The short answer: for most, the Griffin iTrip is the best.
Questions about Technology
I get asked questions about stuff. Sometimes, the answer might be useful to other people - so why not share it here... Like this question about car adapters for ipods:
> I want to buy a car adapter that lets me play my iPod. I know how the iTrip
> works, but also assume there are lots of other options. What's the best in
> your opinion for large city use? Do you know of sources I can review
> (consumer reports is one, but any other reliable tech source)?
The iPod Lounge (now iLounge, due to busy Apple lawyers) has these kinds of reviews: http://www.ilounge.com
iPod Car Adapter
I think the best ipod adapter really depends on your car situation:
- Own the car and it's the primary one you drive - take it to a stereo place and spend $50 on something that will directly plug into your radio
- Leasing the car, or want to use your iPod to feed to a stereo in lots of different situations:
- If you have a tape player, get a tape adapter - better sound and the possibility for the tape fast-forward/rewind buttons to do something to the iPod.
- If you have no tape player or want to be able to play your ipod through your friends cars/stereos - get a radio adapter. The big drawback being frequency problems in media saturated cities. My favorite radio adapter is the Griffin iTrip
Some of the devices have integrated chargers. I don't frequently drive for more than 6 hours and
that's my current iPod battery life. Between my iPod and Nikki's, we probably have 15 hours of combined battery life - so that's not really a problem for any trip we might reasonably take. Given all that, I don't like the idea of the car chargers because my suspicion (valid or not) is that quick charge/drain cycles like on a daily commute will diminish your overall battery life. I know new batteries aren't supposed to be susceptible to this...but when there's a class action lawsuit about the iPod battery life why not just be a little more vigilent in caring for your batter?
As to specific models - I'll leave that to the folks at http://www.ilounge.com who do it for a living. I just don't keep close enough track of the current models.