Belkin has announced a pretty awesome sounding product coming this fall. The TuneCast Auto Live FM transmitter for iPhone is a GPS-enabled FM transmitter that automatically finds the best FM station based on where you are. It uses the GPS to determine your location and then, using the ClearScan Live iPhone application, tunes to the right frequency for the clearest FM transmission.
My main gripe with FM transmitters is that they don’t usually go high or low enough to get a good signal in Dallas Fort Worth, which apparently has a pretty packed FM lineup. I also hated that I had to change the station frequently.
I had an iTrip for my original iPod that worked pretty well, but only if I tuned it to certain stations based on where I was driving–for instance, I used a station on the low end of the spectrum (below 90) when I was closer to home, but if I used it as I drove to work, I started getting more and more interference the further north I drove. It directly interfered with a very popular college radio station that broadcasts less than 20 miles from my office. I eventually got so fed up with poor performance that I retired it in favor of a beat up old tape adapter.
What is really cool about the TuneCast is that it utilizes the new iPhone 3.0 OS ability to control hardware accessories. The iPhone communicates directly to the transmitter using the ClearScan app on the phone.
I am looking to replace my tape adapter before too long, since it seems to be dying, and the TuneCast FM looks to be the perfect replacement. It speaks to exactly the gripes I have against most FM transmitters. Pairing it with GPS and a smart app that will adjust things for you is really pretty genius…I can’t wait to see it in action.
According to Belkin, the TuneCast will be available early this fall for $79.99, and the ClearScan app will be available for download directly from the App Store.