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Relief for users with new iPods and older cars

Scosche introduces the Passport, a pass-through car adapter for new generation iPods.


So, you just bought a new car that came with a built-in iPod cable. Great, right? Well, maybe not. Unfortunately, the cable is only compatible with the previous generation of iPod products and not your brand new iPhone 3G, Nano 4G, or Touch 2G.

A bummer? Yes. However, Scosche is on this like an Apple fanboy is on Steve Jobs' every word. Or close to that, at least.

On Thursday, Scosche announced the Passport, which is now on sale at Apple stores, although I was unable to find it at Apple's online store at press time.

The Passport utilizes a female pass-through connector, which--purportedly--will attach to any in-car iPod-integration system to charge all iPhone and iPod models, including the iPhone 3G and the recently introduced Nano 4G and Touch 2G.

According to Scosche, prior to the Passport, many car owners could not get these integrated systems to work with the new products; now they don't have to buy a new car to do so.

I've found a few people who have experienced this problem with their built-in car adapters. My guess is that these are adapters hard-wired into the car that cannot be replaced and there is some kind of voltage incompatibility that prevents them from working. If that is the case, the Passport could be a fix.

Update: The guys are Scosche let me in on exactly why connecting your new iPhone or iPod to a car system might be a problem: "The reason that the iPhone is compatible with your computer cable is because it plugs into a USB port that operates on 5V. When you directly connect one of the newer iPod or iPhone models (iPhone 3G, iPod nano 4th Gen, iPod touch 2nd Gen) to an existing car system they will play but not charge. This is because most car integration units operate on the older "Firewire" voltage (12V). The Passport converts the 12V to the new 5V "USB" standard. It does not have to do with switching the pins, just converting the voltage"

The Passport retails for $29.99.