iPod your car
Quick fixes: Cassette adapters, FM transmitters, and aux-in jacks
If you don't have the time or money to replace your stock (factory-installed) car stereo with an aftermarket one, there are three main options for connecting your iPod to your car. If you (still!) have a tape deck in your car, you can invest around $20 to $30 in a cassette adapter: the Belkin Auto Cassette Adapter
and the Griffin Intelligent Smart Deck Adapter
are two of the most popular.
If your car stereo has a line-in auxiliary input jack, you can connect your iPod directly using a line-in cable (also known as a patch cord). While auxiliary input jacks are rare on older factory-installed stereos, they are becoming more common on newer cars. Many aftermarket stereos come with rear-mounted auxiliary input jacks, and an increasing number have the jack integrated into the front of the stereo faceplate.
If you don't have either a cassette deck or an auxiliary input jack, you can connect your iPod to your car using an FM transmitter that plugs into the player's headphone jack and streams your music to the car stereo using a short-wave radio signal on a predetermined frequency. There are dozens of FM transmitters on the market, each with its own variation on the same theme. Some of the more useful devices, such as the DLO Transdok
, and the Belkin TuneBase
act as a cradle and charger for your iPod at the same time as transmitting your tunes to the car stereo.
While they are a cheap and simple method for playing iPods on the road, FM transmitters can suffer from interference and sketchy sound quality. Auxiliary input jacks give a clearer, hard-wired sound, but still require drivers to select and control music using the iPod itself, which can be difficult--and dangerous--while driving.
iPod your car