The Apple Core: iPod your car, the right way

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 1st, 2005, 00:25
Category: The Apple Core

alpine-cda-9855.jpgThere are several ways to connect your iPod to your car’s stereo ranging from simple and poor sounding to complex and high fidelity. Sometimes you don’t have much of a choice because your car stereo limits your options, but there’s an option for every configuration and budget.
The easiest method to blast your iPod through your car stereo is with an FM transmitter. FM transmitters (or modulators) connect to your iPod and turn it into a tiny radio station, broadcasting the audio over the air on an open FM frequency. Simply tune your car stereo to the FM station and you’re in business. They’re inexpensive and easy to install but finding an open FM frequency in a large city can be difficult and sound quality is poor.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.
To the people who are hating on Alpine’s Glide interface, chill out. You need to spend some time with it before you can truly comment on it. Remember the first time that you tried a trackpad? I’ve been using Glide for over a week now and it works well. You don’t have to scroll through playlists/tracks ten at a time, you can fast scroll and skip through playlists in larger groups: the faster you scroll your finger the faster you jump through the list, just like the iPod.


alpine-cda-9855.jpgThere are several ways to connect your iPod to your car’s stereo ranging from simple and poor sounding to complex and high fidelity. Sometimes you don’t have much of a choice because your car stereo limits your options, but there’s an option for every configuration and budget.
The easiest method to blast your iPod through your car stereo is with an FM transmitter. FM transmitters (or modulators) connect to your iPod and turn it into a tiny radio station, broadcasting the audio over the air on an open FM frequency. Simply tune your car stereo to the FM station and you’re in business. They’re inexpensive and easy to install but finding an open FM frequency in a large city can be difficult and sound quality is poor.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.
To the people who are hating on Alpine’s Glide interface, chill out. You need to spend some time with it before you can truly comment on it. Remember the first time that you tried a trackpad? I’ve been using Glide for over a week now and it works well. You don’t have to scroll through playlists/tracks ten at a time, you can fast scroll and skip through playlists in larger groups: the faster you scroll your finger the faster you jump through the list, just like the iPod.

Recent Posts

4 Responses to “The Apple Core: iPod your car, the right way”

  1. Too bad the Alpine 9855 is in fact on eof the WORST iPod compatible head units out there. The reason is the “GlideTouch” interface that Alpine introduced for 2005. It is a bar along the bottom that you slide your finger across to scroll through songs. Sounds like a good idea right? NOT! You can only jump 10 songs if you fling your finger over it really fast, so that means with 400+ artists, to get to number 201, you have to slide your finger across it 20 times!!!!! Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, another 17 times. And sometimes it gets in a mood and will only move one position at a time instead of 10. You’re screwed THEN. Awesome head unit, but GlideTouch needs to be thrown out the window and come up with some sort of wheel to scroll through songs!

  2. One way to connect your iPod in your car not mentioned above is to use an interface adapter. If you have a vehicle with cd changer in the trunk or glove box, you can buy a special cable to connect your iPod through the stock stereo. Basically what you get is an auxillary in port. Usually you lose the ability to use the cd changer. You control the iPod with the controls on the iPod itself. You can find them online if you google “interface adapter” Its what I use and cost $80.

  3. Jason, no matter what the official Alpine documentation says, the KCA-420i does work with late-2003 Ai-Net head units, like the CDA-9815. The integration isn’t quite as elegant as the 2004 models, like the CDA-9835, but that’s mainly due to the lower-resolution display.

  4. I agree that the Alpine Glide interface is almost unusable; you develope carpal tunnel trying to jump through a long play list and sometime the bar will read incorrectly and you’re suddenly back at the beginning. You also cannot back up through the menu. You alway start from the top and go back down so if you want to listen to another album by the band your currently listening to, you have to go back to artist scroll through 100s of them, then back through the albums.