Today Griffen Technology announced the availability of a revamped iTrip FM transmitter for the iPod. For those unfamiliar with the iTrip, it originally used software on the iPod to tune the stations. The new one sports an LCD with a knob on the side for tuning. I must say this is a welcome improvement.
Many years ago when I bought my first iTrip, I thought tuning with software was an awesome concept. Why add another screen to drain power when you had a perfectly good screen on the iPod itself. Even though it seemed like a good idea, it didn’t really work out in practical, real-world situations. It was a hassle to use if you lived in an area where you had to change frequencies fairly often.
Some other improvements they’ve made are: selectable LX or DX modes of broadcasting, the ability to set the iTrip to either US or International tuning modes, and auto volume control that works with the iPod’s volume level to automatically avoid distortion.
The new iTrip will sell for $49, but Griffin currently has a $39.99 promotional price available on their site.
UPDATE: Playlist mag has a full review.
UPDATE #2: I was just at my local Apple Store and they have it for $39.99 too. With tax it was $43.35, which is less then it would be directly from Griffin (with shipping).
UPDATE #3: So, I bought one while at the Apple Store, and I’ve played around with it a little. It most definitely is easier to use than the original (screenless) version. The DX mode does seem to help in areas where you can’t get a clear channel. But, you pay for that clarity with only hearing your music in mono. As the Playlist article mentioned, the International frequencies setting seems to be totally undocumented. I can find any mention of it in the package. To access the International frequencies, press, and hold the knob for 8 seconds. When the “US” starts to flash, release the knob and turn it to switch to Intl. Then press it one more time to lock the setting. One other “feature seems to be, when you pull the iTrip off, it automatically pauses the music.
Now for the downside… I had to attach-remove-attach-jiggle it several times to power it up. At first I thought it was defective. Bottom line… It’s much better then the original, but seems a little temperamental.