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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i'm pretty old school when it comes to electronics. but for my birthday i was given $125 gift card for walmart that i have no idea what to spend it on. so ive been looking at mp3 players...but i'm clueless about them. the big question is if it would even be something i would use. i listen to music mostly in my car because i installed a decent system in it. can i hook up an mp3 player to my car stereo? and ive heard something about podcasts..what are they like? do they cost anything? and my last question..what else can you do with mp3 players besides listen to music? thanks!
 

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Things to look for in an mp3 player- what kind of battery- can you use rechargeable AAAs, or is it a lithium with a docking station, and can it be replaced? How long can it go without being recharged<br><br><br><br>
what kinds of files can it play? (I've heard some have issues with ripped mp3s without licenses)<br><br><br><br>
size (obviously)<br><br><br><br>
do you want an fm tuner? a voice recorder?<br><br><br><br>
Some use playlists, others folders<br><br><br><br>
what about the software for transfering files? Some software I hear prevents you from loading certain kinds of files.<br><br><br><br>
Would you like to be able to use it as a jump drive? Many allow you to store data files on them as well.<br><br><br><br>
Display- big enough, backlit?<br><br><br><br>
I got a creative zen because it has voice recorder, fm tuner, you can rip directly to it, it can be used as a zip drive, you can load things on to it without even using their software (it will show up as a mass storage device), and it runs on one AAA battery (so I just use a rechargeable and can carry extras with me.) It also came with a belt clip and arm band (many don't)<br><br><br><br>
Podcasts- these are radio shows that people make in their homes usually, but more and more are being put out by commercial and organizational entities like NPR, magazines, BBC, CBC, tv shows, etc. You have to get a podcast catcher. itunes can be used, but I started with <a href="http://juicereceiver.sourceforge.net/index.php" target="_blank">juice</a>- perfect for a beginner. It's free. I recently changed to <a href="http://thirstycrow.net/happyfish/" target="_blank">happyfish</a>, which is more advanced. 99% are free. I love them. I subscribe to many music ones and can find lots and lots of great new music that way.<br><br><br><br>
Places to find podcasts:<br><br><a href="http://www.podcast.net/search" target="_blank">http://www.podcast.net/search</a><br><br><a href="http://www.podcastalley.com/" target="_blank">http://www.podcastalley.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.podcastpickle.com" target="_blank">www.podcastpickle.com</a> (there are many more)<br><br><br><br>
I load up my mp3 player with podcasts and listen to them at work all day.
 

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Here's a bit of a simple run-down on how mp3 players work<br><br><br><br><a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/mp3-player3.htm" target="_blank">electronics.howstuffworks.com/mp3-player3.htm</a><br><br><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">can i hook up an mp3 player to my car stereo?</div>
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Yeah you can, as long as you have a CD deck with a 'line in' jack or auxillary input jack.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>astro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
Yeah you can, as long as you have a CD deck with a 'line in' jack or auxillary input jack.</div>
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You can also use an FM transmitter or a cassette adapter.
 

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What do you mean by a cassette adaptor Thalia? Are you talking about a gadget that plugs into a cassette deck?
 

