Playing Zune tunes in the car

I like the all-you-can-eat economics of my Zune player, it has allowed me to try a lot of music that I would not otherwise have heard. A problem for me tho is — I do most my music consumption in the car while driving. I have the Zune car pack and it is fine for what it is — an FM transmitter. But I hate the experience — dynamic range compression (and this seems to be a particularly bad unit for that), difficulty in finding an unallocated slot in an urban area, interference, etc.

I wish my car had an AUX in jack but alas that slot is already consumed by an iPod interface which works great but of course is unusable by the Zune. Some guys claim they are building an adapter but nothing exists. And I don’t have the time to hack one up myself.

So the other alternative is to somehow get Zune songs into MP3 format so that they can be on my iPod or burned on data CDs and thence playable in the car. I don’t really care about stripping off DRM, I want to be legal, but I want to listen to the songs easily in the car with greater fidelity than the FM path allows.

I’ve been trying TuneBite which as I understand it, pretends to be a sound card, captures a playback, and encodes into MP3 using LAME. It also grabs all the tags from the source song and whacks them onto the MP3. It works but is funky. Very sensitive to task load on the PC, any other task will interfere with the encoding. And it just misses some songs from my collection for some reason.

I’d prefer a less Rube-Goldbergian software solution, but for now this is kind of working.