iPod to RCA output cable | iLounge Article


iPod to RCA output cable

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I have been in the market for a docking system for my home theatre. After reading several of the reviews on sound docks and such, I realized that I don’t need an expensive docking solution, but rather just a simple cable that has the iPod connection as the male receptacle on one end, with a set of either RCA outs. Has anyone made such a cable yet?

- Al

A: You’re right. For a low-tech solution, if you’re not interested in keeping your iPod standing up and charged while playing to your home stereo, you’re not going to need any sort of accessory outside of a simple 1/8”-to-RCA “Y-Cable” such as this one available for only $8 from XtremeMac.

As you suggest, an iPod-to-stereo cable can lead to superior audio quality; were you to simply plug the above cable into the iPod’s headphone jack, the audio sent to your speaker system would ultimately be amplified twice, which is usually deterimental to the quality of the audio you hear. It’s generally better to connect to your stereo using the iPod’s unamplified “line out” port built into its 30-pin Dock Connector. This line out port is accessible with any of the docking station accessories currently available, or through a smaller, more portable option like SiK’s Imp or SendStation’s PocketDock accessories. Nyko also makes a Stereo Link cable for this purpose.

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I’ve been using the cable manufactured by Nyko and it has great performance. The cable can be seen here:
The result is so good that I actually bought three of these cables and leave them permanently plugged to the AUX input of my systems (in the living room, bedroom, etc) so that it is easier to dock the iPod each time I want to play it through one of these systems (aux. connections are usually on the back, which makes it uncomfortable to plug and unplug quickly).

Posted by Luciano Guimaraes in TX on December 9, 2005 at 6:21 AM (CST)


How to export playlists independent of filename?

I’ve spent a lot of time on my playlists (1000’s of songs), and i wanna reconstruct my library now and keep my playlists. But i notice that when i export a playlist it’s dependant on filename. I wanna be able to export and import a playlist independent of filename.

More details: wanna podcast my itunes library over my network (for my psp). But discovered to podcast you can’t have spaces in the filename. SO i wanna rename all my files so they don’t have spaces. But it seems like if i do that, my playlists wouldn’t work anymore unless i update each song which i don’t want to do.

Posted by sixty9 in TX on December 9, 2005 at 11:17 AM (CST)


1) For the guy whose iPod isn’t visible: my wife had a problem with her old g3 iBook where the USB port was worn and not making a strong enough connection with her shuffle.  Plugging it into a hub (or later, an extension cable) fixed the problem.

2) With regards to your phrase “the audio sent to your speaker system would ultimately be amplified twice, which is usually deterimental to the quality of the audio you hear:”  Audio is quite often amplified more than once and it does not necessarily degrade sound.  While it’s true that decreasing the amount of processing generally improves sound, many sources, such as record players, require a primary amplification stage (called a pre-amplifier, despite the fact that is just an amplifier) to bring the recorded music up to the level expected by stereo input, with some amount of EQ added to “season” the analog signal.  Your stereo does this internally, so that when you switch from record to CD to FM to tape monitor, you don’t have to have your hand on the volume control.

The iPod is amplifying the signal exiting its digital to analog circuit, and it’s doubtful that this amplification is discrete between the line-out pins and the volume control.  They’re almost certainly the same signal, delivered in parallel, with only a digitally controlled variable resistor to “turn down” the level of volume exiting the headphone jack and another resistor to assign the proper line levels from the sync port.

Thus, using the sync port isn’t necessarily better sound than the headphone jack, but it does have a few features that make it more convenient.  First, the sync port locks the connection in place, decreasing disconnections during movement, a common problem I’ve had with pretty much every headphone-based device since my first Walkman.  And second, it provides a level of volume that is standardized, providing assurance that the signal will be amplified similarly to that of a CD player without added clipping or hiss.  On most good stereos, the same can be achieved by dialing the iPod to 90% of its volume…with the added bonus of being able to adjust the line-in volume for content that’s overly quiet or loud even after Soundcheck.

In short: line out cables give you flexibility, volume assurance and added features, but not necessarily better sound.  Only buy one if you want the flexibility.

Posted by dasmegabyte in TX on December 9, 2005 at 5:44 PM (CST)


my ipod is a u2 edition and recently it will not allow me to add or update.  it tells me there is not enough room to update files…i have tried to reset it but it doesn’t work. is it possible that 18.5gb of the memory is locked or frozen? how can i reset it to clear out all files and start with an empty ipod?

