Slick ipod car integration
For those of you with ipods and would like a better and safer way to manage them in the car, check out the Harmon-Kardon Drive & Play.
This system allows you to controll your ipod via a joystick that mimics the ipod click wheel and dispays the ipod information on a screen that matches the ipod display screen. So instead of looking down to see what song you are on, you can quickly glance over to the side (depending where you mount the screen) and see what is going on. Also the joy stick is MUCH easier to control than the thumb wheel while you are driving.
This also allows you to burry most of the guts of the system (including your ipod) out of sight when mounted professionally. You end up with a small screen and the joystick visable. It cost $80 to have Circuit City install the system and they did a slick job. It can be installed yourself if you have some car stereo knowledge and the inclination.
The output system can put out a signal in 3 ways. FM Transmitter, FM Modulator and Aux out. I'm using the FM transmitter (long story) and while it's still not up to snuff it's far better than any I've used before. The moudlator allows you to put the signal into the antenna line while the aux out directly into your stereo is the best route.
Anyway, I've had mine for about a month so far, and I've been very happy with it. Hope this helps.
Best Buy has these on sale for $99.00. Here's the link.
Re: Slick ipod car integration
Interesting concept. However, I am one who believes you should set your ipod up BEFORE you drive to avoid having to fiddle around with it.
Put it on a playlist you actually LIKE and just drive.
The FM transmission solution is not adecuate IMO. You should get a deck with an aux input (any one is probably better than the car's OEM deck).
I did that then got this mount for my 3G ipod and my wife's 5G.
Cost: $7 apiece (amazon had them on sale, Electrogalaxy still does). It hooks up to the cars vent and you can see the ipods screen there (if you have to).
After Apple has sold 90 million of these things (21 million the last quarter), you would expect Detroit to do a better job of integrating them into their new cars. Aux inputs are now coming standard...finally.
Re: Slick ipod car integration
Actually, the Drive & Play has playlists so you can set it on play before you take off as you describe.
Originally Posted by oneupper
I agree that the FM transmission solution is horrible. Unfortunatley, my 2005 volvo has no aux input and the radio uses the MOST system (more info here). Basically the MOST system is so complex that no manufacturer can come up with a way to input the sound directly into the tuner via the system.
And the radio system is both odd shaped and is pretty much a part of the styling of the car so I don't think switching it out for an aftermarket deck makes much sense.
There is a way to run a signal into the antenna line. It's not as clean as the aux line as there is still a chance for signal interfearence from outside radio transmission, but it's a damn sight better than the FM transmitter. My tech has the parts, and I found where the antenna hookup inside the car is located (which was a mystery in iteself) so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be one step closer to static free music.
And yes, most manufacturers have made ipod integration part of their radio systems. Whether it be a simple "line in" jack or fullblown integration with controll capabilities, most autos will make hearing music from an MP3 player much much easier in the future.