Auto Makers Kill Off the Cassette Deck

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Nimrod

There are only two quality ways to get good adio these days. The first of course is vynl, but that doesnt seem to be fessable in cars. The other choisc for the highest qualit audio is of course Laser Disk. I listen to all of my music while in the car on laser disk.

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szore

I remember when cars used to have 8 tracks installed...back in the 70's, of course, ahhh... the good old 70's... I remember as a kid driving with my brother in his mustang listening to the "new" Sabbath tape on his 8 track...cutting edge stuff...lol

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johnnyathm1

Yep...I have similar memories as well. (=

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damninhell

what's a Cassette Deck..lol

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praack

why have a high end system and get only stereo with an mp3 jack? hate the radio stations and Satellite is too expensive- have 6 cd's change m out regulalry

what they would need to do is rethink the whole model of how you would get music to the car device- right now-your choice is poor transfew via cable or wireless using low quality mp3 or use CD's

 

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violian

I used to have a portable cassette Walkman player when I was a kid. During that time (1999 or so), portable CD players were still pretty expensive - something like $70-80 for a decent model. I would get free music by putting on the radio on my parents stereo system, and then using the tape recorder to record when my favorite music comes on. I never had any albums on cassettes though cuz when you're only like 14, you don't have that kind of money. All of my allowances went towards candy and die-cast cars.

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Caboose

My car (2010 Ford Fusion SE) has built in bluetooth, aux headphone and usb port, plus MP3 CD player. I've used all of them, but primarily I use either my Sirius satellite or the USB connection. As of right now, I have a 500GB notebook HDD in my car full of all my music and my wife's music.

Nice thing about the bluetooth is that it doesn't matter if its the phones system sounds, music, youtube or videos, it all pumps through the car's speakers when in bluetooth streaming mode. I'll sometimes use the CD player, but in the 7mo tha I've had the car, I think I've used it about 5 times.

I wish that the USB port was a little easier to get to. Its in the centre armrest/console which can make things a smidge difficult at times.

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brentrad

Panasonic head unit with CD player (which I never use), and a built-in iPod dock connector (which I frequently use, when I'm not listening to AM Progressive talk radio.)  Even cheap head units these days offer that option.  The head unit also has an AUX input directly on the front of it, which I never used until I got my Droid a while back - but it's always important to give yourself a lot of standard input options with audio equipment.  Electronics technology moves fast, but you generally keep your audio equipment for years - you never know what new gadget you might want to plug in, two years from now.

But I think some of you underestimate the usage of CDs among non-geeks.  I know a lot of geek friends that do things like I do, plug their iPod or smartphone into their stereo.  But I know exactly ZERO non-geeks that do the same.  For them, it's CDs all the way.  The CD isn't going anywhere, it'll be at least 10-15 years before mp3 players and such overtake CDs in usage.  I really can't see my mother-in-law using an iPod in her car EVER - we only got them their first CD player in 2004 or so!  (She has a CD changer in her car, and has had the same 6 CDs in there for 2 years now...)

Offtopic:  For electronics, audio equipment in particular, Panasonic is the only brand I completely trust these days.  Every Panasonic item I buy is excellent quality and still pretty inexpensive.  I used to buy Sony (bought my first Sony CD Discman in 1988, that thing was a tank, I can't tell you how many times I dropped it on concrete and it kept ticking) but I've witnessed Sony quality decline since then.  I refuse to buy anything Sony these days...

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nHeroGo

Noooooooo! Don't do it. Save the tapes. Save the whales.

I don't even know if my car has a slot for tapes. I'll keep you posted, so that you do not have to wonder if I do or don't. I don't want to keep you guessing. You might lose sleep over it.

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Caboose

Nuke the whales!

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m31337

Would be great if in the future your car would have a touch display that you could plug your smart phone into. From there you could use your apps for navigation, listen to music, pasengers could watch movies.  

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mikeart03a

My Kenwood receiver pretty much does that as well, you can jack about anything into it and it'll work with it somehow.

http://www.crutchfield.ca/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=113DDX418

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Caboose

They do exist. I know on Ford's with their advanced sync system it has a full touchscreen display with internal storage (I think 10GB).

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someuid

I never used tape.  I was lucky enough to arrive at the age where you have money to start a music collection at the same time CD's showed up.  Tape was just crap to me.

