USB Fever/iPDA Auto Charger/FM Transmitter for 5G iPod Review

Some of the best things about having an iPod is being able to play YOUR music just about anywhere, any time you want.  If you’re the kind of person that has the music in them all the time, allowing it to resonate in your ears when you want or need it to is important (hence, the reason why you bought your iPod in the first place).

Like many older cars, my 2001 Honda CRV doesn’t have any kind of a built-in MP3 connection.  What I do have is a cassette deck and an AM/FM radio. As such, I’m left with a couple of solutions:

1.  A Cassette Adapter – This is the kind of headset adapter that fits in the cassette deck of your car, and has you plug a cable into the device’s headset jack.  Back in the day, these were used a lot for portable CD players that you might carry in your car.
2.  Wearing Headsets in your Car – This isn’t the smartest thing to do, and is illegal in many states.  You can’t cover both your hears and drive at the same time. Its not a good idea.
3.  An FM Transmitter – Plug the transmitter into your cigarette lighter and your device into this gadget and pump the sound through your car’s FM radio.

A while back, USB Fever was kind enough to send me an FM Transmitter for my 5G iPod.  The device works very well. Simply connect the iPod to the device via the bottom connector, and it will charge and pump the iPod’s sound through the car stereo.  However, I have noticed a couple of things about the device:

1.  The volume control on the iPod doesn’t work when connected to the FM transmitter.  If you want to turn the volume up to 11, you’re going to have to do it on your car stereo.
2.  The device doesn’t work at all with the iPod 3G or iPod Tough 2G.  It won’t charge the device or pump the sound through the car stereo (and you wouldn’t want to, without it charging the device.
3.  The device turns off after about 5 minutes of inactivity. If you don’t have audio pumping through the device for about 5 minutes, it will turn itself off, though it will still charge your iPod.  This is ok, but still bothers me a lot.  I don’t know that I like the feature, especially since it doesn’t run on any kind of batteries. I’d much prefer that it continue to stay connected to the FM station that I have selected, simply waiting for me to turn the iPod back on, or for me to unpause the playback.



Price: It appears the model I was sent has been replaced by a few different models.  You can see all of USB Fever’s FM trasmitter choices here.

What I liked: My 5G iPod’s sound pumped through my car stereo.  Power to my iPod.

What needs improvement: It would be nice if this particular model worked with both my Touch and my 5G iPod.  As it doesn’t, I’m going to have to find one that will work with both. Having more than one of these isn’t practical.

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