(i)Trippin’ no more

I finally gave up on my iTrip, and dug up my old cassette adapter for the daily commute. Don’t get me wrong- the iTrip is a great device; I just can’t use it anymore. Much as I hate dealing with the wire trailing from my dash, it beats not hearing my iPod at all.

The main problem is location. I live in Northern Delaware, which puts me about an hour from Baltimore, 45 minutes from Philly, and 15 minutes from Wilmington. I get radio stations from all three. The Baltimore stations aren’t really listenable, but there’s enough signal to make using the iTrip not possible on those frequencies.

In fact, I’ve only found one frequency that works reliably with the iTrip. Of course, everyone else is using the same frequency, either with iPod-connected FM transmitters, or (more and more) with satellite radios. I don’t know what kind of numbers Howard Stern is pulling on Sirius, but I hear him several times a week as someone’s Sirius transmitter bleeds over to my radio.

The evening commute is the worst, since the traffic is generally much heavier, and of course slower. I also see lots of semis during evening rush, and they all seem to have some kind of transmitter these days- and usually much more powerful than my poor little iTrip. It was up to the task a year ago when I got my first iTrip (I traded up at Christmas for the one with the knob), but not with today’s crowded airwaves.

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5 Responses to “(i)Trippin’ no more”

  1. Yeager Says:

    I still love my iTrip, but when I take trips up towards Philly I definitely have a lot tougher time getting a consistent signal. If I could get the tape adapter to actually work, I’d probably just use that, but for some reason my tape player always spits it out.

  2. Sean Says:

    New Toy<br/>

    Tape adapters!! Bah Humbug! Don’t stay with that 1980s technology! No!! What you obviously need is a new car receiver for your ride. There are several models on the market that have an aux input for the trusty IPOD. And while you are upgrading that receiver, well you might as well go ahead and do the whole car! Yes, get that 1000 Watt 200 disc in-dash receiver with all the new update comforts. Not only can it read from your Ipod, but you can probably find a few models on the market that brew coffee for that extra cup into work. Throw in a dozen speakers or so and heck with a microphone they may even be able to hear you at work from the house. Or it could act as a early warning system to the people in Philly.

    All of the above should be easily justifiable to the wife. I am sure she would agree that you should not be using that tape adapter. I mean that would like using an old Micro-vax instead of a Mac..:)

  3. Jason Says:


    Laugh all you want, integrated iPod support will be a factor when I shop for my next car. What I really want is to dock my iPod, and have integrated controls in the steering wheel, with an LCD display and click wheel just like the iPod. Oh, and I don’t need a disk changer at all… haven’t taken a CD anywhere since I got the iPod.

    As to the VAX… it didn’t survive the last move. Neither did the teleype. I do have a couple of old Sun Sparc 1s in the garage tho.

  4. chornbe Says:

    I never really found the sound quality to be great on the iTrip. Now I just small, over-the-ear headphones… Not a full headset, but not the painful ear-buds, either. I find the immersion good and it still leaves me able to hear horns, cops and the occasional irate driver yelling out the window of her mini van with the soccer sticker on the back as she almost drops her cell phone after spilling her latte and blaming everyone around her… but that’s another conversation :)

    I agree, the next car should have iPod support. I’ve already added in-the-helmet speakers to my motorcycle helmet.

  5. Uncle Roger Says:


    I’m not really anti-iPod, but I don’t want one. What I want is a device that connects to my computer (USB 2 or Firewire, preferably) and looks like a hard drive. I will then use my own method of putting MP3 files on the device which, once disconnected, the device will let me select and, if either MP3 or M3U(?), will simply play them.

    My old Archos Jukebox did that (but, alas, it died); I’m told the iPod won’t. I looked at one (name forgotten — it wasn’t worth remembering) that, like the iPod, required its own software to load and index the music. I don’t want that. I’ve got my own method (directory structure plus filenames) and don’t want any fancy functionality. Oh, and I want it cheap (ideally, let me install my own 3.5″ hard drive). I don’t mind it being a little bigger, I don’t care about a color display or fancy jog wheel. I just want storage, simplicity, and functionality.

    Is that too much to ask? Currently, I’ve just got an external 3.5″ hard drive that I plug into whatever computer is handy and use WinAmp. I could use a small doohickey that could controll a USB hard drive and play music on it, but I’d rather just have something like my old archos.

    Anyway, all that said, I would also like to see a standard audio connector (1/8″ phone plug?) and power connector, rather than something iPod specific.