the only other one they have is the harmon/kardon one, it actually looks pretty cool, but it is kinda pricey, you might be able to find a good deal on one though. They have it on the apple site if you dont know what im talking about.
As for hooking up the iPod to the FACTORY radio, I believe these other gents have covered it. With the options listed however, you lose sound quality, especially with the cassete. And you're never certain wether or not you can find a decent empty radio station for the FM transmitters. I have not heard of the harmon/kardon however. The best option in my opinion, is a direct hardline into an aftermarket CD player. No loss of sound quality, and no tape deck / car lighter junky look.
Certain CD players have a LINE IN on the reverse side of them. Some models as low as $150 have them. There are cables at Best Buy that enable you to hook your iPod directly into the Line In of an aftermarket CD player. This will be slightly "rigged", however, if done well and installed with some time, you can hide the wiring, and be left with an extremely clean look, all the while having ALL of your music with you. I have not done this mod myself YET. However, it is near the top of my list, and with a little know how, can be done fairly easily. Talk to your BestBuy audio guys. If they know anything, they can help you out.
There are also KITS available for certain makes and models of cars, but they can get up to $400. I don't really feel like shelling that out after paying $300 for the iPod alone.
ok.... my h/u has a usb hook up on the front of it to control an ipod, or use a flash drive/sd card.... but your best bet is alpine... alpine has the best interface for ipod control... everything else works ok, but alpine is the best for ipods
matthewstetz - thanks for the info. It was a lead. I wasn't aware this existed, but it's still not solving the problem. I understand you can hook up the iPod, but in my opinion, i want to control the sound system THROUGH the iPod, not vice-versa. I'm not expecting to be able to change bass etc, (which you can actually do anyway), just to select songs and artists.
the only thing i care for the controls on, is the tape deck accesory, and the FM Tuner, both of which cause you to lose TONS of sound quality.
I think i might talk to an engineer/electrical buddy of mine, and tear apart the stock one and manually hardline the iPod, hiding the wires, etc etc. maybe a how to. . .
I have gone this whole route already and give you the lowdown on this...
Hands down, aftermarket is the way to go...do it and be done with it...but if you are going to do it on a budget let me enlighten you.
FM transmitters - between me and two other friends, we tried about 5 different types. The best ones were the monster cable transmitter/charger and the belkin/flexible tune base that plugs into the ciggy. DO NOT by the iTrip...its the biggest turd out there. To get a somewhat decent FM transmitter is going to be 50+ bucks.
Bad part is that if you travel between cities or live in an area with a lot of stations, finding dead air can be a pain. Not to mention really low bass frequencies will be clipped.
Aftermarket/Best Buy/Circuit City Ipod kits for your car - youre screwed...cant use them, unless they came out with something new in the past few months. Basically these kits plug into an auxillary jack, or remote jack for disk changer. Since the disk changer is in the dash, there is no aux/remote line. Sucks huh?! Thats why I went aftermarket.
DO NOT DESPAIR, there is one pretty decent way to get this done cheaply and still use the stock head unit....how? Well you by one of these:
Its is called an "Inline FM Modulator" and basically is a switch that has a headphone jack (to ipod) on one end, the switch box in the middle, and an antennae jack on the other end. SO you are still using FM, but its a wired connection and not station specific.
Try the Ford Garage. In the Accessory Catalog that my dealer had that was one of the items they sold for the focus ( I imagine any factory Ford radio) Says they run the plug either in your glove department or center console.