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Device brings your iPod music to any radio

XtremeMac says its AirPlay is an attractive add-on for people who don't have casette or CD players in their cars. Photos: XtremeMac's iPod transmitter

XtremeMac on Tuesday released a gadget designed to let users listen to music stored on their iPods via any FM radio.

The transmitter, dubbed the AirPlay, also works with the iPod Mini, Xtreme Mac said. The device transfers audio wirelessly from the music player to any FM radio, making it an attractive add-on, the company said, for people who don't have casette or CD players in their cars.

The gadget features a digital display that shows which frequency you'll be transmitting on, and it does not require navigation of iPod menus. The display turns off after tuning to conserve the iPod battery, XtremeMac said. When the iPod begins to play, AirPlay automatically transmits on the last used radio frequency. The device costs $39.95, the company said.>

XtremeMac is not the only company tapping into the market for such devices. Griffin Technology's popular iTrip, for example, can also be used with any FM radio.

Among other products available is an adapter from Alpine that costs about $100 and lets the user control iPod and iPod Mini players via several Alpine-brand stereos.

Pioneer has an adapter slated to be released in March. With a price of about $140, the gadget will work only with Pioneer stereos, but the stereos will be able to display up to eight characters of text, showing details such as album, artist or song name. Meanwhile, Clarion is planning an in-dash DVD player that combines a 7-inch touch screen monitor with iPod controls.

Carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz USA and Volvo also have plans to make the iPod connect with car music systems.