MacMice intros PodBuddy car system for iPod | iLounge News

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MacMice intros PodBuddy car system for iPod

pic MacMice today announced the PodBuddy, a new car connection system for Apple’s iPod. The solution consists of a high-grip cigarette lighter plug, connected to an adjustable cradle with built-in FM transmitter by a 6-inch length of flexible steel tubing. The mounting/charging cradle uses an adjusting mechanism to fit any model of iPod or iPod mini with dock connector. The FM transmitter automatically selects and displays the best available FM radio frequency. PodBuddy also includes a line output jack at the lighter plug end of the product, for direct connection to an appropriate car stereo system. The PodBuddy is offered in both white and Special Edition black versions, and will begin shipping in February for $99.99.

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Comments

1

I can’t find anything wrong with this, even at 99.99.  It charges, it finds the frequesncy, it’s small and not all that ugly.  Love the gooseneck.  If it works, I will buy.

Posted by bwegner on January 7, 2005 at 9:01 AM (PDT)

2

this is close but how about one withOUT the fm modulation, who needs it, it stinks. I don’t have a pocket of digital files to hear them in FM quality.

I’d like to see this without the clunky lcd for modulation, and for $49-$59.

All i want is a simple elegent cradle that has a dockconnection that provides power and uses line out via rca plugs. Is that so hard to make? Theres like 50 cradles and adapters on the market, and no one makes this simple solution for aux input users.

Posted by seven5 in richmond on January 7, 2005 at 9:37 AM (PDT)

3

I agree seven5. Just a simple dock/cradle that takes power from the cigarette lighter, and provides a line-out for direct connection via cassette adapter or auxiliary line in would be perfect for my needs.

Posted by kainjow on January 7, 2005 at 10:14 AM (PDT)

4

Why not just use the Apple dock with a cigarette adaptor if that’s all you want?

Posted by B.Mick in Austin, TX on January 7, 2005 at 10:19 AM (PDT)

5

If you were to do it that way, where would you put the dock? It’s made to sit on a desk or something flat that doesn’t move. It would probably fall over in your car unless you mounted it somewhere. The PodBuddy and other products similar to it work well (or are supposed to) because they are one device that is anchored into the cigarette lighter.

This product looks really nice and doesn’t look clunky like others. I will definitely buy it if nothing else comes out by Febuary.

Posted by kainjow on January 7, 2005 at 10:31 AM (PDT)

6

Who needs FM?

* Anyone without a casette/direct option.

* Anyone who wants easy portability to multiple cars/locations.

* Anyone who does NOT want wires.

* Anyone who finds the quality just great, in a car with road noise. (I don’t even mind FM indoors! And in the car, my iTrip is great.)

Posted by Nagromme on January 7, 2005 at 11:22 AM (PDT)

7

“All i want is a simple elegent cradle that has a dockconnection that provides power and uses line out via rca plugs. Is that so hard to make? Theres like 50 cradles and adapters on the market, and no one makes this simple solution for aux input users.”

Its not that simple.  There are no conventional RCA plugs in most factory stereo.  There is an output for a CD changer.  These connections vary from car to car.  You would need an adapter to fit your cars connection that would in turn allow the use of rca plugs for your ipod.  Then there the issue of this connections being INSIDE the car (as in behind the stereo, under the dash). 

Hmmmm, does that sound simple?

Dont get me wrong, I would love a solution like this, but as you can see, it is not all that simple.  Unless car makers smarten up, on future models, and make this connection easily accesible.  Kinda like TVs with the extra inputs on the front or side of the unit.

Til then, FM transmitters are the only EASY option we’ve got.

Posted by carlos.soto in NYC on January 7, 2005 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

8

I forgot to say.  This MacMice unit sounds and looks like the best of the bunch.  I’ve been waiting for something like this.  I like the goose neck and that it automatically tunes to the best available station.  I think I will be getting this one soon.

Posted by carlos.soto in NYC on January 7, 2005 at 11:31 AM (PDT)

9

seven5 said:
“All i want is a simple elegent cradle that has a dockconnection that provides power and uses line out via rca plugs. Is that so hard to make? Theres like 50 cradles and adapters on the market, and no one makes this simple solution for aux input users.”

AGREED!!!  This is almost identical to at least 3 other products already on the market (Belkin Tunebase, DLO Transpod, & the Griffin iTrip).

Unless you are one of the fortunate few who can tolerate the limitations of the FM transmitters, why wouldn’t you prefer a cheaper solution that does not include the extra worthless baggage?

