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ATPM 9.11
November 2003




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Review: iTrip

by Eric Blair,


Developer: Griffin Technology

Price: $35

Requirements: Third-generation iPod

Trial: None

Now that my entire music collection fits into my shirt pocket, it gets more and more annoying when I need to lug a bulky binder of CDs out to my car when I want to go out for a drive. I’d like to use my iPod in my car, but it doesn’t have a tape deck, so a cassette adapter is out of the question. Short of shelling out a large amount of cash for a customized mounting system or doing some serious surgery on my center console, that leaves the old standby—the FM transmitter.

I played with one such device a number of years ago and came away quite unimpressed. While most car stereos featured digital tuning, the FM transmitters were limited to analog tuning. The transmitter I used had three or four small ranges of stations and a dial for fine-tuning. If you couldn’t find a working signal within these few ranges, then you were out of luck.

The iTrip is one of very few digital FM transmitters I have seen for sale. Unlike any other device on the market, though, the new iTrip is specially designed to work only with Apple’s third-generation iPods.

The iTrip is basically a 2.4" long tube with a diameter of .84". It sits on top of the iPod, connects to both the headphone and remote control jacks, and requires no batteries, as it draws power from the iPod. Since the iTrip lacks wires and batteries, it is smaller and less unwieldy than other FM transmitters available.


By itself, the iTrip is far too small to contain a display for digital tuning. However, since it only operates while connected to an iPod, it has access to a 3"x2" screen to use for tuning purposes. This is accomplished with a series of MP3 files corresponding to the different FM frequencies. When you install the iTrip software on your Macintosh, these MP3 are added to your music library and are put in a playlist called “iTrip Stations.”

To change the channel on the iTrip, you start playing the desired station, and when the red LED on the iTrip begins to flash rapidly, you pause the track. If you have your radio tuned to the desired station while you’re doing this, you’ll hear a definite change as the static is replaced by dead air.

At first, I was concerned that playing my entire library would cause the iTrip to change channels when it one of the station files was played. This turned out not to be the case—the LED begins to flash rapidly for a time, but that station does not change unless you pause the iPod during this period. Of course, it’s still annoying at times to hear a series of beeps and blips pouring out of your car stereo or your headphones.

The big test for the iTrip was a weekend with friends earlier this month that featured a 4-hour drive. I hit a few different radio markets during my drive, so I really got to put the iTrip through its paces. Also, I did this the same day I installed the iPod 2.1 software, so there were plenty of potential gotchas to throw the iTrip for a loop.

When I first started out, I had some difficulty getting the iTrip to accept a new station assignment. It seemed like the iTrip just did not want to wake up. After removing and replacing the tuner, everything seemed to be in order.

Over the course of the drive, I needed to change channels a handful of times as I drove through different radio markets. Once I got the hang of finding the really weak signals, the iTrip preformed beautifully, even though it was sitting in the front seat and my FM antenna is mounted in the rear windshield of my car. The one thing that concerned me was that the 4-hour drive almost completely chewed through what I thought was a fully charged battery. At first, I thought the iTrip was using more power than Griffin originally implied, but now I’m not so sure—the battery charging process for my iPod has been a little flaky since I installed the latest iPod update.

Out of the box, the iPod can go pretty much anywhere short of the freeway. If you want to bridge this final gap and don’t have an accessible auxiliary jack for your car stereo, I encourage you to check out Griffin Technology’s iTrip. It works exactly as advertised and does so without littering your car with extraneous wiring.

Reader Comments (104)

James Arnold · November 3, 2003 - 01:26 EST #1
I got the original iTrip for my G2 iPod. I liked being able to put my cassette adaptor away. Unfortunately, I was never able to find a really clear channel to work with the thing in the car. It worked great at home, though. I found lots of interference when going over bridges and under trolley cables. I also found, when driving from one side of the city to the other, I would find a channel that was fine at first but would be totally interfered with by the end. The final problem I had with the original iTrip was that it did not fit very well. The prongs that go in the firewire port on top of my iPod would cause it to pop out of the headphone jack port. I considered cutting these little prongs off, but then I just stopped using the product since the sound quality was not good enough. I hope this new version is better. It would be interesting to see a comparison review of the two products).
anonymous · November 6, 2003 - 12:10 EST #2
What about quality? You didn't mention a single thing about how it affects the sound quality.
Brian · November 21, 2003 - 22:20 EST #3
The iTrip I got worked well - for a week. Then it simply stopped working and has never worked again. It's cool-looking and is a cool concept, but poor execution.
Eric Blair (ATPM Staff) · November 28, 2003 - 05:33 EST #4
You know, I planned to mention sound quality. I thought I mentioned sound quality. It would appear I was wrong.

In general, the sound quality was fine. Due to the fact that there's something unique about everybody's setup (geography, FM coverage, antenna strength, etc.), I can't make a blanket statement about how it'll sound. I guess the best thing I can say is "it sounds like FM radio."

From my personal experience, I had the best sound quality when I used the iTrip in my apartment and placed it directly on top of the radio. The performance in the car wasn't quite as good, likely because the iTrip was further away from the antenna. At times, I could hear static in the songs. Usually, this meant it was time to search for a new channel.

According to the iTrip FAQ, some cars have a metallic film on the windshields that can impair the iTrip's FM signal, so the sound quality is significantly degraded.

