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04 March 2010

Tired of my 13 radio stations I drive a lot on my job. What's the cheapest, most convenient way to listen to stuff other than music,commercials,talk show rants,and overdosing on current events?[More:]

I am especially thinking about stories (such as This American Life), comedy,and interview shows.

HD radio has commmercials and XM radio doesn't, is that correct?

I do have an ipod, but am too technically challenged to see what that has to do with my car...
There are a couple different ways to connect the iPod to the car radio. Is that option definitely out?
posted by box 04 March | 11:51
Most cars built in the last five years have an aux input so that you can just use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm patch cable to connect the radio to your iPod. If not, you can get a little FM transmitter plugin for the ipod that will play out through your car radio.
posted by octothorpe 04 March | 11:59
You could search AskME for any of the podcast recommendation threads. Getting an ipod to work with your car radio is pretty easy, be it with a transmitter or an 1/8" cable.
posted by jjb 04 March | 13:01
HD radio has commmercials and XM radio doesn't, is that correct?

That's my understanding. HD radio is the same content put out by regular radio stations, but at a supposedly higher quality, and it can only be read by HD-enabled radios. So, you've have to get a new radio.

The same goes for XM, though; you'd either have to get an XM radio, or an XM plug-in for your current radio. But, to my knowledge, there are no commercials, but I haven't listened to it for quite some time.

Point being, if you are willing to shell out for a new radio to get XM or HD service anyways, you might as well get one that is iPod enabled instead. That will really give you the best options, and they are pretty cheap these days (probably the same price as an HD or XM radio). Or, if you want to do the XM plug-in thing (which is just an FM transmitter), they have similar iPod plug-ins that does the same thing as octothrope said, but without the monthly XM subscription fee.
posted by jabberjaw 04 March | 13:26
Sirius XM has commercials on the talk channels.
posted by amro 04 March | 13:42
Yeah, I got an iTrip for my last car and it was pretty darn simple to use - it plugs into your ipod at one end, your cigarette lighter at the other, and in between has a little pushbutton and LCD screen which you use to tune to an empty frequency. It's like broadcasting your own personal station onto the radio.

I listen to a lot of podcasts and loved to have a bunch available for driving to. WAY better than relying on the radio schedule alone. I like The Moth, TAL, The Splendid Table, Speaking of Faith, Studio360, Here and Now, Word of Mouth, and many others.
posted by Miko 04 March | 14:44
Seconding iTrip. (I have an older model one of these.)

I used to have one of the iTrips mentioned by Miko that just plugs into the iPod, but I didn't like it since my battery would really drain quickly and I think I could only drive for 5 hours with my video iPod.

So while it's not cordless, having the car charger is fucking awesome.
posted by sperose 04 March | 16:03
Totally true, it drained the battery fast.

My new(to me) car has the mp3 player jack. Luxury!
posted by Miko 04 March | 16:09
Some of the iPod-connecting doohickies can simultaneously charge and play. That'd probably be a good thing to look for, if you were shopping for one.
posted by box 04 March | 16:17
i hear these are pretty entertaining
posted by rollick 04 March | 22:18
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