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best way to use new iPod in a car?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by shecky, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Guest


    it looks like in the same 3 week stretch of time I will be getting a new car & a new iPod - whats the best way to use the iPod thru my car stereo? The car is a 2003 Jetta Wolfsburg and the iPod will be a 15GB.

    i have looked thru the forums and not really found a good answer for everything - i am looking for reccomendations on both input to the car stereo (iTrip? ??) that does not involve replacing anything since the car comes with a nice system, and reccomendations on some kind of mount/clamp/whatever

    I am wondering how well it works (ie. how good the sound is) using the iTrip, especially on a VW as the antenna is on the roof and not line-of-sight to the iPod.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Many people will say that the quality is not good using a cassette adapter, but that's what I use and it works great. I have the belkin car charger and I plug the cassette adapter into the minijack on the belkin charger and basically just leave it in my tape drive the whole time.

    Then, when I want to play my ipod, I just connect it to the belkin charger and hit play. Viola!

  3. macrumors 603


    Depends. If your stereo has RCA stereo jacks on the back (rare) or a minijack on the front (very rare), go with those, it's far and away the best. If not, get an iTrip when the new ones are released. I use mine all the time-- my stereo rejects all tape adaptors, and this sounds better anyway. It takes some time to get used to, and tweak, but after that it's a joy to use. Make sure you set the volume to the maximum level that there is no distortion at and remember it... it's somewhere between 50-70% for me. And you have to spend the time to find a good radio station that there's no noise on. Not trying to turn you off, just letting you know what to expect. Like i said, i always found tape decks to be subpar... Why have all this digital music if it sounds like a casette?

  4. macrumors G3


    I also use a cassette adapter for my ipod, and it works great. My uncle uses an irock (similar to the itrip I think) and that works great as well. But I honestly don't see any reason not to use the cassette adapter.
  5. macrumors 68030


    well if your car comes with a cd player that lacks an aux jack then you would have to use a fm transmiter like the iTrip, but that is not your only option, you might want to check out the Transpod, it works like the iTrip but also functions as a car base and charge it at the same time.

    edit>the pic below is of the cassete model but there is a FM model....

    Attached Files:

  6. macrumors 68020


    i just gotta remind you that they delayed the iTrip for the 3Generation iPods. i would suggest a cassette adapter, seeing as radio ones aren't always the best around big cities with a lot of stations (like NYC) and places like that.
  7. macrumors regular

    Belikin's my pic. It uses the car's power to slightly amp up the signal out of the iPod. So you can blast the volume!

    I use it with a cassette adaptor and have no complaints. And I work in music...

    I know you don't want to replace your stereo, so this is for all the readers out there:

    Use headphone ---> RCA monster cable, go from the iPod's headphone jack to RCA input on a high end reciever... (thank me later)
  8. macrumors 601


    i've found the dock to have better sound at its output than the headphone jack.

    in my car (no standard line-ins, natch), i use a cassette adapter. it sounds better than i thought it would. an FM sol'n would be less messy, but, living in a city, i'm afraid there'd be too much interference.

    not sure about the sound quality, either (in general, wires sound better than wireless, but then there's that dodgy "through the cassette head" stage).
  9. macrumors 68040


    Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    Ah a fellow veedubber! I have a 2002 TDI Golf.

    First thing: Don't worry about the antenna being on the roof -- you can't transmit outside the car anyway; the idea is for the iPod+transmitter to be as close to the unit as possible.

    There are three ways to connect your iPod:

    1 - iTrip or other FM transmitter. I have one and it's about as effective as the tape adapter. My iTrip transmits a high-pitched tone while it's on that can annoy you after awhile, plus it sucks up battery life.

    2 - cassette adapter. I recommend this option for going cheap. The sound is just as good and it uses no extra power.

