I wish that my iPod did this....

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by crackrock, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. crackrock macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2004
    Cracktown, USA
    I am in the market for a new car... Don't know what brand I want or what model, but it's got to be reliable, fast, confortable, good on miles, and have connectivity to my iPod. Of course, the BMWs have all of that - but I don't have fourty grand. I'm looking to spend about $20,000 and I want something brand new. I really love the way that the Saturn Ions look, but a friend of mine recently got one and it would not be cool for me to get the same kind of car. Ford Focuses are nice but they seem sort of generic looking. The rest of the market is a bit confusing to me and there isn't anything that really stands out as something I could see myself driving. I would prefer to buy something American, so Hondas and Toyotas are out of my consideration set. Plus, I'd never buy a Toyota just because it has "Toy" in the name - I don't want a toy, I want a serious car.

    Currently, I use one of those tape deck converter things that plug into the headphone jack but there are things I don't like about it. First, it loses sound quality during the conversion from iPod to tape deck. I want to hear pick scrapes and breathing. Second, it uses the iPod battery, which means that I only have 7 or 8 hours of life before I have to take it out and recharge it.

    I don't like those FM connectors like the iTrip that plug into the top of the iPod. A friend of mine has one and it sounds terrible, plus it's just more batteries to change. I want clean sound.

    The iPod is roughly the same size as a tape, but there aren't any connectors on the market that allow me to plug my iPod right into my car. It fits nicely into my tape deck but obviously doesn't play - so why can't some car company make some sort of tape deck that I can just plug my iPod into. I don't want my iPod in my glove compartment, but right into my stereo.

    Since I want a new car, the last thing I want to do is tear out the factory stereo and put in some aftermarket one. I plan on buying a new car sometime before this winter, but I have no idea which one to get. If there were a model in my price range that allowed for iPod connectivity without any adapters that would strongly influence my decision.

    I need a new car, but have no idea which kind to get. I want a brand new car that has a dock built into the tape deck.


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  2. imnotquitesure macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2004
    Some stereos have an auxillary jack on the front or even the back of the stereo. If its on the back you have to take the deck out and run the cable out of the air conditioner or some other hole. If its in the front you just buy a cable and your golden. Im not sure if factory car stereos usually come with an aux in port in the front. I have an after market stereo with one.
  3. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    My father new Nissan Centra (basic kit) has a aux in in front of it. I just had to buy a 5$ cable to plug it into the iPod and I am set.

    Only problem is the battery. But there is a solution, I saw somewhere a iPod charger that plug into the lighter socket. With these two gizmos you will be set! Just look around for a car with the aux-in in front, most new cars have it when they have a CD player.

    Oh, and about buying american car, I hope that you know that most asian cars are built into the USA while some US cars are made in mexico or canada. If you really want to support local economy, double check that...

    And as a good ecologist, I would like to point out hybrid cars, some states have a taxe refund policy so check this out too.

    And please, no SUV, there are enough of these on the road already...

    Happy shoping!
  4. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    what is wrong withthe mini cooper? it has the same input as the BMW but costs less. . .gets good gas millage and certainly does not look like a typical car! or go for the VW jetta. . . thats what i drive, its nice. . . all you need is an aftermarket deck to plug your iPod directly into. . . thats what i do. i know for the jettas there is even a kit to convert the CD changer cable into an iPod cable.
  5. aloofman macrumors 68020


    Dec 17, 2002
    If the Japanese name "Toyota" reminds you too much of a coincidentally-similar English word, and that's the reason you won't buy a Toyota, then that's just silly. You were kidding, right?

    The Saturn Ion got very mixed reviews. Some reviewers liked it OK. Car & Driver called it the worst new American car in more than a decade, but they later backed off a little. The Ford Focus has been subject to more than a dozen recalls since it was introduced in North America. Maybe they got all the bugs out. Maybe.

    My truck does not have an aux jack, so I use a tape adaptor with a Belkin iPod connector. It connects only to the dock connection at the base of the iPod and is charged through the cigarette lighter. There's a plug on it for the tape adaptor and I leave both plugged in all the time. All I have to do is plug in the iPod once and turn the stereo to "tape". It works pretty well and the audio quality is pretty good. Occasionally there are some songs that just don't compress very well, but those don't sound as good on my speakers at home either.

    The automakers are hip to the MP3 player craze. If their model has a dedicated audio jack, they'll list it as a feature. Individual dealers can also install some stereo modifications too.
  6. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    If I could afford it I'd get a Toyota Prius. If you're buying an American car, be prepared to spend buttloads on getting it repaired. I currently own a Ford Focus and its a big money pit.
  7. clr900 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2004
    If you don't need a ton of room get a Mini Cooper. They are amazing cars and are around the 20k range. You can get a brand new Cooper S for just under 20,000. They are made by BMW and are great machines. I do not own one....yet, but I have driven one and love them. Go to www.miniusa.com.
  8. crackrock thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2004
    Cracktown, USA
    I just need a car to get me to work and back, no need for anything more. I looked on the mini website and that's a cool looking website, and a damn cool looking vehicle. I customized it with all the features I needed and it's only about 20. Nice.

