An iPod fed into a car stereo with a back of chassis iPod cable
will usually sound fairly good.
Fed to the head unit through a 3.5mm Jack? not a chance....
where the problem with an iPod normally lies is that it's audio output level is very low, so to get the same volume you must amplify it more.
Amplification amplifies the noise and distortion as well as the signal.
Playing an MP3-CDR in the same car stereo is going to sound a whole bunch better because the signal is a digital signal converted inside the head unit, it's going to sound as good as the mp3 can sound and that is a function of the bitrate and the specific algorythm used.
iPods belong in your pocket.
I personally don't own one... though I do play mp3's in my vehicle...
my mp3's are all burned to CD-R's and played back from a disc changer (a Sony CDX-757MX) audio level isn't an issue.
Even at 320kBit/Sec a CD-R filled with mp3's will hold the equivelent of 4-1/2 full (80min) audio CD's or a tiny bit less than 6hours.
(I know I made previous posts where I screwed up the math)
I have three full discs at the "Back" of the disc magazine that are 160kBit/sec, mainly because with 70's vintage recordings you can't tell the difference... those discs have an average run time of ~11hours.
so my "normal" disc load, in a single 10-disc magazine runs ~70hours what do I
need an iPod for?
If I "need" to hear something different I have a disc wallet in the console and
a spare disc magazine next to the changer it takes 10seconds to change the
If I want to completely switch from Rock to classical it takes me ten seconds...
This is my not my first Sony changer so over the years I have accumulated
My next head unit will have a backplane USB cable