    3 - connect it to the stereo directly via RCA jacks. You'll need an adapter from http://www.rcainput.com/, which currently runs $79.95. The one you need depends on whether you have the Monsoon or not. This adapter will allow you a direct connection with no power drain. If you have Monsoon, you need to tap into the amp at the CD changer harness in the trunk and run the wire up through the car.
  10. macrumors 601


    Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    omg! i've been looking for something like that. i'd come to the conclusion i'd have to build my own. thanks for the link.

    how do you switch between the ipod and CD changer?
  11. macrumors 65816


    I have a similar device for my sony Xplode stereo in my Ranger. It has two AUX inputs and a USB connection. Haven't used the USB connection yet but It's probably pretty good. I love this stereo even though it's a sony and I might get another Xplode for my next car.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    I would say go for the cassette deal....Especially, if you live in a big city...I live in L.A. and I bought the iTrip, but, man, I have to get rid of it because it just does not work in L.A....We have way to many stations. The tape is just plug and go...Its bad enough that you need to fiddle with the song selection while your driving...Imagine trying to find stations as well?..You know...I'm going to sell it (iTrip)...
  13. macrumors 68040


    Re: Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    The adapter fools the head unit into thinking it's the CD changer sending it the music.

    It doesn't send a signal about the CD, obviously; it plays
    CD 1, Track 1 and stays stuck at 00:00

    To access this feature on the VW stereo, you press the CD button twice to switch to the "changer."
  14. macrumors 601


    Re: Re: Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    just to confirm....

    this unit sits between the CD changer and the head unit. it allows the changer and the aux input (ipod) to play w/o rewiring.* pushing the CD button on the head unit is how to toggle between them.


    * beyond the initial install, of course
  15. macrumors 68020


    could you use the audio out on the ipod with the USB2 to dock connecter?
    im just curious.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    No, it "sits in place" of the CD changer, which is at the end of the chain.

    It goes like this:


    You cannot use a changer with the RCA connector if you have the Monsoon.

    If you push the CD button once it switches to the CD in the head; twice goes to the changer.
  17. Guest


    Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    <----freakengruuven :)

    i do indeed have the Monsoon sound (i would not normally have gotten it, but, it was part of the package deal i got. its just a more powerful stereo, right? or am i missing something by way of a difference b/w the monsoon & the factory deck?)

    that adapter thing makes a lot of sense, however, this does involve running cables up to the front of the car and then...........?

    leaving female RCA ends dangling? or is there some kind of hardwired holder thingie available?

    Also the idea behind the Transpod that Medea posted is good, but 2 major issues: 1. its not out for the 3G ipod (yet) and 2. it would put a lot of strain on the lighter plug and be kinda flimsy as a connection.

    as much as part of me wants to do this cheap, the other part of me is buying my 1st brand spanking new, really nice (to me anyway) car so i want to do it right.
  18. macrumors 601


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    ahhhhhh. i am now decidedly less excited. i have a '98 VW head unit w/ AM/FM/cassette and an added CD changer. i wouldn't want to lose the CD changer (christ, i just paid a crapload to replace it, too, after the original shorted out).
  19. macrumors 68040


    Re: Re: Re: best way to use new iPod in a car?

    Well, it's got subwoofers in the system and an external amp (it's in your trunk behind the wheel well hidden away in a panel). Overall, the sound is much much better. I had a loaner 2003 Jetta with the standard unit and I could tell the difference immediately.

    Not as difficult as you'd think. I figured it out pretty easily when I wired up my rear fog light with my European headlight switch.

    Well, what you'd have to do is take the RCAs and hook them into a 1/8" minijack plug adapter with a long wire. Or adapt it down to a minijack and then run a long minijack wire out of that... you get the point. You have to go Radioshaking to make it work.

    You would probably just leave the little miniplug wire and plug sticking out somewhere (ashtray or glovebox would be my choice; you can be creative).
  20. Six
    macrumors regular

    I know and love car stereos.. I bought a whole new CD deck when I bought my new ipod. Sony CDX-M630 was the deck I bought. It has an RCA input on the back, I just ran an RCA to mini cable out to the cup holder, where I keep my pod. It sounds beautiful.

    Originally I tried the Belkin FM transmitter with my pod, but we have enough radio stations here for it to only work SOMETIMES. It sucked majorly. I broke the little cord at the base soon after, when I had it in my pocket
  21. macrumors 68030



    Attached Files:

  22. macrumors bot

  23. macrumors 68020


    that's really cool. if i had a car, i would get one:p firstn i need to drive:)

    anyway, that is the same one in the pods unite ad.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Jerry Spoon

    Cool. I'll have to get one...as soon as I get an iPod :D
  25. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Cool device. Fits right into your cup holder. The only problem I see is that the drink could spill on the iPod. My solution: Use a lid.

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