Automotive Jiggery-Pokery

So it’s all very well having a lovely 4th-gen iPod, but what if you never have an opportunity to listen to it? I hardly ever use public transport or walk anywhere (activities that are, traditionally, the preserve of the iPod owner) so I was beginning to think my purchase was a little rash…

I really wanted to be able to listen to it in the car, but there was a significant obstacle. There is no – standard at least – way of connecting an iPod to my car stereo. I had already experimented with using an FM transmitter a few months ago when I had my Creative Zen NX, but the quality was shocking, so that wasn’t going to be an option.

Another possibility was to buy a whole new car stereo – Alpine have just brought out a head unit which has integrated iPod compatibility. There’s a bit that stows away in the glove box which connects to the iPod itself, and then the head unit controls the Pod’s functions. Excellent, except that it costs £275. A bit steep, even for me.

So I finally plumped for the option that required a bit of DIY, but was a good compromise of cost and functionality. I got myself one of these units that plugs into the CD-changer port on the back of the standard radio. I extracted the radio, connected up the new box of tricks, hid it away down the back of the centre console, and then routed a standard stereo RCA to 3.5mm jack cable through to the base of the dashboard. This way, I can pop the Pod in the cup holder, plug the cable into the headphone socket, and enjoy all my tunes in the car.

Job done. Lovely.

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