comments

I have this item and it is great. The one button skip from frequency to frequency while driving , and the reception is superb. I almost wished I had not splurged when I left the Apple Store...now I am SO glad I did. Simple, non-distracting, no software aspect. To use is a house is simple. For $9.99 at Target and such stores you can buy an adaptor to use any car powered device on AC. Small and useful in many ways. I bring only a car charger in this device on trips--I get two device options this way.

As for tape adaptors...try using this if you are doing rental cars or in a friend's car with only a CD player--tape players will soon go the way of the floppy disk, frankly.

Posted by Michael on April 22, 2004 at 9:24 AM (PDT) Comment 1

When I turn my car off, my Monster device turns off as well...it must be something with the cigarette lighter specific to your make and model of car!

Posted by Stefan Oetter on April 22, 2004 at 2:12 PM (PDT) Comment 2

I purchased this item after purchasing an ITRIP and becoming frustrated with the fact that the ITRIP insisted that I must have the music match software when I installed it, even though the documentation indicated It would work with ITUNES (which came with my g3 idpod).

So far, this has been a good solution even though I live in an area where these frequencies are jammed with radio stations. Yes it's pricey, but your going to spend that much on seperate components unless you by the cheapest stuff you can find. Frankly, 1 cord is better than 2.

Posted by Scott on April 22, 2004 at 7:39 PM (PDT) Comment 3

Tried one, and I took it back the next day. Noisy, weak, poor imaging... I couldn't even get my radio to find the iCarPlay's signal by using its seek function. I really wanted to like it, being small, mobile, and simple to use, but its main function -- to supply sound -- just wasn't good enough.

I've since added a PIE adapter & Belkin auto charger, and that's what I'll be sticking with for quite a while. No, it won't help with other vehicles, but that's a tradeoff I'll accept in order to have hardwired sound in my own car.

Posted by Leland on April 22, 2004 at 8:08 PM (PDT) Comment 4

Does anyone have any experience with this transmitter compared to the iTrip and the Belkin TuneCast II? There are a lot of mixed reviews out there but no direct comparison of the three.

Posted by Gabe on April 23, 2004 at 9:45 AM (PDT) Comment 5

I've tried both the iTrip and the Monster solution. Monster's interface was easiest to use (very easy). iTrip seems to actually require reading the manual.

Unfortunately, Monster's station choices are useless where I live. Would help if they could provide some kind of interface (maybe via USB connection to PC?) to let you mess with the stations.

Didn't have much better luck with iTrip - very hard to find a clear station in my area (souther Ontario).

Posted by Alan on April 23, 2004 at 11:41 AM (PDT) Comment 6

I just try using this Monster transmitter today and want to confirm that it does it jobs so well in my area (Atlanta, GA). Even though it offers limited frequency to move around, the transmitter is strong enough to overcast existing radio waves. With one cord hooked up with your pod, it rocks!!

Posted by PPing on April 24, 2004 at 10:52 PM (PDT) Comment 7

The iCarPlayWireless staying on with the car's ignition turned off is entirely a function of the car. Many cars (typically American cars) have the cigarette lighter(s) live at all times, even with the car off. Other cars (Japanese/Korean imports, generally) have the lighter socket tied to the ignition. You would notice the unit's behavior change depending upon which car it is used in. At any rate, the draw is low enough that the car's battery will be unaffected so long as it is not on its last legs.

Posted by JonBoy on April 26, 2004 at 1:54 PM (PDT) Comment 8

The Belkin Tuncast II sucks. Don't waste your money. This will be going back as soon as I can get back to the store. I should have looked into this before I went to buy one - I'm a sucker. I probably won't be spending any more money on trying to hook my iPod to my car stereo - or any other stereo - after reading these reviews... I don't think that a "hiss" (even small) is acceptable.

Posted by crisp on May 16, 2004 at 2:48 PM (PDT) Comment 9

I have been using it for a month and it works fantastic where I live in Tucson,AZ where there aren't any stations that use its frequencies. However, it is almost useless when I go to Phoenix,AZ which has all sorts of stations using its frequencies. Driving across Phoenix I have to hunt for a frequency about every 10 minutes and often times there is no good station to be found.

Wanted to confirm also that the charger does turn off when the car turns off. The reveiwer must have a car where the cigarette lighter bay can still be used when the car turns off.

Also like to add, that while it does not match the ipod exactly, it looks sleek and great with the ipod. It looks great as a bridge between a car with a gray/black interior and the ipod.

My question is does this device limit the ipods battery life? There is no way to make it not charge and it is my understanding that there is a limited number of power cycles for a battery. Does using this device always (especially if you are constantly starting and stopping your car and thusly starting and stopping charging) limit the battery of the ipod?

