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Are you ready for the demise of the in-dash CD?

nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
I was reading a little article this morning in the Detroit News in which they were predicting that as early as 2012 automakers may begin deleting the CD player from their standard stereos, in favor of a host of other options. Those options might include things like hard drive systems such as Chrysler's My Gig, as well as aux jacks for iPods and standard sat radio.

Here's the link:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070608/AUTO01/706080342/1148/AUTO01

One of the execs at Siemens VDO is quoted as saying that they could save "as much as $20 to $40 per vehicle" by this deletion, to which I say, big whoop! I think the larger point, however, is that they are already viewed by a large segment of the buying public as obsolete.

Me, I rather like having a CD in the dash. No I don't use it every day, as I have become a satellite radio addict, but for me it is much easier to plug in the CD of one of my favorite albums than to have to go and load it on some portable player as a file to be uploaded to my car. That takes more time and preparation than my lazy self cares to commit! And no, I don't currently own an iPod.

The Siemens exec also says that the CD player is valuable real estate in the dash, and automakers would love to use the space for other stereo options, but I dunno, it doesn't seem to me that it takes up that much space, especially if you consider that for the foreseeable future they will probably still offer as standard some type of radio, whether it's over-the-air or satellite-based. If you're going to have a radio anyway, how much EXTRA space does the CD player take up?

So what do you think - would you miss the in-dash CD if it went way? Would you pay extra for it if they still offered it as a $50 or $100 option? I am curious to hear what people think.

2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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Comments

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,704
    I've got one of those 6-CD magazines that lives in the trunk, I'd just as soon be able to load the CD player thru the dash.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,091
    I would miss having a CD player available. I am addicted to XM for the present. There are times that I would want to listen to a CD. I even have a few cassettes that I listen to on occasion. I have no interest in an iPod device. I do have all my CDs ripped onto my computer.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    I am with you on the iPod thing, in fact I doubt I will ever own one of those. I do have some of my music loaded on CDs as mp3 files, but I suppose if CD players go away, so will the ability to play those files in the car.

    I could get by with just the sat radio (mine is Sirius BTW - yours and mine may become one and the same if the merger goes through), but then what if sat radio doesn't make it as a viable business enterprise? They keep saying it hasn't made any money yet, even after several years of operation.

    I certainly wouldn't want other stuff like streaming video or NAV in my dash, and would never pay one cent extra for those things.

    But I think I would pay $100 extra for an optional CD player if it was offered that way. You know, it wasn't that long ago when some cars were still sold with a $100 optional cassette player. Me, I still have cassettes, but when I sold my truck I lost the last vehicle I had where I could listen to cassettes as I drove (it had a factory combo CD/cassette player).

    I imagine that CDs will be sold much longer than 2012, although it will probably become mostly internet shopping. I just think it's premature to be talking about removing them from cars as standard fare. We are only about two years past the point where they BECAME standard - cars were still being sold with stand-alone in-dash cassette players relatively recently. The Germans were especially bad about hanging onto cassettes long after everyone else was putting in CD players.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,091
    My 2005 GMC and 1999 Suburban have both CD & cassette. The Bose in the 05 GMC is a 6 CD changer. I have only put one CD in as I got into the XM right off. I think part of the issue with Sat radio is the bidding war for content. For me good music is all I am interested in. They can have all the sports crap and Howard Stern. What a waste of revenue.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,609
    I'm ready for the demise. I'm ready for mobile net access in my car - if I want tunes, hopefully internet radio will still be around (unless Congress kills it off with the big royalty increase that's proposed).

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    mobile net access. My oh my, our cars are getting complicated!

    And to think, there are still cars sold today with no radio at all!

    Maybe when the day comes that I don't have to do any extra uploading in my car, and I don't need to spend extra in additional gadgets (like an iPod today), I will be ready for file-sharing in the car, and I will be done with the CD. Such a technology would require that the car be able to receive over-the-air internet access at all times. I think we are a fair number of years away from that scenario.

    But if I could literally sit at my computer and load a "mobile on-line jukebox" that my car could then access out on the road, that would satisfy me and I would be ready for the demise of the in-dash CD! :-)

    Oh, and I don't want pay extra for that technology in the car, as I don't pay extra for the CD player now. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    ...I'm still mourning the loss of in-dash cassette players! Most of my old stuff is still on cassette. Some of the stuff you can't even find anymore.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    My '02 Mustang has both a dash cd player AND a cassette deck. I think it was the last year Ford offered a tape player in its cars.

