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Griffin's SmartDeck Allows iPod Control Through Car Stereo

TMO at MWSF - Griffin's SmartDeck Allows iPod Control Through Car Stereo

by , 4:45 PM EST, January 10th, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Griffin Technology told The Mac Observer Monday that it will be announcing SmartDeck, a car stereo adapter for the iPod at Mac Expo in San Francisco. Like the earliest adapters to hit the market in 2001, SmartDeck allows you to play your iPod through a cassette adapter, making the product compatible with any car stereo with a casette player. Unlike any other cassette-adapter on the market, however, SmartDeck will allow you to control your iPod through your car stereo's casette controls.

The unit plugs into both the line out and the remote control port on an iPod. Chris Herric, an engineer for Griffin Technology who developed the product, told TMO that device uses an optical photo assembly to talk to the cassette desk in a car stereo.

"We wanted something that would allow you to have the functionality and power of a cassette deck, " Chris Herric told TMO. "It had to be intelligent enough to have the power to control the entire product."

Using the controls on the cassette deck, users can utilize the cassette deck's forward and rewind buttons to advance to the next or prior songs in the iPod playlist. The pause and stop buttons will pause and stop music being played, and pushing the eject button, or switching to radio, will automatically stop the iPod.


Griffin Technology's SmartDeck

In addition, SmartDeck features automatic volume control through a system worked out by Griffin. Unlike Automatic Gain Control, a system for regulating volume output used in some other devices, Mr. Herric told TMO that his company's solution will not over-modulate sound output.

SmartDeck's features effectively puts the US$24.99 product in direct competition with more expensive adapters like the $99 420i from Alpine, or new adapters from AudioVox and Pioneer announced last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. Unlike those products, however, SmartDeck will not display meta data on your car stereo's display.

SmartDeck will ship in the second quarter, the company said.

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