Product Type: Griffin digital audio accessories
Newest Review: ... whole unit is visible through the clear panel on the front of the box and when I first saw it I was particularly impressed with how comp... more
You must be Trippin
Griffin iTrip AutoPilot
Member Name: stillclueless
Griffin iTrip AutoPilot
Advantages: allows you to listen to your favourite tunes in the car without changing CD's all the time
Disadvantages: Can move out of range and cause interference
Now I used to be terrible for having CD's lying about the car - in every nook and cranny you would find cd boxes because I liked to listen to a variety of different music when driving. Even now I have to admit that the iPod has revolutionised the way I listen to and store music. The CD's have long since been stored in the loft choosing instead to use iTunes as my media source.
What has revolutionised the way I listen to music even more is the Griffin iTrip auto designed specifically for the apple iPod.
***what is the Griffin iTrip Auto***
The iTrip auto is probably one of the easiest ways to charge your iPod and play the music stored on your iPod device in the car. The iTrip has a smart scan system which is designed to scan through your radio frequencies and store the top 3 clearest frequencies to allow you to play your music clearly through your FM radio transmitter. The particular model I have is the 2008 model and is compatible with the iPod touch, Classic, Nano (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation), it was given to me as a birthday present a couple of years ago and I am pleased to say that this is a present I get to use every day.
***How to use the iTrip Auto***
The iTrip Auto is really simple to use and comes with a quick start guide to get you going. The first thing you need to do is take the unit out of its packaging and I have to say it does come very well packaged, in a plastic box. The whole unit is visible through the clear panel on the front of the box and when I first saw it I was particularly impressed with how compact it all looked. Open up the top of the box and pull out the plastic holder inside to reveal your new toy. The iTrip has 3 main parts to it; the Dock connector which slots neatly into the dock connection point located on your iPod, the smart scan unit which has 3 pre-set buttons to allow you to store the 3 clearest frequencies, and of course the charging adaptor which is designed to slot into your cigarette lighter unit. Plugging the charging adaptor into your cigarette lighter socket powers up the iTrip and charges your iPod at the same time. The adaptor itself has a colour ring which resembles the same sequence as traffic lights so you can easily see what the iTrip is doing.
RED = This indicates that the iTrip has been plugged in correctly and is ready to operate the iTrip transmitter and charge your iPod
AMBER = The iTrip is charging your iPod and is providing power to the iTrip FM transmitter.
GREEN = Your iPod is fully charged and there is power to the iTrip FM transmitter
When the unit is plugged in the LED display pops up with a function button, to set your pre-sets you simply select the function button where you will be taken to three different menus, scan, pre-set and mode, simply click scan and the smartscan technology gets to work straight away taking around 25 seconds to find the 3 clearest frequencies for you to play through - the led screen shows a scanning status while searching and when done the top 3 frequencies are then stored in your pre-sets. In my experience choosing option 1 from pre-sets will always give you the clearest sound with the least interference. Once you have selected your frequency all you have to do is tune your radio in to that frequency and hit play on your iPod and hey presto you're up and running. To save retuning my radio every time I set one of my stations to the pre-set selected for my iPod so all I have to do is press play on my iPod and it's already tuned in so starts playing straight away.
When travelling it may be necessary to switch radio frequencies in case you have some overlap with other radio stations as this will cause interference, I would first check your pre-sets to see if option 2 or 3 are of any use or if in doubt you can rescan so that the smartscan technology will pick up the best 3 frequencies for the area you are in. You can tune the iTrip manually (although I don't recommend this) by firstly tuning in your radio to a vacant station and then setting your iTrip to that frequency, so rather than selecting function from the iTrip you can use the + and - options to move up or down the radio frequencies frequencies to match what you have set your radio to.
***Setting your own pre-sets***
The iTrip gives you the option to personalise the pre-sets. Perhaps you know you have a long commute every day and you notice that your iTrip dips in and out of the frequency it is set to in certain areas, so you can manually save frequencies in the pre-sets to suit the area you are in. All you have to do is find the frequency you know works best in that area and got to your function menu; select pre-sets and hold down pre-set 1, 2 or 3 for a couple of seconds to save the frequency. You'll be able to tell if the pre-set has saved properly as the screen will blink once and the pre-set number 1,2 or 3 will light up to indicate that the frequency has stored effectively.
***Stero or Mono?***
The iTrip also gives you the option to listen to audio through Mono or Stereo. Broadcasting through Mono will give a stronger signal than stereo and good to use if listening to; podcasts, talk radio or audiobooks.....personally I don't really listen to any talking programmes through my iPod so I've never needed to use the Mono function choosing always to listen to my music through stereo sound which is better for music and musical podcasts. To change the setting all you have to do is go into Function and select mode where you will be given the option for Mono or Stereo.
***My personal experience and opinion***
I've had my iTrip Auto for over 2 years now and it's still going strong and I have to say it hasn't let me down yet. Even if I take the unit out of the cigarette lighter point in the car it still remembers my pre-set radio frequencies when it gets plugged back in so there's no hassle trying to search for new frequencies each and every time in. I'm quite lucky because my daily commute is relatively short so I never really hit those black spots where the radio frequency suffers from interference and I very rarely need to search for new frequencies, it's pretty much pre-set 1 for me all the way. The only time I ever encounter frequency interference is when I'm travelling long distances like going on holiday in the UK and only then do I need to use the smartscan to find new frequencies.
I leave my iTrip plugged in in my car pretty much all the time so it's not really a problem for me plugging it in and unplugging it on a regular basis. The only thing I will say is the wire is pretty long so I still have some of it cable tied up so I don't have a big long wire getting in the way of the gearstick but apart from the long wire I really do find it difficult to find any flaws with this gadget and it comes highly recommended for anyone who owns an iPod.
***Where to buy***
The particular iTrip model I own is as previously indicated from 2008 and the only place I have seen it to buy is on amazon.co.uk for almost £60 which is quite expensive as it initially cost my partners parents around £35 when they bought it for me in 2009. The new and presumably improved version is available in Tesco for £39.97, but I'm sure if you shop around you will perhaps get it for cheaper.
Overall a great little in car gadget for listening to music on your iPod.....easy to use...easy to store and comes complete with easy to use easy to understand instructions.
Summary: iTrip with my iPod
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