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Topic: Listening to MP3 Music in the Car - Help!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:12 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am looking for a good way to listen to my MP3 music in the car.  My car stereo has no USB or even aux jack to allow for additional inputs.  It is an amalgamation of radio, CD player and GPS -- making it expensive to replace.

I've heard of FM transmitters that one can plug into the car's cigarette lighter.  You save your music onto a SD or microSD card -- stick it into the transmitter, and the thing broadcasts the music to the car's FM receiver.

Has anyone used this -- and would you recommend it?  If so, then what's a good brand to buy?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, I've had one of these in the past - I believe it was Belkin, but not positive. It worked ok, but you have to find a station that's not transmitting anything. So on a cross country road trip, you may have to fiddle with it occasionally to change stations.

Oops - mine was specifically an iPod dock that transmitted to the radio, so I'm not sure about the whole SD card scenario.  I imagine it would work in the same way.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The FM transmitters I've read about all simply plug into your player's earphone jack so you retain all the playback controls of your player. (I have a little Belkin one that runs off a AAA battery)

The limitation is how crowded the FM spectrum is in your specific area as the transmitter needs a clear channel as the transmission power is regulated to a very low level. If you're in an urban area the odds are not good. Some more elaborate ones will do a scan, other simpler ones just have a few presets.
http://www.radioshack.com/family....mitters

If it were a vehicle I was going to keep for a while I'd look into getting an input jack added on.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This thing has lasted a lot longer than the MP3 player that I originally bought with it.  You can find them cheaper I'm sure...

iRiver AFT-100 Mobile iPod FM Transmitter

As stated above, it does best on a dead spectrum, which is tough in the city.  I am in a mid-size city (Salem, OR) and it does pretty well here.  Plug into the headphone jack, choose the best preset frequency, and off you go.  Be aware that if you've got it plugged in but have the MP3 player off it will eventually start to buzz and go to static... dangerous on the ears if you've got the stereo volume up!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FM transmitters can be infuriating.  Depending on how far you travel, local stations get in your way.  What's worse, you are susceptible FM transmitters from neighboring vehicles, so you can be unexpectedly bombarded with the wrong music.  Also, the sound quality is not so great.  I would get a new stereo rather than use an FM transmitter, unless it's for a temporary application.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use an FM transmitter with bluetooth that broadcasts my phone to my stereo. I actually find it works clean and clear.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A Bluetooth one would be a good idea as you don't deal with as many wires and could place the transmitter up on the dash without endangering your player. The closer your transmitter is to your car's antenna the better.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, everyone.  I've heard about interference from FM transmitters.

I know little about blue tooth.  How does the music get inputted to my car stereo?  Is it also a transmitter?  Finally, any bluetooth  brand/model recommendation?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 2:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bluetooth is how the signal get's from your player (although that assumes it's a phone or something else Bluetooth enabled) to your Bluetooth enabled FM transmitter as an alternative to a cable plugged from the earphone jack of the player to the FM transmitter. Then the FM transmitter broadcasts an FM signal your car's radio picks up via it's antenna, with the car's FM receiver set to the same frequency as the transmitter.

Bluetooth is a low power electronic device to electronic device radio transmission standard,
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ben,

I have a $50.00 iTrip that has lasted me well since maybe 2005 or so. Works just fine, though sometimes there's some interference; not much though.once you find a channel that works well, leave it there - though obviously if you're always in different cities/locales/etc, you'll need to change channels more often.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE
Bluetooth is how the signal get's from your player (although that assumes it's a phone or something else Bluetooth enabled) to your Bluetooth enabled FM transmitter as an alternative to a cable plugged from the earphone jack of the player to the FM transmitter. Then the FM transmitter broadcasts an FM signal your car's radio picks up via it's antenna, with the car's FM receiver set to the same frequency as the transmitter.

Bluetooth is a low power electronic device to electronic device radio transmission standard,

I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled".  Am I missing something?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ben

PS- one thing to. Make sure if you do go the FM route is that the device charges your iPod. I remember looking at a few that did not .... On long road trips, that would quickly drain the iPod. The iTrip was the best option I found when I was looking for something.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ben, i've been using one of the FM Transmitter / Docking Stations for a couple of years.  It is ok, but they pop and crackle all the time, and yes, you have to adjust the station every once in a while.

