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"portable listening devices" MP3 players. The like. There are ways… - Melodramatic, corsetted mistress of the obscure
June 4th, 2008
06:46 pm


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"portable listening devices" MP3 players. The like. There are ways to make them play through car stereo speaker systems, right? I think adammaker has one that does that. Or an add-on that makes it possible.

And... are there any I should stay away from? Any I should look for? I am not sure I need lots of space (I say that NOW.....) but enough to, say, hold an audiobook or two at a time.

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
I dunno which are better than others, but I have one of the ones that piggybacks on a radio signal...the major problem being that in the KC/Lawrence area, I could never find a clear point in the FM dial that I wasn't getting station static or worse on top of the iPod. It sucks.

Supposedly here in Ft Worth, there's a set frequency that is clear for mp3 player use...but since I only have a gaping hole where my car stereo used to be, I wouldn't know. >_
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
If your car stereo has a tape deck, you can get an in-dash adapter. It's a faux casette tape with an audio lead wire coming from it. That way you can play anything you want thru your car stereo.
Date:June 17th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
I have one of these types (found at garage sale last weekend) but haven't tried it yet (only had my ipod a week)
[User Picture]
Date:June 17th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
The other thing I have(and you can find this at Radio Shack too) s a small FM transmitter. It only broadcasts 8 meters over 1 frequency, but that can also do in a pinch. Plus give the other drivers a wtf has happend to my stereo, when they pass you.
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
Several types of connections depending on the radio.
If you have a cassette player you can use the same system you would use to connect a cd player to the radio.
Not overly fond of the radio signal types. Most of the cheap ones, and some of the expensive ones, are not much more advanced then a "Mr. Microphone".
Some radios have plugins built into them.

As long as you have about 1 gig worth of memory in it it should keep you happy on a long trip, and will let you have a couple of different play list so you can mix and match songs to meet your mood.
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
I find an aux in plug (basically, the same plug as headphones or microphone in) the best if your car stereo supports it, with tape adapter next (though newer cars often don't have tape players), and radio last. I've mostly used aux in.

As for MP3 players, I've mostly used a Rio. It smallish (3" x 3" x 1"). It has a small internal memory, but takes SD chips (like a camera), so you're only limited by the size of your SD chip. It does require you to load MP3s using their software, but it isn't that hard to figure out (and via a standard USB cable). I'm pretty happy with it, but I'm not hard to please. I think you can get similar ones for about $30.
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
I use the FM transmitter for my iPod. It works great, and I have no problems from Lawrence to downtown KC via I-70 with the radio picking up a station over my iPod. I use, um, 103.something. I get noise from other signals in a few places--like when I go through the K-Tag lane on the turnpike. But it is brief buzz and it is over.

I wonder if they still make tape deck ones that plug into the mic on the the mp3 player as well. If so, and if you have a tape deck, then that is another option.

If I end up still commuting to KC for my next job, I'm having a HD radio installed with a USB or Firewire port to plug my player into.

My iPod works great, and so did my Creative player that I had before it. The only thing you won't get with the iPod is the ability to play Window's Media format. Creative is cheaper.

[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
I'm rather partial to my MP3 player I got from Wal-Mart for around $40. It's an RCA 1GB MP3 player with USB and MicroSD card slot. It takes a AAA battery so I don't have to worry about an internal battery with no charge left. It also records audio which is nifty. I use the standard audio/cassette hookup to play it through my car stereo.
I can't make different set lists but that was less important to me.
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
I have a Hello Kitty FM player for my iPod. It's very cute, but FM players do have the problem of fading in and out of reception from time to time.

If you have a cassette deck, the adapters for CD players work for mp3 players, too. Or you can just get teeny portable speakers.

Just about any mp3 player will hold an audiobook. They're not very big files. If you buy through Audible.com, sometimes they even give one away for free.

I like iPods. I've never had any problem with them. They have more accessories available than anything else, and they have awesome tech support. I know a lot of people that hate them on principle or think that they're overpriced for the features, but my mom has gone through a couple different models of some of the other brands, so I'm not as keen on experimenting.

If you want to stay away from Apple, Zen is a good brand, and it uses a similar interface (hence Creative winning some money from Apple in court. Oops.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)

Creative, hands down. Ask Chernobylred about hers, we have the same units.
I have no problems with playing mine through the radio in the car, I got my accessory from a big dealer on eBay, will look it up later.
Date:June 6th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I've used both the cassette adaptor and the FM broadcast adaptor, and I much prefer the former. The cassette is something you just plug in to the car player, plug in your music source, and play.

The broadcast version requires its own power source, as does your music player, meaning you have to either have two plug-ins or run the player on batteries and have to frequently replace them. Plus, there is the problem of finding "empty" spots on the FM dial, which can be difficult in a large city. Then if you travel, you have to find new spots in different towns. I was also having to frequently fine-tune the FM broadcaster with the analog knobs, which can be a serious distraction while driving.

I strongly recommend using the cassette adaptor -- if your car has a cassette player -- or an audio plug-in if you have a newer model. We use the cassette version for the sound from our portable DVD player for the kids, and it works great. We shift the sound to come out of the rear speakers so they can watch their movies and my wife and I can chat undisturbed.
[User Picture]
Date:June 6th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Alas, no tape deck. So, it's either earphones (not a good option), not using it in the car (negating the entire point of buying one) or the radio transmitter thing.
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Current iterations of the broadcaster charge the MP3 player, so they run off a single cigarette lighter plug-in. I have little trouble finding a station in my large city (Austin), because the transmitters are stronger now and can overpower a weak signal. My broadcast rig has four presets, which I've assigned to radio buttons (I have a digital stereo), and can go up half-steps to improve signal transmission.

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