I haven’t yet joined the iPod revolution, mostly because I don’t use a portable stereo or listen to music via headphones anywhere away from my computer. (I also dislike the controls Apple puts on files that you download from them, but that’s a whole other story.) Recently, however, I’ve felt the strong urge to bring digital media files into my car, the one place where I really don’t have access to these files (without going through the hassle of burning a CD… can you believe we EVER made mix tapes???). I was shortly enthralled with the idea of purchasing the Omnifi DMP-1, a revolutionary car mp3 player equipped with a 20GB hard drive and optional wireless connection to the home network (allowing wireless transfer of files to the aforementioned hard drive), however when I considered the prospects of taking apart my car’s dashboard, those delusions of grandeur seemed to slip away. (I have no problem taking apart my computer, but I’ve never ventured into the realm of car tinkering and at this point don’t have a strong desire to.)
So, the other option was to get some sort of portable mp3 player. I do still have a tape player in my car (remember them?), so I don’t even have to bother with the supposedly ineffective FM modulators, although the analog connection provided by the tape converter is not perfect either. In addition, I was lucky enough to discover that my sister has an old iPod she no longer uses (recently upgraded to a mini), a second-generation click wheel gadget with 10GB of storage. The battery no longer holds a charge, and there is no USB support, but the essentials are in place, and geeks like me never shy away from a challenge.
As is bound to happen anytime one works with Mac products, the process has turned from a fun, interesting experiment to a long, drawn out process that may never end. But, I’m determined to beat this darn thing and at the end have a functioning 10GB iPod that I can use in my car. My ordeal follows:
The first thing I needed to procur was a car charger suitable for the iPod (since the battery doesn’t work). Without much further thought, I went where any red-blooded American would look for such a thing: eBay, of course. The first one I picked up ($0.01 plus $6.95 shipping, arrived in a padded envelope that cost no more than $1 including postage) worked only on iPods with dock connectors, which mine didn’t have. Serves me right for jumping on the first one I saw without actually looking at the iPod first. (Luckily, it works for my GFs iPod and she was more than happy to take it from me.) After the first mistake, I picked up another eBay adapter that had a firewire input (this time $0.01 plus $8.99 shipping, came in same envelope, less postage), but it arrived the same day as the wrong one and worked like a charm! The ipod charged while the car was running, the tape converter works, and I’m in business. Too bad the 10GB is filled with my sister’s songs, and I have no way to update it.
What will our hero do next? Can an old Mac iPod even connect to a PC? Read The iPodyssey, Part 2.