The DLO TransPod FM has gotten mixed reviews on Amazon, but I think it’s a pretty snazzy gizmo. Hop in the MVoD, slide the iPod into the cradle, press Play and go. The TransPod charges the iPod and broadcasts on pretty much the entire FM spectrum. So far, I’ve had very good luck on 88.1 and 99.1 MHz. The transmitter appears to be more powerful than the iTrip (which connects to the headphone jack on the iPod and draws power from the iPod’s battery), and there’s no need to install additional software on KJToonz (yeah, you can name your iPod).
Now, it’s not perfect. There’s not really anything holding the iPod down, so hitting a large bump may jostle it free of the dock connector and cut off the sound. It won’t jump out onto the floor, but it would be nice if there were some sort of restraint keeping it snug in the dock.
For the most part, the sound quality is very good. On at least one album (Pianissimo by Suzanne Ciani), there’s a lot of static when the music is quite high-pitched. Listening to the same album with headphones I can tell that the rip is clean and crisp. I’m not sure exactly what the problem is, but it’s affecting less than 1% of my music, so I’m not going to worry about it too much.
Another issue I have is the volume. I’ve got Sound Check activated on KJToonz, so there’s some algorithm running to ensure that playback on all songs is at roughly the same volume level. Unfortunately, the volume on the FM broadcast seems a bit on the low side, which means I’ve got to turn the radio up quite a bit to get the volume I like. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that at a high volume there’s a noticeable static hiss between songs. Again, it’s nothing major, but it seems like it could be better.
The TransPod seems to be built solidly, though at least one Amazon reviewer said it was a poorly-constructed piece of crap. Go figure. Unfortunately, the location of my power port necessitates blocking the pull-out cup holders, which may be a bit of a nuisance on longer trips. It also appears that my power port remains powered after the MVoD is shut down, and the TransPod doesn’t have a power switch, so there may be some danger of draining the van’s battery.
There are a number of automobile solutions available for the iPod and I don’t claim to be familiar with all of them, but the TransPod FM has been a very good option for me. Laura made a very good choice (but doesn’t she always?).
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