Griffin iFM reviews?
December 9, 2005 11:23 AM   Subscribe

A few months back I read about the upcoming release of an FM receiver for iPods - the iFM by Griffin. Soon after that, I read that it was cancelled before even being released. I just received a MacMall catalog in the mail yesterday, and lo and behold - an iFM receiver was listed for sale. I haven't been able to find any reviews of this online. Anyone here have experience with these?

Lack of an FM tuner has been the main reason I've held out buying an iPod. I really like listening to NPR, and want that option in addition to MP3s.

The fact that it was discontinued, then released a few months later is a little troubling to me. And please, no "Apple sucks, buy some other brand" posts. Thanks
posted by jeff-o-matic to Technology (17 answers total)
The iFM is listed as for sale on the Griffin website. I don't know what more assurances you want.

You need to get the new iFM dock if you buy a nano or a 5G (video) iPod.
posted by cillit bang at 11:32 AM on December 9, 2005

I thought I made myself clear that I knew it was for sale. I was just wondering if it's worth the $40. Does it have good sound? Is it flimsy?

I just wanted some opinions... Sheesh.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:40 AM on December 9, 2005

ilounge review. (very slow site)
posted by selfnoise at 11:53 AM on December 9, 2005

I can't speak to the iFM. However, I will say that the Griffin iTrip is the worst accessory I've ever bought for my iPod. Utter crap. Were it me, I'd wait for another company to make it.

As an aside, the lack of FM tuner is a selling feature for the iPod in my book. I used to hate when I'd go shopping for a new walkman and all the ones with the features I did want also had a radio tuner in it. I always felt like I was paying for something I'd never use. Different strokes...
posted by dobbs at 12:04 PM on December 9, 2005

They make one in black too. I got one to match my girlfriend's new video iPod, also black. She loves it. It's pretty sturdy, especially when compared to the old remote. Be advised; the black remote doesn't have the memo recording abilities of the white remote. Makes me hate my old iPod remote. I'm still waiting for a remote with a display; as I keep my iPod in my pocket, and sometimes can't see what the hell I'm listening to.

dobbs, I also hate the iTrip. I hear the newer ones are much better. Me, I'm going to rig a direct line to my car's amp. Simpler.
posted by weirdoactor at 12:09 PM on December 9, 2005

Re: iTrip comments ... I have the AirPlay, and it's "great" for an FM transmitter, but in the end -- all FM transmitters suck, period.

Re original poster's post: The iFM was reviewed by someone other than iLounge right here, and a simple google search for ifm review reveals others, too.
posted by twiggy at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2005

I am reliably informed that there are non-Apple mp3 players that come with FM *built in*.
Just can't avoid the anti-Apple snark around here, huh?

Sorry, but the response was spot-on. All FM transmitters inherintly suck, because FCC regulations prohibit engineers from putting more powerful transmitters in them to actually work in a practical manner. The best option would be to get an MP3 player with FM built-in.

Please note: I'm not saying iPods suck. I'm not even suggesting that Apple sucks.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2005

ditto the transmitters suck...i tried everything...wrappining it in aluminum foil gave some respite but the sound still sucked....don't waste your dollars....jamie, blue ridge, georgia
posted by jamie939 at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2005

all FM transmitters suck, period.

True dat.

Get a cassette adaptor and a PocketDock so you connect line-in rather than through the headphone amp.

As an aside, but not off-topic, I noticed recently that Maxell is making iPod accessories. Guess that had to do something.
posted by terrapin at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2005

I think that some of the other responses are confused - it seems that you want to listen to NPR with your iPod, and *not* transmit what the iPod is playing to your car stereo (which is what the iTrip does)

You don't need to ditch the iPod. That's just silly. Griffin makes decent products and if you don't like it, you can just take it back. The iFM looks like a good product for those that occasionally want to listen to an FM broadcast while at the gym or something. I'd just buy it and give it a whirl.
posted by drstein at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2005

On another but similar note....i am new here and can't post a question for another few I will try something here....

I have an airport that not supposed to transmit to your receiver? does it work well? or is it a hardwire affair to your stereo....i've not used it in a while....explained below...

and also...if I hook it back up how can i change the channel on it or my internet connection would go out everytime the phone rang....i tried the buttons on the phone for changing channels to no avail....any suggestions
posted by jamie939 at 2:21 PM on December 9, 2005

Not a direct answer to the question, but a lot of the NPR broadcasts are available as podcasts too. Not sure what you think about that, but it might be a better or at least adequate way to listen to that stuff for free. The last time I looked, none of the music programs were available (stupid licensing), but if you like the news and talk programs, you might look into that instead.
posted by willnot at 3:03 PM on December 9, 2005

Thanks for the responses. I did do the google thing first, and found a couple reviews, but they were from sites I'd never heard of. Wanted to get some opinions from the community here, which are often blunt and most likely honest.

For the record- Yes, I'm talking about an FM receiver for an iPod. I understand other brands of MP3 players are available with built-in FM. I like the design and functionality of the iPod and might just go out and buy one now thanks to this thread.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 3:03 PM on December 9, 2005

I'm with Dobbs... the Griffin iTrip is sooo bad that I'd hesitate to purchase another product from those guys.
posted by starscream at 3:17 PM on December 9, 2005

The fact that it was discontinued, then released a few months later is a little troubling to me.

It wasn't a few months -- it was nearly two years. Here's coverage of the cancellation from January 2004, and here's coverage of the released product from September 2005.

In between, the product was completely redesigned -- so much so that it's essentially a different product with the same name. Compare the original design to what they ultimately shipped.

As for reviews, I think the aforementioned iLounge is about as reputable as you can get, shy of print media.
posted by jjg at 11:33 PM on December 9, 2005

Just to add - a friend told me the other day about how he bought one and really liked it. He'd only had it for a few days, though, so I'm not sure if his opinion will change over time or not.
posted by echo0720 at 7:18 AM on December 12, 2005

I have the RoadTrip, and I think it works great.
posted by graventy at 9:35 AM on December 14, 2005

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