Also, as far as recharging iPods. I've already "had" to buy a PowerPod by Griffin. So all I would have to do with the PodFreq is buy a FireWire 6 to 6 pin cable. These are not expensive at all ($15 at the most). This give you the ability to play the iPod with the PodFreq indefinitely just like with the iTrip.

Again I haven't decided if I'm going to buy one or not. But this review is just plain out and out nasty. What happened? Did their mommies not change their wet or dirty diapers soon enough and they got cranky from diaper rash? See, I can be rude and nasty too.

Posted by Sabon on May 16, 2004 at 7:45 AM (PDT) Comment 21

I just got my PodFreq and I had an iTrip before so I've had a chance to compare them. The first thing is that it is a beautiful product that looks like it was deisgned by Apple to work with the iPod. You can't really tell from the picture, but the materials used are all really high quality and seems very sturdy. Secondly, changing frequency is very easy with the up and down buttons. Also, who care about having Japanese frequencies available (that's probably illegal in the U.S. anyway). Number three, I've always had to fiddle with the volume on the iTrip. If it were cranked up too high, I got distortion. If it were too low, I got static and noise. But with the PodFreq and its line-out connection, the level is always just right. And, I can adjust my headphone volume to be whatever level I want while the car sound volume stays the same. I like to listen to it cranked up and the other passengers can listen to it on the radio. Number four, the reviewer must be half deaf because I found the PodFreq to have a broader frequency response and much cleaner signal than the iTrip, which is unacceptable to listen to in comparison. Finally, I agree that the iTrip and the PodFreq have about the same range, but the iTrip is much more sensitive to orientation, I guess because it lacks the antenna.

Posted by David Bradley on May 29, 2004 at 11:40 PM (PDT) Comment 22

ok.... i am going to chime in here seeing as it appears no one here knows anything technical about fm transmitting. or at least it looks that way from the comments

people complain about the antenna on this device.

the FM radio band has a relatively large wavelength compared to other transmitting devices we use in our daily lives.... such as cellphones..... and homephones (ever notice how 800MHz cordless phones had a long telescoping antenna and 2.4GHz phones had a short stubby antenna)

due to the larger wavelength you need a larger antenna to transmit and to recieve. ideally the antenna length should be mathematically calculated to be an ideal length....

that length will be different at 88 and at 108 KHz.... approximately 80 to 65 cm respectively

ideal length should be in multiples of a minimum length like those i just mentioned

in addition... an ideal antenna is a dipole antenna and has a horizontal and vertical orientation.

in a dipole the ground of the antenna is at the center and the antenna radiates one wavelength each way so an ideal minimum antenna for the car would be 130-160cm with a ground at the center...... since the car antenna is most likely vertically orientented then the antenna of the transmitter needs to be oriented... hence why you stand it on end

i personally own a griffin iTrip...... i have had a 1st and 2nd gen itrip.....

i thought it was horrible, but because of governmental restrictions on power.......

i took mine apart, attached an antenna.... i then use an extra ipod remote and used the cable from it and cut off the remote and soldered it to the griffin connector..... i then mounted the antenna in my car.

in addition i made an FM amp and connected it between the antenna and the itrip........

with the antenna and the amp turned on i get a solid signal up to 1/4 of a mile ........ i don't need to worry about selecting a station because it can drown out even the most powerful stations anywhere

someone suggested that you can get more out of the podfreq..... you probably can and with much less effort than the itrip...... the itrip is very difficult to attach an antenna to without losing some signal at the junction

PS i had a first gen ipod so i have a car firewire adapter sitting around that is useless and i could use with this device

PSS in addition ... since it uses the line out you get the least amount of distortion...... and the best signal to feed to the itrip

Posted by intlplby on May 31, 2004 at 2:07 PM (PDT) Comment 23

Lots of other players have these FM transmitters already built-in.

What do you think are the chances of the 4G iPod coming with this built-in?

Posted by 4G iPod on May 31, 2004 at 3:32 PM (PDT) Comment 24

This review is crap. the iTrip is an inferior product. Have any of the iTrip owners ever experienced sound quality discrepencies during poor weather? If it rains, the iTrip is less effective. PodFreq doesn't have that problem. That alone is enough to pursuade me to a PodFreq.

If you are an average joe shmoe with no need for quality sound, get an iTrip. If you are an audiophile looking for a wireless way to connect to your stereo, PodFreq baby.

Posted by try try on July 15, 2004 at 8:26 AM (PDT) Comment 25

I had the iTrip and was very familiar with using it before I got the PodFreq. With the iTrip, I was constantly moving the angle of my iPod around in my pocket and on the seat of the car to avoid signal breakup. I would go through the convoluted process of selecting new frequencies every once in a while, and got the pleasure of hearing the bleeps and blurps of the various frequencies when I would randomly shuffle songs. None of these things is a problem with the PodFreq. The signal breaks up a lot less often, and changing frequencies is as easy as dialing the radio. The only time I use the iTrip any more is when I have the iPod docked in my computer and I want to play from it across the room to my boom box. At home on my real stereo, I use the PodFreq.

