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on November 19, 2009
I bought this car stereo to replace my old Kenwood car stereo. The big draw to it was the iPod connectivity, and frankly, that's the main reason I bought it. I was stuck with Kenwood because I already had the Kenwood Sirius module, and didn't want to go through the hassle of getting a new one for a different brand.

Pros:
*Good sound quality, bright display
*When the iPod connectivity finally worked, it worked very well.

Cons:
*I had a 4th gen, black and white, 20gb iPod, which is what I was intending to use with this product. I had the radio professionally installed so I could be sure everything was working correctly. When I plugged the iPod in for the first time, the stereo wouldn't play it. I read the instruction manual, and it referred me online to see which models were compatible. I went online and got a really confusing flow chart that showed the 4th gen wouldn't play, but a 5th gen (first with video) would. I sold my old iPod to a friend, and bought a used 5th gen iPod online. When it got here, it played, but only in shuffle. I called Kenwood this time and explained the situation. They told me that the 5th gen iPods will ONLY play in shuffle. I had to send that iPod back to the seller, got a refund and bought a brand new 120gb iPod classic. THAT iPod finally worked and was fully supported and I still use it to this day.
*The menus are a little tough to navigate, but it's a lot like my old radio, so I was already kind of used to it.
*Occasionally, when I turn on my car, the radio doesn't immediately turn on too. This could be a wiring problem or something, but again, I had this radio professionally installed, so I don't know. It usually turns on in under a minute, and it doesn't do it all the time, so it's just a minor annoyance.

Summary:
It's a good radio for the money, and if you have a SUPPORTED IPOD, it's great. Please though, make sure yours is supported if that's why you're buying this radio, otherwise, you're going to be in for a real disappointment.
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on September 22, 2009
This radio is not worth buying!! It has to be by far the most non-user friendly radio i have ever used. The buttons on the face stopped working after 5 days!! If you plan on using a ipod with this radio well.......good luck!! Plan on using an amp and subs?? Plan on setting everything up for sound to even come out your speakers for about a half hour to an hour. you are better off getting a cheap radio from wal-mart
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on August 17, 2009
I screwed up and meant to buy the KDC-MP342U with the preset buttons and
got it installed. What a nightmare just like the guy mentioned above
if you want to change a radio station you have to press a million freak'n buttons
and pull over and figure out the square root of pi! Really it is insanely
complicated and if you screw up and press the wrong button there is no
return to main menu.

Furthermore, on changing stations after you hit the search button
you have to wait a second for the thing to go into 'find your preset
mode' and then you have to push stupid joy stick to find your preset
and then you have to push in the joy stick to select it! And make sure you
don't get into a crash when you do all this micky mouse crud.

Also, make sure you explain someone who is driving your car how to
select radio stations because he won't be able to figure it out
that is how stupid this system is. I had to spend a 30 minutes
in the freak'n manual just to figure out how to preset a station!

I am trying to return it to get the KDC-MP342U which had great
reviews.

Really can't believe they designed such ridiculous system. Totally
backwards. You think Kenwood would get many opinions before they
create a product such as this.

UPDATE AFTER LEARNING HOW TO USE IT.
=======================================================
If you get past the learning curve it's not as bad as I thought.
Manual needs a lot to be desired. I had to read the guys comments
above to figure out how to search easier: If you put the auto search to 2
you can just move the joy stick like button and go station to station.

Some positives: sounds fine. USB works great. Both CD and USB starts
off where you left off - nice. I wish it would read my folders on my
USB and not just the names of the files on the MP3s - minor issue.
I would probably give this unit a 4 once you figure it out. It's
too bad Kenwood didn't have a better manual and too bad it wasn't
more intuitive to use.
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on May 29, 2009
I bought the KDC-MP442U to replace the stock radio in my 2002 Honda Odyssey. I found the adapter cable and dash mounting kit online and installed it myself in one evening. I liked the streamlined front panel and felt good about the Kenwood brand from my experience owning their ham radio equipment. However, while this unit contains a lot of features for the money, the user interface is not at all intuitive and needlessly complex.

