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July 14, 2008

TomTom GO 920T Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 3.5 of 5
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18. Music and Media

Main Menu 2 of 3
Figure 113: Main Menu 2 of 3

The GO 920T can play mo3 audio files, Audible Audiobooks, and can display photos, and HTML and text documents. The GO 920T also supports playlist files

The Music and Media functions are accessed on the second Main Menu page, shown above.

Music and photo files can be transferred to the GO 920T using TomTom's included HOME software, or by copying files directly to the device.

Music and Media Main Menu
Figure 114: Music and Media Main Menu

After tapping on "Music and Media" from the Main Menu, the GO 920T displays 4 options to choose from:

  • TomTom Jukebox - tap this button to access the mp3/audiobook player
  • Document reader - tap this button to view a text document or HTML file
  • iPod Control - You can connect your iPod to the GO 920T using the optional (sold separately for around $15) TomTom iPod Connect Cable
  • Photo gallery - tap this button to view photos

TomTom Jukebox
Figure 115: TomTom Jukebox

The Jukebox menu lets you view available audio files using any of the following methods:

  • Playlist - tap this button to select a playlist (note that the GO 920T can read playlists, but cannot create them. So you'll need to create playlists in a different application, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player, and then copy the playlist onto the GO 920T)
  • Artist - tap this button to select a song by a particular singer or group
  • Album - tap this button to select from a list of all the albums on your GO
  • Song - tap this button to select from all the songs on your GO
  • Genre - tap this button to select a particular type of music
  • Audiobooks - tap this button to select an Audiobook

Now Playing
Figure 116: Now Playing

As soon as you choose a song or Audiobook file, the GO 920T begins playing that song.

Jukebox Preferences
Figure 117: Jukebox Preferences

By default, the GO 920T doesn't display the music button on the map screen. If you frequently use the music player, you'll likely want to enable the music button in driving view.

Tapping the Options button on the "Now Playing" menu brings up the Jukebox preferences screen. This screen allows you to customize the audio playback settings.

Music Button
Figure 118: Music Button

Once enabled, the music button is displayed in the upper-left area of the map. Tapping the music button brings up the "Now Playing" music player.

When navigating to a destination, audio playback is automatically paused during turn instructions, and then resumes once the verbal instruction is complete.

Image Viewer
Figure 119: Image Viewer

The GO 920T includes a basic photo viewer.

19. FM Transmitter

The GO 920T includes a built-in FM Transmitter that allows you to re-direct audio to your car's stereo system via the FM radio. This
means you can hear the instructions made by your GO and play your mp3 songs through your car's speakers instead of the GO 920T's built-in speaker.

Accessing the Speaker Preferences
Figure 120: Accessing the Speaker Preferences

The FM transmitter settings are located within the "Speaker preferences" menu, located on Preferences page 6 of 8 (note that you'll need to have all menu options displayed in order to see this icon). To access the speaker preferences, tap on the map to bring up the Main Menu -> Change preferences -> Right Arrow (Next Page) 5 times until you see page 6 of 8 -> Speaker preferences.

Speaker Preferences for Navigation Instructions
Figure 121: Speaker Preferences for Navigation Instructions

TomTom's GO 920T allows you to specify different audio outputs for navigation instructions and music playback. Available options are:

  • Internal speaker
  • Bluetooth Hi-Fi device (such as a Bluetooth-equipped car stereo system or wireless speaker)
  • Line-out (useful if your car has an audio input)
  • FM to your car radio

That means you could, for example, have maneuver instructions announced over the GO 920T's internal speaker, but have music piped through your vehicle's built-in speaker system using the FM transmitter, Bluetooth, or Line-out cable.

Tap on "FM to your car radio" to activate the internal FM transmitter for turn instructions.

Next, select the speaker preference for music playback. I'll choose "FM to your car radio" for both navigation instructions as well as music playback.

FM Transmitter Notice
Figure 122: FM Transmitter Notice

You'll want to find an unused frequency on the FM dial in your area, and then tell the GO 920T to broadcast on that frequency. Set your vehicle and the GO 920T to the same frequency, and you'll hear the GPS on your car's stereo system.

If the GO 920T is also paired with a compatible Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, the FM transmitter can be used to turn your car's stereo into a hands-free speakerphone.

Note that if you're using the FM transmitter on the GO 920T, you CANNOT also listen to a CD on your car's stereo. Basically, your vehicle thinks you're listening to the radio. You wouldn't be able to listen to the radio AND a CD at the same time on your car's stereo, and therefore this type of scenario isn't possible.

Setting the FM Frequency
Figure 123: Setting the FM Frequency

The GO 920T allows you to enter any FM frequency, in increments of .1. Once the desired frequency has been set, tap on "Next" in the upper right corner.

Transmitting Sound to Your Car Radio
Figure 124: Transmitting Sound to Your Car Radio

The GO 920T repeats verbal navigation instructions so you can hear the voice via your FM stereo while finding an appropriate station to broadcast on.

Tapping on "Change" allows you to enter the frequency you want to broadcast from the GO 920T to your car's stereo.

You'll want to try and find an unused frequency to minimize interference. If you need help finding an unused FM frequency in your area, check out DLO's OpenFM website that lets you find unused stations in your area (by city, zip, street, etc.).

TomTom's FM transmitter is powerful, and worked well in my car -- even when positioned far away from the radio antenna. Moreover, the transmitter is strong enough that it was able broadcast cleanly even when I couldn't find an available radio station, and just broadcast on top of another channel.

TomTom's FM transmitter is much better than the transmitter found in many Garmin nuvi models (which is barely strong enough to transmit a clean FM signal even when there's no interference at all).