Some people assume that the FM modulator and FM transmitter are the same but some differences will set one apart from the other. The FM transmitter will allow you to send your music over the airwaves. The FM modulator will make sure that the music will be placed directly on your car radio so that you can listen to the songs that you want.
One similarity between the two is they both send FM frequencies so that these can be checked and picked up by the antenna of your car radio. Having a full system is necessary to ensure that both of these items will work the way that they are supposed to.