Actually, I used tape once with my first car because all it had was a tape deck.  I think I had like 4 tapes made before I got one of those tape adapters to use with a portable CD player that had on-board memory to read ahead on the CD and store up 4-5 seconds of music in case of a bump.

The second car (which I am still driving - Toyota knows how to design a car, and American workers know how to build it) came with tape and CD, but no aux in.  I used the CD for a while, but that was a pain.  I was either living in Arizona and had to bring in my collection every time due to heat, or living in Montana, where CD players don't work very well at -30F in the winter and I was concerned about my CDs breaking due to being so cold.

The arrival of the iPod and the aux jack was the holy grail.  I don't even turn on the radio these days.  With hours of podcasts and my entire music collection with me, all I need is the aux jack.  When I was issued a work truck (I drive up to 10 hours/day) the first thing I looked for was the aux jack (and happily I found one.)

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ShyLinuxGuy

OEM CD players in cars are getting outdated, too--nobody listens to CDs anymore (I have never used my CD player in my car). We should be seeing more SD-card slots, USB ports and stuff for music. And why on Earth are car manufacturers (as of 2010) rolling out cars with tape players, of all things??? Seriously--I thought manufacturers stopped with the tape players around, at the *latest*, 2005-2006. Lexus should know better than to put a tape player in a car nowadays--I've seen cheap Kias to pricey Mercedes that have everything but cassette players with more modernized music systems.

I'm thinking about getting an old Eee PC netbook strictly for my car. My car (an '03 Acura RSX) has a CD player (and a tape player--why it has one, I really don't know), but I use my MP3 player (a Sansa Fuze) pigtailed to the line-in. But, I want to have a better sound experience, and no MP3 player (from Sansa to iPods) has that, so I might just pick up a first-gen Eee PC to use as my tunes box for my car, so I can customize the equalizer, playlists, and what not (not while driving, of course :P). Where I'll put it, I don't know, because an RSX is kinda cramped, and it's going to be hard to find a spot for it.

 

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OliverSudden

Cassette decks are MP3 player-friendly, by way of the $4.99 cassette adapter.

CD players are not, unless you want to spend time & money burning MP3 CDs.  If you have a CD player in your car, you have no choice but to endure this process.  Even then you're limited to, what, 150 songs or so?  Now, granted, that's a lot but it doesn't compare to the press-play-and-don't-stop-until-the-trip-is-over goodness that an MP3 player with a headphone jack can give you.  Plus, you can't change songs on a CD.  Sure, you may have shuffle...but once that CD is burned, that's it.  You're stuck with it.  It means burning more CDs with different tunes and different mixes, then you've got to manage the mixes...Oy!

The best solution, of course, is to provide an aux input jack directly into the dash and I've seen new cars with this option.  I've also seen Crutchfieldesque after-market kits that allow you to implement such a solution yourself.

What about FM transmitters, you may be asking?  I've never used one that worked very well or sounded nearly as good as a direct connection.

So the death of the cassette desk means your MP3 player working in the car...just got a little more complicated.

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Blues22475

I am actually surprised that auto makers were still having tape decks in their cars. I haven't seen a Tape Deck in a car since my mom's old 92 Ford Van (forgot what its name was).

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AbeFromanTSKOC

Huh, Would have expected to read this article 10 years ago.....Automakers should be ashamed of themselves.

 

I keep a mp3 cd in the player for short trips. Anything over 10 min, Iphone.

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Jesterace

I usually burn my mp3's on to a CD-RW and play them that way. I can have several albums on one disc and when I get tired of them I can burn different albums on the same disc.

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Spartacus

If I'm driving alone, I plug my laptop into my stereo's aux in and leave the laptop in the passenger's seat. If there's a passenger I just use my iPhone. Simple, no burning of CDs necessary.

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eastbayrae

The trucks still have them.  I have a 2011 Toyota Hi-lux pick-up that has one.

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johnnyathm1

I find it real easy to pop a cd in, most often it's a mix of my fav's. However, for the long road trips I like using my portable media player of choice...I just link it to the car via, whatever works for the end user, and away I roll...playing things on random or a playlist set up already. It's too easy to get wrapped up in looking for a certain song, if you're not careful...you will end up on the news, charged with death by IPod...never a good thing.

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