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If you have had the opportunity to travel in a vehicle produced after 2018 then there is a chance you have noticed something missing.  Nice fancy touch screen, check.  Bluetooth phone connection, check.  A/C controls, check.  CD player...NOPE!  As with the 8-track and the cassette, CD’s time has come.  With the continued advancements in streaming audio and digital music saved to devices, the need to have your folder of CD’s ready to pop in at your whim has decreased sharply in the last 5 years. 


Just 10 years ago the importance of the CD for playing music in the car was such that the better in-car audio systems would include multi-disc players (that’s what I have in my 2010 Fusion).  But within the next couple of years the writing would be on the wall spelling the doom of the CD.  By 2013 many manufacturers will have ditched the Multi-disc option completely and have a single disc player as the only option.  


While this was going on auto manufacturers began to streamline the integration of digital media into their vehicles sound systems.  From 2013 through 2018 many vehicles you would have both a CD player and easy access to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.  Anyone remember having both a CD player and a Cassette player?  Same thing, slowly working the older technology out in favor of a more efficient and higher quality option.   


That brings us to where we are now.  You are cleaning out your old vehicle and wondering what you are going to do with this massive library of music you have compiled over the years.  Your giant folder, bursting at the seams with your collection of CDs, in need of a new, hard to reach location, when your mood changes and a change of atmosphere is needed How am I going to play the music I want when I want without the aforementioned folder?  I have some good news.  You have options, and they are way more convenient than you might think. 


Let’s look at all the options and you can decide which one works best 

Portable BT CD Player-   Want to keep that giant Folder and hurriedly search through your library as you sit at a stop light?  Do you enjoy CD skips when you hit a bump or because the surface is scratched?  Then here is your best option.  Oh, an since you are occupying your vehicles Bluetooth connection, you won’t be able have you phone connected.  But hey, you still have your CDs. 

Satellite Radio- Yep that’s right you can have some control over what songs you hear on Sirius/XM radio.  New vehicles have included the option to mark certain songs or artists as favorites and the system will alert you when they are playing on a different station than the one you are currently listening to.  You can also Pause a song when you step away or have a conversation.  The downside is it is a subscription service that you will need to purchase after an initial trial period 

Convert to digital- This is the most cost effective and time-consuming option.  Basically, you take each CD and save the music onto a computer.  Once you have them all saved you can transfer them to your phone allowing you to play via the Bluetooth connection or to a USB drive that you plug in (most vehicles have USB ports).  This is a better choice if you have CDs with music you won’t find in the massive streaming libraries. 

Streaming Services- This is in my opinion the best option for choosing the music you want to listen to.  There are a whole host of streaming apps that allow you to select specific artists and genres.  They have an unending library to choose from, so you can create custom playlists and access them using your vehicles voice interface.  No massive, inconveniently placed binder.  No flipping through to find the right CD at a stoplight, just tell the vehicle what you want to play.  Many of these services have free and paid subscription options so if you don’t want to spend any money this can still be a good option.  The Subscription services do keep you from having to listen to ads.  It will come down to how you prefer to listen. 

So, there you go.  A requiem for the CD player.  We will remember the good times of being able to skip straight to a track and not getting the tape tangled in the player.  But it is time to move on and embrace the future and the benefits it brings.   



Categories: Social