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 How to Get the Internet on Your Car Stereo

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Join date : 2011-08-10

How to Get the Internet on Your Car Stereo Empty
PostSubject: How to Get the Internet on Your Car Stereo   How to Get the Internet on Your Car Stereo I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 12, 2011 8:43 pm

Unless you're driving a tricked-out late model BMW or Mini, you're unlikely to have Internet-based media streaming options built into your vehicle. However, there are ways to replicate that Internet media experience -- just without the integrated controls.

The basic premise is to use your smartphone with its cellular Internet connectivity to obtain the media, and then use the smartphone's outputs to get that audio into your existing car stereo system.

Step 1: Make the Connection

Wired Connections

Identify the connection options: If your vehicle's radio head unit has a 3.5mm "auxiliary" jack, you can use a cable with a 3.5mm plug on each end to connect between the "headphone out" jack on the smartphone, and the head unit. Purchase the cable at a consumer electronics store. Likewise, if the head unit has a USB jack, use the USB cable that came with your smartphone to make the connection. In both cases, set the "input" on the vehicle head-unit controls to "aux."

Wireless Connections

Look for a Bluetooth connection. This stereo technology for Bluetooth is called "A2DP." Often, there will be a Bluetooth logo on the vehicle head-unit fascia panel that will give you a clue that your smartphone can be paired with the vehicle using short-range wireless connectivity. Look for the "pairing" mode on the phone and head unit. You may have to check the vehicle's documentation, because it is often counterintuitive.

Use a Bluetooth portable in-car speakerphone. Reader Mike Florio uses a Motorola T505 device that he has paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth. He set the T505 to output its Bluetooth-obtained audio on an FM frequency, to which he can then tune the car radio. Belkin makes devices that offer similar functionality -- they plug into the phone's speaker jack though. Be aware that in cities with a crowded FM band, results can be mixed. Florio has had success with the Motorola device throughout the inter-mountain West, and I've used the Belkin product successfully in rural France.

Cassette Adapter

If your vehicle has neither an auxiliary jack, nor A2DP Bluetooth functionality, you can use a cassette adapter -- a cassette-like module with a 3.5mm jack and cable that you can plug into the phone's speaker jack. Be advised that in my experience with these adapters, which is extensive, the Sony variant is the only one I found that wasn't audibly muddy.
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