Streaming iTunes Radio in the car

Q: How can I get iTunes radio stations to play through my car stereo while the car is moving? I don’t think I want to use the iPhone, but rather a laptop with iTunes installed. How would the signals get to the moving car?


A: iTunes Radio stations are streamed across the Internet, so in order to play them in your car you will need to have Internet access. Using an iPhone with a data plan and an app such as Pandora or Slacker Radio is the simplest way to handle this, as the iPhone of course already has Internet access over the cellular network.

If you really want to use your laptop to do this, you’re going to need to provide Internet access to it so that it can get at the radio streams while you’re away from Wi-Fi access points. To get Internet access on a laptop you can either purchase a data card or USB device from your cellular carrier or “tether” your iPhone or other compatible cell phone to provide the Internet access for your laptop. Purchasing a data card will normally require a separate data plan with an associated monthly fee, and is probably not worth it just to listen to Internet Radio in your car since the fee would likely be higher than subscribing to Sirius or XM Radio. A better alternative is “tethering” which allows you to access the Internet by connecting your cell phone to your computer. In this case you’d be sharing the same data plan that your phone normally uses so there would be no extra costs providing you’re paying for a sufficient amount of data. However, not all carriers or phones support tethering—for instance the iPhone is capable of tethering, but AT&T does not provide this capability for iPhones on their network at this time.

Latest News