Posted by tfrick in TX on December 9, 2005 at 7:41 PM (CST)


I have the wrong album covers on my iPod while everything is fine in iTunes. What is going on???

Posted by MaximeG in TX on December 9, 2005 at 11:08 PM (CST)


Wow, even a veteran like me didn’t realize that the iPod would auto disconnect if Disk mode wasn’t used.

Posted by Galley in TX on December 11, 2005 at 11:18 AM (CST)


Any ideas on how to extend the range (and improving the signal quality) on a Griffin Roadtrip ? Any chance of adding a simple external antenna ?


Posted by pjrebordao in TX on December 12, 2005 at 10:11 AM (CST)


How can I share my cuurent iPod library of music housed on my Mac with my PC laptop? I use a Mac and home (cause they’re better!), but my employer has provided me with a Dell laptop for work. I want to share my library on my PC for listening via my laptop when my iPod isn’t handy. However I want to maintain the Mac as the “home” library. Will podworks let me do that or do I need another application?

Thank you.

Posted by mkruhs in TX on December 12, 2005 at 9:10 PM (CST)


HELP! I can see several songs listed under my itunes folder in itunes but I do not hear anything on the ipod itself. I did an auto update and checked off which songs from the library. I watched it load each song but I cannot hear anything. I hit play and pause to make sure I didn’t have it paused, I increased the volume, etc. How do I know these songs are really on the ipod and please, how do I hear them. This is my daughter’s Christmas present and I have been working on this for 5 hours now!!!

Posted by klenta in TX on December 25, 2005 at 9:45 PM (CST)


I have a u2 30gb ipod. I had 886 songs in Windows Media Player and on the ipod. All was well for over a year. Two weeks ago I set up a playlist for a party and tried to import the playlist, it did not transfer on to my ipod. I was told to connect to itunes and import my library, which I did. Then I had many issues which I worked through. The ipod has been restored, and the software updated to the latest version and no songs!
When I connect to my pc, it does not recognise the device. After a while it does, and when I try to sycn all my songs, it runs for while then displays the following message:

Please check \Device\Harddisk2\DR5 and make sure a disk is inserted and that the drive door is closed.

I have tried different ports and have the same message, at different songs, so it is not a corrupt file. I have called the ipod support and they have not been able to help. Has anyone had this problem before, or do you have any suggestions for me.

Many thanks, Braddles

Posted by Braddles in TX on January 23, 2006 at 5:41 PM (CST)


I have a 40g 3rd generation ipod.  Used an iBook to keep it updated.  I recently gave the iBook to my son, and bought a new pc notebook computer.  I was hoping to download my music & audiobooks from my ipod to my new pc.  Unfortunately, when I plug the ipod into my USB port, I get a message saying that this iPod needs to be reformatted for use on this PC.  How do I get around this?

Posted by ngerman in TX on April 2, 2006 at 7:33 PM (CDT)


my computer crashed a few months ago right when we moved into our new house, && it was JUST MY LUCK that i lost my itunes cd. i downloaded the itunes from the internet, but i’m assuming since my ipod serial number isn’t in the computer, my ipod isn’t showing up on my computer. how do i put my serial number into itunes? it never asks for it.
but i’m also not a genius on figuring these things out :]

Posted by lolaxxtrendy in TX on October 16, 2006 at 1:53 AM (CDT)


my laptop hard disk died and I have had to buy a new drive and reload windows & the application software (incl. iTunes). When I connect my iPod, iTunes wants to delete it/wipe it clean as “it can have an existing relationship with anoth computer and then one with this computer”.  Now computers are very clever, but not so that it would realise it is ther same computer with a new hard drive installed. Does anybody out there in iPod Land want to assist damsel in distress? Well there is no namdel in destress… but I am so maybe you would help me synch iTunes with what is already on my39 Gig harddrive. Thankyou very much :-)

Posted by Nick Lockhart in TX on December 2, 2006 at 12:54 PM (CST)


I have synchronized tv shows to my ipod. On i tunes when connected it shows the tv shows but i can not access them on the ipod. What am i doing wrong or is there something wrong with my ipod? Everything else works just fine.

Posted by HENSEL in TX on July 10, 2008 at 11:35 AM (CDT)

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