    Makes me happy to occasionally dig out one of my old '80s tapes and rock out. :blush:
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    My family has 3 Saturns ... one VUE (wife's), one ION (daughter's) and one L300 (mine). All of them have different stereo setups.

    The VUE has a 6 disk in dash changer, which my wife loads up and plays endlessly. She never listens to the radio.

    The ION has a single disk CD and an AUX jack, which works well as my daughter has an iPod (4GB version - about 1000 songs). She will use the CD or the iPod, depending on how far she is driving.

    The L300 has a single disk CD and a cassette deck. I, too, have an iPod (8GB version) and have the adapter for the cassette player. Since I've got that all set up, I either listen to the radio (for local news) or the iPod. I got rid of all my cassettes years ago.

    The wife also has an iPod, but in the VUE, she has to use the FM adapter, which hasn't worked out as well as we would like. I've thought about having an adapter hard-wired into the antenna, but haven't done that yet.

    The way I look at it is this .. with CD's, you have to insert and eject them (if you don't have a changer) to change the music. With the iPod, you can set it to 'shuffle' and get all your music. You become your own DJ, so to speak.

    I've not had a car with satellite radio, so I can't comment on it.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,411
    I've dealt with the same issues. Our Accord has no cassette player and so the iPod has to go through the FM radio. Out here the FM band is crowded so finding a open spot isn't easy.

    The Ody has CD and cassette so I play the iPod through that. I like having my whole collection portable like that.

    My next car will either have a cassette or an aux jack.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Does anyone even offer a cassette deck anymore?

    I would think it would be a heck of a lot easier to find an aux jack than a cassette deck in a new car these days.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,411
    I can't imagine anyone really offers one anymore. We are in another in between period where you have cars with no cassette deck and no aux jack. You'll see the latter as standard equipment pretty soon. Lots of iPods out there.

    I got an iPod before I realized just how much a gig really was. I mean I knew in theory, but.... It's 40 gig. I thought it was tiny until the kids got nanos and mine looks and feels like a brick in comparison. It does hold pretty much all my CDs and a ton of photos.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    that very soon, and CERTAINLY by the time the CD goes away, the aux jack will be standard in factory car audio.

    I have a 6-disc changer in my car, so that I can listen for a very long time before I have to change any CDs out. But I guess I never really considered the act of changing CDs very laborious.

    Seems to me like there would be a sustainable market for both: the CD crowd and the iPod crowd. I don't know why they would be in such a hurry to sweep the factory CD player into the dustbin of history. :sick:

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,411
    I don't see them going away that soon.

    The folks with the 6 CD problem probably are ones where it is in the back so you actually have to stop the car and get out to change CDs.

    I've never actually had a changer in the car.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    My changer is in the dash, so it's pretty easy to use. Yeah, I wouldn't like one of those trunk changers - too much hassle/planning involved there, just like there would be in loading up an iPod I would never use anywhere but in the car.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,091
    I can see them making the CD changer optional on cars. With the limited programming on AM & FM, CDs and iPods are it, until you go with Sat service. Not everyone is willing to pay $10 per month for XM or Sirius.

    I thought my 2005 GMC had a cassette as well as the 6 CD changer. NO cassette. I guess I don't miss it. I did copy my wife's favorite cassettes to CDs a while back. She has never listened to them.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    The CD changer in the VUE is the 4th one we've had. The Expedition we leased had a changer in the center console, while the Explorer had it in the dash. The VW New Beetle, OTOH, had an aftermarket changer mounted in the "trunk" - as mentioned above, THAT was a hassle. Didn't change CD's very often in it.

    Regarding the iPod, my 8GB holds about 2000 songs - I've got about 1500 on it so far, and it's more than enough. In fact, I leave tomorrow for an 1100 mile drive to California from Colorado and am quite thankful that the car I'm driving ('92 Subaru Legacy wagon) has a cassette deck for the iPod adapter.

    Guess we'll find out how long the battery lasts before needing to be recharged!

    We also have a Bose docking station for the iPods at home, so it gets used more than just in the car.
  • m6vxm6vx Posts: 142
    My '02 Mustang has both a dash cd player AND a cassette deck. I think it was the last year Ford offered a tape player in its cars.

    I've got CD and cassette in my '07 Grand Caravan.