Sadly, the ATPM review budget didn't allow me to rent a variety of automobiles, so, for the most part, I cannot say how the iTrip will work with a specific model. However, I will say it worked fine with my Honda Accord.
John V. · December 16, 2003 - 21:03 EST #5
I had an analog FM transmitter with my iPod for a while until I got sick of getting interference with static and radio stations. I decided to replace my car radio with a new one that had an auxiliary port in the front. For some people, this might be expensive, but I got a very nice JVC CD radio online for about $130. This works so perfectly that my only regret was waiting this long to get it. I highly recommend it. Aiwa also sells one for $99, but I thought the JVC looked better. It even plays MP3 CDs, though I don't use this feature.
Jen · January 8, 2004 - 02:43 EST #6
I got my iTrip about 3 weeks ago and I've had so many problems with it already. First, the installation was horrible because I use a PC and the installation CD automatically needs MusicMatch for PC users, even though I have iTunes. Then, probably because of the first problem, I wasn't able to install the list of stations correctly. Therefore, it only worked on the default 87.0 station. The sound quality was okay, but not great. Also, a major problem I have had is the battery life. The iTrip sucks the battery from my iPod like crazy. With my iTrip on my iPod, I can only get about 2 hours of play! Does anyone know how to solve this problem?
Derrick · January 10, 2004 - 16:40 EST #7
Hi Jen. If you go to the Griffin web site, it explains how to use the installation disk with iTunes.
Eric · January 16, 2004 - 13:23 EST #8
This product is horrible. After using it for a month, I would not recommend it to anyone. It just does not work. You can't find a weak enough frequency to use, the sound quality is horrible, and the UI is poor.
Kristen · January 26, 2004 - 21:06 EST #9
I got an iPod as a gift and have no clue how to work the iTrip. Can someone breakdown the installation for me? This is drving me insane. I tried everything!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 26, 2004 - 21:39 EST #10
Kristen - did you check out the iTrip Manual? I don't have an iTrip, but I skimmed the manual and it seems pretty straightforward.
Kristen · January 27, 2004 - 08:22 EST #11
Yes I checked out the manual. I can not even get anything besides just the static sound of there being no station on a frequency. I don't even hear dead air once a frequency has been programmed. I have tried this with many different frequencies and no luck. The red light blinks like it is suppose to. Please someone help. I have no clue what I am doing wrong!
Mayella Ewell · February 3, 2004 - 15:27 EST #12
It rocks!
Andy · February 7, 2004 - 06:14 EST #13
I just got it! It works great! Don't bother installing all the setup stuff. It didn't work with me anyway. Just import the MP3 frequency files onto your iPod and it works. That's it. Great thing!
Chris Tofteberg · February 8, 2004 - 21:24 EST #14
I've read quite a few reviews on the iTrip, I'm in the market for a wireless transmitter and obviously want the best product for the $. The reviews I've seen are very polar, either the user loved it to death or hated it like a bad case of acne. I'm wondering why there is such a divide on this product.
Adam · February 16, 2004 - 13:29 EST #15
For all those who have had static problems with the iTrip, there is a simple solution. Turn down the volume on the iPod and turn up the car's volume. I almost took my iTrip back the first time I used it because all I got was static. After much frustration, a friend simply turned the volume down and, just like magic, the sound came in crystal clear. Hope this helps.
Tim · February 21, 2004 - 09:57 EST #16
I just got mine yesterday, and I think it's pretty user friendly.

One thing that isn't mentioned regarding tuning: When you pick a frequency, you may need to fine tune it, which you can do by tracking forward or back on the frequency "songfile". I hope this made sense...

The itrip is great when you take into account its size and ease of use... Have Fun.
Ra · March 7, 2004 - 00:55 EST #17
I got my iTrip about two weeks ago and it worked fine at first. However, now it's gone completely insane on me. I try using an empty frequency by pressing play but all it seems to do is load that frequency... and then the next, and the next, and so on and so forth. I tried turning off the shuffle and repeat settings but that doesn't work. Anyone have any ideas on what's going on with my iTrip?
DH · March 8, 2004 - 22:37 EST #18
I've been using mine for about 3 months and have no real problems. I have a Honda CR-V and am able to manually 'retract' the antennae, which makes a world of difference in the iTrip reception.

A friend of mine doesn't have a retractable antennae; but since he doesn't care to listen to the radio, I suggested unscrewing his exterior antennae. He said once he took it off, his iTrip now sounds 100% better.
John B · March 29, 2004 - 09:58 EST #19
My iTrip works pretty well, but beware - it eats up the iPod battery even when the whole lot's turned off. My advice is always to disengage it when it's not in use.
Kyle Perkins · April 6, 2004 - 11:34 EST #20
RA - when the station in the playlist starts playing you push play/pause again and the light on the itrip willblikn 3 times and then stay red. Then just go to a song and play it on that station. By the way, my itrip works great, I've never had any problems with it at all. I also had the problem of not being able to instal, but a quick trip to the griffin website and a download of the new software, I was off and running in about 5 minutes.
gk · April 7, 2004 - 12:27 EST #21
On the battery draining issue. I only got 4 hours of play time out of my brand new iPod yesterday - with the iTrip attached. Getting rather worried, I drained the battery completely, then charged it for the full four hours and ran my iPod continuously without the iTrip. I got the full 8 hours out of it. So I think Griffins claim that the iTrip uses a minute amount of power is rather flawed - it looks like it shares the battery 50/50! I might try the 'disconnecting even when not in use' thing mentioned above to see if that helps any.
JPM · April 13, 2004 - 15:32 EST #22
When I run my I-Trip in the car I hear a high pitched sound. Anybody have any idea what this is? Other than this, it works great
Glen · April 29, 2004 - 14:43 EST #23
I just bought my iPOD and love it so I bought an iTRIP for the car........ NO it does not seem to like the available frequencies in Toronto Canada.... it has not worked yet (2 days) it is its last chance or it goes back to the store today.... hope It wakes up and starts working soon 'cause I would love to not have to use a headphone jack and cassette adaptor
PMD · May 27, 2004 - 17:05 EST #24
I live in DC and I try and use the itrip but there are too many interferences. I guess I am out of luck...Anyone from dc know a usable station?
M.Y. · May 30, 2004 - 16:12 EST #25
Nope, no luck here in Toronto either, tried pretty much every frequency, and it varies when I drive from Toronto to Scarborough then to Markham, not sure what to do now.
Vish · June 4, 2004 - 09:32 EST #26
I have purchased iTrip. it does not fit in to iPod with 20 Gb due to two prongs of iTrip. Is there any solution?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 5, 2004 - 00:05 EST #27
Vish - sounds like you purchased the wrong model. There's one for the original iPods with the firewire port on the top, and another for the iPods that have the dock connector on the bottom.
philip · June 6, 2004 - 05:47 EST #28
The itrip is very useful, it was really easy to setup and get working.. it sounds like alot of you people might just not be doing things correctly. i would prefer an aux input.. but since my cd player doesn't have that, i'm perfectly happy and at ease with my itrip. i would recomend it to anyone who doesn't like the repetition of horrible music and commercials on the radio, or lugging around a big cd book. mad props to itrip.
DEXXON · July 30, 2004 - 04:15 EST #29
I bought my iTrip last week for my 3rd generation iPOD, I plugged the itrip into the iPOD, tuned the car stereo to the default frequency and it works perfectly. Very happy. And if the battery concerns are correct, I'll buy a connector to the cigarette lighter.
C. Lee · August 11, 2004 - 11:07 EST #30
I've used the iTrip for my 4th gen iPod and it works just fine. Figuring out how to set the frequency was the tricky part (due to the fact that I rarely read manuals -- doh!) but once you get the hang of it, it's VERY SIMPLE. I commute through the Chicago metro area and for the most part, I can set it to 95.5 and get a good reception (sound quality on par with decent FM radio stations), so I am very happy with the product. It's great at parties, too, since I'm virtually taking my entire music library with me and I can play it on the boombox, although the sound quality is not CD-quality.

