Why no built in FM transmitter?

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  1. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of an mp3 player with one. Can anybody think of a reason not to give devices this ability? I know it would drain power, but so what? It seems that just about every single person who owns a portable music player would benefit from having this functionality.


  2. quickaudi

    quickaudi Well-Known Member Contributor

    transmitter? or do you mean a receiver?

    My Sansa can pick up FM radio, so I wouldn't say that no mp3 players have them.
  3. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    I meant transmitter.
  4. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    A transmitter would be nice. My daughter's phone has one and it is unbelievably clear!

    Would be nice to broadcast Tune In Radio to your radio while driving or to your home stereo. I think you can get a plug-in transmitter though. Hate wired/external devices though!
  5. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    Which phone is that?

    Many people use separate transmitters, as everybody knows. Mine takes the Bluetooth audio output from my phone and transmits it to an FM channel. Works fine, but it would be nice to eliminate a potentially redundant component from the setup.
  6. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    It is a "dumb phone"(LG chocolate). But smarter in some areas ;)

    Not everyone knows you can use a separate device to transmit FM
  7. bbuck002

    bbuck002 Well-Known Member

    i'm sure it has something to do with FCC regulations for why they transmitters are not in the phones.
    i remember a couple years back when the FCC ruled that the ipod fm transmitters from belkin and the like had to have their output signal reduced b/c they said it was causing too much interference with normal FM transmissions.
  8. nlsme

    nlsme Well-Known Member

    I had an mp3 player that did this.
  9. quickaudi

    quickaudi Well-Known Member Contributor

    to answer the original question, why bother when there are iPhone hookups in nearly every car on the market? or at least an aux connector for headset input.

    FM broadcasting is hard to get a good signal with in metro areas, as all stations are used, usually.
  10. PACAnesFan

    PACAnesFan Well-Known Member

    This is the exact reason why not. Back in the early days of satellite radio, all of the plug and play units contained a built in FM transmitter. In short, the FCC came in and changed the requirements. Some simply disabled the internal antenna, while others reduced the output power. Either way, the range of the FM transmitter was limited, even to the point of not being useful.
  11. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    Current vehicles in the fold:
    2000 Ford Excursion 7.3L diesel
    2000 New Bettle TDI (Phat Noise car audio, however)
    2002 Jetta 2.0L
    2006 Jetta TDI
    2000 KTM 520 EXC ;)

    NONE of them have hookups!!
    Once the kids are out of college................... :)
  12. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    Wires are cumbersome and archaic for this application. It makes no sense for the FCC to be the reason for this feature omission. There are many add-on transmitters available and the ones I've used worked just fine nearly everywhere I used them.

    I suspect the manufacturers simply don't think consumers are capable of understanding the benefits of this feature and don't include it to cut costs. Case in point: the response above from someone who thought I meant something utterly different. Most people, I imagine, would not think to want this because our minds tend to be limited by what we already know.

    When the iPod was originally introduced I assumed it, and all subsequent music players, would be able to do this.

    With all the innovative apps there are, I was surprised that there isn't one to correct this shortcoming. There must be a universal hardware limitation preventing this, but I don't know what.
  13. bbuck002

    bbuck002 Well-Known Member

    actually it has everything to do with the FCC since they govern the use of FM radio waves. and for the the best sound, a simple auxillary cable would send a better signal than the FM transmitter.
    and I'm not sure where you've been and used a transmitter, but when i had my ipod (for years) i tried a bunch of them and never got one to reliably work which led me to changing out head units to ones that had ipod integration built in. (it was expensive then) now i just use a male-male headphone aux cable in our newer car. works great, and i can make and receive calls while everything stays plugged in, it just runs thru the car speakers
  14. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    I've never had a radio station be interrupted by someone's Belkin :)
  15. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    First, I know about male-to-male wires. I acknowledge that using one produces the cleanest signal, one that is not subject to interference. However, that has nothing to do with this discussion, which is about whether certain devices are capable of transmitting FM signals, and why they can't or don't. I do hope this doesn't sound inflammatory to you, because it isn't intended to be.

