Finally bought an iPod

…and feeling pretty good about it so far. I just wish there was some simple way to listen to it in my car. I don’t have a cassette deck so that connection is out. I picked up a $40 FM transmitter gizmo just to try it out, but based on the reviews I’ve read I suspect I’m going to be taking it back for a refund.

Sigh. Why can’t car stereos come with some kind of simple LINE IN port that would negate the need for all these middle-man solutions? Or maybe the good ones do, I wouldn’t know… the shitty one that came with my Focus certainly didn’t.

A lot of aftermarket car stereos have a line in jack. Usually a pair of RCA connectors on the back of the deck. Sometimes you’ll even find one with a 1/8" jack built into the face of the deck.

I have the same issue Gary: stock stereo desk, no jacks anywhere (even on the inside). A buddy of mine bought me the Belkin FM transmitter for my iPod though, and as long as I’m not in one of those cities where every single channel down by the 88FM range is taken, it works like a champ. No idea how other brands are, though.

Yeah, I’m forced to use headphones to listen to the iPod in the car, too. That sucks, since that’s where I am about 75% of the time I use it. I’ve tried two FM transmitters, and they’re just not powerful enough to overcome all the regular stations. And where I live there’s something on every single bit of the spectrum.

Next car I buy (probably March of next year) I’m either going to make sure it has a line in jack or I’ll buy and install one that does.

If you’re forced to use an FM Transmitter, this one isn’t so bad, and it’s cheap.

Personally I just went ahead and ordered a deck that has aux in, but I needed a new car stereo anyway (the stock radio is dying on me).

Aiwa makes a model (don’t know how good, etc.) that has an aux input on the face, suitable for an iPod. But I use a cassette adapter in my car (factory Subaru stereo, yeah I know, not exactly high end) and it sounds pretty darn good.

Looks like that one only works on one frequency. I’m skeptical that it would overpower another signal on that same wavelength.

I read somewhere about how someone cracked open and modified an Apple Tunecast so they could increase the power of the transmission. They said you could actually make it so that people in cars around you would hear it through their radios, and that the guy had made a bumper sticker telling people where to set their dials so they could hear what he’s listening to.

Ah, here it is:

Do yourself a favor and make sure that any FM transmitter you get has an LCD screen and easy, front-mounted controls and also the ability to be tuned to any channel. You don’t need a special one that works with the iPod–they all just pass on the audio anyway. But when you’re driving down the road and need to tweak the settings going through some weird interface is the last thing you want to fuck with (which is why I generally don’t recommend the Griffin iTrip).

And all cars should have a line in. It kills me that it’s still so uncommon. Perhaps we should start a big write-in campaign to companies, or start a database of cars that have line-in.

They do… sort of, he’s just not driving the right designer car to go with his designer MP3-player

I don’t remember the model number, but I bought an Aiwa from Best Buy for $70 that has line in. I love it so much more than the FM transmitters I tried. They were horrible.

Looks like that one only works on one frequency. I’m skeptical that it would overpower another signal on that same wavelength.[/quote]

They make one that’s for 87.7 and another for 107.7. Whichever freq. is not used in your area, that’s the one you should buy.

What I’m saying is, pretty much all FM transmitters will sound like crap compared to aux in. This one sounds the least crappiest. :) And you’ll only blow $20.

Screw it, I went and bought a new car stereo that allows a hard-wired Aux connection to the iPod. Plus, it has XM satellite radio built in. Woo-hoo!

I use the iCarPlay by Monster:

It charges your iPod in addition to being a radio adapter. It’s also charges a lot faster than the AC adapter does.

The station I use (88.3 I think) is used by a christian music station in my local area, but the iCarPlay stomps on it without a problem.

Interestingly, I used to get some bleed while I was on the highrise section of the San Mateo bridge, but it was from a radio station that was bleeding into frequencies other than its assigned one. I found that lowering my antenna works wonders for ignoring external stations.

I use this same one. I’m happy with it.

Click here for a review.