By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the Sync audio system in the 2008 Ford Fusion.
(upbeat rock music) Hi, this is Kelsey Mays for cars.com and we're in a 2008 Ford Fusion looking at Ford's new SYNC system.
Now Ford partnered with Microsoft to make the SYNC voice recognition technology, which will be available in most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles by 2010. Now the system starts with a USB plug for your iPod, your Zune, or any other MP3 player. There's also an auxiliary jack, in case you don't have a USB port. Most in-car audio systems have one of those these days, too. Now in the Fusion, this actually goes in the center console. Here's where the USB port goes. And if you have an auxiliary jack, here's where that would go. You start by pressing the button on the steering wheel. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>SYNC, please say a command. USB. <v SYNC System>USB. And there you go. It'll pick up right where you last left off when you left your MP3 player running. Now, SYNC index has all the songs on your MP3 player. And so within a few minutes, you should be able to say any artist, track or album. Let's give it a try. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>USB, please say a command. Play artist Foo Fighters. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>Playing artist Foo Fighters. (Foo Fighters begins playing) You can play albums within an artist, for example, on the Foo Fighters on my iPod, I have six albums, but I can't remember the names of most of them, by just pressing this button and saying refine album. Now, sometimes it won't work. And that's probably because you need to go onto your computer and change the settings in the albums to get them to show up in the indexing. But that's the idea behind it. You can also set the songs to shuffle if you like. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>USB, please say a command. <v Kelsey>Shuffle on. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>Shuffle on. <v Kelsey>And you can turn shuffle off. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>USB, please say a command. <v Kelsey>Shuffle off. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>Shuffle on. <v Kelsey>Or. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>USB, please say a command. <v Kelsey>Shuffle off. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>Shuffle On. <v Kelsey>All right, well, that's why they make shortcut buttons. Now, if your software and MP3s aren't completely updated, SYNC can be a little bit frustrating. Try as I might, I couldn't get my iPod to start playing songs when I got back into the car, unless I pressed a button on the steering wheel, waited for the audio chime from sync, and then said USB. <v SYNC System>SYNC, please say a command. <v Kelsey>USB. Sync engineer, Jeff Ostrowski, said that was likely because my iPod had outdated firmware and that properly updated devices should play songs right away. What's more, a number of songs on my iPod are apparently missing metadata. Now that's all those electronic tags that store everything from genre to album title for each MP3. Ford spokesman, Alan Hall, told me that songs from legitimate sources like iTunes or a purchased CD usually have all this data embedded. And that allows SYNC to easily categorize all the songs. But without such information, many songs won't show up on request. I found this out the hard way. Play album Abbey Road. (car chiming) <v SYNC System>Playing album Nimrod. <v Kelsey>I'll admit, I have plenty of music from shared sources or downloaded during the Napster days, but so to countless other drivers and having such songs go missing can be quite frustrating. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog KickingTires.