a trip with the iTrip

This weekend I traveled to Oil City, PA with the women's swim team. It is only about a 2 and a half hour drive, but of course our car wanted tunes to jam to (and not fall asleep to) on the way. My friend Heather (also on the team, but with plenty of CD's along with her iPod for her car) let us borrow her Griffin iTrip. The iTrip retails for only about $35 and plugs into the headphone jack of the given iPod model and broadcasts the songs onto an unused radio station....in theory...

As claimed by the vendor the Griffin iTrip can transmit onto any FM radio station through a special transmitter. And that the iTrip, can work with any radio, at home or on the road. From the Apple website you will also learn that the iTrip is supposed to have the cleanest possible signal because it can choose from any radio station, which is done “by 'playing' special station codes directly from the iPod itself.”, and even comes with the claim to be “Simple”.

The iTrip also doesn’t need batteries but plugs into the iPod via the headphone jack and uses its power supply. It also doesn’t need a power switch, but is activated once plugged in with the iPod turned on.

In a car full of 5 women, 2 of which are engineers, the iTrip made us actually feel dumb. It took us 15 min. to actually get it to pick up a radio station onto which it would broadcast with a fair amount of static. Also, for some reason when searching, the iTrip would only find a station when playing Spice Girls "If you Wanna be my Lover". It actually would stop working when we changed to a different song.

Once we finally did get it to pick up a radio station, it was extremely fuzzy and had bad radio feedback for the most part. And, the iTrip is supposed to change automatically to a new blank station when the current station is being used by a new frequency. This feature had about a 50-50 shot of working. (It tended to work better in the back country roads of PA, versus the highways of OH, just for a little added information.)

Also, because the iTrip plugs into the headphone jack, it blocks the hold button so you can’t actually disable the buttons without unplugging the transmitter. And although claimed to only use a “tiny” amount of power from the iPod, my freshly charged iPod after 4 hours of playtime with the iTrip was left with only 20% of its battery life remaining.

I know they have different makes of the iTrip that don’t just plug into the iPod, but plug into the lighter-port of the car, and these also have pre-determined stations to search from, and there is a screen to show you what station you are using. While I don’t know how well these versions work, I do know that I would not recommend buying the Griffin version, unless you want to be extremely disappointed in the quality, or really like the Spice Girls.

(All information for this blog was taken from the Apple website at href="http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/72801/wo/dV5X799DLIPc2LOq5Kc1uwfslCx/">


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Posted by: jkj
Posted on: October 9, 2005 01:37 AM

So I get to comment on Devon's Sages blog. I didnt even know you were in sages let alone sages with maria. How cool is that. That sucks that your experience was soo bad. I know other people with ipods who got FM transmitters that only transmit on one stationn work quite well. But now with the boom of the ipod you have all the major computer companies making accessories for the ipod im sure there is a website somewhere out there that can allow you to find the advantages and disadvantages of the different models. Hopefully next time your experience wont be so bad.

I tried and returned it. I got a cassette tape adaptor instead. I use Car Kit from Belkin, which provides power from the cigarette plug along with a direct audio line-out, which provides a better sound quality. Unless you have one of those new cars with the built-in line-in option for iPod, this seems to be the best option.


Posted by: Suzy Kark
Posted on: October 11, 2005 12:00 AM

I have never tried the itrip version, but my boyfriend has one made by Monster. This one works really well...I've never had any problems with it. On long trips, sometimes the station will get fuzzy but it only takes a few seconds to switch to another station. Also, what is great about it is that you can plug anyone's iPod into it...so for long trips with people who like diverse music, it is great.


Posted by: Britt
Posted on: October 11, 2005 09:33 AM

Sorry about the experience. I think that is one of those things where we always expect things to work and if we paid all that money for it, it should right? Your comments remind me of some that I am looking at for the Motorola Rokr. If you have had an expereince with it, let me know.


That's funny that you wrote about the iTrip. I just had my first experience with the iTrip about a week ago. One of my best friends picked me up to go out, and I noticed as we were driving along that she was controlling the radio with her iPod! It was the most exciting piece of technology I think I have ever seen. I want one so bad, but I don't know if they sell the iTrip for the iPod Nano!?


Posted by: jack of
Posted on: November 15, 2005 02:05 AM

Anyone know of any other blogs with similiar articles

sorry about the frustration. i definitely agree about the iTrip kinda being horrible. my only experience with the iTrip is as follows: my sister owns an iPod and accompanying iTrip, and we were driving together one time and she was using the iTrip. well, as you all well know the thing doesn't get great reception everywhere so you have to fiddle with it until you get reception. basically what ended up happening is that my sister was fiddeling while driving and was about two seconds off getting into a wreck if i hadn't yelled at her and told her to slam on the breaks so she wouldn't run the red light. so yeah, not a big fan of the iTrip

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