I'm not sure how into DIY projects you are, but you might take a look at this...
http://www.instructables.com/id....for-an-
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have use an adapter that you plug inline with the car radio antenna, like this one

http://www.pac-audio.com/product....ryID=45


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I am leery about the quality and reliability of using an FM transmitter. I'd love to be able to create an input jack -- but alas, no, I really don't want to tear into my car dashboard. Any mechanic here who lives near me in LA? :D

Chuck, my car doesn't have a "pull up" antenna.  It's one those painted onto the rear glass window.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:17 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE
Bluetooth is how the signal get's from your player (although that assumes it's a phone or something else Bluetooth enabled) to your Bluetooth enabled FM transmitter as an alternative to a cable plugged from the earphone jack of the player to the FM transmitter. Then the FM transmitter broadcasts an FM signal your car's radio picks up via it's antenna, with the car's FM receiver set to the same frequency as the transmitter.

Bluetooth is a low power electronic device to electronic device radio transmission standard,

I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled". Am I missing something?

Yes, the Bluetooth transmission path is from your cellphone (they all have Bluetooth capability due to earphones) or, Bluetooth enabled player, to your Bluetooth enabled FM Transmitter: the rest of the signal path is an FM signal from your transmitter to your car's builtin FM receiver.

It's just a radio substitute for the cable between your player and your transmitter. and for a rear widow antenna it might be a good thing as you could tape the transmitter on your back window bench.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:47 pm)
QUOTE

(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:17 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE
Bluetooth is how the signal get's from your player (although that assumes it's a phone or something else Bluetooth enabled) to your Bluetooth enabled FM transmitter as an alternative to a cable plugged from the earphone jack of the player to the FM transmitter. Then the FM transmitter broadcasts an FM signal your car's radio picks up via it's antenna, with the car's FM receiver set to the same frequency as the transmitter.

Bluetooth is a low power electronic device to electronic device radio transmission standard,

I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled". Am I missing something?

Yes, the Bluetooth transmission path is from your cellphone (they all have Bluetooth capability due to earphones) or, Bluetooth enabled player, to your Bluetooth enabled FM Transmitter: the rest of the signal path is an FM signal from your transmitter to your car's builtin FM receiver.

It's just a radio substitute for the cable between your player and your transmitter. and for a rear widow antenna it might be a good thing as you could tape the transmitter on your back window bench.

Sorry if this sounds dense...

If I play music on my smartphone... will my car stereo pick it up -- or does the car stereo itself need to be blue tooth enabled?  I suspect the latter....


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 5:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I got one of these for my oldest son for Christmas.  He says it works fine. $10.00

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica....Id=2569
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 4:31 pm)
QUOTE
Yeah, I am leery about the quality and reliability of using an FM transmitter. I'd love to be able to create an input jack -- but alas, no, I really don't want to tear into my car dashboard. Any mechanic here who lives near me in LA? :D

Chuck, my car doesn't have a "pull up" antenna. It's one those painted onto the rear glass window.

This device goes inline where the antenna plugs into the radio

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 6:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm really surprised no one has mentioned this. As long as you're not too picky about absolutely perfect sound quality, it works great....although it looks a little sketchy. Got it at Wally World.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 6:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hoosierdaddy @ Jan. 22 2013, 3:35 pm)
QUOTE
I'm really surprised no one has mentioned this. As long as you're not too picky about absolutely perfect sound quality, it works great....although it looks a little sketchy.

No one mentioned it because I wrote above that my stereo comprises a radio and a CD player. :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 6:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's what I get for posting before a first cup of coffee. :p
ETA:  You're screwed.  Time to buy a new car.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 6:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Do they have one of those that uses an Edison wax cylinder?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 7:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've had a couple of different ones.  As mentioned on cross country trips you have to fiddle with the stations.  Also you will find that the sound is somewhat compressed and does not have the dynamic range that you expect from your iPod.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 7:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:57 pm)
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:47 pm)
QUOTE

(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:17 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE
Bluetooth is how the signal get's from your player (although that assumes it's a phone or something else Bluetooth enabled) to your Bluetooth enabled FM transmitter as an alternative to a cable plugged from the earphone jack of the player to the FM transmitter. Then the FM transmitter broadcasts an FM signal your car's radio picks up via it's antenna, with the car's FM receiver set to the same frequency as the transmitter.

