Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An Amazing Discovery

Last year I went on a hunt for an iPod adapter for the car. I'm not even sure if that's the right name for it but I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about. I was actually looking for one for my boss and after trying bunches from the Apple store, online, and Best Buy as well as pricing an in car installation I finally came to her defeated and promised to burn all her Italian lessons and any music she wanted onto discs for her CD player. Which was met with "You can do that?!"

It's nice to be an everyday hero.

With my upcoming "drive to Seattle to shop" trip just around the corner I made plans to have a CD burning party with Lana because I figured after trying all those adapters before there likely wasn't one that was going to all of a sudden work now. And even less a chance that I would be able to find it. But I decided to give it one last shot since the thought of burning a bajillion CDs and then having to figure out where to put them in my car and try to figure out what I wanted while driving seemed a little silly.

There are three ways to listen to music from an iPod through your car stereo if you don't have something installed. You can do the whole faux tape in the tape player thing, use a cord that plugs into the headphone jack and your stereo, or use an FM transmitter. I don't have a tape deck in my car and I'm actually wondering when they will stop making those cassette tape things for your car. I remember my 7th grade crush connecting his Discman to his mom's car stereo with one of those tapes. I'm fairly certain it's not long before those are a thing of the past. Anyways, I also don't have a jack for whatever that cord is called on my stereo. So that leaves me with the most sucky option which is the FM transmitter.

I have an amazing talent for losing ever single iPod I come in contact with so even though I'm pretty sure there are about seven of them hidden somewhere in my things I can't find any. Since I needed to get one anyways I figured I'd do this thing backwards and pick the radio transmitter then an iPod that would work with it. So I walked into the Apple store and a lovely girl approached me and very cheerfully asked if I needed any help. I waved my hand in the general direction of the wall of car adapters and told her I needed one of those. One that works. Then she said "An iPad?" which was nowhere near what I was pointing at but she smiled a lot so I forgave her for pushing her useless product on me. She found someone to help me and he was actually not very helpful other than taking every option off the wall and reading the packages to me. I think the people who work in Apple stores must have to deal with some ridiculously stupid people because sometimes I feel like they're talking to me the way one might a pre-schooler.

Basically I just ended up picking something out myself as well as an iPod touch...iTouch...I don't know. Whatever they're calling it now. It seemed easiest to control while driving.

I was prepared for this to not at all work and for me to just have to return it but surprise of surprises it's actually more than decent. There have been a couple static spots but nothing that doesn't clear itself up in a few seconds. I mostly noticed it while passing a radio station and in a very forest-y area.

The one I got is called the TuneBase LIVE FM by Belkin. I'm using it only with an iPod so while it looks like a couple people had problems with using it with an iPhone and switching between hands free calling and their music, that's not an issue for me. I also love that it charges your device for you since I am the worst ever at doing that. Aaaaand it has this handy dandy little dock thing on a bendy arm so you can adjust things to your liking.

I've only used mine for a couple days but so far I'm very impressed.


  1. They make car stereos without and AV jack? <-- jokes. We've been lucky in that both of our vehicles are iPod compatible and one even has a USB hookup = awesome!

    Hooray for no CD's and an iPod in the car :-)

  2. I'm having trouble telling what's going on in the pictures on Apple's site... Is the part that goes into the outlet/cigarette lighter on the back of the tuner part?

    My car has a USB and an AV jack, but my husband's car has neither. He has a CD player, but that's annoying for all the reasons you've already listed. He also has an iPod Touch (iTouch sounds dirty to me, haha), so I would love for him to be able to listen to his iPod in the car.

  3. So basically it's a circle with a screen on top of something that plugs into the lighter outlet. There are buttons to scan, two presets, and a + and - sign for going tuning up or down. That part is just flat on top of the plug. Then there's an arm that comes off of the whole thing that holds the iPod. It's actually usable with pretty much any iPod or iPhone because the height can adjust but once it's adjusted to what you want you don't have to mess with it again. Someone they managed to make it easy to pop it in and out yet it doesn't fall out. Also if you have a case that can stay on so you don't have to be messing with that all the time. Which is nice because I don't think I'd leave my iPod visible in my car all the time so I'm going to be taking it in and out a lot. I'm on day three of using it and I still am super happy with it. I also love that it charges. I can bring the iPod inside with me for the night and not have to worry about charging it before using it for the next day.