How to connect an iPod to your car stereo

Auxiliary input jacks like this one make it possible for drivers to listen to their iPods while they're driving. See more pictures of car gadgets.

Back in the day, having a car meant constantly having to organize its interior, or, more specifically, reuniting errant cassette tapes with their matching plastic cases. As time marched on, cassettes gave way to compact discs. Multi-disc magazines helped reduce the clutter, but the musical selection in your car was still limited to a few hundred songs, at most.

Then MP3 players like the iPod came along, and the inner space of music lovers everywhere was forever transformed. By donning a pair of white earbuds, people can drown out the outside world to a personally customized soundtrack. Wouldn't you know it -- that's what we do when we get in the car and crank up the stereo! It was inevitable that iPod lovers would figure out ways to connect their beloved gadget to their vehicles' sound system.

For many, spending lots of time in transit is a fact of life: Whether you're an on-the-go student, a commuting office worker or a salesperson with lots of territory to cove­r, it's easy to spend huge chunks of time behind the wheel. If this is the case, wouldn't it be great to have access to thousands of your favorite songs, rec­orded talks and archived broadcasts? Wouldn't it be great to stop worrying about burning these selections permanently to compact disc just so that you could ferry that CD to your car? Wouldn't you like to stop hoping your burned CDs don't somehow get lost, scratched or rejected by your car CD player as unreadable?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then keep reading. This article will examine the various ways to hook up an iPod to your car's sound system -- from the quick and cheap to the pricey and highly engineered.

­To learn about the different types of iPod in-car connection methods, go to the next page.

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