Performance will definitely vary depending on your location and other factors, but I've tried it in my Civic, my friends' Altima and Maxima, my home stereo and my buddy's boombox, and so far, they all worked fine. GREAT PURCHASE for $35!
paul · August 12, 2004 - 11:17 EST #31
i live in south africa, i got the new 4th generation 40gig
(big smile). ....and then itrip. (no big smile)

it works, but the static is killing me. south africa has fewer radio stations so that helps a little. but heres some good advise. you can download extra frequencies - then choose either the very first, or the very last frequency. - they seem to be the strongest.
Irie · August 15, 2004 - 00:33 EST #32
My Itrip worked for a month and made me a very happy man. The other day I went in a friend's car and it didn't play at all (in any freq.). Now it won't work anywhere. Could the"metallic film on the windshields that can impair the iTrip's FM signal" have caused permanent damage to the product? Anybody else have this problem?
Ian Dobbs · August 16, 2004 - 18:53 EST #33
A colleague of mine has an i-Trip which works really well, so I was delighted when I took delivery of mine today. The installation went without a hitch but all I get is a very low volume output on the radio - The i-Pod volume is set between 50 and 70% as suggested by Griffin but the radio has to be on full to hear anything! To add insult to injury there is an annoying buzzing/crackling noise.

Has anyone else had the same problem?
Comrade Ash · September 1, 2004 - 06:48 EST #34
I got me an iTrip today, so no idea on battery use on my 3rd gen iPod... Since im Australian I installed the 'other' frequency pack, installation was easy as pie. Upon testing I get very good reception on 96FM (Melbourne Area) and even managed to beat out a major radio station at a distance of ~1.5m away from the antenna without 'clashing' it seems good :)
Charlie Dominguez · September 3, 2004 - 04:13 EST #35
I love/hate the iTrip. I've used mine for about two months and in that time I fell in love with the iTrip... No wires, no cd bookets, I could get the levels just right, I found the perfect broadcasting station for my area... Then disaster struck.

I took a four and a half hour road trip and my iTrip ate the battery for breakfast. When I arrived at my destination, I charged my iPod with my wall charger thinking everything would be fine, but when I got back into my truck and hit Play... nothing. The iTrip will light up and act like it's functioning properly, but it just sits there. I've installed the updates, tried other stations, reset my iPod... it's dead and I hate that there's nothing I can do about it.
Brian · September 8, 2004 - 23:30 EST #36
I got my iTrip two days ago. Using with new (4G?) 40GB iPod. Love the iPod - it rules. Disappointing so far with car use, great the one time I used it in teh house. Advertising should stress it basically wont work with radios that do not allow manual tuning (that darn search only situation). Anyway, no luck in the car yet. Seems like if you put your hand on it the human antenae factor helps but is not good for driving. Called local Apple store today and they suggested downloading the Japanese frequencies since there am some that are lower and may not be in use. I am in Detroit and there is no such thing as three static only stations in a row. Going to give it another week and if it still is no go in the car, will need to condider whether indoor use and on my boat justify keeping the bloody thing in addtion to having to use a casette adapter in the car (Saturn VUE with 6 CD changer). Now I know why the BMW and other aftermarket on-board adapters have appeal. Hoping for the best here. Its a great concept and I remain optimistic. Any suggestions are welcome. Don't think you can communicate with Griffin for troubleshooting unfortunately (just the FAQ's and such). Good luck to all.
Chris Andrews · September 12, 2004 - 21:12 EST #37
I was visiting the US (from the UK) and purchased an Ipod mini along with the iTrip.

I can't get it to work at all. I think I am doing everything ok (choosing the frequency, wiaing for the flashing light, pressing pause etc) but there is nothing. There was nothing on the default frequency either.

If there is anybody who can help me I would be very gratefull sas I really want this,cool-sounding, thing to work.


