Not So SmartDeck

This product review is not education-related. I pre-ordered a Griffin SmartDeck cassette adapter for iPod when it was featured in MacWorld last year. The reviews promised the ability to control an iPod through the car’s forward and reverse cassette deck controls.

I finally received the adapter last week and excitedly plugged it in. The first noticable feature is the chattering noise from the tape mechanism as the rotors turned, much louder than with a basic cassette adapter purchased at RadioShack. The controls feature is less than impressive. The cassette deck still attempts to wind the adapter, and the iPod only successfully changes tracks about half the time.

This will be an easy return.

Update Nov. 25: It was an easy return! Griffin happily took the unit back with their apologies. By the way, my car stereo is the stock unit for a 2004 Volkswagen.


  1. ben casnocha says:

    The iPod in the car problem has been thorny for me…. I have the cassette adapter but few cars have cassestte players anymore….Griffin’s iTrip sounded snazzy, but it quite a hassle to connect to an open frequency….

    p.s. at first i wanted to limit my blog to just a few topics, but now i’ve come to realize that my blog is ME, warts and all, and all my thinking, not just on, say, entrpereneurship. i suggest you look at your blog the same way, ie not caring if a post is outside your core domain of edu tech.

  2. rkassissieh says:

    The Monster iCarPlay works in my Honda, but I have found that forward antenna placement makes all the difference for this device.

    Monster also offers a high-end head unit adapter that may work well in some circumstances. I wish more head units had a minijack audio input, as are available in some third-party products.

    Some topical restriction is necessary to keep a blog focused and useful. I don’t imagine that readers of this blog would necessarily be interested in childcare, AIDS in Botswana, 90’s music, or distance running. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  3. Tobias Butler says:

    I have had two iTrips (both the LCD and LCD-less one) and they both have worked great. Unfortunately, with the new iPod lacking a remote connector, I am once again lacking a solution to listening to music in the car (without spending another 50 bucks).