Just over three years ago, Griffin Technologies released the iTrip. This was an FM transmitter designed for iPod that enabled you to get the music on your iPod playing on your car stereo, or indeed any FM radio. I gave it a good review at the time, because it was unique and the only device of its kind. If you wanted to listen to all the music trapped on your iPod in your car it was the only way you could do it.
Looking back, I was perhaps a bit overly impressed with the concept, as in practice it was rather awkward to use. Selecting a frequency involved choosing from a list of files that had to be first transferred onto your iPod. You then had to hold down the buttons in a certain way, wait for a flashing light, stick your leg out of the window, and chant, in a bid to get the iTrip to change frequency. (ok, the leg and chant bit isn’t true).
The faffy nature of this though was a problem as in built-up areas you tended to get a lot of interference from the crowded FM airwaves, so a frequency that worked well in one area might well not in another. The other issue with the iTrip was that at the time it was illegal, at least in the UK. The Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1949, states that broadcasting anything at all on an FM frequency was illegal, despite the fact that the iTrip had a range of barely a metre. You were lucky if it worked from the back seat of your car, let alone interfere with the radio of another car in traffic. Finally though, Ofcom has got with the programme and has made allowances for all these new fangled modern gadgets. According to new Wireless Telegraphy Exemption Regulations, iTrip style FM transmitters are now legal and the CK3000-HD is one of these new breed.
I’m not sure why it doesn’t have a proper catchy Apple style name or why HD is in the title at all, – presumably because HD is something of a buzz word right now, even though the quality you’ll get is far from ‘High Definition’. Also the less said about the name, ‘Moosik’, the better.
The unit itself is simply a cradle for the iPod that sits on top of the FM tuner, which in turn is attached to a holder that plugs straight into a car lighter jack. Plug in to turn it on, remove to turn it off – simple. Four ‘fitters’ are supplied that slot into the cradle to ensure a snug fit for any iPod from the fourth generation onwards. No fitter is required for the ipod photo as this fatty fits right in. My chunky 60GB 5th gen iPod actually fit without one too, at least once I’d removed it from its case.