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How to play an iPod in car if you have a CD player

Updated February 21, 2017

CD players are becoming more frequent in vehicles, but with iPods, more music can be played in your car than on a CD. There are several options for being able to enjoy your iPod in your car through your car’s CD player. What you need to play your iPod in your car depends on how new your CD player is.

Purchase an auxiliary cable. They’re sold at most retail stores.

Connect the cable from the auxiliary jack from your car’s CD player to your iPod. The connection on the iPod is where you put your headphones in. This is located on the bottom of the iPod.

Switch your output choice to "Aux" on your CD player. There should be other options like “FM Radio,” “AM Radio" and “CD Player."

Use your iPod. The sound will radiate through your car’s speakers.

Purchase an FM transmitter. These are sold at most electronic stores.

Connect the transmitter to your iPod. It’ll connect to the bottom of the iPod.

Choose a radio station on the transmitter that isn’t used in your area. Most transmitters recommend 88.1.

Switch your output choice on your car’s CD player to “FM Radio.”

Dial the station you chose for the transmitter. If you chose 88.1 for your car’s radio station, choose 88.1 for your transmitter.

Use your iPod. The sound from your iPod will come through your car’s speakers.

Purchase an FM transmitter that connects to your car’s cigarette lighter. They’re sold at most retail stores.

Take the cigarette lighter cover off in your car.

Connect the transmitter to the cigarette lighter.

Attach the other end of the transmitter to your iPod. The end will fit the bottom of your iPod.

Change your output status on your CD player to “FM Radio.”

Pick a radio station on your car’s CD player that isn’t used in your area, like 88.1.

Pick the same radio station for your transmitter. If you chose 88.1 on your CD player than choose the same station for your transmitter.

Use your iPod. You’ll now be able to hear your iPod through your car’s speakers.

Tip

An auxiliary cable is the best option for pure, uninterrupted sound. If you’re going to buy a transmitter, the larger the transmitter’s output frequency, the clearer the sound. If your transmitter comes with fittings, be sure to fit yours according to what type of iPod you have.

Warning

If you’re travelling and have an FM transmitter, you may get static. This is because radio stations change in different towns and cities. If this happens, choose a different radio station.

Things You'll Need

  • Auxiliary cable or FM transmitter
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About the Author

Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.