Windows Phone 7 that was built on top of Microsoft Zune platform is a new trend and hasn't reached wide adoption yet. I'm a strong believer that it will grow it's market share which will stimulate Zune player interface implementation in various devices, including car stereos. However at this point, iPod is de-facto the standard that everyone loves and deployes.

If you're have a Windows Phone 7 device you still have a few options to connect it to your car stereo. The most widely spread approach is through Zune to FM converter. It plugs into your Windows Phone 7 device, receives the audio stream from it, converts it to FM and transmits at the configured frequency. This may be the cheapest solution for you if what I'll be discussing below is not applicable for your car. I tried this one http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=205852564&listingid=129425807 and wasn't extremely happy with it. Overall it gets the job done but if you live in US it is difficult to find a frequency not occupied by a radio station. If you do find it, you'll still experience a fair amount of interference while listening your music. If you can avoid it - don't buy it.

The other option which I discovered fairly recently is way better than the previous one - Bluetooth pairing with audio player. I'm not talking about regular phone pairing between a car and a Windows Phone 7 device. The list of Bluetooth profiles supported by Windows Phone are listed at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2449475. Turns out Windows Phone 7 supports A2DP profile. If your car stereo supports this profile as well, you can pair your car with Windows Phone and enjoy digital quality audio stream from your phone through your car stereo. The exact instructions vary from car to car so you'd have to refere to car manual. If you drive Lexus then here's what you need to do:

  1. Click hardware "Audio" button on your car stereo
  2. Choose "BT" tab which stands for "Bluetooth"
  3. Tap "Connect" button on the screen
  4. Enable bluetooth on your Windows Phone 7 device
  5. From the list of bluetooth devices discovered by Windows Phone 7 pick your car stereo and pair them

Once device is paired, you can stream music from your phone. The drawback of this method is that you still can't control playback from your car stereo, you need to choose what to play on Windows Phone 7. However thisĀ approach is better than FM transmitter because audio is delivered in loseless digital format as opposed to analog.

I hope this postĀ helps you get more out of your Windows Phone 7 devices and enjoy it to the extent it deserves.