    There is a dealership about a half hour away, I'll definately have to put "test driving a mini" into my schedule, see how it feels, see if I could see myself in one. I like the way the dash looks, how the speedometer is in the center instead of right in front of you for better visibility. That's one of the things that I liked most about the Saturn Ion. I also like how it's a unique looking car, instead of the 50 billion Focuses you see around. And iPod connectivity is just icing on the cake.

    I've got to do some more research though, talk to someone who owns one. I want a car that's never going to develop problems, and if DavidLeblond is having troubles with his Focus that's enough to keep me from buying one.

    See, I know they make adapters that hook your iPod up to everything, but that's what I'm trying to avoid. I don't want something plugged in my tape deck and something else plugged in my cigarette lighter just so I can listen to my music. I want to be able to slide my iPod into a slot (like a tape deck) and have access to all my songs without having to be concerned about battery life, the volume of the iPod, or radio signal interference. The mini is looking goooooood....

    thanks all!

  9. clr900 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2004
    Glad to hear you have taken an interest in the Mini. I highly suggest you get one, you won't be disappointed. I also love the interior....and the exterior. What color combination do you like?
  10. jamdr macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Consider other things first

    The fact that you are even considering a Saturn ION means you really don't know anything about cars and haven't bothered to do any research. For years, Saturns have been complete junk--underpowered, unreliable. If you want to get the most out of your 20K, do not buy a Saturn as they are more trouble than they're worth.

    The best car you could get for your money is the Honda Accord EX (4-cyl.) You may also want to look into the Toyota Camry LE. I also like Volkswagens, but keep in mind that the Jetta is a very feminine car (of course, so is the Saturn, so you might be into that). The Passat, on the other hand, is a very well-designed and highly recommended sedan, and the base model starts at around 20K.

    Fords, for the most part, are junk, especially the Focus (!) and so are all the other cards you mentioned. If you really want the best car for your money, take one of my suggestions. However, if you care more about iPod connectivity than reliability, or the way the company's name sounds, than go buy whatever the heck you want and keep in mind that your car will break down more often and cost you many more thousands of dollars than you originally paid.

    There are many solutions to connecting your iPod to your car stereo. One of my friends has this mini broadcaster that she plugs into her iPod that allows her to tune into a certain station to listen to her music. There is also just the old casette adapter. Hondas, I believe, and probably other cars too, have the option of a built-in MP3 player that you could transfer your music collection to. It's really not that big of a deal compared to the other factors you should be considering when spending 20K on a new car.
  11. Sabbath macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    Another vote for the mini, excellent little cars, and the only one which will meet your iPod criteria at the moment, plus much better on the environment than a big American car. I would check out which stereo you need to get however as I am not sure that all the available models are supported.
  12. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    I can recommend the Mini, plenty of room inside, 'reto' styling, good milage, eye-catching exterior and great build quality. A friend of mine just got one of the first convertibles in the UK and the thing that struck me the most about it was how much fun it was to drive. Imagine the manoeuverability of a go-kart combined with the feel of a much, much larger car. Check out edesignuk .mac galleries of his mini at http://dotmac.edesignuk.net/, you gotta love the stripes! Perhaps pm him to get his take on all aspects of owning one. I've found most mini owners are like mac users in that they wax lyrical about them to anyone who'll listen :)
  13. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    As people have said, the Mini has the same iPod connectivity as the BMWs.

    Also, if you check www.kbb.com, you'll find that if you search around enough, a used 2003 BMW could only be about 20000.

    The setup I have in my car ('89 Saab 900 Turbo, so no native iPod connection ability) is this:
    I put a new stereo unit in it, one with an "MP3 in" plug on the front (which is really an Aux in mini stereo plug in).
    I got a 1/8 to 1/8 cable from RadioShack.
    Plugged that from my stereo to my iPod remote.
    Plugged that into my iPod.
    Then I hid all the wires in my ashtray (I don't smoke), and clipped the remote to one of the wires going down into the ashtray.
    I set my ipod on one of my console shelf thingies.
    I now have a setup almost as good as a BMW. It doesn't charge my iPod battery, but it does give me easy access to the iPod rather than have it stuck in my glovebox.
  14. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree

    i must agree with most of the people here. get a MINI. the cool factor, the ipod connectivity, it's a bmw, what more could i say?
  15. afields macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
  16. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    I'm sorry but you put your ipod in the tape deck?!?!?!? I cant believe that it actually fit!!!! let alone that you'd put your ipod in there! didn't it get majorly scratched?!??

    (oh yeah... back on topic)

    Get the mini but not the mini S because the only thing that makes it better is the chip that controls the engine, and you can buy that seperately from a dealer for about £100. it makes it faster because of the way it controls the engine. (thats what top gear said) the only other thing that you will be missing is the swanky badge on the back. (which again you can buy)

    you will save yourself something along the lines of £1000?? (i think) :D
  17. maise macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2003
    I have a Honda Element and would highly recomend it. It fits right in your price range, drives great in all weather conditions and it is quite quick. It has an aux cable to the right of the dash which works perfectly with my ipod. Its an honda so its pretty reliable.
  18. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Go for a Jetta. All Jettas come pre-wired for a CD changer in the trunk. Go to Logjam electronics and buy an Aux Input Converter.