Whether you are lucky enough to be using the line-out to connect to an Aux port on the front of your head-unit, pull the radio out to connect to the Aux ports on the back of it, or even if you are making do with a wired FM modulator on your factory HU, there is still an overwhelming need for a product that combines the functionality of an adjustable iPod cradle (why should I have to take my iPod out of it’s case?), in-car charger, and line-out port located near the power outlet.  Make it in white, black, or pink with green polka dots, and I would certainly buy it!

Since the more usable/controllable/complete in-car iPod solutions are currently running apx $200 (more if you are waiting for the Monster iCruze or plan to buy a new Alpine HU), price it in the $40-$60 range (so that most final solutions/installs will remain under $150) and you should have a surefire winner.


Belkin, DLO, Griffin, any other manufacturers out there… feel free to use this product idea, won’t you… I won’t even charge you for it, just hurry up and get one to market ASAP!!!!!

Posted by IDSmoker on January 7, 2005 at 2:58 PM (PDT)

10

I also agree. Take out the FM Transmitter and this would be perfect. I love the adjustable arm and the fact that it can charge. I’d also like if you could turn off the charging function so that my iPod isn’t always on charge when it’s in this unit.

Are you listening, MacMice?

Fishes,
narco.

Posted by narco in Burbank on January 8, 2005 at 6:31 PM (PDT)

11

Yep. We’re listening. Would March/April be soon enough? grin

But… (there’s always a ‘but,’ eh?)... the complexity of the plastics and mechnicals of this product are such that elimiating the FM transmitter and scaling back the size a bit just doesn’t create the manufacturing cost reduction one might hope. We will have to list the FM-less version at $79.99. Given that reality, I decided to lead with the FM version. For only an extra twenty-bucks, it’s there, if needed.

We haven’t made a final production decision on the FM-less version, but will, based on feedback such as this, what we hear at Macworld Expo, and from our resellers… soon. If we build one, it’ll hit the streets in the March/April period.

You guys can help by sharing your reactions to a $79.99 retail price for a non-FM version of the PodBuddy. My gut instinct is that the FM version’s cealry worth the $99.99 price (given the amazing FM quality), but that the non-FM version would be perceived as “massively overpriced” at $79.99. And, frankly, I won’t compromise the quality enough to get the price lower than that. There are already cheap products. We won’t participate in bringing a piece of junk to market.

Just my thoughts.

Jack
MacMice

Posted by MacMice on January 9, 2005 at 12:19 AM (PDT)

12

It sure is nice to see Jack’s response to the suggestions made here. I wish more product manufacturers took the time to listen, and respond, to feedback about their products.

I have also been frustrated by the lack of a good solution for using my ipod in my car. I share the dislike for FM modulation that other posters have expressed here preferring instead to use the dock connection’s line-out. My ideal product would be a wire with a dock connector on one end and a cigarette lighter + 1/8” mini-jack line-out at the other. This iWire┬« would work with most cases that people own and it’s a simple solution. I understand that one can build a cable like this but, I’d rather pay up to $40 for something that looks good from someone else.

That being said, the PodBuddy looks like a very innovative product. The auto-selecting FM modulator will make things a lot easier and the adjustable cradle / flex-cable looks nifty. I think you have a winner on your hands and look forward to checking one out at MWSF.

—Eric

Posted by Mister E in CA on January 9, 2005 at 5:46 PM (PDT)

13

Jack,

I think your pricing is dead on.  You are below the competitors ugly units that the ipod has to come out of its case for.  You are making black for those of us with the U2. THANK YOU.  I am just so glad that this was announced before I ran out of my time peiod to take back the Monster icarplay that I bought.

THANKS again for what looks like a great product.  I want to knwo when the soonest available ordering date is.

Posted by genrlz on January 10, 2005 at 3:59 PM (PDT)

14

It will be great if someone here can give a review on this products one it is available.

Posted by vwbug in Australia on January 18, 2005 at 8:25 PM (PDT)

15

The online articles and the manufacturer have been saying it will be available in Februrary and now the podbuddy website was changed to say it’s coming in March. It still says Feb on the details page. Hmm.

Posted by BenjAaron in Portland, OR on February 2, 2005 at 6:36 AM (PDT)

16

In answer to Jack’s question, I think $80 for the FM-less PodBuddy is on the high side, but I’d probably be willing to pay it because it seems like it would be the best car-connection solution for me, and there’s nothing like it on the market.

This is assuming that the dock works well. I want something that’ll hold my iPod securely, and from the pictures I can’t tell exactly how the PodBuddy does that.

Jack, has the decision been made on whether to go forward with the FM-less PodBuddy? If you do, do you have a better idea when it’ll hit the streets?

And just to cover my bases, when will the PodBuddy FM go on sale?

Posted by Slappyman in Ohio, USA on February 22, 2005 at 4:17 PM (PDT)

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