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/188.8.131.52.0.8.25.7.11.1.3">
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Tracked: November 8, 2005 08:04 AM