First, the features I liked: It can play MP3s or WMA files from a memory stick! You can turn off many of the annoying (to me) features like the constant scrolling red dots. Many of the options are configurable, especially the audio quality adjustments (filters, speaker size, etc.). It has a lot of presets (18 for FM and 6 for AM). The audio quality is acceptable (actually not bad at all for the price). It has an internal memory for storing "Favorites" (not to be confused with presets which are different). You can enter a text description of your favorite radio stations and other content.

Now, the downside(s)...

Non-intuitive: The on/off button is labeled "SRC" (its other function is to switch between the tuner, CD player, and USB memory). You must press and hold it for two seconds to shut the radio off. There is no tuning knob, per se. To tune the radio you must press the "AUTO" button to select one of three tuning modes: MANUAL lets you push the volume control back and forth to change frequency, AUTO1 lets you push the volume control back and forth to seek to the next station with a strong signal, and AUTO2 lets you push the volume control back and forth to move between the presets. This brings me to the next problem. Setting the presets to your favorite radio stations is extremely complicated. On top of that, the manual is just plain wrong on this point. I had to call Kenwood customer service to figure out how to set the presets. (Ironically, it was one of the best customer service calls I've ever had - fluent English speaker, knowledgeable, friendly, great communication skills). Finally, fast forward / fast rewind is only mentioned once in the manual and again the manual entry is wrong. Rather than simply pushing the volume control [AUD] knob to the right or left as the manual says, you must simultaneously twist the knob while pushing it. Not at all obvious...

Needlessly complex: To illustrate, let me list the steps required to change a preset radio station:
1. press [SRC] until display says TUNER
2. push [AUD] up or down to select set (FM1, FM2, ...)
3. press [AUTO] until display says MANUAL
4. push [AUD] left or right to select station
5. press [FAVORITE] once
6. press [SEARCH] once
7. turn [AUD] to select preset number
8. press [AUD] and hold until PRESET message appears
On my the stock Honda radio, there was a single button press to accomplish the same thing. Good grief! It also comes with a remote control (do we really need a remote control for a car stereo?). I have not had great luck with the remote control. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

So in summary, if you want a solid car radio / USB / CD player and if you like a good deal, like solving brain teaser puzzles, and don't mind spending some extra time to accomplish some basic configuration tasks (hopefully, NOT while driving!) then this may be the car stereo for you.
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on July 16, 2009
I should have done much more research before purchasing this stereo. I admit I bought it solely for the usb port on the faceplate, and I now regret the decision. If you want to leave everything at the factory settings and never adjust the sound or display you may be okay. The first problem is there is no main menu, many settings can only be reached when the stereo is in certain settings (such as standby or tuner). To adjust anything you have to push multiple buttons, and push and hold the large control knob, which is a pain because as soon as you tilt the button the setting changes and you have to go back and start all over again. The manuel appears to be written with the goal of having as little text as possible, as a result nothing is fully explained and you have to guess the intermediate steps to accomplish anything.
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on July 6, 2011
The stereo itself works fine. Most people buying this radio are probably looking for a good quality basic stereo without a lot of bells & whistles. This has so many features that I find it impossible to even know what they are talking about. And basic features, like setting the clock, take about an hour to figure out and you'd better write it out or you'll never remember. I just had my car in the shop and they disconnected the battery. I am searching the manual to try & get the clock to automatically display.
I have also never figured out how to pre-set radio stations.
I don't know if this is true of Kenwood products in general, but I will think twice before buying one again.
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on July 4, 2015
I baught this Kenwood KDC-MP442U car cd player used at a yard sale but its asking me for a code to unlock it but I cant put a code in because the remote is not working is there a way to put a code in with out the remote??
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on August 24, 2010
It's a really great product with many great customizable features. I will admit that it was a little tricky to get the iPod controll working along with other minor settings, but once you know how the thing works, it works wonderfully. The 22w RMS to the 4 speakers is nice and powerful(more than most other brands usu around 18rms).
My favorite feature is the internal adjustable hi-pass crossover for the 4 car speakers. It has settings of 0Hz(through), 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz, 120..150 and 180 if i remember correctly. these are great for sound quality(eliminating low-end distortion) and being sure to not fry your little speakers with too much bass.

Overall a great product as long as you are willing to read a few pages out of a manual.
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