But we can – and it’s getting more relevant every day. Gone are the days when radio stations dictate our in-vehicle entertainment; even CDs are quickly going the way of the eight-track tape. According to a recent Autobytel survey, more than 80 percent of those who took the poll either had an iPod or knew of a family member who had an iPod. Of those, 30.7 percent claimed to have been able to use an iPod inside their vehicle. And according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), more than 152 million Americans – about 70 percent of the total U.S. adult population – own portable entertainment devices. On the vehicle front, MP3 capability has increased more than 1,200 percent as a standard feature since 2003, appearing on more than 320 vehicles in the 2006 model year – versus only 25 in 2003. In total, 598 current vehicles include MP3 player capabilities as either a standard or optional feature. For those who don’t know the difference between iPod music and MP3 music, it’s easy: there is none. It’s all about MP3, the music format, while iPod is just the delivery mechanism and iTunes the software used to load, purchase and play your MP3 files.
The message is clear: You’re sick of homemade CDs, talk radio and commercials. You want to get your iPod hooked up to your car, and you want to do it now. When choosing a way to do so, the main thing to consider is how to transfer your iPod’s audio signal to your car’s stereo receiver. There are three basic methods from which to choose; the best one depends on how much you want to spend and how much sound quality you’d like transferred from the iPod to your car’s stereo.