P.S. I did buy the correct iTrip for the mini and, obviously, the lights seem to work in the correct way.
Stacey · October 14, 2004 - 00:03 EST #38
I've had my iTrip for about 3 weeks. I've been dealing with static crackles and pops (some shockingly loud) and inconsistent volumes, even when I don't touch the thing. And now, to top it off, all the songs are sounding like they're playing under water. I can barely hear the music. There's no warranty on the iTrip and my "return date" was 10/9. So I guess I'm out of luck. Nice, Apple.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 14, 2004 - 03:14 EST #39
Stacey - you mean, "Nice, Griffin."
Mariana · October 21, 2004 - 12:28 EST #40
Charlie Dominguez-- Exact same thing happened to me!
iTrip worked fine for a month, on the way to work and back. Then, after a five hour road trip (on which it drained the iPod's battery after four): stopped working entirely. The red light turns on and blinks as if finding a signal, but no sound is transmitted at all.

While super sexy in its look, size, and concept, the iTrip is fragile and unpredictable. I'm considering going back to the old cassette-hookup, though I've heard that's bad for the tape deck, and sound quality. Anyone got an opinion on the comparison?
Max Evans · October 22, 2004 - 08:21 EST #41
I'm experiencing the same problem as you Stacey! I don't know what happend. iTrip functioned just fine last Friday. Didn't use it with my 4G 20GB iPod again until this Tuesday. All of a sudden I get these weird crackling sounds. Sometimes they sound like someone blowing into the phone. I've switched between a couple of stations but still no luck. The inconsistent volume is rather frustrating as well. I'm thinking of getting a replacement to see where the problem is. I doubt it's the car radio or my iPod because they work fine on their own. Anybody know what's wrong?
Martin · November 8, 2004 - 13:27 EST #42
I can't seem to get the radio (2003 Range Rover) to find the itrip stations - maybe it doesn't work unless you can manually tune it (as stressed by Brian above)in which case this product sucks
John S · November 25, 2004 - 11:21 EST #43
Same problem as you Mariana - was excellent at no sound at all. I thought this was just me....
Mike · December 19, 2004 - 19:31 EST #44
It is definitely buggy. I couldn't get it to work then realised I still had the car aerial up so took that off. Then I found the instructions in the "manual" and online were wrong and you have to press the play button not the silver middle one as stated.
I get it to work 3 times out of 6 in the car even though I am doing the same process. Whenit works it is brilliant but I have all the same problems as every one else (it suddeenly breaks into static, it won't lock on to a station but keeps scanning through the other possible frequencies etc) and the company's insistence it uses hardly any power is an absolute lie.
Has anyone tried the FreqPod?
Dapeek · December 22, 2004 - 15:11 EST #45
I received my 20 gigs ipod yesterday and im SO happy with it . the next step for me is buying an fm transmitter ... but i cant make a choice. each product has millions of different opinions on the net for the same product ...
Eric Blair (ATPM Staff) · December 23, 2004 - 16:45 EST #46
Wow, there's a lot of comments here.

I gave up on the whole FM Transmitter thing last summer and installed an IceLink, which is why I haven't really contributed to this thread.

My brother was recently in the market for a transmitter, so I just did a bit of research. I ended up recommending the Monster iCarPlay. It doesn't let you select any frequency, but it does offer every channel between 88.1 and 89.5 and it looks very simply to use.

There were two other reasons I recommended this model. First, it powers/charges the iPod. A lot of iPod-specific FM transmitters do this, but obviously not the iTrip. The second reason is that Amazon currently lists the transmitter for $50 - $20 off list price.
will sherry · December 26, 2004 - 13:40 EST #47
my iTrip does not seem to fit into my brand new 20GB iPod. The plastic prong sticking out of it makes it impossible for the iTrip to be placed correctly on top of my iPod. Do i have the wrong style of iTrip?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 26, 2004 - 15:30 EST #48
Will - possibly. There are two different styles of iTrips. If yours has a large white plastic tab coming down the bottom, it's for the first- and second-generation iPods. The correct iTrip for third- and fourth-generation iPods has a smaller tab with circuit contacts. You can see the difference by looking at this Griffin page and hovering your mouse pointer over the "original iTrip" and "new iTrip" links at the top.
Mark · December 26, 2004 - 23:13 EST #49
I had all the iTrip static problems mentioned above. I live in Toronto and there are no 'free' stations without overlap. Here's what you do.

1) go to

2) download the iTrip 2.0

3) find the 87.7.mp3 file in the folder "iTrip Stations"

4) drag that file alone into the iTrip Playlist in iTunes

5) update your iPod and make sure you select the iTrip Playlist for update using the wee icon at the bottom left of the iTunes window

6) select 87.7 on your radio (most have it) and keep your iPod volume high and your radio volume low

7) and, for whatever it's worth, lowering my antenna made things worse, not better

8) it works acceptably now - not static free, but useable
Andy Dickinson · January 5, 2005 - 14:26 EST #50
The iTrip works a treat in the UK - I've just driven from Sheffield to the edge of London (160 miles) and back on the default frequency and barely heard a whisper of static (in my Ford Ka).

It's not sounding so good in my partner's VW Polo, but then the radio never does.

