Connecting via a Cassette Adapter
All the previous in-car solutions involve a bit of work. If you'd prefer not to pull your car radio out of the dash and fiddle with this cable and that, you need a way to connect your iPod to the front of your car's audio system.
Naturally, if your audio system has an in-dash auxiliary input jack, you can connect a standard mini-jack cable between your iPod and this auxiliary input. Otherwise, you have to look for another solution.
If your car radio includes a cassette player (and some still do), a workable solution is to use a cassette adapter. These devices, like the Belkin Cassette Adapter shown in Figure 14.6, look like a cassette tape with a cable attached, but there's no tape inside. Instead, the adapter transfers the audio output signal from your iPod to the read head of your in-dash cassette deck. Just insert the adapter into your radio's cassette slot and connect the cable to the earphone out jack on your iPod. Switch your audio system to "cassette," press Play on your iPod, and you'll hear your iPod music over your car's speakers.
Figure 14.6 The Belkin Cassette Adapter lets you connect your iPod to your car's cassette player.
Cassette adapters don't sound quite as good as direct connections, but do sound noticeably superior to FM transmitters, which we discuss next. They're also lower priced than other options.
Some of the most popular cassette adapters include the following:
- Belkin Cassette Adapter for iPod ($19.99, www.belkin.com)
- Griffin DirectDeck ($14.99, www.griffintechnology.com)
- Griffin SmartDeck ($29.99, www.griffintechnology.com)
- iRock Car Cassette Adapter ($3.99, www.myirock.com)
- Macally Cassette Tape Car Adapter ($14.99, www.macally.com)
- Maxell CD-330 Cassette Adapter ($13.99, www.maxell-usa.com)
- Sony DCC-E34CP Car Connecting Pack ($29.99, www.sonystyle.com)