iTrip maker readies 'smart' iPod car adaptor

Control your iPod from the tape player


iPod accessory maker Griffin Technology has launched what could prove the best way of connecting the Apple MP3 player to an in-car tape machine.

Griffin SmartDeck in-car iPod adaptorLike many other cassette deck adaptors, the SmartDeck relays the iPod's output through the deck's magnetic head. However, Griffin claims to have figured out how to send control data from the tape deck the other way, allowing drivers to operate their iPod from the tape player.

Griffin hasn't said how it works, but it's not hard to imagine a system that detects fast forward or reverse button pushes by sensing how the cassette adaptor's sprocket wheels are being driven. That feedback could be used to send a signal to the iPod to do the same -although Griffin uses the information to skip tracks rather than run through them at speed. Ditto Play and Pause, by reading if the cassette deck's magnetic head is engaged or not. Ejecting the adaptor also sends a Pause command to the iPod. SmartDeck can also auto-adjust the iPod's volume for optimal sound quality, Griffin says.

SmartDeck provides should better sound quality than Griffin's alternative in-car audio product, iTrip, which transmits the iPod's output as FM radio signals. iTrip's inherent sound quality isn't bad, but it can prove problematic in regions with a very crowded FM band. It's also illegal to use iTrip in some countries, such as the UK.

SmartDeck also provides a cheap alternative to more fully integrated in-car iPod connectors, such as Dension's iCE:Link Plus, which hooks in to a car stereo's auxiliary input. It's a more seamless system, but not an easy one to fit if you're not an expert in such matters.

Griffin will demo SmartDeck at Macworld Expo in San Francisco this week; the product is expected to ship in Q2 2005, for the cheap-as-chips price of $25.

Griffin will also demo its upcoming AirPort Express port replicator, a handy unit designed to allow owners of the Apple product to site their compact access point more effectively than wherever a free mains socket happens to be.

The Xpress Stand will also cost $25, and ships early this quarter, Griffin said. ®

Related stories

iPod gains ghettoblaster accessory
iTrip FM beamer back in black for U2 iPod
UK bans iPod radio add-on

Related review

Griffin radioShark
Creative Sound Blaster Wireless Music


Other stories you might like

  • DigitalOcean tries to take sting out of price hike with $4 VM
    Cloud biz says it is reacting to customer mix largely shifting from lone devs to SMEs

    DigitalOcean attempted to lessen the sting of higher prices this week by announcing a cut-rate instance aimed at developers and hobbyists.

    The $4-a-month droplet — what the infrastructure-as-a-service outfit calls its virtual machines — pairs a single virtual CPU with 512 MB of memory, 10 GB of SSD storage, and 500 GB a month in network bandwidth.

    The launch comes as DigitalOcean plans a sweeping price hike across much of its product portfolio, effective July 1. On the low-end, most instances will see pricing increase between $1 and $16 a month, but on the high-end, some products will see increases of as much as $120 in the case of DigitalOceans’ top-tier storage-optimized virtual machines.

    Continue reading
  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022