About three years ago, I bought one of Sony’s MP3 Walkmans (Walkmen?), with the intent of using it as a supplemental audio source for the car.

The catch, of course, is that OEM head units circa 2000 generally were not blessed with Auxiliary jacks, and I was loath to replace the entire Bose system at one fell swoop, though not as loath as I was to go drilling into the box and install a jack of my own. (Besides, a new head unit might contain a CD player that handled MP3 files, or an actual hard drive of its own, which would make the little Sony cuttlefish irrelevant anyway.)

So I acquired a couple of FM transmitters. They did not work particularly well, for a couple of reasons:

  • Available frequencies are rapidly being filled up by translators for stations I wouldn’t have listened to had they been local;
  • The power connections are near the front of the car, but the antenna is on the backlight, just above the rear-defroster wires, meaning reception is less than ideal.

So I shelved that idea, though I continued using the Walkman around the house, occasionally updating it with newly-acquired tracks. (Currently I am using a bit more than 3.9 of the 4 GB: about 760 songs.)

And one day Amazon decided, based on God knows what, to recommend this little gizmo. There were more expensive variations on this theme, but none of them, according to the customer reviews, seemed to be a whole lot better. So far, so good.


  1. Andrea Harris »

    26 September 2010 · 10:40 am

    IMHO the cassette adaptors are better than the FM receptors because of no reception problems. I used to use one. However, the cassette player on my ricketty, falling-to-pieces car radio finally died, so I am back to listening to whatever radio stations aren’t too horrible around here until I get around to replacing the stereo. Which probably won’t be for some time, as I have other priorities. But if your cassette player is in good shape buy the little cassette adaptor.

  2. Andrea Harris »

    26 September 2010 · 10:41 am

    I forgot to say I used a cassette adaptor with my portable cd player and then later with my mp3 player. Which is not an iPod.

  3. CGHill »

    26 September 2010 · 10:52 am

    I did in fact buy that cassette gizmo, and it seems to work quite well, though I feel compelled to disassemble the entire array of stuff and stash it away every time I park the car. No big deal to work and back, but a nuisance on Saturday shopping sprees.

  4. stixx23 »

    26 September 2010 · 11:10 am

    I had one of the cassette adapters for my Sony Car Discman back in the early 90’s. May even still have the thing, although my Saturn has no cassette function. I have one of the FM transmitter ones and find that 93.7 and 93.9 are the best frequencies to use. But then, my antenna is right up front.

  5. ak4mc »

    26 September 2010 · 12:49 pm

    The only thing that would keep me from being able to use that is my aftermarket stereo, which doesn’t include a cassette slot.

    Hey, maybe I could use an external cassette player hooked to an FM trasmitter that…

    :mercy killing:

  6. Mel »

    26 September 2010 · 1:15 pm

    Oh yeah! I’ve been using that setup for MP3’s for 4 years … and used it for a “portable CD player in truck” setting basically thru the entire 90’s.

    Some 3G cell signals can leak into the cord. If you’ve ever heard speaker buzz from your phone near your PC, that’s what you can get.

    You may not have any interference, or just occasional episodes … the iPhone seems to be the worst culprit.

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