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How Do I Play Audio From My MP3 Player to My Car?

by DTrain318 / December 15, 2006 8:17 AM PST

I bought the Creative Zen Vision M 60gb and I love it!. Now that I have my mp3s on it, I would like to play the music through my car stereo. I heard that you need an FM transmitter to do that? If so, does anyone know which one I should get? Thanks.

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get an FM modulator
by pickslide / December 17, 2006 2:05 AM PST

I had the same problem and originally I tried the best FM transmitter, and it still had static all the time. I just got an FM modulator for best buy and had them install it too, all for $100 cdn. The modulator is installed into your radio and is connected directly into your car antena. Then you set the radio to a specific station and just hook the end of the cable into your headphone jack. It works very well. Hope that helps.

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here's a better alternative
by UTCtrumpet88 / December 17, 2006 12:53 PM PST
In reply to: get an FM modulator

My brother had the same problem with the FM transmitter. If you have a tape player in your car, you can use a tape-deck converter thing. Basically, it's a tape with wires that go into the MP3 player headphone jack and allows you to transmit the sound from MP3 players through the speakers of your vehicle. I saw one at CVS pharmacy for like $10, so they're a lot cheaper than the FM transmitters. Oh and you don't have to worry about 1) Not getting a signal and 2) receiving interference from the station. When I get an MP3 player I'll end up getting the tape.

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Thank-You Everyone
by DTrain318 / December 18, 2006 7:03 AM PST

Thanks for your info but my car does not have a cassette player in it. It has just a cd player. No auxilery input either. Any other suggestions are appreciated. Should I buy a cassette deck to put in my car and then get a cassette adaptor? The car I have is a red 2000 pontiac grand am se.

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that might work
by UTCtrumpet88 / December 18, 2006 9:33 AM PST
In reply to: Thank-You Everyone

I haven't seen any cassette decks, but I'm sure you can find them. My advice is to look at the prices of both cassette decks and the radio transmitter thing the other guy looked at. I would obviously choose the cheapest, but ask the provider about quality of sound in each. I think these are the two best alternatives to regular FM transmitters, so your on the right track. I would try and Electronics store or even your car dealership. Hope this helped. Happy holidays!

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Buy a CD player with aux input.
by mhall1980 / December 20, 2006 2:11 AM PST
In reply to: that might work

I've got a vision M, and like you, I love it. To get round the problem you have I bought a car CD player with an auxiliary input on the front panel. With this you can connect directly from your Zen to the cd player with a 3.5mm stereo cable, eliminating any problems with static. Not sure how much a cd player with aux would be in the the US, but in the UK I got one for 80 GBP (approx $160 US). I'm sure they're a lot cheaper than that in the US.

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Would this work?
by DTrain318 / December 20, 2006 7:32 AM PST

After searching and surfing the web, I found this device. It's called the IME Dock. Here's the website.

What does everyone think? I'm not quite sure when it will come out, or what the price will be . . . but it seems like a great solution! Please let me know what you think. I will check into the CD player with aux input awhile.

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by alybyzrp1 / March 3, 2013 11:05 AM PST
In reply to: Would this work?

The website doesn't seem to even exist anymore.

I have had good luck using the cassette adapter. Does anyone know of a similar approach using a CD slot instead of the casette? Many newer vehicles don't offer cassette players anymore,

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Absolutely go with the AUX
by jimichan / December 22, 2006 9:31 PM PST

I would DEFINITELY recommend going with an auxiliary input. I've tried the tape unit and the FM transmitter and had troubles with both. My wife's Scion has an aux jack built-in and it is awesome! I can't forecast any troubles with a hard-wired connection, and as a bonus, it works with our Walkman cell phone! Not only can we play the MP3's, but can now use the car's stereo to hear the cell phone.

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Aux Input Player
by rcarrosq / December 22, 2006 9:50 PM PST

I DEFINITELY agree with getting an am/fm radio with cd player and aux input jack because I did this myself. I have a Dell DJ30 and my 94 TBird had a radio with cassette player. The converter worked fine but I wanted something that I didn't have to keep replacing so I just got a new radio with cd/mp3 player and the bonus was that it had the aux jack. That's what I use. I had also tried the FM transmitters and never had any luck with them. Always got static. You can find a really good player for about $100 from BestBuy or any of the other shops where you live.