Posted by japple on May 23, 2004 at 11:49 AM (PDT) Comment 10

I bought a digital lifestyle outfitters TransPod FM! for $99.00 + tax at newly open apple store, after I read the ad on applestore website. I did'nt work well, it was hard to plug my ipod to the gadget and it took too way too long and took too much space. I returned it the next day and I was charge for $9.90 restocking fee, which is fine and I bought the moster icarplay for $69.00 + tax. It works really well, just plug and play. I have no problem with the transmission (Austin, TX) and the music, sounds like a perfect fm radio. It doesn't take much space, very simple and I don't need to show my ipod sticking out from the dash of my car.

Posted by BlueBoyJocks on June 16, 2004 at 9:31 AM (PDT) Comment 11

just had this item shipped to the UK- lots of agro and hunting for a supplier willing to (amazon won't) as the device fits under the pirate radio tramsmitter laws here making me a pirate radio dj: cool!
The only station on the icarplay's wavelengths here is BBC2 which fortunately is intermittant between the given frquencies. so finding the channel with the least interferance is as simple as tuning each station in with the ipod on pause and turning the volume up to check for hiss. this could get tedious if the signals gain strength or change on the move tho.
I agree that a little hiss is not good enough over music but in any car there is a good deal of exterior noise anyway (unless you drive a rolls royce or have an ultra expensive car system) under studio conditions i'm sure it wouldn't impress. so i leave my audiophile tastes at home with my seperates and take the icarplay as a bit of good clean fun and another way to mobilise my pod. definately worth the money at the exchange rate at least!

Posted by eddyT on June 18, 2004 at 1:26 PM (PDT) Comment 12

i just bought it & in 3 min. flate i was listening to my ipod on my radio! clear & LOUD! I bought it in tyson corner, va good reception...drove through d.c. to silver spring, md. still great reception. but what do u expect...its from "monstercable."

Posted by MiWolverine96 on June 19, 2004 at 11:50 AM (PDT) Comment 13

I got the icarplay about 2 weeks ago and it's working great! I spent about a week just looking up various FM transmitters and ended up getting the icarplay with my new ipod mini. (I was about to wait for the iTrip for the mini but I think I made the right choice)

Unlike itrip, there's no programs to fuss with and it's so easy to use. You just plug in and enjoy.

iTrip would be easier to travel from car to car since it's wireless, but taking the iCarPlay around to different cars is not that difficult either.

I was kind of worried about the constant charging but I was soon assurred that the constant charge was what they call the 'Monster Smart Digital Charging' which they say is designed to maxmize the battery life of the ipod.

After all, it's from Monster, and as any musician knows it's a damn good and reliable company.

It's easy to change stations if needed and I was surprised to find out that it blocks signals so well. I live right in the middle of the Los Angeles downtown next to the Staple Center, and I had no problem with getting a clear signal. There is a little hissing with quiet songs but it's very negligible when listening to alternative songs.

I wouldn't recommend it for those who listen to classical or quiet songs. They should just stick with CDs. In fact, they should just forget about the FM transmitters in general.

Well, the review got unexpectedly long but I give it two thumbs up. It's powerful, user friendly, and it's a MONSTER!
It even blocked out a jazz station with ease.

I don't know how good the iTrip mini would be but I doubt it'll be as powerful as the iCarPlay. If it is, then I'll gladly spit out $39 to buy the thing since I am so happy and impressed with the iCarPlay.

Posted by chaznation on June 21, 2004 at 9:38 PM (PDT) Comment 14

The Belkin Tunecast II is nice but needs a better antenna. Because there is no RF amp stage out of the mod chip and the antenna wire is inside the *very* short cord, wrapped with the sheilded ground, I was lucky to get it to transmit 4 feet.

Took mine apart and I soldered a 27" length of wire to the PCB antenna pad and my range is now 35-40 feet, clean. Very legal, just voided my warranty. Even 7-12" of antenna length is an improvment if you are needing it to stay mobile and look good. 22-27" hits a sweet spot if, like mine, it hangs on the back of a tower. 24 gauge fits nice in the circuit board through hole, (silkscreened "ANT").

For the best sound from a laptop I recommend some DSP plugins for compression and stereo expansion, and EQ on the media player, cut off at 15KHz.

Don't blame these manufacturers of FM transmitters for playing it safe. The FCC are bugger bears on consumer devices. Play nice.

Posted by Zeke on June 26, 2004 at 8:09 PM (PDT) Comment 15

I have an iTrip, had one for my 1g ipod and got another for my 3g. one thing i never liked was the fact that the stereo allways needs to have the volume up 3/4 of the way. I saw the review of the podfreq in macworld. it uses the line out vs the headphone jack. it works alot better. the range isnt all that different but the volume no longer needs to be cranked on my stereo. the size takes a little getting used too, and i like firewire port on the side, especially since i still have my car charger from my 1g ipod.

Posted by stormin on July 9, 2004 at 8:29 PM (PDT) Comment 16

I just bought a Monster iCarPlay cable. I tried to use it on my Honda Accord V6 2004 model that has a navigation system. When I tune the FM radio to the frequency that I selected in the iCarPlay cable, the radio signal gets muted but I am not able to hear the music from the iPod. I am using the latest model of iPod (40 GB) with the dock. Any clues what must be wrong? Unfortunately, I am not able to locate the FM antenna on my Honda and not sure whether that will solve my problem. I even looked at the Honda manual but I am still stumped... Can anyone help me please?