See ya

Posted by Stephen Worth on July 20, 2004 at 3:10 PM (PDT) Comment 26

Having managed to get a PodFreq smuggled into the UK, I took a deep breath and today bought a 4th generation 20gb iPod (see ). Thankfully no problems to report.
First impressions of the PodFreq were good. It's a neat unit, well designed and simple in form and function. Build quality is good and once married (because the unit is built to accommodate a 40gb unit, I did need to add an extra piece of foam to the one supplied to keep the slightly smaller 20gb snuggley in place) with the iPod the two become well matched solid unit. It works particularly well as an alternative to the iPod's dock with both mini USB and Firewire ports on the side of the unit.
Transmission quality at first test seemed good. Transmitting to both a home system and a portable sound system within the same room, the signal appeared strong and without interference and over-rode even the strongest radio broadcast signal.
Some of the sound quality is lost with transmission but the loss is slight and the overall effect is good.
Well done Mac and well done Sonnet.

Posted by Warren on August 10, 2004 at 2:56 PM (PDT) Comment 27

Well, I like my PodFreq a lot! The lack of a dock connector for charging is not important to me, as I have several 6-pin firewire cables. In fact, I can connect the iPod to my computer without removing it from the PodFreq, and charge and sync it just fine! It beats the iTrip because you do not need software. Is it perfect? Nothing is perfect, but it works as advertised, and the audio quality is as good as an FM radio station. If you can afford it, go for a unit that connects to youe radio through the CD changer connector, as there are several available for different makes of car, but they are very expensive, and can only be used in the car. I like the fact that the Pod Freq can be used wherever there is an FM radio.

Posted by Dave MacDonald on August 30, 2004 at 6:29 PM (PDT) Comment 28

the best design
works excellent
no more changing cds just turn the radio on!
confortable color
i payed just $76. that's fairly incxpensive for this uniq freq.

i travel,hotel has radil & i have all my music ready, it's awesome!!!

to writer: please keep much negative opinion than necceesity in your self. it doesn't make those user who's enjoying Podfreq feel confortable. (or envy make someone to write things in this way?? if you have better idea, design one and make one. you would go through much much effort to please people. can you?? thanks.

the best, aya'

Posted by aya on September 2, 2004 at 7:37 AM (PDT) Comment 29

As far charging while in the car the Belkin Tunecast 2 DOES have this ability if you spend $20 extra for the Belkin iPod Car Charger. See the Tunecast 2 came with an extra cable, what is it for? To connect to the Belkin iPod Car Charger. The Car Charger then recharges the iPod AND it powers the FM transmitter. (No batteries needed.) The total kit will cost you $60. The only problem is there are lots of cables dangling around.

Posted by Ghost on September 4, 2004 at 9:04 PM (PDT) Comment 30

I've owned the iTrip and a PodFreq, I've sold my iTrip and kept the Podfreq.
Both do have pluses and minus' depends on what you really want, I find the USB and Firewire ports on the Podfreq suit my use as these are standard cables for a PC. It also means I don't have to carry around special cables just in case I need to plug into a PC as I use my iPod as a portable Hard Drive as well.
The iTrip does work as well as the Podfreq although I thought the PodFreq sounded better on my car stereo, although if you are after super sound quality I don't think an FM transmitter solution fits the bill.
On another note, I found the iTrip appeared to drain my iPods battery more than the PodFreq.

Posted by Scoobie on September 15, 2004 at 5:55 AM (PDT) Comment 31

No WIRES!, easy to use, capable of using any frequency and kind of sexy design. Its a very good product. I do wish it had the Apple connector isntead of USB and Firewire though.

Posted by Dank on September 21, 2004 at 10:05 AM (PDT) Comment 32

I just wanted to state that I have a PodFreq, and other than it not having a charger, its not much different from the unit - sells itself for the car. The fact that they're not much different from each other could be part of why they were a little harsh in their review, but don't quote me on that. I would have liked a broader fm range, though, in the PodFreq, since it's hard to compete with megawatt stations in a large city when you're crankin out just a few milli or micro watts because of the fcc regulations imposed on these devices. I'd also like to say that I had an audiaX before, and there is a noticable difference in the quality of sound, especially since the audio is taken digitally and the volume is regulated. That helps the PodFreq sound much better than other products too I suppose. Also, they included a soft pouch so that the face of the iPod is protected.

Posted by Sam on October 23, 2004 at 9:50 PM (PDT) Comment 33

Having been a previous iTrip user I changed to a PodFreq seeing the claim was better transmitter and sound quality. The transmission range is better, however sound quality is not much different than an iTrip.
The Podfreq was fine whilst it worked, I have been through 2 different Podfreq in which both went faulty. The first one died after about 2 weeks of minimal use (it stopped transmitting) the second stopped working after 1.5 months again with normal use. I decided to email Sonnet Support, only to have a very unhelpful message come back saying "we haven't seen this fault before", both units stopped transmitting... they were not interested in can you explain what, how etc... happened before it failed or send the unit back to us so we can test / replace etc... Just as well the store I bought the Podfreq from have excellent customer service (MacCentric- Chatswood, Australia) and offered a 3rd replacement unit, in which I requested a credit and bought a Griffin Roadtrip, which I have to say I am very happy with, it sounds excellent and the transmitter is as quoted powerful.

