This article outlines how to choose the best car accessories to play an iPod and other mp3 players through your car stereo.

Until recently, your options for playing an iPod® or other digital music player in your car were fairly limited. Now, there are at least 10 different ways to connect an iPod to a car stereo using car parts accessories. Each solution offers conflicting levels of sound quality, ease of installation and extra functionality, such as being able to control the iPod or other mp3 player with the car stereo.

In addition to making sure the solution is compatible with your type of mp3 player and car stereo — which you can do at Crutchfield’s digital drive-thru™ ( –there are a few key questions to consider when deciding on which adapter will work best for you:

• How important is sound quality? Can you live with the slightly degraded sound from an FM transmitter or a cassette adapter, or do you want the best possible sound quality from a direct audio connection?

• Do you want to be able to control the iPod with your car stereo, or do you prefer to use the iPod to make playlist and track selections? Some solutions will let you do both.

• Do you want to be able to charge your digital music player in your car while it is playing?

• How important are cosmetics? Some convenient solutions, like cassette adapters, leave wires dangling from your dash, while more sophisticated adapters connect to the rear of the stereo, allowing you hide the wiring.

• Do you want a permanent, wired connection to the stereo — which requires removing the stereo from the dash to make the connections — or do you need the ability to use the iPod in multiple vehicles?

Once you’ve considered these questions, click on the link to Crutchfield’s iPod car parts accessories comparison chart ( There, you can learn the pros and cons of all kinds of mp3 player car accessories. Afterwards, you can click on Crutchfield’s digital drive-thru™ ( where you can filter all the accessories that match your specific mp3 player, vehicle and car stereo.