March 10 2010
Gadgets to stream your iPod wirelessly to your car’s FM radio appeared six years ago and were quite good, so long as you didn’t try to use them in urban areas, where there are too many FM radio stations competing to be heard. I had great fun in the Canadian Rockies with the first such device, the iTrip, by Griffin of Nashville; less fun (as in none) in London.
This new iTrip works with a free iPhone app and is more useful as it hunts for the clearest local frequency to use and adjusts itself to play there. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a great improvement. It works best in mono, unless you’re somewhere quiet radiowise.
These mini FM transmitters, although complex, are still one of the best ways of playing music from an iPod through a car radio. Having a whole wiring loom installed with a cable to plug into an iPod is cumbersome, while putting a socket on a car’s dashboard (or on the front of a radio) for you to plug into is too simple for most car manufacturers. So iTrip it is, then.