Tips on how to Connect an iPod or maybe Other Digital Music Player towards your Car Stereo


I recently “sold out” and bought myself personally an iPod. Here’s a professional guide to hooking it up to your head unit!

But first…

Until you’ve lived in a cavern for the past few years, you have been aware of the iPod, Apple’s beautifully designed portable music player. The particular iPod allows you to carry the background music of hundreds or thousands of Cd albums in a small box that fits effortlessly in your pocket or carrier. It is capable of much more, nevertheless, the focus of this article is on the audio. Because of the extreme portability of the iPod, many people want to carry it with them in the car. This is a trouble because most cars may offer iPod connectivity, together with few exceptions. Fortunately, you can find solutions for people who want to use their particular iPod in the car.

Direct relationship:

Pros: Control iPod together with stereo and remote regulates, automatically charges iPod, excellent sound quality, easy to install, low-cost
Cons: non-e that I know about!

This option is only available to masters of radios that help a direct connection to the iPod touch. Basically, all you need is a wire that connects to your iPod touch, then to the radio. Alpine is one brand I know that gives this feature. Some new vehicles also offer a direct link with the iPod.

How to hook up via an interface:

Advantages: Control iPod with music system and remote controls, quickly charges iPod, perfect high quality
Cons: Expensive, more complicated to run

This option is available to users of more up-to-date upgraded radios and newer manufacturing radios.

Aftermarket radios:

You will need a brand-specific iPod screen. For example, if you have an Alpine head unit, you’ll need to have an Alpine iPod interface. Commonly, this interface is a modest box with a production to your radio and the input that connects to help to your iPod. Basically, you should find an appropriate mounting position for the box. From there, find a better place to route the mp3 player cable. Some good locations usually are inside the glove box, as well as if you have a pocket with your dash, route it by there.

Factory radios:

You will need a vehicle-specific iPod screen. The one company I know of their manufactures these interfaces is Peripheral. Check out their website to check if your vehicle is supported. If so, you’re set! Hook up often the interface is often similar to how you will see above.

How to connect the phono to RCA cable tv.

Pros: Excellent sound quality, can be installed right away, super cheap
Cons: Still cannot control ipod with music system; iPod won’t automatically impose

You will need a head system that has an additional insight for this to work. If your brain unit does not have an aux-in, you’re probably best looking for another alternative.

The way to connect an iPod by means of FM modulation:

Pros: Quite simple to setup and install, unit is widely available, most products charge the iPod
Disadvantages: Not the cheapest, poorer high quality, iPod can’t be controlled simply by radio

This is the easiest way to hook up an iPod to your radio. Basically, your ipod touch connects to a device that broadcasts the music to a broadcast station frequency. Tune your current radio to that frequency, and your music will play from the radio. There are a variety of products obtainable that do this.

Other digital camera music solutions:

Kenwood defines a “music keg,” which is quite simply a portable hard drive that is cadre with the Kenwood receiver. That is an excellent alternative to bringing the iPod to the car. Just load up the music keg, including your songs are good to go.

Alpine makes a digital music player. This revolutionary product contains a hard drive you can load with your songs. It works incredibly similar to a CD modifier in that it is controlled by the crown unit.

A brief word in relation to other digital music members:

The iPod is not the one digital music player available. Inspiring Labs has the Zen; in addition, Microsoft just released often the Zune. There are many other units available as well. If you have one of those other digital music participants, you can still use some techniques to connect your participant to your head unit.

Sadly, the iPod has been appreciated much more than its competition, so as far as I realize, there are no interfacing solutions for the other digital audio players. You can still hook up the device to your head product through a mini phono to be able to RCA cable. You can also find FM modulators that are not iPod-certain, which will allow you to connect to your face unit through the radio.

A quick word about digital audio formats, compression, and high quality:

So, back in the ice age range, like 10 years ago, a fresh digital format known as AUDIO began to take the internet simply by storm. Basically, it helped an entire CD of new music to take up minimum space for a person’s hard drive. Before SONGS, the primary format available to most people was PCM (aka WAV). PCM is basically an exact reproduction of the information stored with CDs. Anyway, MP3 modified that. It was now likely to compress the music with a significantly smaller file size. Usually, you could fit 10x the outcome in the same space. Certainly, where a typical WAV file of a song might take up 40 Mb, an MP3 data of the same song might take a right up to 5 Mb without an intense loss of sound quality. The sounds could now be transmitted very easily between people. That, of course, resulted in a whole lot of dispute… Remember the original Napster?

Yep, yeah. Who cares?

Here’s precisely why it matters. In order to match a lot of data in a small room, you have to take some products out. In other words, you lose high quality. MP3 files allow for increased or lower amounts of compression setting, and usually, this is expressed simply by bit rate. Basically, the more excellent the bit rate, the higher the requirements quality.

Yeah, yeah. So what??

When playing music in a car, especially LOUD, sound quality concerns a great deal. So, you’ll want to ensure that when you play MP3s (or other digital music formats) in your vehicle, you use high-quality sound files. If you use poorly protected music files, you’ll regret it!

Poorly encoded data files tend to sound “tinny,” or perhaps like they are being played out through a can. Also, higher frequency sounds such as cymbals and also voice (mainly when vocalists use words that contain the particular letter “S”) sound “swishy.” Bass tends to sound dull and sloppy. When you enjoy this stuff loud, it becomes very annoying.

If you intend to play digital music inside your vehicle, be sure you are using good-quality sound files. For MP3, the particular files should ALWAYS be forty-four. 1 kHz. The bit level should be at least 160, although preferably higher. I encode all of my files on 256.

Anyway, now you be familiar with digital music in the auto!

Alan Bayer is an buyer and car audio enthusiast. He/she runs an eBay store providing car stereo install resources:

He also has a GREAT web page with car audio articles (such as the one from above). Also, on the website, learn about mobile entertainment equipment, how to find the best devices, how to install it, and spend less big bucks in the process!

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