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There are two kinds of MP3 player: those that use flash storage (such as the iPod nano) and those that use hard drives (such as the iPod and Creative Zen). Hard drive based players hold much, much more music, but can be damaged more easily. Flash based players hold much less (128 MB - 2 GB) but are much sturdier and cheaper.<br><br><br><br>
While some car stereos can play audio from your MP3 player, it will sound terrible due to portable devices' relatively poor ability to power speakers and even headphones (I know I've needed a headphone amp when listening to an iPod with certain upper-end headphones, so speakers are pretty much out of the question.)<br><br><br><br>
Another thing to consider is space. MP3 players vary from 128 MB to 80 GB. A full album at good quality will occupy around 90 MB. If you're getting a player capable of video, you need to think about what sort of video it can play. To watch videos on iPods, they need to be run through conversion software first (I'd recommend Videora). 20 minutes of good video will usually occupy about 80 MB.<br><br><br><br>
Aside from playing music, some MP3 players can do a variety of other things: record sound, play back video, display text files, display images, function as a portable hard drive for your files, play simple games, run metronome software, etc.<br><br><br><br>
If you end up buying an iPod Nano, I strongly recommend using Rockbox. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox</a>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>astro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What do you mean by a cassette adaptor Thalia? Are you talking about a gadget that plugs into a cassette deck?</div>
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I think that's what she means, my sister has one for her car, its how we hook up our mp3 players to it
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>astro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What do you mean by a cassette adaptor Thalia? Are you talking about a gadget that plugs into a cassette deck?</div>
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eeww, cassettes. nasty! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/evil.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":evil:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so it will sound like crap on a car stereo? blast. i was thinking about this player: <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5273429" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5273429</a><br><br><br><br>
and putting some of my cd/vinyl collection on it and using this: <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5273429" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5273429</a><br><br>
to play it on my car stereo so i wouldnt have to drag my cds to and from the house all the time.<br><br>
wouldnt work eh?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>astro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What do you mean by a cassette adaptor Thalia? Are you talking about a gadget that plugs into a cassette deck?</div>
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yeah, like <a href="http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/smartdeck/" target="_blank">this</a>. They also have ones that plug into headphone jacks.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nowoutonvinyl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
so it will sound like crap on a car stereo? blast. i was thinking about this player: <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5273429" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5273429</a><br><br><br><br>
and putting some of my cd/vinyl collection on it and using this: <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5273429" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5273429</a><br><br>
to play it on my car stereo so i wouldnt have to drag my cds to and from the house all the time.<br><br>
wouldnt work eh?</div>
</div>
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it really depends on your stereo setup...<br><br><br><br>
my housemate has a new car with an iPod jack and her iPod sounds great on it...
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thalia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
yeah, like <a href="http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/smartdeck/" target="_blank">this</a>.</div>
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Nifty idea for those with very old car stereos, but I reckon that would sound a little crappy as I would imagine it would only be cassette-tape quality. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nowoutonvinyl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
so it will sound like crap on a car stereo? blast. i was thinking about this player: <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5273429" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5273429</a><br><br><br><br>
and putting some of my cd/vinyl collection on it and using this: <a href="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5273429" target="_blank">http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5273429</a><br><br>
to play it on my car stereo so i wouldnt have to drag my cds to and from the house all the time.<br><br>
wouldnt work eh?</div>
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It will work providing you have the line-in/aux jack on your deck.<br><br><br><br>
As for whether it will sound crap depends on what kind of system you have in your car. The better the system, (especially the quality of your speakers) the better the sound. But as a general rule, if you're currently happy with the sound you get now from your CD's, using the iPod will sound fine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I use my iPod in the car with TuneCast transmitter and it sounds good. The only problem is finding a clear enough spot on the FM band in the city to set the channel!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thirsty Johann</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
While some car stereos can play audio from your MP3 player, it will sound terrible due to portable devices' relatively poor ability to power speakers and even headphones (I know I've needed a headphone amp when listening to an iPod with certain upper-end headphones, so speakers are pretty much out of the question.)<br><br><br></div>
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It is a little more complicated than that. I assume I am the resident headphone (and probably loudspeaker) nerd. Battery powered devices can generally not provide a large voltage swing but can provide plenty of amperage. Some headphones, notably sennheiser, have high resistance (a product of being designed to play out of line out jacks) and need a large voltage swing to sound good. Most 16 and 32 ohm headphones sound fine out of portable players. Ipods have a documented bass problem with most tranducers. I think this is easily fixed by using the eq setting that minimizes treble (NOT the eq setting which increases base which I think causes distortion).<br><br><br><br>
Running a DAP's output through a car stereo would have no impact on which transducers would be appropriate though, that has to do with the car stereo's output (which should be matched to the requirements of the car speakers).<br><br><br><br>
Now as for the OP, If you have a "decent" stereo then you have an aux in, even if it is on the back of the receiver, use it. By no means will the ipod headphone out be the limiting factor on any car stereo that is in production. I would bet a paycheck that nobody can differentiate 128k AAC from lossless on a midpriced (pioneer, alpine) car stereo so I wouldn't even worry about compression. I would strongly recommend against cassette or FM adapters. If you have $300 for an ipod you have enough money to get professional installation if it is required.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thirsty Johann</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
If you end up buying an iPod Nano, I strongly recommend using Rockbox. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox</a></div>
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Is that different from RudeBox ? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/inquisitive.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":stinkeye:"><br><br><a href="http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=rudebox+robbie+williams" target="_blank">http://images.google.co.uk/images?sv...obbie+williams</a> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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<a href="http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/ISEO-rgbtcspd/learningcenter/car/oem/connections_sound_quality.html?print=1&page=all" target="_blank">Here</a> is an article I found at Crutchfield about different methods of car transmission that might be useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>remilard</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
Now as for the OP, If you have a "decent" stereo then you have an aux in, even if it is on the back of the receiver, use it. By no means will the ipod headphone out be the limiting factor on any car stereo that is in production. I would bet a paycheck that nobody can differentiate 128k AAC from lossless on a midpriced (pioneer, alpine) car stereo so I wouldn't even worry about compression. I would strongly recommend against cassette or FM adapters. If you have $300 for an ipod you have enough money to get professional installation if it is required.</div>
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my auxilury lines are already occupied by my amp...
 
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