Enter The iPod
Unless you're living in a cave somewhere deep in the jungle, you've undoubtedly heard about the iPod, even if you don't really know what it is. The iPod is a brand of portable digital media player designed and marketed by Apple Computer. Devices in the iPod family provide a simple user interface designed around a central scroll wheel (with the exception of the iPod shuffle). The standard iPod model stores media on a built-in hard drive, while the smaller iPod shuffle and iPod nano use flash memory. Like most digital audio players, an iPod can serve as an external data storage device when connected to a computer.
Discontinued versions of the iPod include two generations of the popular iPod mini and four generations of the full-size iPod, all of which had monochrome (b/w) screens, except for the fourth-generation iPod with a color screen (previously sold as iPod photo before it replaced the monochrome iPod in the top line). As of April 2006, the lineup consists of the fifth-generation iPod, which has video playback capabilities, the iPod nano that has a color screen, and the iPod shuffle; all three versions were released in 2005. The iPod is currently the world's best-selling digital audio player. The bundled software used for uploading music, photos, and videos to the iPod is called iTunes. A music jukebox application, iTunes stores a comprehensive library of the user's music on his or her computer, and can play and rip music from a CD. (Ripping is the process of copying the audio or video data from one media form, such as DVD or CD, to a hard disk. The copied data is usually encoded in a compressed format such as MP3 in order to conserve storage space.) The most recent incarnations of iPod and iTunes have video playing and organization features.
iPods originally developed a following among the tech-savvy. Today, Apple's widespread marketing campaigns have led to the iPods' reputation as an easy-to-use, stylish device and dominance among the MP3 market (to the extent that some people erroneously refer to all MP3 players as "iPods"); this has led to a large market dedicated specifically to iPod accessories.
As with any good idea that achieves market success, imitators and competitors were sure to follow, and the iPod was no exception. Virtually every major manufacturer of electronic devices has at least one device capable of playing MP3 files in its product line today, and the ongoing trend is to make these devices smaller while increasing their storage capacity. Which brings us to the main point of this article, Playing MP3 Music in Your Corvette.
While there are several devices available to make permanent connections for attaching external audio devices like MP3 players to your Corvette's stereo system, many of these are expensive and invasive, making them less than attractive and desirable to a lot of Corvette owners. But the good news is there are also inexpensive, non-invasive devices that permit you to enjoy your MP3 music through your Corvette's FM radio without making any modifications or doing invasive installations to achieve this end. These devices simply plug into the cigarette lighter for power, then transmit the MP3 audio to your Corvette's FM radio on any of six or more open and usually unused frequencies. The really good news is that, depending on the model, you're only looking at a suggested list price of from $19.99 to $69.99 for the transmitter. Of course, you have to supply the medium that contains the MP3 files, and this can be an iPod or just about any other portable MP3 player or portable storage media such as a Secure Digital card or USB flash drive, to name but two. You can also connect an external device such as a portable CD player to these transmitters to play the audio through your Corvette's stereo.