    This will plug into the CD changer port and convert it into an aux input. Then go to Radio Shack and buy 2 cables, run the cables back up to the cabin and you are set.

    You just switch the factory stereo to CD and then use the iPod for controls. Not as slick as BMW, but very usable.

    Hate to say it but you aren't going to find many great American cars under $25k. You've eliminated some of the best small cars (Honda, Toyota) for no real reason. Your short list should include Civic, Accord, Corolla, Mini Cooper, Jetta, Golf and maybe Subaru.
  19. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    As a new car owner myself, I must chime in. I researched MANy cars in the 20K range. For me, it was the Toyota RAV4. Its not a toy, regardless of name.

    But for reliability, safety, and repairs, and mileage, a Honda or Toyota will do you well.

    That said, I paid $45 to have an RCA jack put into my AMP so I can plug in my iPod. I have a center console with lighter socket, so i charge and leave it all tucked out of sight and used sticky tape for the wired remote on the dash. All neat and clean and easy.
  20. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    A perfect example of "your mileage may vary"....I've had a Focus for a couple years, and it hasn't given me any trouble at all. And I don't even take all that great care of it, either, and drive the heck out of it. Not a high-performance car, no, but adequate for the price. (Of course, the thing will probably break down out of spite, now that I said that.)

    Mini Coopers are indeed cool little cars. :cool: As long as you aren't toting around large stuff like golf clubs, or want to take it camping with friends, or capacity-hogging stuff like that, it's certainly big enough for point A to point B. With music, of course. :D
  21. crackrock thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2004
    Cracktown, USA
    I put the iPod in the tape deck to make a point, that it should be able to connect to my radio just by sliding it in. No - it didn't scratch it anymore than it already is.

    And, no - I don't really know much about cars. I know how to drive one and put gas in it - that's about it. I just know what my friends tell me about thier cars and whatever information I pick up from the TV.

    Well I looked at a Honda dealership just a minute ago, and nothing really caught my eye. They have better mileage than any of the Fords, but except for the Elements, they all look very plain. I sat inside an Accord for a minute and it didn't feel right, even though it was kind of cheap. Also, it did not have an iPod hookup or even a line in. I want something that's going to work with my iPod without having to do any modifications to it, that's the point of getting a new car, right?

    I also stopped by a Chevy dealership and took a look at some of the Caveliers. Don't like those either.... even though I could easily afford one. They look cheap.

    Didn't test drive anything today, but I'll soon make it out to the BMW dealership to check out a Mini. Those look very, very cool... but I need to see one in person.

    Currently I drive a 94 Buick LeSabre that I bought used a couple of years ago, and although it's a nice looking vehicle it's starting to break down. It's old, the transmission is starting to slip, the heating and air conditioning doesn't work anymore, and it's rusting up really bad near the bottom. I figure since I commute an hour each way to work that I should get something that's comfortable with all the features...

  22. VooDooPope macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2004
    The Heights, Houston TX
    As the owner of a 2003 MINI Cooper S and President of the Houston MINI Motoring Society I'd highly reccomend the MINI.

    Drive one and you will be hooked.
  23. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Why don't you get the best car you can buy, after test driving several, and then buy an Alpine car stereo, that is compatible with the iPod? They are even better than the BMW connection, because you have access to every song on your iPod, not just 4 or 5 on-the-go playlists.


    They have other models available, I believe, just a quick Googled link.

    Edit: Available in late September... Get your favorite car, then get the best iPod interface!

    Lee Tom
  24. justinshiding macrumors member

    May 7, 2004
    Chicago, IL

    Hmmm I agree the minis are nice cars...I test drove three of them at my local Ikea (....yes yes at an Ikea.) The base model is VERY fun to drive, it's peppy , and very nimble. The S is much faster, and it's not a chip that makes it so. It's supercharged (while the base is normally aspirated)...so if you want something significantly more "fun" to drive , I'd say go for the S.

    Really if you're just looking for something nice and zippy for a daily driving kind of car. I would stick with a japanese car (honda or toyota) I've had two toyotas, and NOT ONE THING has gone wrong with them *mumbles* that I didnt cause myself *end mumble.* Right now I've got a 99 solara sle v6...it's roomy , comfortable, decently peppy, and very nicely equipped...mmmm jbl sound system. Really there are a lot of nice cars out there to choose from. I'd still say , like someone else above me said , to stay away from american cars unless you really like the idea of becoming close friends with your mechanic.

    Go out and test drive some ..."Fast" is very subjective ...I would say my car is fast , but then again it's not meant to be a race car. A friend of mine has an rsx-s and that's fast...but it's a different kind of fast.

    And I'll stop rambling...now...
  25. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    Sydney, Oz.
    Cooper 'S', oh yes!

    Just wanted to add my very unbiased vote for the Mini to this debate and point you all to this other macrumors thread where someone else is having a very similar dilemma....

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