A short look at the iTrip

by Volker Weber


Received a box from Marco Foellmer today. He is one of the authors of an upcoming Redbook on IBM Lotus Workplace. While he was staying with Lotus in Cambridge he got me this iTrip.

So today was the big day to try it out. My first impression was that it was complete crap. I simply could not get it to work at all. I had prepared Woodstock with the iTrip stations already but the iTrip would not switch stations. As Hajo uses to say: "If all else fails read the instructions". It turned out that you have to play the appropriate sound file and then as soon as the iTrip LED starts flashing you have to stop it. I played the sound 'til the end which seems to cancel the switch. Once I knew how this works I was able to change frequencies at will.

You need to find a frequency that does not have any other strong signal. And you have to be close to the receiving radio. So it works quite well in my car where the antenna is inside the windshield. Your mileage may vary depending on frequency and antenna placement.

Thank you, Marco ! :-)


I have an iTrip too and the behaviour you noticed stumped me also at first. However - it makes a lot of sense!

When you play all your tunes at random, what do you think are the chances that it picks a frequency change tune? I'll tell you: It's bigger than 1/n (where n = number of tunes on your pod)

So by having it automatically cancel when it plays until the end you wont have to fumble for the iPod, change the radiostation or find the correct frequency file....

The ultimate sophistication: Simplicity

Jens-Christian Fischer, 2003-12-12

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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