MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2008 (#39)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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MacDirectory 143 INTERVIEW buying one). Apple was selling 20,000 per month! The solution seemed obvious... Why not connect the iPod to a car's factory stereo and eliminate the need for a separate MP3 unit? MD > How does your iPod adapter work? JB > Basically, it "tricks" the car into thinking the iPod is a part of the factory stereo/CD player. That allows you to control it using your car stereo and steering wheel. MD > What has the response been? JB > People love it, and while I know this technology is something that many new cars have built in, that still leaves 10 to 12 years of cars going backwards that don't have this capability. It's these car owners I'm trying to help. MD > There are a lot of iPod adapters on the market today. What is the main thing that sets yours apart? JB > Clean, CD-quality sound is the number one advantage of Direct Connect iPod Adapters. Many of our competitors transmit audio files from the iPod using the FM tuner. This "cutting corners" approach costs less but results in poor, inconsistent sound quality. If you commute, or are on a long trip, you might have to switch to three different stations for your iPod to work, and most of those stations are full. Even if you're sitting stationary with an empty channel, you're still stepping back to FM quality. Connecting the adapter directly to the radio means that what you get is the full audio quality of the iPod. MD > Any other advantages of the adapter from iCarKits? JB > Our adapters give users the option to control the music on their iPod by using the factory radio and steering wheel controls. They can usually browse the iPod by Track, Playlist, Album, Artist, and Genre. Most other adapters require you to find an empty FM station to play the iPod on and you still have to turn the iPod wheel to skip over or change songs. By integrating the controls (between the iPod and the car stereo), people can use this product while keeping their eyes on the road. MD > Jeremy, how does someone know if your iPod car adapter works with their car? JB > On our Web site, we have a make/model/year search that customers may use to see which of our products are best for their vehicle. MD > So what has the response been to the product? JB > Great! The younger audience for iPods is huge. An entire generation is growing up with iPods and when they get their first car, they aren't willing to give up their iPod. (And then) when they start integrating those controls…we don't even have to do a lot of advertising, we will sell (the adapter) to one person and we will see a bunch more (sales) just from that. MD > So what is next for iCarKits? Will you just stay with iPod technology, or are you planning to do some work around the iPhone and other products as well? JB > Since technology is constantly changing, there will always be new devices. Coming out this Christmas, we have more Bluetooth integration and a full integration for the iPhone. So I would say that trying to have a fuller integration between the car and the phone is the next step. MD > So how will this new device work? JB > The Bluetooth and iPhone adapters will work like the iPod adapters, meaning they will also have a direct connection to your car stereo. You can use the controls to fade to hands free or Bluetooth auto- matically, or turn on your speaker phone. MD > This sounds like it will also work well for people who might have hearing difficulties — they can put the phone on speaker and hear their callers over all the road noise. JB > Exactly! There are similar products that come with a small speaker box that plugs in and sits behind the dash. You can hear it, but it's not the same as having sound come from all your car speakers. We will have the Bluetooth so it can pair up with any phone including the iPhone. It will also connect to the iPhone so it can charge it. So it's a great stand-alone Bluetooth or iPhone accessory. It should be out in early October. So how good is the iCarKit adapter, really? Jeremy Briggs was good enough to send MacDirectory three of them to test, and here are the responses: Jerry > Wow! The iCarKit only took me about five minutes to install and the sound was great. My wife has the "Wicked" soundtrack on her iPod, and I used that to test the system since it has a lot of highs and lows and vocalizing in the songs. You could hear all of it. The sound was even better than the car CD player. Rob > The adapter did everything it was supposed to do, and I liked that it charged the iPod while I was using it. I could play the music loud and it still sounded good. It looked good in my car, too. I just wish there was a way you could switch from one playlist to the other without having to go back to the iPod. I would also like to see something like this as a wireless, but I know that would be really expensive. Alexa > I had some trouble installing the iCarKit, but when I called customer service they were very helpful. First they told me since I actually had an MP3 player, rather than an iPod, I would just need to get an additional cable so the adapter would work with what I had. They then went over with me what I would have to do to install the player in my car and gave me the name of a local shop that would do it for me if I didn't feel comfortable doing it myself. I really appreciated their help and I can't wait to get everything up and running this weekend. Jone > As for me, I found the sound quality to be amazing. I am one of those people who like to play their music loud, however with most car radios and adapters this can result in a lot of distortion. I found with the iCarkit that no matter how loud I turned my music up, it still sounded great. Visit for specific pricing information for your make of car. ICARKITS > TRANSFORMING IPOD VEHICLE INTEGRATION

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