MP3 Players and SUV's

Earlier this year my wife purchased a Lexus GX470 SUV. I drive a Honda Civic Hybrid… but that’s another story. Anyway, the GX comes with a mult-CD player, but it’s a pain to load the cartridge etc. She now wants me to buy her some kind of MP3 player that she can then load up with music and play through her GX’s sound system. Is there some easy way to do this? I didn’t see any place to plug in another source into the GX’s radio. Am I missing something?

You can purchase devices that transmit music played over an MP3 player by FM signal to your car radio, you can then listen wirelessly.

A review of such a device.

Thanks Pushkin, I was hoping it was something cheap and simple.

Just as a word of warning, these things don’t always work that well. In my case I had problems finding a dead enough channel to get a clear signal. I found that I had a lot of static and random snippets of whatever station was closest. You might want to look at direct line options in. You get much better sound quality. Depending on the MP3 player, they may have choices that allow you to control it from the car’s stereo controls (although it’s probably only available for iPods).

If there’s a tape player, buy any portable MP-3 device and get one of these

I also don’t recommend the FM transmitter if you are near any large city. There is too much interference form other stations and you are constantly getting clicking and popping from bleed-through. (However, we’ve used them on cross-country type drives and they work great when you are in the middle of nowhere, so if you are somewhere more remote it might be worth a try.) The only other thing I’ve found while investigating a similar issue for my wife’s car is getting a new stereo that has a line-in jack that you can plug into your MP3 player. Unfortunately that is not cheap, and it sounds like you already have a pretty nice stereo in there already

I’m not sure if this is worth the try, but the CD player may already be capable of playing MP3 discs… a lot of car stereos seem to be including this, from what I can tell. (But then I’m not a car guy, so what I can tell might be very little.)

In any case, if you have access to a computer with a CD burner, try burning a data CD with a bunch of MP3s on it and putting it into the stereo. Worst thing that’s at all likely to happen would be that it doesn’t play.

I have found that the Itrip things (FM transmitters plugged into mp3 player) don’t work that well. There is too much noise unless we throw the ipod in the back close to the car’s radio antenna.

I also recommend the cassette adapter. However, we have two cassette adapters in our household. My wife’s adapter works much better in all of our cars than mine. My adapter picks up a hum that seems to related to engine speed. If I use my wife’s in my car it works great.

I have a regular Alpine CD Player in my car, I ripped it out, checked the back, found the CD Changer port (should be a round plug). Called Crutchfield, had them send me an adapter that converts the CD Changer port into 2 RCA audio plugs. Got a 2-RCA to a regular stereo plug and brough it out from under the dash. Voila, I can plug in any MP3 player into my car stereo with virtually no loss of quality.

Check with the equipment manufacturer if they make a cd changer to RCA converter like that, then you’re set.