Macworld: Exclusive: Griffin’s SmartDeck knocks out car cassette rivals | iLounge News

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Macworld: Exclusive: Griffin’s SmartDeck knocks out car cassette rivals

pic Following an exclusive pre-Macworld Expo interview with Griffin Technology representatives Chris Heric and Sharp Emmons, iLounge was blown away by the company’s new SmartDeck audio cassette adapter ($24.99) - a patent pending in-car solution for iPods that both transmits an iPod’s music to a car stereo and permits that stereo’s existing controls to operate the iPod. SmartDeck will ship in the second quarter of this year.

White in color and otherwise externally almost identical to Sony’s CPA-9C cassette adapter, the SmartDeck connects to an iPod’s headphone jack and four-pin top accessory port with a single white cable, and is inserted into a car’s cassette tape player to enable inexpensive and clean iPod-to-stereo audio transmission. However, SmartDeck differs internally from the CPA-9C and less reliable competitors, using optical technology to map the stereo’s fast forward, rewind, and other buttons to the iPod’s internal controls. Moreover, Griffin’s engineering representative promised that the product would outperform Sony’s adapter - our benchmark for reliability - in performance and longevity. As Sony’s adapter shames low-end products made by companies such as Coby, we can’t help but be excited for its potential.

Given its inexpensive price, seemingly great audio quality and certain utility to millions of iPod owners, Griffin’s SmartDeck is the single most important product we’ve seen thus far before Macworld Expo. If the finished product delivers on Griffin’s promises - and on time - it will be a must-have accessory for iPod owners with in-car cassette decks. Click on Read More for a higher-resolution photograph, and expect additional information in the days to come.

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Comments

1

can’t wait to get mine!!!

Posted by GreenMini in DFW on January 10, 2005 at 10:11 PM (CST)

2

that’s pretty darn cool that it can control the iPod from the stereo. too bad i don’t have a tape deck in my car. do newer cars even come with tape decks anymore?

Posted by gustafks in Minneapolis on January 10, 2005 at 11:01 PM (CST)

3

For versatility, I imagine you could use it with a laptop too—just extend the audio plug with a short cable, and ignore the controls aspect.

Posted by Nagromme on January 10, 2005 at 11:44 PM (CST)

4

Well, that defies the entire point of it doesn’t it? It’s designed specifically for the iPod. Why would you get it if you just wanted to use it on a laptop? You can get them for pittence now (ones that aren’t made for the iPod).

Posted by silver_haze on January 11, 2005 at 2:38 AM (CST)

5

why couldn’t you use just a standard cassete adapter like the sony one for the laptop?  Why even bother with this?  For the ipod? 25 bucks?  Wow, not bad.  Its got to be better than the itrip!  No stations to deal with, better (not best) sound quality… Not to shabby, but I wish it used the dock connector port for line out sound quality.  Would be cool to have the text on the display and charging too, but that could be the next generation.  I’ll just keep dreaming.

Posted by apple juice in USA on January 11, 2005 at 8:12 AM (CST)

6

I also wish that it used the dock port, so that it would charge the iPod as well.  I would think that the dock port could handle the remote commands, what with all the pins in there.

Posted by thenightfly42 on January 11, 2005 at 9:29 AM (CST)

7

Perhaps I am just smoking something, but how in the heck would you plug a cassette adaptor into a laptop, and why in the world would you want to?  They already have a line-in or at least a mic input.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on January 11, 2005 at 9:35 AM (CST)

8

I bought the Sony car cassette adaptor for my 4G iPod, but have not been able to use it because the cassette player keeps rejecting it.  It inserts fine, but within 5 seconds, the darned thing get spit out.  Sony on-line help sucked, of course, they just kept repeating “gee that shouldn’t happen”—yeah, my thoughts exactly.  Anyone know how to fix?  Thanks much.

Posted by Pragmatist on January 11, 2005 at 9:38 AM (CST)

9

“Perhaps I am just smoking something, but how in the heck would you plug a cassette adaptor into a laptop, and why in the world would you want to? They already have a line-in or at least a mic input.

You would plug the jack into the laptops headpnone/audio out port, not the cassette.

Posted by Gabriel in Boston, MA on January 11, 2005 at 11:03 AM (CST)

10

“I bought the Sony car cassette adaptor for my 4G iPod, but have not been able to use it because the cassette player keeps rejecting it. It inserts fine, but within 5 seconds, the darned thing get spit out.”

My dad had the same problem. It has something to do with the cassette adapter only being one-sided. He fixed it by playing a regular tape to the end of the side and making it switch to play the other side. After that just put in your adapter and it should work fine.

Posted by Filly in Woodstock, GA on January 11, 2005 at 12:21 PM (CST)

11

just got a new jeep and i sorely need a cd conversion thingy like this. i ‘ve got a itrip but on road trips u gotta constantly mess with the channel as fm stations fade in and out.

Posted by silvertrailer on January 11, 2005 at 5:24 PM (CST)

12

Too bad because of the headphone jack/controller bit it won’t fit the iPod shuffle…

I thought of getting this for our car, and getting an additional iPod shuffle for the family in additon to my iPod 3G, but that won’t work for us.

That is a correct assumption, right?

Posted by agentkow in Vancouver, Canada on January 12, 2005 at 3:50 PM (CST)

13

The iPod shuffle is extremely simple, and as I understand it you just listen to whatever it wants you to hear at the moment. Just get the Sony cassette adapter for it. It’s a little cheaper anyway.

Posted by Filly in Woodstock, GA on January 19, 2005 at 9:58 AM (CST)

14

Must get this. The iTrip is USELESS IN LONDON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by simatbirch on June 7, 2005 at 9:39 PM (CDT)

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