Certainly it is brutal on the iPod battery - I was thinking my battery was in trouble, but it seems like the iTrip is more thirsty than advertised.
Jemma · January 10, 2005 - 11:19 EST #51
I just got an iTrip to use in the UK - It does not work. The light flashes like it is supposed to, but it will not broadcast on any frequency (or on any radio)!
Karl · January 10, 2005 - 16:22 EST #52
Mine works great, sounds great, and I have no complaint. For all of you who are having static problems: tune the iTrip to a station which DOES NOT EXIST. I have talked to many people who think they should find a weak station on their radio, and then tune to that with the iTrip. That's not how to use it. Second: for you in big cities, with lots of stations, the FCC in the US requires a certain space between stations. There IS an unused frequency. Mine works great and I love it!
Henry A. · January 10, 2005 - 17:16 EST #53
ok, so i get my itrip for xmas, and now its january 10th, and the thing doesn't work. It worked fine like 3 days ago, but now it seems as though its being a little prick and won't tune to any station. I tried resetting my ipod and doing all this other stuff, but it still won't tune. Any suggestions?
Bruce · January 11, 2005 - 01:14 EST #54
Same problem as you, Henry A. Mine worked ok for a few days and now nothing. I'll be watching for the solution.
Giovannella · January 13, 2005 - 17:56 EST #55
I have bought 2 itrips already and they have BOTH died on me! the first one my husband dropped it so we figured that's what killed it, so we got another one and it worked for 1 day.. then it died, just like Henry A. and Bruce. the iTrip sux! I wanna listen to my songs in my car! I am SO frustrated!
anonymous · January 18, 2005 - 17:39 EST #56
I have used itrip for about 8 months now-- no problems until this week! The static is uncontrollable. I tried other frequecies with no luck; either the itrip wouldn't connect or the static was the same on all channels. The ipod works fine everywhere else, so it has to be the itrip. I have to find a better product!
jireh loreaux · January 18, 2005 - 20:36 EST #57
Alright, I've had the same problem as a lot of you other users up here, my iTrip worked fine for a while then just stopped and pretended to be working. It happened to me while I was listening to it, right at the end of one of the songs. I have noticed something interesting though, sometimes I will try to make it play a song after I have just reset my iPod, and it plays it for literally a split second and cuts out again. I still can't find the cause of this but I will be searching. As of right now my plan is to take it back to the Apple store and let them deal with it. If any of you have some sort of return policy I would suggest you do the same. Anyway, I'll let you guys know if I find anything.
jireh loreaux · January 18, 2005 - 21:02 EST #58
ok, so, it's me again, and I know I just posted a review like literally 15 minutes ago, but that's cause it started to work again. I'll tell you exactly what I did but no garuntees, so, here we go. I was rushing around trying to find stuff when I came across this site, I had just installed the station tuner and was messing with it for a whilee but it still wouldn't work. So I posted my review and continued playing with it. What I did: first, turned ipod off then back on. second, went to the tuner playlist. third, selected the 87.9 station tuner and played it. fourth, paused the song half way through. Then some really weird stuff started to happen. All of a sudden my iPod did a "hard reset" the kind you have to plug into the wall to do, without any prompting. When it came back up, I tuned my radio to 87.9 and started playing the iPod again, this time it worked! Anyway, good luck.
Viv · January 19, 2005 - 07:12 EST #59
Hi, Ive just got my iTrip mini. It works well within a metre of my stereo but inevitably gets bad when i sit down with it in my hand on other side of the room (5m away). Ive downloaded the extra frequencies but dont know how to get them onto my iPod. Could someon eplease tell me how to do this?

Ive read Marks post on 26th December but it wont let me drag the frequency into iTunes.

Any ideas guys? Thanks
In TO · January 25, 2005 - 10:19 EST #60
Got an iPod Photo for xmas and then picked up an iTrip to try and use it in the car. So far its been just OK. Its a bit difficult finding a station thats free in Toronto. Its seems that pretty much every station has at least faint talking or music on it.
I find the position on the ipod itself in the car makes a big difference. In one car (with external antenna) the signal has a lot of static when sitting on the front seat. Luckily I have a console bin just above the stereo that I use and it makes it bearable most of the time. However, in the other car (antenna is wired into the rear window) the signal seems great wherever you are in the car.
George · January 26, 2005 - 17:42 EST #61
My Itrip died on me a few hours after I got it. Any idea's why and any solution. I got it off ebay, and have no recept. Can I still take it back to apple?
renzo · February 15, 2005 - 12:42 EST #62
If I tap my itrip with my finger as it is in use, it makes a horrible static sound. I only tapped it because I get alot of static. Any one else have this issue. Is this a defective unit?
ATPM Staff · February 15, 2005 - 14:04 EST #63
Renzo - this sounds a lot like the old joke of a patient telling a doctor, "It only hurts if I move like this," and the doctor replies, "Well, don't move like that!"

It's entirely possible that a bit of a jarring to the iTrip could temporarily cause it to produce static, but I'd recommend inquiring directly with Griffin about it.
chaswes · March 6, 2005 - 12:54 EST #64
When I first tune my iTrip to an empty fm station it works great. Once I turn it off and try and return, I get nothing. I have tried this on three different fm radios and get the same results.

Help, what am I doing wrong?
Kevin Little · March 12, 2005 - 17:10 EST #65
I think the itrip is good quality and a great invention! The only problem is that it eats up alot of battery
David J-Denver · March 16, 2005 - 01:07 EST #66
First of all, it sounds like some people are having problems that can be solved by starting over from square one, reading the manual and MAKING SURE to read every step. These are based on common user errors: Find a station that is JUST partial tuning where you can kind of hear something coming through. Second, when setting station on iPod, choose the frequency-press play-wait for a few seconds-red light pulses fast-when pulsing light appears push play button again-brief pause before light sloly flashes-radio station should then go from static to no noise-should now be ready. iTrip works great in my Rav4 because antenae can be put all the way down to keep help keep outside radio signals from interfering. In my wifes Toyota Matrix does not work as good because antanae does not lower and it is at rear of car. I've noticed static noise disappears when I touch the iPod (grounding it). I am going to try wrapping some very fine copper wire I have around iTrip body to see if it helps. I'll keep you all posted on that or any other fix for static. I've actually noticed iTrip does not seem to eat up too much battery but Backlight definately sucks it dry very fast. If you are looking to buy accessories try eBay. I got car charger, RCA attachment for home reciever and a 9-volt battery emergency iPod charger in a set for only $12.
Nick Fitz · March 31, 2005 - 18:14 EST #67
I am thinking of buying an iTrip but it seems a very split 50/50 from users as to its capabilities, I live in the UK and am not sure what to buy, any advice?
Brian Hein · April 1, 2005 - 18:49 EST #68
I've had my ITrip for about a week and a half. It was working fine for me until today, when I push play in my car and nothing comes through. Just like a lot of these other posts, the light blinks and the device appears to be working, but it doesn't transmit to my radio.