Bluetooth is a low power electronic device to electronic device radio transmission standard,

I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled". Am I missing something?

Yes, the Bluetooth transmission path is from your cellphone (they all have Bluetooth capability due to earphones) or, Bluetooth enabled player, to your Bluetooth enabled FM Transmitter: the rest of the signal path is an FM signal from your transmitter to your car's builtin FM receiver.

It's just a radio substitute for the cable between your player and your transmitter. and for a rear widow antenna it might be a good thing as you could tape the transmitter on your back window bench.

Sorry if this sounds dense...

If I play music on my smartphone... will my car stereo pick it up -- or does the car stereo itself need to be blue tooth enabled? I suspect the latter....

Either your car stereo or the FM transmitter. Some newer cars just have a USB port that's at least iPhone compatible, I rented a Mustang last summer that had that. Played music and kept the phone charged too. Handy feature.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 10:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have an FM transmitter, but we don't live in a place where we get too much interference on a daily basis.  We love cross country travel with it in unpopulated places even though we have to change the stations once in a while.

You live in LA - based on our travels through Chicago and East Coast megalopolises, I wouldn't recommend one for LA.  Too many stations to interfere with!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 11:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:57 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:47 pm)
QUOTE

(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 1:17 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 22 2013, 11:59 am)
QUOTE
Bluetooth is how the signal get's from your player (although that assumes it's a phone or something else Bluetooth enabled) to your Bluetooth enabled FM transmitter as an alternative to a cable plugged from the earphone jack of the player to the FM transmitter. Then the FM transmitter broadcasts an FM signal your car's radio picks up via it's antenna, with the car's FM receiver set to the same frequency as the transmitter.

Bluetooth is a low power electronic device to electronic device radio transmission standard,

I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled". Am I missing something?

Yes, the Bluetooth transmission path is from your cellphone (they all have Bluetooth capability due to earphones) or, Bluetooth enabled player, to your Bluetooth enabled FM Transmitter: the rest of the signal path is an FM signal from your transmitter to your car's builtin FM receiver.

It's just a radio substitute for the cable between your player and your transmitter. and for a rear widow antenna it might be a good thing as you could tape the transmitter on your back window bench.

Sorry if this sounds dense...

If I play music on my smartphone... will my car stereo pick it up -- or does the car stereo itself need to be blue tooth enabled? I suspect the latter....

Yes, it will pick it up and play it. In fact, I use the built in android software so that I can just press a button on my bluetooth receiver and say, "Listen to (pick your favorite song or group)" and the smartphone will use pandora to create a station and start playing...essentially hands free. I can also say, "Call (insert person or business here)" and it will automatically look up in my contacts or local businesses and find the phone number and call them.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 11:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 4:17 pm)
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I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled". Am I missing something?

You can add bluetooth to an existing car stereo. Apparently the adapters are brand-specific and need to be hard-wired to the stereo behind the dash. It appears this setup would not use any FM transmission. It would require, however that your music player can transmit bluetooth, or be connected to something that does.

If you're going to hard-wire, it may just be easier to install a USB port directly inline, I assume a car stereo shop could let you know if that's feasible.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 2:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JRinGeorgia @ Jan. 23 2013, 11:35 am)
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(Ben2World @ Jan. 22 2013, 4:17 pm)
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I don't think a stereo that lacks any kind of aux input (jack or USB) can be made "bluetooth enabled". Am I missing something?

You can add bluetooth to an existing car stereo. Apparently the adapters are brand-specific and need to be hard-wired to the stereo behind the dash. It appears this setup would not use any FM transmission.

Most of those are hard-wired to the antenna input. They use FM modulators, but not power amps, since they don't need to broadcast, but only to provide a signal level above the FM receiver threshold (there are no significant coupling or spreading losses)

Edit: Some of manufacturer-specific ones take advantage of other interfaces intended for devices like CD changers.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 4:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

So it would or would not still be prone to signal interference from FM stations? I thought the hard-wired adapter option would get around the interference issue.

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