My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

get off my iPod, Howard Stern!

Seven thousand one hundred and fifty –five (7155) is the number of songs I have stored on my iPod. I can't believe it myself!

Primarily, I use my iPod when I am mobile. For a couple of years now, I have used an iTrip with my iPod to transmit the iPod's audio to my car's FM radio. It was convenient and worked satisfactorily for a long time. The iTrip's transmitter is puny weak, so I had to position the iPod just so, otherwise I did not get a good signal into the FM receiver. But I knew all the hot spots in all our vehicles, so it was no big deal.

About a year ago, I would occasionally get interference from other vehicles I passed or passed me during my travels. I am not sure, but I assume it was related to mobile satellite radio installations because the interference was often in the form of a Howard Stern broadcast.

During the intervening year, the interference is more frequent. It occurred three or four times during my daily 35-minute commute and if the interfering vehicle was going in the same direction as I was traveling, the interference could last for minutes. I also started experiencing the same interference from non-mobile objects. For example, there is a house I pass by everyday on my way to and from work that causes the same interference.

I finally abandoned the iTrip and replaced it with a $10 gadget called an iPod cassette adapter. It looks like a cassette tape (it uses the same plastic case as a cassette tape), but has a long cable that plugs into my iPod's audio output connector. I insert the gadget in my car's cassette deck and I'm in business again.

I no longer have to deal with interference or the finicky placement of the iPod to find the hot spot. It is a low-tech solution that works.

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