Review: A Look At The TransPod iPod Car Adapter

by Gregory Ng Jul 24, 2003

imageIt has always been the problem that needed a solution. How could iPod users utilize their handheld jukeboxes while in their car. How can iPod users hear their music while driving, without endangering themselves or their passengers? I am pleased to say my friends, that the TransPod from Netalog is the answer. The TransPod is touted as, “The All in One iPod-Specific solution” and it certainly delivers. Imagine driving cross-country and never having to listen to the same song twice and never once having to plug your ipod in to recharge. With the TransPod, you can do just that. With it’s Firewire autocharger, you will never run out of battery power while listening to your music. And with its broad range of frequencies, the FM transmitter will work in big cities like New York and small towns like Estes Park,Colorado. Let’s break down this product.

Packaging:
The TransPod comes in a neatly and securely packaged cardboard box which slides into a cardboard sleeve. All of the pieces you need to set up your TransPod are here. Directions to set up and use the product are also included on a double-sided black and white sheet of paper. In addition, a snapshot of the kit contents makes it easy to follow along with the installation process.

Installation:
This unit comes with everything that you need to mount it securely in your car. I feel confident that it could easily fit any vehicle based on the variety of parts included. I have chosen not to use the dash mount materials and have instead used the adjustable lighter mounting arm so the unit is sticking out from my cigarrette lighter and my iPod is comfortably sitting where I can see it.

Operation:
This is how you use the product. With your iPod secured in the Base Dock (sliding it in, it is securely locked by the retractable security shelf, and the headphone and firewire jacks are plugged in) and the base dock connected to the lighter in your car, you turn on your radio and turn on your iPod. There are 3 frequency settings to choose from: L, M, and H. The L setting covers frequencies from 88-94. M is 94-102 and H is 102-108. This is significant because in your specific location at any time there are some frequencies that are unused. You tune your radio to one of those unused frequencies, switch your Band selector to correspond with that number, and use the fine tuner to make your music nice and clear. This broad range of frequencies blows the iRock and the iTrip who both have a set of frequencies to choose from, out of the water.

My Testing:
I plugged in my TransPod and tested it out for 5 different trips. This trial occurred while driving both on highways and smaller roads. Everytime I was able to quickly find an unused frequency and hear my music. Because the music is being played through an FM radio tuner, you will never hear the high-quality digital sound like you would listening with your headphones. But the sound quality was adequate. There were no problems adjusting the volume on my iPod, and the sound seemed to hold up when I cranked the volume on my radio. I do not feel that the sound quality beats that of Griffin Technologies iTrip. But with a built-in charger, it might be worth the sacrifice.

The Problems:
There were a few details about this product that bothered me. They are few and they are minor but nonetheless I should mention them. First off, owning an iPod with a firewire cover, this is more difficult to get the iPod into the base dock. This is by no means this products fault and if they come up with a model for the new iPods it would be a non-issue. But it is tricky to get it locked in. Also I wish the switch for the frequencies had clicks to give me confirmation that I have indeed switched it to the right setting. The switch is somewhat loose and sometimes I had problems figuring out whether I was set on L or M. I opted to just forget M altogether and just move the switch all the way to the left for L and all the way to the right for H. Finally, based on the position of the lighter in my car, I had some difficulties using the stick shift. This can be remedied easily by using the dash mount kit. Like I said, very minor things.

Conclusion:
Retailing at over around $80, this is a great product for those who take a lot of road trips or are in the car a lot. You have to figure that buying an FM transmitter and a car charger sepaately would cost about the same but you would be dealing with more cords to clutter up your car. The sound quality is adequate but the real selling point to me with this product is the flexibility of finding the right frequency and the built-in charger. The product is secure, attractive looking, and well manufactured.

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Comments

  • I ordered an adapter from [url=http://www.mp3yourcar.com]http://www.mp3yourcar.com[/url] for my 02 F150 and am very satisfied. It was easy to install plugs in back of stock deck and the quality is outstanding.

    TypeR had this to say on Oct 12, 2004 Posts: 1
  • I bought the adapter on http://www.mp3yourcar.com/ too and i’m very pleased. Gregory Ng: big thanks for this article.

    Michael Fox had this to say on Apr 12, 2007 Posts: 1
  • That ipod would clearly need an adapter fitting.. And that’s cool.. technology has been upgrading so fast.. real innovation..

    DanGrey had this to say on Dec 17, 2010 Posts: 2
  • This one was a true jewel when it came on the market. I actually sort of accidentally “stumbled” upon it: I got a great chance from this guy who wanted to http://www.donatecarusa.com/“rel=“follow” ]donate car USA[/url] and the TransPod was included in the donation. I’m telling you, that was truly a happy day!

    ClaytonWind had this to say on May 31, 2011 Posts: 8
  • Ohh, if donate car USA interests you, I am sure you can find some great deals just as I have, you just have to search a bit, make a selection, get informed on what you need, you know, the usual.

    ClaytonWind had this to say on May 31, 2011 Posts: 8
  • I was wondering, can an iPod get a virus so that you end up needing free]http://free.antivirus.com/]free antivirus downloads[/URL] if you get your music from the wrong place? People say that Apple products don’t get such problems, is that really so? If a song has a virus, can the device that plays it get damaged?

    NelsonBoyes had this to say on Jun 23, 2011 Posts: 4
  • The iPod would surely make a useful gadget for any V8 race experience. I’m just imagining driving a car at 90 mph and listening to hard metal rock. Just imagine that…

    IBMdude had this to say on Sep 02, 2011 Posts: 50
  • What are you waiting for? Buy an iPod car adapter and enjoy non-stop music for your favorite artist. If you are trying to replace your car stereo, check online for a huge selection of high-end units.
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    Kelly Wilson had this to say on Sep 21, 2011 Posts: 3
  • You can try to connect with a used car dealers CT because he may have some intersting offers for you, they usually have many interesting things.

    Aramica had this to say on Sep 30, 2011 Posts: 14
  • My sincere opinion is that this gadget is probably useful for all the cars but class B motorhomes will benefit even more if they have a high performance audio system. Imagine the fun…

    annekingsy had this to say on Nov 10, 2011 Posts: 22
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