My new car has an AUX in feed and I was keen to take advantage of this by hooking up my iPod 80gb classic model to it, as I mentioned last week. I bought a cable to connect both, it goes in the iPod headphone socket and plugs straight in to the stereo via a front mounted "hole". I don't want the iPod just sort of dangling there so I also bought one of those Belkin Tune Scan things, solely because it has a built in charging system and plugs into your cigarette lighter without any further dangling cables getting in the way. The iPod then sits in that and charges whilst playing.
All this sounds great in theory but in actuality has been less than wholesome, not through any fault of my car stereo or the Belkin hardware but rather through the low volume output of the iPod itself. The iPod has to be on maximum volume and then you have to crank up the stereo volume too before the volume is listenable. Every time you change a playlist the iPod reverts back to lower volume…I need to work out how to "lock" the volume on it to get round this but even then it will not be loud enough. My next step will be to use the iVolume software I have at home to increase the volume of all music and podcast tracks and set them at a unform level. This is a useful piece of software.
I then decided to try out my iPhone with it. The Belkin kit comes with a variety of interchangeable "cradles" to hold the device and although, oddly, there was not an iPhone specific holder with it the one for the iPod Touch works just fine. I must say the iPhone is a much better device for this purpose as the volume can be cranked up on the phone itself and is much louder through the car stereo without having to similarly "pump up the jam" ( a wee nod there to all you late 80's Technotronic lovers). As I don't want the Belkin cradle kit visible for security reasons it is hidden inside the centre arm rest storage cubby (where there is another power socket) and the cable will only be connected when in use. The main advantage for me of doing this whole thing is that I will now be able to fill up the iPhone with podcasts and listen to them when out and about driving, something I could not manage to do before.