    I live in Minneapolis, which is the greater half of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. I almost never get interference on 88.1, 87.9, and a few others. Granted, it's tough to find a clear channel in Chicago, but rural areas are easy, and removing the antenna from my truck completely eliminated interference from broadcast stations.

    So. It seems that you're saying that the FCC differentiates among devices and allows some to transmit on the FM channels while others cannot. Dedicated FM transmitters, such as iPod car docks, can, while devices classified as portable music players cannot. If that is what you're saying, and if true; then that is that. End of discussion. Is that what you're saying? If so, what is the source of your information? I'd be interested in seeing the details.

  16. eraursls1984

    eraursls1984 Well-Known Member

    I spent $50 on one fm transmitter and $70 on another. I could rarely get it to work, but when I did the SQ was had. I ended up having to get a new head unit, and now the SQ is great and I never have a problem trying to find a station to transmit to. I ended up spending $10 more for my head unit than I did on transmitters, should've done that in the first place.
  17. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    Now, since I haven't listened to broadcast radio since the 1990s, I can't remark on that, but I have had my transmitter overpowered by a nearby Sirius radio. Usually playing country.
  18. eraursls1984

    eraursls1984 Well-Known Member

    I think he is saying they had to weaken to signal of all consumer transmitters not just for devices.
  19. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    Quite right. I used hyperbole because I feared we were becoming sidetracked. Maybe that was a little heavy-handed.
  20. quickaudi

    quickaudi Well-Known Member Contributor

    Actually, sir, it has everything to do with this discussion. If consumers can get the best signal quality (vs FM) via a hard cable, or, heaven forbid, use existing technology such as bluetooth which can allow the car to now access phone lists, etc., why in the world would phone or music player manufacturers worry with attempting to use a heavily FCC regulated broadcast media?

    Most newer cars (hey big bad wulff, that means newer than 2004) have this setup already in terms of an Aux in or an ipod hookup, or an aftermarket headunit has it for cheap at Walmart, so it's very accessible to the automotive market.

    FM transmitters have kinda gone the way of IR file transfer, IMO.
  21. colornshape

    colornshape Well-Known Member

    "Actually, sir"? How deliberately belligerent. I note your combative tone and now move on.

    I think most people would agree that cars on the road with Bluetooth integration are still rather rare. Nearly everyone, however, owns a radio receiver in their vehicle, home, workplace, cabin, boat, garage, hunting shack, sauna, beach house, etc, etc, etc. It seems to me that the ability to wirelessly send music to those receivers is something many people would like.

    Clearly, you are trying to say that manufacturers don't include this feature because they don't think enough people want it. It's a good explanation. I proposed the same idea earlier.

    Thank you for your replies.

  22. quickaudi

    quickaudi Well-Known Member Contributor

    also, based on some quick research on Ramsey Electronics' website, the below would have a big restriction on FM transmitters. While this is talking about an FM broadcasting kit, the #2 means that if you do get static on your frequency, there's not a thing you can do about it. Not something you want to tell a consumer when you can give them access to a $5 cord and have perfect signal.

    The individual kit-builder and all users of this device assume responsibility for lawful uses
    conforming to FCC Part 15 Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions:
    1. This device may not cause harmful interference, and
    2. This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
  23. quickaudi

    quickaudi Well-Known Member Contributor

    I didn't spell it was a "C" and a "u", so it isn't combative, yet. This is, after all, the intardwebz.

    I happen to own several of the electronics that you mention, and also have a car that doesn't have bluetooth. Ipod adapter kits for the car, aux inputs to the stereo, surround sound, and even my Black & Decker stereo/battery charger mean I don't have to carry an FM transmitter, or have it using my battery.

    So yes, my original point stands; glad you did see that. I promise I'm trying to help, but your original tone didn't help.
  24. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    I want the iPhone 4 :)
  25. quickaudi

    quickaudi Well-Known Member Contributor


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