Jul 24 2007
iTrip Pocket from Griffin Tech
FM transmitters come in several types. The iTrip Pocket joins a very successful line of iTrip adapters, and excels in convenience. Unlike others – including other iTrip adapters – this FM transmitter is powered by the iPod.
We’ve also got plenty of choices with built-in displays. The iTrip also turns to the iPod to take care of this with on-screen display. The adapter does include hardware preset buttons, making it easy to switch between frequently used frequencies.
I found the trade-offs mentioned above more than worth it. The simplicity of popping on the adapter and turning on the radio outweighs the battery drain and complements the Apple iPod experience. On connection or power on the unit tunes to the last used frequency automatically.
In fact, the battery pull (I’d guess about 3x the normal music playback) actually helps cycle my battery and keep the battery’s memory adjusted for long video playback. On my video iPod, the meter would be above 3/4 after 45 minutes of play with the adapter.
The iTrip X also simplifies volume adjustments – by taking it away. I found this convenient as well. Previously I was always turning up my iPod for better reception, and them back down for out-of-the-car use.
The one feature I didn’t use at all? The iTrip Pocket has a keychain loop on a cap that covers the iPod port that could make it easy to tote your iTrip on your keychain. I passed on this, and left it in my car instead.
Disappointments? Nothing was a let-down on this device, though there is somethings I’d change: it’s odd to me that the adapter starts playing music from the top of your library on connect. I start my day off with podcasts, so each time I connect the adapter in the morning, I have to jump into podcasts to stop the “autoplay”.
While the unit works on most modern iPods (including the video iPod) , it is designed to look best on a nano. The buttons (frequency adjust and presets) are sound and provide good tactile feedback.
If you take your iPod on the road – be sure to queue up that playlist before hitting traffic. And if your vehicle does not sport an auxiliary input, grab an iTrip X. Its easy to use, broadcasts a clear signal and unless your commute exceeds two hours a day, the battery drain won’t slow you down.
The iTrip Pocket has an MSRP of $49. At press time you could buy it at Amazon for $28.