewire cable but nothing happened in my notebook. no new devices are found. please help me. thanks in advance.

  2. Hi Edwin,

    No worry. I understand what you are asking.

    I have tried to connect to the HU through that firewire port as well but I couldn't get it to work. I think a special device driver is required but I have not idea where to get that device driver. I have tried with some generic firewire device drivers from my Vista machine but I couldn't get it to recognize it as well.

    I have given up on the idea of trying to connect to the HU from my notebook!

    I have another post that show you how to delete music from the HU. Check it out.

    Hope this help


  3. Hi Mr Giant,

    One simple question, can the player plays MP3 format? Or is it restricted to AAC only?

  4. Hi Nicque,

    I am oversea now so I can't verify it but I don't remember the original head unit can play MP3. I will confirm this when I get back to country.



  6. Hi,

    I don't remember there is a SD slot in the original head unit. Not sure how you are connecting to SD card to the head unit.

    Previously I tried to connect to the head unit with it firewire port and was not successful. I have posted on this post previously.


  7. Hi Chan,

    I'm trying to convert video files to be read in the Giant's HU Dvd player. It don't seem to work. I tried vcd,dvd,mp4,avi,rmvb etc... but none seem to work. The files I burned can be read by other Dvd Player but not the Giant's HU. Do you have same encounter? Thanks.


  8. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I have not tried burning videos file to view on the giant's HU DVD player before. I did played some DVDs on the HU and the video format is .vob. Maybe you can try this format to see if it work.


  9. Hi, Just wondering when the songs were recorded from the music CD and stored into the hard disk, in what format are they recorded? WMA,MP3, etc?? Any drop in terms of the quality of music?

  10. Hi,

    That's a good question. Actually I am also trying to find out in what format those songs are recorded. I haven't been able to get a breakthrough on that since I couldn't access to the hard disk at all.

    I think there is slight drop in the quality of the music when played from the hard disk. I believe it is the compression algorithm used that cause the degration.


  11. Hi Nighto Chan,

    Thank you for your post.

    I am having problem in flipping open the LCD panel to access to the DVD slot even though I had touched the "DISC" image trying to eject the disc(in fact there is no CD slotted inside).

    In short, it has no reaction when I try to flip open the LCD panel.

    Please advise. Thank you.

  12. I'm trying to burn some MP3 into DVDRW and play it on Vellfire, but it doesn't detect anything. When the LCD panel is open, I can see MP3 label, so I believe the Vellfire can detect MP3 format.

    I don't think it has so much different compare to Alphard so do you know how if it can play MP3 on DVDR / DVDRW?

  13. I haven't done detailed study on this subject but I guess it has to do with the format that the HU support.

    I have tried burning some content into DVD to run on the HU before and it work but they are only audio.