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great idea
by sjcea0512 / June 2, 2010 1:50 PM PDT
In reply to: get an FM modulator

What a great idea ! I have an fm modular for my XM radio , unplugged the XM radio and this worked great thanks !!!

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BEST FM transmitter???
by Jivedaddy / December 21, 2006 3:25 AM PST

Since the product mentioned is not out yet, what is the BEST FM transmitter others have found? My wife has a new MP3 player under the tree for Christmas, and I would like to integrate it into her car sterio w/o replacing the unit. Thanks!


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Look at Kensington
by Don Mitchell / December 21, 2006 3:48 AM PST
In reply to: BEST FM transmitter???

I was about to give up on the FM transmitters I'd tried until I found the Kensington FM Transmitter. Most offer a limited number of frequencies or don't have good stereo separation because they compromize it to achieve a better signal. I get good sound and separation with the Kensington and can precisely tune it to any frequency, saving up to 3 presets.

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IRiver Portable FM transmitter
by now.n.then / December 21, 2006 9:44 PM PST
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iRiver and Kensington are the same.
by Don Mitchell / December 21, 2006 10:02 PM PST

The iRiver and Kensington are the same product, licensed from Aerielle, Inc. The price is the same for both so get whatever's available in your area.

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FM transmitter from Rite Aid - Merkury
by Katrina125 / December 21, 2006 11:01 PM PST

I just bought this FM transmitter yesterday for $14.95. My Belkin cassette adapter ($9.99) for my ipod mini malfunctioned after a few months, so I'll give this a shot & let you know how it works. Sounds like I might need the higher end Kensington to cancel out static, but we'll see.

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FM transmitter
by gvosburgh / December 22, 2006 10:48 PM PST

I bought the Creative Zen V along with the iRiver FM transmitter.I've had no problems with interferance.I'm using 107.7 or 107.3.Sound is great.

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MP3 thru car stereo
by Voiping / December 23, 2006 10:37 AM PST
In reply to: FM transmitter

I use the cassette answer and it really works well for me. I stash my player in the cigarette lighter drawer (what else would I use it for?)and it is hidden from outside.
Otherwise, many stereos feature input and output jacks on the back. Check your manual as your answer could be as simple as a wire.

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Using FM transmitters in urban areas
by jtislerics / December 26, 2006 2:01 AM PST
In reply to: FM transmitter

I've tried two FM transmitters (both at home and in my car). One worked inside my house, but not in my car. The other didn't work in either location. The first was a 4-frequency transmitter, the second was a nearly-infinate-number-of-stations transmitter. The main problem seems to be that living and driving in an urban area (metro Detroit) there aren't any open frequencies that the transmitter was able to connect with. Those frequencies that seemed to be open and available just resulted in static from my MP3 player.

My husband and I have hooked up a stereo wire to the home stereo system (it's an old one, so we're doing some real creative connecting, but it mostly works, albeit with some static). But I'm at a loss for what to do in our cars (without buying a new car stereo, which I'm not interested in doing). One car has the cassette player, so we could get the cassette-connecting device. But the other car has a CD deck, no cassette, and that's the car we're more likely to use on road trips.

Any suggestions, tech gurus?


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Still trying to decide
by DTrain318 / December 26, 2006 7:19 AM PST

I'm still stuck if I should get an FM modulator or if I should wait for the IME dock to come out. Check out for more info. We have 3 vehicles. I am planning to use my mp3 player in my car. My car only has a cd player. No cassette player or aux input. I would go with the cassette adaptor but I don't have that in my car. *sigh* I should have bought a car with a cassette player in it! I can't find any in-dash cd/cassette units that would fit in my grand am. That IME Dock would be the perfect solution if it will work and if it comes out!!!

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Easy way to Fix the problem
by internet454 / December 29, 2006 4:34 PM PST
In reply to: Still trying to decide

Dear friend there is no need for any such trouble. If you are not using the CD player remove it and check whether you have a line in on it's back side. If it does not, don't worry. Take the usual stereo cable(the one which you use to connect the MP3 player to the line in of your computer's sound card). Cut it into half & twist it together. Do the same to the car audio cable. Connect both of them and cover the joint using insulation tape. If god wishes this solution will work completely.

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