    I need both, as I borrow Books on Tape (or CD) from several different libraries. It's been a long while since I listened to the radio (too much crap for me), and who has time any more to actually READ a book?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    There's another thing for which iPod/aux jack has no answer right now. Especially the entertainment-on-the-run angle.

    When the cassette player disappeared, it was because it was replaced by another pre-recorded medium, the CD, which offered some advantages (more durable, better sound quality, a little less physically chunky).

    My problem with eliminating the CD is it is being replaced by a medium that is NOT pre-recorded, but one on which I have to set up a playlist and record/download all my music. Too much prep time for my tastes. To me that makes the replacement of the CD by an aux jack less than desirable.

    I hope they continue to offer it as an option for a long while even after it is no longer standard.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,411
    There are loads of books available for mp3 download. Unfortunately there seems to be delay in some adopting the iPod format. Silly them since that's half the market.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Guess we'll find out how long the battery lasts before needing to be recharged!

    I'm guessing it's too late for you to read this, but:

    http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/tuneflex/

    I use one of these, and it's great. I never have to charge my iPod, my car does it for me.

    I was a fan of satellite radio, until I tried an iPod out in my car. The sound quality is 100x better, and with podcasts (which are free!) I have shows to listen to tailored exactly to my tastes. I ended up cancelling the satellite service.

    Also, re: books on tape; iTunes has sold audio books for a VERY long time. There are a zillion of them on the site.

    There is exactly one circumstance I'd miss having a CD player in my car, and that is on the trip home after buying a CD. And most times I don't even bother, unless it's something I've REALLY been looking forward to. Plus, my CD buying is way down - I buy a lot of stuff off iTunes now. I probably buy 1 physical CD every 6 months or so.
  • m6vxm6vx Posts: 142
    There are loads of books available for mp3 download. Unfortunately there seems to be delay in some adopting the iPod format. Silly them since that's half the market.

    There are loads of books at the library on tape and CD, with tape outnumbering CD around 5 or 10 to 1 depending on library.

    I think that the delay of adoption of the iPod format is because that it is a proprietary format. The mp3 format is open.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the CD Player going away soon; the cassette player can still be had in many cars, and it was only until a few years ago that CD Playing capability was optional in many low end cars.

    I have a cassette player in my Infiniti I35- I have never used it since I took delivery of the car. I prefer the in-dash 6 CD changer. :)

    I can see the aux jack becoming available on more and more cars, but I doubt it will replace CD, at least for a few years. They will coexist for a while, much like CD and Cassette did, and then gradually I think the CD player will go away.

    What about little memory chips (like CompactFlash or something?) with files on them? Libraries could put books on them, and you just need to plug it into your car. They take up less space than an iPod or a CD, and you can get them in various sizes now. I remember hearing that the new CR-V with NAV has a CompactFlash memory slot.

    As for MyGIG, what happens when you sell the car? Do you have to go through and manually delete everything? Or what happens when the battery dies? Does everything disappear? :confuse:
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,411
    Sorry. Should have been more specific. Here in NJ you can get free downloads of books for a period of time in mp3 but not iPod format. Had those free ones in mind.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, but name me a car that still comes with a factory cassette player. Inquiring minds want to know...

    Last year's Accent was the last model I know of that had a factory cassette, and I haven't checked but I am pretty sure it is a CD this year in the new model.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • m6vxm6vx Posts: 142
    I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, but name me a car that still comes with a factory cassette player. Inquiring minds want to know...

    2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, for one.

    Cassette and CD.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    This topic came up with some co-workers the other day. I believe you can still get a factory casette along with the CD in an Acura RL.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Whoa, are you kidding me? A $50K luxury car with a factory cassette? Of course it has the CD as well. I was thinking more of whether there were any models sold new today that have ONLY a cassette as standard, even if the CD is optional.

    The Dodge GC doesn't surprise me in that regard, although it again has the combo cassette/CD.

    Seems like from the responses so far, nobody will miss the factory CD that much when it goes. Me, I will probably pay the $100 extra to get it as an option. For a while at least.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mattgg1mattgg1 Posts: 191
    2007 Toyota Highlander comes standard with a cassette deck.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Well there you go then. There ARE still some that do. No store except truck stops has sold cassettes in what, at least a decade? Do the truck stops even do that any more?

    By contrast, at least there are still many stores including all music stores that carry CDs.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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