FM Transmitter for Ipod

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by BradleyS., Jun 16, 2005.

  1. BradleyS.

    BradleyS. Stunt Coordinator

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    I was looking into buying a FM transmitter for my ipod mini so I can take it in the car and use it with my reciever also. How is the reception and sound quality with FM transmitters? About how far is their effective transmitting range? Are there certain brands and models you recommend? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Sound quality is not great with these FM transmitters, but it's better than nothing if you do not have a better option, such as a cassette adapter or auxilary input. I have an iTrip for my iPod. It provides decent reception and is powered by the iPod's headphone jack -- no external power is required. The only thing I do not like about it is the manner used to change stations. You store MP3 files for each FM frequency on the iPod, and have to play that corresponding file to change stations. I have not been able to get this to work reliably, plus it can play havoc if you want to use the shuffle play function of the iPod.
     
  3. John_RO

    John_RO Stunt Coordinator

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    Use a cassette adapter if you can. Best sound quality available short of a line in on the front (or back) of your head unit. I use a Maxell cassette adapter with good results.
     
  4. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    It amazes me the line in option is essentially nonexistent on car radios. I understand that building full fledged iPod support is a daunting proposition for the hidebound car industry, but how hard is adding a line in jack????

    Ted
     
  5. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    A line in jack would be a nice standard feature.

    I have Belkin's FM transmitter which I purchased in an "emergency" and played my mp3 discman thru it. While the cassette adapter will give you the best sound I found the transmitter a perfectly acceptable alternative. Occasional static interference, and every once in a while you'll need to change the station to get better signal. But if it's your only option...

    The range is pretty short (but good enough for the car). Don't think you can sit on your couch with your ipod and expect your stereo across the room to pick it up.

    -paul
     
  6. RomanSohor

    RomanSohor Second Unit

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    I have a Belkin FM transmitter as welll - I bought the more expensive "Car" one that came with a cigarette lighter adapter. I use it in the house with a universal AC adapter. I have it connected to my SkyFi (XM) upstairs, and use it to listen to music on my little radio in the basement when I work out, and on the stero out in the back in my sun porch... it definatrely has a nice range on it.
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Cassette players are becoming less common in cars, taking away that alternative. Neither of our vehicles has a cassette player -- just a CD player and no auxilary input jack.
     
  8. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    I've checked out Belkin's website and I don't see what Ramon describes there. But I see they do have a TuneCast 2 which seems more advanced than the one I have, and will probably give better reception.

    I don't mean to hijack the thread but...

    I'm keen on their TuneStage product. I don't have an iPod but I listen to a radio station over the internet that's out of state. Right now I have a small speaker sitting outside my office door which I use to listen when in the living room. This looks like a good solution. I've checked out other computer media broadcasting devices and they all seem crappy. I just want to hear internet radio and mp3s played on my PC thru my stereo in the living room.

    -paul
     
  9. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    I've used three of these tranmitters with my Ipod

    I started using a DLO transmitter, this unit is kind of bulky and has a cradle the bottom of the Ipod sits in. It plugs into your car outlet and charges the Ipod while it is in it.

    Than I got sick of the bulkyness of it so I bought th eBelkin and the Griffin I-trip

    the DLO was great never had any snow/static issues or the music coming in and out. It was clearer radio station, and even though the FM band is chock full of stations (I live in Houston).

    having said that

    Griffin Itrip and the Belkin, nice compact cheap. Thats the good. The bad, the singal sucks in the car I it have only a couple of feet from my antena and I can't find a channel that doesn't have a slight bit of "noise". if you move it slightly while playing it spawns these horrible static pops or the sound drop outs, the radio has to be cranked way up as the signal strength isn't very high.

    I am going to try a unit by a company called ExtremeMac called Air something, but I have to order it over the internet so it will be a few days.

    As of right now I say the DLO though Bulky has the best quality of the three.
     
  10. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    How much does it cost to have a place like Circuit City or Car Toys install an auxillary jack?
     
  11. BradleyS.

    BradleyS. Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry for the long reply guys I has a busy weekend and wasnt able to check in. I know the cassete adapter is a great solution but ever since I installed my new head unit I dont believe the cassete player works anymore. I am still worried about the reception on these transmitters since I hear mixed feelings about them. I Could install a line in but I want to keep things visually appealing also. Does anyone know if I can install a straight line in on my alpine cda-9833 or do i have to buy one of those crazy $100 alpine ipod controllers?
     
  12. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i'm certain this will be a standard feature on everything, shortly. even the refrigerator.
     
  13. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Re: the transmitter - doesn't hurt to try. You can always return it if it doesn't suit your needs. Bill brings up a good point in that if you live in a major urban area there might be issues in finding an empty slot on the dial.

    But at $30 for a transmitter, if it doesn't work it's not too far off of having to go with Alpine's ipod controller (which is clearly the best option in your case).

    -paul
     
  14. BradleyS.

    BradleyS. Stunt Coordinator

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    I didnt realize that you wanted to broadcast it over a weak station, I just always thought that you put it on a stronger station so you would have better reception, which I guess doesnt actually make sense. I may be in luck then since I live in the middle of nowhere and can pick up about 10 stations.
     
  15. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I tried the Xtreme Mac transmitter and wasn't impressed - lots of backgroud noise and a weak signal. Based on a friend's recommendation I bought an FM transmitter from Costco that plugs into the cigarette lighter and has a stereo mini jack and a USB jack for thumb drives (There are play controls on the device so you can play files from a thumb drive. Kinda nifty.). The signal strength is much stronger with this device and it is the best temporary solution I've found. The one odd thing is that a line out level is too much for it and results in clipping (I have a Pocketdock that gives my iPod a line out). So I have to use the headphone out, turn the volume up halfway and raise my radio volume a bit more than usual.
     
  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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  17. BradleyS.

    BradleyS. Stunt Coordinator

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    Alright thanks Guo. That looks like a pretty good option but does anybody know how long it is? I would prefer it to be long enough to reach outside the dash so I can connect the monster audio cables that I use with my reciver to it instead of having to buy another cable along with that.
     
  18. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    From the photo it doesn't look more than six inches long. A mini to RCA cable isn't that expensive (unless you're talking Monster [​IMG]).
     
  19. BradleyS.

    BradleyS. Stunt Coordinator

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    yes I imagine I could go with a cheaper one but those few reviews I read highly recommended high quality cables. I dont know if it would really make much difference or not, especially to my ears.
     
  20. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I really doubt that AUX input connector is constructed significantly better either.
     

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