I am very frustrated about this - I have tried resetting the ipod and changing stations but nothing has worked. I can't understand the problem, and now I can't listen to music in my car anymore! If anyone knows anything about a return policy or how to fix this, let me know.
Henley Ripj · April 2, 2005 - 09:50 EST #69
My itrip has always seemed to work so i don't see why everybody elses doesn't, did you all follow the instructions and haven't deleted any of the stations off your itunes? the only problem it does use up so much battery, otherwise you should buy a new one!
Melanie Dolan · April 8, 2005 - 10:20 EST #70

Does anyone know of a good requency to use in Denver? I can't find a station with just static. I heard of people who use the ITrip, so there must be a frequency to use?

Kung Chu · April 23, 2005 - 15:55 EST #71
Me like it, ME find easy too use, good.
Keith · April 29, 2005 - 00:15 EST #72
I'm loving my iTrip.

It stopped working mysteriously today though, like it did for a number of other folks here. This article had the answer though: pause the tuning song DURING the song, WHILE it's blinking. The blinking doesn't mean it's setting the station -- it means that's your opportunity to hit pause! If you let the tuning song play all the way through, it WON'T set your iTrip the way I (and numerous other people) assumed it would.

Thanks to Eric Blair for the answer I needed. (Maybe that'll teach me to read the manual...)
-- Keith
jay · May 1, 2005 - 20:09 EST #73
I bought the ipod 20gb two weeks ago with the griffin fm transmitter and i think its the best thing ive ever gotten. Cant wait to get rid of all those cds. took me a couple of days to get use to changing the frequency but after that your all set. you do get a little crackling between songs but its not bad at all. the key is to keep the volume low on the ipod 50% and high in your car
anonymous · May 4, 2005 - 11:39 EST #74
I can't seem to find where to chose different stations for the iTrip on the iPod. Can someone tell me where to find that option.
ATPM Staff · May 4, 2005 - 14:10 EST #75
Mr. Anonymous - instructions for tuning stations is in the manual that came with the iTrip. If you no longer have that manual, a link to a PDF version was provided above in these comments.
Adam Snooks · May 5, 2005 - 05:10 EST #76
I just bought my itrip tonight and i installed the radio stations on to my ipod, then i selected the led on and then led off, then i put the ipod down for a few minuites and the ipod just turned off and won't turn on again anyone HELP!!!!!!
ATPM Staff · May 5, 2005 - 09:47 EST #77
Adam - did you try resetting your iPod? If you have a 3rd generation iPod or older, press and hold the Menu and Play buttons at the same time for a few seconds. If you have an iPod mini or 4th generation click wheel iPod, press and hold the Menu and Select buttons. After a few seconds, you'll see the Apple logo, and then you'll be back to the main menu several seconds after that, and you should be in business. Resetting an iPod shuffle is as simple as sliding the power switch off, waiting five seconds, and turning it back on.
Rod Bradbury · May 7, 2005 - 03:04 EST #78
About a month ago I bought a 30GB iPod photo. It's great, I love the sound. However at the same time I bought an iTrip and that stinks.It worked for about 3 weeks intermittently then packed in completely. It rattled as if something inside had come adrift. I took it back to Future Shop and changed it but this new one is not much better. It's as if it doesn't make a clean connection with the iPod. When I'm driving I only have to go over the slightest bump in the road and it loses connection.

I think the general design and quality of the iTrip is very poor. Are there any alternatives out there that would allow me to play my iPod through my car stereo.

Mark · May 11, 2005 - 18:46 EST #79
For everyone out there who has been having problems with their iTrip, I feel for you!

I bought an iPod Mini at the airport yesterday. Loved it so much I bought an iTrip Mini (from Go-Gadget-Go) and it was waiting for me when I got home tonight. That's when the "fun" started.

I spent nearly 2 hours trying to get this working. In the end it was nothing to do with the installation (I tried downloading the installer from Griffin, and importing the station files directly). It took at least two resets of my iPod Mini (press and hold Menu+Select) before all of a sudden something started to happen on the radio. After I got it working with my home stereo, I tried it in the car (2004 VW Passat Estate).

At first it seemed that the reception may not be very good, but after adjusting the volume to ~80% (ignoring the 50-70% advice) and then fine tuning with the car radio volume it was better. I went for a drive around town and the reception may be described as "OK" - not as good as radio stations here, but definitely good enough to use - especially as my main reason for getting an iTrip is to listen to podcasts - I can use an MP3 CD to for good quality music.

BTW, I'm tuned to 108.0 - I know the stereo separation will not be great, but the likelihood of picking up another station there is slim, and in the middle, where the quality ought to be best is (not surprisingly) where most of the radio stations are!!!
john john · May 15, 2005 - 00:31 EST #80
I love the itrip!

As for using it in Toronto, Ive found that 87.9 the default is the best your gonna get. Be sure to set the station properly as mentioned about a dozen times above. And keeping the ipod volume lower will get rid of most of the static. Also as for the different noise levels, there is an option in the settings of your ipod to streamline the sound, this should be turned on and I also found turning off your eq or using bass reducer helps too.
Mike Manzano · June 1, 2005 - 17:52 EST #81
FYI, I've found it fun doing "war tripping". I think I just made up a new term ;)

War Tripping: The hijacking of someone else's iPod iTrip transmission while driving to sample music you wouldn't normally listen to. War tripping may involve following the car you suspect to be transmitting closely to get a nice sample of the driver's tastes. Detection of a signal is an art related to knowing when the static output by your own iTrip is being interefered with by another iTrip.
Mark · June 3, 2005 - 12:54 EST #82
Since my original comments, I've got a few more observations that might help someone...

