I finally found a use for one of the otherwise useless cupholders in my wife’s 2002 VW Cabrio: I turned it into an iPod holder using Belkin’s clever—if ridiculously overpriced—TuneDok.
At $30, the TuneDok is priced so high you’d think it was a VW replacement part. But come on, Belkin, this is just a bit of well-engineered plastic. Fortunately, you can find it selling online for as little as $18 if you look hard enough. The TuneDok isn’t limited to the iPod, either; it’ll hold a Creative Zen Vision: M just as snugly.
People who use their cupholders for cups might prefer some other way of mounting their iPod in their car. The kit comes with two cups, but you’ll toss one of them because there’s only one holder. This part screws into the bottom of the cup fits your car. Arms on the left, right, and bottom grasp the player (unfortunately, I had to remove the Griffin iClear enclosure I use to protect my video iPod). A suction cup holds iPods tight, but it didn’t work so well with the Vision: M because of that player’s textured back. The ledge on the bottom of the holder is perforated to allow an interface cable to snake through.
The TuneDok worked in the Cabrio, but it’s not an ideal fit for all the same reasons that cups and cans don’t fit well in the Cabrio’s lame cup holders: Between the shift selector and the low dashboard, there just isn’t enough room. Adjusting the ratchet on the TuneDok enabled me to angle the player so that either the driver or the passenger could see the iPod’s display; but I couldn’t maneuver it so that both could see it at the same time. (I installed an interface kit so that the iPod played through the car’s factory stereo; I’ll review a couple of these in upcoming issues of Maximum PC.)
The TuneDok is a good product if you can find it priced well, but you’d be nuts to pay full price for one.