Have you ever been on a long car ride and hated every minute of it because you can't find anything you like on the radio? This happens to most of us and can turn even the most enjoyable road trip into an exercise in drudgery. Fortunately, with just one or two iPod car accessories, you can bring your favorite tunes along with you and never again have to settle for what's playing on the radio.
Make Every Car Ride a Joy Ride
At its most basic, there are two iPod car accessories you will need to listen to your music on the road: one to give you a way to hear the music, and one to keep the power on. Most of the time, the iPod car accessory will cover both needs, either in one unit or as a kit, but understanding these two requirements will help you select the best product or products for your needs.
Listening to your iPod in the car first requires a way to get the music from your iPod to your radio. There are several iPod car accessories that can do this for you. The most popular option is an FM transmitter that you plug into your iPod and set to broadcast on an unused station. All you have to then do is tune your radio to the channel your iPod is broadcasting to and you have instant music. The lack of wires running out of your iPod is part of the appeal of an FM transmitter.
Another option if your car radio has a cassette player is an adapter goes from your iPod to the cassette slot, just like the adapter many of us have used to connect up a portable CD player to the radio's cassette player. If you already have one of these lying around somewhere you won't even need to buy anything because it will plug into the headset plug of the iPod!
A third option is to have a permanent connection installed for your iPod. After-market radios usually have an accessory input where an iPod car accessory adapter can be plugged in, and a cable run out from behind the dashboard that you plug into your iPod. While this option will give the best sound quality of all the others, it will also be the most expensive because it will require professional installation. But if you spend a lot of time in your car, it will be worth it. Many car manufacturers are also now offering this kind of iPod connectivity as an option in their higher-end models.
iPod speakers are also an option for listening to your iPod in your car. They're not an ideal solution, since they can rattle around the car and fall off the seat or rear deck. If you already have a set of speakers that don't rely on AC power this can be a workable, if inelegant solution.
Keep the (Power) Lights On
Most of these iPod car accessories are either power-neutral (don't draw power from the iPod but don't provide power to it either) or draw power from the iPod. If all of your driving consists of commuting to the office and you charge your iPod between trips, this isn't so bad. But if you're driving long distance, you're going to need a way to keep the juice flowing to the iPod so you don't drain its battery and end up stuck listening to the radio again.
To keep your iPod playing, a car charger is a necessity. It's a simple cable that runs from your car's power adapter or cigarette lighter and keeps your iPod charged while it plays. The great thing is, you can listen to your iPod for your whole drive, then when you've arrived you can take your iPod out of the car and it's fully charged and ready to keep you entertained wherever you go next.
Some of the permanent connections also include a power connection. If you're getting one installed in your car, make sure this is included or you'll still have to buy a power adapter. If it's a factory-installed connection, check your owner's manual to see if it provides power to your iPod. Generally, if the connection is made to the headset port, then you'll need a power adapter but if it's connected to the docking port, you won't.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Safety is an important issue to bring up when using iPod car accessories. Make sure you don't let your iPod distract you from your driving! Try to avoid changing volume or tracks while your car is moving. One of the great things about permanent connections is that many of them allow you to control your iPod using the controls of the radio itself. This is especially handy if your radio has wheel-mounted controls. If you're using a stand-alone adapter, try to position your iPod so you can see it without taking your eyes off the road. If you can't, just plug the iPod in, hit play, and forget about it. It's not worth dying just because you don't want to listen to one song.BUY NOW LOW PRICE!