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Old 11-18-2004, 10:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FM Transmitter for iPOD?

There are several FM transmitters on the market that allow you to use you iPod in the car. Anyone have experience with them? How is the sound quality?

Any D.C. users out there? How hard is it to find an open FM frequency?
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an iTrip, made by Griffin.

It works absolutely flawlessly, if you accept the limitations inherent in it.
- You can't turn the volume up to 'completely kickass going deaf', or 11 on the Spinal Tap amp.
- It's a radio transmitter. Obviously, the conversion from digital to analog to radio waves back into your speakers loses some sound quality. It'll sound like a pretty good radio station, but not a CD.

If you have the money or are an audiophile, I'd jury rig some way to connect the iPod directly to the speakers and such. I know there are conversion kits available, but I haven't cared enough to look at the costs and setup.

I live in a rural area compared to D.C., so I couldn't really tell you about open frequencies. I don't have any trouble finding one, but, obviously, it all depends on your location. I know there is a great website out there where iTrip users input the best stations available according to location, but I can't seem to remember/find it.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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iPodlounge Gear Guide. Check out the sections headed 'FM Transmitters' as well as 'Car Kits'. If you have a cassette player, I'd recommend a cassette adaptor over an FM transmitter. As drawerfixer said, a direct connection is the best sound, although it'll cost you.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My gf has one that she uses in my car. She likes it, but I think it's a pain in the ass. In Boston, she usually has to fiddle with it a good five minutes to find a clear spot on the dial. In the 'burbs, it's usually a little easier. YMMV in DC. On highway trips, I find you have to change stations every 30-40 minutes, as some stations fade out and others fade in.

When she actually gets the thing tuned, though, the sound quality is as good as any FM station.
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Old 11-20-2004, 10:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have Samsung (flash) and Gateway (20gb disk) players and use both with an iRock radio adapter ($30 @ Radio Shack)

The adapter transmits at 88.3 88.5 88.7 88.9 selectable via a switch on the side. it runs (for months) on two AAA batteries.

I also have a cassette adapter which I seem to have used less.
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Old 11-20-2004, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I also use the iTrip, pretty good for my tastes.
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I lived in the dc area and I can tell you that in the car 87.9 is pretty free. 106.7 works too I believe.

iTrip is the best in my opinion
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I use iTrip and it works pretty well. I travel about 45 miles to work, so I have to change my station about midpoint.

Things I like about it
Small
Doesnt Draw Much Power
I'd rate the sound quality as 7/10
You get substantial bass, but you lose some treble

Things I don't like
I don't like how the station are included in the iPods library. Its kind of annoying.
Its difficult to change the station you want to transmit through quickly. Its sorta dangerous to do while driving
You really are at the mercy of outside factors (e.g., clear stations). If you live in a metro area, it may be hard to find one.

Finally, I've heard stories of "extending" the range of iTrips, but I'm not sure if its really possible.

Last edited by lpj8; 11-21-2004 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 11-21-2004, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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it is possible to extend the range of the itrip...you must open up the cylinderand stretch out the coiled wire inside.
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Old 11-21-2004, 01:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjon42
I lived in the dc area and I can tell you that in the car 87.9 is pretty free. 106.7 works too I believe.

iTrip is the best in my opinion
87.9 is pretty much guaranteed everywhere. Note that not all FM Transmitters can access 87.9; some start at 88.1.
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Old 11-21-2004, 03:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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my dad got the iTrip (by Belkin, AFAIK) and he seems to like it. Like most others have said, it sounds like a well-tuned FM station, but as with any radio frequency conversion, a lot of depth and clarity is lost in the music. Also, a minor annoyance, but the iTrip "software" shows up as 20-30 "songs" stored in your iPod, one for each frequency you can tune the iTrip to. Not sure why it's set up like that, but it's kind of aggravating having to sift through all those extra "tracks" to organize your music.
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This is a semi-related question so I thought I'd throw it in here rather than starting a new thread. Does anyone know of an FM receiver for the iPod? Or is this even possible? Sometimes I get tired of my music collection and would like to listen to the radio.
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glytch
This is a semi-related question so I thought I'd throw it in here rather than starting a new thread. Does anyone know of an FM receiver for the iPod? Or is this even possible? Sometimes I get tired of my music collection and would like to listen to the radio.
Hasn't happened, at least to my knowledge.
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Old 11-23-2004, 11:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've got an iTrip, it works really well, I like the size and it was cheap. Sound volume isn't great but the quality is passable.
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Old 11-23-2004, 11:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glytch
This is a semi-related question so I thought I'd throw it in here rather than starting a new thread. Does anyone know of an FM receiver for the iPod? Or is this even possible? Sometimes I get tired of my music collection and would like to listen to the radio.
There used to be one, the iFM by Griffin. It didn't work with the 3rd Gen units. Read more here:
Griffin Cancels iFM FM Tuner Accessory
I haven't heard of anyone else making one.
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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depends what city you live in, I tried the itrip in LA and couldn't find any clear frequency to use it.
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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What kind of car/stereo? If you can do it, a hardwired connection sounds so much better than the FM transmitter or a cassette adaptor. I put one of these in my car and am totally happy with it (and I can turn it up to "11" now).
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My Gateway DMP has an FM tuner in it!
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