Follow Griffin Technology's tuning instructions to the letter, making sure that the tuning track is paused mid-way through and that the light on the iTrip flashes three times before remaining on continuously.

It may take one or more resets of the iPod before the iTrip works as intended.

The iTrip may take several (up to 15) seconds before the transmission begins, during which an impatient new user (like I was) may give up and say it's not working!

The iTrip will not begin to transmit until a track is played (at between 50 and 70% volume level).

As should be expected, battery life is affected by the use of an iTrip. I get about 4-5 hours from my Mini before it dies.

The iTrip Mini is particularly neat as it sits on top of the iPod Mini, but potential purchasers should be made aware that the positioning of the headphone socket on the right hand side of the iPod means that there is a tiny gap on the left hand side and the connection is a bit flimsy as it is only really connected one side. It would be great if it could clip on somehow (but I have no idea how that would work without spoiling the effect of the iTrip Mini sitting flush on top of the iPod Mini). Traditional iPod users should have no such worries (but need to be aware of the various versions for different generations of iPod).
luarne rv · March 26, 2006 - 14:46 EST #83
My iTrip worked perfectly for about 5 months, then one day I got in the car, and it wouldn't turn on. The light stayed off and nothing happened. I tried updating it, re-installing it, wiping the iPod, everything! Someone help!
ralph thompason · March 26, 2006 - 22:40 EST #84
itrip is, w/o doubt, a total piece of junk. wasted three hours of my life trying to make it work. IT DOESN'T. unless you love static. griffin out to be ashamed. total scam.
Duane · April 6, 2006 - 23:29 EST #85
I've used my iTrip mini for 8-9 months and last wkend it just stopped broadcasting. The default 87.9 station worked just fine since there are no stations that broadcast near that frequency in my area, so I had never loaded the software. In order to get my iTrip to broadcast again, I had to install the software and follow the helpful tips per Keith and Mark (also see for detailed instructions. There's an instructional video there too, but I didn't view it.) I used the software (also on the Griffin website) to re-program my iTrip to 87.9. I was then able to delete the station playlist (I use shuffle a lot and didn't want the station to come up like a song) and still retain the setting. My iTrip is good as new again.

I don't know why iTrips get amnesia, but aside from that quirk, I think it's a great accessory, especially for the price.
sam · April 8, 2006 - 21:58 EST #86
I had the same experience Duane shared earlier.
I have used the Itrip gadget in my car since xmas and it has been working without a problem, till this week. The Itrip would come on but would not transmit to the radio, except for an initial static interruption, sometimes.
After loading the frequencies and resetting it to the default 87.9MHz it works fine again. If the Itrip light still goes on but the radio still does not receive the signal, just get to the instructions on line and follow the steps carefully.
I expect that the problem will come back again likely due to some data curruption, either turning it on/off or whatever, but it's not hard to remedy.

I am surprised about all the complaints about the Itrip. It obviously works great in more rural areas where you can find a clear frequency setting, and it's not hard to figure it out before buying it.
It's a great option if you don't have a cd player in your car or just want to have with you all the music you care to listen to.
Bruce Shockre · April 22, 2006 - 02:05 EST #87
An absolutely worthless product, after many hours and many differen't frequencies I finally gave up. There are no stations that don't produce static even right after you tune the itrip to a certain station the hiss begins almost immediately. It's a loud hiss even with nothing playing. I can get some of the static to go away if I hold the ipod, but what's the point of that? I can't be holding the ipod all day when I'm driving. Since I only paid ten bucks for it I'm not sure it's worth it to take it back with gas being so expensive. It'll probably cost me $3 to drive to the circuit city.
Glenn · May 5, 2006 - 23:50 EST #88
I have an Itrip that plugs into the bottom of my ipod. It works well, but I hear a loud high pitch whining sound almost all the time. There is a "wire" that is imbedded in the back of the itrip that I can only suspect is some sort of antennae, if I keep my finger pressed to this wire, the whining goes away - this is however very inconveniet. Anybody experience this or know of a fix?
Kyle Niemandt · May 11, 2006 - 00:38 EST #89
Well, i bought the iTrip thinking it was going to be something useful and so fare it's been nothing but a waist of $60 bucks. I had heard that you could listen to the radio on it, but being my useual self and not checking what it really does i just went out and bought it. I've loaded up everything and just learn't that all it is, is a complete useless piece of invention by Griffin Corp.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 11, 2006 - 09:26 EST #90
Kyle - both Griffin's web site and our review explained that the iTrip was for sending audio via FM transmission to a radio—not for picking up radio transmissions. You yourself said it: "not checking what it really does." That's why ATPM offers these reviews.

Perhaps you were looking for the iFM.
kevin siever · May 13, 2006 - 20:46 EST #91
i have had 2 itrips. the first worked great for 8 or 10 months untill i was charging the ipod one day in the truck and the whole setup started to heat and the itrip burned up and the ipod fried.i had both replaced by their respective manufacturers but the itrip only worked for about 3 or 4 months then just quit one day and hasnt worked since
i wouldnt reccomend crap like this to anyone
Anya Stapelfeld · June 23, 2006 - 23:51 EST #92
Hi...I brought the itrip for my ipod, but i lost the cd with the software so i cant put the stations playlist on my ipod. i have a PC....does anyone know if I can download this? or do i have to purchase it?
ATPM Staff · June 24, 2006 - 17:09 EST #93
Anya - it's pretty amazing what you find on the web site of the company that actually makes the product you need help with.

