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How to play music from an iPad through car stereo?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Ukiah Bass, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    What are simple ways to play music stored on an iPad in AAC format through a car stereo? My truck's stereo has the usual AM/FM and CD player only, nothing fancy. Thanks for your advice - I'm finally getting around to putting my CD collection into a more modern device and need to figure out this last step.
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    If your head unit has an auxiliary input (1/8" or RCA), that'd be best. Otherwise, you'll have to use some sort of FM modulator.
  3. hrbassji


    Jan 20, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Well, there are a couple of ways.

    There maybe some FM transmitters you can use. Also, there are boxes you can buy which plug into an auxiliary port on the back of your car stereo (usually reserved for a CD Changer or some other add-on) and then plug the iPad into the box via an RCA cable. There are bluetooth adapters too. I'm guessing you don't have a tape deck, so a cassette adapter is out of the question.

    Just Google some of those and you should find what you are looking for.
  4. fisticuffs


    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    My car has bluetooth, an 1/8" aux in and a USB. They all work with everything. You need to get one of them going. FM transmitters are nearly worthless. A tape deck adapter sounds better than those. not sure about your specific car stereo. Might need a new one or might be able to buy an accessory.
  5. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    It sounds like I should do some research on the in-dash tuner to learn if there is a hardware input hidden on the back. Definitely no bluetooth - it's standard equipment on a 2006 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. No built in tape deck either.

    I've heard about the FM connections ... it seems like some people hate 'em and others love 'em.

    Would it be an economic wash to just replace the in-dash tuner with something that supports bluetooth? That technology is built into the iPad so maybe it's the way to go?
  6. Heh heh, I drive a 2001 Chevy Suburban that still has a factory cassette deck in it, this is the only thing it gets used for.

    The FM transmitters I've seen work great.
  7. fisticuffs


    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    I'd forget about bluetooth and just look for an aux in. Pretty much standard on everything out there now. Bluetooth will drain the battery of whatever you are using and it's still a wireless connection, although much better than FM. You could pick something up for $100 that has an aux and probably USB.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    2006, you probably just missed the boat on the "every vehicle has a place to plug in your iPod" thing. Your best bet is to go to a shop that does car stereos (not best buy). There may be an aux in on your factory stereo that they can run a line to the dash or glove box.
  9. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    If you are thinking of replacing the factory stereo, I would just make sure the new stereo has a 1/8" aux. input on the front of the reciever......
  10. Doesn't work with his CD player only car. Geez, some people have fancy cars.
  11. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    iSimple makes several- I have one with the FM transmitter and it works well enough unless you're in an area where they put up an antenna farm, like a police/fire/rescue department or where all of the TV & radio towers are located. It may work well enough once you get it locked in but the ambient RF will keep the tuner from tuning into the device. The stereo in my cargo van is only AM/FM with no aux in, so I had to get one of these because I wasn't going to replace it. Some of them are vehicle-specific, so look for what you have. If you don't know which radio you have, call a dealer for the vehicle and they'll probably ask for the vehicle codes on the door pillar or in the glove box, so they can tell you the radio model #.

    iSimple | iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android - Car Audio Smartphone Kits
  12. This is what I'm using with my Volvo factory radio. Unfortunately the connection with the tape head isn't what it used to be, so I have to fiddle about a little or there is very little bass.

    I used to have an FM transmitter, but I quit using it after I nearly caused a road accident trying to change frequency while driving.

    There are kits available to connect to the CD changer input of some factory radios, then you can control your iPod from the car stereo like you would a CD changer. They vary a lot in price, but may be worth looking into.
  13. fjadams

    fjadams Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    I use one of these. Works flawlessly, and sounds good.

  14. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I know that with the ipod or the zune you can go straight from the headphone output on the device to the car stereo input with a standard 1/8" jack on either side. Provided your in-dash has an input.

    In my unwarranted opinion though, you might be better off just spending the extra money for a straight mp3 player. The ipad seems like it would be a bit unwieldy while driving. Just my 2 cents.
  15. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    FM transmitter. I picked one up at Wal-Mart for about $35 and it works great on iPod, iPad, iPhone and 'Droid phones so I can hear through the stereo speakers.
  16. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Wow, the options are flowing!

    The local car stereo place will install a FM modulator and position a stereo headphone jack anywhere on the dash for $129 total. No need to replace the AM/FM/CD unit. Is that a good price?

    I'll look into these other options. It sounds like a solution is at hand.
  17. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Man, you need a new car to play that iPad in!!! :)