Some news from the UK piqued my interest recently, MINI is dropping CD changer preparation from their cars due to the fact that only 50 cars of the 50,000 cars produced last year actually had a CD changer installed. Why is this? The fact that you can just as easily have your MP3 player play through your car as you can have a CD deck installed, and most new cars come with AUX jacks pre-installed. The thought of having to physically change a CD every time I want to stop listening to the same 12 songs seems archaic and dangerous. Lets be honest, no-one pulls over every time they want to change a CD. Hopefully you at least do it at a red light, but either way, reaching for a booklet and searching for your disk of choice is not the best thing to do in a vehicle. Due to the shuffle feature of most MP3 players, or the ‘Genius’ playlist maker on the newer iPods, you don’t ever have to change the song, and if you want a specific song, it takes but 5 seconds to get to it. But what can you do if your car doesn’t have an AUX input already? Here are a couple ways you can join the party:
Normal CD deck with and AUX Input
I found one for twenty bucks, and there are numerous others that will allow you to play your iPod through your car’s speakers. Though you will have to charge the player with your cigarette lighter jack, this is an easy solution that is $20 and up.
In Dash iPod Dock
Will allow you to place your iPod into your dash like you would a CD, and control it from the face of the player. Very convenient, though you will pay for that convenience (as always).
Use one of these if you don’t enjoy music at all. They are around $30 dollars which is more than the deck I found with an AUX input and gives you the clarity of a beautiful sunset through a screen door. Yes, your music is there, but it is one dimensional. You have to find a truly dead channel to use it on, and even if you do, when you are next to a bus you will get interference from their radio (communication radio, that is). In short, DON’T DO IT.
My knowledge on these is very limited, so this will be short. I am not sure of the quality of the signal with these, though it is for sure better than an FM transmitter. I know it isn’t digital quality because you are going through the magnetic receivers used for cassette tapes, a technology that was invented in the 60’s.
There are many factors that go into how your music sounds including your speakers, amp, connection, and how compressed your digital music is. There are many people that give sound systems a bad name (i.e. those monkeys who try to get as much bass as possible to rattle their car to bits), but true audio fidelity can enrich your audio experience and allow you to hear the music the way it was truly meant to sound.