Tuesday, 27 April 2010
How to play music from your iPhone through your car stereo.
My car stereo has a pair of AUX IN RCA sockets on flying leads at the back for connecting audio equipment to it but unfortunately at the time I installed the stereo I did not think I would ever need access to them so these are pretty much inaccessible without taking the dashboard to bits, not a task I really want to do.
So the easy way to be able to play music from the iPhone via the Car stereo is to use something called a FM Transmitter. There are many models of these available, some are dedicated for use with an iPhone/iPod where as others will work with any mp3 player via a standard headphone socket.
The model I opted for was a Belkin ClearScan FM Transmitter which I bought second hand from ebay. This consists of a small (about 3”) unit with a flying lead emerging from each end. Once lead has the standard iPhone docking plug on it which connects to the bottom of the iPhone. The other lead has a cigarette lighter plug on it.
See the photograph for how it looks. I dont think they make this model any more as there is a new one called the Belkin TuneCast Auto 4 for iPod/iPhone.
What does it do?
The FM transmitter takes the audio output from the iPhone and modulates it onto an FM radio signal which can be picked up via your car stereo. The transmission range is limited to just a few meters (as its designed to be used in a car). Its as simple as that really.
How to use the Belkin ClearScan iPhone FM Transmitter.
1: Remove the cigarette lighter from your dashboard, plug in the cigarette lighter plug from the Belkin unit into your cars cigarette lighter socket.
2: With the iPhone powered on plug the iPhone plug into the bottom of your iPhone.
3: Press the C button on the front of the Belkin unit and it will scan for a clear frequency and show it on the display. In my photograph it has found 107.0MHz is free to use.
4: Use the manual tune mode on your stereo to tune to the frequency it has found. So in my photograph tune in the stereo to 107.0MHz.
You will hear silence at this point.
5: Play some music on the iPhone by selecting the iPod icon then Playlists, Srtists or Songs.
You should now hear your music on your car stereo, Magic isn’t it!
If its an mp3 you are playing and your stereo has RDS then it will also show the song title.
This particular Belkin model has an extra feature in that it uses RDS to send the tile of the track being played to the stereo, so when you select a track it scrolls the song name across the screen.
Note: The volume on the iPhone can not be adjusted when connected to this device, its fixed at a standard volume.
I found this bit of harware very easy to use and for anyone out there who wants to play their iPhone music through their car stereo its perfect.