Wednesday, February 23, 2005

iPod Road Trip

iPods are sneaky little things. You would think that after shelling out your life savings to buy one ($300), you would be in music heaven. Oh no, you soon realize you can't plug the thing into your car without buying a new stereo. And that you can't plug into your home stereo without buying an RCA cable. And that you can't go on a long road trip without needing a power adapter so you don't run out of juice. (Not to mention the problems with power conversion in foreign countries)

To solve the can't-listen-to-the-thing-in-the-car problem, Traci bought me a Belkin Tunecast FM transmitter for Christmas (shown above). This little contraption allows you to play your iPod through an unused FM station on your car radio.
I was skeptical about using this on our trip to Las Vegas, for fear that it wouldn't work and we would be stuck music-less for six hours each way. As a backup plan I burned a few of my iPod playlists onto CDs.

When the CDs ran out, we plugged in the Tunecast. It worked surprisingly well. On the way there we were able to go an hour without having to switch to a new station. On the way back it was slightly more often.

The transmitter works a lot better in the country than in the city - obviously less radio stations in less populated areas. Though not as clear as CD sound, the Tunecast was a nice alternative to having to drag a bunch of CDs along. With Traci as an able transmitter operator, it was a successful music road trip.

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