In-dash iPods

Written by Brett Thomas

August 4, 2006 | 14:33

Tags: #ford #gm #ipod #nano #shuffle #stereo

Ever since the first MP3 players hit the market, people have been looking for ways to get their tunes to play through their car stereos. Over that time, various methods have been invented, from feeding through a tape deck to broadcasting your own little FM station (for the whopping 6-8 feet it traveled). Some people even mod whole computers into their cars now, with VIA EPIA and Mac mini systems being the favoured candidates.

In proof that the iPod really is starting to be truly everywhere, car manufacturers are starting to want in on this action. After all, why force people to buy expensive Apple brand accessories from Best Buy, when you can buy expensive GM or Ford branded accessories from dealers? With this great light-bulb turned on, three leading auto makers have forged a deal with Apple.

Starting in mid-2007, cars from General Motors, Ford, and Mazda (roughly 70% of all US vehicles) will include an additional accessory option for an iPod mount. This connection will connect the iPod and store it in the glove box, where it will be charged via the car's battery and controlled through the stereo directly. Since many new cars even come with stereo controls right on the steering wheel, taking your music with you should be more convenient than ever (assuming you own an iPod). There is no official announcement for a European release, but one can expect it's probably going to be near the same time.

Though it's good to see portable music players getting such recognition, one can't help but wonder if it would be better to provide a more 'universal' connection. However, with so much of the market dominated by Apple, it is a logical choice to make. The accessory is projected to add about $160 to the price of your new car.

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