Crutchfield’s how to connect an iPod in your car | iLounge News


Crutchfield’s how to connect an iPod in your car

Auto stereo equipment retailer Crutchfield has posted a four page how to on connecting your iPod in the car. Several topics are covered from mounting an iPod, connecting an iPod, and using an iPod while in the car. It also mentions in a ‘Wish list’ section that Alpine will soon be releasing head units for connecting and controlling an iPod, and goes on to mention other possible solutions coming soon. “I suspect that makers of vehicle-specific CD changer adapters and satellite tuner cradles are hard at work on iPod solutions. And Daimler-Chrysler already has an iPod dock in one of its European Smart cars. Can it be long before this technology appears in stateside Chryslers? Stay tuned.”

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I use the Belkin charger and tape adapter.  The iPod is mounted to my dash via a Marware sportsuit.  The car mount for the universal adapter at the back of the case is good (the connector cup on the dash is discret when not in use=good) and withstands frequent off-road bouncing (low-ratio, up the side of mountains bouncy).  I have just the one case, so I don’t have to remove the iPod from it everytime I jump into the truck, jog with it attached to my arm or in my Jandd courier bag when on my ‘On-one single-speed’ bike.
I should be given some money for all this product placement.

Posted by Cker in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 9:47 AM (CST)


Whoever wrote that article should of spent a few minutes checking out the installs from some of the lounge visitors.

Posted by Ryan in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 10:24 AM (CST)


Doesn’t VW provide iPod mounting hardware and connections in the VW Beetle?

Posted by cwh in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 10:55 AM (CST)


as far as in car ease of usability, using the ipod dock is the only way to go.  I use a car cd player mount (15-20 dollars at best buy, circuit city, etc), a belkin charger, and the front aux input on my aiwa cd player.  I can easily take it off and put it on the dock without having to connect and disconnect chords everytime I want to use it.  With how often you get in and out of a car, I’d hate to have to connect cables everytime I took my ipod with me.  Not to mention the ipod dock as the ever necessary “line out” that is perfect for a car stereo or a home sound system.

I am currently looking into a new place to put my dock as the cdplayer holder is a little big, but as a temporary setup, I think it’s perfect.

Posted by dave in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 11:29 AM (CST)


What does “line out” actually mean? I realize the end results, but particular advantage(s) does it hold over the earphone jack?


Posted by Agent Orange in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 12:02 PM (CST)


The difference bwteen the Line-Out and the Headphone is slight, but significant. Both are analog but the headphone jack outputs more power because its current must drive the magnets in your headphones.

This higher current means more “noisy” gain on the output signal, which leads to distortion.

For better rersults, you should output the line-out signal (which is cleaner) and send it to a higher-spec amp. You can even get headphone amplifiers, if you really care about quality.

Of course, the best quality of all comes from avoiding both the headphone and line-out jacks and using a digital output signal. This can be either optical or electrical. Digital outputs are cleaner, bypass any on-device digital->analog conversion (that is usually sub-standard), and avoid ground loops that introduce hum and noise floor into your signal.

The iPod lacks any digital output.

Posted by Audio in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 12:11 PM (CST)


I have a suspicion that Alpine and other stereo makers (including home stereo makers) are going to offer built-in bluetooth. When I visited the mac conferrence in SF I saw the breadboard versions of bluetooth adapters for the iPods from two different dealers. They were smaller than the Belkin recorder and the quality was superb.

Posted by Ben Steyaert in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 1:10 PM (CST)


I’m using a universal cell phone holder and an Aiwa deck w/Aux input for my setup.  Works great.

Posted by mark in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 1:15 PM (CST)


I use the same thing that mark uses. It does work great!

Posted by The White Gold in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 2:47 PM (CST)


Hey, man, thanks for the explanation. Maybe the next ipods will have digital in/out like minidiscs.

Posted by Agent Orange in Irvine, CA on February 3, 2004 at 8:25 PM (CST)


When in the world is someone going to make a dock or a mounting for people who put skins on their iPods?  Every single stupid docking solution or mounting solution is for iPods that don’t have a 2 or 3 mm thick coating of silicone, etc…  There has got to be a ton of people who like the protection that skins have to offer, but who are frustrated with not being able to use the dock properly.

Posted by dakota650r in Irvine, CA on February 4, 2004 at 12:20 AM (CST)


I don’t think the current version of bluetooth (< 1 Mbit) has enough bandwidth for CD quality audio. Future versions of bluetooth ( ~10 Mbit) maybe a lot more suited to this.  See . Ultrawideband is another tech that could do the same. None of this would be cheap.

The main problems i have with operating an ipod while driving is how difficult it is to concentrate on the road (increased cognitive load). There is already legislation in the UK concerning driving whilst using a mobile phone - using an ipod is much worse.

I think I also read somewhere that the iPod dock interface doesn’t let you control the the display or get text from it. Any useful car accessory should at least display track listing using dashboard display.

Or maybe the iPod should have a car mode (like some mobile phones) which automatically increase the font size, turns on the backlight and re-maps the top 4 buttons to play a specific playlist - much like how car CD changers have a button for each disc.

I think Apple should get involved in solving this problem because not that many consumers really want to rewire their cars.

I think at one stage consumer electronic manufacturers were proposing adopting FireWire as an interconnect standard - so you could connect your Hi-Fi components, TV etc all using a standard cable. That would be a perfect solution for cars - high quality audio, data and power…

Posted by dp in Irvine, CA on February 4, 2004 at 7:31 AM (CST)


correction to earlier post - I was wrong about getting menu access to the ipod - sounds like Alpine system fixes all of that.


Posted by dp in Irvine, CA on February 4, 2004 at 7:46 AM (CST)


Dakota65r - a universal cell phone holder would accomodate an iPod with a skin as the width of the holder is adjustable.  The made for iPod only holders, so far as I have seen, do not accomodate a skin on the iPod.

Posted by jbcoop in Irvine, CA on February 4, 2004 at 6:00 PM (CST)


CWH—What info have you heard about hooking one up to a VW Beetle. Currently I have mine in the cup holder using the Belkin TuneDock hooked up to the tape player adapter. I’d love to have it hardwired.

Dakota65r —I have the EXO2 Skin and I use the Belkin TuneDock. It’s a snug fit so it holds the iPod great. Whereas normally the iPod is held in place by the suction cup attached to the back.

Posted by dixonbm in Irvine, CA on February 5, 2004 at 10:55 AM (CST)


I use the belkin charger/amp/line out thing with my aiwa head unit’s line-in. Works quite nicely except I get occasional hum (ground loop) and haven’t bothered fixing it yet.

No dice on anything cup-holder related, I drive a new sonata and the cupholders are hidden under the center console, and it looks much better with them closed. I just leave it sitting in the pocket under the head unit (the stock stereo was twice as tall as a normal head unit)

If the alpine solution’s under $200, I’ll seriously consider it, but most of their stuff is much more than that.
Ah well. :-)

Posted by JC in Irvine, CA on February 5, 2004 at 2:19 PM (CST)


Alpine head unit would probably be a single CD, with CD changer controls and iPod controls. If I had to make a swag about the price I would guess $500 or so.

Posted by Pete LaV in Irvine, CA on February 6, 2004 at 6:59 AM (CST)


The Alpine Press release   doesn’t give pricing info, but it looks like it’ll be pretty cool, especially since the new interface also charges the battery. I’d consider spending some cash on one, even though I’m pretty happy with my mounting in my truck (Arkon mount attached to vent, with charger and iTrip)

Posted by Darren Shea in Irvine, CA on February 9, 2004 at 5:33 PM (CST)

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