Installing a USB CD Changer

I love my Japanese car. It's small, cheap, and reliable. It always gets me where I need to go.

I own a 2004 Subaru R2 that I purchased a few days after arriving in Japan. Unfortunately, it was missing one important thing that I really love about modern cars: a direct AUX input for the car stereo. Using this, I could connect my phone to the car stereo and play music, rather than having to worry about CDs, or the radio.

I looked around online for ways to accomplish this in my situation. I don't remember the exact path of links, and research, but I eventually came across this article on a blog by Daniel Brooke Peig. The Suzuki Jimmy uses the same company for their factory built car stereo as the Subaru R2, Clarion, and how Daniel solved my same problem, was buying the following device.

Yatour YT-M06 Digital Music Changer

After these last two years, I finally bought one of these one eBay, and got it in the mail this week thanks to my sister. :)

There are other models of the Yatour Music Changer, but the YT-M06 model is the one that works specifically with the Clarion brand car stereo decks. And because these are not that common, and the car is a bit old, these things are more expensive than the should be. It was $75 on eBay. This was also part of the reason I continued to put off buying it.

The box comes with instructions, the Yatour device, a cable connecting the device to the car stereo, and a headphone cable. The instructions are in full English, but it's pretty self explanatory. Just connect the cables, and you're good.


I needed access to the back of my stereo to use this thing, which is not so self-explanatory. But after looking online, and searching Japanese sites using Google, I found photos of how to access the car stereo.

Those lighter gray dashboard panels are only held in place by some plastic snaps, so just take a screwdriver and rip them out.

Easy. And now the screws mounting the car stereo and easily accessible. Unscrew those, and pull out the stereo.

Many online videos, and explanations recommended that before doing any of this, you should remove power from the car's battery just in case you accidentally deploy one of the air bags. But… I wasn't replacing the car stereo, nor was I going to unplug it, or mess with any of those connections. So I felt fine. I didn't have the tools for that anyway.

On the bottom left side of the car stereo is the CD changer port, and this is where the Yatour device plugs into. It's a perfect fit!

I snaked the wire through the back of the dashboard, and pulled it out onto the shelf.

After starting the car, the CD dash flashed a "System Check" message as it recognized the device. After a minute, the stereo went back to normal with FM selected. I pressed the CD button, and it switched over to the Yatour device.

The dash indicates Disc 5, Track 13, and kept playing with nothing coming out of the speakers. I hooked up my phone to the device, and started playing one of my DJ Promos. And it worked! I now have an AUX IN for my car. :)

Perfect for long ass road trips.

USB Plug-in

However, more useful for the shorter trips would be the USB Plug for the device.

You need to format a USB stick with FAT32, and set up the files in this arcane pattern to fool the car stereo in thinking these are actual CDs. I'm not able to get it to work though. The stereo doesn't really respond to any of the CD changing buttons, without input, just restarts that Disc 5 Track 13 over and over. Maybe I need to format the USB device in Windows, or maybe the USB thing is broken. My an SD card would work better? I don't know.

But the AUX IN works, so I'm really happy. :)