I am going to sound like a broken record when I say (yet again) that the
thing I enjoy most about iPod ownership is that so many accessories are custom
made to fit this digital music player. Granted, I bought my 4th generation model
right before the latest incarnation, the iPod Video was introduced, but there
are still plenty of accessory manufacturers making goodies that will fit my
Today I am going to tell you about an iPod accessory that has quickly become
a personal favorite, the Macally
FM Cup. Sure, there
are plenty of other FM transmitters available for all of the various iPod
incarnations, but this is the one that meets all of my wants and does
what I need it to do flawlessly.
Available in black or white plastic to match all iPods, the Macally FM Cup measures approximately 3" tall x
3.25" deep. The FM Cup is made to
sit in a vehicle’s cup holder as it charges the iPod and transmits the iPod’s
audio over any FM setting between 88.1 and 107.9. The FM Cup is a true
from Richard Strauss’ Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
Included in the package are the FM Cup, the cigar lighter charging cable,
three docking inserts for various sized iPods, a 3.5mm Line-In cable and
The FM Cup came with the 4G dock in place, so getting set up was virtually
painless. In front of the dock are (from left to right) the On / Off switch, an
LCD which displays the transmitting frequency, Channel – and + buttons for
selecting a free FM channel, and a QS button which when pressed will change the
radio frequency from 88.1 to 94.1 to 100.1 and to 106.1.
The back of the FM cup has the Audio -In jack for using the included 3.5mm
Line-In jack with non-iPod audio devices, a sliding release for the
interchangeable docks and the plug for the power cord.
These are the other two included docks, which will accommodate other
generation and smaller sized iPods.
So that the FM Cup will fit in virtually any cup holder, there are four
spring loaded grippy-sides.
The sides will contract or expand as needed.
Even with its GelaSkin installed, my iPod Photo fits in the dock perfectly.
The FM Cup is designed to accept the dock shipped with the iPod Video and the
When plugged into a power source and turned On, the FM cup will charge the
connected iPod and transmit to whichever FM frequency is specified in the LCD.
Here is a shot of the Macally FM Cup in my ranch truck. It fits perfectly in
the cup holder, and the power port is conveniently located directly behind. The
green LED on the charging cable indicates that the truck’s power is on. The
removable charging cable is 17" long without stretching its coiled midsection.
The cable should reach from even the most oddly placed power point to a nearby
I really like the fact that the FM Cup provides a place to keep the iPod in
view, as well as a method for charging and transmitting. There really are no
caveats to this product – unless you don’t have a vehicle with a cup holder…
The Macally cup is reasonably priced, easy to operate, and it charges the
iPod while keeping it in a convenient and out-of-the-way place. It’s my favorite
iPod accessory so far. :0)