Fusion CA-IP500: The iPod-ready car stereo (with no messy wires)

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This is the Fusion Electronics CA-IP500. It’s an aftermarket car stereo that has a slot for your iPod. That is, you open the radio, slide in your iPod, and then listen to your iPod’s contents to your heart’s content. Why bother with such a device when you can accomplish the same thing with a $10 tape adapter? Because tape adapters leave unseemly wires hanging about. You don’t wake up in the morning and go to your job for that, now do you?

Judging by the MacWorld video, embedded here for your viewing pleasure, the device works about as well as you’d hope. You navigate your iPod’s directories using the front knobs; that works okay for shorter lists, but good luck scrolling through your library of 500+ artists. It just takes to long to be considered efficient. Your best bet: have a few playlists handy that you can pick and choose from.

The CA-IP500 retails for $399, but I see that Best Buy has it for a more reasonable $250. It works with most newer iPods, including the iPod touch, but if you’re hanging onto an old scroll wheel-having iPod 20GB 3G you’re out of luck.

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