Posted by ramesh on July 15, 2004 at 9:53 PM (PDT) Comment 17

I am a very discerning listener, and when I bought my Ipod i knew that it would be difficult to use it in my car. I have a VW, with the CD/Tape system, but I have always been averse to Tape adapters. Yet I went out and bought one, the hiss was noticible, and the Ipod had to be turned up so high, it didn't even last a 3.5 hour trip to Vegas. I threw it away and bought the Itrip, because of it customizeable features, and it's low profile. It was awful, the Ipod had to be turned up, the sound never quite lived up to the Ipod's lofty standards. One day, I threw it out the window. Last week, I went out and purchased the iCarPlay, with every intention of returning it the next day, because I knew it wouldn't work. To my pleasant surprise, not only did it work, the Red light matched that of my interior dash lights, and the sound quality was better than CD. Those of you griping about radio stations, I live in Southern California, probably the most jammed bandwith in the country. I found the perfect signal in 4 seconds, it had a very minor hiss, but I removed my antenna, and everything was fine. I still get my other stations without interference, just not in parking structures, oh and I get AM too for my sports. The best and most overlooked feature of the iCarPlay is the fact that it acts as a line-out adapter. So you don't have to keep adjusting the volume on the Ipod and on your stereo. Take it from me, this is the best accessory for Ipod users wishing to listen to their beloved devices in their cars.

Posted by Rahul Kumar on July 21, 2004 at 7:42 PM (PDT) Comment 18

THERE IS A BETTER SOLUTION THAN FM.
I do have an itrip......but it is NO substitute for a direct line between your ipod and your car stereo. If the stereo in your car has capability for a CD Changer - go to [url=http://www.pie.net]http://www.pie.net[/url] and by their AUX input adapter(they make for almost any brand, aftermarket or factory) . It tricks your car stereo into thinking you have a CD changer connected. Sound is always clear, perfect.
I bought the one for chrysler vehicles 2002+ and it works perfectly on my 2002 grand caravan.
Bruce

Posted by Bruce on July 29, 2004 at 7:21 PM (PDT) Comment 19

I'm going to Italy next week and I have the Monster iCarPlay. Anyone know if it will work in a rental car in Italy? I assume the FM bandwidth will be the same range, but I don't know if the cigarette lighter will have a higher voltage that could fry my iPod. Anyone know about this?

Also, do I really need to buy the univerasl travel adapter set that Apple sells, or can I just use a normal set. I'm pretty sure I can just use the normal set I have, right?

Thanks

Posted by Marty on August 9, 2004 at 11:06 AM (PDT) Comment 20

I just got the iCarPlay and it works perfectly. I know the drawbacks with FM transmitters and that direct connect is better, but this is one of the better FM transmitters. I've tried the iRock and it never really worked that well and didn't have good range. The iCarPlay has better range and the the ability to charge the IPOD is the best part. I didn't have to turn the volume all the way up on the IPOD to hear it, like you have to with most other FM transmitters. I higly recommend it, if a FM transmitter is your only option.

Posted by Pat on August 12, 2004 at 3:45 AM (PDT) Comment 21

When looking at solutions at the apple store for my ipod mini, this thing just looked more complete. Fortunatly when i used it, it also happens to be the most complete solution. In the SFBay area, I might have to change the station once between SF and SJ. Other than that the sound quality is very good, and I have really not experienced the hiss that people are talking about except at insanly loud levels.
Couple of concerns though,
1. sound level is not as high as my other devices, normal radio or cd sound level is around 25% on my car (IS300), but normal level for the monster is around 60%. But then again, there is no real need to go much higher than this.

2. Charging it constantly kinda bothers me, I wish there was a switch to turn that off. the issue with the socket staying on doesn't happen to me, agree with whoever said this is only an issue with mainly american cars.

Posted by yang on August 18, 2004 at 2:51 PM (PDT) Comment 22

I bought the device for a trip through MT, WY, and Idaho where I expected to find few stations. It worked perfectly. Now, returning to an urban area I still find it works well. I like the fact that I only need to plug in one thing to both charge and play through the radio. That means only one thing to disconnect to hide the iPod in the glove box while parked.

I do not find the limit to car use a problem. It is easy enough to plug the iPod into my home stereo directly rather than try to broadcast through the radio.

This device is easy to use, well thought out, and handy.

Posted by Bgreig on August 22, 2004 at 9:50 AM (PDT) Comment 23

Bruce, did the the Monster iCarPlay work OK in Italy? I am going to France next week and I plan to use my ipod with the Monster iCarPlay in a rental car.

Posted by pof on August 28, 2004 at 7:43 PM (PDT) Comment 24

this thing works great, sound quality is not bad at all, the white noise is not that bad even at higher volumes...since it's for a car the noise is acceptable.

Posted by SiR001 on September 3, 2004 at 8:32 AM (PDT) Comment 25
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