Just choose the type of iTrip you have and you'll find links to download the software.
apple accessory skeptic · August 13, 2006 - 03:05 EST #94
I'm giving up on my iTrip. It has short-term amnesia and keeps returning to 88.5 anytime I try changing it to another (clear) channel. Even just pausing a song is enough for it to revert to 88.5. Generally it will let me switch to another channel a couple of times, switch back to 88.5 each time, and then after that it won't even acknowledge attempts to switch it anymore. Just fails to change altogether.
Tim · August 25, 2006 - 06:34 EST #95
I have an iTip and i am really happy with it. It comes with loads of fequencies but I find it easier to set up a new playlist with just the 2-3 that work well depending on where I'm driving. It is simple to use (plug it in and play) and the quality, provided the selected signal does not conflict with a commerical broadcast, is very clear. As well as the car, I take this will me on holiday/business trips as even the crappiest hotels usually have a radio in the room, which means I can listen to my Ipod without bringing speakers. Great bit of kit, really happy.
Anne · September 26, 2006 - 01:49 EST #96
Have used my iTrip continuously for over 2 yrs with minimal hitches apart from the odd tuning debacle and am really happy with it.

Did note with interest the comment (can't remember who)that it takes 15 seconds or so for it to tune properly - will certainly note that for future.
kara · October 18, 2006 - 14:13 EST #97
anyone know a good default freq. in the detroit area? I can't seem to find one?
bill · October 27, 2006 - 09:25 EST #98
Thanks to those who suggested pausing while the light is blinking. I had almost given up on the iTrip and thought I'd search online and see if anyone had the same issue. I had no idea I'd actually find a solution and have a working iTrip again!
Kevin New · October 31, 2006 - 14:37 EST #99
My son is on his 4th iTrip in 2 years!!! This last one lasted for all of 4 weeks and just stopped working.

The other literally just came apart and in the end a wire broke inside.

I now have to go back to Griffin and try and get them to send another replacement!!
Karen L. Cromwell · November 5, 2006 - 20:48 EST #100
How do I get the itrip station finder 2.0? I have version 1.0.
Daleo · February 12, 2007 - 14:15 EST #101
I got one of the new ones (I think its still considered new) Its the black iTrip that goes with the black iPod lol. I don't mind it, its not bad its not good. I drive a 96 plymouth voyageur which doesn't have a cd player lol. I usually use 101.3 or 104.9 (i have those 2 as presets) and usually one or the other works with the occasional bit of static.
Whats weird is if I put my hand beside the iPod while its sitting on the chair beside me, it works perfectly. (Human antenna stuff I suppose).
All and all, its good sometimes, I would stick to a casette adaptor as it a little more reliable and safer since you only have to worry about flipping songs, not stations while driving ;)
Aub McKibben · September 19, 2007 - 19:51 EST #102
iTrip shortcomings

There are three basic symptoms caused by the shortcomings of design.
1. Noise
2. Distortion
3. Between tracks 'scratch/plop'

Noise causes:
• Weak transmitted signal
• Inherently noisy circuitry (poor design)
• The need to use ridiculously high 'volume levels' with the receiver (gain settings) deteriorates the already poor signal to noise ratios of the unit caused by the very low deviation/modulation transmit levels set by design engineers.

Distortion causes:
• Probably no audio compression circuitry by design/cost restraints. Engineers seem to have 'guessed a default input level' such that the unit only works satisfactorily for audio source material that has a high 'mean volume level'. Low level material has a very high distortion level.

Detailed Summary:
There are two main causes of noise in the unit.

1. Low RF output: The RF output is low particularily on 'LX' mode but still not sufficiently strong on the 'DX' mode which means the user has to do an unreasonable amount of 'hunting around' (searching) for a suitable physical position to try and obtain proper 'FM Quieting'. Without diversity reception one expects to do a bit of 'searching around' but the amount of searching required to 'quiet' this unit is unsatisfactory.

2. Inherently noisy circuitry (i.e. poor design): Even after a reasonable physical receiving position is found achieving satisfactory 'RF quieting', an annoying 'hiss and crackle' remains which is inherent to the unit i.e. it is a fault by design. This same levels of 'hiss and crackle' exist on both 'DX and LX' proving it is inherent to the circuitry and not just a lack of RF signal strength. Receive noise levels are further deteriorated by the very low deviation/modulation levels forcing one to use unnecessarily advanced radio receiver volume levels (gain settings) thereby deteriorating the already poor signal to noise ratios inherent to the design.

PLL locking: The annoying 'scratch/plop' between audio tracks appears to be a spin off of the 'VOX' used to 'switch off the unit' when no audio input is present. It is probably the 'PLL re-locking' after momentary 'shut-down/switch-off' between audio tracks.

All in all an unusually poor performer for modern circuitry.
mad_molecule · November 21, 2007 - 19:35 EST #103
I bought an iTrip about a month ago, and have had problems getting it to work. Actually, it worked fine for a few weeks, then would not transmit any sound. Soon after that, it died (nothing would display when I plugged it into the iPod).

I took it back to the store, who gave me a new one as a replacement. However, I have not been able to get this second iTrip to work at all; it seems to have the same problem as the first one had developed. While its display appears to work, and it seems to transmit to the corresponding frequency on the radio (as this frequency becomes silent rather than sounding like static), no music is audible at all. Overall, a waste of time and money.
TaranQ · September 8, 2008 - 13:23 EST #104
"Whats weird is if I put my hand beside the iPod while its sitting on the chair beside me, it works perfectly. (Human antenna stuff I suppose)."

I guess I'm a human antenna as well :). Shame that it doesn't play without a lot of noise as soon as I let go. On my daily trip (20km) i can't seem to find any decent frequenties, all are occupied. At home whenever I put the ipod right beside the radio it's fairly ok. But overall imo it's not worth the money. Nice idea but poorly executed (buttons are very hard to press and backlight is cheap)

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