Posted by Scoobierx on October 24, 2004 at 10:45 PM (PDT) Comment 34

I don't get it. MacWorld gives this product straight A's in their February 05 review. So, like the impulsive nimrod that I am, I went out and bought one thinking it would be better than the itrip.
I should have read this review first. I'm not crazy about the podfreq. Consider the overall review regarding the design flaws and weighing out the positives and negatives, including cost, the Griffin iTrip is a better product. Most people cover their ipods, in a case or whatever. To use the Freq, you've got to go naked. Undress your ipod and slide it down. Convenient? Nope. You want to take your ipod to an outdoor bbq, make sure it's in a safe, solid place and then hope for the best. The antenna is, in my opinion (and really, this whole post is just my opnion), stuPOD. I mean, it looks cool, kind of 60's retro and for your home office, maybe go the extra 50 bucks but for practicallity with only a marginal difference in sound quality, stick with the iTrip. I've got the Podfreq playing right now, locked into a station on a BOSE wave radio. Move around the room, I get distortion. This never happens with iTrip. I'm sending this cumbersome little bastard back. My 2 cents.

Posted by bottlecap on January 5, 2005 at 3:55 PM (PDT) Comment 35

ok i just cnt even begin about this review

the fact that the podfreq has a BUILT IN firewire port is practically the whole reason i bought it!!
now i can use ANY firewire cable instead of the Flimsy 30 pin that apple gives away. i cant believe that the editor, who is such a mac aficionado doesn't have a firewire cord. DUH. the built in firewire port eradicates the need for special cables, it doesn't exacerbate it.

oh and by the way my podfreq came with a built in car charger.
but i don't use it, the inconsistant wattage of alternators in cars Kills Lithium batteres.

Posted by Ed Keenan on January 7, 2005 at 12:40 AM (PDT) Comment 36

The tipoff to it being a troll is the mention of the bose wave radio! hehehe

See ya

Posted by Stephen Worth on January 14, 2005 at 6:51 PM (PDT) Comment 37

>>Bill must work for this loser company...<<

Sheesh. What a lame response.

For all I know you work for the folks who make the itrip!.

This is just folks' opinion. Nothing more. There's no need to question his integrity. For what it's worth, I just ordered one of these things. MacWorld says it's the best transmitter available for iPod. I guess we'll see.

Oh yeah. The company now includes a car cigarate power adapter standard with the product.

Posted by Bob1a on January 24, 2005 at 2:24 PM (PDT) Comment 38

O.K.- I subscribe to Computer Shopper (a CNET) publication. I'v always trusted CNET and had no problems doing so.... till now. This month (April's issue) they have a whole section on iPod gear. Well this stinker, the PodFreq, was said to be the only transmitter you should think about buying! WTF! I'm going to cancel my subscription if I see any more stupid advise like that. They did put iPodlounge at the top of their list of places to go on the web for all things iPod and I agree with them. And to everyone working on this site, you guys are great and I believe what you say. I bought the iTrip!

Posted by SnoopyGolf on May 15, 2005 at 12:28 PM (PDT) Comment 39

I just purchased a PodFreq out of frustration.

I've never used an iTrip, because I hate the idea of clunky MP3 files that can show up when I shuffle play. I've used the Belkin Tunecast II and an iRiver unit. I have to say, the iRiver works the best, except it runs out of the phone jack, thus eating batteries, thus making listening to my iPod on long drives challenging. I had the DLO unit, which worked well, both charging through and taking audio from the dock connector -- for about two months, then it died.

While out of town, after a long drive that I had to finish without tunes, lest I suck the iPod dry, I decide to pick up a simple car charger, but see the PodFreq. It seems an interesting idea, and I take the plunge.

I do like the design, by the way. It's not a 'real' case, but, sitting in my lap in the car, it's got some basic protection. It uses most of the FM range. I wish it had screen protection, and I wish it had station memories.

But most of all, I wish it had some ability to transmit an FM signal while charging.

The unit seems to work alright, but as soon as the car charger is plugged in, the noise floor goes way up, to the point where it's occasionally unlistenable. Without the charger, it seems fine, comparable to the iRiver or DLO (when it worked.) But, then why would I want to pay approx $100? It's no better than the units 1/3 its cost, except that it uses the dock connector rather than the phone jack.

As for fat -- it's not that much larger than the iPod in a case or with any of the other FM units. Without the charger, there're no wires.

Still, I prefer the iRiver, although when I bought a second one for my wife's iPod, it didn't store station memories properly (it lost them when unplugged.)

I wish I could put an aftermarket stereo in my 2005 car, but no luck. I'm stuck, like most of the rest of us, with mediocre (at best) FM transmitters.

Posted by crazyquilt on May 18, 2005 at 9:34 PM (PDT) Comment 40
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