As people's lives become more dependent on high tech consumer electronics, the gadgets that pop up to support this dependency become more and more interesting. MP3 players have been around for years, but with the popularity of devices such as the iPod they now seem to be everywhere; at home, in the office, at the gym, and of course in the car.
The device up for review today serves a double purpose, and allows the owner to accomplish both with ease. One feature of the Roadmaster USA VRFM8 MP3 FM Modulator is that it allows you to listen to your MP3/CD/DVD player (or any other device with an 1/8" audio jack) through your car's FM radio without connecting doing much more than plugging the device into your cigarette lighter.
I was familiar with wireless FM modulators, so the feature described above wasn't all that exciting to me (although it is still very useful way of connecting your portable devices to your car stereo). The other feature, and the one that is far more interesting and appealing to me, is the ability of the same device to play digital audio files directly from any USB flash drive. You simply load your MP3 (or WMA) files onto any thumb drive you might have laying around, plug it into the Roadmaster USA VRFM8 MP3 FM Modulator, plug that into your cigarette lighter, and tune in your music!
I was familiar with Roadmaster USA from seeing their automotive electronics at various department stores and online. I had even seen this product line and considered purchasing an earlier model of MP3 FM Modulator last year, but mistakenly thought my hints might have gotten it checked off my Christmas list. If you are not familiar with them, here is a bit of background information from their website...
Roadmaster USA is a leading after-market manufacturer. We bring you mobile & home audio equipment. We bring you auto accessories and car care products. Roadmaster gives you a wide variety of affordable high quality products with many options and levels of performance. We are dedicated to giving you the best price and performance.
Let's take a look at the Roadmaster USA VRFM8 MP3 FM Modulator and see exactly what you can expect it to do for you.
Technical Information (from the Roadmaster USA website):
» Plays All your Audio Devices Wire-Free through your Car Stereo System’s FM Radio
» Dual Function Buttons: Shuffle/Channel, Play/Pause, Volume/Track Selection
» Plug 'N Play your MP3‘s and WMAs Wire-Free from your USB Flash Drive
» Audio Input Jack for Use with MP3, CD and DVD Players
» Standard USB Port
» Six Position Flexible Joint for Ease of Use.
» Large, Easy to Read LCD Shows Pre-Set FM Stations
» Play, Stop, Volume and Track Selection Controls
» 3.ft. Audio Cable
» 3.5mm Stereo Input
» 12 Volt Wire-Free Transmission
One thing that turned me off from earlier versions of MP3 FM modulators that I looked at seemed to be addressed by improvements made with the VRFM8. Along with the items listed above, this version can now hold the last song played in memory, so you can start just about where you left off when you get back in the car. The memory also holds the station you last used, so once you find a clear channel you don't have to go through the process of selecting one again.